PA State Firearm?

A state senator in Pennsylvania wants to pass legislation naming the Pennsylvania Long Rifle as the state’s official firearm. Report here.

While I think that such legislation is silly, I otherwise don’t have any objection to it. Some, however, do:

[O]opponents say the idea of designating a state firearm is unthinkable, especially since Pennsylvania cities are scarred by gun-related crimes.

Said opponents are not named in the article, nor is their reasoning — such as it is — explained. How does naming a historical, blackpowder, single-shot, longer-than-four-feet-long rifle as the state’s official firearm have anything to do with violent crime? Whoever these opponents are, they need to unbunch their panties.

Long-Range Rifles?

My friend is looking for a rifle to learn to shoot at longer ranges (800-1000 yards). He’s a good shot now, but would be looking to push his effective range out a bit further.

Any suggestions? I was thinking a CZ 750 would be a good rifle, with little needed to get it ready for long distance shooting. Perhaps a Savage with a heavier, free-floated barrel?

Ideally, he’d like a bolt-action rifle in .308 to have ammo commonality with his existing rifles, with the rifle and any additional costs (e.g. trigger jobs, but not including optics) costing less than $2,500. Optics would probably cost about $1,000 or so, probably Leupold.

Any input would be most welcome.

Choice of the Special Forces?

It seems like every gun-related product is “the preferred choice of US Special Forces” or “used by US Special Forces”, but never have any citations for those claims. Many of the claims seem to be mutually exclusive (e.g. Company A advertises that their product is preferred by SF, while Company B makes the same claim about their product).

I wonder where one could actually find quantitative data listing precisely what products are indeed used by Special Forces and, out of those used by SF, which are preferred.

On Religion

As many readers may know, I’m not religious. Of course, as one who values liberty, I have no issues with other people being religious and expressing their beliefs.

That said, I have to wonder why companies do stuff like this. Sure, it’s subtle and not many people would notice it, but what’s the point? Does it bring anyone to the faith1? If not, why bother?

Similarly, I don’t really get why companies like Interstate Batteries2 and Hogdon Powder3 bother to bring up the owner’s respective deity on their company literature. They’re selling batteries and gunpowder, not religion-related items, so it just seems out of place. Same thing with In-N-Out Burger’s subtle bible citations on cups and burger wrappers, and Alaska Airline’s bible verse sheet with food.

Surely such large and diverse companies employ and sell products/services to non-Christians. Why risk offending employees and customers and, in the case of Trijicon, causing media commotion? Is putting those markings or making those statements worth the potential trouble?

I, for one, don’t see what real benefits such actions might have. Then again, I don’t associate my religious beliefs (or, more precisely, the lack thereof) deeply with my personal identity, and have no desire to discuss such my lack of religious beliefs in day-to-day discussion (I only bring it up here so one can further understand my viewpoint).  I certainly wouldn’t go about inscribing quotations about my non-religious stance (if I can be said to have such a stance; I don’t consider a lack of a specific belief to be a “stance”) on products that I sell to the public.

At the risk of sparking a religious flamewar, I’m curious to hear possible explanations as to why people do such things. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. As religion-related topics seem to be a surefire way to summon the Drama Llama in other internet forums, I’d like to preemptively remind people to keep things civil. No doubt such an admonition is unnecessary.

  1. A question I want to ask to the guy who stands around on the street corner with a “Jesus Is Lord” sign — are his daily sign-holding efforts paying off? Has his work changed the mind of anyone? []
  2. “Mission: To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries…” []
  3. “Our mission is to provide quality propellants, other products, and services to sportsmen, governing units, and other businesses in a manner which enhances the quality of life for our stockholders, employees, customers, associates, and suppliers. In doing so, we will deal with integrity and honesty, reflecting that people are more important than dollars and that our purpose is to bring credit to our Lord Jesus Christ.” []

Doing Things

Those who know me in person will rapidly discover that I exhibit a strong resemblance to the stereotypical “absent-minded professor” — my daily activities are almost entirely intellectual, and I often neglect such basic things like eating, de-cluttering my apartment, etc.

Therefore, one of my resolutions for the new year is to actually get out and do things with my hands.

I’ve started by doing work on cars. As my car is in good repair, there’s little I can do, so I’ve been working on cars belonging to friends (obviously with their permission, and oftentimes with their help). It’s interesting, it’s fun, there’s a lot to learn, and it’s hands-on work.

This working on cars started out with the simple: changing of oil, oil filters, and air filters. Simple stuff, really, and doable with a minimum of tools. While down there, one can also inspect the underside of the vehicle and note any things that look damaged, worn, or out of the ordinary. While changing the oil on my friend Mark’s 2002 Subaru Forester, he and I discovered that the rubber boot for the left, front CV joint was torn and had thrown CV grease over the underside of the vehicle. It clearly needed to be repaired or replaced.

After he called around, he opted for repair rather than replacement. He got a new boot, fresh grease, and assorted other small tools and we both worked on the car for several hours yesterday. Although we had some problems getting the control arm off, we finally managed to do so, and then got the CV axle off completely. We took the inner joint apart, cleaned it, inspected every part, re-greased it, put a new boot on it, and put it back together and re-mounted it in the car. So far, so good.

Very greasy, yes, but very interesting. It’s quite stimulating to actually do work with one’s hands, rebuild something that was previously broken, and have it work.

I think I may do this more often…

Campus Self-Defense Club

The University of Arizona’s daily newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, printed an article today regarding a new self-defense club available on campus, primarily for women.

They discuss how this club teaches situational awareness, which I support wholeheartedly, and self-defense “techniques”, which I support somewhat less so. I note a distinct lack of firearms training, possibly due to the fact that it’s against state law and university policy to for CCW holders to possess firearms on campus.

If self-defense gets to the hand-to-hand stage, things have gone Very, Very Wrong. Better to avoid it where possible (hence situational awareness) or, if unavoidable, deal with it decisively.

A 110lb female college student, even with some self-defense training, is likely to be at a considerable physical disadvantage compared to a 180lb male attacker (a majority of attackers are male). A firearm — and the training and will to use it if needed — corrects for that disparity.

But no, they instead put up more “blue light phones” around campus and hand out free cans of pepper spray to female students (with no training on the proper use of it), as well as teaching self-defense “techniques” that are unlikely to work when confronted with a real attacker.

While I’m hardly an expert when it comes to self-defense firearm use, I’d be happy to take any UA student, male or female, at my expense, to the range to learn the basics of shooting. From there, I’ll happily point people toward instructors and programs that teach armed self-defense far better than I could.

Finally

I’ve finally had enough time to catch up with the last month or two of blog feeds that I read.

Can you guys cut back on the posting a bit so I don’t feel left so far behind?

New Shooter Report – New Zealand Edition

After much delay, I finally present the New Shooter Report – New Zealand Edition. My apologies for the significant delay and lack of pictures. We were mostly focused on shooting, and I’ve been focused on graduate school applications since then.

Introduction
My friend Ashley grew up in Texas, went to school for a few years in Arizona, and now lives in New Zealand. For some reason, she never once handled a firearm during her upbringing. While living in New Zealand, she met Amanda, a native New Zealander. Amanda had shot firearms before, but it’d been some time since she had.

Ashley was traveling to the US to visit friends and family, and had invited Amanda — who had never been to the US — along.

While visiting friends in Tucson, Ashley proposed the idea of going to the range, Amanda agreed, and a small group of people also decided to come along.

So, over Veteran’s Day, we went to the Tucson Rifle club.

Pictures

Ashley shooting the suppressed 10/22

Ian K, Amanda, and myself inspect a target

My suppressor on my friend's Ruger-clone .22, with my 22/45

Teresa shooting the 22/45 while Louis watches

Louis shooting the suppressed Ruger-clone

Chris shooting the suppressed Ruger-clone

Ian K and Chris

Ian L watches people shoot

Conclusion
Nothing like a fun day at the range with old friends, new friends, and new shooters. Everyone had a great time, and much ammo was turned into smiles.

Private