Friday, June 26, 2009

Bowling Night Report for 6/25/09

The steel popper targets didn't give me any real trouble this week. Everything else went poorly as I could not keep my hands steady enough to put all my shots in the A-Zone. I did okay, but not good enough for where I ought to be by now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I decided not to go to the shooting match tonight. It's just a little on the warm side at the range there. I might go to the gun club this weekend, though, as I still haven't taken the AR out this year. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Membership Has Its Privileges and Its Responsibilities

So, my local gun club (the Abe Lincoln Gun Club on Springfield's wonderful far west side) had its annual work day today. I staked out a spot on the 25-yard range taking down the old wire used for hanging targets and wow, that was a pain. Whoever put the posts that held the wire together decided to ensure it wouldn't go anywhere through the use of guy line anchors screwed into the ground. Both anchors were around five feet long each. I'm glad I was able to borrow a prybar for that job. I slipped the bar into the eye of the anchor and unscrewed it that way. That's some tedious stuff right there.

The wires got an interesting replacement thanks to a visit by the club president's recent visit to the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area shooting range. We now have movable wooden target frames to set into posts at 7, 15, and 25 yards at the outdoor range. Set your target at the appropriate range and height (lower for bench rest shooters, higher for standing shooters) and start practicing. The frame is too big for an IPSC/USPSA target to be attached to the frame itself, so you'll have to attach it to a larger cardboard backer if you used that specific frame pattern. I don't even think the NRA "tombstone" targets for their Action Pistol event would fit without a backer. Regardless, it'll be nice to train outside at 7 yards with my snubnose revolver and be able to use regular .357 Magnum rounds instead of just using .38 Special all the time. .38 Special is good, but it's also good to practice with full-house stuff, too. You never know what you'll have to work with, after all. I think there's about a dozen or so of the frames built at the moment, so everyone will have to go easy on them. At least, I hope they will.

The best part of the work day was hearing all of the hunters go dead silent as soon as a wild turkey strutted its way from behind the main berm of the 25/50/100 yard ranges. The work day is very good for meeting a lot of the folks in the club that you don't always see when you're out there. We had a huge turnout, too, probably around 125 to 150 members. That's always a good thing. It sounds like there was a suggestion to host an Appleseed shooting clinic in the future. I'd love to hold one at the club, but the parking wouldn't just be tricky, it'd be nearly impossible. We didn't have enough parking for everyone who showed up today, so unless that can get fixed we might not be able to do that. I'll still support one if it comes through, though. Teaching people how to shoot is teaching them a part of American history and heritage.

Also, always carry your boonie hat with you. It'll keep the sun off your ears. Even with the cloud cover we got today I'm pretty sure I'll have some sunburn on my arms. It wasn't too bad for four hours of work.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bowling Night Report 6/11/09

For once the tiny steel plate made an appearance and I was able to drop it on the first or second shot. It's a six-inch plate that sits a foot off the ground at 25 feet away. It's also a pain in the butt to hit quickly. My aim was just off all night, too. I wasn't getting my usual good sight picture. That just means more practice, then.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"BRB, Saving The Free World"

If Twitter had been around during Operation Overlord, some wag in a landing craft would likely have written that.

Other than that, there's not much I can say about today that others haven't already said better. So, I'll go with a little joke instead and many thanks for saving people who helped me to grow up in a free and prosperous America.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bowling Night Report 6/4/09

It was another deceptively simple classifier tonight. Oh well. 12 shots total on three targets, and I manage to get one flyer that completely misses on the second closest target. After the running the stage twice, I felt like I should have been running more or something. You usually don't run on classifier nights as you're working on speed as much as accuracy. I did like the scenario as it's pretty common: stopping an armed robbery at a mini-mart from behind the counter. I didn't hit any of the hostage no-shoot targets, so at least my paying customers survived.

Working at a stop-n-rob in college made me realize two things: it's better to be armed just in case things go south in a hurry, and few retail jobs are worse than liquor store jobs.
Twenty Years Later

There was much promise of the idea of an open and honest government in China, maybe even a peaceful transition to a multiparty democracy like the ones that swept Eastern Europe. I don't remember everyone involved in using the military to crash the party atmosphere of the rally, but the name Jiang Zemin rings clear as one of the many men who decided that the shooting should start. Who was this Jiang fellow? Just the President of China. Maybe not a political mover and shaker behind the scenes like Deng Xiaoping was until his death, but Jiang was still one of the people who would need to sign off on orders like that.

Look at the above. One man stopping tanks by appealing to another man's humanity. Once he was removed by the People's Armed Police, though, the tanks rolled through. Remember this as well. The People's Liberation Army units in the Beijing Military District refused to take part. The refrain to a patriotic song in China says "The People Love The Army and The Army Loves The People." Many of the army units refused to back up the Beijing Police Force or the People's Armed Police. So, the government's crisis managers came up with an idea: bring in outsiders from other military districts who don't necessarily like the people in Beijing. They trucked in soldiers from rural provinces like Gansu to do the work the Beijing soldiers wouldn't.

Despite what pro-disarmament people might say, the Second Amendment exists to ensure that situations like this don't happen here. It exists to ensure that the people are armed well enough to make power-grabbers think twice before trying to use American troops against their own people. Combine that with a professional class of officers and non-commissioned officers whose jobs are not political prizes for party loyalty, and you can see that there are still a few checks on unlimited power. It starts with the Second Amendment, though. If that amendment is repealed, what gets repealed shortly afterward? The First? The Fourth or Fifth? I hope we never find out. The process of finding out will not be pleasant.