Psssst! Hey, Wanna Win One of These?

Psssst! Hey, Wanna Win One of These?That’s ParaUSA’s new GI Expert entry-level 1911. The specs are:

Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inches, stainless steel
Twist: 1 in 16 inches, left-hand
Action: Single-action, Semi-automatic
Sights: Dovetail Fixed, 3-White Dot
Receiver: Carbon Steel
Trigger: Medium length
Hammer: Skeletonized Spur
Magazine: 8-round with removable base pad (two provided with pistol)
Overall Length: 8.5 inches
Height: 5.75 inches
Weight: 39 ounces
Finish: Covert Black Para Kote™
Stocks: Checkered Polymer
Safeties: Slide Lock, Internal Firing Block, Grip
Additional Features: Lowered and flared ejection port, beveled magazine well, flat mainspring housing, grip safety contoured for spur hammer
MSRP: $599

I handled one at the NRA convention. It looks like a good, solid piece with just enough enhancements to make it a great shooter.

Keep checking in here for more details.

ANOTHER Debate Invitation

ANOTHER Debate Invitation

A couple of days ago I replied to a rhetorical question at another blog. That blogger responded:

Kevin, Sorry it took me so long to get over here and thank you for the mention.

There have been times when pro-gun guys have pointed out to me that guns aren’t the only factor contributing to the violence, even the gun violence. I’ve always responded that I never said guns were the only factor. I realize there’s drug and alcohol abuse, there’s economics, family dysfunction, and other things that all combine to give us the gun violence we have.

In your comment you seem to be talking as if gun availability is the only factor. Since it’s not, even if your stats are perfectly accurate about the numbers of guns that were pumped into the society while the murder rate when down, there may very well have been other factors to explain that. For example, changes in certain laws, the flow of drugs into the inner cities, like crack cocaine, etc.

Besides, you conveniently leave out the accidents and suicides and talk only of murders. That’s not fair.

So, always trying to be fair, I’ve invited “mikeb30200” to debate:

Mikeb, I’ll make you the same offer I make to everyone willing to discuss the topic of gun control: I’m willing to debate you on all of the topics you mentioned above – homicide, accident, suicide, etc. – either at my blog (I’ll give you guest posting privileges) or by trading posts at our respective blogs. I don’t expect to change your mind, nor you mine. I do this so that you can present your arguments and defend them in public, and I can do the same for mine. That way, those people who have not formed concrete opinions on the topic can see both sides and make informed decisions for themselves.

If you’re sure you’re right, are you willing to defend your position?

I left the same invitation at his blog. We shall see. But I ain’t holding my breath.

UPDATE: Invitation declined:

Kevin, I’m afraid I have to decline. The reason is I honestly don’t have the time to do it. I appreciete the offer, it’s one that Bob S. has made a few times. I would also like to say, it wouldn’t really be a fair debate, my being an amateur and actually a newcomer to the gun issues and you and your friends being true experts. It’s one of the things I respect about you guys the most, you certainly have done your homework.

Since my knowledge and experience is so limited compared to yours, I’d have to invest serious time in research and referencing just to make a half way decent showing, and unfortunately I just can’t right now.

Over the last year since I have become involved in the debate I’ve learned a lot. At this rate, hopefully in a year or so, I won’t be quite so out-classed as I would be now. It would be like my getting in the ring with the Pacman.

Not that his admitted ignorance will keep him from promoting “obvious truths” that aren’t.

Good Capitalism?

(h/t Galdalf 23) I’m going to quote this piece in whole, too – it’s that good. From Stumbling on Truth, Unafraid in Greenwich Connecticut:

Clifford S. Asness, Ph.D.

The President has just harshly castigated hedge fund managers for being unwilling to take his administration’s bid for their Chrysler bonds. He called them “speculators” who were “refusing to sacrifice like everyone else” and who wanted “to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout.”

The responses of hedge fund managers have been, appropriately, outrage, but generally have been anonymous for fear of going on the record against a powerful President (an exception, though still in the form of a “group letter”, was the superb note from “The Committee of Chrysler Non-TARP Lenders” some of the points of which I echo here, and a relatively few firms, like Oppenheimer, that have publicly defended themselves). Furthermore, one by one the managers and banks are said to be caving to the President’s wishes out of justifiable fear.

I run an approximately twenty billion dollar money management firm that offers hedge funds as well as public mutual funds and unhedged traditional investments. My company is not involved in the Chrysler situation, but I am still aghast at the President’s comments (of course these are my own views not those of my company). Furthermore, for some reason I was not born with the common sense to keep it to myself, though my title should more accurately be called “Not Afraid Enough” as I am indeed fearful writing this… It’s really a bad idea to speak out. Angering the President is a mistake and, my views will annoy half my clients. I hope my clients will understand that I’m entitled to my voice and to speak it loudly, just as they are in this great country. I hope they will also like that I do not think I have the right to intentionally “sacrifice” their money without their permission.

Here’s a shock. When hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds, and individuals, including very sweet grandmothers, lend their money they expect to get it back. However, they know, or should know, they take the risk of not being paid back. But if such a bad event happens it usually does not result in a complete loss. A firm in bankruptcy still has assets. It’s not always a pretty process. Bankruptcy court is about figuring out how to most fairly divvy up the remaining assets based on who is owed what and whose contracts come first. The process already has built-in partial protections for employees and pensions, and can set lenders’ contracts aside in order to help the company survive, all of which are the rules of the game lenders know before they lend. But, without this recovery process nobody would lend to risky borrowers. Essentially, lenders accept less than shareholders (means bonds return less than stocks) in good times only because they get more than shareholders in bad times.

The above is how it works in America, or how it’s supposed to work. The President and his team sought to avoid having Chrysler go through this process, proposing their own plan for re-organizing the company and partially paying off Chrysler’s creditors. Some bond holders thought this plan unfair. Specifically, they thought it unfairly favored the United Auto Workers, and unfairly paid bondholders less than they would get in bankruptcy court. So, they said no to the plan and decided, as is their right, to take their chances in the bankruptcy process. But, as his quotes above show, the President thought they were being unpatriotic or worse.

Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice”, they are stealing. Clients of hedge funds include, among others, pension funds of all kinds of workers, unionized and not. The managers have a fiduciary obligation to look after their clients’ money as best they can, not to support the President, nor to oppose him, nor otherwise advance their personal political views. That’s how the system works. If you hired an investment professional and he could preserve more of your money in a financial disaster, but instead he decided to spend it on the UAW so you could “share in the sacrifice”, you would not be happy.

Let’s quickly review a few side issues.

The President’s attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to “sacrifice” some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good? Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power.

Let’s also mention only in passing the irony of this same President begging hedge funds to borrow more to purchase other troubled securities. That he expects them to do so when he has already shown what happens if they ask for their money to be repaid fairly would be amusing if not so dangerous. That hedge funds might not participate in these programs because of fear of getting sucked into some toxic demagoguery that ends in arbitrary punishment for trying to work with the Treasury is distressing. Some useful programs, like those designed to help finance consumer loans, won’t work because of this irresponsible hectoring.

Last but not least, the President screaming that the hedge funds are looking for an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout is the big lie writ large. Find me a hedge fund that has been bailed out. Find me a hedge fund, even a failed one, that has asked for one. In fact, it was only because hedge funds have not taken government funds that they could stand up to this bullying. The TARP recipients had no choice but to go along. The hedge funds were singled out only because they are unpopular, not because they behaved any differently from any other ethical manager of other people’s money. The President’s comments here are backwards and libelous. Yet, somehow I don’t think the hedge funds will be following ACORN’s lead and trucking in a bunch of paid professional protestors soon. Hedge funds really need a community organizer.

This is America. We have a free enterprise system that has worked spectacularly for us for two hundred plus years. When it fails it fixes itself. Most importantly, it is not an owned lackey of the oval office to be scolded for disobedience by the President.

I am ready for my “personalized” tax rate now.

What about IRS audits?

When You’ve Lost Glenn Greenwald . . .

From The New Editor via Instapundit:

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has a piece noting that President Obama’s policies on terrorism are almost identical to those of President Bush.

A commenter notes: (emphasis added)

I do not know what the future holds where Obama is concerned.

I see very little correlation at this point between words and deeds. … It seems he’s all about the power and the money in that order.

Maybe that was the plan all along.

Gee, ya THINK?

Greenwald’s piece begins:

I wonder how many people from across the political spectrum will have to point this out before Obama defenders will finally admit that it’s true. From Harvard Law Professor and former Bush OLC lawyer Jack Goldsmith, systematically assessing Obama’s “terrorism” policies in The New Republic:

Many people think Cheney is scare-mongering and owes President Obama his support or at least his silence. But there is a different problem with Cheney’s criticisms: his premise that the Obama administration has reversed Bush-era policies is largely wrong. The truth is closer to the opposite: The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit. Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol, and rhetoric. . . .

[A]t the end of the day, Obama practices will be much closer to late Bush practices than almost anyone expected in January 2009.

And in an addendum, Greenwald points to this “Tom Tomorrow” cartoon.

Either Markadelphia’s alter-ego is Tom Tomorrow, or he takes his marching orders from that cartoon, verbatim!

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Somewhere in lots of basements around the country, there are millions of rounds of ammunition being stored.

– Ammunition factory operator Darren Newsom, quoted at, More stockpiling ammunition: Fear of potential Obama laws causing mass sales

Runner up, same source:

“I get a million primers in every other day and most are shipped out the very next day,” he said. “I have 100 million primers on back order right now. We just can’t get enough of them.”

Which explains why I can’t seem to find any.

See Under: “Irony”

See Under: “Irony”

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent(sic) into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

That’s the opening line in an op-ed . . .

. . . in PRAVDA. It’s titled American capitalism gone with a whimper.

I shit you not! (Hat tip, Arms and the Law). Here’s some more:

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

There’s more.

One of my commenters has been insisting that Obama is not a marxist/socialist. He also insists that we should pay attention to “primary sources.”

Pravda is a primary source, is it not? At least for this topic.



You’ve probably noticed this over on the left sidebar:

Yes, the Fourth Annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous is fast approaching.

What is the Rendezvous, you ask? It’s a gathering of bloggers, readers, and a few industry people for a weekend of eating, talking, shooting, drinking, eating, talking, a little gambling, and damned little sleeping. Mr. Completely and the lovely and gracious KeeWee host the GBR each fall, and each Rendezvous has been bigger than the one previous. This one will run from September 10 through September 13 (Thursday through Sunday). The first three Rendezvous were held at the Circus Circus hotel and casino in Reno NV, but since we did most of our eating at the attached Silver Legacy, this year we’ll be staying there instead. Room reservation information is available here. You don’t have to be there all four days (I’ll be showing up Friday afternoon, I think), but you can if you want!

Mr. Completely tries to schedule some activities for us each year. Last year we took a guided tour of the Reno Cabela’s (free fudge!), on Friday night we do a “what did you bring” get-together, and on Saturday we always go to the very nice Washoe County Parks Department Public Shooting Range where we throw a lot of lead downrange with the stuff we showed around the night before. But the primary attraction of the Rondy is the people. Each year the hotel provides a hospitality room where all weekend we can sit around and imbibe adult beverages and talk until the wee hours of the morning.

On Saturday after the range trip, we will be having a pizza dinner and raffle for the benefit of Project Valour IT, Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss’ project to provide laptops with voice recognition software and Wii game systems (and other technology) to wounded veterans to help speed their recovery. Maj. Zeigenfuss attended the second GBR and on that Saturday evening he told his story of getting blow up by an IED and his recovery process. The Major was a blogger before he deployed, and when he arrived back in the States he had only one unbandaged finger with which to punch a keyboard. Soldier’s Angels set him up with a laptop, a reader gifted him with voice-recognition software, and he was back online. Instead of sitting in his hospital bed punching the morphine button while watching Wheel of Fortune, he was traveling the Matrix, chatting with his friends, dictating blog posts, and leaving comments.

We adopted his ass right then and there. (How can you not love a man, seriously wounded, who after being dragged out of the stinking ditch the IED blew him into, pops up and asks “Am I still pretty?“)

We also raised about $600 for his cause. The next year we did without a speaker, and raised $2,030. I hope we top that this year by a fair margin.

And did I mention the raffle? Mr. Completely has lined up sponsors for the Rendezvous each year, and the list keeps getting longer. Brownell’s has been a sponsor from the beginning, and I have a damned nice range bag thanks to Larry Weeks and Mr. Completely, and Larry brings a lot more swag than that each year. Last year’s sponsors included Hi Point Firearms, Dillon, ParaUSA, Remington and Nosler. This year Glock, excuse me, GLOCK is added to the list. Trust me, everyone goes home with something. the registration form for the dinner and raffle can be found here.

So make plans. I’ll be reminding you from time to time in blog posts, and that countdown clock will remain on the sidebar until the Rondy starts.

See you there!

UPDATE: USCitizen RAWKS! And if he pulls this off, I will literally prostrate myself before him and worship at his feet! I will not be worthy!

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

It is the job of Progressives to keep on making mistakes, and the job of Conservatives to keep them from being corrected.G. K. Chesterton

This applies to so many aspects of modern life, and explains a helluva lot about how we got to where we are today.

Facts, not Feelings

Joe Huffman has been a source of inspiration today. First he links to a very interesting piece out of Massachusetts, then his Quote of the Day prompts me to post a reply. Blogger Mikeb30200 quoting Violence Policy Center statistics says:

The Violence Policy Center published the latest statistics which prove what many people already believed, that more guns means more gun deaths. In fact, I’ve always found it surprising that some people deny this obvious truth.

(My emphasis.) Well, I just had to respond to that. Apparently Reasoned Discourse™ hasn’t broken out there yet, so I think my comment will post, but before I hit “Publish” over there, I thought I’d do it here first:

Oh, hell, I’ll give it a shot.

Please check this Bureau of Justice Statistic page of homicide rates in the U.S. from 1950 to 2005.

Please note that, after peaking in 1991, the homicide rate in the U.S. began a steep decline until it leveled off in 1999 at a rate not seen since the mid-1960’s. Yet each and every year approximately three million new long guns and one million (or more) new handguns are purchased by American citizens.

Thus your assertion that “more guns means more gun deaths” is mathematically refuted. From 1991 through 2005 at a minimum fifty million new firearms ended up in private hands (at a guess, an increase of something like 25% over those held in 1991) yet homicide declined from a rate of 9.8/100,000 population to 5.6/100,000, or 43%.

Further, the corollary that fewer guns must equal fewer gun deaths is refuted by the example of Massachusetts. To paraphrase, their 1998 Gun Control Act has resulted in a decrease of licensed gun owners from “1,500,000 to 220,000, an 85 percent drop,” however, “Based on incidents per 100,000, gun-related homicides are up 68 percent”.

So why do “some people deny this obvious truth”, the “obvious truth” that “more guns means more gun deaths”?

Because we understand numbers, logic and reason, and check the facts.

Next question?