RANGER AGAINST WAR: February 2013 <

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Omega Man

 I know you're a good man. You don't look a bit
like you have common blood.
I know you must come from nice people! 
--A Good Man is Hard to Find,
Flannery O'Connor  

Those who prepare green wars, 
wars of gas, wars of fire, 
victories without survivors, 
would put on clean clothing 
and would walk alongside their brothers 
in the shade, without doing a thing. 
Keeping Quiet, Pablo Neruda

"My country tis of thee
Sweet land of State security
For thee I mourn"
Ranger's 2013 version

This month's Backwoods Home -- magazine of the tree-hugger crowd -- featured  article by Claire Wolfe not usually paired with left-wing, pinko Commie back-to-earthers of the Foxfire or Mother Earth crowd.

The article -- Hiding a Gun: The Rules of Three -- was a basic instructional brief for anyone needing to cache a weapon, but the preface blew us away.  States the author: 

"You may want to hide a firearm if you are a peaceable person who is nevertheless forbidden to own a gun because of some misdeed in your past, or some arbitrary state law (pg. 12)."  The author's actual intent is to encourage felons to violate current gun laws, an illegal gambit. Stalkers and perpetrators of domestic violence under restraining order also may not possess firearms, so who are these "peaceable people"?

The "misdeed" to which the author refers is probably not so benign.

  After two sessions of digging and detecting, this is what finally emerged from the spot where Jack and I searched. A well-sealed plastic ammo box wrapped in a trash bag and thoroughly duct-taped. Inside the plastic box is an equally well-sealed metal ammo box. Both boxes contain desiccants. Inside the metal box is a pistol wrapped in corrosion-proofing paper. Once Jack finally got all the seals opened, that pistol emerged in ready-to-fire condition (fr. "Hiding a Gun: The Rules of Three")

Who is culpable for Mr. Wolfe's abetting of otherwise illegal owners in the process of caching weapons to which they are disallowed access?  This sounds like conspiracy to Ranger.

The author further suggests that the gun "use common ammunition ... that any potential enemy might use."  Would someone in the peanut gallery please enlighten Ranger: In this Land of the Free, who exactly is the imagined "potential enemy" referred to by the author?  Is it my neighbor?  Please inform me so that we might zero our weapons for the threat.

Wake up call: If this country transforms into "A Canticle for Leibowitz" or "Escape from New York" or a Road Warrior scenario, then Ranger won't be killing his neighbors; he will simply cap himself with his old .45.  He would remind the crazies that those who come out shooting will only outlive the enemies amongst us by two weeks, reason being they will kill each other.

A good enemy is hard to find.

--The Peaceable Kingdom,
Edward Hicks

[Mr. Wolfe also references U.S. Army Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual [PDF](see Appendix D for caching information)].

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Who Woulda Thunk It?

From today's Slate: Supreme Court Conservatives say the South is no longer racist. You learn something everyday, no?

Lemme tell ya, if there's one thing I know for sure about the South, it is that bigotry still reigns five ways from Sunday.  Do not fool yourself into thinking it is mostly racial; oh no -- far from it.  As long as "they" know their place (=untermentsch), there is a role for blacks.  Not uppity ones, mind, who have pretensions upon your dog or woman or property. Step -and-fetch-it is just fine, thanks.

The highest vitriol may be save for those of differing religions, and I don't mean the crazy Baptists at the Bethel AME down the road. No, their deepest vituperative is save for those not Christian, which includes Catholics, or, "Idolaters".  The reasons for this reserve pool of disdain is deep. But never fear that the United States lacks a sense of coherence or homogeneity; it is just done at the expense of everyone else.

(Ranger essay coming later today.)

Is the South Still Racist? SCOTUS Conservatives Don’t Seem To Think So

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

God and Guns

Your Monthly Vintage Arms Reader, Resource and Reference 

Devoted to Guns Made or Designed Before 1920 

 Black Powder Cartridge (BPCR/BPCRS) •Single Shot Rifles

Antique-Classic-Historic-Vintage Firearms & Accessories 


If Ranger has ever had a true, lifelong love affair, then it would be with all things antique firearms. 

The magazine for such an aficionado is the Single Shot Exchange.  Each month Ranger takes this publication from his mailbox as one would a love letter, with barely-veiled excitement and a solemn reverence. He adroitly folds it under his arm, or slides it into his coat pocket for later saveur.

So it was with great chagrin that he decided not to renew his annual membership this month to his beloved "SSE".  It is on principle's sake alone, for he can no longer abide by a magazine devoted to guns which quotes biblical scripture on the first page.  The relationship between God and Guns is beyond Ranger's powers of ratiocination; he subscribes to read about antique single shot rifles, not to praise the lord.   

Ranger rejected membership in the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) on the same grounds ("Shooting From the Hip") because they have made an unholy linkage of gunniness and godliness, and called the shotgun marriage, "American values".  

This is absurd. The jungles of Vietnam, the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan are not godly places, and guns are merely an instrument of survival.  Forget the bible -- just give me another basic load for my single shot.

Another mainly sales publication dealing with things guns, the Blue Press, always fronts a babe in suggestive positions vis-a-vis her piece.  (Yes, even reloading magazines have cover girls.)  The March 2013 cover features a virginal Madonna, hand protecting her crotch, within grasp of a mighty 9 mm. 

What's not to love?

--Megachurch preacher, Joel Osteen
(this one's for you, Chris) 
But for Ranger, he says both the scriptural and the sexploitation approach ruin the enjoyment of what should be a simple pleasure, the love of shooting and the being a gun enthusiast.  If he wants god, he will go to church, synagogue, mosque or Joel Osteen.  If he wants sexploitation, there is the internet or pay-per-view.

All he wants is to read about guns and their collector value to an enthusiast without all the trips down phony and distracting side streets.

No, Mr. Lee Shaver (publisher and editor), Ranger will not be renewing his subscription this year.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Swallow This

Here we go again with
Mickey Mouse and Rin-Tin-Tin 
--Old Army Cadence Call 

I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you 
--Crazy, Patsy Cline 

No escape from the mass mind rape
Play it again jack and then rewind the tape
And then play it again and again and again
Until your mind is locked in 
--Bullet in the Head, 
Rage Against the Machine

Is gun control a real life issue or just another hot-button topic used by both parties to keep We the People in a constant state of emotional upheaval?  The issue serves to polarize and harden the plaque in our partisan arteries, without demandingd any rigorous proof which might substantiate the taking of one side over the other.

Meanwhile, our national "debate" hinges on the straw man argument: You are for gun control, or you are for unfettered Wild West violence.  Good, compassionate limp-wristed liberals vs. insane, gun-toting bloodthirsty tea baggers.  Only, the reality is not so facile. Who speaks for common sense today?

Let us use the figure of 30,000 annual gun homicides in the United States (this figure includes justifiable use of firearms).  30K is a lot of dead people, but so what?  Dead folks are helpful to society in many different ways; in fact, they are essential lest we deplete our raw resources. Requiescat In Pace.

Why do we get crazy about gun deaths but barely raise a whisper about the approximately 100,000 annual U.S. deaths due to  wrongly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs and drug reactions and interactions?  There is one death (accidental or intentional) every 24 minutes in the U.S. due to drugs found in our own medicine cabinets; 61 deaths per day, on average, or 22,265 deaths per year.  How do you legislate drug safety?

Good liberals decry the gun lobby and take easy pot shots at those who embrace their guns, but a far bigger and more nefarious lobby is that of Big Pharma, whose products will kill every one of us far more efficiently and in larger numbers than will guns any day of the week.  Insidiously, too.

If gun deaths are unacceptable, then so too are prescription drug deaths, or tobacco-related deaths, or alcohol-related deaths.  We tried to legislate the latter with the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act but found out that our citizens have a remarkable facility for circumventing the law.  Banning things rarely works in a free society, though legislation may. The caveat is that a free society must sign on to the strictures. We abide by a Bill of Rights which accords us the right to weapons ownership.

The issue comes down to power and control of our lives. Are we a liberal or a conservative society?  Is the Federal government  allowed or legally able to force background checks and then to use these as investigative and intelligence tools?  Why and how can the government use private legal purchase of firearms to establish a national database for firearms purchasers?  Further, is such a warrantless intrusion into our rights of privacy and ownership consistent with what we are as Americans?

Why do we have a Fourth Amendment?  We should get clear on this when discussing Second Amendment infringements.

Guns look scary and go "BOOM!", and when used destructively, the results can be spectacular.  Because it is a simple, discrete item, it is easy to focus on.  We are susceptible to being riled up by the press and our leaders like marionette puppets chittering on about the latest train wreck dujour, whether personal or political (or best -- a combination of both).  Yet we ignore the many other forms of death which stalk us every day of our lives, some of which may be as easily legislated as gun ownership and may be more productive in terms of protection.

It seems that we have an unspoken covenant that condones certain methods of self-destruction, while opposing gun violence. But why is the death wrought at the end of a gun any different from that caused by any number of other mundane modalities?

What are willing to swallow? At the current mortality rate from prescription drugs, we have more dead bodies stacked up every 11 days than we do victims of all spree shootings since 1980.  Where is our sense of perspective?  All of this death without one extended magazine or assault rifle.

Guns are viewed as symbols of freedom by many Americans.  In fact, we would not have our nation had the citizens not owned firearms; it was not via mediation that the Brits decided to leave us to our own devices.

We are also a nation of death, and one form is as serviceable as the next.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Out on the Op- LP: Mediocrity All 'Round

Brainwashed by the military
Brainwashed under duress
Brainwashed by the media
You're brainwashed by the press
Brainwashed by computer
Brainwashed by mobile phones
Brainwashed by the satellite
Brainwashed to the bone 
--Brainwashed, George Harrison 

Don't be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it
--Single Lady, Beyonce 

She rocked out to Wham
Not a big Limp Bizkit fan
Thought she’d get a hand
On a member of Duran Duran 
--1985, Bowling for Soup

Happy Sunday and welcome to RangerAgainstWar's occasional feature, Out on the OP - LP.  Like we said, the concept is that this is a free-fire zone.  We welcome any and all comers to express what's on your mind, and feel free to ask for advice, forgiveness, whatever.  We'll do our best.

We will kick-start this with a question about values and mores:

According to Gallup polls, Hillary Clinton is the Most Admired Woman in History.  Her husband and former President Bill Clinton was named Father of the Year for 2013. Exactly what is it about the sly Hillary or the adulterous Bill that should garner such admiration? 

First Lady Michelle Obama is #2 on the Most Admired list.  Granted, she can do the Dougie, yes, but what else beyond sporting designer dresses whilst on European holidays? And yes, First Ladies like Jacqueline Kennedy also sported fine duds, but she did NOT do The Watusi; there was a certain decorum. Call me old fashioned, but can we not think back past our current year to find exemplars? 

Upon whose head can we rest these fetid laurels of ushering in our current mediocrity?  Surely President Reagan was the triumph of veneer over substance.  Before him, President Nixon's stating that he was "not a crook" despite evidence to the contrary was a hard dosage of collective cognitive dissonance.  Certainly President Clinton's saxophone playing on Arsenio Hall was an unnecessary plea to cool in a job which did not demand that quality. Perhaps the office of the President is not the only place to look for the genesis of our current state.

Moving from Most Admired to Most Ogled, Beyonce Knowles has been voted by Gentleman's Quarterly as "Sexiest Woman of the Century" (of course, with another 87 years to go in the century, she may not be able to maintain her hold.)  The singer is all about being "fierce, a term co-opted from the gay community associated with attitude. 

Beyonce, who was chosen to perform for the plum Super Bowl 2013 halftime show, is quoted as saying she works very hard on her craft, but her craft is not songwriting; it IS shaking her moneymaker, in ways that would make a pole dancer blush. She says, "And one thing about me: I practice ’till my feet bleed," admitting she is basically a hoofer.

So we choose to admire this women whose seductive-nee-salacious moves would be considered ghetto whore type stuff a few years back, and yet she serves as a model for many a young girls today. Christine Aguilera's belly-baring get-ups and Madonna's faux-Monroe, Like a Virgin poses are tame compared to Beyonce, who is consistently working her thing in every video and performance.  This stuff would have been labeled "pornography" a decade or so ago.

Beyonce's progenitors, like Britney Spears, certainly worked it, too, but their performances at least had some variety in terms of costuming and coverage.  For Beyonce, it is full-on lack of nuance crotch shots all the time.

In other entertainment, we love our brutal films, yet decry the violence in our society.  Can there be no valid linkage made without being dismissed as hopelessly Old School?

And what is it with "reality" television programs like "Honey Boo Boo"? Being in the South, we can understand the unfortunate necessity of listening to such people should one have the grave misfortune to live in rural McIntyre, Georgia.  But for the rest of us?  What is the excuse?  There are magazines and books to read, good films and documentaries at the library ... What's up with that?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on any of it.  (I'm going out now to shake this off of me, yet my chores entail a trip to Costco, where I shall be exposed to even more of it.  If you can assist in expunging the above infestations, I'd be much obliged.)

It looks like Lucy is seeking counsel, herself.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bad Dogs

--Arend van Dam 

what have we to do
but stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards? 
--The Rock, T.S. Eliot

As I feel the world watching I try not to care. 
My deepest emotions are best left unsaid. 
Let others show grief like a garment they wear, 
but the loss that I feel will not leave my head. 
--Guard of Honour, Paul Hansford

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind 
--The Circle Game, Joni Mitchell

Do we lack the good sense that even a small puppy possesses?

Witness the behavior of the United States vis-a-vis its Middle East fellow democracy, Israel, and her new missile defense system dubbed Iron Dome.  This system, paid for in large part by U.S. tax dollars, is reminiscent of President Reagan's proposed Star Wars defensive strategy except it will shoot down tactical rockets and missiles.  It appears to be a theatre-oriented customization of the Patriot missile system.

The first interesting aspect of the system is the asymmetry of the outlay.  Israel recently spent $25-35 million to shoot down 1,500 cheap and unsophisticated rockets fired upon them from Gaza.  When does such a defense outlay become infeasible for a small nation?

Second, since the rockets are fired from the Gaza strip it is a good bet they were smuggled in from Egypt, another friend of the U.S., with the full support of the new Egyptian government. The same Egyptian government that receives $1.5 Billion in U.S. foreign aid each year -- the government which will soon receive 200 U.S. M1 tanks, the most advanced main battle tank in the world.  Like Israel, Egypt is a country armed and equipped by the U.S.

So here is the deadly do-si-do the U.S. brokers:

  • We equip the Egyptians
  • The Egyptians equip Hamas in Gaza
  • Hamas fires their Egyptian-obtained rockets at Israel (as Hamas & Egypt share a brotherhood of hatred towards Israel)
  • The U.S. funds Israeli missile systems so that Israel may counter the Hamas missile threat

How long can our leaders facilitate this absurd spectacle and have us believe it is a logical foreign policy?  What does the U.S. achieve by implementing such a Kafaka-esque foreign policy?  How do the U.S. citizens benefit by our government playing both sides against the middle?

When will we ever learn?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Better Dead than Red

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation,
the first things to be bought and sold are legislators 
--Parliament of Whores, P.J. O’Rourke 

In Ranger's recent, "Man With the Golden Gun", we considered President Obama's love affair with skeet shooting.  But we ignored Obama's choice of weapon may be the most suggestive part of the picture -- a foreign-made over-and-under shotgun.

This foreign gun was bought and paid for with good American tax dollars. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is cheerleading for the return of manufacturing jobs to America. How does one bemoan the loss of American jobs and petition for their return unless one is willing to walk one's talk?

Further, the United States government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign-made firearms purchased for the use of Afghanistan, Iraq and god knows who else.  The president is now a bully pulpit kind of guy giving lip service to resurrecting U.S. industrial capacity, yet the presidential compound at Camp David buys foreign-made shotguns for our president's use.  This is insulting to American gun manufacturers, who create a fine product.

While we can't bang Obama for the foreign guns because we don't know when it was purchased or who owns it, but the point is valid: We should buy American products, especially if paid for by U.S. tax dollars. (As an aside, most U.S. presidents have chosen U.S.-made firearms as their personal weapons.)

The good news is that China does not have the expertise or machine tolerances to produce a fine over-and-under skeet shotgun. At least that, yeah?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Sanctity of Life

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,
make violent revolution inevitable
--President John F, Kennedy

 Well I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin,
I know where you've been
It's all been a pack of lies 
--In the Air Tonight, Phil Collins

[continuation of "Jumping the Reservation" on LAPD hostage actions against former Officer Christopher Dorner]:

The atmosphere surrounding the conduct of Law Enforcement (LE) in the United States is salted by our daily reality of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©).

Ranger has never been a LE officer, but his knowledge of the field was gained while a training specialist at the USA Military Police School & Training Center.  There, he taught Physical Nuclear and Physical Security, Special Reaction Teams (SRT) and Hostage Negotiation (HN) courses conducted by the  MP branch schools of the US Army.  The basis of ALL US Code is that all life is sacred and every effort must be made to preserve life in all LE activities.

So SRT's and HN's are mandated to protect even the life of the criminals during hostage barricade or any other police function.  All life has the same value used to be the central tenet of our system of police work.

(The one exception -- which will never occur in regular police environments -- is the application of deadly force sans Rules of Engagement in the execution of Nuclear Physical Surety and Security.  If a person or group of persons enters  a Nuclear Exclusion Security Zone, the goal is to kill them before they can secure entry to the facility. This is just something we accept as the alternative is unthinkable.)

In regular police work, once a hostage is barricaded, he should not be assaulted or killed with sniper fire unless the situation is about to go mobile or the scene commander determines that loss of life is imminent (the judgement call is seldom questioned.)

In Dorner's case, his barricade was preceded by his killing a Sheriff's Deputy and wounding of another; we do not know who fired the first shot.  But the question is moot since Dorner was no longer a mobile threat and did not have any hostages.

If the LAPD had established a proper inner and outer security zone, then the threat was contained -- even if Dorner were still armed and combative.  The imperative for the LE Officer is to resolve the situation without further violence.  So where was the Negotiator in the Dorner scenario?  What does the absence of a HN say about the intentions of the LAPD?

Why was the LAPD SRT operating outside of its jurisdiction? Why wasn't the statewide team with the proper jurisdiction not given control of the situation?  The conclusion would seem that the LAPD violated the concept of the sanctity of life and actively ignored US Code.

There is bleed-over from the fact that the US is in a PWOT &copy; which is not a war, in which we believe that life is a commodity that is of less value to the enemy than to the friendlies.  When the National Command Authority sanctions the indiscriminate use of violence to counter terrorism, the concept of the sanctity of life is eroded throughout that society.

Neither LE nor the President have the power to terminate a life unless there are no other options to ensure the further preservation of life. War and LE have conflated in too many zones into terrible gryphon.

Each of us must determine if we are a nation of laws or if we wish to be reactive and vengeful in the application of violence, police and otherwise.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rational Thought

  We don’t need no truthless heroes 
--The Spy Hunter, Project 86   

Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit 
--Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein 

In 2011, out of 12,664 homicides, 6220 people were killed in the United States with handguns versus 323 killed with rifles (Obama's Potemkin Gun Plan); the 323 figure includes all rifles, including the so-called assault rifles. 

The proposed gun control aimed at these military look-alike rifles is pure theater, much like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Neither address a significant threat or make us safer, while both serve to irritate law-abiding citizens. We accept the idea that limiting magazine capacity is reasonable and rational (A Rational Response to Sandy Hook), but lack statistics to verify the effect.

Since 1982 the U.S. has suffered at least 62 mass shootings, leaving 543 dead.  During the same period there were 564,452 homicides, which means that .01% of all murders in the US are due to mass or spree shootings.  We are reacting to the grand spectacle of the spree shooting event, when regular workaday homicide is the real problem. Why do we not have data on the types of weapons used in these murders?

George Gascon at Politico (Time to Ban Assault Magazines) notes that between 1984 and 2011, the killers used a magazine that carried more than 10 rounds.  He claims 1,500 rounds were used to kill 225 people and wound 242 others.  If true, this means that the killer in each episode fired approximately 70-75 rounds.

It is clear that neither the Gun Control Act of 1968, the George W. Bush assault weapon import ban, the Bill Clinton assault rifle ban nor the Brady bill has had any effect upon the criminally-minded shooter.  The laws only harass legal gun purchasers.

In addition, The New York Times reports that 80,000 people were caught lying about prior criminal records when attempting to buy a gun in 2010 ( Lie and Try), while only 44 were charged with a crime.  It makes one wonder why people lose their voting and gun rights after they have served their complete sentences, to include probationary time -- especially when their crimes are not violent?

Ranger is against gun control and believes that such laws are ineffective at best, and unconstitutional at worst.  Guys like me are not National Rifle Association weenies who have never seen military service, nor are we politicians who have no experience with violence. We who have served in the military have been acutely trained in all things weaponry, yet we are being told we may not own a weapon with more than rounds in the magazine (11 rounds, since I will have one up the snout).  And you think limiting our magazine capacity is all that it will take to keep you safe?  From us?!?

We used our skills to defend you, the citizens, and now Ranger takes offense that he will be told in what manner he may defend his body and his home.  If my government does not trust me now, then why did they trust me when I was a soldier?  Please, America, don't tell me that I may defend democracy with a real assault rifle but cannot defend my home with an ersatz version. 

Ranger finds himself a stranger in a strange land when he is barraged in the creative media by the ubiquitous terror threat wreaking mayhem and death, countered by well-outfitted Jack Bauers, yet is told to stand down by the same actors who peddle this brand of paranoia.  Does this hypocrisy gall anyone else? 

In a nation of limited economic resources, from where will the funds for enacting the new laws come?

--Who will pay for private gun sales background checks?

--Who will be tasked with the record-keeping?

--Doesn't requiring private background checks trun every private owner and seller of a firearm into a "federal firearms dealer"?
--If the buyer or seller must pay for this required back, does this mean that gun rights are subject to a form of taxation in order for the gunman to exercise his civil rights? If Poll Taxes are illegal, then would this constriction upon a civil right be commensurate?

The U.S. already has the largest prison population in the world, and the new gun laws will add a new category of criminal to that mix: A normal citizen selling a gun to another citizen sans background check.  This type of criminality is the basis of most totalitarian regimes, and will require secret police and agents to ferret out miscreants who disobey the new laws.  Along with the informants will arise a thriving new black market. 

There is nothing good to expect from the proposed laws, other than a temporary soothing of the madding populace which is now being treated to a constant news feed which keeps their collective mind in a Tourette's-like state.  The new proposals will be a feint and a ruse, but it will not address our high homicide rate.

 The gun control rules will not keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Man With the Golden Gun

--President Obama--

There's a bad man cruising around 
in a big black limousine 
 Don't let it be wrong, don't let it be right 
Get in his way, you're dead in his sight 
--Big Gun, AC/DC 

Mama used to tell me 
Girl, you better load your gun up right 
She said ya, ya gotta come out smokin' 
Hit it with your best shot every time 
--Love is in Control, Donna Summer 

I know my destiny is like the sun
You see the best of me when I have got my gun 
--I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun, Cat Stevens

Surely every president loves his photo ops, and why should President Obama be any different?

Since gun control is a hot-button issue, BHO does not wish to look like a wussy as he ramrods through his position, ergo the recent photo of him striking a pose while skeet shooting.  But the photo seemed as inauthentic and staged as his ostensible dip in the Gulf of Mexico after British Petroleum's disastrous oil spill of 2010.

In that one, Mr. Obama was seen static in a small patch of some nondescript body of water with one of his offspring over the caption, "Swimming in the Gulf".  It seemed strained and joyless, like he was trying too hard, the lack of any place identifiers making the location of the dip indeterminate.  Not that swimming in the Redneck Riviera is a cause for joy, but still, there was no frolic in the dip.

Now we have an equally serious Mr. Obama drawing a bead on some skeet, so here is some minutiae (as seen through a gunman's lens):

--The Length of Pull (LOP) is too great. The gun is too long for Obama (Ranger measured the photo with calipers to confirm.)  With a too-long LOP the gun is too far forward, precluding proper use of the eye on the sighting plane of the shotgun.  Obama's head is too erect and not in proper relation to the gun target eye-line.

--His ear protection appears to be of a general industrial variety, not the slimmer profile earphones used in the shooting sports.  The slimmer earphones are designed to not interfere with the "stock-weld" -- the proper placement of the cheek in relationship to the stock.  If the President were properly down on his gun, the earphones would bang into the stock.

--What are the puffs of smoke coming from the the compensation ports in the barrel?  Doesn't HBO shoot  smokeless powder loads?  Further, where is the recoil which would be expected from a 12-guage shotgun?  Also, what is the (apparently) plastic wad just out of the bore?  Is this round live, or just a blank load for the photo?

--Where is his headgear (this appears to be a summer shot)?  Most shooters wear sun protection.  Mr. Obama was wearing a hat while out golfing with House Speaker John Boehner, but not here.
--This is how it's done

Further thoughts:

Has Mr. Obama taken National Rifle Association training for his shooting skills?  Why not bring the NRA on board, say to a summit at Camp David to help work out a reasonable gun owning stance for the nation?  If United States presidents can bring Palestinians and Jews to the bargaining table, then surely  a gun guy like Mr. Obama should be able to communicate with the leadership of the nation's largest gun lobby.

Why must our nation be so riven and suffer so much antagonism?  To what endpoint the ongoing and corrosive hostility?  The White House could set up a reloading room at the Camp, and the happy shooters could schmooze while cleaning their weapons and discussing their love of all things guns, reveling in their mutual uniquely American brand of manhood.

If Obama does not invite the NRA, then they should invite him.  If Mr. Obama could bring radical academic Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and a police officer together in a "beer summit", he can hobnob with the NRA.

The one positive of the photo is that Obama did not shoot anyone in the face (as a recent hapless past Vice President did.) Being a gunnie, we are sorry he did not visit our local Coon Bottom Skeet and Gun Club whilst here in the Panhandle for his previous photo op.

We just hope the President is not shooting blanks, in any sense of the term.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jumping the Reservation

  Bang bang, he shot me down 
Bang bang, I hit the ground 
--Bang, Bang, Sonny Bono 

[Note: Ranger wrote the following piece last night, before news of Dorner's death.]

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck calls cop-killer Christopher Dorner "a domestic terrorist," but is he?  What IS a domestic terrorist?

Was Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh one?  He did try to develop an organization and attacked a government target, apparently hoping to garner support and membership as a result of his criminal actions.

Ted Kaczynski ("The Unabomber") was another person who used terrorist tactics, but he was a lone wolf with no pretensions to organization or structure, either for the purpose of support or group affiliation.  His actions could be described as nihilistic.

Former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner believes himself wronged, and belatedly targeted those he believed responsible for his "decline".  His actions seem to spring from paranoid ideation rather than terrorist aspirations.  He is collecting a perverted payback.

Labeling Dorner a terrorist unleashes a broad array of extralegal actions which may be taken against him. We have become acclimated to these illegal responses because we justify that terrorism must be combated at all costs, as it is a scourge to be blamed for all the ills that plague our daily lives.  But it is too facile to label a protester or a nutcase a "terrorist", and we must have some rigor in our definition.

Everything is not terrorism, even if it walks and talks like a terrorist.  Terrorists create mayhem any way they can via their unpredictability. We are a reductionist and cookie cutter society, and we are also an overstimulated society, in need of ever greater drama to keep us somewhat awake. Ergo, violence = terrorism, and the Constitution may be trashed in the process.

Beyond the questionable designation of the shooter as a terrorist, can that designator be applied to our President and his Administration?  Is President Obama acting as a terrorist when he dispatches hit teams to foreign lands?  Is the SEAL with 30 assassinations under his belt who killed Osama bin Laden a terrorist?

Ranger's analysis of Dorner is that he will not kill again capriciously because he has shot his wad.  He has shown the world how pissed off he is and there is no further need for killing; he has had his catharsis.

If he shoots again, it will be because he is cornered (Report: Dorner's wallet found in burned-out cabin.) [He did shoot again, as he was cornered.]  He will fight because he knows he is dead whatever the outcome, and he will try to take a few more government agents out with him.  He, and we, know that the LAPD wants to kill him.

He will not shoot any women or children [Donner did not kill the maids who discovered him, and he also  stole a man's truck, telling him, "'I don't want to hurt you. Just get out of the truck and start walking up the road.' [The man] asked if he could get his dog out of the back. Dorner said, "Okay, but don't take time to get a leash."]

All murder is not terrorism, but terrorism is often murderous.  The goal of cutting terrorists from the herd is a reasonable one; however, it must be done within a legal framework, one which is already firmly in place, if it has not always been employed.  People are so brainwashed to believe that terrorists are other than criminals, belonging to some rarefied category outside the body of law, that they will cheer the use of drones upon one designated, "terrorist", even though this violates his due process of law, one of the central tenets of our democracy.

Ranger hopes the rogue L.A. cop is arrested (not "captured", which is a designator used in combat, which this is not).  However, the propaganda buildup in the press does not bode well for this outcome.

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