Sunday, February 23, 2014
I recall fondly those Saturday nights during my youth. I would strap on my nifty leather quick draw outfit, make sure my nickel plated cap pistols were oiled up and at the ready, and count down the minutes until 8:00 p.m. rolled around. And then, all the drama would unfold...
Marshal Matt Dillon would haul his lanky, six foot-five self into the middle of the dusty Dodge City main street. The camera would take its position looking directly through his legs at the cowboy dressed in black down the street. The music would stop and the cowboy would go for his gun. Dillon, being ever the Fair and Balanced marshal, would wait until the other guy slapped leather to pull his Colt .45 and drill the poor fellow right between the running lights. And I would draw as well, faster than either Dillon or the cowboy. I would blow the "smoke" from the barrels of my harmless pistols and twirl them with a flurry back into the gunbelt from whence they came.
Cue the music, and yet another episode of the iconic western "Gunsmoke" would begin, with my face about 2 feet from the old black and white Dumont TV, on my knees, watching rapturously.
As a kid born and raised in the Midwest, where most young guys like me were issued a .22 single shot rifle at the age of 8 or so, and went hunting and fishing year round, guns were a part of my life, and theirs. My dad taught me to shoot, and to be a proud outdoorsman. He was a crack shot and taught me to be the same. In fact, I was a certified gunsmith by the age of 13 and built custom varmint rifles on order for local hunters. I was an avid gun collector, amassing more than 50 rifles, shotguns and pistols by the time I was in my twenties (the "Greetings" from POTUS necessitated my selling them off).
I shot trap and skeet, 50 foot, 50 yard, 100 yard and 1,000 yard NRA open sight pistol and rifle courses and was a member of two quick-draw clubs, bringing my earlier experiences with Mr. Dillon and his foil to a reality.
My early training did me well as I posted the highest score in the history of the Army's Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri rifle range at 998 out of 1,000 points. I went on to teach rifle and pistol marksmanship during my military years and enjoyed every minute of it. I also became somewhat of an expert on the Old West in general, and in "High Noon" shootouts in particular. And that, my friends, is the subject of today's posting.
Considering all the of the cowboy TV shows and movies during the 50's, 60's and 70's, and the fact that they all were chocked full of shootouts between the good guys (white hats) and the bad guys (black hats), the uninformed could be forgiven for assuming that the Old West was as dangerous as our current day Chicago. And they would be wrong.
The Old West was far safer than all but a few of our safest U.S. cities is today. A careful scanning of Old West newspapers reveals that there were a total, a total, of perhaps a dozen classic High Noon-style shootouts over the entire period.
From the 1850's through the 1890's, the generally accepted Old West period, classic, squared-off, go-for-your-guns shootouts were a rarity. The average Old West city, in fact, had an average of one and one-half deaths per year by gunfire each. So why did the cowboy shows feature gunplay so prominently? Because it would be pretty boring to show life as it actually was. So what was the truth?
There were almost no shootouts because everybody was armed! Cowboys needed guns to protect themselves from Indians, crooks, animals and each other. Oh, and to drive nails into fence posts on which to hang barbed wire. Everybody wore a pistol and most had a rifle in a scabbard on their saddle. As such, one could say that an armed society was a polite society. And so it is today.
Flash forward to 2014. Last year the number of concealed carry pistol permits increased 30% in Florida. And the gun crime rate there fell by 30%. Hmmm. Do you think there might be some connection between those two statistics?
The rate of crime in Florida is at an all time low. Of Florida's 20,000,000 people, 1,000,000 are CCW licensees. Bad guys don't know which prospective victim is armed, but they know there are a lot of them. With a one in 20 ratio, their odds aren't so good. So, they don't engage in classic illegal activities which might result in them getting their bad selves all shot up.
In California, on the other hand, almost no one gets to carry. Maybe one in a thousand is (legally) packing heat. We citizens of California can thank those near-ocean county sheriff's who choose not to offer CCW privileges. Or, maybe they're just too damn stupid to read the plain English in which the 2nd Amendment is written.
Nor are they afforded that Constitutional privilege in New York. Or Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, or a dozen other Democrat-run states. And in those states gun crime is rampant. But, with the exception of Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Philly, not as rampant as it used to be.
And while we're on the subject of Chicago, our Insurance-Salesman-in-Chief's home town, 532 poor souls were offed last year due to gunfire. Chicago. The most restrictive gun laws in America are in Chicago. And it has our Nation's highest gun death rate. Maybe there's a correlation there also, yes?
A new FBI report says that violent crime continues to fall precipitously nationwide, which might annoy liberals because gun purchases continue to rise. Gun crimes are down an astounding 50% over the past twenty years, during which the number of guns increased by a like amount. That's because those of us in the know, know that our POTUS is the most gun-hating Prez in our Country's history. He's on record as saying that said that, if he could, he'd confiscate all our guns. Why? I think it's Rule Number Six in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," written by Obama's mentor, which states you've got to disarm the population before you can fully control them. And all you have to do is look around and you'll see the almost daily new assaults on our freedom which are designed to control us.
Oh, and let's us not slight California's Senator "Lady Di" Feinstein. She's even more direct in stating that gun confiscation is her dream. So is New York's Gov Andrew Cuomo's. His hastily enacted "SAFE Act," following fast on the heels of Sandy Hook, was designed to disarm New Yorkers. It didn't work. What it did do was chase out New York's famed gun manufacturers such as Ithaca and Remington Arms. More are sure to follow.
A bit more circumspect are the Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland and Colorado. They want your guns, but they're too smart to actually say it in so many words (wouldn't want to anger Democrat hunters, now would we?).
In fact, I would opine that all of America's Democrat governors would just love to eradicate the 2nd Amendment. They would be quite content if we had no way at all of protecting ourselves from their socialist onslaughts. But Obama, aided by his socialist Attorney General Eric Holder, and dimbulb legislators like Dem Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dem Senator Dickey Durbin and Dem House Minority Leader San Fran Nan Pelosi, is by far the worst. Take a look at Operation "Fast and Furious," by way of which a couple of thousand "assault weapons," which you paid for, were slow-walked across the border to Mexican drug cartels, if you need proof.
Obama has so far failed to enact more restrictive gun laws, despite the furor resulting from the Sandy Hook massacre. But he'll keep trying. And we'll keep buying.
In the first six months of 2013, murders fells by 7% compared with the same period of 2012. Aggravated assaults fell by 6.6% and robberies are down by 1.8%. "All the offenses in the violent crime category - murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery - showed decreases when compared with data from the first six months of 2012," according to the FBI. Overall, violent crime fell by 5.4%. Burglary, larceny and auto theft also declined markedly. And gun background checks are at an all time high. December, 2013's background checks were double the same period in the previous year. Apparently, there are others besides me who are buying in a frenzy believing that Obama and his minions will be coming for our weapons just as soon as they figure out how. And we'll be ready for him, or for whomever rises up in his place.
Who out there in Internet Land would doubt that the more guns there are, the lower the crime rate will be?
So, I say again. More guns = less crime! It was true in the Old West, and it's true now. 100 Million Americans own more than 300 Million guns. And where the guns are concentrated, such as in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, etc., the crime rate drops like a stone.
Argue against that, you gun-hating weenies!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Did you hear? Last Sunday Michael Sam, Missouri all-American Football player, and for-sure (maybe) NFL player-to-be, came out of the closet, wherever that famous closet is, and announced he's gay.
Almost immediately First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted to Mr. Sam. She stated that she "couldn't be prouder" of him. She praised his "courage." She signed the tweet "Mo," which we're told is how she signs tweets she personally sends.
And then "Sheriff" Joe Biden tweeted as well, once again praising Mr. Sam's courage. He was proud as well. How nice. He signed his tweet with "VP," which we're told is proof that he personally sent it.
Now I don't know about you, but I wasn't aware that the White House paid such close attention to admissions of personal matters such as sexual predilections. I guess they must have a staff of hundreds who pore through newspapers, and tweets, and emails, and texts, and Instagrams to find anything of interest so they can digitally applaud those actions they find courageous. Well Mo, and VP, here's an announcement you will find interesting. I await your tweet...
Okay world, I am a heterosexual! There, I said it. I'm courageous. Let's see if Mo or the VP are proud. Do they care? Something tells me they won't. Watch the news. You'll learn immediately if their tweeter gets going...
Sunday, February 2, 2014
70. 70? 70!
I just turned 70. Yes, I know it's hard to fathom, but I did, in fact, turn the big SEVEN OOOOOOOH!
How in the Hell did this happen? I'm just a 25 year-old residing in an old man's body, who's spent the majority of his life having a good time, staying out late, drinking too much, shooting pool, playing poker, racing cars, running women, doing whatever seemed like a good thing to do at the time, and hoping to shove off the blame for whatever negative thing that may have happened to me or anyone else as a result of my actions onto whoever happened to be around at the time.
But now I'm here. And I'm in a reflective mood. I realize that I've passed over the top of the hill and am spending toward the bottom of the other side at an ever increasing rate. And so, despite the fact that I've punched a hole in the bottom of the floorboard and am sticking my heels out the hole and digging them into the asphalt to slow down the inevitable, I thought it might prove enlightening to those who have not as yet achieved (achieved?) this lofty age to offer up some thoughts as to the impact of such an achievement.
Sit down, pour a stiff drink and contemplate;
- Turning 70 means I can't run as fast or jump as high as I once did. Of course, who in Hell would want to? Running? Jumping? For what? If running and jumping seem appropriate at the moment, I'll hire it done.
- Turning 70 means the hair in my ears grows much faster than that on top of my head. That actually bothers my hair guy (barber? stylist?) much more than it does me. Of course, my hair guy proudly claims to be my fifth daughter, but that's another story.
- Turning 70 means I know everything I did when I was younger and thought I was smart, plus everything I've learned since growing older. The sum of the two is enormous! What to do with it now, children, is the question.
- Turning 70 means I now know how couples can stay together for thirty or forty or fifty years. First their eyesight goes, and then their hearing. Don't thank me. It's why God put me here.
- Turning 70 means sleeping through the night is something no longer to be enjoyed. That's because you've got to get up and pee somewhere around 3:00 a.m. And then again about 5:00. Enlarged prostates do that to you.
- Turning 70 means I suffer fools more poorly than I once did. Don't come around me spouting useless crap and expect me to sit down and listen rapturously with an interested look on my face. Won't happen.
- Turning 70 means I can do exactly what I want to, when I want to, and nobody, nobody, can do anything about it. What are they going to do? Threaten me with jail? Jail, where you three hots and a cot, and free health care better than Obamacare can possibly deliver, all the cable channels and probably the best gym that the ACLU could sue them into providing?
- Turning 70 means I can't watch TV without the volume being at near max. Of course, that angers my wife, but what else is new? We have seven big screens in seven rooms. She can pick any one she wants and take a hike.
- Turning 70 means I now have come to realize that dumbass commie pinko liberal weenies, or Progressives, as they call themselves, have no sense of humor, whatsoever. Anytime I make fun of them, or the Lib gods they pray to, they get all pissed off! And I laugh out loud! Great fun! Keep it up, weenies! The madder you get the more I'll write. Accept it or bear the consequences.
- Turning 70 means it can take about the same amount of time to get from the bedroom to the kitchen for a cuppa' coffee as it used to take me to shower, dress and go to the 7/11 for a six-pack.
- Turning 70 means my favorite cocktail is a glass of really good Cabernet and a Vicodin. Or two. Or three. Make that two Vicos.
- Turning 70 means rearranging the tools in my tool chest is getting closer to the top of my list of things to do. It's not there yet, but it's getting closer.
- Turning 70 means that I consider vacuuming to be exercise. I used to consider exercise exercise. Now I consider making coffee, calling my illegal alien gardener to mow the lawn, cleaning and polishing my guns, doing the laundry (yes, I do it), or scooping out the effluvia at the bottom of the fireplace as exercise. What, you got a problem with that?
- Turning 70 means washing my car is something for somebody else to do. I really wish I could wash my car these days. I can't. I'm over it. Now, I consider getting my car washed as my way of redistributing some of my minuscule wealth to my little brown cousins from South of The Border.
- Turning 70 means finally getting my arms around the idea that our elected legislators can pass gobs of laws without ever reading them, run guns to drug lords south of El Frontera, waste most of a Trillion Dollars trying to make power using the sun and the wind while demonizing God's blessing of almost an inexhaustible supply of oil and gas, weaponize the IRS to punish their political enemies and get no scrutiny, none, from the so-called "Mainstream Media," which is a joke. And a Blue State Governor can hire folks who cause a traffic jam on a bridge and it's the End Of The World!
- Turning 70 means I used to think that Black People were considered by some to be second class citizens. Now, with a Black President, a Black Attorney General, a Black NASA Director, a mostly Black cabinet, and a Black Oprah Friggin' Winfrey Billionairess, I'm wondering if maybe it's white people who have been relocated to the back of the bus. Disagree?
- Turning 70 means it's not okay to shoot somebody but it's quite okay to stab someone with a knife. On the day of the Sandy Hook massacre, a crazed Chinese guy killed 21 people with a knife. He was probably one of the 200,000 people locked up in factory making I-Phones and went completely bonkers. But nobody said a word. And in the past several weeks there have been two instances of knifing murders after football games. Nobody said a word. Why, I ask rhetorically, are there politicians clamoring for gun control, but nobody's clamoring for knife control? Hmmmm.
- Turning 70 means I can eat exactly what I want, any time I want. Watch my diet? Why? Would it lengthen my life? I'm already much older than I ever thought possible, so why not go straight to the French fries, burgers, pizza and anything fried and fattening? Plus, a really big choco rocky road sundae. I'm there. The way I figure it, watching my diet might add a couple of years to my eerily shortening life. That means I might be issued a silver-plated drool cup at the old age home while I waste away to nothingness.
- And finally, turning 70 means I get the opportunity to write this posting, hoping it will cause some to chuckle, and some to fume and fuss. And thank God for the chance to do so. Thanks kiddies, now go back to what ever you were doing...