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Archive for August 2011

Another Student’s Adventure…

Then, from work, was another shooting student I’ll call Traci.  Traci was a tall, modelesque young woman, who unfortunately had gained serious weight after her teen modeling years.  Now in early 30′s, she was looking to better protect herself.  And, she was referred to me by another work shooting student.
Like me, she lived in an older, ‘not-so-nice’ part of town, just off a main thoroughfare.  Her neighborhood was just a block away from a bar.  And her rented house faced an alley, not an actual street.  A recipe for problems, if I ever saw one.  She had been looking to move.
I trained her in the basics, introducing her first to .38, then to the 9mm, then the .357 and .45.  Most of my students historically, took to the .45.  I suspect this was because it was what I carried, had an affinity for, and leaned toward in the instruction about calibers, stopping power, and Col. Cooper’s teachings.
We’d also done a little unarmed training.
Then, she told me she saw ‘the gun of her dreams’ in a pawn shop, and that was what she was going to buy and carry.  A Smith & Wesson Combat Magnum .357, blue, 2 1/2 barrel!
She’d shot my Model 65, but I’d never dreamed she was leaning toward a revolver.  A .357 revolver snubbie, at that!
Like some students, she liked the blast and flash.  Literally!
She acquired the revolver, and we shot it a few times for familiarization.  She named it her “Little Buddy”.
Some months later, she told me the story of an encounter she had experienced.
She left her house one night, walking in to the dark alley.  Dressed to the nines, evening gown, tiny purse (containing ‘Little Buddy’ and not much else) and stiletto heels.

Just as she got into the alley, a male assailant grabbed her from behind.
We keep hearing we revert to our training in times of stress.
She screamed, stepped backward, placing all her somewhat significant weight with her stiletto heel on the man’s instep.  He released his bear hug, yelled, and fell backward.  She stepped forward, spun around, and cleared her Smith from the purse.  She was now in full-Weaver stance presentation.  I’m certain, even in the blackness, she appeared quite formidable.  The assailant scrambled off, limping hurriedly away.
I asked if she called the PD.  She said no, as she didn’t have much of a description of the bad guy (except the limp) as it was quite dark.  And, she’d not been carrying legally, anyway – no permit, yet.
She did move shortly after.
Always have a gun.  Or at least, a stiletto.

h/t ‘Traci’

A Drive-In Theater Memory

I love movies.  Some of my fondest memories growing up were surrounding movies and TV.  I’m certain much of that was because I got to lose myself in the story or the action, away from my white bread, depressing life.
And, at some age, going to the movies with your PARENTS?  Please!  That’s for little children.
One time, my Dad and I were, as he called it, “batching it.”  I don’t remember exactly where she was, but I think my stepmother was visiting her brother for a couple days.  And, I was a teenager, and wanting to do anything but hang out with my Dad.
“Let’s go to the movies, tonight.”,  he announced.  (This was during the Summer.)
“Oh, cripes”, I thought.  Actually, I probably thought some stronger oath, something I wasn’t allowed to even whisper.
We finished whatever forgettable dinner we were having, and off to the movies.
And, my Dad headed for a drive-in theater, on South Central Avenue!  (I know it’s no longer there, but, if I were to go there in daytime, now – instead of the late 60′s – I’d be armed and with armed friends).
Times have changed.
And the marquis read:  THE DIRTY DOZEN / KELLY’S HEROES
Now, I don’t know if my Dad thought I needed some testosterone, or just thought this was a good ‘boy’s night out’ for a teen and his father, but, I was impressed!
And what fun we had!
Nazis getting killed, stuff being blown up, hijinks against the brass, what was not to like?
AND, the snack bar!
I remember another time seeing BIG JAKE / something forgettable.  I always liked John Wayne.
In retrospect, even though we did other things together, like fishing, I think he figured out watching him drink too much beer and fish didn’t do much for me.
I don’t have that many positive childhood memories.  This was a good one, however.

The Beretta Jetfire

Back in April, I did a post entitled “Tiny Guns, the Talismans”, and wrote about my Dad’s Colt Vest Pocket .25, versus my Keltec .32.
“A nice thing to have, if you don’t have a gun.”, someone once said.
They say confession is good for the soul.  I must confess, I had another mouse gun.

A Beretta 950 ‘Jetfire’, .25 ACP.
One of my good friends gifted me with one!  Seriously, he had the best of intentions!
He knew I was known as ‘the gun guy’ at work, so carrying any service pistol was out of the realm of possibility.  After all, they thought my black nylon eyeglass case held a pistol, and had accused me of doing just that.
So, here I am with a well-made, half lightweight alloy, semiautomatic pistol.  Eminently concealable.
Eminently ineffective (?)
I’d preached for years the Cooper Doctrine with regard to pistols for self defense, stopping power, service pistols, blah, blah, blah.
And here I was with a .25.  (I didn’t own the Keltec .32, yet.)
Should I carry it?  And if so, how?
I chickened out (most of the time).  I was just too high-profile.  I attracted way too much attention from anti-gun management.
In retrospect, I should have purchased some Thunderwear and carried something significant.
Instead of leaving it with the insignificant at home in the safe.

Citizen, Heal Thyself

The Adaptive Curmudgeon (link) addresses the current crisis(es), and the American reaction to it.
“America has an ace in the hole called “gumption”. We do the impossible with impressive regularity! America is the land where poor people are fat. Where you can have just about anything you can afford.  Where you can do whatever seems like a good idea…regardless of what the neighbors (or Europe) thinks.  We had Rosie the Riveter in 1945 and we’re competing with societies that still keep their women in glad bags. Regardless of Obamacare, when a billionaire or foreign president gets mortally ill they hustle for the Mayo clinic. Our kids run lemonade stands because they want to. We invented monster trucks, microwaves, the blues, pop-rocks, and cowboys. American gun nuts bitch because cannons and machine guns are expensive. American motorheads build muscle cars that’ll peel the paint off a Chevy Volt. Here it’s legal and common to tell your boss to stuff it and seek a better job…”
Go.  Read.  Gain wisdom. 

h/t  Adaptive Curmudgeon

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

(The final line from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’)
I’ve never depended on the kindness of strangers.  I’m very fortunate to have a small circle of close friends who love and support me.
Of course, everyone has limits – we’re human.
I’ve been reading blogs for almost two years, and joined the blogosphere March 5 of this year, with no expectations.  None.
I’m astounded my blogmeter reads over 28,300 pageviews!
But, more than that, I’m astounded that persons I’ve never met, never spoken with on the telephone, never seen face-to-face, never had one conversation with, are willing to help.
The moral support is remarkable.
Times are tough for most folks.
My earlier whining blogpost was not begging.  It was just whining.  Guess I still am.
But, I am grateful for the friendships I am developing through this amazing medium.
Thank you all for being out there, and giving a damn.
Guffaw

Approaching a Crossroads (a whine)

(ascends whining soapbox)

I think I’m approaching a crossroads.  Or not.
My income has been cut, but my debts have not.
This week, I’m seeking the advice of ‘free’ attorneys regarding continuation of my mortgage, possible personal bankruptcy and other fun and exciting things.
I unintentionally racked up my cellular-telephone bill (something I NEVER DO, historically), so I’ve another debt.  Of course, my cell phone is linked to my computer access, so, if I’m unable to pay it, no phone and no computer.  Or blog.
I do have my health, such as it is.  The cancer has been successfully removed from my forehead, and it’s healing well.
I’m awaiting the bill from the doctor re: my 20% due.  I did get a bill yesterday from the ‘free’ clinic regarding the part Medicare doesn’t pay them.  It went on the stack with the other unpaid bills.
I’ve other medical ‘issues’.
Believe it or not, I’m NOT panicking.  NOT panicking is relatively new behavior for me, so, I’m a little uneasy how to view it.
I’m developing some kind of faith, which I understand must be coupled with action to reach fruition.  I guarantee each and everyone of you, if you have faith, it’s not your kind of faith.  Of course, action is sometimes difficult for me, being a procrastinator, and all.
And, I know together, both faith and action do not guarantee me the outcomes I want, necessarily.  But, in theory, I’ll get what I need.  Or not.
(descends whining soapbox)
We now return to your regular blog, which is already in progress…

h/t Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

Beretta 92 Inox

Part of my completionist thing, mentioned earlier, is, as I already owned a number of 1911-style pistols, obtaining a Beretta 92 would also be good, as they replaced the 1911 as the DoD pistol. (in 1985).  A set of past and current U.S. military service pistols would be cool!
The problem was it just seemed over-sized and clunky.  And blue.
Beretta partially solved my problem.  They manufactured the pistol variant with a stainless steel barrel and slide, the frame anodized to match.  And black rubber stocks.
While I questioned the United States adopting a foreign-made pistol (they did develop a plant in Maryland), and the NATO-friendly 9mm caliber, I figured what the Hell.
She was still over-sized and clunky.  And, not the easiest to conceal.  She shot okay, holding many rounds.
But, unlike a 1911, she just didn’t seem to have a soul.  (I feel the same about Glocks – okay pistol, no soul).
Therefore, she didn’t get much range time.  Mostly when a shooting student wanted to try the current military pistol, or a non-Glock 9mm.
I shot a Beretta 92D, once.  A friend was thinking of selling.  40 S&W – a veritable tack driver!  I should have bought her.
The 92, not so much.
Another safe queen.  Well, princess, maybe.
Not particularly missed.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (Golf Rule 16) follow-up Tres’

I returned to the dermatologist, this morning.
Prognosis - Good
Healing after the surgery three-and-half weeks ago is on schedule.
NO MORE PORCINE SKIN GRAFTS OR SUTURES!  (i.e. no more pigskin or stitches).
I am to keep it clean and bandaged and return for evaluation in another two weeks.
Again, my thanks for all the kind comments and emails.
Guffaw

Reloading

I’ve never had a passion for reloading.  When I first began shooting, Dave-the genius mechanic, and I spent many hours with a Lee Loader, pounding individual cartridges one-by-one into a Lee die.  After much labor, one cartridge was created.
Seemed like a monumental waste of time to me.
Later Dave (of course) acquired a single-stage press.  RCBS, I think.  For some reason, it ended up in my apartment.  It was this press I used to create the tiny firebombs custom manstopping .38 rounds (with .357 pressures!)
But, an hour to maybe crank out 50 rounds seemed too labor intense for me.

Then, I saw a Dillion XL650.  WOW!
And eventually scared up enough cash to get one.  Another friend helped me set up a reloading bench in my tiny off-bedroom computer/storage room.
And, I was off to the reloading races!  Kind-of.
The speed of a sequential press was/is astounding.  If one took one’s time, and checked one’s work, hundreds of rounds/hour were possible.
There were two problems, for me:
1.  Feeding the beast (components weren’t free) and,
2.  Trusting my own work.
I’d shot commercial reloads, other friends’ reloads, stranger’s reloads, never had a serious problem.  But, my own?  Ay, there’s the rub.
All this is moot, now, of course.  The same burglars that took the 800 pound vault, took the Dillon, too.
I never had a passion for it, anyway…

(BTW – The Dillon press is excellent.  If I ever get ahead again, I plan on acquiring another one.  PS – attn FTC, Dillon offered me nothing to say this-go away!)

h/t Dave

Officer Survival

If you follow this blog, you know, I never was a cop.  Not for lack of desire, trying or education.
So it really bugs me when I see *******’s Finest, whom my tax dollars helped train, acting as if they want to die.
Back when I was on supervisory patrol for B***’s Security (radiotelephone in the car, and everything!) my job was to inspect the various guard posts, looking to make certain our guards were awake, doing their jobs, and alert.  Or, at least present and awake.  Or present.
And, it was understood, if we saw a guard from another company, or the police, in some-kind of jeopardy, we were to assist.  It was just common courtesy, and everyone wasn’t suing everyone else, then.
(The four most common words in a police report, class?) While on routine patrol, I spotted a city patrol car, parked by the side of the street, downtown, at the edge of the Deuce (see a previous post).  There seemed to be an officer in the front seat, and his dome light was on.  His head was leaned forward.
This is not a nice area and it was 0230.  I drove passed him, and he didn’t move or look up.
I did a U-turn with my Ford Maverick (yikes!) and pulled up behind the patrol car, keeping a safe-distance back.
WTF?  Is this guy asleep, dead?  He’d not moved an inch.  I called the guard company answering service on the carphone, told them of my location, and that I was checking on this officer’s status.
I did a slow, cautious approach on the car, as if there was a felon crouching on the passenger side.  Hand on my revolver, flashlight at the ready.
And I shined my $30 Kel-lite in the driver’s window.
The cop looks up and says, “Hi!  I’m just finishing some reports.”
Suppressing my anger, I told him of my concerns.  He said he was okay (and didn’t even thank me!)
I returned to the car, called the office, and advised them all was ‘okay’.
I wasn’t!
Things have not improved in the subsequent 30-odd years.  I can’t tell you of the number of times I’ve seen officers doing car approaches, paying no attention to the occupant(s) of the car, or the surroundings.  And, even standing directly left of the driver, leaning both forearms on the roof!  Talk about asking for it! 
I know I’ll probably catch some flack from good officers proclaiming they would never do that.  I certainly hope not.
They’re my tax dollars, but it’s your ass!

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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