Saturday, June 30, 2018

Virginia Is The Most Patriotic State

Despite the leftist election results often produced by the Northern VA and the Tidewater areas, the Commonwealth still rates as the most patriotic state.

Source: WalletHub

The ratings were based on the “Military Engagement” and “Civic Engagement” of each state's residents. You can read the full analysis and see how your state ranked at 2018’s Most Patriotic States in America.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Five O'Clock Friday: Healthy Libation Advice

I was told...

When you drink vodka over ice, it can give you kidney failure.

When you drink rum over ice, it can give you liver failure.

When you drink whiskey over ice, it can give you heart problems.

When you drink gin over ice, it can give you brain problems.

Apparently, ice is very bad for you.

Ergo, drink neat.

Have a refreshing, healthy, weekend.

The Left: Unhinged

If someone says they want to do you harm, it's reasonable to believe them.

I see it as a failure of our education system that so many people actually think a civil war would be a good thing. They are ignorant of the destruction wrought in such a conflict. However, these are truly irrational and dangerous people so we should expect only the worse. Prepare well.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Stone Brewing Un-Unfiltered IPA

We went out for burgers and beer the other evening. My beer choice for the evening was the latest "Enjoy By" iteration from Stone Brewing, Stone Enjoy By 07.04.18 Unfiltered IPA. Colleen opted for  the All Neon Like from Triple Crossing. When the server set our beers on the table, my first thought was she had mixed up our glasses. That supposed glass of Enjoy By 07.04.18 certainly did not contain an unfiltered beer.

The "Unfiltered" beer is on the left

I had enjoyed the Triple Crossing beer not long ago and I remembered it was a hazy beer. So what was going on? Did they pour the wrong beer? One of the bartenders was sent to our table by our server. She agreed the beer didn't look as expected, but had confirmed the label on the keg.

Google to the rescue, and the mystery was solved. Stone screwed up
The Stone Enjoy By 07.04.18 Unfiltered IPA that came out of our Richmond brewery was, well, filtered. Of course it's still super delicious and incredibly fresh. But it's the filtered version of the beer. Or call it "Stone Enjoy By 07.04.18 Un-Unfiltered IPA" if you will.

Each 6pk box is marked with a sticker designating it as such, so anyone purchasing the beer will be aware of what they're getting. All other states are unaffected and are receiving the San Diego-brewed Stone Enjoy By 07.04.18 Unfiltered IPA. We screwed up. Fortunately this kind of thing doesn’t happen super often. Even more fortunately, it’s hard to imagine a more delicious screw up. We can own that. 

I was looking forward to trying the unfiltered beer. But unfortunately, the New England style beer is only available on the west coast.

The beer was quite tasty. I was still disappointed that the beer was not as advertised. Stone laughed it off, but should it really still be labeled Stone Enjoy By 07.04.18 Unfiltered IPA? Apparently the "oops" label was not placed on the keg.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Virginia State IDPA Championship

On Saturday, June 23, 155 IDPA enthusiasts convened in Bristol, VA for the Virginia State IDPA Match at Kettlefoot Rod & Gun Club. The match consisted of 12 fun stages (match book) providing a variety of exciting challenges. Eleven of the stages required movement by the shooter, but even on the "non-movement" stage the shooter was shooting from a moving platform. There were numerous non-threats placed on the stages making careful aiming a requirement throughout the match, even when shooting fast was possible. Overall, the challenges and good times were worthy of a state-level match.

I didn't think there were any uninteresting stages, though some especially stood out to me. (More photos from the match are here.)

Stage 3, "Stomping" made use of an interesting "sequential target." (YouTube video here.) The three linked targets were activated by a stomp plate at the start of the stage. The timing of the targets was such that you had to shoot the first one very quickly, and then slow somewhat for the final targets. Rushing through the sequence was a common occurrence for many shooters. I was pleased shoot just three points down on that array, for -5 total on the stage.

"Drunks On Town" saw us started at a cafe table and engaging targets to our strong side, before backing up range for a couple targets from cover. The stage ended with a run back up range for a lone target behind a barrel. The opening target array include non-threats that made for some tight shots. The decisions prior to shooting revolved around where to do the reload; did one make extra risky shots on the targets in order to reload on the move, or was it best to play it safe and make a standing reload at cover, or possibly a tactical reload on the move? Like many stages in this match, there were numerous options for stage strategy.

"Canoe Shootout," Stage 5, offered a unique shooting challenge, as well as a flexibility challenge. A canoe was attached to a "floating bridge" platform and we shot while seated in the canoe. Our gun and magazines were staged in boxes in front of us. A swinging threat / non-threat target pair was activated by pulling on a "fishing rod" at the start. The railings on the platform, combined with the target positioning necessitated some extreme leaning and stretching to engage the targets. Touching the railings with your body while shooting would earn a PE.

Due to priority, at least four near targets had to be engaged before shooting the swinger. As the two swinging arms slowed, the threat target ended up behind the non-threat leaving only a portion of the head area exposed. Most shooters I observed did not get to that target until it was nearly, or completely stopped. The moving platform made for quite a challenge. Typically when one is standing on a platform like this, some of the movement can be mitigated in the hips, however while seated I found the movement was nonstop and somewhat destabilizing. I found this to be an extremely fun stage to shoot, even if I did rack up a large number of points down.

"Picnic Raiders" was a stage I enjoyed quite a bit. The unloaded gun and magazines were stowed in a small cooler, placed on the bench by a picnic table. The size and shape of the cooler generally meant that everything wasn't laid out nice and neat. The SO gave a little chuckle as I worked to figure how to arrange my supplies. The starting position was up range from the cooler. Advancing to the table, we grabbed the magazines and loaded the gun. The targets were all shot from low cover behind the picnic table.

The stage brief noted that we could not leave any magazines in the cooler, so everything we put in the cooler had to be retrieved. On stages where magazines are to be retrieved and stowed, it's a debate on how many to place out. Technically no more than two magazines would be needed, but what if there's a malfunction? In this case I staged all three magazines in the cooler. My plan was to place the first in my magazine pouch, but quickly drop the second one in my pocket since I'd most likely not need it, and loaded the gun with the third as I dropped to my knees to shoot. I finished the stage just -2. This was my last stage of the match so I ended with a smile.

Stage 11, "Know When To Fold 'Em," was an exciting stage with the longest required movement in the match. Starting seated at a card table, beverage and card in hand, we stood to move to a close target that was engaged with six rounds. We then made a sprint across the stage to take low cover. Shooting around some barrels, there were three paper targets, a falling popper, and a swinging target. After engaging those, we shifted slightly and shot over a barrel to finish on another popper and an up-and-down target. Both of the moving targets were disappearing, with the up-and-down providing just one quick exposure.

Ammunition management was critical on this stage. I saw more than one shooter get stuck with needing a reload when the moving targets appeared, with some missing the chance to shoot the final target at all.

When I left the match, I had a few stage memories that disappointed, but most left me smiling. While I didn't shoot as consistently as I would have preferred, I don't have a lot of reason for complaint. Of the 154 shooters overall, I finished 45th, placing 11th of 39 in SSP and 7th of 8 in SSP EX.

In my post-match fretting analysis, I gleaned a few interesting observations. In general, I was pretty accurate on the tighter or more distant shots, with my few misses and HNTs usually coming on the "easy" shots. I also shot consistently well on all the moving and disappearing targets in the match.
This was my third sanctioned match since my match bump to EX this spring and I'm working to match the level of shooting required to place higher the classification. My goal now is to move closer to the top in this more competitive pool.

This was the first time I've attended Virginia State IDPA match. I found it it to be very well run. All of the SOs were helpful, attentive and friendly. The match flowed well. Even with a short afternoon backup at a couple stages, and a break for lunch, we shot the match in just over seven hours. Adding to the pleasure, shooters were not required to paste targets or reset steel; it was all handled by the staff. This allowed us to relax between shooting, and even socialize a bit with fellow shooters! I very much appreciated the down time to calmly reload magazines, rest and prepare for the next stage. Even the weather cooperated, providing mostly overcast skies and moderate temperatures. (Although the staff shot the day before in the rain.)

Overall, it was an extremely fun weekend that involved many activities in addition to the shooting. Traveling with regular shooting partner Stuart, we spent Friday meeting friends and visiting gun stores. The evenings found us relaxing in a remote mountain cabin, a stay which included cigars and copious Irish whiskey after the match Saturday. During the travel home we stopped for a visit and lunch with my son in the town where he's going to school. Of course, the entire weekend included numerous tasty meals, generally of the smoked meat genre. Good shooting, good people, good food and drink, it all added up to a great time.

And now to prepare for the next match...

Post-match refreshment

Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Weekly Range Session

I do miss being able to practice outdoors, but when the "feels like" temperature hits 102°, I am more accepting of the limits at an indoor range. That was my thought as I drove to the range one day after work this week. (Still, it was a bittersweet thought of fun days past.)

I started with a couple of magazines shot strong hand only and then some rapid fire strings at 7 yards. After putting up a fresh target, I pushed the carrier out just a bit further to 12 yards. I did the rest of my practice at that distance.

In my last practice I was trying for more tightly aimed aimed shots. For this outing I tried to shoot as fast as I felt I would at that distance in a match, though obviously without the pressure of competition. Shooting 2 - 4 shot strings, I managed keep most of the hits within the -0 zone. I was somewhat surprised by not only the consistency, but that I was able to make out the hits on the paper at 12 yards. Generally 10 yards is my limit; perhaps either the lighting was brighter or my eyes less fatigued than usual.

In any event, it was wholly satisfying. Changing the target I contemplated my next drill. I had originally thought to try some 25 yard shooting, but decided to continue at the middle distance and try to pick up the speed even more. I shot for a total of 100 rounds at that distance.

It was a fun practice session. One that left me admonishing myself, "Now take that to the match."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Derp Runs Deep With This One

This might possibly be the most inane thing I've read online all week, if not all year. In a Letter to the Editor in our local bird cage liner, entitled "Police need more clearly defined rules of engagement"...
All police departments should have very clearly defined rules of engagement, with an emphasis on the use of non-lethal devices, i.e., Tasers and rubber bullets, before guns are discharged. And they should all have their body cameras turned on.

Perhaps you remember a time when the police always fired a shot in the air and shouted “Stop! Police!” before they shot at someone. What has happened to this idea? I haven’t heard it mentioned for years, nor have I seen it used in any of the videos showing police shootings.

Is “protect and serve” still in effect as police forces become more militarized?

It's distressing that people who are incapable of telling the difference between TV and real life walk free in the streets. Such a disconnect with realty can be a dangerous thing. Sadly, this is just the sort of failed logic we see from those most vocal about "gun control." Gun control and anti-police sentiments walk hand in hand these days. These people have absolutely no idea about guns or self-defense yet seek to place restrictions on the rights of others. In their distorted reality they think that defending yourself denies "due process" to criminals. As is typical of the left, they have greater concern for thugs than for innocent people. This letter writer seems to care little about innocent bystanders who may be injured or killed by the falling bullets from those "shots in the air."

This is why it's generally better to ignore arguments from the left, you can't argue using logic when the concept is lost on them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Stone Brewing ///Fear.Movie.Lions

Stone Brewing ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA is a newly release beer brewed at Stone's new Richmond, VA facility. Officially debuting on June 4, I was treated to a couple of advanced samples for review. Unfortunately, life got in the way of me getting out an early review. While the pre-release samples were brewed in California, ///Fear.Movie.Lions will be brewed exclusively in Richmond, and distributed only in the eastern U.S.

The beer's unusual name comes from what3words. what3words is a unique global addressing system that attempts to settle directions in previously difficult to locate locations around the world. The system divides the earth into 3 meter by 3 meter squares, each designated by a unique three word address. I diverted from drinking the beer to reading about what3words; it's an interesting concept and something I'll watch to see how it catches on. (I also spent time exploring the 3 meter addresses in my home with the iPhone app.) The name ///Fear.Movie.Lions denotes the address of the 3 meter square in the Richmond brewery where this beer was created.

Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions takes the concept of the unfiltered New England IPA and ramps it up into the Double IPA realm. The beer pours very hazy and thick looking. It's a dark marmalade color topped by a rich beige head. The aroma brings notes of grass, spices, and tropical fruit, and a hint of dankness. The flavor profile is rich with a range of fresh "juicy" citrus fruit, notably orange, marmalade and grapefruit. Moderate citrus rind bitterness is balanced by a hint of sweet malt. Mouthfeel is thick and the lingering citrus notes extend the flavor experience. The ABV of 8.5% is well masked, but warrants care in sipping.

If you're a fan of the New England IPA style, or Double IPAs, or citrusy beers in general, Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions is sure to satisfy. That is, as long as you're on the East Coast.

The beer reviewed was an unsolicited sample from the brewery. All drinking and commenting is done of my own free will.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Rivanna IDPA Match

Too many conflicting commitments and other activities have prevented me from getting to the monthly IDPA matches at Rivanna since last February. This weekend, I was finally able to get there, and despite much time spent on the road lately, I was looking forward to rising early and hitting the match.

Attendance was a bit lighter than usual, just 31 shooters, but that also meant a quick morning of shooting with little down time. We shot the four stages in just over 2 hours.

The first stage had us starting in the middle of a wall, the shooters choice of which direction to go at the buzzer. Groups of two or three targets, along with some non-threats, were found at four shooting positions. Despite the stage walls and cover positions being symmetrical to either side, the target positioning was not. That made stage plan awareness all the more critical. I was relieved to shoot the first "get over the nerves" stage clean with no points down.

The second stage was an "L" shaped course. The initial targets were engaged while advancing down the long leg, shooting towards to side berm. Making the turn we found are targets around the ends of the short wall. It was a (seemingly) easy stage that lured me into shooting too fast, and racking up three points down and a hit on a non-threat.

For the next stage, match director Tony had rolled out the red Mazda pickup often seen at Rivanna. I am not totally sure why, but I always seem to enjoy the stages when we shoot from, and around, this prop.

The stage began with the shooter in the driver's seat and the loaded gun on the passenger seat, truck door closed. There were two targets to be engaged through the passenger window opening, and one via the driver's side. Exiting the vehicle three more targets were available. It was a fun stage which I shot just one point down. Alas, I was informed that while shooting the last three targets I had one foot remaining in the vehicle; the stage brief noted that both feet had to be out of the truck and on the ground. That cost me a three second PE.

The fourth and final stage is the one that had folks talking. Three groups of targets were placed downrange of three shooting boxes. Each target array was comprised of three threat targets behind two non-threats. Each of the targets had limited scoring zones available, and to my eyes, as you moved left to right, the center target had an increasingly smaller area exposed. Careful aiming was called for. There were numerous repair pasters already on many of the non-threats from previous shooters. I thought to myself, "This is the last stage of the day, so finish strong."

I wasn't overly concerned about the time, I just wanted to shoot it without hitting any non-threats. This was my chance to make up for the PE on the previous stage, and the careless HNT on stage 2. I took my time and concentrated hard of sight picture and trigger press, and ended up just three points down and no hits on the non-threats.

When I finished I told a friend I felt like that was my best stage of the match. I joked that the setup forced me to actually pay attention to the sights and to take my time. And that all paid off. I ended up with the second best score overall on that stage, second only to the overall match winner. Interestingly, despite feeling like I shot slow, even my raw time was the fourth fastest. It was a great way to end the match, and I think there are some valuable lessons there for me as well.

We finished shooting before the afternoon heat became unpleasant, which added to the enjoyment of the morning. The stages offered an interesting variety of shooting challenges. My score put me 5th of 31 shooters overall, and 1st of 10 in the SSP division.

The drive home found me stuck behind farm vehicles on a long "no passing" road several times. On the bright side that the extra drive time gave me time to enjoy, several times over, the new Buddy Guy album I had downloaded the day before. All and all this was a most excellent start to the weekend. There was more fun to be had later in the day.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Saturday Fire and Whiskey

After shooting a quick, fun IDPA match Saturday morning, I got some chores around the house taken care of. Not the least of which was getting the spare grill tank refilled to ensure successful completion of Sunday's steaks. Despite the after-dinner temperature on Saturday hovering around 80°, I threw a couple logs in the fire pit and we enjoyed a relaxing, but warm, evening sipping a bit of rye whiskey around the fire. The birds were singing in trees and there were even a few fireflies making an early appearance.

We are expecting a much more oppressive heat blast to come through the next few days, so it was good to get in one more fire before summer truly arrives.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Harry's Alehouse Wing & Beer Pairing

Harry's Alehouse held a Wing & Craft Beer Pairing event this week, featuring beers from Flying Dog Brewery. Having attended several previous beer dinners at Harry's, we were excited for the next adventure. We were not disappointed.

Harry's Chef James put together four tasty wing dishes to go along with four beers. This event was run a little differently than previous dinners, in that all the beers and food were served together and we enjoyed them at our own pace. A printed handout was provided that explained the choices behind the pairings. All four of the beers from Flying Dog were ones that I've had before so I was familiar with them already. I was looking forward to Chef's take on the food pairings.

The first pairing was "Elote Wings" served with Numero Uno Summer Cerveza. The chargrilled wings were tossed in a thick chili-lime cotija cheese sauce. The toasted grain and lime zest flavors of the beer were enhanced by the matching flavors of the cheese and lime sauce coating the wings.

Next up was the popular Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale served with "Bay-B-Que Wings" which were deep fried then tossed in OLD BAY BBQ sauce. The wing coating was moderately spicy with a hint of sweetness. The OLD BAY flavored beer maintained the red pepper spiciness providing a seamless flavor experience.

One of my favorite Flying Dog beers, Bloodline Blood Orange IPA was paired up with "Orange Mango Habanero Jerk Wings." Jerk-spiced and citrus-marinated grilled wings were finished with a Orange Habanero glaze. It should come as no surprise I enjoyed this combination very much. The wings were spicy with a lingering heat that was moderated but not abated by the bitter citrus hops in the beer. I was about to declare this the winning pair, until the surprise contender seen in the final offering.

Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter finished the evening served with "Smoked Salt and Coffee Crusted Wings." The Coffee-brined and Coffee-herb-rubbed baked wings had a Smoked Salt and Maple glaze. The beer by itself provided rich coffee, chocolate and bourbon notes. When paired with the roasted coffee and salt encrusted wings, the combination was amazing. Despite my preference for hoppy beer and spicy food, this combination the winner of the night in my opinion.

This was a sold out and crowded event, and the staff worked hard to get everyone served and provide water, additional beers, and plenty of napkins throughout the evening. All the diners appeared to enjoy themselves very much. It was easy to work through all the food and beer at one's own leisure. The pairings all worked quite well. The standard wings offered at Harry's Alehouse are one of my favorite dishes there, but any of this evening's offerings would make an excellent addition to the menu. 

A dozen wings and the four tasters of beers, not to mention my "pre-game" pint of Center of the Universe Chameleon Orange IPA, make for a very satiating meal. Nonetheless, when one is enjoying an evening of feasting, it's tough to call it quits. We decided to cap off the evening with tasty, and cooling, milkshakes on our way home. It was a fitting cap to an enjoyable night out.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flag Day & Other American Celebrations

On June 14, 1777, the Second Congressional Congress officially adopted the design of our nation's flag. Flag Day is celebrated each June 14 as Americans recognize that part of our history. Given the lack of respect so many show our flag these days, Flag Day offers an opportunity to remind people just what that flag stands for.

There are other, less official, holidays on today's calendar as well. June 14 is has been designated as National Bourbon Day. And if that doesn't tickle your tastebuds, it's also National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Our flag, some bourbon, and a sweet dessert — it really doesn't get more American than that!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Parents Lobby To Keep Kids Unsafe

The Virginia Citizens Defense League alerting members on the efforts of the Virginia PTA.
The Virginia Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is distributing their 2018 Legislative Priorities and it looks like Michael Bloomberg wrote it.

What is the PTA doing lobbying against our civil rights?!  That is NOT what they are supposed to be doing and we need to let them know that.

Here is item #5 on their agenda:

5. Gun Violence Prevention

* Support legislation requiring and maintaining schools as gun-free zones
* Support increased penalties for possession, discharging or brandishing weapons within school buildings
* Support the right of Virginia's children to an education in an environment that is safe and non-violent
* Support universal background checks for the sale and possession of firearms and closing the gun show loophole


OK, let's look at those items, one-by-one:

* Support legislation requiring and maintaining schools as gun-free zones

Gun-free zones are the PROBLEM, not the solution.  Over 90% of mass public shootings are in gun-free zones.  This policy endangers the safety in schools by giving the armed attacker the advantage.  The attacker knows that if the resource office isn't there, the attacker has total control of the school and can begin killing people immediately.  (Resource officers are not assigned to some schools and are not always present when they are assigned, as they might be in court or perhaps checking on another school.)  If the resource officer is there, then the attacker knows he will have to kill the officer first with a sneak attack and then the school is his to with as he pleases.

* Support increased penalties for possession, discharging or brandishing weapons within school buildings

It is ALREADY a FELONY to have a firearm on school property that is not unloaded and stowed in a vehicle (except CHP holders can have a loaded, concealed handgun in the vehicle as long as the CHP holder stays in their vehicle).  You can't really increase the penalty beyond that unless you make it a capital crime.

* Support the right of Virginia's children to an education in an environment that is safe and non-violent

Who does't want this?  But violence, including deadly violence, involves much more than just firearms, but that's really all the PTA is concerned with.

* Support universal background checks for the sale and possession of firearms and closing the gun show loophole

Most of the school killers are children, who can't yet purchase a gun and, therefore, are not subject to background checks of any kind.  Of those killers who are 18 or older, virtually all of them either passed a background check or stole their gun.  So universal background checks would make NO difference in reducing attacks on schools.  A background check for POSSESSION of a firearm is what Illinois has - works great in Chicago, doesn't it?  The fact that the PTA supports BOTH universal background checks AND closing the non-existing gun-show loophole, tells me they really don't understand either one.



1)  If you are a member of the Virginia PTA, consider dropping your membership and be sure to tell them why you are not renewing.

2)  Contact both the president, Sarah Gross, and the Advocacy Chair, Kim Chandler, by email:

Email address:;

Suggested Subject: The Virginia PTA should not be lobbying against our civil rights!

Suggested Message: (Updated June 14)

 I don't appreciate the Virginia PTA lobbying to restrict my civil right to own a gun and carry it for self-defense.  The Virginia PTA should be supporting our civil rights, not opposing them.  Schools being gun-free zones endanger students; it does not make them safer. Utah and New Hampshire schools are not gun-free zones and they haven't experienced the shootings that gun-free schools have in Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and other states.

Students who are too young to legally buy a gun commit most school shootings - they won’t have had a background check since the system only checks legal gun purchasers.  The older killers have either previously passed a background check or have stolen the gun. Either way, universal background checks will NOT reduce school violence.

The Virginia PTA needs to remove ALL gun-control advocacy from their legislative agenda and stay away from denying the civil rights of Virginia's gun owners.


3)  You can also contact the PTA by phone: (804) 264-1234

Whenever the left trots out the "do it for the children" angle, you can be sure they are just dancing in the blood of the dead in order distract from their real agenda. Nothing the VA PTA  proposes makes children safer. These proposals ONLY affect law abiding citizens. The agenda of "gun control" is control, not safety.

Remember, school officials in Parkland, Florida chose to ignore expert advise that would actually have made students safer. In fact, the school essentially AIDED the shooter through their inaction.

I've often quipped that sending your child to public schools might be akin to child abuse. That seems to be moving ever-closer to the truth.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Five O'Clock Friday: It's a Solemnity!

Catholics will understand.

Happy Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Repost: Something Must Be Done

I wrote this post several years ago after the Sandy Hook School killings. It resurfaced in my logs after showing up in somebody's search results recently and getting a bunch of fresh hits. The specific incidents have have changed. The anger I feel towards those who insist on creating defenseless victims remains. It's sad that we've learned so little since.

Reposted from December 15, 2012.

Again, the face of evil has again reared its ugly head. Just days after a tragic mall shooting that left three dead, a deranged gunman has left a trail of 27 bodies in Newtown, Connecticut. And once again, we are reminded how helpless we have allowed ourselves to become against such evil. Even before the bodies were removed from the elementary school, the blood dancers were demanding further restrictions on our natural rights to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The president put on his thespian costume to go on TV to shed crocodile tears over the dead children. (All the while cheerfully planning for continued tax money for Planned Parenthood, who killed around 900 children that same day.) The protesters lined the street in front of the White House, NOT to mourn the dead but to demand further restrictions be imposed on innocent citizens.

The president called for "meaningful action" to prevent these tragedies from occurring. Yet, he and others like him bear responsibility for setting so many innocents up for slaughter. They created the "gun free zones" that attracted the deranged individuals. Mass shootings at shopping malls, movie theaters, churches, and schools all have one thing in common. Law-abiding citizens are denied the ability to defend themselves. Dim-witted lawmakers and dependent voters made sure the criminals had free reign for their heinous deeds. A few years ago after a man killed two police officers, VA Senator Saslaw introduced a bill to prevent citizens from taking guns into police stations. The gunman had no issue with current laws against murdering police officers, so just how much of an idiot do you have to be to think he'll be bothered by a "no guns allowed" sign on the door.

Yet, that is just the sort of brain-dead thought that passes for logic among the "gun control" crowd. They want special restrictions on weapons they have superficially labeled "assault weapons." Their designation is based merely on what the inanimate object looks like. The appearance of the weapon has nothing to do with the destruction for which an evil person might use it. The 9/11 bombers carried nothing more than box cutters to carry out their murderous deeds. MinYingjun used a knife to injure 23 school children in China. The common factor among these deeds is not the weapon used. In Connecticut, Oregon, Aurora, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and other places, the commonality is the presence of people intent on doing evil and a defenseless victim pool.

So yes, I agree with the president, we need "meaningful action." In fact, I demand meaningful action. It is time for the American public to stand up and demand that our defensive rights not be limited. The lawmakers and the people who support them are complicit in the deaths of these innocent children. It is they who insist that the innocent be left unprotected and vulnerable. In the words of Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers,
This shooting is yet another tragic example of the failed, grotesque insistence on helpless victim zones where any crazed gunman can be assured of a large number of disarmed, undefended, helpless victims, all crammed into one place, where he can kill many children before an armed defender arrives from elsewhere.  It is disturbing and sick that the federal government so hates the right of the American people to bear arms, and so hates their natural right to self defense, that the government insists on making them helpless, disarmed victims for anyone who cares to kill them.   And in this case, all of the teachers and staff were willfully disarmed by the Federal Government, by force of law and threat of prison, to ensure that they would be disarmed and incapable of saving the lives of the children entrusted to their care.
How many more people must die before the American people stand up and demand an end to victim disarmament zones? Like sheep being led to slaughter, we stand idly by, letting dishonest and hypocritical politicians get away with providing support to killers. These same politicians demand armed protection for themselves and their families. The Brady group, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, The Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and others of their ilk scream out for more "gun control." They focus on an object, and play on the irrational fears of others to create more innocent victims. It's time to face the obvious. It is not the weapon that is the issue. We cannot deny that evil exists. What we can do is stop cooperating with evil by keeping people defenseless.

It's is indeed time for meaningful action. It is time to allow people to be armed and cease creating feel-good "sensitive areas" where you and your children are sitting ducks. No one knows if an armed citizen in any of the recent tragedies could have stopped the killers. What is obvious is that NO ONE was even allowed the option. It's also obvious that the killing locations were chosen because of the concentration of defenseless victims. These killers are cowards. Like all criminals, they choose their victims because they can't or won't fight back. Responsible citizens need to stop merely trying to save the gun-related rights we still have. The time is now be on the offensive, and demand an end to restrictions of our God-given rights. Responsible citizens must be allowed the right to defend themselves EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE, without restriction. Government and law enforcement cannot and will not protect us.

I'll say it right now and clearly. If you are the type of person who utters calls for "gun control" you are complicit in making these tragedies possible. If you want "reasonable restrictions" on the types of weapons I can own, you are complicit in assuring the criminals have an advantage. If you continue to support "gun free" zones, you are showing you don't care if me or my family are defenseless against perpetrators of evil. I consider those who try to restrict my right to self-defense, in any manner, just as much of a danger to my safety and the lives of my loved ones as the psycho who would attack them.

Yes, I am angry. I am angry that these innocents have lost their lives. I am angry that families are mourning. And I am angry that our government demanded that they be left open for slaughter. If someone wants to go about life with no more than a "hope" that violence never finds them, that is their choice. I pray every morning that I will not need to defend my life that day, and I pray every night in thanks that I did not. But I will not leave my loved ones at risk to assuage the weaknesses and phobias of others. The right to self defense and the right to defend our children from harm is God-given and cannot be taken away or limited by any man or government.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Virginia Church Self Defense Ban

Virginia has fairly decent laws regarding the carrying of firearms for self defense. Other than needing to pay a tax in order to exercise your 2nd Amendment right, it's moderately easy to get a VA Concealed Handgun Permit. However, according to some on the left, your right of self defense is abrogated if you happen to be praying at the time the need arises. These are the same mental midgets who claim that school "gun free zones" prevent school shootings. The Virginia Citizens Defense League is taking on the ridiculous prohibition on carrying a gun during a religious service.

We need to repeal the Jim Crow era Blue-law that forbids a person from having a weapon **in a place of worship, during a service.** (18.2-283).

While the General Assembly is not currently in session, and won't be in session again until January, we can use this time to build up steam for the repeal next year!


Starting NOW, and for the rest of the year, we need to be educating faith leaders, and the public, about the church-service weapon ban and to get as many people as we can onboard in helping us to accomplish the repeal. It would be great to flood the Governor and the General Assembly with phone calls, emails, and letters all summer long. (VCDL will also be distributing postcards to the Governor at gun shows all year.)

Don't assume that faith leaders and your friends haven't fallen for the other side's lie that repealing 18.2-283 negates any church leader's right to make decisions about guns on their property. To win this we need to educate as many people as we can to the facts and truth.

To that extent, I have a copy of a letter from Delegate Dave LaRock, who put in the 18.2-283 repeal bill for VCDL earlier this year. His letter, and my cover letter, can be printed out and handed to faith leaders or distributed to your fellow worshipers, friends, family, and coworkers. The link to the letter can also be emailed instead:


Here's VCDL's webpage on the repeal, with ACTION ITEMS for contacting the Governor and the General Assembly:

Although a former VA Attorney General posited that self-defense was a legitimate reason for being armed in a church, the legal question is far from settled. Bad things happen in church too. The doors of your church are not talisman against violence. It is foolhardy to not be prepared.

Share this with your priest, your pastor, your rabbi and any other religious leaders and friends.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Local Craft Beer Cup Winners

The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild announced the 2018 Virginia Craft Beer Cup Winners earlier this week. The result of judging 375 beers, the winners list includes many old favorites, as well as some new additions to my "must try" list.

Of particular interest to me, a few Fredericksburg area breweries took home medals.

European Dark and Strong Lager Category
Third Place: Beer Hound Brewery for Zoeie

Dark and Strong British Beer Category
Second Place: Adventure Brewing Company for Black Sail Scotch Ale

European Sour Ale Category
First Place: Red Dragon Brewery for Here Be Dragons
Third Place: Strangeways Brewing for Uberlin

Pale American Ale Category
First Place: 6 Bears and a Goat for Mae West

Of course, you'll want to check out the entire Virginia Craft Beer Cup Winners here to see how your favorite Virginia breweries fared.

Congratulations to all the medal winners. There are some great beers coming out of Virginia!

Kitchen Scene

We had a contractor doing some work in the kitchen recently. He did his work quietly and quickly. After he had gone, I noticed the scene at the kitchen sink.

My life isn't exactly "gray" thanks to this blog, and I do have gun-themed license plates on my car. It appears my kitchen is an open book too. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Range Trip

Various life stuff got in the way of a range trip last week, and then Saturday's much anticipated match was cancelled due to weather. As such I was anxious to hit the range, so as soon as my last conference call was over on Monday I made a beeline for the door. I arrived at the range a little later than I usually do and seven or eight other shooters were there, all shooting rifles. There was also a very young girl shooting a pink .22 rifle with her dad. That was heartwarming to see.

My intent for this trip was to shoot slow fire at some longer distances. I stuck a couple of black target posters on my targets to act as aiming points. I started at 10 yards, an worked my way out to 20. I was pretty pleased my shooting, despite my inability to actually shoot all that slow, and found myself speeding up and running two, three or four shot strings. With my uncorrected distance vision, the pasters pretty much disappear beyond 12 yards.

15 yards

I'm no bullseye shooter but I found the results acceptable. One interesting observation,  the mere 10 inches or so between my aiming points made a difference in the hits, out to 15 yards. The groups, such as they are, were consistently tighter on the upper spot. It made me think of recent matches where I've shot well on shoulder high steel plates, while shooting less accurately on the ground level poppers. Too much practice with eye-level targets perhaps? I'll have to look at how low I can hang my targets on a future trip.

The session ended with a few magazines of SHO and WHO shooting at a closer distance. Despite using just a small portion of the targets, I refreshed them frequently for better analysis of the hits. As such I had a significant stack of paper stabled to the cardboard when I finished, and ended up covering my shirt with paper bits when I pulled them off. It was like "confetti" in celebration of a fruitful outing.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

FBI Agent NDD in Denver Nightclub

Negligent Dance Discharge.  An off-duty FBI agent was enjoying himself a little too much this weekend when he decided to do a backflip while carrying his weapon. That was his first mistake. His second mistake was failing to use a holster with proper retention. The final blunder was sticking his finger on the trigger when retrieving his gun. I'm pretty sure the FBI teaches you not to do that. An innocent partron of the club was shot in the lower leg as a result.

Despite the headlines calling this an accidental discharge, this was no accident. It's amazing how reporters and law enforcement like to avoid that reality. I heard one report that stated the agent "somehow accidentally fired the gun." This was pure negligence, there's just no dancing around that. (Heh)

UPDATE, June 7: The guy: Chase Bishop: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

'Twas a Rainy Saturday

Saturday plans were rained out. The IDPA match I was very much looking forward to was cancelled. After careful consideration, I opted out of doing brewery visits since I didn't feel like driving through the predicted heavy rains. (And I saw reports of numerous accidents around the area.) So I did this...

My son had come home for the weekend to go to a local event with friends. That event that was also cancelled. On the plus side, we had an enjoyable day just visiting.

Sunday looks to be even wetter. I'll be catching up on some reading.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

"Hey coyote, put that down!"

We live in a rural neighborhood bordered by National Park Service lands which are preserved from development. As a result there's an abundance of wildlife still to be found, and enjoyed, in the area. Many of the folks who move in come from more urban areas, where the wild animals are only found in cages.

This comment was recently posted on the neighborhood forum...
"Sorry to share this but I just saw a coyote carrying a cat in its mouth. I tried to intervene but I was too far away to make a difference."
I have to wonder what sort of "intervention" she have in mind? Did this good samaritan expect to wrestle the kitten carcass from the coyote?

Maybe she watched too many cartoons as a kid.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Five O'Clock Friday: Just. Stop. Raining.

Please. I have plans this weekend.

The IDPA match I planned to shoot on Saturday has already been cancelled due to expected storms. Perhaps I'll hit the pub instead.

H/T Wirecutter for the pic.

ATF Agent Shoots Pet on Playground

Dogs sometimes fight. Fortunately, those folks are rarely serious and sensible humans can usually separate them without undo risk. Unless you happen to be an ATF agent walking his dog on a school playground. In that case, the interaction can turn deadly in a hurry.

SPOTSYLVANIA COURTHOUSE, Va. - A dog owner said an off-duty ATF agent fatally shot his mastiff puppy outside of a middle school in Spotsylvania County.

Vance Gibbs said he brings his dogs to a large field at Ni River Middle School several times a week. However, he is now traumatized after he watched his 8-month-old Presa Canario mastiff puppy Ari die in his arms.

Gibbs said it happened when he and his four puppies and three adult mastiffs were enjoying some exercise on the field Tuesday night. A golden retriever off a leash ran up to them while his dogs, which were on leashes but running free, chased after it.

The dogs then started fighting and Gibbs said he threw himself into the middle trying to get his dogs away. Meanwhile, he said the owner of the golden retriever pulled out a gun and fired twice into the ground, and then a third time hitting Ari in the side. She died minutes later.

There was plenty of irresponsible dog ownership on both side here, and both parties share in the guilt. That said, the trigger-happy ATF agent seems to have exhibited little concern for innocent bystanders. The dogs were fighting each other, not threatening people. The pet owner claims the agent brandished his gun in an earlier incident as well.