Friday, November 23, 2007

Foreign Paulicy

There are many things that Republican voters agree with presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul about. For instance, as a U.S. Representative, Ron Paul has never voted for a tax increase. He’s never voted for an unbalanced budget. He’s never voted for a gun control law. He has never voted to raise congressional pay and has never taken a government-paid junket. He’s pro-life.

One position that has caused some misunderstanding among some Republicans (including Rudy Giuliani) is his foreign policy. A strict constitutionalist, Dr. Paul favors a return to the noninterventionist policies that our founding fathers envisioned.

Dr. Paul agrees with Thomas Jefferson, who advocated “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” Spurning that advice, America now has treaty guaranties with 50 foreign nations on five continents, threatening to drag us into every potential conflict anywhere. He agrees with John Quincy Adams who advised that America be “the well-wisher of freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own[,]” lest we involve ourselves “beyond the power of extrication.”

In short, Ron Paul believes that America should be run like “a republic, not an empire,” if I may borrow a phrase from Pat Buchanan. That may seem like a radical change from the foreign meddling and “nation-building” of the Bush/Clinton era, but it is not isolationist. Under Ron Paul’s policies the American people would be freer to engage in commerce, cultural exchange and charity with the people of the world (and they would have more money left in their pockets with which to do it).

A former Air Force captain, Dr. Paul is not anti-military. He would use the military against those who pose a clear and direct threat to tangible U.S. interests. He voted against the Iraqi quagmire but FOR the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.” He is peace-loving, but not a peacenik.

One group that seems to understand this is the military itself. According to the Federal Election Commission, in the last quarter, service members sent twice as much in donations to the Paul campaign than to any other candidate. It's no wonder the troops support Dr. Paul. Every service member swears an oath before God and man to defend the U.S. Constitution. Ron Paul has been defending the Constitution his entire adult life and is the only candidate who supports it still.

I’m supporting the man that our troops support, Ron Paul.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Supreme Court to Decide Fate of DC Gun Ban

Text from NRA:

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear First Second Amendment Case Since 1939

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fairfax, Va. - The United States Supreme Court today announced its decision to take up District of Columbia v. Heller-a case in which plaintiffs challenge the unconstitutional gun ban in the nation's capital. The District of Columbia appealed a lower court's ruling earlier this year affirming that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the District's bans on handguns, carrying firearms within the home, and possession of loaded or operable firearms for self-defense violate that right.

The NRA will participate in this case through briefs as a friend of the court. Oral arguments are likely to take place in early 2008.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that "[T]he phrase 'the right of the people,' when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." The D.C. Circuit also rejected the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because D.C. is not a state.
The decision marks the first time a Second Amendment challenge to a firearm law has reached the Supreme Court since 1939.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


This guy stands for Freedom, not Freebies.

More years ago than I care to relate, I was manning a display booth for the National Guard at a county fair back in Iowa. Along comes this big fat slob of a guy. Unshaven, rumbled old clothes, reeking of alcohal and cigarettes, and about a hundred pounds overweight. He had a smoke in the corner of his mouth, and a cheese-stuffed chocolate-dipped deep-fat-fried turkey drumstrick in one hand. In his other hand was a big old grocery bag and he was going from table to table snatching up everything free. He came to my table, glared at me, then began scrabbling across the table with his chubby little claws scarfing up all the goodies; pens, pencils, notebooks, key chains.

Then he came to a free booklet that contained the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. His greasy fat fingers engulfed it. He raised it to his squinty eyes. He read what was contained within the booklet.

Then he dropped it like it was a live puff adder. "(Expletive deleted)!" he snarled at me, glaring even more fiercely. "I don't want THAT (Expletive deleted)!"

With that, he stomped right out of the building. Within 10 or 15 minutes, the air had cleared to non-toxic levels and I was able to remove my gas mask. I later heard that Big Fat Sheeple, as I came to dub the individual, was banned from the 4-H Livestock Barn as he offended the pigs.

Big Fat Sheeple quickly became my unconscious example of the Ugly American Public. I thought for many years that a sadly large portion of our populace was represented by Big Fat Sheeple. They just want free stuff, they don't want freedom. Freedom entails taking care of yourself and your family, excersizing responsibility, and taking credit for your own actions and their repurcussions, both good and bad. Sheeple want all decisions made for them and don't want to be held responsible for anything they do. Which explains welfare and dish TV (Bread & Circuses), the mainstream media, academia, and a host of government entitlement programs and entities.

Now I am coming to hopefully (wishfully?) consider that maybe Big Fat Sheeple and his ilk do not constitute an overwhelming majority of the American populace. Of course, it's the Ron Paul Revolution that's given me that glimmer of hope. Despite the efforts of the mainstream media and the GOP itself to shut him out, down and up, Ron Paul is still gaining momentum. And it's all coming from little people, ordinary folks, the rank-and-file, the grassroots. I live in a town of 900. The only 2008 election signs I've yet to see are, to date, a half a dozen big ones for Ron Paul. Likewise, the only political bumper stickers I see in my small town are also for Ron Paul. The other day in Missoula, a college kid flagged the wife and I down just to give us a cheer and big thumb's up for our Ron Paul bumper sticker.

Despite being brainwashed by a self-important media that's about as fair and balanced as Pravda, and official governmental press releases as reliable as those sent out by Joseph Goebbels, more and more people are starting to see through the smokescreen despite our orders to, "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!"

Yesterday, I read a very grudging AP story that reluctantly acknowledged Ron Paul's growing momentum and support. He's coming up in the polls steadily all the time. He's won more straw polls than the other GOP talking heads. In fact, the GOP recently shut down a straw poll in Colorado because too many Ron Paul supporters showed up. The Guy Faulk's Day "Money Bomb" was a recrod-breaking one-day fund-raiser that netted over $4 million for the campaign; this is even more notable because it was almost all small donations from a very large group of "little people". Lobbyists, major industries, and the Red Chinese were not among the donors. "Conservative" talk show host Yawn Hannity is frothing at the mouth against Ron Paul and recently a Faux news exec was caught on tape demanding that the camera crew keep out shots of Ron Paul supporters at a recent Chicago political event. Despite this, Paul was even on Jay Leno not long ago.

So, the little people are fed up and are finally being heard despite a hearty dose of GOP and media censorship. Our voices are finally growing too loud to be ignored. The best thing we can do is to increase the pressure.

Got a yard? Put up a Ron Paul yard sign. Got a bumper? Get a bumper sticker. Got ten bucks? Make a donation to the campaign and, if you're still a registered Republikrat, tell them where you sent your $$ the next time the GOP calls on one of their Beg-A-Thons. Call local talk radio and write letters to the editor. Copy and leave fliers. Talk to people.

Up-coming in December, the weekend of the 15th and 16th, there is going to be a "Sign-Bomb" to follow-up the Guy Faulke's Day Money Bomb. Paul supporters nation-wide are supposed to put up signs that weekend. If you need anymore encouragement, check out this you-tube video.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I've been fiddling around with reloading my own ammunition for over fifteen years now, but I just recently started getting SERIOUS about the deal. Sure, I always loaded up my own hunting ammo to the tightest-shooting specs I could find, maybe fifty rounds, and would occassionally load handgun plinking ammo with the odd box of 300-grain .44 Magnum "Bear Medicine" thrown in. My biggest stumbling block was always how much time and effort it took just to prep the fired cartridge cases so that I could even get around to reloading them. This year, however, my wonderful wifie got me some new toys, such as an RCBS case prep center and a case polisher and a Zip trim. This has gone a long, long way towards shortening case prep time and making it more a pleasure than on ordeal. I just had to give the new toys a workout, which led me back into the whole wonderful, interesting, and amusing passtime of reloading.

As I believe Colonel Townsend Whelen once said, "Only accurate rifles are interesting." I was on the verge of losing some interest in my 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser Model 1894 carbine Scout Rifle, as I found I could only squeeze, at best and off a sandbag, five shots into 3 inches at 100 yards. Might as well be shooting an SKS. So I started playing with my new toys, taking test loads to the range, and firing them for the record.

Eventually, I was able to tweak both a standard hunting load and a varmint load that would go 1.1 inches for 5 shots at 100 yards, which I figure is good enough for a Mauser built in 1901. Now a 140-grain .264 bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2500 feet per second is not considered too awesome by the modern short belted super duper magnum crowd, but is dandy for me, shooting flat out to 300 yards with a 250 yard zero. With modern controlled expansion bullets such as the Sierra GameKing and the Noslers, I may even take it elk hunting. Such a caliber and load is considered small for elk by most folks, but I've met several people in Montana who hunt with it, and those wacky Scandinavians, not knowing all the wisdom of modern gun writers, have been killing moose for over a century with the 6.5x55.

On the other end of the scale, I kind of struck out. No matter the powder/primer/case/seating combination, The Swede just spat out the 85-grain varmint bullets with obvious distatse into 4 inch groups. Fortunately, the Swede showed to have a better appetitie for the 100-grain Sierras, with IMR 3031 powder, velocity of 2800 fps, again putting five shot groups just on the ragged outside edge of an inch. As a varmint gun, set to hit vitals in a 5-inch circle, it's zeroed at 200 yards and one can still hold dead on with the crosshairs out to 240 and still be able to hit the boiler room on a coyote or fox. As I may try it next year as a long-range antelope/deer load in eastern Montana (10-inch "bullseye"), a 270 yard zero keeps you in the vitals of such critters out to 320 yards. Of course, for all this jabber about ranges, I shot my mule deer buck at about 130 yards and my whitetail doe B Tag at less than 50.

For my wife's .30-06 sporter, which began life as a Model 1903A3 U.S. Army Springfield built in 1944 with a two-groove wartime Remington barrel, I still need to "tweak" the long-range load a bit for accuracy. At any rate, a 130-grain bullet leaving the muzzle at 3100 feet per second boasts a 300 yard zero and shoots flat out to 360 yards. My .308 loved this load; the Springfield a little less so. I need to play with the types of powder and charge weights a bit more to close up the groups. It was more than good enough this past weekend, however, when my wife bagged her mule deer at around 225 yards from the kneeling position.

This was the first year I really shot the .300 Winchester Magnum and all I can say is that I need to do a lot more tweaking or that the old girl just isn't gonna go much inside 1-1/2 inches at 100 yards. At present, I only have 40 cases to play with, which is just as well as sometimes it seems you need a #9 coal shovel to scoop the copious amounts of expensive powder down the gullet of those big cases. For instance, to launch a 165-grain bullet at 2800 fps, a .30-06 takes 58.7 grains of H4831 powder; to match that load, the .300 takes 68.6 grains of the same powder. Of course, that "maxes out" the .30-06. The .300 can still take that same bullet up to 3200 feet per second, but it costs you 77.4 grains of powder. I started out with Federal 180-grain factory ammunition, and for the first time Federal let me down, as the .300 just didn't like that stuff, shooting 4-inch groups.

The best I came up with so far is a 165-grain bullet at 3,000 fps, with which I can manage to get groups in the 1.3-1.4 inch range. It lobs a bigger bullet, suitable for elk, the same as the 130-grain out of the .30-06, that is a 300 yard zero and maximum point blank range of 360 yards.

OK, I've been blathering out all these numbers for awhile. What it boils down to is Jeff Cooper's old "Rifleman's Quarter Mile". Basically, a good shooter with a good rifle can "rule" the landscape around him or herself for a quarter mile. Of course, that applied to war, where exact shot placement in the vitals for a humane kill on game gets substituted for "good enough; I hit him", enemy soldiers being much more fragile than a deer or elk.

In the hunting field, 300 yards is probably about as far as you want to go. With some of the loads described above, 350 or even 400 is perfectly do-able by a good, well-practised shooter with no wind and a range-finder. Way out there, though, should be reserved for last-weekend-of-season-and-I-still-haven't-gotten-a-shot. Although I am a big fan of the Scout Rifle concept, with a low-magnification long-eye-relief scope mounted forward of the action, and I once did knock down my antelope at 400 yards with a 2.5X Scout Scope, this is more the area of conventional hunting arms with a large, high-magnification scope. You still need to be able to place the crosshairs accurately on the vitals. The crosshairs on one of my Scout Scopes blot out a 6-inch bullseye at 200 yards.

Another plus for reloading involves those who like accurate hand-gunning as well. Since having to switch to shooting southpaw after an eye injury, some of my handguns were stilll shooting 6-8 inches high at 25 yards with the back sights cranked all the way down as far as they could go. Two solutions were available; having a gunsmith put a taller front sight on the weapon, or playing with the loads. I played with the loads. I can't use 300-grain bullets at 1300 fps in my .44 Magnum anymore, but I'm dead bang on target with 240-grain flat-nose hardcast bullets lobbed out at 1450 feet per second, which ought to handle any bear problems I might ever have.

I almost got a chance to try this out on a whitetail deer in a special weapons restricted hunting zone down in the river bottom this past weekend. The doe stood broadside to me at about 40-45 yards, but I had just seen two mule deer bucks and a mulie doe. It took me too long to make sure it was a whitetail. About the time I figured that out, she took a half turn and bounded over the fence into the river, waving that infamous white flag at me.

Well, the coffe is about gone and my wife is up, so I had better wrap things up for now. Good hunting for those who indulge in the sport reccomended by Thomas Jefferson himself (A Species of Excersize).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Second Amendment- Part Four: Why?

In parts One, Two and Three of this series on the Second Amendment I adeptly demonstrated that the amendment does in fact protect an individual right of citizens to keep and bear arms. Laying that issue to rest in my usual artful, inspired, yet unassuming manner, only one question probably remains in the now-expanded mind of you, the reader: “Why is an individual right to keep and bear arms needed?” I’m glad you asked.

As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote in their Parker decision, this right “was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad).” Joseph Story, the famous jurist and Supreme Court Justice put it this way: "The importance of this article [Second Amendment] will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers."

So, besides hunting (a subject on which I defer to Bawb), the right to bear arms provides a defense against crime, foreign invasion and tyrannical government. Let’s examine each of these.


John Jay
"Even if it was practicable, would it be wise to disarm the good before 'the wicked cease from troubling?'" [Job 3:17]

This is probably the most relevant issue to modern day Americans. It’s only common sense that police can’t (and a free society shouldn’t) be everywhere. Reaffirming this fact, courts have routinely ruled that the police have no legal obligation to protect any individual, only society at large. They have no obligation even to enforce court-issued restraining orders. This means that the only duty to protect the individual resides with the individual himself. Some places have recognized that fact while others have tried to hide from it.

Even a cursory look at crime rates from around the country shows that areas with the most restrictive prohibitions on civil gun ownership have the highest crime rates (i. e. Washington D.C.), while areas with the least restrictive gun laws have some of the lowest crime rates (i.e. Vermont). States that legally recognize the “right to carry” (RTC) concealed firearms have lower violent crime rates on average: total violent crime lower by 26%, murder by 31%, robbery by 50%, and aggravated assault by 15%.

After hitting a record high in 1991, national violent crime rates declined steadily and hit a record low in 2004. This decline in crime happened while the number of guns and gun owners increased to all-time highs, states issuing RTC permits increased from 15 in 1991 to 40 today, and many state, federal and local gun laws were loosened or repealed. Compare these results to those of England and Australia which have seen their violent crime rates (including gun crimes) skyrocket after passing near-total gun bans. According to the U.N., these two countries now have higher violent-crime rates than America. Noted crime researcher Professor John Lott summed it up succinctly in the title of his book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

Foreign Invasion:

Thomas Paine:
"[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."

Admittedly the risk of foreign military invasion is pretty remote. Fortress America is protected by oceans on two sides and friendly (I think) neighbors to the north and south, but who knows what the future holds. Any nation foolish enough to send an invading army into the United States would be in for a fight. Even if they were able to defeat American military forces and capture certain areas, the armed citizenry would be able to conduct a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the occupiers. As Vietnam, Iraq, and numerous other examples have proven, armed civilians are often harder to defeat than trained, professional armies.

Perhaps the best real-world example of the deterrent effect that an armed people have against invasion is Switzerland. During World War Two, Hitler had designs on controlling Switzerland, mostly because it irked him that the largely Germanic Swiss didn’t want to be a part of his “glorious” Reich. Although the Nazis didn’t think twice about starting fights with France, Russia, or England (the military superpowers of the day), they shied away from tiny Switzerland. It’s tough military, imposing terrain, and, most importantly, it’s resilient and heavily armed civilian population seemed like too tough of a nut to crack. (Stephen Halbrook has two good books about Switzerland during WWII, “Target Switzerland” and “The Swiss and The Nazis.” Bawb and I recommend them.)

Domestic Tyranny:

Joseph Story:
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium (safeguard) of the liberties of a Republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them..."

The history of gun control is the history of tyranny and oppression. From Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot to Rwanda and Darfur, nearly every despotic, murderous regime has had one thing in common: gun control. While our forefathers considered taxes on their tea to be tyrannical, the blood-soaked tyrants of the modern era have given new meaning to the word tyranny. Every major genocide of the 20th Century involved gun restrictions of some sort upon the oppressed people.

Adolf Hitler:
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall."

Even in America, gun control has historically been a tool of tyranny and oppression. The earliest gun control laws denied slaves the right to bear arms, for obvious reasons. After slavery was abolished, these laws returned as “Jim Crow” laws denying black freedmen guns once again. It was much easier to keep blacks under the thumb of segregation if they were disarmed. Ending these racist gun laws was one of the primary reasons for passing the 14th Amendment, which essentially made the bill of rights applicable against state laws.

Other gun laws would forbid selling guns to the Indians, and later gun laws were designed to limit gun ownership among “lowly” Irish and Italian immigrants. These laws were used to oppress, not to elevate these groups. Ironically, in what must be the biggest political spin of all time, opposition to gun control is now considered intrinsically racist by many elites.

The U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA68) was, in many parts, a verbatim translation of Nazi gun laws used to oppress the Jews and other conquered people. The author of this legislation, Senator Dodd, had worked at the Nuremberg trials and later asked the Library of Congress to translate the old Nazi laws to be used in his GCA 68.

"Cato" (Nov. 27, 1787):
"[Y]ou do not believe that an American can be a tyrant? If this be the case you rest on a weak basis; Americans are like other men in similar situations, [...] your posterity will find that great power connected with ambition, luxury, and flattery, will as readily produce a Caesar, Caligula, Nero, and Domitian in America, as the same causes did in the Roman empire."

Our founding fathers understood that an armed populace was the final, last ditch safeguard against government suppression of the people’s liberty, when all the other “checks and balances” had failed. It was freedom’s reserve parachute, if you will.

George Mason:
"To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

Noah Webster:
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."

Alexander Hamilton:
"[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens."

Reverend Nicholis Collin:
"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."

St. George Tucker:
"Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, is under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."

Richard Henry Lee:
"[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."

George Mason:
"I consider and fear the natural propensity of rulers to oppress the people. I wish only to prevent them from doing evil... Divine providence has given to every individual the means of self-defense."

Thomas Jefferson:
"And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."

Benjamin Franklin:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

Patrick Henry:
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."

The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The militia that the framers referred to was all citizens capable of fighting. The amendment therefore protects an individual right of the people to keep and bear arms, which is necessary to defend themselves from crime, invasion and tyranny. I hope that the Second Amendment will remain strong well into the future, preserving the right of the people to preserve their rights.