Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grassley Dismisses Cummings' Attempt At A Whitewash

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today dismissed out of hand the attempt by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the other Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to exonerate senior Department of Justice officials involved in Operation Fast and Furious.
“The idea that senior political appointees have clean hands in these gunwalking scandals doesn’t pass the laugh test, especially considering we’ve seen less than 10 percent of the pages that the Justice Department has provided the Inspector General. They ignored the warning signs and failed to put a stop to it or hold anyone accountable. Lanny Breuer is a senior political appointee, and he admits to knowing about gunwalking as early as April 2010. Documents turned over late Friday night indicate he was still discussing plans to let guns cross the border with Mexican officials on the same day the Department denied to me in writing that ATF would ever let guns walk. He stood mute as this administration fought tooth and nail to keep any of this information from coming out for a year. It will take a lot more than a knee-jerk defense from their political allies in Congress to restore public trust in the leadership of the Justice Department. The American people want to see those who failed to act be held accountable.”
 In his release he pointed to documents which show senior officials not only knew about it but were involved. They can be seen here and here.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Townhall.com's Katie Pavlich who calls them as she sees then with regard to the behavior of the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Although Cummings claims he wants to bring justice to the Terry family for his murder, which was a direct result of this recklass (sic) program, he has done the opposite by using the scandal to promote new gun control measures, implying ATF should be given more power and as a chance to blame President Bush for using the "same tactics" that were used during Fast and Furious for other programs during his time in the White House. During Bush-era "gunwalking" programs, the Mexican government was informed and cooperating with ATF to interdict and follow guns into Mexico. During Fast and Furious under President Obama, Mexican officials were left in the dark as 2500 guns were delivered to the hands of ruthless cartel members thanks to DOJ and ATF officials.

Note to Cummings: Your cover-up is showing.

Are Guns And Ammo The New Gold?

I came across these two infographics today and found that they presented a lot of good data in a way that could be understood.

First, are guns and ammo the new gold?

Is Ammo The New Gold? Part 1
Via: Ammo.net

The second infographic looks at the rise in the cost of 5.56x45 or .223 ammo. It correlates very well with political and economic events.

Is Ammo The New Gold? Part 2
Via: Ammo.net

Bilateral Carbine Transfers

Hopefully I will never be the target of a home invasion. That said, training to be able to shoot with a carbine from both your strong side and your support side sounds like a useful skill to have in case of one.

Bushido Tactical At The SHOT Show

I had never heard of Bushido Tactical until I came across this video by AR15.com.

What really caught my eye is their gun belt with the Cobra buckle. I have a gun belt with this same buckle but have to remove the buckle to get it through the belt loops. The Bushido Tactical gun belt with Cobra buckle is made in such a way that you can twist the buckle sideways and fit it through your belt loops.

According to their website, the belts retail for $59.95. While this is pricey, it isn't out of line for a good gun belt. I know I paid $50 for a similar belt from Endeavor Stitch Works.

I'm Shocked; Shocked, I Say

In what I assume is part of the Friday night document dump, we are learning about the symbiotic relationship and personal connections between the Joyce-funded University of Chicago Crime Lab and ATF brass. The Crime Lab is not a forensics lab but rather a social policy institute investigating violence and crime with a special emphasis on "gun violence". 

Mike Vanderboegh in a Sipsey Street Exclusive has the story including the e-mails between the Crime Lab's Executive Director Roseanna Ander, who served with the Joyce Foundation for ten years before heading the Crime Lab, and ATF brass including Bill Newell.

It makes for some very interesting reading and confirms some suspicions about the connections between the firearms regulators and the gun prohibitionists.

More Court Documents Released In Agent Terry's Murder

Lori Jean Gliha of ABC15 in Phoenix has been one of the best local sources for information on Project Gunwalker. Her station and five others sued to get more court documents released in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. We finally have a name and a charge for the person who pulled the trigger: Manuel Osorio Arellanes is charged with second degree murder in Terry's death.

Those documents can be found here. The firearm that Manuel Osorio Arellanes or the other redacted defendant was accused of possessing, a Romanian WASR-10/63 AK-47, serial number 1971CZ3775, was one of two Operation Fast and Furious firearms traced to the murder scene. (See p.46 of the Oversight Report) I may be mistaken as I'm going from memory here but I don't think either of these weapons had been tied conclusively to Agent Terry's murder before now. It has always been said they were at the scene but never used in his murder. If the court documents are accurate - and there is no reason to believe that they aren't - then the government is now saying a gunwalked AK was used to kill Agent Terry.

This is political dynamite! No wonder the Democrats are working so hard to blame the locals and exonerate Eric Holder.

UPDATE: In an article published last night, Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic says the second person indicted for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is Rito Osorio-Arellanes.
The U.S. District Court documents name Rito Osorio-Arellanes, 41, who is believed to be a brother of the only previously named defendant, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes.
Wagner notes in his article that there is a third suspect who remains at large and who has not been identified.

The Minority Report Released By Cummings

Here is the full Minority Report released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings.

You will note that significant effort is put into "Bush did it" claims and that the personnel recommendations note that those involved on the ground have either resigned or be reassigned.

“Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona.”

Preemptive Strike By Cummings And Democrats On Oversight Committee

In what can only be considered a preemptive strike in advance of Attorney General Eric Holder's appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has released a report from the committee minority staff that blames Project Gunwalker entirely on the ATF Phoenix Field Division. It explicitly exonerates senior DOJ officials including Holder and Lanny Breuer.

From Cummings' press release:
Cummings Issues Report Detailing Five Years of Gunwalking Operations in Arizona

Comprehensive Report Finds No Evidence that Senior Officials Approved Controversial Tactic

Washington, DC (Jan. 31, 2012)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a 95-page minority staff report entitled “Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona.” The report describes the results of the Committee’s year-long investigation into the actions and circumstances that led to multiple gunwalking operations in Arizona from 2006 to 2010.

According to a letter Cummings sent to Committee Members accompanying the report, “this report tells the story of how misguided gunwalking operations originated in 2006 as ATF’s Phoenix Field Division devised a strategy to forgo prosecutions against low-level straw purchasers while they attempted to build bigger charges.”

The report finds that this strategy failed to include sufficient operational controls to stop these dangerous weapons from getting into the hands of violent criminals, creating a danger to public safety on both sides of the border. Rather than halting operations after flaws became evident, ATF’s Phoenix Field Division launched several similarly reckless operations over the course of several years, according to the report, also with tragic results.

Cummings’ letter noted that he instructed his staff “to focus on the facts we have discovered rather than the heated and sometimes inaccurate rhetoric that has characterized much of this investigation.”

“Contrary to repeated claims by some, the Committee has obtained no evidence that Operation Fast and Furious was a politically-motivated operation conceived and directed by high-level Obama Administration political appointees at the Department of Justice,” Cummings wrote in his letter. “The documents obtained and interviews conducted by the Committee indicate that it was the latest in a series of reckless and fatally flawed operations run by ATF’s Phoenix Field Division during both the previous and current administrations.”

The report sets forth ten constructive recommendations intended to address specific problems identified during the course of this investigation.
As might be expected from the rabid anti-gunners composing the Democrat side of the committee, many of their "constructive recommendations" are calls for more gun control. They include continuing and expanding the multiple semi-automatic rifle reporting requirement, repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, enactment of a "dedicated firearms trafficking law",  and more money for ATF.

The New York Times' Charlie Savage has a long story on this effort by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to shield Holder and other DOJ officials. After three paragraphs trumpeting the Democrats' conclusions and so-called exoneration of Holder, even the Times has to admit the timing is suspect.
Still, because the report was written by Democrats, the political impact of its conclusion exonerating high-level officials of wrongdoing may be limited. Its publication comes two days before Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is to testify before the committee.
In the Times article, there is significant discussion of the letter sent by DOJ to Sen. Chuck Grassley on February 4, 2011 which falsely denied any gun-walking took place. It seems to cast the blame for the false claims on Patrick Cunningham, the former head of the U.S. Attorney for Arizona's criminal section. Cunningham, you may recall, has elected not to answer questions from Committee investigators and has pled the Fifth.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rumor Confirmed - Freedom Group Buys Para-USA

One of the rumors coming out of the SHOT Show was that Para-USA was in negotiations with Cerberus's Freedom Group to be bought out. The release sent out today by the Freedom Group confirms that they are indeed buying Para-USA.
Madison, NC -- Freedom Group, Inc., (FGI) through a wholly owned subsidiary has announced today that it has finalized an asset purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Para USA, INC., (Para).

Founded in 1985, Para has built a solid and enviable reputation for innovation, performance and reliability. Firearms enthusiasts, serious shooting competitors and law enforcement agencies choose with confidence from a wide and growing variety of Para pistols. Para's revolutionary high capacity frame and light double action (LDATM) trigger systems, are part of the innovation that Para has brought to the world famous 1911 design.

"We welcome Para into the Freedom Group Family of Companies," stated. E. Scott Blackwell, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Freedom Group Inc. "Para USA is a leader in handgun technology and their fine products exemplify quality, innovation and performance. Para is a perfect complement to our industry-leading family of brands, and our success in 2011 with the Remington R1 - 1911. We look forward to deploying both human and financial resources to continue to develop and supply current and future handguns for consumers and our channel partners. We also wish to thank all its employees for their continued dedication that has made Para a success."

Para will continue day-to-day operations at their Pineville, NC based facility.

Steve at The Firearms Blog speculates that it won't be too long before operations are moved from Pineville to either Ilion, NY or Mayfield, KY where Remington has their main plants. I think it might depend on whether the Para-USA facilities will allow greater production of 1911's than the Ilion plant and at a lower cost per unit.

UPDATE: Jim Shepherd passed on this little tidbit in The Outdoor Wire about the acquisition.
Can't say a lot beyond the releases about FGI's intentions, but a note arrived late last night Para's longtime PR/Media contact Kerby Smith. In it, Smith offered a little insight into how things are shaping up -at least from his perspective.

"The company that I worked for is no longer active," Smith wrote, "and I am no longer employed...I assume that this e-mail will be shut down soon...It has been a great pleasure working with you for PARA USA, Inc."

The Para acquisition means Freedom Group has acquired a running pistol company with proven products to plug into as many of the FGI company lines as it pleases.

Para, if allowed to continue, will have access to FGI's extensive sales, marketing, dealer, and materials supply chain. About all that remains to be seen is how FGI will bring Para into the fold-and how they'll position Para products. For now, the official line is that Para USA will continue its day-to-day operations from its relatively new headquarters in Pineville, North Carolina.
Steve at The Firearm Blog has more on this acquisition today as well. He mentions that two Para-USA employees were formerly senior level managers with Freedom Group. 

Linoge On NGVAC

Linoge at Walls of the City does an excellent job at dissecting and then eviscerating the "new" gun control group National Gun Victims Action Council. He looks at its leaders and then their overview of what they want to do.

As with all gun control groups, they will eventually tell you the truth about their aims. In this case, NGVAC says "Any sane gun law will lead to the government being able to take your guns away."

Linoge calls this "a seven-inch, ivory-handled KA-BAR shoved between the third and fourth ribs of the dorsal side of "gun control" (which is a wonderful image in and of itself) and then continues:
Why? Simple: one of the favorite talking points of "gun control" extremists – especially when someone accurately observes that registration leads to confiscation – is that no modern "gun control" organization wants to take your guns away.


Well, then, thank you Elliot and thank you Andrew and thank you to the rest of the National Gun Victims Action Council for providing us such an easy counterpoint to that claim – after all, why would people so viciously obsessed with firearms and the demonization of them want the government to have the ability to take our firearms away if they did not actually want the government to do exactly that?
As one of Linoge's commenters says that one would expect NGVAC "to at least obfuscate the message in a way that doesn’t offend anyone with two brain cells to rub together."


Read Linoge's whole post. It provides a logical antidote to the pablum put out by the gun prohibitionists.

Historical Quote Of The Week

For this week's historical quote from Proclaiming Liberty, I decided to go modern with a quote from George Orwell.

The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see it stays there.

Orwell, George. "Don't Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard." The Complete Works of George Orwell, Ed. Peter Davison. Vol. 12. London: Random House, 1998. 362-365. Print.

Orwell was active in the British Home Guard serving as a sergeant in command of a section. The quote above is from an article he wrote in 1941 for the Evening Standard in which he complained about old World War I officers in the Home Guard who were more interested in marching than marksmanship.

This quote is found on page 52 of Proclaiming Liberty which is available from Amazon.com for $12.95. The Kindle edition is now available for $3.95.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Narcissist In Chief

The Free North Carolina blog had this posted yesterday. The behavior shown by President Obama towards Governors Jindal, Perry, and Brewer due to a minor criticism of him is classic narcissistic behavior. Instead of focusing on what is important such as the oil spill in the Gulf, Obama flies off the handle at something routine and minor which he perceives is a criticism of him.

A Roundup Of Endorsements For The NRA Board Of Directors

If you are a NRA Life Member or an Annual Member of five consecutive years (or more), you are eligible to vote in the elections for NRA Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of 76 members with 25 being elected each year and the 76th being elected at the Annual Meeting.

This year there are 31 candidates running for 25 positions. Of these 31, 29 were nominated by the Nominating Committee. The remaining two candidates were nominated by a petition of the membership which requires at least 250 signatures. These two candidates are Maria Heil of New Freedom, PA and Steven Schreiner of Englewood, CO.

Here is a roundup of endorsements that I've been able to find.

From Sebastian and Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned: Scott Bach, Joseph DeBergalis, Jeffrey Crane, David Coy, and Joel Friedman. In their endorsements, they explain their rationale for supporting each of these five candidates which is too long to excerpt here. Nonetheless, I think they give solid reasons for each candidate they endorse.

From Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition: Maria Heil.
This year I am only endorsing one candidate, Maria Heil, and asking voting members of NRA to cast ballots with only Mrs. Heil’s name marked. While I do not know Mrs. Heil personally, she comes highly recommended by friends whose opinions I deeply respect. I think Mrs. Heil would be a diligent worker for our rights as gun owners – and as NRA members – within the Board of Directors. I believe she would bring some much-needed new energy to the board.
From Col. Robert Brown of Soldier of Fortune magazine: Steve Schreiner, Scott Bach, Bob Viden, Joe DeBergalis, Wayne Anthony Ross, and Manny Fernandez. Col. Brown gives special emphasis to Steve Schreiner in his endorsements. He also specifically does not recommend Grover Norquist.

From Tom King on behalf of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association: Joseph DeBergalis

From the Texas Firearms Coalition:  David Coy and Don Saba. They endorse Coy due to his financial expertise and its importance to the Board and they endorse Saba for his work in debunking junk science being propagated by anti-gun and anti-hunting organizations.

From the New Jersey Second Amendment Society: Scott Bach and Robert Viden.
I have known Scott Back since I founded the NJ2AS and he has been continually supportive of our efforts. I wholeheartedly endorse Scott and Bob for re-election to the Board. I hope that you will join with me in voting for our New Jersey representation on the NRA.
From the Fifty Caliber Institute: John C. Sigler, Ronnie Barrett, Joe DeBergalis, Robert Viden, David Coy, Steven Schreiner, and William Bachenberg. All of these men are members of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association and Sigler is President of the Fifty Caliber Institute. Of course, in .50 caliber circles, Ronnie Barrett needs no introduction.

From 3Gun Nation: Joe DeBergalis. They note he has been the Match Chairman of a number of 3Gun events including most recently the Rumble on the Range in Las Vegas which was held concurrently with the SHOT Show.

Two candidates for the Board - Scott Bach and David Coy - have made their own YouTube promo videos. You can find Bach's here and Coy's here.

I'm not endorsing anyone because I don't know any of the candidates personally. That said, there are a number of worthwhile candidates out there. If you are eligible to vote, then do your research and VOTE. As Jeff Knox notes, " It is an embarrassment that the greatest political action organization in the country generally gets participation from only about 7% of their members eligible to vote, but that’s the case."

As to a voting strategy, if there is only one or a small number of candidates that you really want, vote only for them. To do otherwise dilutes your vote and makes the lesser candidates (in your opinion) equal to your favorites. While it has been criticized, bullet voting as it is called is effective tactic for helping to elect your preferred candidate or candidates.

UPDATE: Joe DeBergalis has posted a campaign flyer here which does include the organizations that have endorsed him.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Tale Of Two Networks

Yesterday, the lead news story on both ABC and CBS was the growth of the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2011. How they treated this news was a study in contrasts.

First, ABC which trumpeted the news as the best growth in 18 months which it was. What was not said is that the growth in GDP of 2.8% was less than the expected 3.1%. The stock market reacted negatively and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 74 points.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Next, CBS discussed the same story and even interviewed the same economist - Diane Swonk of Chicago's Mesirow Financial - as did ABC News. However, unlike ABC News, they gave the full story. Included in Anthony Mason's report was the fact that much of the growth came from business restocking inventory and that the recovery was weak. They also discussed how the stock market reacted negatively to this information.

If you had just interviewed President Obama like Diane Sawyer did this week, you don't want to release information that doesn't portray him and his policies in the most positive light. However, it doesn't say much for your network and honesty.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Five "Dream" Guns

Robb Allen started it with his post about his five most wanted guns. SayUncle and Bob Owens (and others, I'm sure) have continued this theme today.

Here are my five - actually, it's six because I just couldn't narrow it down that much - that make the dream list. It is an eclectic list with both modern and old guns on it. Some of the guns are frankly rather esoteric but they caught my eye long ago and have become stuck in my brain.

The first gun on the list is the Model 41 Johnson Rifle. It was designed by Melvin Johnson, Jr., a Boston lawyer, due to what he saw were flaws in the M-1 Garand and the Pederson rifle. It was used in combat during WWII by the Dutch in Indonesia before they were overrun by the Japanese and by the Marine 1st Parachute Battalion. A variant of this firearm was the Johnson Light Machine Gun. I have a Garand, a M-1 carbine, and a Springfield 1903 and the Johnson would round out this collection very nicely.

The second gun on my list would be the Mannlicher-Schoenauer 1903 carbine in 6.5x64 M-S. The Mannlicher Schoenauer features the classic full Mannlicher stock, the archetypal butter-knife bolt handle, and a rotary magazine. It was a favorite of Hemingway who featured it in his short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. The great African hunter Karamojo Bell used it to take many an elephant despite the cartridge's small size.

The third gun on my list is a modern bolt action rifle made by Dakota Arms. It is their Model 76 Classic or Classic Deluxe in .257 Roberts. Why this caliber? I think it is one of the most versatile older calibers and could be used for everything from varmints to whitetail deer. Besides, I've wanted a rifle in this caliber since I was in my early 20s and why not have a really nice example of it! It combines many of the features of the rifleman's rifle - the pre-64 Winchester Model 70 - with the strength of more modern steels and alloys.

The fourth gun on my list is actually quite practical and is meant to be carried. It is a Signature Grade Browning Hi-Power SRT by Ted Yost of Heirloom Precision. It starts with a 9mm Browning Hi-Power and then goes to town with features that make it both reliable and eminently usable. It is also very attractive in my opinion.

The fifth gun on my list is the Smith and Wesson Registered Magnum revolver in .357 Magnum. Introduced in 1935, these revolvers were essentially custom guns. The pistol was made to order and could be had in any barrel length from 3.5 inches to 8.75 inches with 1/4 inch increments. From a history of the revolver:
To further enhance the ownership experience of purchasing a .357 Magnum, Smith & Wesson established a registration process by which customers could receive a special certificate stating their ownership of a specific serial-numbered revolver. The certificate also indicated the specifications of the firearm, such as barrel length, sight choice installed by the factory at the customer's request, and walnut grip shape/type. Over 5,000 certificates were issued before Smith & Wesson discontinued the registration process.
I almost went with the Colt Python but ended up with the Registered Magnum because it is was the first .357 Magnum.

The final gun on my list is perhaps the most eclectic. It is the French-made Darne double-barrel side by side shogun. As with many things French, it has a style all its own along with a unique functionality. Unlike any other double-barrel shotgun, it does not break open on a hinge. Rather, it has a sliding breech that slides back for loading. The net effect is a lightweight shotgun that is also very strong. The shotgun is made in Saint-Etienne which has been a center for arms making in France since the 1600s.

This was a lot of fun coming up with my list and I welcome your list of five (or six!) dream guns in the comments.

UPDATE: Other bloggers have now posted their lists. I have to say Tam's list makes my Darne shotgun look very mundane!

MadMedic, Extrano's Alley, Michael Bane, Traction Control, and Miguel at GunFreeZone have all posted their lists.

A New Capital Infusion Into The Firearms Industry

Yesterday, Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire mentioned that Savage Arms had just had an infusion of equity capital from Norwest Equity Partners on Tuesday of this week.

From the Norwest Equity Partners news release:
Erik Torgerson, a NEP partner and senior advisor, stated, “Savage is an industry leading, best-in-class company. Our investment will help advance global market expansion and the continued development of an innovative, diversified products platform. The Company operates within a fragmented industry, and there is significant opportunity for consolidation through add-on acquisitions in both existing and adjacent market categories. Under the leadership of Ron Coburn and his accomplished management team, Savage is well-positioned to continue to expand and exceed its growth objectives.” Torgerson and Tim DeVries, a NEP managing general partner, have joined the Savage board of directors.

Coburn stated, “This new investment partnership with NEP marks an exciting time for Savage. On behalf of our management team and employees, we look forward to working with the NEP team, exploring new business opportunities and advancing our business potential together.”
I agree with Jim's interpretation of this where he say it means "we have money and there are companies out there that would be good fits, so we may go shopping." He also notes that other deals and consolidations in the firearms industry may be coming over the next few weeks.

A little history about Norwest Equity Partners and their past investments will show just how significant this investment is for the firearms industry. NEP is an offshoot from Minneapolis-based Northwest Bancorporation that was started in 1961. They originally specialized in Minnesota companies but have since broadened their geographic reach. Their specialty is working with companies to bring them to that next level. Among the companies that they have made equity investments in over the years are Cray Research (supercomputers), Gymboree (kid's clothing ), Dairy Queen (fast food), and PeopleSoft (software). These are all now big-name companies.

In 1998, Norwest Bancorporation merged with Wells Fargo Bank. While the name going forward was Wells Fargo, in reality Norwest bought Wells Fargo and then took their name. This is the same thing that NationsBank (formerly North Carolina National Bank) did when they merged with Bank of America. The combined Wells Fargo which has now added Wachovia into the mix is the fourth largest bank in the United States according to the Federal Reserve.

With this sort of money and expertise behind Savage Sports Corporation, I think we are now seeing a well-funded competitor to Cerberus's Freedom Group. Both Savage and Freedom Group are strong on rifles but weak on handguns. I anticipate seeing one or more of the handgun manufacturers being bought by one or the other of these companies. Indeed, one of the rumors I remember reading coming out of the 2012 SHOT Show had Freedom Group buying Para-USA. I don't know the truth of it but it makes sense given that both are headquartered in North Carolina and are about a two hour drive apart in location.

This will be interesting to watch over the next few months.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Crimson Trace Rail Master Laser

Crimson Trace has now introduced a new laser called the Rail Master. It is meant for any firearm with a rail so it could be used on both pistols and rifles.
(Wilsonville, OR) Crimson Trace, market leader for integrated laser sighting systems, today announced the release of their new Rail Master platform for all rail-equipped firearms. With an MSRP of $149, the innovative laser sight sets new standards for durability, battery life and quality. Featuring a tap on / tap off switch, the compact unit comes with four interchangeable inserts which utilize Secure-Lock Technology™ to enable a custom fit to any handgun, enabling the user to adjust the sight’s location on the rail to optimize activation.

“The new Rail Master is the most versatile laser sight available,” said Kent Thomas, Marketing Director for Crimson Trace. “Our design group took great pains to make incorporate all the quality engineering that has been a hallmark of Crimson Trace products and we’re proud to be able to offer a low light solution for the widest possible selection of handguns and long guns.”

The Rail Master offers a four hour battery life as well as the most powerful laser permitted by law. When mounted on a handgun, the low profile sight holsters easily and barely extends the profile of the frame. It sits unobtrusively on the railed handguard of an AR15 and extends the versatility of this highly adaptable rifle. Fully adjustable for windage and elevation, the unit retains zero when removed from the weapon and runs on easily available 1/3N batteries.


  • Fits any rail-equipped firearm
  • Weight: 0.4 oz with batteries
  • Polymer Housing
  • Gold-Plated Battery and Activation contacts
  • Compact 5.6mm Diode
  • Precise Windage and Elevation Adjustments
  • Four, Secure Lock Technology™ inserts
  • BEAM INTENSITY – RED – 5mW Peak, 635 nm, Class 3R laser
  • DOT SIZE – Approximately 0.5" Diameter at 50 feet
  • BATTERIES – One 1/3N 3V Lithium or Two 357 Silver Oxide Batteries; Over Four Hours of Laser Use
  • ACTIVATION – Side-mounted, Tap on, Tap off instant activation

Mike Fifer, CEO of Ruger, Talks With Cam Edwards

Mike Fifer, CEO of Ruger, sat down and talked with Cam Edwards of NRA News. While part of the interview was devoted to the new Ruger SR22 and the Ruger American rifle, more interesting to me was Fifer's discussion of the Million Gun Challenge and the political challenges we face. He is worried just like many of us about the composition of the Supreme Court after this election.

What If Emily Wasn't Smart, Articulate, And Connected

In the interview below with Natasha Barrett of Newschannel 8, Emily Miller explains the events that convinced her to want to buy a gun and then her efforts to actually purchase a gun since she is a D.C. resident. If you have been following her series in the Washington Times, you know it has been a long and arduous process.

It has also been expensive. In addition to the price of her new Sig 229, Emily has had to spend $435 in fees and other expenses to meet the District of Columbia's gun regulations. She is now having to wait 10 days before she can take her new pistol home due to a "cooling off" period.

Emily Miller is an attractive, well-educated (Georgetown), well-spoken young woman with a high profile position as a senior editor with the Washington Times. Before that she was the deputy press secretary for both Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice.  If someone like her with all of her connections has this much trouble exercising her Constitutional right to own a firearm for her own self-defense in her own home, imagine what it is like for everyone else who isn't as bright, articulate, and connected. If you said, damn near impossible, I think you'd be correct.

I hope she mentions that when she testifies before D.C. City Council on Monday, January 30th.

A Present For Bloomberg

Earlier this month I made the suggestion that people should send Mayor Michael Bloomberg packets of Goody's or B.C. Headache Powders.

Mayor Bloomberg, if you will recall, had slandered Tennessee nurse and med student Meredith Graves by saying she had been arrested for cocaine possession. This was in addition to running afoul of New York City's draconian gun laws. That "cocaine" was, in reality, an aspirin-based headache powder which is very common throughout the South. Of course, those charges were dropped after the substance was tested.

I followed my own suggestion and mailed Mayor Bloomberg a six-pack of Goody's Powders along with a sheet from the North Carolina History Project explaining the origins of headache powders. I fully expect that I am now on the suspected terrorist list for the City of New York. To use a good Southern expression, this makes no nevermind to me as I don't intend to set foot in any of the five boroughs while Bloomberg is mayor and the gun laws are as they are.

Note - If you click on the picture, you can enlarge it and read the text of my letter without squinting.

UPDATE: At the request of Dannytheman, here is a link to the North Carolina History Project's page on headache powders. Headache powders originated with pharmacists in North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slow Blogging Today

Sorry for the slow blogging today. I'm having to meet with plumbers at my late Mom's house out of town. The house was built in 1927 and the drains look it!

I'll add some pictures later.

UPDATE: Just back home from Greensboro after a three hour drive. Here are some pictures of the work. I can do a lot of renovation projects but I suck at plumbing. I learned a long time ago that it is better for me to hire a plumber than to do it myself.

Much of the plumbing in the house dates back to 1927. If I had any question about why the kitchen sink wouldn't drain, I got my answer when I looked at this pipe.

And then there was the drain system from the sink and the clothes washer. What is easily done with PVC pipe today took more couplings and connecters than can be imagined.

Fortunately, PVC makes it much easier. The plumber not only replaced all of the tangled mess with this but also ran the smooth PVC pipe all the way to to the street coupling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State Of The Union And The Use Of Social Media

Sean Sorrentino at An NC Gun Blog has come up with a great idea to put some pressure on the Obama Administration over Project Gunwalker.

Senior administration officials will be answering questions submitted on Twitter and other social media. Sean has pre-written Tweets with some pointed questions about Operation Fast and Furious.

Go here to find out more.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:State Of The Union And The Power Of Social Media

Trey Gowdy On Cunningham's Plan To Take The 5th

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was interviewed by Ginny Simone of NRA News yesterday. The first topic that came up was the plans for AUSA Patrick Cunningham, head of the criminal section of the US Attorney's Office in Arizona, to refuse to answer questions from the House Oversight Committee because it might incriminate him.

Asked his reaction, Gowdy said his first reaction was stunned silence "which is pretty hard to accomplish with a Member of Congress." He goes on to say that he never thought he'd see a Federal prosecutor take the Fifth Amendment. Gowdy served as a Federal prosecutor himself for six years earlier in his career.

Dog Bites Man Or Is This Really News

In news from Greater Boston, comes a press release that the mayor of the City of Peabody has joined Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors.
Peabody Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. announced yesterday that he has joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of 600 mayors committed to keeping guns out of criminal hands.

Having a mayor from relatively anti-gun Massachusetts (or as JayG calls it, the Volksrepublik) join an anti-gun group of mayors is not news. It is just the same old tired gun prohibitionists rehashing the same old tired news.

However, if Mayor Bettencourt had resigned from MAIG and said he was pushing for real shall-issue concealed carry for Massachusetts, now THAT would be news.

Wayne LaPierre At The SHOT Show

One of the things he said that caught my ear was the statement that this year could break the back of the Second Amendment if we don't work to save it. While a bit of hyperbole, I do agree that this is a critical election year. Whoever is elected President will probably get to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice. With both Heller and McDonald as 5 to 4 decisions, this is a frightening thought.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Historical Quote Of The Week

Continuing on the theme of thought that influenced the Founding Fathers and the framers of the Constitution, this week's historical quote courtesy of Proclaiming Liberty comes from Andrew Fletcher.

The possession of arms is the distinction of a freeman from a slave. He who has nothing, and belongs to another, must be defended by him, and needs no arms: but he who thinks his is his own master, and has anything he may call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses, or else live precariously and at discretion.

Fletcher, Andrew. Speeches by a Member of Parliament. Edinburgh, 1703. 43. Print

This quote is found on page 28 of Proclaiming Liberty which is available from Amazon.com for $12.95. The Kindle edition is now available for $3.95.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Investing In Guns And Ammo

With the SHOT Show having just concluded this past week, I thought it might be a good time to look at investing and the gun industry. As NSSF President Steve Sanetti noted in his State of the Industry address at the SHOT Show, the $4.1 billion firearms and ammunition industry is one of the bright spots in the economy.
Eighteen consecutive quarters of sales growth, as evidenced most recently by an all-time high number of mandatory point-of-sales background checks in December, and during the worst recession since the great depression, would be an enviable feat for any industry. Yet we have achieved it...
If, like most investors, you are saying to yourself that you'd like to invest in an industry that is actually doing well in our poor global economy, when it comes to the firearms industry there are very few choices available. The reason is that much of the industry is in private hands and are not public companies. By public companies, I mean those whose stock trades on a stock exchange.

As I noted, much of the firearms industry is in private hands. Companies such as Groupe Herstal (FNH, Browning, and Winchester firearms), Colt, Beretta, Steyr Mannlicher, and the Freedom Group (Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS, Dakota Arms, Marling, H&R, etc.) are all privately held. While the Cerberus-owned Freedom Group may eventually go public, they pulled their Initial Public Offering back in April 2011.

So where does this leave investors?

In the United States, Sturm, Ruger and Company (RGR) and Smith and Wesson Holding Company (SWHC) are the only two publicly traded firearms manufacturers. Worldwide, you can add Forjas Taurus (Taurus firearms) which trades on the Sao Paolo exchange, Manroy PLC (Sabre Defence and military arms) in the UK, Metal Storm Ltd. of Australia, and a handful of Russian companies like Tula Armory.

Ammunition companies in the United States that are publicly traded include Olin (Winchester ammunition) and Alliant Technologies (Federal, CCI, and Speer). Other companies that are involved in the broad firearms and outdoor market would include Cabelas (CAB), the Outdoor Channel (OUTD), and Taser International (TASR).

Let's look a little closer at the two US firearms manufacturers and the two ammo companies.

Sturm, Ruger and Company (RGR) is headquartered in Southport, Connecticut and has factories in Prescott, Arizona and Newport, New Hampshire. Its stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. In terms of market capitalization, Ruger is larger than Smith and Wesson - $736 million versus $309 million - but has about $100 million less in annual gross revenues. Ruger has been doing well and is on track to become the first firearms manufacturer to sell one million firearms in a one year period. The stock has also been doing well as can be seen in the chart below. Over the last two years, Ruger's stock price has risen 250% and it closed at $38.68 per share on Friday. Looking at the chart, you can see that it significantly outperformed the Standard and Poor's 500 Index.

Smith and Wesson Holding Company (SWHC) is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. They moved their Thompson Center manufacturing to Springfield from New Hampshire. Smith and Wesson also has non-firearms operations in Houlton, Maine and Franklin, Tennessee. The company is also a leading manufacturer of handcuffs and provides physical security products through their Security Solutions division. As noted above in the discussion Ruger, Smith and Wesson has a smaller market cap than Ruger but has about $100 million more in annual revenues. However, when it comes to profitability, Ruger both has a higher profit margin and more profits than Smith and Wesson. The stock price of SWHC reflects this. It closed on Friday at $4.74 per share and is only up about 20% for the last two years. Looking at the chart, you can see its stock price has been very volatile.

Neither of the U.S. ammunition manufacturers, Olin and Alliant Technologies, are solely ammo makers. Olin also makes chlor alkali products which are basic materials used in other industries. Alliant Technologies is a large defense contractor involved in aerospace and missile technologies, armament systems, and small arms ammunition manufacturing for the military.

Olin (OLN) has making powder and ammunition for over 100 years from its beginnings with the Equitable Powder Company and Western Cartridge in East Alton, Illinois. Olin bought Winchester out of receivership in 1931 and has owned it ever since. They spun off the Winchester Arms division to U.S. Repeating Arms in 1981. Currently headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Missouri, they make Winchester ammunition in East Alton, Illinois; Oxford, Mississippi; and Geelong, Australia. Olin has been moving more and more ammunition production from East Alton to Oxford due to union-management issues and a more modern facility. In terms of market capitalization, Olin is valued at $1.7 billion, has gross revenues of $1.9 billion, and net income of $225 million. Its stock closed at $22.20 per share on Friday and it trades on the New York Stock Exchange. Olin's stock price has been volatile over the last two years but it has outperformed the S&P 500 growing 30% in value over the period.

As I noted earlier, Alliant Technologies (ATK) is a major defense contractor. The civilian ammunition component of their business comprises only about 20% of their overall business. Their Security and Sporting Group is comprised of Federal Premium ammo, CCI ammo and components, Speer bullets and ammo, RCBS reloading equipment, Alliant Powder, Champion ammo, Weaver optics, Eagle Industries, and Blackhawk! Industries.Alliant Technologies is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and has 60 facilities in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. ATK has a market cap of $2.04 billion, has gross revenues of $4.62 billion, and net income of $292 million. Its stock closed at $61.78 per share and it trades on the New York Stock Exchange. As can be seen from the chart below, it has underperformed the market for the last two years and its stock price has lost 30% of its value.

Of the four companies, Ruger is the purest play in firearms. While the company does own Pine Tree Castings, it only provides about 1% of their revenues. The other three companies are more diversified. This diversification which in normal times would help them seems to have depressed their growth as compared to that of Ruger. With other sectors of the economy not having the robust growth of the firearms industry, this has hurt Smith and Wesson, Olin, and Alliant Technologies.

Because of my day job, I am not permitted to make any recommendations. I suggest that you do your own research, check with your own investment advisor, and go from there if you are interested in investing in the companies of the firearms and ammunition industry.

Disclosure: In the spirit of full disclosure, I own shares in RGR, ATK, OLN, and SWHC. Nothing here should be taken as an investment recommendation nor a solicitation of your business.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You Don't Interrupt A Guy Eating His Smothered And Covered Hashbrowns

Waffle House is a chain of diners across the South and into middle America. They are famous for their hashbrowns especially when they are smothered and covered. That is hashbrowns with sauteed onions and melted cheese.

In Chesnee, South Carolina, two armed robbers made the mistake of robbing the wrong Waffle House this morning. As a result of their decision, one of them is dead and the other is on the run.

It was only after the armed robbers started to make moves to herd the customers and staff to the backroom that a person who was legally carrying concealed made his move. As Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright noted, the man feared for his life and only then pulled out his firearm.
Sheriff Chuck Wright said the CWP training the man had came into play in this situation.

"All the witnesses said it wasn't his first reaction to grab the gun and start shooting and he tried to make him stop," said Wright.

Wright said you are told to do all you can to avoid shooting something.

"You are trained when to shoot and when not to shoot and what you can and cant do. You learn where you can and can't carry a gun and this gentleman followed the law," said Wright.

The CWP holder will not be charged and his name is not being released. The Sheriff’s Office says no customers or employees were injured during the incident.
Sheriff Chuck Wright is the same lawman who urged women in South Carolina to get their SC concealed weapons permit in 2011. He did this in response to an attempted rape in his county by a man who had been in and out of jail 20 times.

UPDATE: Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina, is using this example combined with two fatal shootings of restaurant employees during robberies in Charlotte, NC to push the North Carolina State Senate to move on HB 111. That bill would allow concealed carry (but not drinking) in restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol. An alert similar to his Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner column went out yesterday.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Issa Issues Subpoena To Head Of Criminal Division Of US Attorney's Office In AZ (update)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced that his committee has subpoenaed Patrick J. Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. Mr. Cunningham is the Chief of the Criminal Division of that office.
Issa Subpoenas Criminal Division Chief from Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office

WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the issuance of a subpoena to Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. Mr. Cunningham's repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.

"During the course of our investigation, the Committee has learned of the outsized role played by the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office – and you specifically – in approving the unacceptable tactics used in Fast and Furious," Chairman Issa wrote to Cunningham in a letter informing him of the subpoena. "Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress.

"These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used. In fact, documents obtained confidentially just last week appear to confirm that you remained steadfast in your belief that no unacceptable tactics were used, even after the Department's initial response to the congressional inquiry. Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as 'fundamentally flawed,' this position is startling."

The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 for a deposition.
It will be interesting to see if the Department of Justice will try to fight this subpoena or will they throw Cunningham under the bus like they did former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke.

According to the letter Issa sent to Cunningham informing him of the subpoena, Cunningham had been scheduled to be voluntarily interviewed by the Committee today and had indicated a willingness to cooperate with the Committee as late as last Friday. To me, his sudden refusal to cooperate would seem to indicate either he has a lot to hide or someone on Holder's staff at DOJ made him an offer he couldn't refuse. This one will be interesting to follow.

UPDATE: According to a letter released by Patrick Cunningham's attorney, he will be taking "the 5th" when he appears before the Committee in response to their subpoena. William LaJeunesse has more on it here.

As I said yesterday, this one will be interesting to follow!

UPDATE II: I've had time to read and digest the letter from Mr. Cunningham's attorney Tobin Romero of the DC law firm Williams and Connolly. Williams and Connolly is ranked as the best white collar defense firm in the United States by the Vault Guide.

Romero asserts that Cunningham is caught in a struggle between the DOJ and the Oversight Committee. Moreover, he says he acted in good faith and did nothing wrong. The draft language he submitted to the DOJ for their response to the Committee in February was approved and then not used by the DOJ.

The most interesting part - other than saying that Cunningham will plead the Fifth - is an indication that he is being thrown under the bus by DOJ.
According to your letter, Department of Justice officials ahve reported to the Committee that my client relayed inaccurate information to the Department upon which it relied in preparing its initial response to Congress. If, as you claim, Department officials have blamed my client, they have blamed him unfairly.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 3, Gunblast.com

Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com finishes up his reporting from the SHOT Show with this video. He starts with with 1911s from Cimarron Firearms in what has to be the ultimate BBQ gun - a chromed and engraved 1911.

Go to the link above to see still photos of more guns that the Quinns viewed on Day 3 of the SHOT Show.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Haus Of Guns On The Coonan .357 Magnum 1911

Haus of Guns did an interview at the SHOT Show with Dan Coonan about his Coonan .357 Magnum 1911 semi-auto pistol. I don't know why but this gun just intrigues me. Imagine an auto that will shoot both .357 mag rounds plus the .38 Special.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 3, Downrange.tv

Michael Bane has finally bought his first handgun at the SHOT Show. It is the Sig P938 which is the slightly scaled up P238 in 9mm. Other things he mentioned were the new modular Mossberg shotgun and their tactical lever-action rifle.

You can see his whole report here.

If Only The Colonel Were Still Alive

The Educational Fund To Stop Gun Violence, the 503(c)3 arm of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, has a website called MeetTheNRA.org. Their goal is to publish (out of context) quotes in an effort to discredit current and former members of the NRA Board as being conservative radicals, racists, and insurrectionists.

The screen cap below is from today in their effort to smear the late Col. Jeff Cooper.

What Col. Cooper actually wrote in his Commentaries, Vol. 4, was this:
Clearly propaganda is more potent than truth. Take this matter of Guernica, for example. Pablo Picasso, one of the more significant propagandists of the left, made a very successful point in claiming that the town of Guernica had been flattened from the air by the German Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War − this being an atrocity since the town had no strategic value. This point was accepted by the world press, and is now considered a fact, even for inclusion in encyclopedias.

For those who have access to the official records it is clear that the Condor Legion had been grounded for two weeks prior to the occupation of the city by the Nationalist forces. Moreover, the German light bombers did not have the technical capacity for "carpet bombing," as later practiced by the Allies in Europe. Most conclusive, however, was the fact that there were no bomb craters in the streets. The buildings were pretty well demolished, but this was done from inside them. It is obviously impossible to flatten a town from the air without hitting any of the streets, but now, to the amazement of the well−informed, the German government is proposing to pay an indemnity to Spain for an atrocity never committed. Such goings on!
Now Col. Cooper served as an officer in the US Marine Corps during both WWII and the Korean Conflict. Moreover, he had a graduate degree in history to complement his undergraduate degree from Stanford in political science. I happen to think that a military officer, especially one trained as a historian, is somewhat more likely to have seen the official reports and to have made sense of them than a hoplophobe like Ladd Everitt who wasn't even born when Kennedy was killed.

Now I will acknowledge that there is a significant difference of opinion about what really happened at Guernica especially among historians so the Colonel could be wrong in his assessment. Jeff Cooper was reputed to be a man of strong opinions, somewhat cranky and irascible, but brilliant nonetheless. If he were alive today, the intellectual flaying he would have given the small-minded gun prohibitionist hoplophobes at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and CSGV would have been a thing of beauty. It is a pity he didn't live long enough to apply it.

SHOT Show - Not Just For Tacticool Stuff

2012 SHOT Show - Steyr

I will admit I am a sucker for Steyr products. I have an old Mannlicher-Schoenauer Model 1910 which is one of favorite rifles from the butter-knife bolt handle to the rotary magazine. Their new stuff isn't bad either.

The guys from Guns and Ammo checked out the Steyr Aug A3 and the Steyr M-A1 pistol in .40S&W. I have never shot a bullpup so I can't say whether I would like one or not. Nonetheless, the ease with which they were able to take off the barrel for cleaning was impressive.

2012 SHOT Show - Day One Recap From NSSF

Here is a recap of Day One of the SHOT Show from the NSSF itself. I know the Complementary Spouse would agree with the presenter's recommendation to wear comfortable shoes.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 2, Downrange TV

Michael Bane continues his video coverage of the 2012 SHOT Show. Some of the items he featured for Day 2 are the Heizer Double-Tap derringer, lasers from Crimson Trace, Windham Weaponry, the Sig 938, and a knife from Remington that uses 1911 grips.

Speaking of Heizer, when I was in St. Louis over the holidays I passed a small industrial building near Arnold that said "Heizer". I am wondering if this was where the Doube-Tap is made or some facility. I'm thinking a request for a factory tour may be in order.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 2, Gunblast.com

Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com shows the things that caught his eye on day two of the SHOT Show. For 10mm fans, Para-USA is coming out with a 6" barreled 1911.

For still pictures of more guns, go here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out, Violence Policy Center!

The Violence Policy Center loves to moan and groan about how the NRA gets so much money from the firearms industry. Sturm, Ruger and Company, in a drive to break the one million firearm sales mark for one year, pledged to donate $1 for each firearm sold over a one year period. Through three quarters, Ruger has sold 871,200 firearms and donated an equal amount to the NRA. They have just decided to raise their pledge to $1.2 million.

Eat your hearts out Josh Sugarmann and Kristen Rand because the Joyce Foundation is never going to match this!

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from that Friend of Angelo recipient of sweetheart mortgages, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who just so happens to be the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

He is criticizing Google, Wikipedia, bloggers, and others for blacking out their sites or asking people to oppose SOPA and PIPA. This is rich coming from the likes of Dodd who represents an industry that is at its best entertainment and usually more akin to a well-oiled propaganda machine for the so-called progressives.

You can find longer critiques of his comments here and here.

And to give this a gun blog slant, he is the son of the author of the Gun Control Act of 1968, Sen. Thomas J. Dodd (D-CT).

The List Of Shame - Senate Version

The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, S. 968, is the Senate version of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act, HR 3261. It is sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It has its own acronym - PIPA - and it is scheduled for a cloture vote on January 24th.

The Strike Against SOPA and PIPA have an online petition which will deliver your message to your representatives.

The bill in the Senate currently has 38 co-sponsors as Sen. Mark Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) have withdrawn their support from the bill.

What I fail to understand is why any Republican is a co-sponsor of either bill as it rewards Hollywood, the recording industry, and other media companies who have supported and financed Democrats for years. Do they not understand - which the Democrats obviously do - that you reward your friends and screw your enemies?

Here is the Senate's List of Shame:
Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] - 5/25/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] - 6/27/2011
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] - 7/25/2011
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 10/19/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] - 5/12/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 5/23/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] - 6/15/2011
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 12/12/2011
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 10/20/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 7/13/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 9/7/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] - 11/2/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] - 6/23/2011
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] - 5/12/2011
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] - 6/9/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 6/30/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] - 9/7/2011
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 5/12/2011
Sen Franken, Al [MN] - 5/12/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 5/26/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 5/12/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 5/12/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] - 7/5/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] - 5/12/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 11/2/2011
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 10/3/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] - 5/12/2011
Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] - 5/12/2011
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 10/17/2011
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 7/7/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] - 7/26/2011
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 10/31/2011
Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] - 9/23/2011
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] - 11/7/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 5/12/2011
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] - 6/30/2011
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] - 7/7/2011
Sen Vitter, David [LA] - 11/7/2011
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 5/12/2011

UPDATE: Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Roy Blount (R-MO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have all removed their co-sponsorship from this bill today
"I'm withdrawing my co-sponsorship for the Protect IP Act," said Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

Sen. John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, "will be withdrawing his name as a co-sponsor" of Protect IP, a spokesman told CNET today. Fellow Protect IP co-sponsor Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, said today that he wants "more time to re-examine the legislation before going to a vote" and has asked staff for a detailed briefing, a spokesman said.

And Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who has long been a close ally of Hollywood on copyright and is up for re-election this year, said on Twitter that "I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my co-sponsorship of the bill." Hatch's volte face is notable because of his enthusiasm for similar measures in the past: once proposed that copyright holders should be allowed to remotely destroy the computers of music pirates and tried to outlaw peer-to-peer networks through his Induce Act.
 UPDATE II: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Tweeted this evening that she was removing her co-sponsorship of the bill according to Rollcall.

UPDATE III: Ars Technica is reporting that 7 of the original co-sponsors have removed their names from the bill and are actively against it. I have crossed those 7 off the List of Shame. They did this in response to the swell of opposition to PIPA.

One of my senators, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), still seems to be more dependent on Hollywood money than the voters of North Carolina. 2014 cannot get here soon enough.

UPDATE IV: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who is listed as one of the co-sponsors of this bill released this yesterday. I need to check if he is still listed as a co-sponsor.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley released the following statement regarding the Senate’s Protect IP Act.

“It’s critical we protect the intellectual property rights of our businesses and fight online infringement, but at the same time, we can’t do harm to the internet, the Constitution, or the ability of businesses to grow and innovate. Internet piracy is illegal, and we need to find a way that works for all sides. The current Protect IP Act needs more due diligence, analysis, and substantial changes. As it stands right now, I can’t support the bill moving forward next week.”

The List Of Shame

With many websites going black to day to protest HR 3261 - the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 - I thought it a good idea to list its cosponsors. Or as I prefer to call it, the list of shame. Heading the list would, of course, be its sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] - 11/3/2011
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 12/7/2011
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] - 11/14/2011
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] - 11/3/2011
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 10/26/2011
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] - 10/26/2011
Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] - 10/26/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] - 11/3/2011
Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] - 10/26/2011
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] - 11/30/2011
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 10/26/2011
Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] - 12/12/2011
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-19] - 10/26/2011
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] - 10/26/2011
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] - 10/26/2011
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] - 10/26/2011
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 11/30/2011
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] - 11/3/2011
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 11/30/2011
Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] - 11/14/2011
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] - 11/3/2011
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] - 11/3/2011
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] - 11/14/2011
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] - 10/26/2011
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] - 11/14/2011
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] - 10/26/2011
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 12/7/2011
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] - 10/26/2011
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 11/3/2011
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] - 11/3/2011

Kudos to Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) who was a co-sponsor but withdrew his support of the bill yesterday.

What dismays me is seeing some good Second Amendment supporters on this list such as Steve Scalise of Louisiana. It doesn't surprise me to see a Mel Watt, a Peter King, and especially a Debbie Wasserman Schultz on this list as they don't give a big rat's ass for our rights anyway.

UPDATE: Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) has removed his name as a co-sponsor of the bill. From TechDirt. He, like Ben Quayle, has heard the message loud and clear. I have crossed his name off the list of shame.

2012 SHOT Show - Downrange TV, First Day Report

Michael Bane has posted a video on his impressions of the first day of the 2012 SHOT Show. He calls it the "Year of the .22LR" with everything from a M-1 Carbine by Chiappa to the Ruger SR22 to a .22LR version of the Sturmgewehr 44.

You can see it here.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 1, Gunblast.com

Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com shows some of the items he looked at in the first day of the SHOT Show. One that caught my eye in this video is the Micro Kimber that shots .45ACP but looks to be the size of a Sig P238/Colt Mustang.

Go here for a series of still photos of various firearms taken by the Quinns.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pastor Kenn Introduces SAR Arms

SAR Arms USA is the US arm of Turkish firearms manufacturer SAR Arms International (SARSILMAZ). They are the owners of Bernadelli and are major suppliers to the Turkish Army.

Kenn has an interview with them at the SHOT Show.

2012 SHOT Show - Day 1, Arfcom Style

The guys at AR15.com are at the SHOT Show are highlighting some interesting AR and tactical stuff. I am highlighting the ones that caught my eye.

From LaRue Tactical:

From Samson Manufacturing, new rails and new back up iron sights:

Mission First Tactical, shows their very lightweight buttstocks. Depending on the price, I'd be very interested in this one.

Bloomberg's Nannystate Goes High Tech

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned just posted on a potential new technology being tested in New York City that would detect a weapon on a person at a distance. It is a scanner that can be mounted on a police car or in a stationary location which measures energy radiating from a person. They are looking for anything that would block it.

The NY Civil Liberties Union is not so sure it isn't an invasion of your rights with which I agree. However, bear in mind that this is Mayor Bloomberg's New York. As Sebastian notes, "Bloomberg has never been remarkably concerned about American liberties, however, so it doesn’t surprise me this is coming out of New York."

The video below from CBS New York concludes with a comment from a guy who says, "Who cares?" Maybe he'll start to care when he gets flung up against a wall by a cop just because he is carrying an aluminum wallet (as Seen on TV!)

UPDATE: The New York Daily News has a report on this as well. I can foresee gangs sending out decoys with a piece of metal in the shape of a gun to lure the cops away from the scene of a crime.

Outdoor Life At Media Day - Ruger American Rifle

John Snow, Shooting Editor of Outdoor Life magazine, really likes the Ruger American rifle. He says the design and handling of the rifle show it was designed by hunters for hunters.

What is most interesting to me about this video is that it was the first time I really got to see the bedding system used by Ruger. It looks like it does a good job of mating the action to the stock.

For The Magpul Fanboys - Magpod

From what I understand, Magpul  Mag-Pod USA released the Magpod floor plate at the SHOT Show. It is a floorplate for their PMags that fills in the curved void between the bottom of the magazine and a flat surface. The Magpod serves, as the name would imply, as a pod to steady your AR.

It looks like a nice little invention that was just waiting to be discovered. The only thing I wonder about is whether resting the rifle on its magazine could cause some misfeeds. This may be a non-issue and one that Magpul examined and then discarded as irrelevant.

UPDATE: According to Rob Curtis at MilitaryTime's GearScout blog, he was concerned about the same thing.
I was surprised that shooting from the mag had no effect on feeding/cycling on either AR used during the evaluation. The first rifle was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 VTAC and the second, a Mega Arms lower with a Daniel Defense 16” upper. Both cycled flawlessly with the MagPod. I was so determined to cause a malf, that I sat on the range dumping rounds ‘till my right thumb was sore from loading and my left hand was sweating from the smoking barrels.
I guess that answers my question - it doesn't cause misfeeds. Read his full review of it at the link above.

I thought this floorplate was from Magpul itself as it was designed to work with their PMag. That is incorrect. It is from the same company that makes Multitasker Tools. They are out of Marietta, Georgia according to their Facebook page.