This Blog is 10

I did this post on the first blogiversary of TSM, and now on its Tenth, I thought I’d dust it off and update it. Forty-four Things About This Blog:

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

2) I’m 42 51 years old.

3) I’m male, white, married, and overweight. I drive a pickup. (4WD. No gunrack, though.) The ’99 4.0L Ranger supercab is long gone, replaced by a 2006 (2WD) Tundra and more recently by a 2002 F250 7.3L diesel 4×4.

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.  No changes.

5) I have a BA degree in General Studies after spending 5½ years in college studying Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering.  No changes here, either except for an advanced degree in the School of Hard Knocks.

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

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. However, since I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, I haven’t had another porphyria attack.  Oh, joy.  Now I have to learn to NOT eat carbs.  Which sucks.

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.  No change here, either.

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 ten years. I also own a 1967 fastback big-block Mustang that will (someday) be built into a 500Hp highway-cruising hotrod.  I sold the ’67 in 2008, and then bought a 1989 to fix my jones, but I ended up selling than one, too.  And buying a 2011 GT. 400Hp will do, though.  I have it and the F250.

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.  Sister’s getting ready to retire, I think.

11) Both of my parents are still alive and in their (late) 70’s. (My dates were screwed up.  They were in their late 60’s in 2004.) We all live in the same city.  Mom’s getting pretty frail.

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. Still hold the same opinion, but I think less of Jimmuh today.  And even less of the current President.

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.  Still voting against.

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. Nor have I wanted G.W. Bush or McLame or Romney.  I want to vote for the best candidate, but he never RUNS!

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.  Wrong on that one.  Ever since then, I’ve voted against the Democrat candidate, even going so far as to vote for McLame.  We’re now into Obama’s second term.  Things do not look good for what’s left of the Republic.

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?”)  Still hold to that.

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.  I have since purchased a Stag Arms M4gery upper, a complete Bushmaster lower, and built my own lower on a York Arms stripped receiver, topped with a Rock River .458 SOCOM upper.  That’s three evil black rifles, and not one of them has killed anybody.  Must be defective.

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.  In fact, instead of an FN-FAL, I had an LRB M25 forged receiver built up into a very nice semi-auto M-14, but it took until 2010 to get it.

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. Still have just the one scattergun.  I might eventually get a semi-auto, but it’s not high on my list of desires.

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.  Gave that up several years ago.    

21) I’m also the TRC’s Pistol Director, though that duty hasn’t required much of me.  I dropped that when I stopped running the IHMSA matches.  I was re-elected to the board again when I started running Bowling Pin matches, but I stopped running those as of January this year.  I resigned as Pistol Director in April.  They needed someone who spent more time at the range than I’ve been able to.

22) My favorite target pistol is my Remington XP-100 center-grip chambered in 7mm Benchrest. Haven’t shot that one much since I stopped shooting IHMSA.  Now my favorite target pistol is my Kimber Classic Stainless, which I have used to shoot both Bowling Pin and USPSA.  I’m not actively competing currently, but I’m considering Steel Challenge.

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.  Feral Hog is beginning to appeal to me, as is prairie dog.  In both cases, you don’t have to do anything with the carcasses.

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

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.  But haven’t since.  Still would like to, though.

27) My favorite handgun is my (aforementioned) 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.  Still do.

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 and a P-14 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.  I have, however, gotten used to cock-on-open, even though it seems odd.

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.  I have also learned to like muzzle brakes, as long as I’m BEHIND it.  I recently purchased a .300 Win Mag.  That one has a brake.

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.  And hard-recoiling guns (like my .45LC M25 Mountain Gun with 285 grain bullets at 950fps) tend to cause flinch to return with a vengeance after a few cylinders full.

30) I think I prefer handguns because shooting a handgun well is more difficult than shooting a rifle well. I like the challenge.  But I like the challenge of hitting stuff a long way off, so rifles are gaining.

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.  No change here except I’ve added a lot more equipment for reloading in the last ten years.

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.  This trend has apparently accelerated.

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 (or someone) 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. I have become convinced that the manufacturing of said fools has been deliberate.

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

35) I have two grandchildren, one four thirteen and one five fourteen, who will also be have been exposed to that system. I hope to be I have been 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.  I don’t wonder anymore.

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

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.  They haven’t threatened that yet.

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.  And ten years on, I still believe this, and still blog.

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 or the “general welfare,” 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, 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.”

(41) This, according to Blogspot, will be my 1,020th 6010th post since starting this blog.  

(42) Sitemeter says there have been over 3.5 million site visits.   

(43) This site says TSM ranks 15th among the gunblogs.

(44) I have met probably fifty or more other bloggers over the last ten years, easily a dozen just a couple of weekends ago.  You have been uniformly some of the nicest, most generous and most intelligent people I could ever have hoped to meet.

And, in a now well-established TSM tradition, I’d like to use someone else’s words once again to say what I want to say better than I could say it myself.  In the Vicious Circle podcast from the week after the passing of William the Coroner, Tribes, Breda said this:

I’m one of those people – I like people, I’m personable, but I don’t really have “friends” friends, because I just don’t connect to people really that well.  But then blogs happened, and I found a whole group of people that I fit in with because I’m weird and they’re weird in kinda the same way, and yea for our mutual weirdness.  So, thank you for being weird with me.

“Thank you for being weird with me.”  Pretty much says it all.

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