Iver Johnson was a Norwegian immigrant who came to America in 1863. A gunsmith by trade, he worked in the firearms industry and formed the Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works company in the late 1800s. They produced a line of Motorcycles, Bicycles, Revolvers, and Shotguns...
Iver Johnson firearms are probably best known for the transfer bar safety mechanism designed into their line of revolvers - often termed "safety automatics". This was pretty revolutionary at the time, since revolver hammers were usually kept sitting on an empty cylinder chamber to avoid accidental discharge from dropping the weapon or the hammer being dropped from less than fully cocked due to a thumb slip or similar "oops" moment.
I find their ads really interesting to look at. They portray a world where self defense wasn't an odd concept at all.
....Fargo treasures its placid lifestyle, seldom pierced by the mayhem and violence common in other urban communities. North Dakota’s largest city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade. But that hasn’t stopped authorities in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying spree to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.
Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret.
A similar "up-armoring" is occurring all over the country from coast to coast. The usual reasons given are threats of terrorism, the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, and the ever popular 1997 LA Bankrobbery. The federal government is responsible for funding much of this buying spree - via over $34 Billion in federal grants since 2011.
I found this quote interesting:
The new weaponry and battle gear, they insist, helps save lives in the face of such threats. “I don’t see us as militarizing police; I see us as keeping abreast with society,” former Los Angeles Police chief William Bratton says. “And we are a gun-crazy society.”
So what's my beef with all this? Militarizing a police force can lead to a change of mindset among the force. As well, militarizing a police force isn't a one-time expense. After the federal money is gone, its up to the local and state governments to maintain equipment, provide training, buy ammo, etc. As those costs are considered, there tends to be a feeling that the expense has to be justified. That, together with the change of mindset, can lead to bad things happening:
In one case, dozens of officers in combat-style gear raided a youth rave in Utah as a police helicopter buzzed overhead. An online video shows the battle-ready team wearing masks and brandishing rifles as they holler for the music to be shut off and pin partygoers to the ground.
And Arizona tactical officers this year sprayed the home of ex-Marine Jose Guerena with gunfire as he stood in a hallway with a rifle that he did not fire. He was hit 22 times and died. Police had targeted the man’s older brother in a narcotics-trafficking probe, but nothing illegal was found in the younger Guerena’s home, and no related arrests had been made months after the raid.
In Maryland, officials finally began collecting data on tactical raids after police in 2008 burst into the home of a local mayor and killed his two dogs in a case in which the mayor’s home was used as a dropoff for drug deal. The mayor’s family had nothing to do with criminal activity.
I read a lot. Usually to the tune of 1 or 2 books a week.
Mostly fiction, though I read other stuff too. I became a voracious reader around the age of 12 or 13 after I met an older kid who introduced me to the youth books of Robert Heinlein. After that I transitioned to J.R.R Tolkien and its pretty much been a steady stream from that point to now.
For a long time I kept all the books that I had read. Sometimes I would read them again, but most of the time they would just sit on a shelf. When the shelves got full, I boxed them up and stored them away. A couple of years ago my habit of never getting rid of books slammed into my finite storage space and I got rid of almost all of my books. Took a bunch to Half Price books and sold them. Gave many of them away to friends. Donated a batch to some hospitals/rehabs.
I've resisted making the jump to e-books for a couple of years now. Just didn't seem the same as holding a reading a physical book, you know? I've been thinking about it for a while now, though. Mrs. Paladin got tired of me lingering around the edge of the cliff this Christmas and gave me a shove....
I'm now the proud owner of a Kindle 3G keyboard. Tactical Black (Graphite), of course. I think I'm gonna like it. I definitely like the lower cost of "books" compared to buying physical books, and it certainly solves my storage/shelf space problem. I've already downloaded my first ebook (Survivors by James Wesley Rawles). I imagine I'll add to my library pretty quickly using the multitude of free book downloads available. Hopefully the free books will help temper my impulse to go on an ebook buying binge right off the bat.
Next on the list of accessories to buy: A car charger (it came with a wall plug charger), and one of those mid sized solar chargers that folds up and fits in a backpack.
Girl Friday this week is a gal I always associate with Christmas. She was a wonderful Dancer in the 1950's, and is probably best known for her major role in "White Christmas" where she appeared along side Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
Hit the jump for some more pics, and a great video clip of her dance moves in White Christmas...
Security personnel were in the process of questioning Korin Vanhouten, 47, and Eldon Alexander, 36, at an Ogden, Utah WinCo supermarket, accused of stealing makeup, energy bars and batteries. At the end of the interrogation, they left with a citation for attempted shoplifting.
In the process of leaving the WinCo lot, the officer came upon "the two suspects trying to flag him down in the parking lot," as Ogden Police Lt. Eric Young characterized the surreal moment for the Deseret News. "And he goes over to their location and realizes that their vehicle has actually been burglarized. They ended up having their stereo and amplifier, a drum machine and some cigarettes stolen from their vehicle," Young said.
Mrs. Paladin took the day off last Friday to burn some vacation hours before the end of the year. We dashed off to the range in the morning for a bit. Weather wasn't too bad. A little muddy from recent rains but at least the wind wasn't blowing.
I spent some time doing a kind of Mozambique Drill with my single action Thunderer. Two to the chest and one to the head pretty much as fast as I could cock, fire, cock, fire,.... Range was 21 feet, and the silhouette is about 2/3 the size of a full - sized target.
The really odd thing about the target, though, is the fact that it has seafood recipes printed all over the front and back..... Don't know what's up with that but they sounded pretty tasty :)
With the onset of colder weather, I can happily switch from carrying my P64 in my pocket, to carrying my Ruger Security Six.
It rides quite well in a Desantis Holster. Two HKS Speedloaders go along just in case. Its really comfortable to carry, and added layers of winter clothing make it much easier to conceal a larger sized gun.
People love dog parks. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a dog park is a fenced in area where residents of a city that has a "leash law" can take their dogs and allow them to run around off-leash for excercise and to have fun.
Basically its a special zone set up to allow people to break the existing law. Of course, this runs contrary to the mindset of people who make the laws to begin with so in order to allow people to enjoy the limited suspension of one law.... they have to come up with some new laws.
31 of them.
"There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." - Ayn Rand
To add insult to injury (from my point of view), the Parks Department are the ones who made up the ridiculously long list of rules pictured above. They are also the ones tasked with enforcing most of them, since they are Park Rules and not a part of the Animal Ordinance.
So whose telephone number appears prominently on the sign? The Police Department (who just pass on any Animal Related calls they get to Animal Control), and the number for Animal Control. Park's number appears no where. Which means we get the calls from angry people insisting that we respond immediately to enforce such important rules as "no bare feet".....
There was a light dusting of snow on the Tacoma this morning and lows were in the 20's. Texas has a shorter winter season than many places in the US, but it can still be brutal in its own way. Especially since the shortness of the season leads most people to be unprepared for bad things that can happen as a result of winter weather.
Every year, ice storms descend on North Texas causing power outages in neighborhoods and entire suburbs that can last for days, or even weeks. When the lights go out, grocery stores in the affected areas stay closed, gasoline doesn't pump, there's no light at night, and it gets cold really fast. People in affected areas respond mostly by moving in with friends/family in unaffected areas, relocating to motels until power is restored, sheltering in public shelters, or just sitting and shivering in the dark. Some knuckleheads even try to heat their homes with charcoal grills - which can kill them with CO buildup or set their house on fire. Also, ERCOT is repeating their warning that lack of power generating capacity this winter may result in targeted outages throughout the coldest periods this winter.
Heating my home has been a glaring hole in my prep plans for a while now. I have plenty of food/water, various ways to provide light and cooking ability off-grid, stabilized gas for the vehicles.... but no way to heat my home. We have a fireplace, but its mostly decorative and would require extensive/expensive modifications to be of any use at all. Enter the Mr. Heater Big Buddy:
I picked this unit up at Cabelas last week for $120. It can run off one or two of the small camping sized propane tanks, or you can run it off a 25# propane tank which is how I have mine set up. There's a built in fan to help distribute heat, and its rated for indoor use (I also have battery powered CO detectors in my home). It won't heat my entire house.... but in the event of winter power outage we'll be closing off unneeded rooms and the area of the house we would actually live in is small enough to be heated just fine with thisunit.