Monday, December 31, 2012

Deal Breaker

The Oath of Office, sworn by each and every member of Congress- including the Vice President of the United States:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

The Constitution of the United States is a contract between the American People and her Government. It is the underlying framework upon which all of our individual laws and interactions as States is built upon. It makes the "United" part of "United States" possible.

If you haven't read the proposed Assault Weapon Ban legislation, please do so. I don't think it will pass, personally. I think the Liberals are trying to take too big of a bite from the apple and are underestimating how something this drastic will play out in the nation as a whole. I think they would have had a fairly decent chance simply trying to pass a repeat of the original AWB... but they are a greedy lot.

I could be wrong, though.

We may wake up one morning to discover that we have a decision to make. The AWB Bill, or some version of it, may pass and become law in spite of its clearly unconstitutional nature. Each of us who owns firearms targeted by the legislation will have to decide: Comply with a law that I feel spits in the face of The Constitution... or refuse to comply. In my opinion, such an act by my Government shatters the agreement we formerly had between us. They are no longer my Government, but an occupying force unrestrained by the Rule of Law.

You are free to make up your own mind. I encourage you to do two things in the days to come:

1. Think about your potential response to this legislation long and hard. If you do decide to go the non-compliance route, there are many options for doing so - each with their pros and cons. Consider each of them carefully.

2. Remember that your discussions on the internet are not taking place in your living room. No matter how friendly an audience you appear to have for your thoughts on the matter, anyone and everyone with a computer can see every word you type.

These people broke the laws that were placed upon them, because they recognized that those laws were unjust.

george washington valley forge

They shook off the chains of tyranny, not because they didn't respect The Rule of Law. They rebelled against tyranny because they understood that there is a Name for men who live at the whim of another:


george washington-praying

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What do you get when you cross...

What do you get when you cross Occupy Protestors with Gun Control Advocates?

You get this:

guns and pools
Honestly, even their Gun Control posters shoot themselves in the foot (pun intended).

Notice the little disclaimer beneath the gun picture?

I guess we are all being encouraged to follow the shining example of New York City and their Gun Control measures that keep everyone safe.
Did someone forget to tell them that New York is the Murder Capital of the United States?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Girl Friday - 12/28/2012 - Katharine Mcphee

I really like this week's Girl Friday. She is gorgeous, has a lovely singing voice, and just seems so refreshingly normal...

Katharine Mcphee

katharine-mcphee 8

Hit the jump for more.....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Dinner Aftermath....

Two Christmas Dinners in one day comes at a price.....

gunny sleeping

Everyone at Castle Paladin looks much the same. Gunny can lay there like that, fart loud enough to be heard outside, and never budge an inch.

In the interest of complete disclosure: He learned the trick from me.

gunny sleeping 2

The main difference is my ears aren't long enough to cover my eyes while I'm in a ham/turkey/dressing coma

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The NRA and guns in schools

My blogfriend Borepatch has an interesting post up regarding the NRA's call for action in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. He's against putting Cops in Schools for a number of reasons ranging from the expense, to the expansion of Statism, to the slippery slope. He has an interesting take, and one you should read.

A snippet:

"The world is full of soft targets. Someone motivated to shoot up a soft target has lots of choices. There's nothing that we can do to change that.

But it gets worse. If the proper reaction to the Connecticut school shooting is to put armed police in every school, then the obvious proper reaction when an evil nut job shoots up (say) a hospital is armed police in every hospital. Then when nut jobs turn their sights on libraries, we put police there. Then grocery stores, then Starbuck's, then gas stations."

Here's what I think:

I agree - except for one thing. There's a difference between all of those places listed (hospital, library, grocery stores, gas stations) and schools. Those places are largely populated by Adults who have the freedom of choice to travel about as Sheep if it pleases them. A school, on the other hand, is filled with kids who don't have the option not to be there. Don't have the option whether to carry a weapon for defense. Don't have a voice in local politics to effect change. Its apples and oranges. A school is a special case and having a Cop there is acceptable to me given its special nature. We put the kids there. Its our responsibility to keep them safe.

Having said that, its important that I stress this:

I do not favor a Federally Mandated approach. Period. I don't want Congress having anything to do with it what so ever. Period. Anything in regards to security in schools needs to happen at the local and State Level - PERIOD.

I've spent quite a lot of time railing against the over reach of Federal Authority. The reasons and justification for that apply here as well.

I would have preferred the NRA to have come out in favor of the volunteer/teacher program, offer to sponsor training programs for same, spend money on Ad campaigns to spread the concept, and otherwise spend their time fighting the upcoming Gun Control legislation.

Look, my first choice for addressing this problem is, and will always be, arming and training school staff and/or a doing the same with a volunteer program as suggested by friends like Six. Such a program will put Good Guys with Guns inside schools - which is the only rational way to confront the problem - and it will do it without being massively expensive or leading to Government excesses.

But I'm realistic enough to know that there are MANY places where having armed teachers, staff, or volunteers won't be accepted. The "Cops are the only ones that should have guns" mentality is extremely strong in lots of places. Hell, I live in Texas and it will be an uphill battle to get it to happen here. Imagine the fight in less gun-friendly places.

We talk amongst ourselves about stuff like this and we "Atta-boy" each other for talking the Conservative talk, but don't let that fool you in regards to how the population at large (in some areas) thinks about teachers with guns. These are people who think they are keeping their kids safe by buying the best surveillance camera money can buy.

A week ago I thought we were screwed in regards to the gun issue. Amid the horror and the sorrow over the event at Sandy Hook, there was a little voice in my head that said, "You are so fucked, you can't even see fucked from here." Now, I'm feeling a little more optimistic in regards to the discussions going on. People are speaking out against the knee-jerk liberal reaction that happens in response to such tragedies and people who I never imagined would consider putting a good guy with a gun in a school are actually considering it.

This is an educational opportunity to make some serious ground. That's assuming we don't screw it up by assuming that we will win the argument as a whole before getting to the finish line. Lots of people felt comfortable casting a "protest vote" during the last election because Romney was a shoe-in to win anyway*. How could he loose?...


Lets try not to paint ourselves into a corner as we try to sell our respective plans to the public at large. When they see us shred each other like we did during the primaries, they often walk away by the time we're done.

*No, I don't think Romney's response to Sandy Hook would have been markedly different from Obama's. I do think the "Fiscal Cliff" shenanigans would be starkly different, though.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lessons from Canadian Gun Control

I have a blog friend (and occasional nemesis) who lives in the Great White North. He's a liberal who hates guns and favors gun control. We debate about this topic quite vigorously. We share some common interests (when we aren't trying to gnaw each others faces off).

He thinks our gun culture is crazy. One of the things he claims is that he is safe in Canada from gun violence because his government cares about him and they have common sense laws restricting guns. Their police force is capable of enforcing the law and protecting the citizens.

We should learn a lesson from them, he says.

Hmmmm..... Lets look at that, shall we?

Prior to 1934, Canada had relatively few laws concerning firearms. That year, the Canadian Government began mandatory handgun registration for everyone in the nation. Not much happened over the next 30 years in regards to gun control. A tweak here, a tweak there... just little nibbles at the apple.

In 1969, though, somebody somewhere got a serious gun-hating bug up their ass. They passed laws classifying "non-restricted", "restricted", and "prohibited" weapons. It was your basic "can have this, can't have that, don't even LOOK at those over there" type of law. All very scientific and virtually guaranteed to keep people snuggly and safe....

In the 1970's they decided people needed a "Firearm Acquisition Certificate", with a mandatory criminal background check, to buy a gun. I'm sure they sat around feeling very safe indeed while eating poutine down at the local cafe.

Looks like it's just like my friend said... Canada developed common sense gun control laws and everyone is safer for it. The Wise Government and capable Police Force are keeping people safe!

On December 6, 1989 a 24 year old man walked onto the campus of a University in Montreal and shot 14 people to death. He didn't face any resistance because there wasn't anyone else there with a gun. No Cop. No Politician. No Gun Control Advocate. His weapon was legally obtained and legally owned under Canada's Gun Control laws at the time. The shooting only ended after the man shot himself.

Then, as now, the cry for immediate revisions and toughening of the Gun Control Laws was loud and persistent.... and irrational.

Between 1989 and 1991 they tightened up restrictions even more. Lets Double Down on a failed policy! They went after "military style" weapons, and made changes to the nifty Firearm Acquisition Certificate that utterly failed them the first time around. They made it tougher to legally get guns, enacted a 28 day waiting period to get a certificate, made safety training mandatory, restricted "high capacity" magazines, limited semi-auto rifles to 5 rounds.... on and on and on.

WOW! Way to get tough, Canada! Your politicians and liberal think-tanks sure tackled that problem with modern vigor. The people of Canada should be REALLY safe now.

In August of 1992, an associate professor at Concordia University got pissed off with about his job, walked on campus, and shot four people to death while wounding a fifth person. The Police didn't end the shooting spree here either. Two of his hostages managed to get the gun away from him and overpower him.

But... but.... they had just passed all those restrictions, rules, and laws intended to make people safer.

In September of 2006, at Dawson College in .... you guessed it: Quebec... a guy walked in and started shooting students. Before he was done, he had fired 60 shots, killed one person, and seriously injured 19. All of his weapons were legally owned under Canada's restrictive gun laws.

There actually were Good Guys with Guns on the scene this time - although strictly by accident. Two police officers were at the college on an unrelated matter. They shot the murderer in the arm and he then took his own life by shooting himself in the head. Had they not been there and/or the gunman been a better shot - you'd be looking at a massacre that could have made the recent tragedy in Connecticut pale in comparison.

In the aftermath, the Politicians (who know best) all had opinions on what to do So That This Type of Tragedy Never Happens Again. My favorite, from Wiki (emphasis mine):

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe: "It's tragic. We can never explain why these things happen. At the Polytechnique women were targeted. But here, we have no idea." Duceppe also suggested the need for a national gun registry.

Yeah, Gilles... that should probably fix everything.

So, you tell me Calvin. Exactly what is the lesson I'm supposed to learn from the "success" of Canadian Gun Control? Is it that I should hope for a shooter with really bad aim, or is it that I shouldn't visit College Campuses in Quebec?

The lesson here is this: Gun Control does not make us safe from violence of any sort, least of all "gun violence". Banning specific types of guns because they look "scary" does not reduce violence. Making people use smaller magazines does not reduce violence. Keeping detailed records of every person's gun purchases does not reduce violence.

Class Dismissed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Take Heart. Six gets it right... as he always does.

"We are neither murderers nor criminals. We are not responsible for anything more than the desire to protect ourselves, the ones we love and indeed society as a whole. To exercise our God given liberties and to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness as we see fit. There is no need nor place for guilt. We haven't committed evil nor have we embraced it. We have lived our lives as well as we can and ask for no more than the chance to live as free people."

Read the Whole Thing.

This would not have ended well.

This is a video from a Brazilian Television show that pranked people using a modified elevator. The prankee's would get on the elevator and start to go up, only to find that the lights begin to flicker and eventually go out, leaving them in darkness....

I won't wreck what happens next, so just watch the video:

On the one hand, I found that really, really funny :)

I have to tell you, though, that would not have gone well for anyone had I been in the elevator. Not that I'm above screaming like a little girl... 'cuz I'm totally capable of peeing myself and yelling. Its just that I also respond very badly to being startled like that. Reflex or Adrenaline or Something kicks in and I go from zero to "Assholes and Elbows" in about .6 seconds.

It's sort of the same part of my personality that causes me to charge toward aggressive animals instead of running away when I'm on the job. I'm pretty sure that I would have punched the little girl out of reflex before I could stop myself.

And then I would have felt like crap once I realized it was a joke because OH MY GOD I PUNCHED A LITTLE KID !!!!

Which would have made me angry as hell at whoever thought the thing up to begin with and I would have gone after them next.

See what I mean? Yeah... Best I just avoid the whole messy "Hey wouldn't it be funny if we scared Paladin?" thing - don't you think?

I also don't go to Haunted Houses, though I would truly love to. Someone jumps out an grabs me and someone is probably going to the Hospital. That can ruin a fun night out really quickly. Just can't take the chance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vote with your wallet - Updated

Dick's Sporting Goods had suspended the sale of "modern sporting rifles" at its retail locations nationwide.

We have a Dick's in the town where I live. I've been there in the past and bought one thing or another. They are completely within their rights to sell, or not sell, firearms as they choose.

I'm also within my rights to never, EVER, enter their store again.

*Update: It seems that one of my favorite stores, Walmart, has joined Dick's in pulling these guns from their shelves. I'm in Walmart at least once a week and usually more. I do my grocery shopping there.

Change that to I DID do my grocery shopping there.

Self Reliance

Daniel Freeman didn't need The Nanny State when he was the first Homesteader in Beatrice, Nebraska in the late 1800s.

Of course, he didn't actually manufacture his hatchett, rifle, and pistol - Therefore, his accomplishments were obviously built on the backs of downtrodden laborers and are thus rendered void.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How far we have fallen .....

One of the best scenes, in one of the best movies of all time....

"Were it worth the trouble?"

 "Huh?.... What trouble?" 

That simple exchange,  after ALL that he had been through up to that point, beautifully sums up the spirit of America That Was, to me. All Jeremiah wanted to was to live free - beholding to none. The scene above is beautifully understated, but it's critical to the context of the movie as a whole. This film was almost solely responsible for me spending every moment that I possibly could out wandering the woods as a young man. I have Jeremiah Johnson on DVD now and watch it again at least once every year.

If you are a Liberal Democrat or Big-Government Republican, I expect that you'll understand very little of what follows....

These men were apparently unaware of their critical need for Obamacare, government provided contraception, Obamaphones, public housing, nutritional mandates, food stamps, bail-out assistance, fema responses, safety nets,  multi-year unemployment benefits, the EPA, the USDA, HHS, the IRS, the BATF, and The Department of Homeland Security..... ad infinitum.

I wonder what men like that would think of us today?

What would they think of people who actually approve of the government intruding into every single aspect of our lives - from passing laws limiting the size of soft drinks that they can buy all the way up to forcing people to buy a product they don't want?

What would they think of people who, two days after a bad storm, sit in the rubble and cry over their plight while pleading for FEMA to bring them a ration of 10% post-consumer recycled designer toilet paper so they can wipe their asses?

What would they think of a people who rely on the government to feed their kids breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.... because all the children are starving, while those same people crave government direction and control over restaurant menu labeling... because all our kids are obese?

What would they think of local governments that threaten legal action against little kids for having a lemonade stand on their street? Of kids getting kicked out of school for pointing their finger at another kid during recess? Or of a small town being forced to remove their Nativity Scene because some grouchy busybody half way across the Country complained about it?

What would they make of the sea of nameless, faceless, unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to whom we've given power and control over our day to day lives?....

I seem to be saying this alot lately... but it needs saying again:

Fuck the Nanny State.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gun Free Zones - Truth in Advertising

Why not replace all the "No Guns Allowed" signs with this?...

At least its useless stupidity is more obvious than our current ones.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

As the vultures descend...

I'd really rather not step into the gun control fray so soon after the tragedy in Connecticut. I'd rather join the bulk of the Country in simply mourning the lost. However, within just a few hours of the first reports of the event - before any actual details were available - the Statist Pricks began their usual tactics of advancing their agenda on the bodies of innocents.

This afternoon, I'll be attending Little Bailey's very first Soccer game. I'll be sitting in the stands cheering her on in an indoor facility full of families and children.

I'll be there, unarmed, because the geniuses who make our laws have determined that I - a law abiding concealed weapon permit holder who has been through extensive screening by several law enforcement agencies - can't be allowed to legally carry a gun there. You see... that makes them feel safe.

Never mind the absolute fact that any murderous scumbag can walk right in there ignoring the signs and kill at will.

So I'll be there with my fangs pulled, because I obey the law. I'll be there unarmed because Bailey and my Family will be there. If push comes to shove and bad things happen I'll do whatever I can to stop it using whatever means at my disposal - though that ability is severely diminished by my being forced to live in someone else's denial ridden delusion of "safety".

Fuck the Nanny State. And Fuck anyone who claims to be interested in keeping my loved ones safe - yet cripples my ability to make that reality.

"We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial.

The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial. "

- Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army, Retired

Friday, December 14, 2012

Girl Friday - 12/14/2012 - Virginie Efira

This week's Girl Friday was a TV Host in her native Belgium, then rose through the ranks on French TV from Weather Girl to major TV Star.

Virginie Efira

virginie-efira 4

Hit the jump for more curvy goodness...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tactical Scouts

I was never a Boy Scout, but if I had known that they had this much fun I would have joined...

Pic found at Old Picture of the Day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From the Workshop - Mathes Cooler Fan

I found this Old Girl at a flea market a couple of weeks ago....

mathes cooler before

It's a 1940's era Mathes Cooler wooden box fan. My Dad had one of these (different model) when I was a kid that he used as a workshop fan. I've been looking for one for nostalgia reasons for a long time now. You don't see them very often, and when you do it seems like people want a ridiculous amount for them. You'll see them on Ebay from time to time - but again people are asking close to $100 for the fans and shipping adds another $20, at least.

This one is a small one speed fan. The switch was missing and someone had direct wired a dried out, crumbling lamp cord to the motor. I risked plugging her in at the flea market long enough to see that the motor wasn't dead, gave the girl $20 for her, and happily brought the dirty thing home :)

Once I cleaned the mouse gnawed pecan hulls out of the case, she wasn't hard to get going again at all. I cleaned the dust/dirt off the motor and blades and rewired using a $3 toggle switch and an old cord that I had cut off a dead vacuum cleaner a while back. I lubricated the motor via the two oiling ports at front and back. The case just took a little Formby's and some Danish Oil.

She turned out pretty nice... and she runs very strong and quiet. She's actually a two speed fan - Off and "Holy Crap nail everything down!!"

mathes cooler after 1

mathes cooler after 2

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lost Opportunity

Read an article in the news this week:

"About 200 million years ago, a leech released a slimy mucous cocoon that unwittingly encased and trapped a bizarre animal with a springy tail, preserving it until researchers discovered the teardrop-shaped creature in Antarctica recently."

Interesting... but not what caught my eye. The money shot is this:

"This bell animal lived during the Late Triassic Period, when the Earth was much warmer, with dense rain forests flourishing along what is today the Transantarctic Mountain Range where it was found."


WHAT?.... You mean the earth was once much, much warmer than it is now? So warm, in fact, that dense tropical rain forests once grew in this frozen wasteland?

In case you are science challenged.... there weren't any cars, fossil fuels, or farting dairy cows in the Triassic Period. If only we had been around to halt manmade global warming way back then, perhaps we could have saved the planet from sure destruction.

Monday, December 10, 2012

EDC - Honest Abe Style

The American Treasures of the Library of Congress exhibition features lots of fascinating artifacts from the Civil War Era - not the least of which is the contents of President Lincoln's pockets on the night that he was assassinated.....

lincoln pocket contents

A Wallet, some eyeglasses, some newspaper clippings, a Five Dollar Confederate Note.... and this:

lincoln pocket knife

The President, as any self respecting person should, carried a pocket knife.

I wonder if President Obama carries a knife?

Naw... I'm sure he has an Edged Tool Czar on-call for any knife work that needs to be done. Doofus would probably cut himself, anyway.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrating people who Hate us....

While you're watching "Christmas in Washington" on TNT December 21 - Keep this in mind while you're watching Psy perform his viral internet sensation "Gangnam Style" for the President and other Washington Elites.

Douchebag Style

At a 2004 concert, Psy took the opportunity to express exactly how he feels about the Country that educated him. The Country that protects his native South Korea. The Country that sends its young men and women to fight and die for Liberty across the globe:

"Kill those f**king Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives Kill those f**king Yankees who ordered them to torture. Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully"

I'm sure everyone at the event (that tapes tonight) will have a wonderful time. Gangnam Style is so funny, and cool..... Good Times!

But we do have this: From a longer statement he has released now, through his Publicist:

"I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words."

Well, that pretty much makes everything OK for me now. How about you?

What irritates me is not so much what Douchbag said. Ducks quack like ducks, and Douchebags say Douchebag things. Its not even so much that he's "apologizing" now... 8 years after the fact and only when his douchebaggery came to people's attention. Its not even the fact that he regrets that we misinterpreted what he said.... 'cuz that's our fault ya'll. We just took it wrong.

What irritates me is that TNT knows about this. The White House knows about this.

And he's still being allowed to perform.

Another NFL Killing

"Police charged Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent with intoxication manslaughter Saturday after he flipped his car in a pre-dawn accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown."

Another NFL player killed someone. Can't we do something so that this senseless tragedy never happens again?....

Take your pick.... they are all equally stupid:

Ban Automobiles. If Josh Brent didn't have easy access to a car, Jerry Brown would be alive today.

If only we had laws against speeding and driving while drunk, Jerry Brown would be alive today.

Ban Guns.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Girl Friday - 12/07/2012 - Jennifer Ellison

This week's Girl Friday comes to us from Liverpool, England... where she was awarded the title of "Rear of the Year" in 2008.

Jennifer Ellison

jennifer-ellison 4

Hit the jump for more...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Fences make Good Neighbors...

However, two good fences with a gap in the middle makes a pretty attractive den spot for all sorts of critters....

bobcats 1

Mother bobcat and babies tucked into the narrow gap between two 10' high fences separating backyards in the town where I work. Both ends were sealed off pretty good, but the gap between the fences was open for the full length of the fence between the two backyards.

bobcats 2

Pretty good sized litter. Not the best choice of location from the human residents on either side's point of view, though. I "convinced" the mother that this actually wasn't the best base of operations for her and her brood*... and within 24 hours she had relocated the kittens to a more suitable wooded creek area nearby.

* This was definitely a case of "don't try this at home". Convincing her to move consisted of me standing on the top step (the don't stand here step) of a 6' ladder and repeatedly poking her with a pole while hoping she didn't blast out of the opening and into my face.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Its really very simple...

My blogfriend, Six, has a very good post up that flings simple facts into the face of those that try to make the case that guns cause murder.

"I didn't murder anyone today. Or yesterday. Or the day before that on back to the day of my birth. And yet I've been a gun owner since my early twenties and handled/fired guns since I was a boy. I will never murder anyone because I'm not an Evil Murderous Bastard."

He's right, of course. It's hard, though, for people to face the fact that we can't child-proof the world. People see something awful happen and its a natural reaction to start thinking about ways to make sure that awful thing never happens again. Too often, that desire leads us to make leaps of logic based on "feelings" that don't jibe with the facts.

Private citizens want to feel better about the world so they demand that their leaders DO SOMETHING to make them safer. Some of those leaders honestly want to help their constituents. They go on TV and proclaim that "We will take steps so that this never happens again."..... How many times have you heard that just in the last couple of years? Some of those leaders don't actually give a crap about solving the problem. They just see tragedy as an opportunity to expand their power and erode people's liberty ("Never let a good crisis go to waste").

In any case, here's the simple truth of the matter: If you are Anti-Gun you can argue with me all day about the impact of guns on crime in general. I'll win those arguments because the statistics show that guns don't increase crime - in fact they often reduce it - but we can have them if you like. But for a moment lets just look at Murder, since its arguably the most heinous of crimes and the crime about which we are talking.

Murder rates in US Cities:

#1 New York
#2 Los Angeles
#3 Houston
#4 Dallas
#5 Washington D.C.

So.... the top five cities in the US consist of three cities with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and two cities with relatively more gun-friendly laws.

What does that say?

The presence or absence of restrictive gun laws has almost no impact on the Murder Rate whatsoever. Period. The cities with the most restrictive laws top the list... but there are gun friendly cities in there close behind.

Why is that?

Because of all the factors and elements necessary for Murder to occur, there is ONE component that far overshadows all others. Its so big a factor that none of the others really matter.

The main component is The Desire to Murder Someone. If I want you dead then dead you will be. Gun or no gun. Someone murderous enough to shoot the mother of their child NINE TIMES will not be deterred by the absence of a gun. The real-world facts clearly show that restrictive gun laws may make you FEEL like you're doing something to reduce murder - but if you believe that then you are deluding yourself.

You'll pardon me if I don't surrender my Rights based on your delusion.

Monday, December 3, 2012

So... I apprehended a Carjacker

Man, you hear about this stuff on the news but you never really think it will happen to you. The following narrative is true. All suspects are presumed innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law....

Late one afternoon, a Woman and her Daughter were running errands in the town where I work. They needed to stop by their home so that the Daughter could pick something up. The Mother parked their extended cab truck in the middle of their residential street and the Daughter hopped out of the backseat, leaving her door open as she ran to the front door of the house.

As is often the case with most people, the Mother displayed ZERO situational awareness. I like to think she was lulled into complacency by the fact that she was in her own upscale neighborhood.... but I've seen the Smart Phone engrossed distracted Woman (or Man) so often everywhere that I'm probably giving her too much credit. In any case, she was totally oblivious to the fact that our Suspect was lurking behind one of the many other cars parked on the quiet street - just waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Seizing the opportunity, the Suspect circled around the back of the truck and leaped into the backseat through the open back door. The Mother was so startled by the intruder that she fled the vehicle and began to call for help. She left the keys in the ignition and the truck running. Had things gone differently, the next chapter in this tale would involve the Suspect driving away with the helpless Victim's truck....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Officer Down - Please Read

Officer Roy Marcum, 14 year veteran of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulatory Department, was killed in the line of duty on November 29, 2012.

Officer Marcum was responding to a call of abandoned animals at a house in Galt, California where the resident had been evicted by the Sacramento Sheriff's Dept. the day before. Two locksmiths also received minor injuries when the suspected shooter - Joseph Corey aged 65 - fired a shotgun at all three men through the closed front door of the residence. It is presumed that the shooter re-entered the house after being evicted. Officer Marcum was declared dead at the scene.

Officer Marcum is survived by his Wife, Tina, and their four children.

A memorial fund has been opened for Roy's Family. Checks may be made payable to "Memorial Fund for Roy Marcum." and should be submitted to  Premier West Bank, 9340 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, 95624. Please note the account number 82804846 in the memo field of the check.

I didn't know Officer Marcum myself. I've walked in his professional shoes, though, for over 17 years now. I've been involved in evictions, clearing dogs from crack houses, and all sorts of other dicey situations. I've had people come out from hiding in "vacant" houses before. I've had people come at me in the dark and threaten me when on the job.

Animal Control Officers do things every day that a Police Officer would laugh in face of someone were they to even suggest they do them. We don't chase bank robbers and murderers, but we deal on a daily basis with just as many potential nut-jobs in just as many tense and dangerous situations - usually without the benefit of firearms or even a kevlar vest.

When the "danger" of the job is brought to the attention of The Suits upstairs.... the common response is, "What do you need a bullet proof vest for? You're a Dog Catcher. Dogs don't carry guns. If you have problems with a citizen call the Police."

Hug your Animal Control Officer next time you see him or her. You might warn them first, though. They won't be used to it. And if you can spare a couple of bucks, fire off a check to the family of Officer Marcum. Its the least we can do for the legacy of a man who went to work every day and did the best he could in a very hard line of work.