Thursday, April 29, 2010


This morning, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed SF 2379 into law.

The new regulations changing Iowa from may-issue to shall-issue, standardizing the carry permit process throughout the state, and recognizing all other states' carry permits goes into effect January 1, 2011.

THANK YOU, GOVERNOR CULVER. And thank you, Iowa Carry, for all your hard work and dedication.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Final Countdown For Iowa

If Governor Chet Culver doesn't sign SF2379 by this coming Thursday, Iowa has to go back to the drawing board on the most sweeping concealed carry reform they've ever got to pass the state legislature.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact his office to urge that he sign.
If you've called or written before, do it again.

We're running out of time.

ETA: Governor Culver has issued a press release saying he will sign the bill. At pretty much the last possible minute, which still concerns me. If After he signs it, we should contact him again to express our thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Helping Iowa Helps Us All

Time is running out for Iowa Governor Chet Culver to sign SF2379. This bill most significantly makes Iowa a shall-issue permit state instead of its current, oft-abused may-issue, standardizes training and qualification, and recognizes all other states' carry permits without any foolishness about whose requirements are "stringent" enough.

Everyone who has a permit to carry and who might ever travel to or through Iowa benefits if Gov. Culver signs this bill. But it's looking like he may very well ignore it, resulting in an automatic "pocket veto" if time runs out without signing.

Gov. Culver is a Democrat, and is under pressure from the hoplophobic Usual Suspects to let this important bill die.

If you live in Iowa, go here to send a pre-written email to Gov. Culver urging him to sign SF2379.

If you don't live in Iowa, go here to send an email of your own.

Time is running out. Help Iowa and yourselves today.

ETA: The deadline is April 29. The Governor's Office phone number is 515-281-5211. He has a Facebook page as well, for those of you who use Facebook. Don't just contact him once, keep flooding his office with support for this bill.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chicago Wants MORE Gun Control

Because it's so much easier than gang control.
Twelve hours. Seven people. All dead. And at least 18 others were wounded.

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis called the shootings that tore across the city's South, Southwest and West sides Thursday night and Friday morning unacceptable. Most of the slayings were gang-related, he said.
You remember Superintendent Weis, AKA "K-Fled" who ran away from the gunfire not so long ago, right?

Also remember that Chicago is where rapists who know the right people are immune to investigation, arrest, and prosecution.

H/T to Zendo Deb, TFS Magnum.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Congratulations, Arizona!

Today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Constitutional Carry into law. Obtaining a permit for reciprocity is still available as an option for Arizona residents.

None of the states that have no training requirement for their concealed carry permits have any problems. None of the states that allow open carry without a permit have any problems (except for periodic hoplophobic panty-wetters calling overzealous police on armed citizens who are doing absolutely nothing wrong).

Congratulations, Arizona, and thank you, Governor Brewer. Now if Iowa Governor Chet Culver will only sign his carry-reform bill . . .

More PSH In Iowa

And an opportunity to use one of Robb's awesome graphics.

A bill is currently sitting on Iowa Governor Chet Culver(D)'s desk that would make huge improvements in Iowa's current may-issue concealed carry law, as well as allow open carry. But some legislators don't want to recognize permits from other states, and some sheriffs are upset about losing their ability to use personal bias discretion in issuing or denying permits.

Funny, those things haven't been a problem in any of the 36 states that currently have shall-issue carry laws. Vermont and Alaska (and now Arizona as well, we hope, if their governor signs their Constitutional-carry bill) do not require a permit at all, and they haven't had problems either.

So why do Iowa overlords government functionaries think their constituents are stupider than folks in other states?

The bill passed in the last three days of the legislative session. That means Governor Culver has to sign it within 30 days (not counting Sundays) or it is automatically vetoed. IowaCarry has a web page that allows Iowa residents to easily send a message to the Governor.

People with permits in other states have a stake in this bill, too. For me, not being allowed to carry in another state is a powerful disincentive to travel to or through there. If you want to be able to carry in Iowa (and spend money there, hint, hint), contact Governor Culver's office and ask that he sign the bill.

Let's all pull together to get this bill signed. Every state that improves their own carry laws benefits all responsible gun owners.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BAG Day Blues

Thanks to the Infernal Eternal Internal Revenue Service, discretionary funds for gun-buying are in short supply this year. Gotta support all those entitlement slags disadvantaged citizens, y'know.

At least I can find comfort in knowing the gun I would have bought isn't on the shelves yet, a Kel-Tec PMR-30. Hopefully by the time they're available for purchase, I'll be more solvent again.

Adding a can to a PMR-30 would be entirely too much fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How To Catch A Horse

Trainers get lots of calls from people who can't catch their horses. I thought I'd post a short video to show how it's done.

Dramamine Warning: This is my very first attempt at video recording. It was made on my phone (Motorola Droid) while walking over rough ground in a high wind. No way to mount a tripod.

Sarge recently skinned up his scar but good, and I have to treat it every day again. That's pretty much all I'm doing with him right now, so he knows perfectly well what's coming when I show up. Even though he's not crazy about being treated, the quality of our relationship is such that he still comes willingly when I call him.

That's the key. If you have a foundation of mutual respect and understanding, everything else just works.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And You Thought My Range Bag Was Bad

When I went through my range bag for this meme, I couldn't help wondering if some laws of physics weren't being violated when I packed everything back in. Unfortunately, that's not my only overstuffed crap carrier.

I have horses, and horses require grooming. Grooming requires assorted currycombs, brushes, and other implements. Lots of them.

Behold the horror that is the contents of my brush box:

Believe it or not, I really use all of that on my herd. No two items fill the exact same purpose. All the brushes are natural fibers only, from rice root and union fiber to pig bristle and goat hair. Synthetic brushes don't remove the dirt, they only push it around.

There's a lot of crossover between dog and horse grooming, hence the rakes, English Greyhound-style, and flea combs. Nothing like a flea comb to get the last little crud crumbs out of a horse's ears or armpits.

Just like my ridiculous range bag, everything actually does fit:

There's even room left for the couple of items that escaped and are currently AWOL somewhere inside my car.

"My name is Hecate, and I'm addicted to horse brushes."

"Hello, Hecate."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eyes And Ears

I've seen plenty of photos of ballistic eyeglass lenses that were intentionally shot with various projectiles for reasons of testing or demonstration. As I cleaned my prescription shooting glasses* after a range session, it occurred to me that showing people the actual damage they've sustained might be informative.

So here they are. The lenses are clean, so except for one highlight to the right of the nosepiece, every mark is impact damage.

Every gouge and divot in those ballistic-grade polycarbonate lenses could have cost me my eyesight had I not been wearing them.

You'd think hits like those would get my attention, but I honestly cannot remember a single one. When concentrating on my shooting, I don't notice crap bouncing off my glasses any more than hammer bite, blisters, or hot brass. Once I had a hot rifle casing land on my bare arm and stick there. No flinching, no jumping, I just peeled it off and kept on going. The burn scar took over a year to fade.

After severe ear infections as a child, my hearing is slightly compromised. Since I really want to keep what's left, I double-plug. I have several pairs of E.A.R. Inc. Insta-Mold custom ear plugs that I use under Gentex Wolf Ears.

I ordered the Wolf Ears from Massad Ayoob's online store about five years ago. For normal practice, I leave the electronic amplification turned off. For training or other situations where I need to hear range commands, it's indispensable. The directionality of their hearing enhancement is excellent, great for zeroing in on the noise in the bushes that might be a rabid raccoon.

I chose Wolf Ears based on Massad Ayoob's recommendation, but they are now discontinued. I know mine won't last forever, so any recommendations for a potential equivalent-quality replacement would be greatly appreciated.

Impact isn't the only risk to vision for shooters.

I call this one "Gun Scrubber Backsplash Meets Anti-Reflective Coating." Sigh.

* The right (dominant eye) lens is single-vision focused on my handgun front sight. The left lens is my normal no-line progressive prescription. The progressive gradients on my normal glasses are set to favor handgun shooting. Thank you, Dr. William Schlichtemeier, opthalmologist and Olympic shooter extraordinaire.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Equine Melanoma Update

The worst winter in memory (damn global warming) took a heavy toll on my ability to keep up with Judge's ear melanoma. It grew quite a bit, more than doubling in size.

Now that I can get out there regularly again, the frankincense essential oil is doing a good job. I was surprised to see the pure oil is much more effective than when some DMSO is added. I expected the penetrating agent would improve the results.

Another surprise was finding the interior of the tumor is pinkish-white instead of black. My vet said that's normal, though, and only some melanomas are black throughout.

In the clinical protocol, the oil is applied and/or injected into the tumors multiple times per day. With Judge, rubbing the oil into the surface of the tumor and then giving it a day or two to work seems to give the best results. The surface becomes hard and crumbly, and can be easily and painlessly removed.

So far, the treatment is easy, inexpensive, and seems to be getting results.

Who You Gonna Call?

When 911 is down?

Be prepared to defend yourself.

"The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good"

Nowhere is Voltaire's quote more true than when applied to concealed carry legislation.

There's a lot of angst flying around the Intertubes about the changes to Iowa's carry laws now awaiting the Governor's signature. The bill that survived running the legislature gauntlet is far short of the Vermont-style carry promoted by some in that state, but it's still a huge improvement over what Iowa had before.

Nebraska was the 48th of 50 states to pass a law allowing concealed carry. When our bill was slogging through the Unicameral, there were plenty of people complaining it wasn't good enough. Had those voices won out, I believe a more (dare I say it?) radical bill would have failed, and we Nebraskans might still be in the same sad boat as Wisconsin and Illinois.

Every year since, though, more bills have passed improving Nebraska's carry laws. What was wrong with that first landmark effort is gradually being whittled away.

Of course Vermont-style carry is the ideal. The bad guys don't get permits and would be disqualified if they tried. In states that don't protect their permit rolls, the lamestream media loves to use that information to demonize and denigrate those who have them while making them attractive targets for gun thieves. Not to mention the absence of a person's name from the list could reassure a stalker or home invader that his prey is helpless.

If you don't require permits, there aren't any lists of who has guns to be exploited.

Going for the whole works in the beginning is an all-or-nothing effort with the outcome heavily loaded toward nothing. There are still plenty of issues with the law in Nebraska that need to be resolved. A Castle Doctrine bill introduced this session languished in the judiciary committee because of the usual hoplophobic FUD about meter readers and firefighters getting shot. At least a good bill was introduced, and we'll probably get it done next year. Many more tries to get concealed carry at all failed before the Concealed Handgun Permit Act was finally signed in 2006.

Incrementalism works both ways. At least the majority of the chipping away at the status quo is currently going in our favor. We need to do everything we can to see it continues.