On Revolution

On Revolution

…revolutions are not won by enlisting the masses. Revolution is a science only a few are competent to practice. It depends on correct organization and, above all, on communications. Then, at the proper moment in history, they strike. Correctly organized and properly timed it is a bloodless coup. Done clumsily or prematurely and the result is civil war, mob violence, purges, terror.

Organization must be no larger than necessary – never recruit anyone merely because he wants to join. Nor seek to persuade for the pleasure of having another share your views. He’ll share them when the time comes . . . or you’ve misjudged the moment in history. Oh, there will be an educational organization but it must be separate; agitprop is no part of basic structure.

As to basic structure, a revolution starts as a conspiracy; therefore structure is small, secret, and organized as to minimize damage by betrayal – since there always are betrayals. – Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Well, it will be for me this year because my wife will be going with me. (She gets to gamble while I do gunnie stuff, but still…)

Fodder of Ride Fast and Shoot Straight has created a countdown clock that was so cool I had to steal it:

Reno, Nevada October 9-12, 2008 at the Circus Circus Hotel
The third annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous is coming up fast.
Here’s the list of committed attendees (I made my reservations last week):

KeeWee, from KeeWee’s Corner

Phil & David, from Random Nuclear Strikes

US Citizen, from Traction Control

Ride Fast & the Commandress, from Ride Fast – Shoot Straight

Mr. & Mrs. JimmyB, the Conservative UAW Guy

Lou from Mad Gun

Dirt Crashr, from Anthroblogogy

Chris & Mel Byrne, from The Anarchangel

Uncle, From Say Uncle

Larry Weeks, from Brownell’s

Mr. Completely himself

Ashley Varner
and Glen Caroline from the NRA (second year in a row!)
The interested but not yet committed:

Sebastian, from Snowflakes in Hell
(Not Bitter, though)

Countertop, from Countertop Chronicles

Ahab, from Call Me Ahab (And hopefully Mrs. Ahab?)

Stickwick Stapers, from Carnaby Fudge (And hopefully her hubby as well.)

Joe Huffman, from The View from North Central Idaho (And Barb?)

Retired Geezer & Mrs. Geezer, from Blog Idaho

Mr. & Mrs. BillH, from Free in Idaho

Murdoc, From Murdoc Online 
We will again be fundraising for Project VALOR-IT, and spending a pleasant Saturday at the excellent Palomino Valley Gun Club where you will get a chance to shoot a variety of ordnance belonging to the array of gunnies attending. I’ll be bringing by M1 Carbine and my M1 Garand, and probably the Remington 5R, along with a pistol or six. Hell, this year I might bring my XP-100. US Citizen promises to bring his new Hyundai Barrett M82 with the cybernetic telescopic sight and more than the measly five rounds of .50BMG he brought last year. Much blasty goodness! And the rest of the time when you’re not in the hospitality room talking with the people you normally only get to exchange pixels with, you can shop, eat, sleep, eat, gamble, eat, watch the circus acts, eat, see the cars, eat, and (if you’re not too stuffed) perhaps get romantic?

C’mon, join us! It’s a lot of fun. Room reservation information (and some pictures from last year) is here. Come celebrate the Heller decision, and listen to a couple of us wax eloquent about our trip to Blackwater!

Quote of the Day

Another one from Heather MacDonald’s The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society. But first, a quote from philosopher Eric Hoffer from an interview he did with Eric Sevareid:

I have no grievance against intellectuals. All that I know about them is what I read in history books and what I’ve observed in our time. I’m convinced that the intellectuals as a type, as a group, are more corrupted by power than any other human type. It’s disconcerting to realize that businessmen, generals, soldiers, men of action are less corrupted by power than intellectuals.

In my new book I elaborate on this and I offer an explanation why. You take a conventional man of action, and he’s satisfied if you obey, eh? But not the intellectual. He doesn’t want you just to obey. He wants you to get down on your knees and praise the one who makes you love what you hate and hate what you love. In other words, whenever the intellectuals are in power, there’s soul-raping going on.

Now, from Chapter 1 of MacDonald’s book, The Billions of Dollars that Made Things Worse:

If the practical visionaries who established America’s great philanthropic foundations could see their legacy tday, they might regret their generosity. Once an agent for social good, those powerful institutions have become a political battering ram targeted at American society. You can instantly grasp how profoundly foundations have changed by comaring two statements made by presidents of the Carnegie Corporation just a generation apart. In 1938 the corporation commissioned a landmark analysis of black-white relations from sociologist Gunnar Myrdal; the result An American Dilemma, would help spark the civil rights movement.

An aside, it was Myrdal who wrote in 1942 that America is “conservative in fundamental principles . . . but the principles conserved are liberal, and some, indeed, are radical.”

Yet Carnegie president Frederick Keppel was almost apologetic about the foundation’s involvement with such a vexed social problem: “Provided the foundation limits itself to its proper function, Keppel wrote in the book’s introduction, “namely, to make the facts available and then let them speak for themselves, and does not undertake to instruct the public as to what to do about them, studies of this kind provide a wholly proper and . . . sometimes a highly important use of [its] funds.”

Three decades later, Carnegie president Alan Pifer’s 1968 annual report reads like a voice from another planet. Abandoning Keppel’s admirable restraint, Pifer exhorts his comrades in the foundation world to help shake up “sterile institutional forms and procedures left over from the past” by supporting “aggressive new community organizations which . . . the comfortable stratum of American life would consider disturbing and perhaps even dangerous.” No longer content to provide mainstream knowledge dispassionately, America’s most prestigious philanthropies now aspired to revolutionize what they believed to be a deeply flawed American society.

That was the lead-in for today’s QotD, the next paragraph:

The results, from the 1960s onward, have been devastating. Foundation-supported poverty advocates fought to make welfare a right – and generations have grown up fatherless and dependent. Foundation-funded minority advocates fought for racial separatism and a vast system of quotas – and American society remains perpetually riven by the issue of race. On most campuses today, a foundation-endowed multicultural circus has driven out the very idea of a common culture, deriding it as a relic of American imperialism. Foundation-backed advocates for various “victim” groups use the courts to bend government policy to their will, thwarting the democratic process. And poor communities across the country often find their traditional values undermined by foundation-sent “community activists” bearing the latest fashions in diversity and “enlightened” sexuality. The net effect is not a more just but a more divided and contentious American society.

On that note, I invite you to read a post of mine from last October, Hubris, from which the Hoffer quote came.

And which of our two presidential presumptives was a “community activist“?

It’s Here!

My CMP M1 Carbine arrived this morning! It is indeed an IBM, and the tag attached to it indicates that the barrel is IBM as well:

Interestingly, from what I can find online IBM’s M1 Carbine serial numbers are supposed to begin with 3651XXX. Mine is 363XXXX, but stamped on the receiver above the S/N, mostly obscured by the adjustable rear sight is “IBM CORP”. So do I have an IBM-assembled rifle based on a Saginaw receiver? Anyway, for those coming here for gun pron, here are some photos:

There is no “FAT” cartouche on the stock, and the stock itself is pretty banged-up, but the metal looks to be in very good shape. The bore is filthy, but the rifling looks strong. The receiver fit in the stock is pretty sloppy side-to-side. I don’t know how that’s going to affect reliability and accuracy yet.

Normally I don’t name my guns. The only one that has a name is my 10/22 – “Conan the Borg,” after my wife said upon seeing it, “That’s technologically barbaric!” This Carbine, however, needs a name. I think I’ll call it “Baby Blue.”

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Your idea is presumptuous and self-centered. You want everybody to do what you want, and you’re willing to use the power of the state to enforce it. That is the ultimate in self-righteous egocentric claptrap. You assume that your way is morally superior and everyone can fall into line.

I’m in favor of freedom. Freedom to choose your own path. Freedom to volunteer if I want to. America was made great because we were a nation where free men could choose their own way, their own path. Our government was created to protect our rights, not to tell us what to do, not to make up morality, or tell us what to do with our time, energy, and property. That was nice while it lasted. – Larry Correia, I’ve been taken to task by an Obama disciple. Bring it on.

It was very difficult to choose a pullquote from this piece because it’s all just so damned good! RTWT!

The “Threshold of Outrage”

Well, we’ve had another rampage killing, another church shot up. Pretty much everyone in the firearms community is aware of this, but for future readers I’ll spell out the specifics. On Sunday morning a man armed with a semi-automatic shotgun and 76 rounds of ammo walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church during a children’s performance of “Annie Jr.” and opened fire. According to the reports so far, he fired three shots, and was then subdued by congregants when he attempted to reload. There were two fatalities and seven wounded. From the reports, the first person killed placed himself directly in the shooter’s path in order to shield others. As of this writing, four people are still in the hospital, two in critical condition.

The shooter, 58 year old Jim Adkisson, left a four-page letter in his vehicle that gave clues as to the reason for his rampage and leading authorities to believe that he intended to use all of the ammunition he brought, and die in a hail of police gunfire. In the letter, Adkisson indicated antipathy towards Christians, and extreme antipathy towards “liberals” and their causes, gays in particular.

He did not expect resistance.

When I wrote Why I Am an Atheist, I included a couple of jokes, one of which was a “how many X does it take to change a light bulb?” joke. For the Unitarians the punchline was:

We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

If there’s a “liberal position” on something, the Unitarian Church can be counted on to support it. The particular church Adkisson chose was openly friendly to homosexuals, and that may have had an influence on his choice of targets as well.

Mr. Adkisson was unemployed and apparently unable to find work, at least work that he found acceptable. He was receiving food stamps, and there was a letter found that stated that his food stamps were to be reduced or cut off. Mr. Adkisson’s only criminal record was two DUI convictions in two different states. CNN reports that Adkisson had threatened to kill his fourth wife and himself in 2000 which resulted in an order of protection barring him from contacting his wife. He apparently drank heavily, and had done so for quite a while.

Adkisson purchased his shotgun a month before the shooting. He was not a prohibited person. A waiting period would not have helped. The shotgun was not a high-capacity “street sweeper,” but apparently a standard hunting shotgun with a three-round capacity. He was an angry, bitter old man of 58, probably alcoholic, who wouldn’t or couldn’t face the fact that his problems were of his own making. Like too many people today, he decided to end it all, but to take as many with him as he could in a burst of rage.

Some time back, Billy Beck wrote an essay in response to a post at the newsgroup misc.activism.militia. I linked to it in my 2005 essay, March of the Lemmings, and I came across it again recently. In that piece Billy stated something that I unconsciously absorbed, I think, and have restated myself in my various “Reset Button” postings:

Every human being has a “threshold of outrage” beyond which a transgressor proceeds at peril of response. At this point in our history, individuals are responding ever more frequently. The only question to me concerns the nature of the response.

It would appear that this is the case in Mr. Adkisson’s rampage. In 1997, Carl Drega killed two policemen, a judge, and a newspaper editor in New Hampshire over property rights. In 2000 Garry DeWayne Watson killed a town alderman and a city worker and wounded two others also over property rights. Also in 2000, 77 year-old Melvin Hale shot a Texas State Trooper to death because he’d been pulled over for not wearing his seat belt. In 2003, Arthur and Steven Bixby of South Carolina shot two Sheriff’s deputies to death over the taking by eminent domain of a 20-foot wide section of their property. Also in 2003, Stuart Alexander, owner of a sausage manufacturing business in California, deliberately murdered three of four state inspectors in his office. The fourth escaped only because Alexander couldn’t run him down. In 2004 Marvin Heemeyer destroyed a good chunk of Granby, Colorado with an armor plated bulldozer before taking his own life, again over property rights.

And yesterday, Jim Adkisson decided that he was going to kill himself some liberals because they were keeping him from getting work.

Last week and over the weekend there were a lot of pixels spilled over a letter to the editor written by an outspoken member of the militia movement, a letter threatening bloodshed against “anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty.” A lot of the discussion was heated, too much of it was insulting. Far too much of it lacked perspective and thought.

Billy Beck is spot-on. Everyone has a “threshold of outrage.” For everyone it’s different, and what happens when that threshold is crossed is different for everyone as well. But the general public doesn’t share the outrages perpetrated by society on its individuals. No one is able to accurately gauge the egregiousness of the insults and injustices – or lack thereof – visited upon those whose personal “thresholds of outrage” were crossed. Our media hasn’t done it. In many cases of government overreach that do end up in the media, I (and I’m sure others) wonder what prevents the victims from exacting a similar revenge. Perhaps their own personal “thresholds of outrage” weren’t crossed, or simply a violent response just isn’t in them.

But when someone states in a public forum that “There are some of us “cold dead hands” types, perhaps 3 percent of gun owners, who would kill anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty,” the picture the general public gets isn’t one of a patriot standing up for the rights of all, it’s this:

That’s not the picture I want attached to the battle for my individual rights.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

I once asked a mother on food stamps what she would do without them. “I’d get a husband,” she replied matter-of-factly. Here was news, I thought – a tantalizing bit of evidence of welfare’s corrosive effect on the inner-city family. But when I recounted this exchange in an article for one of the nation’s most influential newspapers, the editor ordered me to leave it out. Quoting it, he said, would “stigmatize the poor.” – Heather MacDonald, the opening paragraph of her book The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society

This promises to be an interesting read.

Back from the Match

Back from the Match

Today’s Pima Pistol Steelworker’s match was a little different from the ones I’ve shot there before. Normally we have five different shooting bays to use, so there are five different scenarios to shoot. Unfortunately we’ve had some pretty severe rain over the last week so three of the bays weren’t available. Plus, apparently they’re going to be running a Steel Challenge shoot at Pima soon, so today’s shoot was a practice setup for that. Only four stages, but they were taken from the Steel Challenge website, modified slightly for our equipment. We don’t use a stop plate, but rather a standard shot timer, and we shot the plates in any order. Here’s a quick video of me shooting Stage 2. There are four falling plates and two silhouettes. The stage is: knock down the plates, two rounds on each silhouette, step over the shooting line (that piece of 2×2 on the ground at my feet) and engage the silhouettes with two more rounds each. Note that I’m using an 8-round capacity standard 1911. And I missed the first plate.


Here’s another shooter on Stage 1 showing you how to do it right. In this stage there are three large targets that get two hits each, and two small targets that get one hit each. Shoot them all, step over the firing line and do it again:


I’m not embarrassed by my time, but I definitely need improvement. Still, I had a lot of fun! And I wore my Heller Kitty shirt, and got a couple of compliments on it.