RANGER AGAINST WAR: Shooting from the Hip <

Monday, May 05, 2008

Shooting from the Hip


Below is an open letter I have sent to the Wild Bunch, Board of Directors of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS). This is the organizing group for the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting, an activity in which I have participated for 10 years:

Dear Sirs,

As a dues-paying member of SASS, I am continually offended by the conservative political rants printed in your organization’s publication, The Cowboy Chronicle. Specifically I am speaking of the right-wing political blather expressed by columnist “Colonel Dan.”

As a liberal American, I find these continual doctrinal attacks patronizing and offensive. I do not wish to associate with any organization that sees fit to marginalize a portion of its membership. It is inappropriate for a “fun sport” organization to toe any political line.

The online SASS forum says, "The SASS Wire shall never be used as a forum for the promotion of religion, politics. . ." I presume the Board takes this seriously, and this does not mean simply "views in disagreement with Cowboy Chronicle's decidedly conservative posture." Because if it so, then hypocrisy is added to the offense.

Not all members of SASS are God-fearing, Republican Party proponents of the Bush administration. This editorial stance has become so unpalatable that I am seriously considering revoking my membership.

I have spoken with Board members “Tex” and “Coyote Calhoun” on the matter, and was told by both that Colonel Dan is a “patriot,” as are the members of the Board of Directors. I would like to add that I am a retired Special Forces officer with a Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart, so I too know about patriotism.

I hope the Board sees fit to remove the expression of partisanship in future issues. I will be watching,

Proud patriot and liberal American,

James M. Hruska

SASS No. 19470 Member since 1998


Follow-on 5/6/08:

In a Kafka-esque turn, the above message was removed within hours of being posted on the SASS message boards for being "political."

These people couldn't even recognize that this was a plea for an apolitical stance from the organization, in line with its espoused policy, yet unlike its current partisan one.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

these folks are so arrogant in their smug concept of rightness. i too, have had my patriotism questioned. mostly they don't have a fleeting idea of who it is they are impugning. i, while abstaining from a "loyalty pledge" was questioned. i said "i have three purple hearts. my oath was written in blood. everything else is meaningless prattle."

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 2:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...


ya'll, your six guns and the like are always welcome out at el rancho harpo. if you're picky or have a finiky butt, bring your own saddle. my horses will make you weep with their beauty and power. i've used each of them as a gun rest for the long rifle and they don't flinch they just stand there waiting for another licorice bit.

black powder rules. cowboy action shooting is fun. but, so is nailing the gong at 500 yards with open sights.

the last rendezvous i attended featured a quick draw timing range. using a cap and ball colt navy i did a heart shot at thirty feet in .25 seconds. i turned to the person i was with and said

"that means i could shoot you four times before god knows i drew."

then i did it right handed because i'm an incurable show off.

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 3:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys (who likes knives better) said...

Good for you, for telling off the contingent of dipshits who think being armed MUST equate to being a right wing asshat.
I get sick of the "one pidgeon-hole" boxers of life.

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, i'm a big fan of Single Shot Gazette and i shoot several big bore single shots at my backyard range. I have a hanging steel buffalo. It rings when hit. Usually i shoot Black powder.

I busted up my wrist real bad and as a consequence i can shoot ambi also, but not real fast, but my follow thru is better with my off hand.

In Ohio I shoot a black powder Quigley match. 10 rds. offhand, shooting at a steel bucket. jim

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 4:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Among all of us regulars, we could be the Magnificent Seven at the next Cowboy shooting match; you'll be James Coburn.

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 4:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

on the teams they teach using the pistol in the off hand. for righties the pistol is held in the left. the right hand then makes a circle around the wrist with the thumb and the middle finger, the index finger points along the blade of the palm and controls the aim. all the left does is squeeze off the shots. it's an amazingly stable and accurate shooting technique. in combat shooting it quickly becomes second nature because all you are doing is pointing your finger.

it was developed because a guy was facing a match, for money he didn't have, and he had a sprained wrist.

Monday, May 5, 2008 at 4:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Mr. Oblivious said...

I'd be real interested to see what kind of a response you get from them. I don't call myself liberal or conservative, but I'm often amazed by the slavish devotion to the Republican party that so many shooters display.

Makes me think about bringing a different set of targets to the range, it does.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The NRA conveniently forgets that the first assault weapons ban was by Bush 41. This executive order bypassed Congress and the courts . It's constitutionally questionable that the President has the authority to take such action but we swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Most of my targets are reactive steel plates since i shoot CAS.
I'm seriously considering quitting SASS after Mulecamp 08 , which is the largest shoot east of the Mississippi.I'm going to hand my letter directly to Board members present BUT i know it's pissing in the wind.
And of course they are all patriots but they never shit between two combat boots. jim

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

LOL....Coburn, eh? Oh, my...but you know, with the "right" (hardeeharhar--a perfect punnage) targets, even I would possibly get gun-lusty!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, labrys--Coburn was way cool, and you'll keep us all smiling ;)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 10:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys Coburn said...

Well, Jim and Lisa, in light of the removal of your letter by the idiots in question, it is GOOD that I like knives best, because they are obviously WIENIES!

::::runs giggling with knife:::

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

L. Coburn,

Some people are threatened by reasoned debate. Might force them to see things that need changing. Maybe the flag in which they wrap themselves is not so lovely. Sacre bleu!

"God Bles America, land that I love..."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 2:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having dealt with Col. Dan`s political bullshit through SASS & his `booshwaying` of the Hatbill Gang`(along with his subsequent `bailing out` as `important head honcho`), I am annoyed by the arbitrary assumption that everyone in SASS is- a: hard right wing Christian (sorry, not going to happen to this Independent atheist), b: loves Dubya (never have, never will), or- c: prays( I don`t believe in ghosts, UFOs, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy, either. I have no problem with you believin`, but don`t git yer panties in a wad, if I don`t). Hopefully, someone with a better idea of `fun`, and less `laurels to rest on` will take over in Titusville.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 10:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Please make your attitude known to Tex, editor of the C.C. He needs to know that others are freethinking, as well.

Thank you,


Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 6:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They keep sending me re-up letters, so I finally sent the following, short, response. I have a long-winded rant on the hypocricy of these dip-shits, but I didn't want to bother myself with those I am putting behind me. If any one else wants to hear it, I'd oblige:

"James Riley
October 13, 2008

Single Action Shooting Society
23255 La Palma Avenue
Yorba Linda, California 92887

Re: Your letter of October 3, 2008; Why I don’t write

I will not renew my membership. I do not feel welcome in SASS.

I am a strong supporter of the shooting sports and skills, and most especially the Second Amendment Right to keep and bare arms. I am also a strong liberal.

Much of the rhetoric coming from SASS, individual SASS members, and SASS authorized outlets, goes far beyond the SASS organic documents or the Second Amendment. So much so that I do not feel welcome and have no desire to subordinate myself or my opinions just to fit in.

Notwithstanding my support of the First Amendment, the levels of the offending rhetoric detract from my enjoyment of the little participation I have had in SASS.

I only write to advise you of this fact, in the off-chance you might want to expand your tent in the true tradition of those folks you endeavor to emulate. Any soft, fat little turds in the 1800s West, who ran their sucks like so many in SASS do today, would be shot dead.

I’ve met a few others who feel the same way as I do. Indeed, if you could check yourselves, like you would have in days gone by, you might find your ranks swelling.

Till I Knock On Your Door,

James Riley
aka Charlie Cloud
aka Lone Wolf

Monday, October 13, 2008 at 8:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Mr. Riley,
We've both been pissing up a rope as Col. Dans articles are getting more crazy as time progresses.He's actually out in space with his unsustainable partisan comments.He claims 911 caused us to get back to colonial values of gun ownership but yet most research indicates there were much less per capita gun ownership in the colonies than in modern America.It's a myth that the colonies and the old west were simply the rule of the gun. He also states there are no athiests in foxholes but yet by looking at his fruity , little lilly white face I do not see a hardened combat vet.What foxholes did his sorry ass ever occupy? If i'm wrong about this then i'll gladly apologize.
Now to add insult to injury the NRA president is writing a guest column in the Cowboy Chronicle. The last Rifleman has articles against Obama that are absolutely incredible and are as fruitloop as Col Dans crap. Man- what is happening to this country?Ignorance seems to now be a virtue.
If you're ever in N. FL please give me a call. jim

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 10:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim:

I used to be a member of the NRA and I still would be if they had not got off-track (no pun intended) on a bunch of Blue Ribbon Coalition, land-raping, anti-wilderness, pro-logging/mining/over-grazing crap back in the 80s. Some outfits just don't know when to stick with their agenda. I think most of them think the Second Amendment is about hunting and such. It's actually designed to keep freaks like W. in check.

I don't get down that way (FL) much but if I ever do we'll be sure to link up. Likewise, if you are ever out Colorado way, give me a heads up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 4:22:00 PM GMT-5  

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