The Chicken Little Diaries: Close Encounters of the Neighborly Kind

 

Food Lion Shooting Range-1

Last time, I relayed the first part of the Chicken Little Diaries: A Shooting Range Zoning Saga. It was about a neighborhood and town council reaction to the proposed opening of an indoor shooting range. This week, the saga continues…

Every neighborhood has one of “those guys”, right?

Ours is a very left-leaning political activist. He’s so far left-leaning that he regularly tips over while walking in counter-clockwise circles. He’s so active that we frequently see large numbers of alfalfa-powered adult trikes parked in front of his house.

At first, I assumed these were gatherings of the Sedona, Arizona fan club. You know, when they plan the annual communal building of a happy-thought-powered rainbow bridge connecting the local Whole Foods wheat grass juice bar and Brown University. Later I found out he’s really Mini-Me-Obama, in charge of the local political regime. You would think these political gatherings are harmless, but I nearly wrecked my bike the other day, almost rear ending a departing Prius with a low battery charge.

Anyway, one day after circumventing what I believe to be the local Venezuelan consulate here in our neighborhood, I exited my car, in my driveway, only to be approached by the aforementioned guy.

I knew he wanted to talk about some activist thing, and I was feeling particularly spunky, so I decided to engage. I’ve been assured by my esteemed Editorship over at Bearing Arms that any bail and/or legal fees directly related to my work are fully covered. It’s mentioned right after the clause guaranteeing that I can sign up for Obamacare on my own nickel. It’s all right there in my Bearing Arms contract. Umm, I do have a contract, right?

In the interest of education, and to see if I can actually make any readers physically nauseous just from reading, I’m recreating the ensuing conversation here to the best of my recollection. I was speaking with my neighbor the whole time, but given all the sound bites he as throwing my way, sometimes I wasn’t quite sure who I was talking to…

My Tilting Neighbor: I’m glad I caught you. Do you have a minute to talk?

Me: Oh, really? [I already knew why he was there, but couldn’t resist engaging in the discussion from scratch. I’m sorry. But not really.] Do you want to borrow alfalfa sprouts? Or a cup of wheat grass juice? No disrespect, but as I keep trying to tell you, I don’t have any hippie food. I eat bacon, wrapped in bacon. Usually with a side order of bacon.

Hugo Chavez: No, not that. Some other neighbors are signing a petition, and I wanted to see if you would sign it too.

Me: Oh? A petition to tear down the golf driving range and replace it with a clay target course? Great! Where do I sign?

Wolf Blitzer: Well, no. They want to build a shooting range in the old Food Lion store.

Me: That’s even better! I’d love to have one there! That old Food Lion never had ammo in stock anyway. Where do I sign?

Ted Kennedy’s Suit: Well actually some people are concerned about it.

Me: What, that it won’t be big enough? That’s okay, I’m sure we’ll find a way to manage. We can share and all that.

Susan Sarandon: Well actually, we’re concerned about the kind of people that type of business could attract.

Me: Oh. You mean people like me, my wife, my son, and my daughter?

Rachel Maddow: Well… We’re also concerned about children. There’s a dance school and a karate studio in the same strip mall. Children will be walking all around there. And people will have guns going back and forth to the shooting range.

Me: Whew, that’s a relief. I’ve been worried about all those kids walking around unprotected forever. Glad to see they’ll be safer now.

Timothy O’Leary: Umm, but we don’t want all those guns near all those children!

Me: You do realize that we live in South Carolina and 119% of the homes in our neighborhood already have guns, right?

Cher: (Blank look)

Me: So if one of the homes in our neighborhood has children in it and that home doesn’t have guns, that means the houses to the left right and behind all have multiple guns. And their guns have guns. I’m just sayin’.

Sean Penn: But what about the crime? Having a gun range so close by will be a crime risk!

Me: More than the Food Lion? The one that had an armed robbery just before it was closed by the health department? [Uncontrollable laughter] I guarantee you that parking lot will be the safest one within 20 miles of here.

Bill Maher: I hope you’re right…

Me: When was the last time you heard about an armed robbery in a gun store?

Cindy Sheehan: [Crickets…] Well, I ‘m guessing you won’t be signing the petition then?

Me: I’m guessing you don’t want to go to the range with me later?

UPDATE: The Town Council vetoed the indoor range as it required a zoning variance. But we get the last laugh. The space is already zoned appropriately for a retail gun store (without a range) and construction begins soon with a grand opening 90 days later.

Wait for the shrieks of panic. Wait for it…

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

Students with Guns!

Some of the Team Clemson shooters just finishing a round.

Some of the Team Clemson shooters just finishing a round.

So, a history major, a veterinarian and a sorority girl walk into a gun range…

If there was a politician in the mix, this might sound like the beginning of a corny joke. Well, it’s not. And it’s actually been going on for 45 years now.

What is it? Welcome to the Collegiate Scholastic Clay Target Program. That’s right. Students with guns!

The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), is part of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF). And all of those are under the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) umbrella. Yes, there are a lot of acronyms at play, but if something has an acronym, it must be really important, right?

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation exists to encourage youth development through safe and responsible shooting sports. You may not know it, but students from elementary, junior high, high school and colleges all over the country join local teams, practice and compete on a regular basis. Right now, there are two primary shooting disciplines – shotgun and pistol. The Scholastic Clay Target Program is focused on a blend of clay target shooting sports including trap, skeet andsporting clays. The Scholastic Pistol Program gets students into speed shooting at steel plate targets. Sound familiar? Think Steel Challenge.

College students from across the country have recently completed practiced, traveled and competed in the highlight of the year – the Collegiate National Clay Target Championship. Run by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), this year’s event took place in San Antonio, TX March 26 through March 30. In case you’re wondering, Overall Team winners for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 were Lindenwood University, Fort Hays State University and Hillsdale College respectively.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

The Common Sense Language of Gun Control

Words have more power than just about anything. Words can get us married. Words can get us thrown out of bars. Words (in the form of outrageous lies) can get people elected to political office.

In fact, words have the power to change a discussion to a completely different topic.

As an example, look what words have done to the pro-choice / pro-life discussion. If an extraterrestrial NSA analyst was listening in on that debate, they might assume that the argument was over whether women had the right to buy Flintstone vitamins since the language speaks more to “healthcare” than abortion issues.

We don’t have to look far to see what kind of impact words have had on the gun debate.

Using our advanced underground particle literacy accelerator laboratory, located in an underground complex in the foothills of South Dakota, I’ve completed an analysis of words and their impact on the gun debate.

Impact of words on the gun debate

I think the phrase “commonsense gun laws” might be the most dangerous of them all. Using the phrase “common sense” is like a preemptive nuclear strike. When you throw out a term like “common sense” in the war of words, you’re immediately claiming the high ground and establishing your position as a given. It’s up to the opposing party to knock you off.

Heck, you can preface the most ridiculous of arguments with “common sense” to win virtually any debate.

“We should consider common sense solutions to America’s weight problem by doing things like banning large Cokes.”

“We should think about common sense solutions to fairness in reporting by putting Piers Morgan in charge of the FCC.”

“We should pursue common sense solutions to population control by deporting everyone who likes turnips.”

Part of the reason “common sense” is so dangerous is that it sounds so disarming.

So how do you go about fighting common sense? How do you overcome being the bad guy resisting the warm and fuzzy argument that’s based on common sense?

I like to use a technique developed here in the southern United States. It’s called the “bless your heart” attack.

Contrary to the point of this article the phrase “bless your heart” has absolutely nothing to do with words. It has everything to do with demeanor, facial expression and a voice dripping with high fructose corn syrup.

Delivered correctly, “bless your heart” delivers 25 megatons of nuclear insult to your target. (Tweet This)

Said to someone with the correct technique, it translates loosely as “you’re a tiresome lout and have the IQ of a can of spackle.”

So take a lesson. When someone tells you about commonsense gun laws, give your best politician smile and ask them to help you understand exactly how it represents ’common sense.

Example: “You’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t had my coffee yet today. How is that common sense exactly?”

One of two things will happen. First, if your opponent is simply parroting a talking point, you’ll expose them for doing so. Second, if your opponent has any knowledge of the subject matter at all, you have deflected the common sense preemptive strike and started an actual discussion, at which point victory is assured for you.

What’s the conclusion? Guns don’t kill people, words kill people! That’s just common sense.

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

Talking Brass: How To Lose Your Frustrations At The Range

Someone figured out how to exercise their demons - with a .30-06.

Someone figured out how to exercise their demons – with a .30-06.

I’m a reloading freak. Because what’s better than tactical cooking? (Tweet This)

Anyway, I shoot at an outdoor range where lot’s of folks bring boxes of shiny, new, factory ammunition to shoot – and then they leave the brass lying all over the place.

Is there a “clean up after yourself” rant forthcoming? Not on your life. I love these folks. New, once-fired, name brand brass?

I’ll pick up new range brass faster than Alec Baldwin complains about his fame and fortune.(Tweet This)

After testing a new scope the other day, a Weaver Tactical 1-5×24, I cleaned up. Big time. First rate rifle brass sells for about 50 cents apiece. Heck, I’ll spend hours picking up someone else’s brass. And thank them for it.

Anyway, I was tired, and jazzed about the new scope, so I wasn’t paying much attention. When I got home to clean and sort my new treasure trove, I noticed handwriting on some of the .30-06 cases. Hmmm.

On closer examination, someone found a safe and fun way to vent their frustrations. At 2,700 feet per second.

And just what was this anonymous individual concerned about? From the ones I could still read, here’s the list of aggravations:

  • F— You _____.” Sorry, the last word was illegible. But this person sent some serious anger down range.
  • New slang” But no mention of Justin Bieber, which I found strange.
  • Something about “evil money.” Perhaps this person found the recent government stimulus programs lacking?
  • People who treat vets like shit
  • Kids that drive $60,000 cars
  • Dad’s B.S. – Not my problem!
  • Who I was
  • England

I kid you not. England.

If you’re a board-certified psychiatrist, we’d love a preliminary analysis. Sorry, but we can only pay for your services in used range brass.

Top 10 Reasons SHOT Show Is Awesome

The range portion of SHOT Show is equally epic. What you see here is about 10% of Media Day at the Range.

The range portion of SHOT Show is equally epic. What you see here is about 10% of Media Day at the Range.

SHOT Show is an annual pilgrimage of fun, friends, work, pain, exhaustion, more work, more fun and certainly a lot more pain.

It’s infinite, seemingly boundless and more crowded than a buy one get one free bordello, but you still manage to frequently run into people you know among the 68,000 attendees.

I love it.

I got to thinking, which is always dangerous, about why it’s my favorite event of the year and came up with this list…

Where else but SHOT Show is a tactical raptor not even remotely out of place?

Where else but SHOT Show is a tactical raptor not even remotely out of place?

1. The people. There’s always a low-end, like the guy walking around with a t-shirt that said “Vagitarian.” Fortunately, the true class acts use most of the oxygen in the Sands Convention Center. Like this year’s Energizer Bunny, Pro Shooter Todd Jarrett. He was everywhere, all the time. Must be cloned… And this years Best Disposition Award goes to Team Smith & Wesson’s Julie Golob. I know she had an exhausting schedule, but you couldn’t catch her without a glowing smile. Theodoric of Nooge spottings are always a popular pastime and the rocker didn’t disappoint this year – he was all over, gun groupies in tow. Architect of the LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act, NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre made time for some floor walking. But the very best part is catching up with industry friends – especially the ones you haven’t met yet.

2. Truth in reporting. It’s a refreshing break from the mainstream media. I looked and looked, but to no avail – Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews were nowhere to be found. Also, you’re too busy to turn on a TV, so you get a much-needed break from the state network propaganda political machine. Oh, and the press room? I did some quick math and estimated that the average reporter there owns more firearms than pairs of socks. My kind of company for sure.

3. Gun Control Debate. The only gun control debate was whether you can fit one or two fingers on the new Beretta Pico without the magazine extension.

4. New inventions! While new products from established companies are well publicized, SHOT Show is where you find the startups with a new idea. For example, this year, I ran across LabRadar. They offer a portable radar kit to track bullet velocity. Brilliant. Or perhaps Adaptive Tactical – makers of the Sidewinder Venom drum magazine kit for Mossberg pump shotguns. Can you say home defense innovation?

A low-rider mobile armory? Why not?

A low-rider mobile armory? Why not?

5. I spy. If you looked really, really carefully, you just might spot tiny stickers of flying, ummm, body parts, placed strategically by Top Shot’s Chris Cerino.

6. Dinner. Yes, there are lot’s of great dining opportunities in Vegas, but I’m talking about the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner. I started doing this a couple of years ago and now it’s a “must do” on our schedule. It’s a great opportunity to dine and schmooze with a couple thousand of your best friends. And the entertainment rocks. This year, it was the magic duo of Penn & Teller who pleased the crowd with a dose of humor and their always impressive magic bullets trick. They must know their audience!

7. Perspective. The announcement of a drum magazine for pump shotguns (Adaptive Tactical) was perceived as a good idea, not the end of all life on planet earth, as might be reported by MSNBC.

An honorable mention addition to the list might be the spontaneous happy hours that break out at many booths every afternoon, like this Crimson Trace 20th Anniversary celebration.

An honorable mention addition to the list might be the spontaneous happy hours that break out at many booths every afternoon, like this Crimson Trace 20th Anniversary celebration.

8. Wagyu beef. Wolfgang Puck had the foresight to open a Cut restaurant in the hallway between my hotel room and the show floor. Can you say steak butter? I don’t mean butter-flavored steak, I mean a steak with the consistency and flavor of warm butter. Thanks for lightening my wallet, Wolfgang. #SteakGasm

9. Contagion. It’s the most fun way there is to get the cold or flu. Picking up the same guns as 67,999 other people is a surefire way to do your own live rendition of the movie Outbreak.

10. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) crew. These folks kill it. Every year. Having done far too many trade shows from the vendor side, I know exactly what it takes to organize and pull off an event of this magnitude. Yet you’d be hard pressed to find an NSSF staffer not wearing a big grin and looking to help you find your way. Not only is SHOT Show the place for vendors and gun retailers to meet and do business for the coming year, it generates “profits” for the NSSF that are turned around into productive programs like Project ChildSafe. Gotta love it. Thank you NSSF!

P.S. – If you’d like to check out more photos of SHOT Show 2014, just check out our Facebook SHOT Show album. We’re also adding pictures to our Pinterest SHOT Show board.

Flexible Design Improvements From Blade-Tech: The New Ambi Eclipse Holster

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 2

This Blade-Tech Ambi Eclipse is shown with an inside the waistband clip on one side and an outside the waistband on the other just for illustration.

New for 2014 is a major improvement to Blade-Tech’s popular Eclipse pancake style holster. The previous design was molded specific to right to left hand use with a curve in the pancake to fit around the body. The new model features an ambidextrous holster pouch. Instead of molding the holster pocket itself to fit the curve, it’s identical on both sides of the gun pocket and features a straight vertical cant angle.

To achieve a curved fit to the body, the clip mounts are shaped with a curve. Swap or flip them to get a curve appropriate to right or left side mount.

The holster comes with two sets of clips – one for outside the waistband mount and the other for inside the waistband. The IWB clips are now molded from really, really, really sturdy kydex. This accomplishes two things. First, it won’t scratch up your nice belt as will metal clips. Second, the kydex does not lose its spring over time.

The new design simplifies things for the retail buyer, as you just pick out the model appropriate to your gun, without working about IWB, OWB or which side you’ll carry it on. For dealers, it’s a really big deal. They can now stock one SKU rather than four which should allow them to stock more variety.

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 1

The clips themselves are contoured to provide the body wrap for a variety of her bangles and flipping them upside down makes it work for right or left-handed users

New “Bolo” Connected Projectiles From Advanced Ballistic Concepts

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

On the more radical news front, I was able to see the new connected projectiles cartridge from Advanced Ballistic Concepts. Think of these as bullet bolos. You know, those primitive weapons where you connect three rocks or other heavy objects with string. As you spin and throw the bolo, the rocks on the end spread out to help ensure a hit on target. With real bolos, there is also the ensnarement factor as the whole mess wraps around whatever it hits.

Like a bolo, these projectiles leave the barrel as three distinct projectiles. BUT, they’re attached to each other with thin cord strong enough to hold the projectiles in a 24 inch pattern. With a rifled shotgun barrel, the whole bolo-contraption actually spins as it flies.

The intended use is interior home defense as effective range is dramatically reduced by wind resistance of the corded projectiles. The manufacturer claims this is a design feature to limit over-penetration risk in home defense scenarios.

One of the key selling points, as stated by the manufacturer, is the ability to hit your target with less than perfect shots. The other benefit claimed by Advanced Ballistic Concepts is multiple hits per shot. The center .45 caliber slug hits center to point of aim while one or more bolo “stones” hit elsewhere.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

The company indicates penetration in the 5 inch territory when fired into ballistic gel. What’s less clear is performance after passing through heavy clothing. We’ll need to test that out more thoroughly to see what really happens when this load hits things.

Whatever the outcome, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these. That would be messy for sure.

We’ll get it into our testing schedule and see what happens.

New Delta Revolver Grips From Ergo

Ergo Delta Grip

The new Ergo Delta revolver grip

The right grips don’t only improve comfort – they can make you a better shooter.

Ergo has developed a new revolver grip replacement – the Delta – and it provides a whole new feel for revolver shooters.

It’s somewhat, umm, interesting looking. Kind of like a large upside down triangle – hence the name Delta.

It’s a one piece rubber-ish assembly to help reduce felt recoil. More importantly, , it’s size and shape really fill your hand. Remember those revolver front strap finger extensions? It’s a little like that, but it does more. The Delta also angles your hand somewhat forward. For me, it totally changes the way a revolver points. In my case, I tend to naturally point a revolver high. With the Ergo Delta, I could raise the gun with my eyes closed and find I was right on target.

Interesting stuff for a snobby revolver. It’s scheduled to ship in March.

Most Elegant Award, SHOT Show: Cabot Guns

Classy and absolutely gorgeous. These displayed on rotating pedestals…

20140115-071343.jpg

20140115-071355.jpg

Fun Gun Of The Day: Walther PPQ .22LR With Threaded Barrel

Want a sweet shooting .22 that’s silencer ready?

Look at this.

20140113-131021.jpg

Legal Disclosures about articles on My Gun Culture