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BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Five Of The Best Ban State Products

(from TFB, in part)

But, but, I live in the People’s Republic of___________ (fill in the blank) and cannot get________.  (fill in the blank)

Perhaps not, but here’s some possible alternatives!

Credit: Phase 5 Weapon Systems

It is easy for those of us who live in states without “assault weapon” ban (or worse) restrictions to thumb our nose at shooters in California, New York and New Jersey. Some of the compliant builds I have seen would make any respectable shooter want to cry. But how does the saying go: “walk a mile in a man’s shoes”? Having lived in enemy territory for a decade, I can sympathize with our range-loving brothers and sisters being held captive by ridiculous regulations.

Sure, I can see the comments section filling up now: “shall not be infringed”, “will not comply” or better yet  “F*** California”. It may seem simple to just brush off whole sections of the country as lost when you don’t know anyone who lives there. But, if you have family or shooting buddies in California or New York, you may actually start to sympathize with their plight and understand why they buy, build and use the guns and gear they do.

As a writer here at TFB, I probably haven’t done a great job at highlighting the important work being done by manufacturers catering to restricted-style products. So in an attempt to turn things around, I asked for help from the social media powerhouse #hashtagtical who works alongside organizations like The Calguns Foundation to promote responsible gun ownership in California. Of course, we steer clear from politics here, but any organization that promotes the safe and legal use of firearms obviously gets my support.

 

Now, “top 5” lists can be annoying and seem like click bait – you know, like the rags in the grocery line with headlines that read ‘41 ways to please your… Boss’. And we’ve reported on a few of these products before. However, I’d like to start with this story, take input from our readers, and move forward with additional products in the future. Have a suggestion? Leave a comment, send me an email or follow us on social media.

Behind Enemy Lines? Check These Out:

Mean Arms Mag Loader

Our new MA-Loader is a California compliant, 10-round bullet loading device that will allow you to safely and efficiently reload your fixed magazine without the need to break down the firearm. Simply place the MA-Loader into your AR-15’s ejector port and press the thumb-ring slider to quickly load or reload. It is that simple!**


The AR Mag Lock

AR MAGLOCK allows California AR-15 owners to comply with existing fixed magazine laws, thus avoiding Department of Justice registration. The AR MAGLOCK engages the magazine so it stays “fixed” in the firearm until the action is disassembled, complying with California SB 880 & AB 1135, and Department of Justice regulations. It is our reasonable belief the AR MAGLOCK complies with New York NY SAFE , Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and other states (and other local municipalities such as Cook County Illinois) detachable magazine laws based on our in depth analysis of these laws and regulations.


Strike Industries:

The Strike Industries Simple Featureless grip matches the contour of our popular Enhanced Pistol Grip, but allows for usage in feature restricted jurisdictions. The SFG requires no permanent modification to the receiver of your host system, and is constructed of durable reinforced polymer. As suggested by the name, the SFG a simple and affordable component for your featureless AR build.


Cross Armory Quick Pins

By removing your rear takedown pin and installing Cross Armory’s QUICK PINS you will enjoy improved convenience when breaking down your weapon. QUICK PINS allow for easy opening and servicing of your weapon with a simple pinch of your fingers. Closing and locking your receivers together is as easy a closing the two receivers together, QUICK PINS will automatically lock your receivers into place. QUICK PINS allow for the easiest access to your firing mechanism.


LWRCI CA Compliant Modifications

FROM MILES V.’s SHOT 2017 COVERAGE: LWRC’s answer to the new California compliance laws is a sort of spring operated plunger that deactivates the magazine release once the upper receiver is assembled onto the lower receiver. Field stripping the rifle and ‘popping the top’ allows the plunger to be released, and the magazine to be released naturally by pressing the magazine button. To facilitate the field strip, LWRC has extended the rear take down pin to include a sort of port that makes gripping it easier, but also allows for a piece of 550 cord or likewise material to be threaded through the port and creating a loop to pop the rear take down pin out. Unlike other companies that have a specific Cali-Legal rifle variant, LWRC has this as an option, wherein most of the companies models can be retrofitted with the plunging device and rear take down pin. Currently it is patent-pending, but it has been approved by the California DOJ.


Bonus: Franklin Armory DFM Magazines and Bolt Catch

Enemy

  • Magazine for use in restrictive jurisdictions such as California, Connecticut,
    and even New York State!
  • Easily Converts Any AR into a 10 Round, Fixed Magazine Design.
  • Requires Disassembly of the Action to Remove the Magazine.
  • No Permanent Alterations Required
  • Suitable for use with Rifles Featuring Banned Features.
  • California Compliant!
  • Connecticut Compliant!
  • New York Safe Act Compliant!
  • Limiting Tabs Prevent Release Through the Bottom of Magazine Well.
  • Can only be Removed from the Top when the Upper is Tilted out of the way!
  • Available as an Accessory or Installed in Brand New Franklin ArmoryTM Firearms.

YRMV, depending on how restrictive your State actually is.  Check with a lawyer before making such a purchase if you have any question as to it’s legality.

How these work-arounds meet with your individual State laws (N.Y., N.J.?) is up to you to research.

I am NOT a lawyer!

I am SO GLAD I live in the (relatively) Free State of Arizona!  Of course, I cannot afford anything, regardless.

(FTC – these gun and device companies gave me nothing, save free information. Go Away!)

A Cultural Shift

I’ve always owned a car.  At least, since I was a licensed driver.

First, a loaner from my parents, then a used car (bought with assistance from my parents).  Then, a succession of beaters (to which Dave-the-mechanic can attest!).

Finally, after the accident, I bought my dream car – a 1989 Isuzu Trooper! This was in 1995.  Most of my previous cars were at least 10 years old when purchased.  I just never had the money/credit to buy new.

When the Izuzu ‘gave up the ghost’ seven years later, I already had begun looking for a replacement.  The engine blew, and I needed a car.  I was still working, commuting, and one really needs a car to get around the Valley.

Credit, money, income limited my choices.  I ended up with a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. (This was 2002!)  She was NOT my first choice, but I did qualify for her.

Who knew she would last fifteen years?

The sad part is, now she is worth maybe $500, if I’m lucky.  She still runs (the engine is still powerful), but needs major work – rack and pinion leak, crankcase leak, a/c compressor, engine mounts and window regulators, and many other things.  I’ve been advised not to drive her unless it’s absolutely necessary.

And, as I now drive J’s car (a 2006 Honda Element, the a/c works!) it seems silly to insure two cars.  We rarely need both.

SO…I’m either selling or donating the car.

It will be the first time since 1970 (broken beater car downtime excluded) that I’ve not actually HAD a car.

I’m looking at one Internet site who claims to buy cars.  As well as Father Joe’s Villages charities and the Salvation Army.

And it makes me sad and a little scared.

I can no longer walk very far w/o pain.  And, what if J’s car goes South – then what?

To get the Olds road-worthy is a minimum $1000.  Seems silly on a $500 car, when a second car is available.

So she’s on the block.

Sigh.

 

 

Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!

 

“To SELL, Of Course!”

(from TFB, in part)

They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  No where does this seem to be more true than in the firearms industry.  Poorly thought of add-ons, holsters, ammunition design, etc.

I remember Col. Cooper being asked (with regard to the latest variant of some pistol, which certainly was not necessary), “Jeff, what’s it for?  To sell, of course!” was his reply.

I’m certain you can think of many others, as well as selections of the ‘good’ variety that didn’t get marketed properly and went away.

Such is the nature of business…

Memorable Movie Mistakes

I’ve not been ‘on a date’ in some time.  It’s simply a matter of logistics – I’ve no extraneous funds and my car is a beater with no air conditioning.

The fact that I don’t travel is any circles with available women has nothing to do with it!

😛

I was thinking this morning about a few of my more memorable dates in the distant past.  Some with fondness; some not-so-much.

I used to like to attend the cinema.  There were many first-run films each week, lots of theaters from which to choose, and who doesn’t like sitting in the dark with a young woman? (this was in my 20’s – before I had been married, and subsequently divorced).

Now, of course, there are fewer movies and movie houses.  And one may sit at home in one’s skivvies and watch videos until the cows come home, with beer, pizza, and (if one is so lucky) company.

AND, one may pause to go to the bathroom!

Times have changed.

ANYWAY, I remembered a couple of dates.  One was a later Hitchcock film.  I did (and DO love Alfred Hitchcock).  My date said she did as well.  Were post-date antics in the offing?

Sadly NO.  The film was Frenzy.  A film of a serial killer rapist, made in London.  I think it was the first time Hitch actually exposed breasts on film.  Following a violent rape and strangulation.  Hardly something to arouse a normal young woman to later romance.

Sigh.

Another time, a former girlfriend returned to town and looked me up.  We went out a few times, and I had hope of rekindling the romance.  But, it was not to be…

She had mentioned she liked Burt Reynolds.  There was a new film out with him in it.  I thought “Hey!  Maybe this will get things going again?”

Hardly.  The film was Deliverance.  You remember – dueling banjos, homosexual rape?

I just couldn’t get a break!

(as an aside, the consummate actor Ned Beatty was the rape victim here.  I’ve wondered about the audition…“Hey, pages 18 and 19 are missing?  Don’t worry about it, Ned.)

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Saturday 

First, get together with a group of friends for coffee and such, and listen to the the latest versions of their respective weeks.

On the way home, experience an odd internal pain while driving – particularly while turning the steering wheel.  Not vigorously, mind you, and with power steering.

Experience this three different times in the space of fifteen-or-so minutes.

Drive home and internally debate calling the RN nurse help line, offered by your insurance carrier.

Make the call, and experience a chain of health-related advertising while on hold. Disconnect the call and redial the main number, eventually being menu-prompted to a live nurse.

Discuss the specifics of the multiple events, including the depth, type of pain, duration and other symptoms experienced.

Receive the strong suggestion I visit either an E. R. close by, or an urgent care.

Soon. 

Ask roommate J. to drive you. She has recently been released to drive, but with her shoulder on the mend, I’ve insisted she not yet so do, until now.

J. begins experiencing her own symptoms she has had repeatedly for a couple of years, involving her heart and asthma. Decide to drive yourself the 1/8 mile to the Urgent Care, based on the fact an E. R.  is more distant, and costs more money.

The Urgent Care performs an EKG, says it ‘might’ be unusual, and recommends an immediate hospital intake for further evaluation. Drive home and ask J. to do the honors, just in case.

Arrive at the E. R..  J. ‘s breathing has again become labored, probably because of stress and the smoke in the air from the nearby desert and city fires.

They admit her first, for observation.

At length, get admitted, have blood taken, and another ekg done. And answer the same questions the same way to three different doctors, the same way you did at the urgent care.   And have another ultrasound of the still puffy leg.

Eventually get moved to a room. You are hungry and tired, and J. gets released on her good behavior.

Attempt to call family and friends via cell.  Apparently, this is verboten.  Text everyone and go on FB.  (Thank you for your support!)

Finally, get a doctor’s permission to eat.  Initially, as the lunchroom is now closed, they bring you a well-traveled turkey sandwich (I LOATHE turkey!)

Negotiate and end up with BBQ chicken and a baked potato!

Awaiting later blood work, to compare with the earlier, to see if any actual heart damage occurred. Get told you might have to stay overnight.

Get released twelve hours after the initial pain happened, not having any additional pain or symptoms, with the diagnosis ‘chest pain of a non-cardiac nature’! (IOW, they don’t know!) 

Received referrals for your regular doctor and a cardiologist, just because.

Ask J. to return to collect you.

Realize you are subject to the power of suggestion, as one of your friends had been discussing her heart attack last week in this morning’s coffee, with the subsequent placement of a stent.

Consider suicide (just kidding)…

LAZINESS

Borepatch recently posted regarding his dearth of posts.

Hardly.  I told him I wait for friends and quality!

I, too, have been remiss in my blogging duties.  Either in performing more than the minimum, or in leaving comments for my blogging brethren and sistren.

Turns out, there are reasons.

First, both my roomie and I have had recent health ‘issues’ and concerns.  She, a number of surgeries; me, a rash-of-indeterminate origin, a bad fall and a blood clot scare.

Second, my focus has been on trying to help keep us afloat while she misses work (and income).

Third, the ongoing household chores and maintenance – they never stop!  Dogs and cats to tend, trash to be taken out, groceries…

Two days ago, a leak from the upstairs shower became apparent, as water began coming through the ceiling!!  Do we have homeowner’s insurance?  Of course.  Can we afford the deductible?  NO.

And we have neither diagnostic nor physical plumbing ability…

The good news, is J. was released from her restrictive sling yesterday (following rotator cuff surgery).  Only eleven more weeks of physical therapy for her to follow!  And four more doctor’s appointments later this month.

My rash is largely gone (although I still itch, somewhat) and my bloated calf seems to be getting smaller.  I return Thursday for another follow-up with my doc.

So, Life keeps us busy.  And my focus has been less-than-perfect on the blog.

But, we will continue and prevail.

Peace.  Out.

 

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

Don’t Do Anything Rash!

I’m a generally ‘healthy’ guy.  Considering I survived premature birth, numerous childhood diseases, my leg disability, a serious car accident, diabetes, skin cancer and lymphoma!

When I get sick, it’s rare.  And it’s NEVER a slight cold…

Thursday last, I developed some edema in my right (disabled) leg.  A fairly common occurrence for me – usually laying down (like sleeping) and it goes away.

Only this time, it didn’t.

And it was followed on Friday by a rash around my right ankle!  This rash grew, and now, in varying degrees, covers my entire body! (except my head)

Accompanied by the requisite itching and burning as one expects with rashes.

No fever, no blistering, just discoloration and itch.

(NO, it’s not shingles. – I DID have chicken pox – TWICE!)

The earliest I can get in to see my primary physician is tomorrow (Wednesday) @ 1500.  (ERs and urgent care facilities are not an option – they cost money!)

Baby powder with aloe, and calamine lotion are my friends!  Sadly, all Benadryl seems to do is knock me out.

The ‘doctor of the Internet’ (always a dangerous place to go) runs the gamut from you have a rash to you are going to die!

My semi-educated guess is I was taking ibuprofen for my arthritis (more than the standard dose), and reached the limit.

Hopefully, my doc will make a correct diagnosis and provide a remedy.  🙂

I will advise, as I know more.

 

From The ‘Just When You Thought It Was Safe’ Dept.

In the past eight years, I went from a low-to-middle income ‘career’, to short-term disability and illness, to long term disability and remission.

Thus far.

While I am most grateful for having survived(!), with long term disability has come a lower income, and the loss of my job and home.  I tried to recover in the short term, and ended up maxing out my credit cards coupled with the inability to pay for them.  And the medical bills that followed.

Along the way my firearms collection was stolen.  Just to add to the ‘fun’.

Through the kindness of friends, I’ve been able to increase my firearms acquisitions to a small collection* (my surviving .38 snubbie and 1911, a Ruger .357 revolver and a compact Sig-Sauer .45!  And, of course, a spring-operated pellet pistol and single-shot gas one!!)

My cup runneth over.

Not the over 50 firearms I once owned, but, it’s a great beginning.  (I know, poor me.)  😛

So, what do I get in the email the other day?

Your Dream Gun Within Reach

One Gun One Gunsmith combined with oversized hand fit parts makes Nighthawk Custom pistols more expensive than assembly line guns. We know many of you dream of owning one “someday”, well someday is now today. With just 10% down and payments as low as $94 a month we have been able to make owning a work of American Craftsmanship attainable without having to cut corners.

The best part is, even if I had the down payment (which I don’t) with my trashed credit, there’s no way they would approve my application!

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t apply…

 

*We say collection.  Arsenal has developed a negative connotation.

 

(FTC – Nighthawk gave me nothing.  Apply for your own pistol!  My roomie has one she bought years ago.  It’s delightful!)

 

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…