Friday, February 27, 2015

                                                                                 Never Quit!
  Yesterday while checking the ammo shelf at a local Walmart, an older man, apparently in his late 70’s or early 80’s, on one of those scooters, went chasing down an employee working in the sporting goods section. With the employee in tow, the old gentleman came back to the ammo and started telling the employee what he wanted. The employee wasn’t as well versed in ammo-ology as this old Patriot was, so the old man slowly rose from his scooter, holding on to steady himself and pointed to the ammo he wanted. “I’ll take 10 boxes of that Fusion 62 grain .223 ammo” he said, followed by “How much is that case of 1,000 rounds of 5.56?” He was quoted the price and simply said “I’ll take that too.”

  What was behind his purchase? What motivated him, at his age and seemingly frail health, to buy that kind of ammo and that much? I’d say he was following events in the world and the events here in America very closely. I’d say that he was motivated by love of country and worried about what was happening to our freedoms here. I’d say he was aware of the BATFE trying to ban the M855 ammo and he was going to have no part in being caught short on anything. I’d say he, like the rest of us, has seen the empty ammo shelves of the past several years and is making sure he is prepared in case it happens again. More than anything, I’d say that he will Never Quit.

  I would have loved to talk with him to get the answers behind his purchase and the apparent haste with which he seemed to be operating, but he didn’t seem like a man wanting to be bothered with questions from a stranger. I’d like to buy him a beer and chat a bit over a dinner and get to know the man he had been throughout his life and the man he still is. He seemed a bit agitated with the lack of knowledge of the employee and the slowness with which the employee was moving and he didn’t seem like the kind of man that took much guff from anyone. Kind of like Clint Eastwood’s character Walt, in the movie Gran Torino. I just simply stayed out of his way and watched him slowly settle back onto his scooter. I thought I caught a little grin as the old man watched the small armed employee struggle with the weight of the ammo, but I can’t be sure.

  There are an awful lot of strange things going on in our world and here at home. The old man seemed aware and was having no part of being defenseless. Our Constitution is being attacked daily by those with an agenda. The First Amendment and the Second Amendment are obstacles to those that wish total control and that is why those two Amendments are the most hated by those who would wish to control us. To them, you should not be able to speak out against their agenda and you certainly shouldn’t be able to defend yourself against them as they go about violating the Constitution and damaging our Nation. Too many Americans have no clue about what is going on in the world. They pay no attention to current events at home, let alone halfway around the world. I’d be willing to bet that 80 percent or more of the people shopping in the Mall of America in Minnesota right this minute have no idea of the threats made against the mall or who made them. They walked right past the “No Guns Allowed” sign and into a “gun free” zone where they were and are defenseless. Odd that those “No Guns Allowed” signs are in English. If signs like that really worked, shouldn’t they at least be in Somali and Arabic also? Shouldn’t the terrorist group that issued the threat be able to read the “No Guns Allowed” sign?

  The old man in Walmart knows what’s going on. He’s aware. He’s paying attention. He knows that we must never quit. We must never quit defending our lives. We must never quit defending our country. We must never quit resisting those that wish to take away our Rights. We must never quit defending the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. We must never quit. As Winston Churchill said, “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”.


Monday, February 16, 2015

                                  MOG Person(s) of the Year

  This year we have a first for our Person of the Year; we have co-winners. The MOG Person of the Year that we selected last year was someone that was representative of those doing things right in the gun store business. Like last year, the co-winners this year are representative of people that are out there at the grass roots level making things happen and growing support for the Second Amendment, the shooting sports and bringing in new folks for a positive, safe and fun first time shooting. The first time someone shoots a gun can either make them or break them. These folks are out there seeing a need and filling that need. They aren’t looking around and wishing someone would do something, they took charge and made it happen. You won’t see these folks on the National shooting shows or getting major coverage in the gun and shooting sports print media, but you can see folks just like them at your local ranges. You’ll see folks like these starting gun groups and bringing new folks to our cause. If you look around your area and don’t see groups being formed and matches being started, then you might find that folks there are waiting on you to get things started. Like our two folks that have been selected as the MOG Person(s) of the Year, all you have to do is follow their example and do like the Nike commercial says and “Just Do It.”
  Our first co-winner is Steve Oliver.  Steve is an Iraq War Veteran, a personal hero of mine and a hero to our Nation.  Going back home to Pennsylvania after his time in the Army to raise his family, Steve saw something that he wanted to do to honor a soldier from his area. He combined his love for the military and soldiers with his love of the outdoors and the shooting sports. Steve has introduced new folks to shooting and has created a competition that grows each year. Steve is also a very humble man, so getting the info out of him meant telling him I was doing a blog post about the match that he started. Here is our conversation:

MOG: Steve, could you tell us about the match that you started and what the match is all about?

Steve: Our event is the General Electric Grove City Veterans and Patriots Group Sporting Clays Fun Shoot. This will be our third annual shoot on June 20th. We are part of the larger GE Veterans Network. The group at our plant wanted to take the next step in growing and take on a fund raising event. Several of us had done a clays shoot for veterans the year before and looked at that as a starting point. The only question was who to donate our proceeds to. We started looking and found an endowment for a local soldier, SPC Ross A. McGinnis, Charlie company 1st Battalion 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One), who was killed in action in Iraq in 2006 and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

MOG: That is outstanding and a great way to honor the heroic actions and the memory of SPC McGinnis. {See below for a link to the Medal of Honor citation for SPC McGinnis}.

MOG: For folks out there that would like to start a fun shoot or a shooting group, what has been the hardest part of getting your match started and what is the one piece of advice you would give them?

Steve: It wasn't necessarily hard getting it set up. There were no issues scheduling the range and setting the date. The hardest part was getting the word out to people and convincing them to come out and have a great day shooting. The first year we only had 25 shooters, but everyone that did show up had a great time. Last year we had almost 90 shooters and much of that was due to word of mouth. We also try to make it a family event. We have shooters of all ages as well as women and men. We even have some non-shooters come to support the event. The best advice I can give is to just ask. Ask people to come, ask businesses to donate, just ask. It's amazing what local businesses have donated to us, as well as some larger businesses, that we in turn are able raffle off. Everything we make goes back to the endowment for SPC McGinnis.
                                                       {Kathleen Coonan Noaeill on right}
  Our second co-winner for Person of the Year is Kathleen Coonan Noaeill. Kathleen saw a serious need in her area to get women involved in the shooting sports, the Second Amendment and to empower them to do things they might not have thought they could do. By Kathleen’s own words, she got a late start in the shooting sports, but once she got started she embraced it enthusiastically. Her love of her new sport convinced her that there were many more women out there that would feel the same…..they just needed a way to be included and a chance to go somewhere that they would be the focus of the day. They needed an event that was for them and actually done by someone just like them. While there are an ever increasing number of ladies gun clubs and matches, there are not nearly enough. For the ladies reading this, look around where you are and see if there are ladies only gun clubs or matches. If there aren’t any….get one going! Below is a brief conversation with Miss Kathleen:

MOG: Kathleen, would you tell us how you got your program started?

Kathleen: My husband and I went to our first club meeting at the ’20 rifle & Pistol, Straight River Archery Club in April of 2012 and at this monthly meeting there was about 28 people. I noticed something not entirely surprising: There were 28 people there, but only one other woman, and she was into archery.  So after mingling around and talking to a couple of people I asked the Club President & Vice President if they'd ever had an event just for women, and of course they said “no”. So I’m thinking… Wow, really, what’s wrong with this picture!  I told them that it wasn't 1970 anymore, and that they could be doing so much more to promote their club with women shooters. They said. “If you want to try something go ahead, let us know’... So with only 4 months until the only date they had open in July, I started the event, the first annual Women’s Open Fun Shoot.

MOG: What has driven you in setting up this event?

Kathleen: There are a growing number of women out there wanting to own a gun, try a gun, buying guns, wondering what it’s all about, interested in getting concealed carry permits and such. Then there are the women who have that gun that was given to them as a self-defense weapon by a husband or boyfriend and it sits locked in the closet or drawer, never to see the light of day. How do you use something you know nothing about?  With any firearm comes the responsibility of knowing what is expected of the person using it. I wanted to arrange an event that was foremost about safety, but friendly, informal, informative and most of all fun! It is also a chance to meet other girls with the same passion.

  Thank you to Steve and Kathleen for all they are doing out there to grow support for the Second Amendment and in bringing new shooters and gun owners in the right way. As I said above, they are representative of people out there at the grass roots level making things happen. That is where we grow our numbers. That is where we introduce new folks to the Second Amendment and the shooting sports that we love so much. They saw a need in their areas and they set about to make things happen. It is up to the rest of us to follow their lead and do the same. Introduce someone new to guns, gun safety and shooting when you can. Bring them in the right way and we will have them on our side forever. For everyone out there doing that; thank you. While Steve and Kathleen are representing you as the MOG Peron(s) of the Year, this is also for everyone out there doing the hard work of making local matches happen, teaching gun safety classes and providing instruction to new shooters everywhere. To quote Kathleen “Everything has a beginning and yes it’s a passion!!”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

                                     Open Carry and the World Goes To Hell”

  So goes the mindset of people suffering from Hoplophobia and some on our side of the gun rights issue when open carry is brought up. Invariably when the topic of open carry comes up, either in discussion with folks or on our MOG Facebook page, someone will wrongly take my support for open carry laws as meaning that I would open carry all of the time or that open carry means that every idiot in the world who never owned or fired a handgun before will run out and get a handgun and start openly carrying just because they can, if an open carry law was passed in their State. They often wrongly assume that because I support open carry that I believe a person with no experience with guns who suddenly straps on a handgun and goes out in public is perfectly acceptable and that it would happen on a large scale. When I explain that I firmly believe in education in all areas (that thud you just heard was every one of my former school teachers collectively passing out), I will get some who counter that Rights should not be regulated; wrongly assuming that what I meant by believing folks should be educated about guns somehow equals me meaning the State licensing of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Often…..well, most of the time, an open carry discussion will bring out the comment that you would give away your tactical advantage when open carrying a firearm. I’ll try to explain my opinion on these matters in this blog posting.

*Disclaimer: These are just the ramblings of a semi-literate Hillbilly and are in no way binding or official policy of the world at large. {But boy don’t I wish!}

  First, my thoughts on the issue of open carry come from the fact that I fully and wholeheartedly support Constitutional carry. I believe the Constitution applies to all 50 States, whether some of them like it or not. My Right to carry a firearm shouldn’t stop at their State border because their State doesn’t have reciprocity with my State. Can you imagine the outrage if you traveled to another State and they didn’t have driver’s license reciprocity with your State and its State issued license…..and driving is not a Right. I believe that if you are a law abiding citizen that the only permit you should have to have as your license to “Keep and Bear Arms” would be the Constitution itself. State lines and city boundaries {hello D.C., New York City and Chicago} should have no impact on my ability to carry a firearm. Since I wholeheartedly support and believe that Constitutional carry should be the law of the land in all 50 States; I support open carry, I support concealed carry and I support carrying in your truck or car. I believe in the Castle Doctrine and I believe these Rights to self-defense come from God and are the Rights of every human on earth.

  Some on our side fear that passing an open carry law, which is being discussed in my current State of Texas, would result in throngs of gun ignorant people suddenly arming themselves and running out into public acting irresponsibly. That is not the case in other States that have passed open carry {read that as slightly less infringement of your Rights} and in States that have had open carry for decades. They mistake the notion that passing a State certification process and licensing somehow makes one more “acceptable” or responsible or “safe”. Having gone through concealed carry courses and recertification in Tennessee and Texas, I can tell you that is not the case. Obtaining a concealed carry permit doesn’t mean that person is an expert or that they are better prepared to carry than anyone else. Like getting a State issued driver’s license doesn’t make you a NASCAR driver, a carry permit alone only means the holder met the minimum requirements for their State. The passing of open carry laws would be for adults and the vast majority of anyone that would open carry would be folks that are familiar with guns and many would have already gone through the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit. I believe in open carry, but 99% of the time, I probably would not carry openly. That’s just a personal preference and mostly so I wouldn’t have to have conversations about it with curious folks on the street.  I do like having options though and the more options {read freedom} available to me the better I like it.

  I believe everyone that owns and carries a gun should be educated and fully in understanding of the responsibilities that this brings. Education of guns and the responsibility of bearing arms, in the way I believe, doesn’t mean I believe in the State licensing of our Rights. I do not believe in the licensing of Rights or in the collection of fees related to such licensing. I believe that in itself is un-Constitutional. Can you imagine if we had to pass a State certification and obtain a permit to speak our minds? Can you imagine that the “First Amendment permit” from your State might not be legal in another State?  I believe anyone that buys a gun has the responsibility to seek training and education. It is an individual responsibility to know their firearm, the laws and how to employ their firearm. I favor more training, not less. I favor continued education and maintaining a level of proficiency. As with every other aspect of gun ownership; the learning never stops. It is a lifelong endeavor that responsible gun owners undertake. Be wary of someone that says they don’t need to learn anything about guns because they already “know it all”. There is a vast amount of information and a wealth of knowledge out there for us to continue to learn from and it’s vastly superior to State certifications.

  When the tactical question comes up that you give up your advantage to the criminal who has set about doing their criminal activities if you open carry, I take the opposing view. If a criminal walked into a place of business and saw people openly carry handguns, would they be more likely or less likely to follow through with their criminal plans? Have you ever seen a plain clothes Police Office open carrying their sidearm? Do criminals that see that go ahead and commit their crimes anyway or is it the gun that is openly worn that provides the deterrent that makes them decide to try their luck elsewhere? Criminals don’t have a death wish. They have adopted a life of crime and will seek to go about their ways unhindered. Think of the two extreme opposite positions: open carry or gun free zones. Which one is safer? I believe that an armed society is a polite society. Some of the most courteous people you will ever meet will be on a range or at a gun show.

  There are only two reasons why anyone would want to disarm a law abiding citizen: To control them and/or do them harm. Take offense at both.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

                                                  The Hunt of My Lifetime (So Far)
   I spent the last few days of September and the first four days of October on the first annual Bearded Brothers Black Bear hunt in the woods of the incredible State of Oregon. It was a hunt that I have wanted to do for my entire life. It was a hunt that my Army Buddy and bearded Brother Brent had been after me to make for 20 plus years. It was a hunt that I needed more than I even knew.

  I decided to drive from Central Texas to Southwest Oregon for the hunt because there was so much that I wanted to see firsthand. Driving that far (and back) was exhausting, but it was completely worth it. Flying there would have greatly diminished my trip and I thought about what was missed when people call it “fly over country”. I saw things and places that I had only seen in pictures and as Robert Frost said in The Road Less Traveled, “that has made all the difference”.

  The first stop, after a 13 hour drive, was Colorado Springs, CO. I had built in a day there to see another old Army Brother that I had not seen in forever. Seeing my Brother Craig (Kegger) and being able to talk with him in person and spend time with him was worth the trip itself and left me wondering why we let life get so busy that the years apart grew to be so many. That is not a mistake I’ll make again. We spent the day going up to the top of the world on Pikes Peak and I experienced a real “Colorado Rocky Mountain High” in the extremely thin air at 14,110 feet. Kegger advised me to move slowly and take breaks and I followed that advice, but still sat there on breaks grinning like an idiot at what I was seeing and feeling. Amazing, incredible and fantastic. Later that day I got to meet a friend that I had come to know through Facebook and he is a founding member of the MOG page there. Meeting Dale from Pikes Peak Armory and his two little PPA helpers was a real treat for me and one I that I hope to recreate many times in the future.

  Leaving Colorado Springs, I headed North to Denver where I had always wanted to take Interstate 70 West from Denver to Utah. What an incredible stretch of Interstate. The Aspen trees were ablaze in bright yellow and were as wonderful as I hoped they’d be. Perfect timing to catch them lit up in all of their Fall glory and they gave the perfect contrast and only served to increase, if possible, the beauty of that stretch of highway.

  After a late night stop in Boise, I began the last leg to Brent’s house and the start of our hunt. The drive through the high desert of Eastern Oregon surprised me with how much I liked it there and it began the feeling of how much I already loved this State. The high desert slowly transitioned to sparse trees and then to thick forests with huge trees. Picking up the Rogue River as it rapidly cut through the forests and old lava flows leading me downhill completely cemented my love for this amazing State and I followed the river all the way to my bearded Brother’s house. To see him and meet his wonderful wife Ali and their daughter Morgan again had me wondering why we let our lives get so busy that the years apart grew to be so many. Again, not a mistake I’ll repeat.

  The next day we started the hunt, but first there was a quick stop to his friend Dwayne’s house to confirm the zero on our rifles. Dwayne had just gotten back from a Moose hunt in Alaska just a few hours before and I apologize for interrupting his outdoor nap in the sun. With the test-fire completed, we headed to the woods for the first afternoon of our bear hunt. The first couple of days in the woods, I struggled to get my Mountain legs back under me. No amount of working out can replicate the effect of walking on rugged terrain with a rucksack on your back and a rifle in your hands. Thankfully, I entered the woods in pretty decent shape, but that proved to be only the base from which to improve and I left the woods each night exhausted to my core (but very, very happy).

  The hunt was a mixture of quiet solitude, whispered words and hand signals shared between two Brothers. It was cool and damp mornings with light fog sliding through the valley below us and clinging to the mountains around us. It was the agony of defeat and then the exhilaration of fresh sign followed by the disappointment of a trail lost. It was losing my balance while crossing a dry wash and falling backwards and looking up to see my Buddy silently laughing at me and of me returning the favor 30 seconds later as he face planted heading up hill. It was us repeating, when things got tough, the encouraging words of “Be the Bear” imparted on us by Ali (it became our mantra). In the end, I left the woods without my tag being filled, but left with incredible pictures, a Blacktail antler shed and the memories of a great hunt shared with my Brother. It was sightseeing when we had time and Elk jerky for breakfast in the woods. It was the best Coconut Cream pie I have ever had in my life….. (make that the best pie I’ve ever had in my life….no kidding) and the chance to meet some amazing people. It really was the hunt of my lifetime, so far. It has re-instilled in me the love of the hunt and reminded me how much I need the mountains and the time spent in them. The bears and Brent taught me a great deal on this trip and the bears and Brent have made me a better hunter. The bears are still there, but in my best Terminator impression…..I’ll be back.

{Special thanks to my Bearded Brother Brent for making the hunt happen and for staying after me all those years to visit Oregon. Big thanks to his wife Ali for tolerating two old Army Buddies and our stories and for her amazing work on getting Brent to walk upright, with his knuckles only occasionally dragging the ground these days. Thanks also to Randy for helping get the hunt set up and for his sage advice and encouragement. Thanks also to Brent’s parents for raising such an incredible man of the mountains and for the Coconut Cream pie and the hand crafted cutting board that is more art than not.}

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

                                                                            Beauty or Beast

  My friend Miss Ellen posed a question to me the other day and it has had me thinking of the way my taste in guns has changed over the years. Miss Ellen asked me “Hey Monty, I have a question…..what do you think of hammerless guns? I just think they’re ugly and I don’t like them.” There have been times where I’ve said the same thing about various guns, but have grown to embrace them all now. Have I grown older and wiser or was I just hard headed and set in my ways before? Has my taste in guns changed and become more diverse or am I just an easy sell these days? It’s not just new, modern guns that I had esthetic issues with, but some old guns. These days though, I see them in a very different light.

  The same night Miss Ellen sent me her question, I was texting with my Cousin Jason and he was telling me about taking his family shooting over the previous weekend. He told me what guns they had been shooting and how everyone did and which gun they seem to favor the most. He mentioned shooting his Glock and I said “Those Glocks are ugly as Hell, but they run like a scalded dog.” (I’m a Glock fan, so Glock fans please keep reading). Jason said “After a while, they’re not ugly. You look at it and it’s a Glock.” He was spot on in that assessment and I knew exactly what he meant. I grew up when guns were made of blued steel and wood and it took me a long time to come to the same conclusion about Glocks that my Cousin had. I grew up loving 1911’s and revolvers (and I still love them) and when Glock hit the scene they were far, far different. I seriously thought they were as ugly as a mud fence and I couldn’t understand why anyone would want such a thing. If someone proudly showed me their Glock, I did my best to brag on them and their handgun choice, but silently I wondered about their taste in guns. It is difficult to admit, but they knew something I didn’t.  Soon though, Glock won me over in two ways and I have been a fan ever since.  The first way was back during the Clinton Administration when they were bullying gun companies to “voluntarily” sign on to the Clinton plan of limiting civilian sales and adding restrictions and policies that were clearly anti-gun. Smith and Wesson, then owned by a British company, signed on and nearly went bankrupt because of it. Thankfully the British company soon sold S&W and the new folks set about repairing their damaged brand. Getting to work one morning after PT, I looked at the newspaper and read that Glock refused to sign on with the Clinton plan and said they would take their chances in court. I went to a local gun store that day at lunch and bought a Glock 21 to support the company for taking a stand for freedom and the Second Amendment. Then Glock won me over the second way when I took my Glock 21 to the range and found out that it did indeed run like a scalded dog. I’ve been in love with Glock ever since. When my Cousin said “After a while, they’re not ugly. You look at it and it’s a Glock”, he broke down exactly the way that I feel about them now. I used to say “oh…’s a Glock” but now I say “Oh! It’s a Glock!”

  On the old gun side that I used to think was ugly was the old Browning Auto 5 shotgun. I remember being a kid back in the ‘60’s (yes, my memories are in black and white) and going to see my Uncle on the farm in Arkansas. He had an old Browning Auto 5 hanging on his gun rack with a few other guns and even way back then it looked ancient and out of place next to my Cousin’s Remington 870 Wingmaster. I had no interest in the Auto 5, but man I loved that 870 Wingmaster (and still do). It turns out, like the Glock owners before I became one, my Uncle knew something I didn’t know (he knew a lot more than I’ll ever know, but we’re talking about his shotgun now). I had never even held one and wasn’t interested in picking one up at a gun show just to check it out. In my mind it was the gun equivalent of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  All of that would change in a matter of seconds one day. Several years ago, my Uncle was in need of a replacement for his Browning Auto 5 and I set about to find him one. I found one that was in pretty good condition and I checked it out from top to bottom. Once I got it home, I cleaned it up and put some oil on it and then it happened…….I brought it up to my shoulder and sighted in on an imaginary duck and like a bolt of lightning hitting me, I suddenly understood what he saw in that design. It was flawless and beautiful and balanced and I was in love with it. I also felt like an idiot for my previous views on the Auto 5. Tastes change, times change, circumstances change. I have always loved guns, but I haven’t always loved all guns. Now I do. I love them all. I want one of each and two of most.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

                                      Volunteering Our Rights Away

  A while back, I was talking with one of my friends about the things going on in the notoriously anti-gun States. He asked how the government could ever take everyone’s guns away. There were so many guns and so many gun owners, how could they possibly do away with the Second Amendment and gather up everyone’s arms like they have done in the United Kingdom. It would be easy to not be so worried about it because it seems like an insurmountable task for the government to pull off and we have the Second Amendment there to protect us from such a thing. As has been said about restraining orders; the Second Amendment is only as good as the paper it is written on. If we do not defend it vigorously and at every single encroachment of our Rights, we stand to lose everything. We would do well to take personal offense at each and every encroachment of our Rights, no matter how small and no matter the words they’ll use to describe the encroachments. Your ears should perk up when you hear a politician or anti-gun (read anti-Rights) person or media type when they say things like “common sense gun control” or say “we aren’t trying to take away your hunting guns” or when they spout false narratives like the “gun show loophole” and give fake numbers claiming “the vast majority of gun owners favor universal background checks”.

  While talking about this with my friend, I explained that it was indeed very possible for the government to do what many think would be impossible. The anti’s have an ongoing agenda to divide gun owners from each other. We have talked here before about the divide and conquer approach they use to separate us into smaller groups of gun owners, where they can then pick us off one group at a time. Have no doubt that this approach works. It was used effectively in England. You probably know a fellow gun owner that doesn’t like “military styled guns”.  That fellow gun owner doesn’t understand that an attack on one gun is an attack on every gun. To an anti, there is no difference between an AR 15 and your Grandfather’s old pump shotgun.

  Seeing the news recently that Maryland is thinking about legislation authorizing the confiscation of AR and AK 47 types of rifles that they had required to be registered previously. As we know, registration leads to confiscation. Every person that registered their weapons in Maryland (or elsewhere) essentially signed them over to the government of Maryland and they are basically waiting until the government decides to pick them up. All they needed to know was what you have and where you live. It doesn’t really matter which State you live in either. No State is safe if the Congress gets involved. We are very fortunate that when Sandy Hook happened, we had a divided Congress. Had that terrible event happened in the first two years of the Obama Administration when he had an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress, we would have seen Draconian laws thrown together and rammed through over night. With all of the Hoplophobia going on after the shooting, we would probably have seen the kinds of laws put into place that we saw happen in England and Australia. Overnight, everything would have changed. Many of your guns would have been deemed illegal and be required to be surrendered. There is no telling where we would be and what kind of laws we would be living with had Sandy Hook happened in 2009. It’s a safe bet that those laws would have made the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban look like pro gun legislation. Everything would have changed and we would all be faced with the decision to surrender our guns and our Rights or defy the laws passed and risk arrest, conviction and being a Felon.
   You will see all over the internet people proclaiming that they will never surrender their weapons and getting tattoos proclaiming “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” and waiving the Gonzales flag saying “Come and Take It", but sadly, many of our gun owning Brethren will not defend their Rights…….. or ours. I told my friend that many will lose their nerve and surrender their guns and their Rights. Once something is claimed to be unworthy (suddenly illegal) of being covered by the Second Amendment, like the “evil assault rifles” and need to be registered, many folks will do just that. Then, as they are considering in Maryland, Connecticut and New York, when the governments decide they are even too dangerous to just be registered…..that they need to be voluntarily surrendered or forcibly confiscated; many will fear the power of the government as they go about enforcing an un-Constitutional law and they will turn their guns in. The media will show lines of people turning their guns in to sway the opinion of others that “everyone is turning their guns in” and more gun owners will become weakened in their resolve to resist. There will be rewards offered for neighbors to turn in anyone they know of that has a banned gun and you’ll see the media going for a ride along as the Police raid houses and take the gun owner into custody and be paraded in front of their cameras in handcuffs. They will show 3 or 4 weapons being removed and it will be described as an “arsenal of assault weapons” and a “cache” of ammunition being found. They will tell us of the stiff prison sentence the accused was facing. And more will surrender their weapons and their Rights.

  When it comes down to it, like the Founding Fathers that stood in the face of tyranny, only 3 percent will be left to carry the load and fight for the rights of the 97 percent. If it ever comes to it, and it looks more like it every day, push will come to shove. Those that seek total control will force each of us to make a decision as to which path we will take; fighting for our Rights or surrendering them. Never forget that there are only two reasons why anyone would want to disarm a law abiding citizen: To control them and/or do them harm. How could the government ever take away everyone’s guns? They’ll start by getting half of us to voluntarily surrender our arms and our Rights. Gun owners will do half (or more) of the work for any government that seeks to disarm its citizens. Even the act of typing those words is hateful to me, but I believe that is the truth. That will leave a whole lot of work for the III percenters out there to carry.


Monday, August 4, 2014

                                                                                The Lost Legion
   With a title like this, I’m sure some Roman history buffs immediately thought of that period in time. I wish that was our topic for this post {and I wish I knew enough to write on that topic intelligently} but sadly that is not the case for this post. Sadly, this post is about the apparent self destruction of what was once a promising gun company. It is about the wasting of potential and the promise that something new, exciting and different was taking place. In the very crowded AR market, there is a lot of competition, but really very little innovation. It is mostly just variations on the same theme. A Legion in Roman history was a formidable force and it appeared this company could have been a formidable force in the gun world; the potential and promise were so strong. The Legions were what projected the power of Rome throughout the known world. A Roman Legion was between 3,000-5,000 trained soldiers, roughly the equivalent in size of a U.S. Army Brigade. You can imagine that a lost Roman Legion would represent the loss of power and potential. It would represent the wasted potential of what they could have brought to bear and of the promise that Rome spent treasure to create. There is little that bothers me more than wasted potential. Having the ability to do something, but letting that potential go to waste is truly shameful. It is far better to try something and fail {and learn from that} than it is to just fail without putting forth the effort to even try……to really try. A couple of things that the Roman Legions had were honor and integrity. With honor and integrity there is trust. Whether it is an individual or a company that you are dealing with, their word should be their bond.  Their integrity should be without question. Once lost, it is almost impossible for a person or a company to regain. A severely damaged brand rarely recovers when integrity is what was lost.

  I was drawn to supporting this gun company very early on. One of my friends went to work there and his passion and drive had me sold. We would often talk for hours about what he was doing and about the direction he was helping them grow and build their company. For the first year or eighteen months or so, anytime I went there he would usually be there alone coating parts and building some incredible rifles, getting them shipped off and demonstrating their products on ranges around Texas. His passion for what he was doing showed in his work. His exuberance was infectious and had me trying to figure out how to get one of the rifles for myself. For this company, my friend built a great deal enthusiasm and support throughout the firearms community. They garnered a great deal of National level attention and had their rifles featured for two consecutive years on Jim Scoutten’s Shooting USA’s SHOT Show coverage. They were unique. They had potential. They had the promise of independent thinking and ingenuity in a very crowded industry. Imagine a little start up gun company, very early in their existence getting that kind of coverage and you can see why folks were excited. Personal friends of mine and friends of this blog and of our Facebook page saw me being a big supporter, customer and promoter of this company. And then things started to change.

  My friend tried to steer them the right way. He offered wise counsel and in his dealings with everyone that he brought in, he was fair to the point of great personal expense to make sure that everyone dealing with this company was taken care of and fairly treated. There were talks of expansion, promises made…..and broken. More promises made…..and broken. There is always the proverbial “straw that broke the Camel’s back”. Once that happened, it signaled the direction the company was going and it seemed to me that it would only be a matter of time before the company’s new direction ended in failure. This was the point that I backed away from any public support of the company. It was not a positive direction that the owner wanted to move. Customers submitted orders and funds and waited for tens of months for a product that it appears many will never receive. Payrolls were missed for employees that were going above and beyond in their efforts to make the company a success. They made sacrifices to the benefit of the company and were given promises in return. Promises made….. and broken. There started to be an abundance of people openly trying to reach this company on their Facebook page for answers because they couldn’t get anyone on the phone and their emails went unanswered. Those messages posted to the company page were mostly left unanswered also. Then the complaints started flooding in and were a serious indicator that things were indeed going bad. Seeing the promise and potential at the start and now seeing what seems to ultimately be the end of the company brings with it a certain pain for those that believed. Like your hometown baseball team almost hitting one out of the park to win a championship and instead seeing that homerun turn into a foul ball that was caught by the outfielder, ending the game with a loss for your team…..and then finding out your player took a half hearted swing, not even leaving the batter’s box to head toward first base. Good folks worked there and poured everything they had into the company to make it a success because they believed in the promise and potential. I saw the effort they put in and I saw their desire for the company to succeed, often at personal expense. Good people poured honest money into this company and ordered guns based on promises that something special and unique in the gun world be coming their way. But sadly, in what appears to be the end, it was largely promises made………. and broken.

  I still believe in something unique and special. I believe in the vision that my friend has and will follow him as he moves forward with his own company where things will be done his way. I still believe in the passion, potential and hard work that I know he brings to the gun industry. I stopped believing, supporting or promoting the other company quite a while ago though. Like the Lost Legion of Rome, they are probably destined to be little more than the mirage it appears they’ve turned out to be. It appears they were nothing more than promises made……..and broken.