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American Exceptionalism is Great

Because You Two Look Normal

March 11th, 2013 by Robert M. · 4 Comments · America, Arizona, News, NRA

Jacqueline and I volunteered to promote 2nd Amendment rights at a gun show this weekend. The show is fairly small for the Phoenix metro area and it tends to have older guns and an older clientele.  A family of ‘gun show tourists’ (non-gun owners) stopped at the table to talk to us, because we “looked normal” (our wookie suits had just been picked up from the cleaners).  I looked around and saw nothing that looked abnormal, then I noticed the vendor across the aisle with a President Obama dressed as Hitler T-shirt. Ughh!

The sightseeing wife asked a ton of questions about guns, where to shoot, and how to pick out a gun.  It was also clear that she was interested in protecting her family, and target shooting, and learning what-in-the-hell this gun culture thing is all about.

After talking to her about guns for at least five minutes, the woman finally noticed that we were both open carrying.  I don’t know how anybody could miss the purple Elsie-nine on Jacqueline’s hip.  As we talked about buying a gun, the conversation took a strange turn:

Woman:  Do you actually own another gun?

Me:  Yes, of course.

Jacqueline:  We have a gun for each purpose.

Me:  Different guns for different purposes.

Woman:  Purposes? <BLINK!>

Me: Yes, it depends on what you want to do with a gun.

Woman:  ????????????? <ZOT!!!>

Me:  What do you want to do with a gun?

Woman:  <Bug-eyed vapors! Bzzzt! ZOT!!!>

Me:   Do you want a gun for target shooting? Hunting? Plinking soda cans in the desert? Long range rifle competition? A compact self-defense gun for concealed carry? Or a home defense gun?

Woman:   (looking perplexed) I don’t know.

Me:   That’s okay, figuring out what you want to do with a gun will help greatly in choosing the right gun. Give it some thought before you go shopping.

Jacqueline:   While you’re here at the fun show, ask if you can pick up guns that you might be interested in buying. See how they fit in your hand and make sure you can reach the controls (slide release, magazine release, and trigger).

This back-and-forth went on for quite some time.  We recommended she take her family to the Arizona Game & Fish Department Outdoor Expo to try different types of recreational shooting and guns, then take a NRA First Steps class, then go to a local indoor range on ladies night and try a variety of handguns until she found one she liked and worked well for her hand size, while fitting her intended use.   Of course, she needs to practice with the gun to develop and maintain her skills.

Many people have been conditioned by years of dishonest anti-gun propaganda, yet they are interested in learning reality (and unlearning the propaganda).  When I asked the woman what she wanted to do with a gun, it must’ve come across as, “who are you going to kill?”   She was baffled and apprehensive about the question, but relaxed quite a bit when I mentioned four possible recreational uses. I think it was at that point she realized much of what she knew, just wasn’t true.  You could almost hear the ‘pop’ of her paradigm shifting without a clutch.

My experience with this inquisitive woman was an important reminder that we can all be good ambassadors for gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment.  We can’t write off the people who’ve been lied to by politicians and newscasters over the years.  If you see lost and scared gun show tourists, stop and give them some help.  They’re easy to spot, because they don’t look like normal fun show attendees.

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Fast, Good, or Cheap? – You May Not Have a Choice.

February 27th, 2013 by Capitalist Pig · 1 Comment · America, News, Shooting

You may be familiar with the idiom, Fast, Good, or Cheap, pick any two.  In the current firearms and accessories market, you may not get any of those choices.

While much of the U.S. has been experiencing a gun, magazine, ammo, and reloading component shortage, there’s been a secret among shooters at Arizona ranges.  Quietly whispered among shooters, “Psst, you can still get all the gun powder, primers, and bullets you need at normal prices from Bruno Shooters Supply in Phoenix.”  Pretty soon, the secret was out and Bruno was slammed with orders, just like every other company in the firearms industry.  On an Arizona shooting forum, Amy Bruno explained why prices are skyrocketing, phone calls go unanswered, and orders are taking much longer to ship:

Hello All,
I do need to clear the air.  The reason that our prices keep going up is because the manufacturers are rarely shipping anyone product.  We need to buy it from whomever has it in stock.  Because of this, we have to pay shipping charges and Haz-mat fee just like you.  This is what is raising the prices.  It has nothing to do with manufacturers’ price increases. It has to do with the increase in our true COST.  We try to at least have stock for you to buy.

In regards to Jason (my brother), he is there. He took time for a honeymoon, but he is still there.  In regards to heating and cooling, we do not own the building. We rent. We have only the swamp coolers that they provide. These do not work in the summer. In the winter, we have one little heater.  I am sorry that the climate is unbearable. It is for us too.  Also, we never accept your payment without giving you a total first.

In regards to our hours, we are open from 8am-5pm Monday thru Friday.  Sometimes we leave 5 minutes early.  Sometimes we stay 4 hours late.  We do not have the staff to be open all day every day.

Now onto the phone situation.  As many of you know there are only 4 of us there. We have chosen to leave the door open to walk in customers and not accept calls.

As of today, we have over 2000 orders (we now measure in reams of paper). We are at least 2 weeks behind in even looking at your order.  Once we get to it, if we are out of something, we will call or I will email you. Assuming most of you are local, this will not apply to you but I will say it anyway.  Orders for non HAZ-MAT (powder and/or primers) orders will ship in about a week as long as everything is in stock.  Orders for primers and anything else BESIDES powder will ship in about 3 weeks.  Orders with Powder and any other item will ship in about 6 weeks.  The reason for this is because no vehicle can have more than 100 pounds of smokeless powder on it.  This means UPS. We have already 2 trucks coming daily.  This means we can ship 200 pounds of powder a day.  Considering the circumstances, this is a drop in the bucket.

We are not accepting calls because we cannot get to our orders if we do.  We would be unable to wait on customers if we do.  Next to go is the website and as a last resort, we will lock the door to walk-in customers until we can get caught up.  We are trying to avoid both of these situations and are doing the very best that we can.  We ask that you do not call or come in or email to check order status until at least 3 weeks have passed.  We will contact you, we promise.  We also have chosen not to ration or hit you with limits like the other stores.  We may not be well-lit, or temperature controlled.  We may not have a public restroom or lots of parking.  But at least we have things that you need (most of the time) in stock so you can shoot.

Thanks for understanding,
Amy Bruno
Bruno Shooters Supply

I think Ms. Bruno’s honest explanation applies to the current industry-wide shortages of firearms and components.  Major national dealers have also struggled with providing accurate inventory availability online, responding to customer inquiries, backorders, and prompt shipping.  The order systems are under a severe stress test and seemingly minor system limitations are showing up as major weaknesses.  The demand for these goods is unprecedented and overwhelming!   Even industry heavyweight Brownells has had to revise their order tracking system in attempt to keep up with the  avalanche of orders.

Hopefully, manufacturers are not running their production lines beyond their capabilities too.

Local gun stores here, even large dealers, are placing ads essentially begging to buy guns from the general public.  Dealers are trying to stock their shelves for customers, but when those dealers have to buy at inflated street prices, then add their margin, the retail prices have to go up and the cycle repeats.  Eventually, supplies will return to normal, prices will come back down, and the industry will make their customer service / ordering systems more robust to handle surges in demand.

Until then, we’ll all need to be patient.

 

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Feb. 23 – Phoenix ‘Day of Resistance’ 2nd Amendment Rally

February 23rd, 2013 by Robert M. · 3 Comments · America, Arizona, News, NRA, Politics

A 2nd Amendment rally was held in Phoenix, Arizona today, the ‘Day of Resistance’ rally, put on by the Phoenix TEA Party. This rally was well attended, with a crowd of 1,500 according to event organizers. Compare that figure to the showing at Congressman Matt Salmon’s office during the Obama For America/Organizing For Action’s National Day of Action in support of gun control. Coincidentally, Congressman Matt Salmon was a featured speaker at today’s pro-gun rally.

Phoenix 'Day of Resistance' rally at the Arizona capitol. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaking (visible on the right).

Phoenix ‘Day of Resistance’ rally at the Arizona capitol. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaking (visible on the right).

Much of the crowd was armed with revolvers, semi-auto handguns, AR-15s, and/or various other rifles. Despite the large number of armed individuals present, only two law enforcement officers were spotted at the rally. One Arizona Department of Public Safety officer who used his car to enforce closing the street in front of the capitol, providing safe passage for all of the pedestrian traffic. The other law enforcement officer was Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, another featured speaker at the rally. As commenter Zermoid noted over at Shall Not Be Questioned, “The fact they felt they needed more cops for an anti rights rally than for a pro gun rally (where alot of the people were probably packing) says ALOT!”

dayof-before-after-rally-800

Three local news stations were there to cover today’s event too. I haven’t watched any of the coverage of today’s event, but I have no reason to believe it will be any different than the coverage of last weekend’s pro-rights rally.

UPDATE (five minutes after posting):  I forgot to mention this rally was competing with the International Sportsmen’s Expo, the big Crossroads of the West gun show, and the Winter Range – SASS National Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting at Ben Avery Shooting Range Facility.

UPDATE 2 (9:34AM 2/24/13):  Local CBS affiliate KPHO 5 covered the rally without any fear-mongering nonsense.

CBS 5 – KPHO

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OFA National Day of Action in Support of Gun Control – AZ Style

February 22nd, 2013 by Capitalist Pig · 9 Comments · America, Arizona, News, Politics

President Obama’s OFA campaign machine, recently renamed Organizing For Action, called for a National Day of Action in support of laws that would limit your right to self-defense, ban guns and magazines, and devote your tax dollars to the creation of anti-gun propaganda.  I was curious what an anti-gun rally looked like, so I headed over to a planned location today for a better look.

From the Arizonan’s For Gun Safety mailer:

a number of rallies at local Congressional offices to promote the President’s Plan to Reduce Gun Violence, including Universal Background Checks, a Ban on Assault Weapons and High Capacity Ammunition Magazines, a National Gun Trafficking Law, and Research on Gun Violence by the Centers for Disease Control.

Here’s a photo outside of Congressman Matt Salmon’s Gilbert, AZ office, 15 minutes into the big protest.

The OFA National Day of Action Rally to promote gun control outside of Representative Salmon's office..

The OFA National Day of Action Rally to promote gun control outside of Representative Salmon’s office..

I kept looking around for this protest, because surely it would be a large gathering, based on the amount of time the media provides to anti-rights groups and their anti-gun agenda.  Surely, the balance in viewpoints the media claims to strive for would indicate that this should be a big rally, dwarfing the turnout for the pro-Second Amendment rally held at the state capitol last weekend.

I counted six police officers outside watching the building, which is five more than I saw at last weekend’s pro-gun rally, so I had to be at the right place.  The officers were keeping a close eye on me, probably because of my snazzy GUTNTAG seasonings T-shirt.  As I was leaving, I finally spotted a group of people gathered on a balcony at the same building where Congressman Salmon’s Arizona office is located.  I can’t be certain these six to ten people were protesters, or just office workers outside on a smoke break, as they didn’t have any signs.  If they were exercising their right to petition an elected official, I wasn’t about to interfere with their rights.

Possibly the OFA Anti-Gun rally.

Possibly the OFA Anti-Gun rally, or maybe some office workers having a smoke.

So there you have it, that’s what an anti-rights/anti-gun rally looks like in Arizona.   Keep this in mind when the news media gives equal, or greater, amounts of airtime to anti-gun groups in the name of “balance”.

 

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2nd Amendment Rally at the Arizona Capitol & Media Malpractice

February 19th, 2013 by Robert M. · 5 Comments · News, NRA, Politics

A truly grassroots 2nd Amendment Rally was held at the Arizona Capitol last Saturday.   Turnout estimates for “High Noon at the Capitol” have ranged from a crowd of 400 people at any given time, to more than 1,500 total based on the number of hand outs distributed.

How did the local news stations report on the rally?

ABC15 ran a fair and straight forward story,  Hundreds gather for pro-gun rally at Arizona State Capitol.

 

A producer must have decided the story needed to be more dramatic and scary,  did some editing, then ran the story again.  The edits turned it into a “Gun Rights/Anti-Obama Rally” about “a small army, armed with hundreds of assault rifles, pistols, and shotguns took to the front lawn at the capitol today”.

ABC15 Reporter, Steve Kuzj, was a good guy and ran a fair story.  Please send him a thank you note if you get a chance.   Trusting in Mr. Kuzj’s good nature, Jacqueline elected to discuss gun rights, the Sandy Hook shootings, and what should be done to reduce violent murder.  The reporter was initially confused about the rally, since he had an announcement that claimed it was supposed to be an Anti-Amnesty rally.   He also noted that he would need an opposing view for “balance” in the story, but that there were no anti-rights people counter protesting.  Unfortunately,  the two or three anti-gun/anti-rights activists in Arizona were busy, so he had to use Facebook comments for balance.  It must have been challenging to find a few anti-gun quotes that didn’t include personal attacks, profanity, or delusional thinking.

KASZ FOX10 – Dozens rally at Capitol to protest gun control, Obama

KPHO CBS-5 did a drive-by hit-piece about an “Impeach Obama Rally”. When contacted by rally attendees about the deceptive story, KPHO adamantly argued that their story was correct.  Eventually, they provided a link to an ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration PAC) Facebook event page as the source for their story.   Unfortunately, nobody actually organized their national event and only 350 people even “Liked” the event page.  Even worse for KPHO, it appears the Washington based ALIPAC planned their event for 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST (9:00 to 11:00 Arizona time), while the 2nd Amendment Rally was from noon until 2:00 Arizona time.  Yes, a local news station “covered” the story of armed people at the capitol by looking at the wrong event page on Facebook and “constructing” the rest of the story.  On the KPHO Facebook page, they blamed the gun-rights rally organizers for the story.

it was presented to us as a rally to “Impeach Obama”. The initial information we received said nothing about gun rights. We expected a few dozen people and weren’t even sure we were going to cover it. It was a surprise to see all those people there and the biggest issue was the 2nd amendment. We would not have even known about the event except for 2 viewers who sent us the first info with links to an Impeach Obama Facebook page. No one involved in the gun rights issue bothered to tell us about the rally. Next time perhaps they will.

I guess KPHO doesn’t believe it is their job to publish accurate stories.

Check out Kevin’s 2nd Amendment Rally after action report at Misfires and Light Strikes.
Go read Skas 2nd Amendment Rally after action report over at Walls of the City.

Updated to add 2nd Amendment rally start and end time.

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Arizona Ladies Support Gun Rights

February 17th, 2013 by Jacqueline J. · 3 Comments · News, Politics, Shooting

Despite what the “media” and anti-rights, gun-control proponents would like you to believe, women are a big part of the firearms community.  There were plenty of women at the Second Amendment Rally at the Arizona Capitol yesterday, and here are just a few of the lovely ladies of all ages that came out to show their support for gun rights.

Here’s a relatively unbiased news story from local news station ABC 15:

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The 2nd Amendment According to Senator Feinstein

January 24th, 2013 by Robert M. · 3 Comments · America, News, Politics

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, as interpreted by Senator Dianne Feinstein:

A well regulated Militia collective, being necessary to the security of a free State Aristocracy, the right of the people to keep and bear registered Arms, shall not be infringed only be tolerated if approved for peasant possession under 18 U.S.C. § 922, sectionuntil we dry up the supply of these weapons over time.

 

 

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It’s About Suicide, Guns Not So Much

January 11th, 2013 by Capitalist Pig · 4 Comments · America, News, NRA

This is a reprint of Dr. Paul Quinnett’s thoughts on how to effectively deal with the disturbed, before they commit murder, reprinted with his permission. I don’t agree with all of his statements, but he actually is willing to have a conversation that focuses on the real issues we face, rather than just latching onto intentionally deceptive, focus group tested, “Demand a Plan” slogans.

Dr. Quinnett noted in his preface:  The shooter in Newtown was suicidal first, homicidal second.  This is true of most mass murderers and about 30% of domestic violence related murder-suicides.
To keep the debate from veering off into the size of AR-15 magazines and pumping vast sums of money into broad mental health reform, what we need is a targeted, proven, and effective way to address firearms access by persons suffering from suicidal self-directed violence, a few of whom are also homicidal.

Mass murderers never ask themselves, “And after I kill all these innocent people, how will I escape?”

The “escape” is a pre-planned suicide – whether delivered by one’s own hand or by a police sharpshooter.

Reducing access to firearms will surely save lives, but such measures fail to address the source code in all these terrible tragedies: the disordered brain of an utterly hopeless mentally ill suicidal person whose reasons for releasing hell on others die with him.

The vast majority of the mentally ill are not violent, but those who become suicidal represent a special threat to themselves, and sometimes others. The so-called suicide “contagion effect” travels like a virus from one suicidal mind to another suicidal mind via the media, and most mass murders follow another event previously publicized where a “like me” suicidal, rage-filled young man kills others and then himself.

Yes, our culture of violence aids and abets the suicidal mind. Yes, too many guns and large capacity magazines increase the body count. Yes, the contagion effect is real and media exposure of mass murderers inspires copycats.

But let’s be real, while some measures will help on each of these fronts, these genies are out of the bottle and they are not going back in.

Only by preventing the development of his suicidal desire, ideation, intent, capacity, planning and, yes, frustrating his attempt to acquire the firearms that his rage requires to express itself can we hope to find a compassionate and sustainable solution. Early detection, assessment, and treatment of emergent suicidal behavior in known at-risk populations will at least give us a chance for reducing violence in our nation.

The debate on gun control will produce mostly heat, not light. Gun safety is another matter and excellent light on this subject can be found at www.meansmatter.org – one of Harvard’s wonderful School of Public Health’s web sites. Gun owners who are alert to signs of crisis in a family member and temporarily store guns away from home if a family member is at risk of harming themselves or others will avert some disasters.

To understand the prime source code of violence – the suicidal mind – we must first understand that persistent suicidal thoughts and feelings are markers for unremitting, unendurable psychological pain and suffering. If we are thinking about killing ourselves or others, something is terribly wrong and something needs immediate attention and balm.

Psychological pain is one term that covers distress, despair, depression, rage, anxiety, isolation or hopelessness. More than 90% of suicide deaths are by people suffering from serious mental illnesses or substance abuse problems, the majority of which remain untreated, but all of which can cause what may become unbearable psychological pain.

According to a 2008 federal survey, in one year the adult American psychological pain index was as follows:

  •   8.3 million of us seriously considered suicide
  •   2.2 million of us made a plan to kill ourselves
  •   1 million of us made an actual suicide attempt

For 2010, unbearable psychological pain contributed to 38,364 completed suicides. That’s 105 Americans a day. Imagine what Congress and the President would do if a commercial airplane loaded with 100+ Americans crashed not once a year, not once a month, not once a week, but every single day, day after day after day?

Yet because suicidal people usually die alone and devastate only their family and friends, it is only when suicidal people commit mass murder that Congress rises from its lethargy.  But it is not just broad mental health reform; it is bringing a laser focus to the prevention of suicide – the source code to violent injury death.

We who work to prevent suicide for a living strongly support this statement by former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. David Satcher, “Suicide is our most preventable death.”  Rather than arming our teachers, we should ask:  What actionable public health knowledge do we have to reduce suicide and, with it, collateral violence toward others?

Unknown to the vast majority of the public, we actually have a lot of actionable knowledge. Published only this past September, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012 represents our best scientific thinking on how to prevent suicide and its related violence toward others. The plan includes achievable goals, objectives, and action steps.

Will it help?

Yes!

Need proof?

In 2003 our own US Air Force published a multi-year study in the prestigious British Medical Journal clearly demonstrating that a robust, mandatory, suicide prevention/mental health promotion program dramatically reduced violence of all kinds. Findings:

  • 33% drop in suicides
  • 18% drop in homicides
  • 54% drop in serious family violence
  • 30% drop in moderate family violence.
  • 18% drop in accidental deaths (some of which were likely disguised suicides)

Several large means restriction efforts to prevent suicide have proven successful in other countries, and in the Air Force study reductions in other-directed violence were a happy and unexpected byproduct.

So let’s focus on what will work. Let’s implement our new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2012 now.

Implementing the National Strategy will have a wide, generalized harm-reduction effect through the improvement of the mental health of an entire nation. Remember calm, happy, mentally healthy people – including millions of America gun owners – do not kill themselves or others.

So as the gun debate unfolds let’s not get lost in the bushes of how many bullets a Bushmaster holds, but view it through this lens:

  • Almost all mass murderers die by suicide.
  • Suicide is preventable.
  • Prevent suicide and you prevent violence.

An estimated 39,000 Americans will die by suicide in 2013. Among them will be our children, our teenagers, our working brothers and sisters, and hundreds of doctors, police officers, firemen, and veterans. Since each 1% rise in unemployment drives up the suicide rate by 1%, America’s psychological pain index stands at an all time high. Thanks to improved safety engineering and fewer motor vehicle accident fatalities, suicide deaths now exceed those from car crashes.

So, let’s recalibrate and resource safety-focused interventions that will not only lower our nation’s psychological pain index, but lead to broad reductions in self and other-directed violence, including the risk of mass murders.

When our national grief work is done, let us memorialize our collective loss by taking bold, science-based positive actions. We have a plan. America, it is time!

Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. is President and CEO of the QPR Institute, Inc., an educational organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide @ www.qprinstitute.com. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. A free e-book on preventing suicide is available from the Institute’s web site.

Hat tip to Deb Ferns at The WOMA, whose thoughts are well-worth reading too.

Paul Quinnett’s Contact information:
Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.
S 14115 Merriney Road
Cheney, WA 99004
509-235-8823
pquinnett@mindspring.com
© Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. 2013

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Enemy at the Gates: A Warning for All SHOT Show Attendees and Exhibitors

January 10th, 2013 by Jacqueline J. · 7 Comments · News, Shooting, SHOT Show

shotshowlogoI just received some disturbing news about this year’s SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) from a well respected member of the firearms industry.  The mainstream media will be at the 2013 SHOT Show in force with the express purpose of furthering their anti-gun agenda.

There will be a tremendous amount of hostile media at SHOT Show this year.  Major “news” outlets, including CNN and NPR have been contacting exhibitors to secure interviews, and you’d better believe that they are not going to be there to get the scoop on the latest muzzle brake or concealed carry purse.  Their only purpose will be to humiliate and shame those of us in the firearms community and they will be working very hard to coax us in to speaking to them so they can use our words against us.

Here’s the best advice I’ve heard to counter this unwelcome infiltration: DON’T SPEAK TO THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AT SHOT SHOW.  My friend in the industry made some suggestions that I’d like to pass on –  Be polite, and rather than say “no comment”, just tell them that you are busy and can’t talk right now.  Do not forget that these people are not reasonable people and do not want a discussion.  Please realize that despite your best efforts, there is no answer or statement you can give that can’t and won’t be used against all of us.

Those of us that will be at SHOT Show legitimately will be there to learn, make and renew connections and do business. The anti-gun media will be there to confirm their preconceived notion that none of us are rational human beings.

If you know anyone that will be going to SHOT Show next week, please let them know about this unsettling development. And remember that the best (and likely only) way to mitigate the damage the anti-gun media plans to inflict upon the firearms community is to ignore them.

UPDATE:  The mainstream media’s plan to bash SHOT Show and vilify the good people at NSSF is already underway.  This ridiculously inaccurate article from The Guardian was posted online just a few hours ago.

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