40 Things About Me and This Blog

1) I started this blog on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.

2) I’m 42 years old.

3) I’m male, white, married, and overweight. I drive a pickup. (4WD. No gunrack, though.)

4) I have an IQ somewhere in the 130’s, and my Meyers-Briggs personality type is INTJ. (My wife says I should frame that description for future reference – it’s that accurate.) Supposedly INTJ’s make up only one or two percent of the population. That would explain a lot.

5) I have a BA degree in General Studies after spending 5½ years in college studying Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering.

6) The Arizona Board of Technical Registration says I’m a qualified, registered Professional Engineer, (Electrical).

7) I have a rare genetic enzyme disorder that causes a condition known as Acute Intermittent Porphyria. My case is relatively mild and doesn’t affect my mental balance, but it hurts pretty bad when it occurs and it requires me to sustain a carbohydrate-heavy diet – just ONE reason I’m fat.

8) I do not smoke, I do not drink, and I’ve never taken an illicit substance. I’ve never been intoxicated and never wanted to be. I don’t understand the attraction and don’t want to. But I don’t believe it’s the business of government to tell me that I cannot.

9) I’m a shooter and a reloader. Those are two of my hobbies. My blog is another, though it has consumed the majority of my time, spare and otherwise, over the last year. I also own a 1967 fastback big-block Mustang that will (someday) be built into a 500Hp highway-cruising hotrod.

10) I have two siblings; a brother five years older who is a professional auto mechanic, and a sister four years older who is a public school teacher.

11) Both of my parents are still alive and in their 70’s. We all live in the same city.

12) I was pretty much apolitical for most of my life. I was 12 years old when Nixon resigned, and I was quite happy when Jimmy Carter won the Presidency. THAT was short-lived. I turned 18 in 1980 and voted for Ronald Reagan for President. It was quite obvious to me that Carter was a nice man, but a lousy President. He’s still a nice man, but he should stick to building houses and stay the fuck out of policy.

13) Since that time there has not been a single candidate I was happy to vote for but quite a number I was more than willing to vote against. In almost every case, my vote has been against the Democrat running.

14) In 1992 I voted against G.H.W. Bush AND William Jefferson Clinton by casting my ballot for H. Ross Perot. I did not make that mistake a second time, though by then it didn’t matter. I didn’t really want Dole either.

15) In 2000 I cast my vote against Al Gore. On Sept. 12, 2001 I was very glad I had. I’m not quite as content with my decision today, but I still believe that Gore would have been an unmitigated disaster. (G.W. Bush is merely a mitigated one. His domestic policies are a mess. His prosecution of the war is not.) I believe the same to be true of any potential Democrat candidate for the seat this year. As I note below, I don’t think Kerry will be the name on the ticket come November.

16) In general, my politics are those of a pragmatic libertarian (small “L”). I believe in maximum freedom and personal responsibility. I recognize that those are relatively rare traits. (Remember my Meyers-Briggs personality type. “Does it WORK?”)

17) I had an AR-15 “post-ban” “assault rifle” custom built for me in 1997, specifically because of the 1994 AWB. And that sucker shoots. But it’s still the pipsqueak .223 varmint cartridge.

18) When the AWB sunsets, I intend to buy an FN-FAL “black rifle” in celebration. Probably about 2006. There are other guns I want more in the mean time.

19) I’m a shooter, not a collector. I don’t like overly fancy guns, but functional ones. I like hitting small things from a long way off, so most everything I’ve got is rifled. I have one shotgun, a Mossberg 590 model 50665. It is not a Sporting Clays gun.

20) I’m primarily a handgun shooter, though I really like rifles. I am the match director for the local International Handgun Metallic Silhouette matches a the Tucson Rifle Club.

21) I’m also the TRC’s Pistol Director, though that duty hasn’t required much of me.

22) My favorite target pistol is my Remington XP-100 center-grip chambered in 7mm Benchrest.

23) I’m a shooter, not a hunter. I understand the appeal that hunting has for some, but for me hunting is “taking your gun for a walk.” If you do it right, you only pull the trigger once, and then things get messy.

24) I prefer shooting steel to punching paper. I like reactive targets.

25) I have shot clay pigeons in the air with my sporterized 1917 Enfield in its standard .30-06 chambering, shooting Korean military surplus 147 grain FMJ ammo. I hit three out of the first ten. I have witnesses. (I missed all of the next ten, though.)

26) I want to do it again.

27) My favorite handgun is my Kimber Custom Stainless 1911 in its John Moses Browning intended caliber of .45 ACP. My favorite load (Disclaimer: Use At Your Own Risk) is a 200 grain Speer Gold Dot hollowpoint over 7.0 grains of Unique. Out of my pistol it pushes 950fps, hits with a 6 o’clock hold at 25 yards and with a dead-on hold at 50. It feeds and functions with complete reliability. I wonder if I could hit a clay in the air with it.

27) When it comes to bolt-action rifles, I’m a cock-on-close enthusiast. My first bolt gun was a No. 4 Mk I Lee Enfield, my second a 1896 Swedish Mauser. Now that I’ve acquired a 1917 Enfield, I’m even more convinced that cock-on-close is the way it ought to be. Your mileage may vary. I don’t give a shit.

28) I’m also convinced that recoil, at least to some point, is something you can simply learn to ignore. When I started shooting rifles, my .303 No. 4 kicked pretty damned hard. Now I can sit at a bench and put 100 rounds through my 1917 with essentially no discomfort. I’ve fired a couple hundred rounds of .30-06, .303, and 12 gauge high-base in a single afternoon and had barely a bruise and just a tiny bit of stiffness the next day.

29) Flinching, on the other hand, requires a LOT of practice to overcome, and it comes back if you don’t keep up your practice. Intentionally setting off an explosion a few inches from your face is not a natural act. It takes a while to convince your subconscious that everything is copacetic, and I don’t think it remains convinced long.

30) I think I prefer handguns because shooting a handgun well is more difficult than shooting a rifle well. I like the challenge.

31) I like reloading because it requires concentration and precision, just like shooting does. Loading my own ammo adds that much more control over the entire process. It doesn’ hurt that it costs a lot less than buying commercial, either. But I won’t load for someone else, and I won’t shoot someone else’s reloads.

32) Back to politics: I think our political system has degenerated from “loyal opposition” to out-and-out “the other side.” I think this bodes ill for our future as a nation. The polarization affects about 10-15% of the population, leaving 70-80% in the middle pretty sick and tired of all the crap they have to put up with. Unfortunately, very few in that middle bother to vote much. Fewer bother to think.

33) I’m a REPUBLICAN but not a member of the “Republican Party.” By that, I mean that I believe our Founders had it right in that Democracy was a quick path to Hell. As one local op-ed columnist put it recently

The Electoral College stands as an elitist and blatant reminder that the founders of this nation believed the rabble – that’s us – couldn’t be trusted with the task of directly choosing our president.

And they were right. About that and a lot more. But we’ve managed to (mostly) overcome the safeguards they built in, and the rabble – that’s us – has managed to do what DeTocqueville warned against:

“The American Democratic experiment will succeed until the people realize they can vote themselves money from the public treasury… then it will collapse.”

That’s what a Republic is supposed to prevent. It failed. It was supposed to be foolproof, but we keep making better fools.

34) I have a stepdaughter, about to turn 25, who is a product of Tucson’s public schools.

35) I have two grandchildren, one four and one five, who will also be exposed to that system. I hope to be able to intervene, or at least mitigate the impact. I am not, regardless of my sister’s chosen profession, a public school enthusiast. I am convinced that the public school systems are a tool, deliberately crafted twisted by the left to produce mindless, unthinking, compliant, obedient proles. And they are largely successful in spite of the efforts of teachers like my sister.

36) And I’m beginning to wonder about the effects of 20+ years of public school systems ON my sister.

37) I hope that the world my grandchildren grow up in is a bright, cheerful, and safe one. With the rise of Wahabist Islam and the moonbat Left, I don’t think it will be.

38) I intend for them to be able to think for themselves and stand up for their rights. And I will threaten violence, if necessary, to keep the “authorities” from putting my grandson on Ritalin or any other substance when he happens to exhibit a personality in the classroom.

39) I concentrate in this blog on the right to arms because, to me, it is the litmus test of the politician’s faith. If you do not trust the populace with arms, you should not be a leader. A Republic needs to be lead by leaders, not people courting popular support. Always understand that some will not be worthy of that trust, but that’s not reason to strip all of their rights. Government is there to protect the rights of its citizens, not parent them.

40) In a Democracy, the majority rules. If 50% +1 decide that all left-handed redheads should be exiled, then it’s law and that’s all there is to it. A Constitutional Republic has a basis in law that says “Government may NOT DO” and “Government may ONLY DO” and when it strays from those rules, its citizens lose. That system WORKS, as long as we let it. But once we start bending those restrictions for personal advantage, it begins to fail. Our system began failing almost from inception, but for over 200 years it has worked better than any other government in history in making the United States of America the most free, most productive, and most hopeful nation on Earth.

And I hope we can prevent it from collapsing under the weight of 225 years of being fucked with “by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

This, according to Blogspot, will be my 1,020th post since starting this blog. I don’t intend to post anything tomorrow, and I don’t know about this weekend. I still owe Tim Lambert a response, though, and I may get to it then.

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