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Dear Friends, Part Three

Back when I was newly married (I’m now long divorced), my then wife was interested in finding ‘couples friends’.  Basically, other couples we could hang with and share interests with.  Socialize.

Instead of the more common I had my friends – she had hers.

Thankfully, this post is NOT about that!

I am most fortunate to have a small cadre of good friends.  Some of whom happen to be couples.  I am not currently part of a couple (my landlord being an ex gf is the closest I get)  😦

But recently, two of my ‘couples friends’ have come to my aid and comfort!

After my last scheduled medical procedure, wherein I was advised at the last minute I would owe a substantial co-pay up front, and I had to reschedule for lack of funds, one of the couples came through with the necessary amount!  (Customer Service, Part Cinco)

I finally go in for that procedure this morningOut-for-the-count @ 1130.  Thank you, Dear Friends!
(Hopefully, I’ll be back in my blogging chair again tomorrow…)

Last week, yet another couples friend advised me they were going shooting at an air-conditioned indoor range.  And asked me if I would like to accompany them!

Being of limited resources, I rarely get to go shooting, anymore.  I jumped at the opportunity.

We got to go yesterday to C2!  A very nice range, staffed by young, pretty people.  And I was just required to bring my eyes & ears and whatever firearm.  (I also found some ammo, although they kindly offered to share theirs!)  Thank you, Dear Friends!

Often, I remind you to hold your family and friends close, and tell them you love them, because one never knows…

I’m taking my own advice, today, just in case something happens.

I Love You Guys!

Droning On Further

(…further on?)

I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.

One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.

Via a drone strike in a foreign land.

(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.  I disagree.  The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy.  Hardly The Clintons!)

ANYWAY…

The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! 🙂 )

Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?

I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)

Two drones and The Hopper in one evening?  Perhaps it’s just coincidental?  Showing us how far technology has advanced?

Perhaps.

Drone Biggest

Paper or Plastic? (or Glass?)

bottlesI’ve been shooting, as an adult, since 1974.  And, I’ve made some mistakes, like occasionally failing to follow The Four Rules (see the sidebar).  Those stories have been recounted here.  Fortunately, no serious injuries have resulted.  I have learned from my mistakes.

But there are other errors-in-judgement in which I’ve not participated, fortunately.  And I keep seeing them on TV Shows.  Not old movies like The Shootist, but modern television, like Top Shot and Sons Of Guns.

PEOPLE SHOOTING GLASS IN NATURE

Why would anyone want to spoil a natural environment using bottles or other glass objects as targets?  Plastic milk jugs, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard targets can all be policed up and taken away with us, leaving the desert (forest, etc.) relatively unspoiled.

I think it was Col. Cooper who said shooting glass leaves behind a legacy spoiling the shooting area for many generations.  And some folks with whom I’ve shot say it’s their DUTY to leave the area nicer than when they started!

Let’s police the area, pick up our targets and pick up our brass, people.

It’s for the children!  🙂

Humanoid Targets

Sickening, disgusting, inappropriate…don’t pick one...pick them all!

Weasel Zippers links to a Raw Story story reporting a Virginia Beach, Virginia company selling paper likenesses of Trayvon Martin for target practice.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Martin was the black guy apparently shot by the Latino guy Zimmerman in Florida that has inflamed racial hatred and intense debate regarding self-defense, ‘stand-your-ground laws’ and weapon possession nationwide.  Zimmerman is out on bond awaiting trial.  Martin is deceased.
I have a personal thing about using likenesses of humans not proven evil as target models.
There used to be a gun store in Scottsdale that gave out free targets to lookee-loos and customers, alike.  I had no problem with a cartoon likeness of a generic terrorist, or Hitler, or Stalin.  I did (and do) have a problem with Sarah Brady and certain then live U.S. Senators being lampooned as target models, though.  And I explained my feelings to the proprietor in no uncertain terms each time they tried to foist one upon me.
Not only is it not right, it’s in poor taste, and is just the kind of thing the anti-rights folks point to as who we are.

And, speaking for myself, I am NOT that kind of person.

As a fan of the First Amendment, the target manufacturer has all the right to make his product.  And we, as free consumers, have the right not to buy them.

h/t ZIP

Target Stands on the cheap

When I first began shooting, back in the 70’s, the last thing that occurred to me was what media to shoot (insert joke here).
What kind of target?
We already knew that it was illegal (as well as impolite) to shoot cacti, and while we spent many hours shooting soda and beer cans, we wanted something more challenging.
We did, along the way, find some previously shot-up car carcasses, along with dead kitchen appliances (the desert, while beautiful, seems to be a never-ending repository of people’s junk).  I remember doing ammunition penetration tests on a car door – probably not very valid as the door had had many tests from previous shooters.
And old icebox-style refrigerator, half way up the side of a mountain (dropped from a helicopter?) provided some interesting practice.  The rifle round would enter, but not exit.  You could hear the round ricochet back-and-forth inside!
Of course, some of this free target media was dangerous to shoot, and continuing to pummel it with ammo polluted the environment even more.  My friends and I have spent time atoning for our sins picking up trash for proper disposal apre-shooting.  And we never shot glass bottles.

Finally, some folks began to manufacture and sell free-standing targets.  Of course, most were heavy steel, and expensive.  I had been using IPSC cardboard silhouettes for some time, but had no way to keep them vertical and secure.
Suddenly it hit me…PVC pipe!
I visited Home Depot and purchased a few lengths of one inch pipe, along with some connectors, and a pipe cutter.  And began measuring and assembling target stands for the IPSC targets.
Then, some masking tape and off to the desert we went!  I think I was out less than $10.00!
A rousing success!  The stands were roughly 3 1/2 feet tall and 16 inches wide, with elbowed feet to the rear on which one could place sand or rocks for stability.  Then hang the targets via masking tape to the top crosspiece, and viola’!  With overlaps for shoot/no-shoot ‘hostage’ scenarios!.
And, if you accidentally clipped an upright, no problem.  Some more paper tape, or, if necessary, a new upright could be fashioned ASAP.  And light weight for transport!
Friend Bob H. and I went shooting, and he modified my design – taller, closer to human height.  THEN, he put old t-shirts on them – no more constant taping; wire hangers to hang the cardboard targets.
Good stuff!
Try it, you’ll like it.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…