This Blog is now Old Enough to Buy a Handgun

I put up my first blogpost at the old Blogger site May 14, 2003. One year later I posted “40 Things about Me and This Blog.” I decided to update that list for this auspicious anniversary.

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

2) I’m 61 years old.

3) I’m male, white, married, and overweight. I drive a different pickup. (4WD. Still 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). I had Nevada registration but let it lapse after my medical issues.

7) I had a rare genetic enzyme disorder that causes a condition known as Acute Intermittent Porphyria. My case was relatively mild and did’t affect my mental balance, but it hurt pretty bad when it occurred and it required me to sustain a carbohydrate-heavy diet – just ONE reason I’m fat. It also turns out I had Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, another liver disorder. This one cost me my liver and kidneys in 2018. I guess I just won the genetic Gold Medal. The new liver doesn’t have Acute Intermittent Porphyria or Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. I’m much better now. But still 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 about 18 years. I also owned a 1967 fastback big-block Mustang that I sold many years ago when the wise words of Mr. Spock came to mind: “Having is not as pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

10) I have two siblings; a brother five years older who is now semi-retired, and a sister four years older who is fully retired. I don’t get to retire. I get to work until the afternoon of the day of my funeral.

11) My mother passed nine years ago. My father turned 90 this year. He still lives here in Tucson.

12) I was pretty much apolitical for the first half 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 have stuck to building houses and stayed 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.

15a) In 2016 I cast my vote against Hillary Clinton, and damn was I surprised when she lost. Trump turned out a couple of orders of magnitude better than I ever expected. All I’d hoped for was complete gridlock, but we got three very good Supreme Court Justices that, had Hillary been able to nominate, would have basically ended the Constitution in this country.

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?”)

16a) I have since concluded that Henry Louis Mencken was right when he wrote, “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

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. It STILL shoots. But it’s still the pipsqueak .223 varmint cartridge. I have since purchased / built two more, one I call my M4gery and another chambered in the thumping .458SOCOM loading.

18) After the AWB sunsetted, I had a custom M1A clone built. Top-of-the-line everything. Beaucoup bucks. Shoots 4MOA no matter what I feed it. Feeds and functions perfectly, but it patterns rather than groups.

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. I still have this shotgun.

20) I used to be primarily a handgun shooter, though I have learned to embrace rifles. I was the match director for the local International Handgun Metallic Silhouette matches at the Tucson Rifle Club, but I gave that up over a decade ago.

21) I haven’t been the Tucson Rifle Club’s Pistol Director, in over a decade.

22) My favorite target pistol is still 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. Exploding targets are good, too.

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 I never have.

27) My favorite handgun is still my First-Gen 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 still 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. I now have a .300 WinMag Remington 700 with a brake. I can do 100 rounds in a session, but I’m a little tender 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 preferred handguns because shooting a handgun well is more difficult than shooting a rifle well. I like the challenge, but hitting at 700 yards with a rifle is actually tougher than 300 yards with a handgun.

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.

31a) Holy sh!t have component prices shot up! There was a period there of about five years when I just didn’t feel up to it (liver failure takes a while), so I accumulated stuff, but didn’t reload. I recently got back into it again. I could probably retire on my primer stash.

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.

32a) The polarization has expanded to perhaps 33% of the population and gotten wider and deeper in the last 20 years. The Other Side™ has dropped its mask and is proceeding apace. I’m currently working on an überpost on this topic.

33) I’m registered as 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 46, who is a product of Tucson’s public schools. She’s done OK in spite of that.

35) I have two grandchildren, one 25 and one 26, who were also exposed to that system. I was unable to intervene, but my wife definitely mitigated the effect. I am not, regardless of my sister’s chosen profession, a public school enthusiast. I am still convinced that the public school systems are a tool, deliberately crafted twisted by the left to produce mindless, unthinking, compliant, obedient proles. And they have been wildly successful in spite of the efforts of teachers like my sister.

36) I no longer wonder about the effects of 20+ years of public school systems ON my sister.

37) I hoped that the world my grandchildren would grow up in was a bright, cheerful, and safe one. So much for that hope.

38) I intended for them to be able to think for themselves and stand up for their rights. I’m ambivalent about my success there.

39) I concentrated 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 supposed to be there to protect the rights of its citizens, not parent them. Instead, ours has decided to oppress 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. But 225 years of entropy “by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding,” opportunists who chip, chipped away at the foundations, and a few with malice aforethought has brought us to this point.

Some times I wish I did drink. Happy 21st Birthday, TSM!

15 thoughts on “This Blog is now Old Enough to Buy a Handgun

  1. Happy 21st to TSM! Interesting post and, as I’ve thought since I first read your blog back around 2009 or ’10, we have a lot in common. One difference is I took the Meyers-Briggs test decades ago and promptly forgot about it. It didn’t seem to matter to me even a little bit.

    I’ve switched the main emphasis of my place from the typical/usual stuff I wrote on for the first several years over to something I’ve been interested in since childhood, as that whole world seems to be newer and better, as the corrupt establishment (read “big government”) is getting out of the way and the private sector is doing what it does best: out-innovate and outperform the old system.

    Plus, to be honest, I get really bored with writing the same things all the time, being right all the time about political and economic issues, just to have the morons (read “big government” again) continue to do the same things over and over again. It feels too much like being Grandpa Simpson yelling at the clouds, for all the good it does.

  2. To my colleauge in liberty, KB.

    Your steadfast work over these many years and decades have been of inestimable value to myself and the many others. American is not a race. It is not related to the happenstance of where one was born. It is a creed of born of self ownership: maximum liberty, personal responsibility and self determination. That is the way, and we of the way salute you.

  3. As the saying goes, “Great minds think alike”, I too am INTJ, IQ in the mid 130’s (consistent over 5 decades and many tests), 61 yrs old, white, married, male, overweight, drive a pickup (not 4WD yet), crammed a 4 year engineering degree into 7 years, am a gun guy, and reload. I only wish I could write as well as you, sir! I have many times over the years gotten clarity from your take on the issues. Bring on the uberpost!

  4. If Perot had stayed in, instead of dropping out to jump back in, he might’ve had a shot.
    Maybe.
    That “giant sucking sound” he warned us about hasn’t slowed down, but the noise has deafened most of the populace to its existence.

    But between HW “Import Ban” and Clinton “94 Ban”, I argue that for gun rights, at least, the choice was better.
    People might’ve let gun rights slide had the 94 Ban happened say, in 98 instead, or if HW had been elected a second time. He would’ve signed that one with a flourishing pen-stroke…but it was “too much too fast” as it were.

    I was 16 in 94.
    Asked Dad if I could buy a (couple…) Chinese MAK-90 and SKS “before they got expensive”.
    His answer then (he got better later) was “get a good job, and you won’t have to worry about their price when you’re old enough, and buy your own house to keep them in.”

    Ah well.
    Imagine where we’d be if they’d done a slower drip instead of going for all the marbles so fast.
    Would there be a gun culture like there is now?
    Would “Carry Permissions” of any kind even be a thing in half the country?
    Possibly “grandfathered mags/guns from 1994 and before in the safe (hope the springs were oiled) and, now, Kali style rifles facing some sort of next time tax/ban which the Elephants promise to go along with in exchange for keeping shotgun and rifle capacity limit at the 3 instead of 2”.

  5. I think I first ran across you in 2004… Loved the uber posts, hated chasing all the @#%%# LINKS… LOL

    Congrats Kevin, proud to consider you a friend and friendly competitor with rifles!

  6. Happy “can now buy beer” milestone anniversary to the blog.
    I’ve been reading Kevin’s posts since before the blog in the USENET days at talk.politics.guns.

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