The Arizona Rifleman http://www.arizonarifleman.com Shooter, Scientist Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:06:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ARS is getting nervous http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/09/22/ars-is-getting-nervous/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/09/22/ars-is-getting-nervous/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:03:01 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2644 Continue reading ]]> Americans for Responsible Solutions seems to be getting a bit nervous.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent fundraising email entitled “Potentially devastating” which I received from them:

Bad news. This headline just came in:

NRA goes big in key 2014 races

“The National Rifle Association has reserved $11.4 million for its initial fall advertising campaign and will begin airing its first TV commercials in three Senate races crucial to determining which party controls the chamber next year.

“The gun rights group said it plans to spend much more than the initial outlay during the final weeks before the midterm elections.”

$11.4 million, with “much more” to come? That could be more than enough money to unseat leaders in Congress who support commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence.

We [ARS] already have ads on the air in 4 House races. But now that the NRA’s moving into statewide races, we need to be there too.

Our country simply can’t afford to lose members of Congress who voted to expand background checks. If they lose, the gun lobby’s candidates will sit in the House, Senate, and governors’ mansions around the country.

They won’t just block expanded background checks — they could even roll back some of the most basic laws in place that help make our communities safer.

It sounds like ARS is getting worried. Good.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/09/22/ars-is-getting-nervous/feed/ 0
Shooting sports gaining in popularity with young people http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/22/shooting-sports-gaining-in-popularity-with-young-people/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/22/shooting-sports-gaining-in-popularity-with-young-people/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 10:53:01 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2638 Continue reading ]]> Thanks to Jeff Soyer, I came across this heartwarming article from, of all places, the Boston Globe that talks about how the shooting sports are increasing in popularity among young people:

Participation in the nationwide 4-H Shooting Sports Program, which includes archery, hunting, pistol, rifle, and other firearms, has nearly tripled since 2009 and last year drew 336,558 program participants nationally. The actual number of youths involved is doubtless somewhat different than that, as some sign up for more than one offering and not all states report, but the trend is clear.

Also, after a long decline, participation in hunting in the US increased by 9 percent between 2006 and 2011, and one of the main reasons appears to be an array of youth recruitment and retention programs sponsored by local clubs and national youth organizations, according to a recent study funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Throughout the region, junior shooting programs with names such as “The Projectiles” and “The Hot Shots” are generally open to children age 10 and up. The ranges are packed with boys and, increasingly, girls.

Shooting appeals to young people for unexpected reasons; the sport is unlike the standard competitive fare offered at most of their schools, they say, and measures their individual skill in ways that team play does not.

Many parents of young shooters like it, too. Not only do the demands of target practice improve their children’s focus, they say, but the programs demand a high level of personal responsibility. There are no-exceptions safety rules on the range. And youths are routinely asked at some clubs to bring in their report cards — good grades can be a condition of participation.

Articles like this are incredibly satisfying to read, reach a large audience who may be fence-sitters or somewhat anti-gun, and help show such people one of the many positive aspects of firearms. People in cities like Boston might not otherwise see firearms in a positive light and may have a mental image of gun owners as overweight country bumpkins or inner-city violent thugs, so having a major newspaper cover youth shooting sports in a positive light is a big thing.

Truly, the future of not only the shooting sports, but of our rights and liberties, rests in the hands of young people and it’s good to see young people getting involved in the outdoors, shooting sports, hunting, etc.

While I don’t understand why they would bother contacting such an irrelevant “group”, the Globe contacted Josh Sugarmann at the VPC and he made a statement that shows how extreme and out-of-touch the anti-gun side is:

“The fact is, children don’t have the developmental skills to hold highly developed military weapons,” says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington.

I have no idea what “highly developed military weapons” are, but whatever they are and regardless of where Mr. Sugarmann gets his “facts”, the article clearly shows that there are children who have the developmental skills to not only hold and use such firearms, but additionally have the discipline and proficiency such that they compete and excel in high-level competitions.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/22/shooting-sports-gaining-in-popularity-with-young-people/feed/ 0
Big news! http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/21/big-news-2/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/21/big-news-2/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 22:21:01 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2636 Continue reading ]]> June 19th this year was a big day for me: it marked the four-year anniversary for my wife and I.

It’s also the day our daughter, Caroline, was born.

I now have a tiny person who, with my wife, I need to care for, raise, teach, learn from, listen to, and generally inspire to be the best person she can.

This is going to be awesome.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/21/big-news-2/feed/ 0
PolitiFact calls Everytown’s “school shooting” map “mostly false” http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/14/politifact-calls-everytowns-school-shooting-map-mostly-false/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/14/politifact-calls-everytowns-school-shooting-map-mostly-false/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 20:48:02 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2631 Continue reading ]]> From “Have there been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook? A closer look at a tricky statistic

A statistic calculated by Everytown for Gun Safety, and shared widely on social media, said that there have been 74 “school shootings in America since Sandy Hook.”

The group’s figure is accurate only if you use a broad definition of “school shooting” that includes such incidents as suicides, accidents and spillover from adjacent criminal activity. The figure has some value in quantifying the proximity of guns to school campuses, but the group makes a significant stretch by tying the statistic so closely to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook. By doing this, the group closely associates the statistic with planned mass shootings targeting students and school staff — a category that, using a more strict definition, accounts for only 10 of the 74 incidents.

The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

Ouch. Between that and CNN’s debunking of the map, that’s gotta hurt.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/14/politifact-calls-everytowns-school-shooting-map-mostly-false/feed/ 0
Whoops. http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/whoops/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/whoops/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:38:42 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2624 Continue reading ]]> As mentioned earlier, I use Varnish to cache static pages on this site to improve performance. I use a WordPress plugin that detects when parts of the site are added or modified (e.g. a new post is published, or an existing one is edited) and it purges the cache for that particular page so the cache content will be refreshed with the new content.

Unfortunately, it was not purging the RSS/Atom feed, so subscribers weren’t getting any updates for several days. That’s very odd.

Until things get resolved with the plugin, I’m manually purging the cache for the feed so subscribers will get more timely updates.

Sorry for the trouble.

Update: What luck! A new version of the cache-purging plugin was just released today and fixes the problem. This pleases me.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/whoops/feed/ 0
You know it’ll be an interesting day when… http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/you-know-itll-be-an-interesting-day-when/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/you-know-itll-be-an-interesting-day-when/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:05:09 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2622 Continue reading ]]> …the Big Scary Laser in the lab starts making an ominous humming sound and the Swiss lab technician working on the laser shouts “PANIK!” and waves his arms around.

Fortunately, he just ended up pushing the button and everything was ok, but that’s a surefire way to get an adrenaline dump early in the morning.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/11/you-know-itll-be-an-interesting-day-when/feed/ 0
Protip: don’t rob live-streaming gamers http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/protip-dont-rob-live-streaming-gamers/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/protip-dont-rob-live-streaming-gamers/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:07:14 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2618 Continue reading ]]> It’s probably a bad idea to break into a house owned by gamers who are live-streaming to a global audience.

Turns out many of the audience members noticed that the gamer doing the streaming was getting robbed and ended up calling the local cops, who interrupted the robbery.

Well done all around.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/protip-dont-rob-live-streaming-gamers/feed/ 0
Sen. Reid proposes more gun control, time to contact your Senators/Representatives http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/sen-reid-proposes-more-gun-control-time-to-contact-your-senatorsrepresentatives/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/sen-reid-proposes-more-gun-control-time-to-contact-your-senatorsrepresentatives/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:59:05 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2614 Continue reading ]]> From Guns.com:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid challenged lawmakers on Capitol Hill Monday to expand mandates on background checks for guns, citing the recent murder of two police officers and a concealed-carry permit holder in Las Vegas.

Reid, senior Senator of Nevada’s delegation in that chamber, voiced sadness for the loss of life in the incident, and then called for additional gun control laws.

“We in Congress, we do need to put in place legislation that helps prevent these deranged, these weird, these evil people who carry out such savage acts of violence,” said Reid Monday.

The legislative solution proposed by the Senator?

“Background checks so that people who are criminals, who are deranged can’t buy a gun,” explained Reid. “The American people are depending on us to pass legislation to prevent gun violence and safeguard communities, schools, and families.”

According to the senator, future incidents such as the Las Vegas attack could be mitigated by a move to require all firearms transfers, even those between two otherwise law-abiding citizens, be subject to a background check. At least one of the suspected murderers from this weekend’s violence is known to have a criminal record, although it is currently not known how he obtained the weapons used in the ambush.

“A step in the right direction would be universal background checks, so that people who are criminals, who are deranged, can’t buy a gun,” contends Reid.

It’s probably a good idea to contact your Congresscritters and let them know you oppose such ineffective, feel-good measures. It probably wouldn’t hurt to contact Sen. Reid and let him know too. (I tried contacting him via the website, but the contact form seems unresponsive. Awesome.)

From his own words, it’s clear Sen. Reid (and no doubt others, like Sens. Feinstein and Schumer, not to mention the various gun-control groups) considers banning private sales and mandating all sales be conducted via a licensed dealer as only a “step” towards even more restrictive policies. Better to keep that camel’s nose out of the tent entirely.

Taking a couple minutes to call and express your opinion carries a lot more weight than an email, and sending a brief, polite letter or postcard is also an improvement.

In my case, Sen. Flake of AZ is solidly in the pro-gun-rights camp. McCain is a bit iffy. The senators representing my extended family in California and Massachusetts are essentially lost causes.

As usual, keep up the pressure and let them know that we want “Not One More” gun control law.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/10/sen-reid-proposes-more-gun-control-time-to-contact-your-senatorsrepresentatives/feed/ 0
Speaking of gun-related humor… http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/speaking-of-gun-related-humor/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/speaking-of-gun-related-humor/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:51:27 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2605 ]]> This made me laugh a lot more than it should have.

Click to embiggen.

ewok-stormtrooper

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/speaking-of-gun-related-humor/feed/ 0
Hunting with suppressors to be allowed in Louisiana http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/hunting-with-suppressors-to-be-allowed-in-louisiana/ http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/hunting-with-suppressors-to-be-allowed-in-louisiana/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:48:15 +0000 http://www.arizonarifleman.com/?p=2599 Continue reading ]]> From guns.com comes this report that, effective August 1st, 2014, it will be legal to hunt game in Louisiana with suppressors, thus adding Louisiana to the list of 33 states where hunting with suppressors is legal.

Hunters in the Sportsman’s Paradise will be able to use legally-owned suppressors to both harvest game and control pests following Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signing of House Bill 186 into law Friday.

HB186 strikes the state’s ban on using National Firearms Act-registered suppressors, commonly but incorrectly referred to as “silencers,” in hunting, and replaces it with language to allow widespread use by lawful sportsmen.

The popular bill had sailed through the state Legislature, passing the Senate unanimously on May 20 with little comment by lawmakers.

“This is about mitigating the noise and preventing hearing loss,” said Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Metairie), sponsor of the legislation.

The law will allow any person who possesses an NFA-compliant and properly registered firearm suppressor to use the device to both harvest game animals as well as pests and nuisance wildlife such as beaver and nutria. However, in an apparent bid to void use by those with a history of poaching, it forbids the use of suppressed firearms by those who have been convicted of certain wildlife violations in the past five years.

As a suppressor owner and advocate, this is excellent news. I had no idea that so many states allowed hunting with suppressors.

I really should join the American Suppressor Association, as they and the NRA were instrumental in getting this bill passed.

Of course, not everyone was happy:

Only a handful of Louisiana House representatives voted against the suppressor bill when it passed through that chamber in an 82-15 vote in April. Those who did oppose it voiced concerns about the use of suppressors by criminals as well as the broad allowances to use the devices for virtually all game in the state.

“I don’t know why we need silencers to hunt birds,” said Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans). “We don’t need this bill.”

For some reason, Americans are seemingly unique in the widespread belief that suppressors are tools of assassins, hit men, secret agents, and other stealthy types. In many countries, including those that are decidedly anti-gun like the UK, the use of suppressors is considered one of being polite and neighborly: just as it’s rude and disturbing to drive a car without a muffler, shooting unsuppressed firearms can be impolite in some circumstances.

Rep. Badon is off the mark: all shooters should be able to use suppressors if they wish, and their use should be encouraged. Not only does it help reduce hearing damage for the shooter, but it minimizes the irritation of those who may be disturbed by the sound of unsuppressed shooting. Win-win for everyone.

]]>
http://www.arizonarifleman.com/2014/06/03/hunting-with-suppressors-to-be-allowed-in-louisiana/feed/ 0