Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Awesome Video Clip

Please watch this clip - it contains a lot of useful information about handgun carrying persons.

It also answers a few questions / concerns that people often cite when they are frightened by the thought of citizens carrying guns. Concerns such as:
- What if a police officer cannot tell the difference between the permit holder and the criminal?
- Won't more guns on the streets just lead to more crime?
- Aren't carry permit holders more likely to commit a crime?
- What about road rage - won't someone just shoot in anger? (The answer to this one was a surprise to me!)
- Gun bans reduce crime (yeah, right!).

Welcome to the Club!

Arizona recently passed a law recently like Tennessee's - allowing carry permit holders to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol - provided the carry permit holder does not drink while carrying. Arizona became the 42nd state to allow such.

Starting today, the law takes effect. Here is a report about it. Seems to lean a bit liberal for my tastes, but that happens often.

42 down, eight more to go.

Oh, so funny!

I read several liberal blogs, primarily to see what they are saying and discovering what is their take on things. I often find swearing, rants, and a general lack of any sort of logical process. But I do find what they think and feel about things.

Today, I found an excellent one. In this blog post (warning - Graphic Language!), the blogger talks about medical breakthroughs by capitalistic endeavors as compared to those made by government run entities.

One problem, of all the 14 breakthroughs the blogger listed from Canada, only four happened after the government centralized control of the medical system! And those breakthroughs were mostly genome discoveries - not actual procedures that helped anybody.

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

I am referencing this post I made a few months back.

I have come across an article that explains things more thoroughly and poignantly than I ever could. Please read this. It is not wrong to choose any lifestyle except that of the "wolf." But be aware that every day, each person chooses to be one of the three.

Which one are you?

More importantly, how close are you to the nearest Sheepdog?

More Political Correctness

From this previous post, as a follow up. My step-brother has resigned his position. I think he was asked to do so, but I have no proof.

All because of comments he made on Facebook. Again, though they may not have been the most eloquent, they were patriotic in nature and only a complete imbecile would think he was engaging in "hate speech" or otherwise being offensive to a certain racial group.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Like father, like son

My son, Cael, today competed in his first ever TaeKwondo tournament.

As his father, I'd be proud if he simply did his best - which is exactly what he did.

His best today landed him a 1st Place for Forms (under 5 division), 1st Place sparring (under 5 division).

He was so dominant in the under 5 division, that with my permission, along with our coach (assistant instructor from his TaeKwondo school), and the head referee all agreed to give the 1st place trophy to another little boy in that division and allow Cael to compete with the next age-group (ages 5 & 6).

He placed 6th out of 8 contestants, losing only to the 3rd place winner - a girl who was two years older than him.

Two of his classmates earned a 1st place in forms and a 2nd place in forms in their respective divisions. My son was as happy for them as he was for himself.

Dang! I only got two 4th place trophies in my first karate tournament!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rules for dating my daughter

Granted, she is not yet two years old, but I think this will be the list for the boys some 12 years from now or so.

Rule One:
If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two:
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose his compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule Four:
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five:
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

Rule Six:
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven:
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight:
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Rule Nine:
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a pistol, a shovel, and I am willing to use them.

Rule Ten:
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

In my hometown!

A woman in Mount Juliet - where I live - was the victim of a burglary recently. This article details how she chased the burglar out with her gun and shot at his car.

The suspect was arrested later. Lucky for him. Now he will only do a few years in jail versus losing his life by being shot during the attempted robbery.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Now this is just excellent...

From this article. South Korea is going to sell over 100,000 old rifles to the US.

I'll take one of each, please!

Narrowing the field

Next year, we the people of Tennessee will elect a new governor. As I lean very conservative (I know, you never saw that coming, did ya?), I look first to the Republican primaries for a candidate I will support.

Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam is the first one to disqualify himself, in my opinion, as he is anti-gun. During a recent vote to decide whether to ban HCP holders from being able to carry in Knoxville parks, Haslam voiced his opinion that "repealing the ban would be impractical."

One down, three to go. Let's see if any of them are real conservatives. I know the candidates on the Democratic side are not.

Link to article.

Great Letter to the editor

I really like this letter to the editor. The name of the letter is "Branding." It is the third one down the page.

Here's the letter:
"In reading the letters in The readers' forum, listening to the national news and reading a lot of articles on the Internet for the last few days, I have become sick of hearing the political left-leaning members of society brand those who disagree with the policies of our president as racist.

I am registered as an independent, I am white, I work hard for what I have, and I fundamentally disagree with our president's policies. Does that make me a racist? According to those like Jimmy Carter, Janeane Garofalo, and it seems a lot of local citizens, it does make me a card-carrying member of the KKK and a tea-bagging redneck.

Playing the race card is a feckless, ignorant, languid and last-ditch effort to win an argument when you have nothing left to offer for said argument. It's pathetic and diminishes those who play it. Let me make this perfectly clear: Political disagreement is not about being black, white, purple, red, green or yellow. It's about how we see our country and which way we want it to go.

But it will make no difference because I will still be branded a racist for the simple fact that I wrote this letter.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why, oh why does anyone carry a gun?

Reason 1
Reason 2
Reason 3

The sad thing is, two of these crimes happened in Nashville (one in Knoxville), which is much safer than Memphis. There are places in this fair state that are really, really dangerous - and Nashville is not one of those.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fabulous article on the 2nd Amendment

Here is a link to the article. It is one of the best I've seen - using quotes and resources from varying backgrounds. Very well organized and well written.

Only drawback is it has no pictures. Oh, well.

Handgun Carry Class

I have been asked by multiple people in the last few months exactly what it takes to get a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. Here is a link to the Tennessee Department of Safety requirements.

Most of the questions I get involve the training course. It is an all-day event (8 hours). It is split into two large sections - Classroom and Range (four hours each).

The Classroom section involves instruction in the following areas:
- Deadly force and criminal law.
- Deadly force and civil law.
- Where you can & cannot carry a handgun.
- When you can & cannot use your handgun in self defense.

There is a written exam at the end of the classroom portion. After having just covered the information, it seemed about as hard as a drivers license exam. It is geared toward the person who has minimal, if any experience with firearms.

The range section involves qualifying. To do so, one must place 33 out of 50 total shots on a life-sized target (silhouette of an averaged-sized man).
- Anywhere on the target counts.
- A shot that even touches the target counts in most places. Few people actually "nick" the target with such a grazing shot. Most either hit fairly well, or not at all.
- 18 shots are taken from a distance of 10 feet.
- 18 shots are taken from a distance of 20 feet.
- 12 shots are taken from a distance of 45 feet.
- 2 more shots are worked in at any of the above distances.

Note that at least 36 shots are taken at 20 feet or less, and only 33 hits are needed to pass. According to FBI data, most (96%) of self defense uses of a firearm are from 21 feet or less.

I saw several people in my class who had never shot before score a perfect 50/50 shots on the target. I saw one man who "knew what he was doing" fail to qualify and had to re-do that part. There was a man next to me who had just been honorably discharged from the Marines who shot everything right in the middle - it was one big hole.

I shot all in the middle, then I got bored. I shot smiley faces at 45 feet... twice (once left-handed). I started shooting at specific numbers on the target, and hitting them. I switched hands, and shot with both hands in a proper position. It was fun.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He lies to his own party...

ABC News' George Stephanopolous had a bit of a verbal sparring match with President Obama Sunday. This story from Fox News, detals how Mr. Obama wants to enact a tax on we, the people, and yet he is not willing to call it a tax.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Public Service Announcement

This clip on Youtube is an excellent PSA detailing why we do not need guns in our society.

Of course, if you have ever read this blog, you know there has to be a catch, and there most certainly is. But to see the catch, you will have to watch the clip.

BTW - the zombies aren't going to kill themselves!

Political Correctness hits home

Well now they've done it. Liberals have gotten all personal with me. Sort of.

The story goes like this, my step-brother made a comment on Facebook on September 11 that was very patriotic, and portently appropriate, if somewhat slang in delivery, I thought. Well, somebody got their panties in a wad and complained. Now there's an article on the Facebook post by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Hayes, my step-brother, put this on his facebook page:
"This picture says it all, even after eight years. It symbolized our anger after those ragheaded b------ds manifested theirs through death and destruction. There is no substitute for victory and plenty of work left to be done. There is something to be said about the 'Chicago way,' but Sean Connery (in the film 'The Untouchables') left out the last line ... when they send one of yours to the morgue, you send a thousand of theirs straight to hell. "We don't need to be reckless in our resolve, nor fail to remember that they came at us. Measure it right, use overwhelming force and decapitate those sons of b------s once and for all."

I do not disagree - we need to stay strong and continue until victory is ours.

I give Hayes a 9/10.
Props for the passion.
Props for the guts to say it in this ever-increasingly poilitically correct society.
Would give it a 10/10 if not for the somewhat vulgar delivery.

But then again, not everybody is a poet... the Good Lord knows I am certainly not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The absolute Best Poster Ever

From the rally in Washington, DC, this last week. The best poster anyone could have made was this one:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Self defense need not always be with a gun...

A medical student at Johns Hopkins University was assaulted by a home intruder. The med student fought back with a samurai sword. Link to the story.

The assailant lost his hand, then his life in the struggle.

The only sad part to the story is that police have not yet determined whether to file charges.

Folks, this is a no-brainer. No charges should be filed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's a record!

The march this past weekend on Washington was a record turnout for any event in the city, according to the National Park Service.

The estimated 2 Million people in attendance dwarfs not only any turnout for any protest in our nation's capitol to date, but also dwarfs the mainstream media's attempt to play down the numbers. "Tens of thousands" my eye!

Also, check out this pictorial from American Thinker. The comparison of the trash left behind by the Americans who protest our government compared to the trash left behind by American Socialists who celebrated the inauguration. Incredible.

I must not be in a small minority.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Ruling

A Federal Judge, hearing a case stemming from New Mexico, has ruled that the police may not detain a citizen for open-carrying a firearm.

The whole case stemmed from a situation in which a man open-carried into a movie theater. The officers illegally ordered the man to leave his gun in his car.

Unknowingly, these officers just made that theater a lot safer for the criminal to work in.

How many TEA Party People?

Yesterday, many people showed up in Washington DC to protest our out-of-control government.

MANY people.

The NY Daily News, like some other liberal outlets, has reported this assembly numbered in the tens of thousands. Most liberal news outlets (NBC, CBS, ABC) did not even cover the event.

However, the DC Police department numbers the attendees at 1.5 to 2 Million people, according to a British news outlet. Look at the photos, some taken by DC Police cameras. I do not think it was only a few thousand people.

In Nashville, I saw a few hundred people. The numbers could have been in the thousands as I was not there long, and always there were some people leaving and coming in.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nashville 9-12 Assembly

I went to the 9-12 assembly in Nashville today. Good time.

Got to hear Ray Stevens perform. Got to see a bunch of people who feel as I do.

Mrs. Usagi saw some Gadsden t-shirts - you know, the ones that are yellow in color and have printed on them the phrase "Don't Tread on Me!" She has been wanting one for a while, so she ordered one as soon as we got home.

Saw many cool signs, mostly protesting government spending and the Obamacare package. I saw a few geared toward keeping the government's hands off of our guns, too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Almost a "boo-boo"

A couple of weeks ago, I was out of town on business, as I often am. One evening, I was eating at a restaurant, as I often do. I had checked for those silly signs that a very few places post that prohibits Handgun Carry Permit Holders, like me, from carrying within their establishment.

Note: any place can post such a sign, not just restaurants. I do not patronize any business that does. It is obvious by the sign that they do not want my business there. Sometimes, I drop off a card that explains why "no guns = no money."

Anyways, I finished up my dinner, finished up an interesting conversation with the waitress (that will be another post!), and was speaking with the manager, as it was nearing close and he saw that I was a friendly sort of person.

I asked him what he thought about the "guns in bars thing." He actually "corrected" me and stated it was in reality a guns in restaurants bill. He was right, of course, and I knew that, of course; but I get much more interesting responses when I phrase it like that. He went on to say that he saw both sides of the fence - several of his close family members were HCP holders, and he was a former bartender.

Toward the end he stated he was glad that his restaurant posted because of corporate mandate. My ears perked up. I had not seen the sign and I was carrying! Had I seen the sign, there's no way I would have entered! Oh, boy!

In the course of conversation, I asked him where the signs were - I had missed them. I'd told him earlier that I was asking him these things as part of research for this blog, without telling him in full what the blog was about. I told him I'd actually picked his place to eat because I saw no signs. He offered to show them to me.

I'm thinking "concealed is concealed." I am so worried someone is going to spot my gun and then I'm toast.

We get to the front, and he cannot find the signs!

He asked one of the coworkers, and they told him the signs had been taken down weeks ago. I breathed a sigh of relief (very quietly, so he would not know).

We conversed a bit more, and I thanked him and left. Good guy. He was actually glad they didn't have the signs up anymore.

I was, too. I was also glad I had looked very carefully.

9/11 Remembered

I remember where I was. Do you?

I had just started a new job, and was actually staying in a hotel across the street from the office in Nashville. My wife was still in Memphis, as we had not moved yet.

I drove across the street, my car radio was playing "John Boy & Billy show" (Yes, my tastes have improved in 8 years). The cast of the show was unusually somber. They broke the news to me and I'm sure many others.

The boss tried to make us focus on work, but so many were not in a mood to focus. We all felt the weight of the situation.

My wife was scared that weekend when we moved our things to Nashville. After a brief unpacking, she wanted me to do something to make her feel safer. I grabbed several of my rifles and showed her how to operate each of them. She felt inherently safer.

BlueCross BlueShield on President Obama’s 9-9-09 speech to Congress:

This is from one of my most reliable sources, who happens to be an insider in one of the "big, evil Insurance companies."

"BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee agrees with President Obama and members of Congress that the health care system is broken and needs to be reformed.

As a leader in our industry, we have strongly advocated to guarantee health coverage to all Americans, eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions, and no longer base premiums on a person’s health status or gender. To keep the health care system financially viable, we also agree these reforms must be paired with an effective individual coverage requirement and need-based subsidies to get everyone into the health care system.

These health insurance reforms and consumer protections make it unnecessary to fund a government-run plan that will disrupt the quality coverage that millions of Americans rely on today. We share the concerns that hospitals, doctors, employers, and patients have all raised about the significant unintended consequences of a government-run plan.

Based on the details available, it is unclear how the President’s plan and various plans in Congress would be funded and, as important, could create a sustainable system that improves the quality and lowers the costs of health care.

BlueCross will continue to work with the administration and legislators to pass comprehensive, bipartisan health care reform."

I have highlighted in red and enlarged the section that is most telling. Of course, those who insist on socialist healthcare will say "Of course the big evil insurance company does not want a public option." How short sighted those liberal minded folks are.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Opposite of Usagi

I have been looking for quite some time. I have found two blogs, originating from Tennessee, that have contradictory viewpoints to mine.


One more than one. One less than three.

I follow three times that many blogs that agree with my side.

Who is really in the majority? Maybe the carry in restaurants law was just fine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good article on Guns on Campus

This article on whether guns should be allowed on campus for carry by law-abiding carry permit holders caught my interest.

Of particular note is the statement toward the end of the article by Cole County Sheriff, Greg White:
"In actual shootings, citizens do far better than law enforcement on hit potential,” said White. “They hit their targets and they don't hit other people. I wish I could say the same for cops. We train more, they do better."

It was fascinating to see a news outlet offer both sides of an argument. Contrary to what some may think, I welcome opposing views. Please, feel free to leave them on this blog. Understand I might well respond to an opposing view with facts and research.

40 reasons to support gun control

Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, and Chicago cops need guns.

Washington DC's low murder rate of 80.6 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Arlington, VA's high murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994, are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.

We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense — give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).

The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns and Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.

One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seatbelts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for spinal paralysis, a computer programmer for Y2K problems, and Sarah Brady [or Sheena Duncan, Adele Kirsten, Peter Storey, etc.] for firearms expertise.

The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1791, refers to the National Guard, which was created by an act of Congress in 1903.

The National Guard, funded by the federal government, occupying property leased to the federal government, using weapons owned by the federal government, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a state militia.

These phrases," right of the people peaceably to assemble," "right of the people to be secure in their homes," "enumeration's herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people," and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people," all refer to individuals, but "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.

We don't need guns against an oppressive government, because the Constitution has internal safeguards, but we should ban and seize all guns, thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th amendments to that Constitution.

Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense, which is why the army has millions of them.

Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they serve no military purpose, and private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles," because they are military weapons.

The ready availability of guns today, with waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting, government forms, et cetera, is responsible for recent school shootings,compared to the lack of school shootings in the 40's, 50's and 60's, which resulted from the availability of guns at hardware stores, surplus stores, gas stations, variety stores, mail order, et cetera.

The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, and the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign is responsible social activity.

Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.

A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.

Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun is "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed at women are "preying on their fears."

Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.

Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.

A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.

A self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a "weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."

Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.

The right of online pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.

Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self-defense only justifies bare hands.

The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.

Charlton Heston as president of the NRA is a shill who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.

Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.

We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.

Police officers, who qualify with their duty weapons once or twice a year, have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.

Private citizens don't need a gun for self-protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.

Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.

"Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people, which is why the police need them but "civilians" do not.
When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.

Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.

When Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wrong hands," they don't mean you. Really.

(Quoted from the essay by Michael Z. Williamson)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Appleseed Review & AAR & Notes


Well, the Appleseed shoot is in the books. I had a great time. Mrs. Usagi learned a lot about handling and shooting her rifle.

There were several women and children present who were fairly new shooters. This was good to see. Unfortunately, one particular instructor's comments and antics frightened a few of them off. This was addressed with the "shoot boss." We will see how they handle it. (Post-edit: They didn't handle it.)
(Post-edit  2: The instructor is at it again.)

I was disappointed in one part of the instruction. The instructors present taught students to use a very tight loop sling. This might work well on traditional rifles, but is not a good idea on AR15 platforms. I had hoped to learn how to use a sling from the program, as they say they teach that - but I will be forced to learn from other sources and practice on my own without outside coaching.

On the flip side, I shot a 221 on my last AQT - which is Appleseed's "Rifleman" designation. I did not want this score to count, as I'd done it with a scope and I feel that is against the nature of what they originally wanted to teach. Other people shot the score with scopes and were awarded patches, but I didn't want to "earn" mine that way. However, knowing I can shoot to the standard after only two days is reassuring.

Here is an After Action Report on the event from my notes. I have listed all of the major topics & drills:
Here's what they do:

The program is very safety conscious. I cannot state enough that this was their first and primary priority.

Field shooting
Field shooting positions are an antique shooting method preserved by NRA High Power and similar types of competitions. I think it is good to teach the next generation about them.

Six Steps
The Six Steps to firing the shot are Gospel truth when shooting. Follow these, and you will shoot well. Ignore a single step, and your accuracy will suffer. 

Though the Appleseed Project does take a bit of artistic license in recounting some of the history, our schools don't teach anything about it anymore! Something is better than nothing. And this something is good. I wish they would keep it 100% accurate, though.

Difficulty Factor
In this microwave generation of wanting everything just so and right now, Appleseed keeps the Rifleman Patch inherently difficult. More difficult, some might say, than earning a rating in the USMC.


New shooters will often get left behind shooting 55-second AQT stages. Some people will adapt. Many people will not be able to adapt. Mrs. Usagi barely kept up.

Sighting in
They have people sight in from the unsupported Prone position. Not a good idea - especially with newer and casual shooters. What they should do is sight in from a rested position - taking only a fraction of the time in the process.

Time Limits
Yes, there are time limits on the AQT. Appleseed advertises to newer shooters. They also say "run what ya brung." New folks, and people shooting manual action rifles (lever, pump, bolt) will not do well with the time limits given.

"Run what ya brung"
Save yourself some time and frustration - don't listen when Appleseeders give this advice.
Instead, bring a semiautomatic rifle that has external box magazines. Bring several 10-round (or more) magazines. Tube-fed are OK, when you prepare properly.
DO NOT bring just any old rifle. A bolt gun or lever action will help frustrate you. 

Specifically - using the sling, changing mags, and shooting from field positions. The way Appleseed teaches these things are good for tournament shooting - but not combat. Appleseed would have you change mags by using your trigger hand. Common combat application is to use the support hand.

Can't deal with Criticism
Folks in the program are a bit touchy if you say their program might have done something differently. They collaborate, and plan to "dog pile" (their words, not mine) anybody they feel is less than 100% enthusiastic - even if that person is giving constructive criticism.


Shooting positions:
An instructor at this shoot advised support elbows in the prone position be placed at a 45-degree angle to the side. This is absolutely incorrect. Correct placement of the support elbow is directly under the rifle, and 45-degrees forward.

Sling use:
The same instructor placed a loop sling on Mrs. Usagi backwards.

The same instructor urged a super-tight sling - enough to pull POI off by over 2 inches at 25 yards.

Shooting positions, 2:
All instruction in offhand (standing) position included "chicken wing" holds of all rifles. The chicken wing is a useful marksmanship tool on formed-handle rifles. It is counterproductive on pistol-grip rifles. As opposed to a chicken wing on a pistol-grip rifle, the shooter should instead tuck the elbow into the body as close as possible, and using bone support to stabilize.


Positive Reviews:

Negative Reviews:
One (and more by pdb)
Three (and more by snowflakes)

Objective Reviews:
One - used to have a bit more, but it has been taken down. Did they get to her?
Two, and another

DAY 1:
1. Start with safety. Drill this into people's head. Discuss range rules and line rules. Get everybody prepared.
2. After rifles are brought out, the line is led in a quick drill (13 rounds) on a modified AQT. No instructions are given as to position or anything like that before. This is done so you have a "before and after" type reference of how bad (or good) you were shooting before learning anything they teach.
3. They teach the basic positions. Then more drills.
4. They then teach the six steps to firing the shot. Then more drills.
5. They then teach sling positions. Then more drills.
- Instructor giving the presentation suggested a tight loop sling. As tight as it can be without cutting off circulation. This does not give good results with an AR15 platform. In fact, it is counter-productive. Correct is just tight.
6. A little bit of instruction and drills on how to calculate MOA, and basic sight adjustments to be done by student.
7. By the end of the day on Day 1, shooters will have shot a couple of AQT's. Times may be modified at first, then move to the actual timing that is to be used.
- at regular intervals (mid-morning, lunch time, mid afternoon, end of day) the rest breaks are used to tell shooters about Revolutionary War events.

Day 2
1. Start with a few AQT Drills.
2. 1" square drills used to make sure rifle is sighted in.
3. More AQT's.
4. Group drill - 1 AQT, three shooters working together to get as many hits as possible. Each shooter has specific targets on the paper. I was selected for 250-yard "headshot" and 500 yard redcoat.
5. More AQT's.
6. Ball & Dummy drill - work with another shooter to help correct their shooting errors / flinches, then they do the same for you.
7. More AQT's
8. More AQT's.
9. More AQT's
- again, history lessons at regular break intervals.


This stands for Army Qualification Test. Mind, you, it is not exactly the same as the Army used to utilize, but it bears some resemblance. The AQT has four stages, each timed. Normally, all AQT's are shot at 25 meters. Sometimes, the Appleseed will use longer distances, as available.

Most of the time, Appleseed instructors make use of the "QDAQT" - "Quick & Dirty" AQT. "Fred's" full blown AQT uses 50 total shots - 10 shots each in stages 1, 2, and 3; and 20 shots in stage 4. The QDAQT uses only 40 shots - 10 shots in stage 4, and the score for stage 4 is doubled. In order to make sure luck was not the case, the QDAQT requires a score of 210 / 250 to earn the designation "Rifleman" ("Expert" in Army parlance), as opposed to 200/250 on Fred's standard AQT.

Stage 1 - 10 shots standing. Target is 100-yard simulated - single silhouette. Time limit: 2 minutes.
Stage 2 - 10 shots sitting / kneeling. Target is 200-yard simulated - two silhouettes. Time Limit: 60 seconds.
Shooters start in a standing position. With the "Fire!" command, shooters drop to sitting, insert a magazine prepped with 2 rounds, fire twice, reload with a magazine holding 8 rounds, then continue. Shooters shoot the silhouettes 5 times each.
Stage 3 - 10 shots prone. Target is 300-yard simulated - three silhouettes. Time Limit: 70 seconds.
Shooters start in a standing position. With the "Fire!" command, shooters drop to sitting, insert a magazine prepped with 2 rounds, fire twice, reload with a magazine holding 8 rounds, then continue.Shooters shoot the three silhouettes 3 times, 3 times and 4 times, respectively.
Stage 4 - 10 shots prone. Target is 400-yard simulated - four silhouettes. Time Limit: 5 minutes. Point value is doubled on the QDAQT.

There are other iterations of the AQT used by Appleseed:
RFAQT: "Rapid Fire" AQT - all stages are shot in a single long stage. 4 minute overall running time limit, 4 magazines prepped with 10 rounds each.
Note: Some Appleseeds will not award a "Rifleman" patch if the shooter scores over 210 on this type of AQT. Still other Appleseeds will only do this type, and will award the patch for a deserving performance.
Qualification AQT: This has just one silhouette of each simulated distance target. One shoots either 5 rounds, or two rounds per target, and adjusts scores, accordingly.
These are used sparingly by Appleseed. Generally, like the RFAQT, the Rifleman patch cannot be earned when shooting the Qualification AQT. 

AQT Scoring:
Shots are worth points. Values are 5 points, 4 points, 3 points, or 0 points (misses). The darkened area is worth 4 or 5 points, and there is a boundary line separating those fields. The outer field that is not dark is the three-point area.

Shots that touch two scoring areas are worth the higher point value.
 ".30-caliber" rule applies - meaning if you are shooting a rifle that is smaller than .30-caliber, you may open up the bullet holes to .30-caliber. Again, if such a shot touches two scoring areas, then the higher point value is awarded.

You Want a "Rifleman" Patch?

The easiest way to do this is by playing the game. Make no mistake, the AQT is a game - it is a course of fire with rules. Playing the game right will get you a patch.

MOST Rifleman scores I've seen and read about were with heavily modified rifles like I have described.

What do they teach you about sling use?
How to use "Hasty Sling," "Hasty-Hasty, and "Loop Sling." Just the basics here, not much detail on when to use each one and not much time to experiment with using the different techniques in different positions.
They do cover the loop sling more than the others. 

What do they teach you about sight adjustment?
"Inches, Minutes, Clicks" and what it actually means, and how to use that knowledge to your advantage. Given the wide variety of shooters and weapon platforms, they suggest you refer to your sight's/gun's individual instructions on how to adjust. Most Appleseed instructors know a bit about the major platforms (AR-15, M1, M1A, Tech-sights) and can help some.

What do they teach you about position?
Again, the basics. What each position looks like. How to transition to that position from standing. How to make POI (Point of Impact) shifts for changing targets. Although here they do go into more detail than with sling positions. Coaching is provided after the formal instruction along the way.

What do they teach you about breathing?
Again, the basics. They go into a bit of detail here while they are teaching the six steps to firing the shot. Mostly they cover the two main thoughts on breathing:
1. Inhale. Then exhale 1/2 of breath and hold.
2. Inhale 1/2 breath and hold.
They do suggest #1 as it is more common and more easily repeatable for most people.

My Suggestions in a nutshell:

Not my words, but my thoughts all wrapped up:
"The appleseed program is a great way to learn the fundamentals of marksmanship. If it's been a while since basic training, or you were not in the marines, then this should be a mandatory class for you. I learned a great deal more than I was taught in the military, and remembered the stuff i was taught. Skip the bootcamp and just go to the 2 day appleseed. take an open sighted rifle and sling that you can tension up with. While this group advocates shooting a 10/22 for most of their training, I for one would not recommend going to a training class and using a gun that you do not intend to use for serious purposes. practice afterwords is fine with 22.

As to the RWVA, I would recommend that you not drink this koolaid. they are nice enough folks, but evolution and new ideas never win out over dogma. they are a one show operation only.

the course is well worth the $70 and you will learn a lot about the basics that you probably forgot or never knew. "

Post Edit - 3/15/2011 - digging out some old comments and posting them. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh, the Irony

I never wish ill will on anybody. And this post is no different. However, there is definitely some irony in this story.

Recently, there was a robbery in a Hendersonville park.

The irony is that just a few weeks prior, Hendersonville had opted out of allowing Handgun Carry Permit Holders to carry in the park.

Seems these criminals just did not respect that recently passed law. But then again, they did not have HCP's, either.

So, the point is made yet again that when you prohibit the law abiding from carrying, the criminals know they have a safer working environment.

Sheesh. ***Usagi nods head in a disappointed way***

Friday, September 4, 2009

Personal Agenda

This weekend, I am taking my wife to an Appleseed shoot. Naturally, she is nervous and excited about learning to shoot accurately with a rifle. I will be attending as well.

For Mrs. Usagi, we selected the Ruger 10/22 rifle, which comes in the ever-popular .22 LR caliber. Mrs. Usagi is very uncomfortable with her shooting ability with a rifle, so I put a large powerful scope on it and sighted it in personally so that she would have every advantage.

It kinda looks funny - a $150 rifle with a $1000 scope on top.

Since she will be using the .22 rifle for her practice, I am "forced" to use my AR15 - the quintessential "Evil Black Rifle" (EBR). Mine is made by the wonderful people of Bushmaster Firearms in Windham, ME. It is a really fun rifle to shoot. The only drawback is cost of shooting - the ammo I'm using this weekend was $0.25 per round. Compared to the $0.04 per round of the .22 that Mrs. Usagi will be using.

My Bushmaster AR15 is topped with iron sights, and I have added a red-dot optic from Vortex. The Vortex Strikefire optic generates a red dot inside the optic - not a laser dot that actually touches the target. It is basically an optical illusion of a laser dot. The sight is not magnified like a scope. This allows for quick target acquisition and the ability to shoot with both eyes open.

Though this is not my rifle, the rifle in this photo is a setup very similar to what I am using:

Except I will not be using the forward grip on my rifle this weekend.

I am really looking forward to learning to use a sling to improve my shooting. This is an old method that has been abandoned by the US Military due to "improvements" in ergonomics and aftermarket additions to rifles.

I am also really looking forward to learning how to shoot from the three major field positions: standing, sitting, and prone (on the belly). I feel comfortable sitting. I think I can do standing. I have never shot much from prone. It is the prone I hope to improve the most, then standing.

It is my understanding that the sling can be used to help steady the rifle. On the AR Platform, it is possible to bend the barrel ever so slightly, causing shots to fly off target. However, I'm sure the instructors at Appleseed have encountered this, and will know how to teach around it. As proof, I see many folks online that shoot Rifleman scores with AR15's. My goal is to become competent with the sling; and this weekend is my chance to learn how to do that.

Quote of the day.

So this morning on Facebook, I find the following quote:

"No one should die because they cannot afford healthcare, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

I could not possibly agree with this. So I did a little searching and found a perfectly acceptable alternative:

"No one should die because the Government is involved with health care, and no one should go broke because government taxes and spends everything we make. If you agree (that government is the problem and never a good solution) please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

Wow - talk about getting things backwards.

Words cannot express how mystified I am at this clip. Hollywood stars pledging to "be a servant to our President."

Mr. Obama is a President, not a king. There is a difference. A King rules over subjects. A President serves the public that elected him.

Our president - any president - is a servant of We The People.

Now pardon me while I go vomit!

Unconstitutional Search

The Fourth Amendment is one that was created to prevent a police state - that is to prevent police from having ultimate power. The founders wanted the people to have the ultimate power - not government, judges, police, or other.

The man in this clip is legally open carrying and one cop goes way overboard, violating the man's 4th Amendment rights, and attempts to lecture him on how wrong he was for open-carrying.

This happened in Indiana, apparently. Ironically, Indiana's carry laws are very similar to TN, with the exception that someone with a permit can open carry a long gun.

Man, I wish I could carry my rifle/shotgun.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Funny Repo Story

This is a regular repo situation - guy's car is in the shop and he does not have $500 to pay his deductible. Phone calls go unanswered, etc.

The address he gave me is, in reality, his mother's address. I find this out after several drive-by attempts to spot the rental car. Finally, I go up to the front door, Kevin - an experienced Management Trainee is in tow. I knock. The door opens to reveal a lady of average height (5'5" perhaps) in her late 40's to early 50's who outweighs me and my coworker combined (I alone am over 275 at this point).

There's a strange smell that I identify quickly as marijuana coming from the domicile.

I ask for the renter by name and his mom identifies herself as such. She says he, the renter, does not live there any more. I ask where he lives. She says she does not know. I know better.

So I try the civilized, logical approach: I tell her the basics (he's rented a car, insurance not paying anymore, etc.). I let her know that I am trying to do this for her son - so he won't wind up in collections over something this silly. She states he's probably in collections for other things (in my mind I agree with her). I tell her he can lose his license over it too, and there's no need for that.

She is just not going to listen to reason.

"Fine," I say. "I'll go find the car the old fashioned way." I turned to Kevin and barked these orders loud: "Kevin, make sure to call the police when you get back to the branch and tell them to look here for the weed. We'll get $100 for the Crimestoppers tip."

"Wait!" cries the mom. "He's just down the road. Eight doors down - the car is in the back yard! Don't you go call no police, now!"

I agreed to not call.

Kevin had a hard time controlling his laughter - he had to turn away from the woman and walk to the car to hide his contorted face!

Ten minutes later, I had the delinquent car.

Another good shot

A store clerk in Memphis successfully defended himself this week.

Here's a link to the story.

Another round for the good guys.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Which is more Violent?

Which is more violent?
A gun?
A Vote?

I think a vote is more violent.

Look at it this way, a gun, even if fully loaded and accompanied by more guns, in the hand of a single individual, can determine the future forever of multiple people. The Virginia Tech shooting claimed the lives of 33 people - the most of any school shooting in American history. Second most is the University of Texas at Austin massacre where 14 people were killed.

A single vote, however, can affect every person on the planet. Each election has the possibility of being decided by a single vote. Though that exact scenario has not yet happened in major American politics, it is still possible. One vote for the wrong person can put them in power and can have an effect on everyone.

A different type of open carry?

California, it seems, is in the process of passing a law that allows Sikhs to open carry their kirpans (swords) wherever they go. The legislature claims this is in respect to their religious beliefs.

***Insert Gun-Nut humor here***
Hey, California, my religion requires me to carry an AR15.
Since open-carried handguns must be unloaded in CA, I wonder if the sword will have to be dull?
***end Gun-nut humor***

Interesting article

This article, from today's Washington Post, was a fascinating read.

You have what I would describe as an unknowing liberal, in a liberal town, decide to get his boss at the paper to let him purchase a firearm in Washington DC and write about it.

If I ever need to hire a salesman, I think the author would be on a short list - how he sold upper management of such a liberal publication to allow him to not only purchase a gun, but to do so at their expense is a work of salesmanship. It has to be.

Though you can see the evident bias in his story - likely form his upbringing - you can also tell he is giving what I would describe as a genuine effort to keep an air of neutrality while describing the story.

How do you feel about this one?

This case is a situation of self defense from FL. A person on a bike called for a driver to slow down. The driver of the truck got out and started fighting with the bicyclist, forcing him to the ground, getting on top of him, and starting to punch him.

The bicyclist was a concealed-carry permit holder. He drew and shot the aggressor in the face with his .40 caliber GLOCK (much like what I carry). The aggressor died at the scene.

A judge threw out the DA's charge of manslaughter, citing that this was clearly a situation of self defense.

Oh, yeah, the passenger in the truck testified before the judge against his dead friend - stating that his friend was clearly the aggressor and likely would have seriously harmed or killed the bicyclist.

As an unarmed combat instructor, I could teach almost anybody how to escape the position this bicyclist was in, with or without the use of a firearm. Which defense one uses is up to them.