Boy, it’s a Good Thing They Have All Those Weapon Restrictions In England.

This is London reports that a gang of vandals (more than slightly resembling their Vandal namesakes) ran through a commuter train smashing windows.

Passengers fled in terror as a gang charged through London commuter trains smashing more than 100 windows.

The vandals, believed to have been armed with iron bars, wrecked so many carriages that morning peak services were disrupted due to a shortage of stock.

When they finished with one train they boarded another and continued their spree.

Northfleet station in Kent was also attacked. Damage to equipment was so severe that part of it remained shut today. A spokeswoman for South Eastern Trains (SET) said: “This was just wanton destruction for the sake of it.”

Iron bars, eh?

And what stopped the vandals from deciding that smashing skulls would be more fun?

Oh, right – their “better natures.”

It obviously wasn’t fear of police intervention. Or an armed citizenry.

On Mark Allen Wilson

I was asked about this, and responded in comments, but the Geek With a .45 has said it about as well as anyone could, and the comments to his post by people who knew Mr. Wilson are very much worth reading.

To this I can only add that to risk your own life for that of another is the greatest sacrifice anyone can make, and Mr. Wilson, by all accounts, saved the life of David Hernandez Arroyo Jr. by his actions.

If there’s an afterlife, Mr. Wilson is receiving great honors there.

Oh, What the Hell.

Via Mostly Cajun, another blogmeme – your Senior Year of High School:

What year was it?


What was your schedule?

You expect me to remember that? I had (IIRC) parking-lot duty first period, Civics (or whatever they called it then) second period, AP English third period, somewhere in there I had Calculus and Physics, and that’s all I’m really sure about.

What were your favorite bands?

Elton John, the Eagles, Eric Clapton (the three essential “E’s” of rock-n-roll.)

What was your favorite outfit?

“Style” is not and never has been a strong point for me. Blue jeans, a pocket T-shirt, and a plaid flannel long-sleeved shirt if weather required it. And boots. Almost never tennis shoes. I was “grunge” before Seattle ever thought about it.

What was up with your hair?

What about it? I got it cut when it started bothering me. Still do.

Who were your best friends?

Charles (now Chuck) Mangum, Chuck Persinger, Joe Mueck. But Chuck Persinger went to a different high school, and Joe moved to Florida the year before.

Did you take the bus?

Nope. I had my own car – a 1969 Simca 1118. Not much, but it ran.

What did you do after school?

Worked in a movie theater.

Who did you have a crush on?

Martha Ann Wagner. That was a long-standing one, too. One of the reasons I got the job in the theater. Never panned out, though.

Did you fight with your parents?

No, my brother did all of that. My parents and I got along fine.

Who did you have a CELEBRITY crush on?

I’m sure I must have had one, but I couldn’t tell you who, now. Probably Kate Jackson from the original Charlie’s Angels.

Did you smoke cigarettes?

Nope. My parents did, and my brother did, but I never could understand why someone would want to do that.

Did you lug all of your books around in your backpack all day because you were too nervous to find your locker?

You know, I’m not sure if I started using a backpack in high school, or if it waited until I started college. Probably college. It wasn’t a big high school.

Did you have a ‘clique’?

Hell no. I think I made a point of not fitting in anywhere.

Did you have Chili’s? Denny’s?

Not then.

Who did you want to be just like?

I can’t name anybody in particular.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well off.

Where did you think you’d be at the age you are now?

About where I am now. May be a little more well off.

Read Michael Bane’s Take on Lawsuit Preemption Legislation

I think he’s spot-on, myself.

The firearms industry is queasy about supporting .50 calibers. That’s because many of the Powers-That-Be come from hunting/shotgun sports backgrounds, and they’re uncomfortable with us barbarians from the practical pistol/tactical/long-range rifle buzz gun side of playpen.

Gun industry protection has been re-introduced in both the House and Senate. The antigunners — crippled, unable to raise funds, desperate for an issue that gets them back in the game — are trying to generate enough heat around .50s and “armor-piercing ammunition” to allow them to cut a deal on pre-emption. The antigunners suck it up and accept firearms industry protection against lawsuits if we sell out the .50s and the 5.7 X 28.

Michael’s recommendation?

• Keep up the heat on CNN.

• Let our industry representatives know where we stand.

To that I would add, let our elected representatives know where we stand, too.

OK, NOW I Feel Validated.

It’s been nineteen months since I started The Smallest Minority, and while I’ve gotten one or two comments from people who disagree with me, and even a couple from the moonbat wing (JadeGold, you know who you are), I hadn’t yet received one of those truly mindless, angry, hatred-spewing comments from the Perpetually Pissed-Off™.

Got my first one.

Kevin when I took you up on your ‘go shooting for a day’ offer, you swore I’d get to shoot me some Messicans. You never showed me any! You even lied about that manservant of yours, the one who kept the beer coming. I checked his license — Rodriguez — what’s he do for you that keeps you form shootin’ him, huh?

In fact, I don’t think you really did any of that stuff you were talking about. You’re just another loudmouth pencil-dicked nerd with pistol-envy.


Let’s see, Hess – were you Aaron or his 18 year-old birthday-boy brother? Or Diane, that nice 66 year-old lady who really loved shooting my Kimber .45? (And was good with it!)

Didn’t think so.

Keep projecting your irrational fears, Hess. (Any relation to Rudolph by any chance?) Don’t bother reading anything that will challenge your prejudices. Thanks for visiting! And tell your friends, friend, co-workers, ward-mates.

This just makes my weekend!

The Second Installment of The Carnival of Cordite is Up.

Over at Resistance is Futile. (Gullyborg needs to work on his layout – those quotes are so tiny they’re hard to read!)

The posts are all gun-oriented, and all good, but my pick of the week is Critical Mastiff‘s The Gun Thing. His essay charts his personal voyage to gun ownership and personal responsibility. This excerpt jumped out at me:

Possessing power means that first, you are capable in theory of confronting opposing power and defeating it. Second, it means that you now have the responsibility of deciding when to use force. This means grappling with the thorniest moral problems that we face, and making clear decisions on what is right and what is wrong. Third, because you have power, you have a reciprocal responsibility to use your power for the good of others. By carrying a weapon, you are accepting an obligation to protect those around you.

Not possessing power means that first, you are completely dependent on others for your own survival. Anything you do must be in concert with them, or else you become defenseless. Second, you need never seriously confront the problem of using force, because you personally will never need an answer. Crucial areas of your moral code will remain vague and theoretical, because nothing is making you draw clear lines in the sand. Finally, because you have no defense against force if used against you, you will do your best to banish force from your world entirely, except for those whose protection you rely upon.

This is something I think a lot of gun owners understand implicitly (though some do not), but never really think about or express. And it’s something that the gun-phobic do not understand at all, or if they do, they subconsciously reject it. I am reminded, once again, of the letter written by “Refugee” that expressed much the same sentiment:

When I actually bought [a gun] (to the horror and confusion of my friends and family), having it around the house, carrying it in my car, talking about it, showing it off, and of course shooting and maintaining it, taught me what I could not learn from books, magazines, classes, or even Usenet:

It taught me that freedom takes practice.

I thought I’d practiced. I’m as full of opinions as the next guy, and not shy about passing ’em out to anyone who’ll listen. I read banned books and underground comics. I’ve walked the picket lines and hung out with undesirables. A preacher’s kid, I pointedly don’t practice a religion. I’ve done stuff that Wasn’t Allowed.

But when I got a gun, I discovered it had all been safe, padded, wading-pool-with-floaties dabbling. After near on to fifty years, I finally started to grow up. If my Grands are any clue, I’ve still got twenty or thirty years to work on it, and get to be something like mature by the time I go senile.

It’s not just that rights are useless if they are not exercised, not even that rights must be used or be lost. It’s that exercising your rights, constantly, is what instructs you in how to be worthy of them.

Being armed goes far beyond simple self-protection against thugs or even tyrants — it’s an unequivocal and unmatched lesson that you are politically and morally sovereign; that you, and not the state, are responsible for your life and your fate. This absolute personal sovereignty is the founding stone of the Republic. “A well-regulated militia” (where the militia is “the whole people”) isn’t just “necessary to the security of a free state” because it provides a backup to (and defense against) the police and the army. More importantly, keeping and bearing arms trains sovereign citizens in the art of freedom, and accustoms us to our authority and duty.

Here’s to our efforts to expand the Nation of Riflemen so that more of our fellow citizens can learn the same lessons.

Because if we’re going to survive as a free people, a lot more of us need to.

The No-Nuance President

Instapundit relates an excerpt from a BBC reporter Justin Webb’s “Tour Diary” concerning President Bush’s visit to EUnuchistan, er, Europe.

The president is wonderfully un-European – refreshingly so in the view of those of us who have worked in Brussels.

He is unsmooth. He stumbles over his sentences. He uses short, plain, sometimes almost babyish words, while the sophisticated multilingual Euro crowd prefer obfuscatory long ones.

And he gets a clear message across, like it or not. He has no need of spin.

It was interesting that on the White House bus back into town, the journalists did not need to compare notes or discuss the president’s words and what they meant.

On the other hand, for Chirac and Schroeder there was a discussion that would have made an old-style Kremlinologist blush. . . .

Some people think Schroeder said one thing about Nato and some think he actually meant another. Others claim that Chirac really believes Schroeder wanted to say… etc etc.

Welcome to Europe, Mr Bush.

He’s wonderfully non-politician. Last February the Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen did a piece, Bush’s War on Nuance where this characteristic was stated plainly:

To satisfy the hallowed journalistic tradition that there must be two sources for almost anything, I offer you Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Candy Crowley of CNN. They both are on record as having George Bush say that he doesn’t do nuance. “Joe, I don’t do nuance,” the president supposedly told the senator. As for Crowley, she heard it this way: “In Texas, we don’t do nuance.” If these two sources don’t suffice, I offer you the 7,932 words that make up the text of the president’s interview with Tim Russert. There ain’t a nuance anywhere in the whole mess.

And he hasn’t changed. Cohen, however, wasn’t as approving as the Brit.

What a difference a year – and three elections – makes.

Edited to add:

I was also reminded (again) of this old Sacramento Bee piece, French puzzle over why U.S. got so angry from May of 2003, and this quote that shall live in infamy:

“What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled,” said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. “The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous.”

The thing that Justin Webb and his fellow-travellers seem to be reacting to is President Bush’s principled behavior, something they’re totally unfamiliar with when it comes to politicians.

Ideology seems to be working pretty good.

But then again, success is dependent on the ideology, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Sperari has an associated post, Instinct vs. Understanding vs. Meandering.

Just Links this Morning.

Two of them, in fact. First, The Laughing Wolf has a damned good piece up on a question that seems central to our problems as a nation – are we citizens, or subjects? Read Pornography and TSA: The Common Link.

The second link comes from Denise at The Ten Ring. She has some comments on the state of firearms legislation in the U.S. and I’m in complete agreement with her. Read Rolling Back Gun Laws.

Busy today.