Saturday, June 18, 2016


  This week, seeking to make political gains before the bodies were even identified, politicians and Left-wing “Journalists” rushed to every microphone and every form of media to seize the narrative away from the evil terrorist attack in Orlando by a self-avowed member and supporter of ISIS and turn it into a gun control debate. The most heinous of these is the sick editorial by the New York Times. I will include the link to the editorial below, as well as a link to join the National Rifle Association (with a discount offered by Jim Scoutten and Shooting USA).

  In the editorial, the New York Times declares that the National Rifle Association, and by extension, all of the millions of NRA members and other gun Rights groups are complicit in the terrorist attack on Americans in the nightclub in Orlando. The New York Times, while using its First Amendment Rights to slander and attack the NRA and over 90 million law abiding gun owning Americans, is far more complicit in the attack (and those in San Bernardino and Chattanooga, among others) than the NRA and its members could ever be.

  Let’s look at what the NRA is “complicit” in. The NRA works tirelessly for gun safety and education. Did the New York Times bother to tally the money spent or the lives saved by the NRA in firearms safety courses and education? No, that wouldn’t fit their agenda. The NRA is a relentless supporter of law enforcement and provides training and education through its many programs. What has the New York Times ever done to further real gun safety measures (not gun control masked as safety measures)? Has the New York Times ever once supported real gun safety education and training? The NRA has a policy called Project Exile where they have tried to help cities combat the plague of violent felons that run roughshod over our poorest of areas. Basically, if a convicted felon is caught with a gun they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, which is a 10 year felony charge (already the Federal law) with Project Exile. Does the New York Times mention this or report on Project Exile or offer it as a reasonable approach to rid cities of violent offenders? No, it doesn't fit their agenda. Instead we see cities like Chicago and elsewhere pleading down these charges and returning violent criminals back to the streets, often before the Police have finished their reports and returned back to the streets themselves. Complicit in the massive amounts of crime and shootings in the poorest areas of Chicago should be a title assigned to the Mayor and the lead prosecutor in Chicago for their failure to prosecute the violent felons it turns back loose on the citizens while for decades the politicians of Chicago have denied the law abiding citizens there the ability to obtain firearms to defend their lives and property. If the NRA and its millions of members and other gun Rights groups are to be held complicit in the terror attack in Orlando, shouldn’t they also be given the credit for the over 2,000 times a day that law abiding citizens use a gun to protect their lives and property? One of my favorite sections of the NRA’s American Rifleman Magazine is the Armed Citizen page where examples are given of an armed citizenry defending life and property. Would the New York Times ever include such a page in their Sunday edition every week? Of course not, because it doesn’t fit their agenda.

  Complicity, as used by the New York Times, is a double edge sword. Should the New York Times be painted by the same brush that it used to paint the NRA and other gun Rights groups and the millions of law abiding gun owners? They endorsed for Mayor of New York the now Mayor Bill DeBlasio. He is a far Left politician that has espoused anti Police rhetoric. His policies have reversed long standing and proven efforts put in place by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the city has seen an increase in crime. Is the New York Times complicit in the growing crime problem and the strain under which the NYPD must now operate in daily? Are they complicit in the murders, robberies and other violent crime on the rise in the city? Are they, by extension of their long standing anti Second Amendment views, complicit in law abiding citizens of New York being denied their Right to self-defense becoming victims of violent crime? Could the New York Times be held as complicit to the crimes committed by repeat offenders being turned back out on the street because of their soft on crime reporting and editorial policies? Should the New York Times be held as complicit in terrorist attacks because their endorsed politicians have ended surveillance of Mosques where many are radicalized? Certainly that would be a more direct link to being complicit in terror attacks than the NRA and its millions of members being supporters of the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment. Should the New York Times be held complicit when their numerous articles on waterboarding and attempts to portray America as a Nation that tortures inhibit our attempts to gather intelligence from captured enemies of America and the West? In their editorial they tucked this little gem of “wisdom” in: “But in the United States, the gun industry and its enablers continue to insist that the only solution is more guns, and more bullets flying”. That completely ignores the actual facts on the ground that the more Americans “cling to their guns and religion” as President Obama has said; murders have dramatically gone down across the Nation. But then, Left wing “media” has never let the facts get in the way of their narrative.

  I wish with all of my heart that we had fact based reporting in America, but we don’t. Instead we have propaganda wings of Left leaning (these days far Left leaning) ideologies posing as news organizations. It’s getting to the point that news agencies today are racing each other in an attempt to be more loyal to the ideology of the Left than Pravda was to the Soviet Union leaders. Complicit? Look in the mirror New York Times and hold your newspaper and the Editors there as complicit for the failures of Liberal policies that it has for decades supported and propagandized for. If you are reading this, please join the NRA and other gun Rights groups in direct response to the New York Times slanted and heinous editorial. I will renew my membership today and give a gift membership as well. If you are already a member, please do the same and give a family member or a friend a gift membership. Vote with our dollars now in support of the NRA and other gun Rights groups and with our votes cast in November, vote against any politician of any party that doesn’t fully support your Right to keep and bear arms.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.


Join the NRA with a discount from Jim Scoutten and Shooting USA here:

To view the heinous NYT Editorial:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

                       2016 Armed Forces Skeet Championships

  Recently my great friend, co-worker and all around great American COL (Ret) Ed Gutierrez had a chance to compete in the 2016 Armed Services Skeet Championships held in Nashville, TN as part of the Fort Hood Skeet Team. The event is conducted by the Armed Forces Skeet Association (see link below). Below are some of the discussions I’ve had with Ed over the past few days about the match. For brevity’s sake, much of Ed’s praise and appreciation for the Great State of Tennessee during his visit and for the role Tennessee played in liberating his home state of Texas were left out of this post, but saved for a possible future post.

MOG: How long have you competed at the Armed Services Skeet Championship?

Ed: My first Armed Forces Shoot was in May of 1993 and it was held at the San Antonio Gun Club.  I earned a position on the active duty Army Skeet Team 2 that year while stationed at Fort Rucker, AL.  Unfortunately I had to take a 20 year break from the event due to assignments and deployments. I returned to the shoot in 2013 which was the year I retired and have returned every year since.  It’s a great event and I plan to attend every year if possible.

MOG: What changes have you seen with the Championship in that timeframe?

Ed: The biggest and most important change was the inclusion of Military Veterans and their spouses in the event. Prior to 2013 the championships were for active duty and retired military only. In 2013 the by-laws were amended to include all veterans and their spouses which allows them to compete side by side with the active duty and retired folks.  I believe it was a fantastic change and it brought many new shooters not only into the event, but more importantly brought them back into our retired military and active duty formations.  So far the response has been fantastic and everyone welcomes these new shooters with open arms.

MOG: What was your opinion of this year’s Championship?

Ed: This year’s shoot was awesome and the venue was great also. It was held at the Nashville Gun Club in Nashville, TN.  The range is located on the Cumberland River and provided some excellent scenery from the club house. Overall the shoots are getting bigger in terms of attendance, which is great.  This year there were over 150 shooters from all the services and the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps active duty teams were also there.  Great event and I was proud to participate in it.

MOG: How did you and the FT Hood Team fare this year?

Ed: The Fort Hood Skeet Team, of which I am part of, won the .410 bore Gun Championship this year, which was very nice.  By the way, Fort Hood is only one of maybe two or three bases that sponsor their teams. That is a big morale boost to know your installation supports you and your team. Personally I earned 4 individual awards and my team mates Don Miller, Monty England, and Ken Wagner also earned individual awards.  I am definitely looking forward to attending the next Armed Forces Shoot which will be in Jacksonville, FL.
                                                                     2016 Fort Hood Skeet Team
(L-R)  Jerry Provorse, Don Miller, Dave Wood, Ken Wagner, Ed Gutierrez, Monty England, and Ed Hughes.

  A big thank you to Ed for his service to our Nation's Army of over 30 years and for sharing his insight of the recent Armed Services Skeet Championships. We wish Ed and the Fort Hood Skeet Team the best of luck as they begin the process of getting ready for the 2017 shoot in Jacksonville, FL.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

                                                                                   Oh Oregon!

                                       The First Ever MOG State of the Year

  If I could paraphrase the first sentence of John Denver’s classic song “Rocky Mountain High” to fit me personally, it would be “I was born in the Fall of my 53rd year; coming home to a place I’d never been before”. That was the first trip I took to Oregon to hunt Black Bears with my bearded Brother Brent in the Fall of 2014. Driving up there that time from Texas and entering the State from the Idaho border, I felt something crossing the border that I’ve only ever felt in one other State: I felt at home. I felt like I belonged there and the further I drove into Oregon the stronger that feeling became. The only other place I’ve felt anything like that is in “Beautiful Northeast Tennessee”, and that should be the official, government sanctioned name for that part of Tennessee.

  I recently had the chance to visit Oregon again just a few weeks ago. The feelings returned shortly after leaving Boise, Idaho and crossing the Oregon border. The fertile farmland there in eastern Oregon remind me so much of the farmland in northeast Arkansas where my Grandparents farmed, but it soon gave way to high deserts and incredible views and winding roads as we drove towards Burns and then on to Bend.  We started seeing the trees getting bigger and bigger as we continued the drive to the Rogue River valley. Best name ever for a river and the best location ever for a river of that name. The valley fits the river that carved it and the river fits the valley, perfectly.

  It was for another chance to hunt Black Bears and for the time I needed to spend with my Brother and the woods that brought me back; this time in the “Spring of my 54th year”. It was a great hunt, though the bears outwitted me. The important part ….the part I needed more than filling my bear tag, was just being there. Just being there; with my Brother and the mountains and tall trees. Just sitting there after the hike in was the best kind of therapy and at night proved to be the best kind of sleeping medicine. Views you can’t imagine and my feeble attempt to put the words together to describe them or even the pictures I took fall far short. The views, their incredible beauty, are something only the eyes can show the mind. On the last day of the hunt as the sun was starting to fade beyond the far ridge, I felt as at peace as I have ever been. Just being there made it a very successful hunt. It was good for what ails me. It was good for my mind and for my body. It was good for my spirit. It was exactly what I needed and what I need more of.  Sitting by a small, cold stream that kept a couple of Oregon beers cold for us as we left the woods, I could only reflect on one thing………I will be back.

  The people there along the Rogue River have all been incredibly nice to me and are very patient as they try to understand the words coming out of my mouth. With English as my second language {Appalachian being the first} the folks there only occasionally looked down for sub-titles when I spoke. I am sure there may be disagreeable folks somewhere in Oregon, but I have yet to meet them. A big thank you to my Brother Brent and his friend Randy and Brent's Cousin Logan for their help in getting things going for the hunt and for their friendship. I appreciate it more than I can say. Thanks to Ali for making things so nice for my wife’s first visit there. Thanks to Brent’s incredible parents for their hospitality, friendship and for sharing the incredible views of Oregon with us and for raising such a great American and greater friend. Finer people, I do not know. Thanks to the folks at B N B Armory for their hospitality when I finally got to visit the gun shop that I had heard so much about. Great folks and it was great to talk and visit with them. Being there, seeing everything and enjoying every bit of every moment leaves me with an official apology to make my Brother Brent….”I’m sorry I talked you into re-enlisting for another hitch in the Army all those years ago”. You told me how incredible Oregon was, but I couldn't imagine how incredible until I saw it with my own eyes. Had I seen it for myself back then, I probably wouldn’t have re-enlisted either of us.

Oh Oregon……..I’ll be back!


Monday, December 28, 2015

                                                 A Hero Gone
  A couple of days after Christmas this year, America lost another part of the Greatest Generation when World War II Navy Veteran Paris Wright passed away in Kingsport, Tennessee. I wish that as a Nation, these men were given National honors and recognition for what they did for America and for the world. Americans know everything and far too much about “celebrities” and far too little about the men that saved the world. I would love to see those roles reversed and see our heroes taught about in our schools. I’d love to see their lives celebrated, their heroism touted and see their faces on stamps issued by the Post Office. They deserve it. They’ve earned it. We owe it.

  When our Nation called, Paris Wright answered that call and helped turn back Imperial Japan in the Pacific Theater. He knew the dangers he faced and he knew the dangers that faced America. Few people these days (and fewer by the day) have known the kind of existential threat America and the world faced back then. Paris Wright, like so many of that amazing generation, put his life on hold to step into harm’s way. He didn’t go into the Navy to make a career; he went to kill our enemies, protect America and liberate a continent that was held by an evil and brutal regime. Like so many others of that generation, he served until the job was done and then came home to resume his life, raise a family with his wife Ada and live in the peace he helped create for America. He worked and kept working long after what most folks think of as retirement age. That Greatest Generation knew only hard work and understood the value in it. They rolled up their sleeves and set out to make things right. Then, like true heroes, they came home and lived their lives quietly, worked hard and gave everything they could to make sure a prosperous and safe Nation was handed over to the next generation. 

  I was lucky enough to know him and his family and I know that my life has been better for it. In fact I don’t know where I would be in life without them. I was lucky enough to have his counsel and fortunate enough to see him being a father, a Grandfather and a Great-Grandfather and see the love and pride he had in his family. He was fortunate enough to see one of his Grandchildren follow in his footsteps and be there when she graduated Basic Training in the Navy and I was fortunate enough to hear him telling me about it and know the pride he felt on that special day. He was generous with his time, his food and his home; often sharing all three with the occasional stray kid that needed some of each. He was, without question the most ardent NASCAR fan I have even encountered and every race day was taken very seriously in his home. He had a sharp wit and remarkable sense of humor that never left him and I will miss that a great deal. I am thankful for him and his wife Ada and I am thankful for their family and for the place they allowed me to occupy in their lives.  As General Patton said in the quote below; we should be thankful that such men lived. That so many in our Nation and in the lands he helped liberate will not know of his passing, seems almost sinful to me. “Fair winds and following seas” Paris. Thank you for everything.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
General George S. Patton

Sunday, December 13, 2015

                                                                          Just One More…..
  Talking with some friends and my Cousin this weekend, we talked about the new guns and different calibers coming out (or already out that we don’t yet own) and how it seems the gun companies always build something new and exciting to pull the money out of our wallets, checking and savings accounts. Then there came a discussion of what to say to that question that all gun owners of more than one gun are inevitably asked: “How many guns do you need?”

  My standard answer is that there is a difference between need and want. My needs would be around 10, but my wants are boundless. The truth is that I want one of each gun and two of most. The truth is that I keep 10 guns on my “Most Wanted List” and if I could buy all 10 tomorrow, I’d have 10 fresh guns on the “Most Wanted List” less than 30 minutes later.

  My needs would be a quality deer rifle in 30.06, a quality pump shotgun in 12 gauge (with a slug barrel just for the option it presents), a quality .22 rifle for small game and plinking, a varmint caliber rifle, a semi auto .45 and a revolver in .357. Prior to 1994, that’s pretty much all I was interested in. I was in the Army then and anything other than hunting guns didn’t hold my interest as much as they would after 1994 because I had the opportunity to regularly fire a wide range of military weapons.  In 1994 though, I realized that what I needed, needed to be expanded. I was young and ignorant of many things and I didn’t give much thought to what the brilliant Founding Fathers meant when they spoke about the Militia. Like I said; I was in the Army and figured I’d be off somewhere fighting in a war overseas if the Militia were ever needed here. Truthfully, it wasn’t until 1994 and especially after I retired that I began to realize what my responsibilities were to my Nation in terms of what the Founding Fathers expected of citizens.

  The expanded “need” list happened quickly as the things the NRA had long warned us about started to happen. The expanded “need” list included an AR with sufficient ammo and magazines. It included buying my first Glock; the Glock 21 and the compact Glock 30, because Glock stood their ground and refused to sign on with the Clinton Administration’s anti -gun policies; instead saying they’d take their chances in court. I set out that very day to support them. The list also included a home defense shotgun and concealed carry handguns and a few in the 7.62x39 and 5.45x39.5 ammo range. Still, that is a very modest need list. {If you have trouble getting to sleep, you can scroll down the blog to find the post on "Guns of the Militia" to read my views on which guns are suitable for duty}

  My want list is all encompassing. Rare is the gun that I’d look at and not want. There are a few, but they are not worth the time to mention here. There are guns that are works of art and I can’t help but want them. New calibers interest me and though I’m slow to adopt them, I still want them. The AR market has seen incredible advances in the last 20 years and they are so modular that any configuration and a wide range of caliber options are available. And I want them. I want them all. Over and Under shotguns are on the “Most Wanted List”, though they carry an elegance about them that would look strange in the hands of a semi-literate Hillbilly. Camo hunting shotguns and every bolt action known to man are on the list. Not to be lost in the world of “new and improved”, lever guns and single shot rifles and shotguns are on the list. Also on the list are the old military workhorses of years gone by. No collection can be considered complete or of adequate resource if it doesn’t include the M1 Garand, the M1903 Springfield, the German Mauser K98 and the Lee-Enfield in .303. New and modern or old and well used, guns are the one material thing on earth that I can fully understand their value and appreciate everything about them. Gold or diamonds (jewelry of any sort) or any other material thing, I know little about and understand less. But the gun……..there I understand the value and the importance.

  Whenever the question of “How many guns do you need” comes up; I just smile and say the one answer that I know to be true: “Just one more………I will always need just one more.


Monday, November 30, 2015

                                              One Last Time……
  This Thanksgiving in Texas we had perfect weather; perfect for me at least. It was chilly and rainy and overcast and that kind of weather always takes me back to the Thanksgiving’s I had at my Grandparent’s farm in Northeast Arkansas. It has had me wishing for one last Thanksgiving there. From my earliest Thanksgiving memories to the last Thanksgiving I had there; the weather and the times always felt perfect to me. Everything about it was perfect, every time. The family gathered there, the food cooking, the duck hunting that morning and the fireplace made me feel like I was in a real life Walton’s family.
  The hunting was almost always done with my Grandfather’s shotgun. It was an old 12 gauge pump that kicked like a mule, but he had no problem with me using it and I carried it with pride. If I had it today, it would be the most valued gun I owned. I loved cleaning it more than any other gun ever. My Grandfather would watch me clean it and I wanted to show him what it meant to me that he’d let me use it by taking as good a care of it as I could, every single time I used it. Even though it kicked like a mule, it never let me down. I let it down a few times with misses that should have had a Mallard falling into the water and it has me wishing I had one last time to hunt with it.

  Coming back from hunting, I would be as hungry like I hadn’t eaten anything in days.  The house would be full of the most incredible smells of food that was almost ready to eat and the bustling sounds of four or five cooks in the kitchen making it happen. My Grandmother being in charge and the primary cook, she’d give out tasks to my Aunts there helping and have that kitchen running with military precision. The food, every single time, seemed like the best food I had ever eaten and there’s never been anything like it since. The thought of it has me wishing I could be there enjoying that feast one last time.

  After the hunt and after the feast, the living room was the place to be. The fire in the wood stove would be going and my Grandfather would be answering questions and reminiscing about things in his life. My belly being full and the warmth of that wood stove, while listening to my Grandfather talking was always the most comfortable I have ever been. Never in my life have I felt more at peace and content as on those Thanksgiving afternoons. Thinking of the warmth of that wood stove has me wishing I could stoke that fire one last time.
  Times change, people move away or drift away and sadly some begin to pass away. A family is never quite the same after the Grandparents are gone. I know it was never the same for me. The Grandparents on the farm never had a TV and the radio they had was for the Farm report and the weather. They passed away before every phone was a computer and everyone looked at their screens instead of talking. In their house, there was conversation. I never missed the TV when I was there though. Everything always seemed perfect as it was and I can’t think of one thing I’d change about being there. It does make me want to go back to the farm; to be there in their house and to feel the memories of those days flood over me…….one last time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

                                       I Will Not Light a Candle

  As people in the civilized world come to grips with the atrocities perpetuated by the savages that struck Paris, Lebanon and Kenya over the past week; know that their supporters are celebrating and planning for more such attacks. It isn’t in my being to light a candle and attend prayer vigils to pray for the victims. I am useless in those areas and the good people attending candle light prayer vigils would probably not want me there praying out loud, because what I would be praying for would be the polar opposite of what the good and caring souls there were praying for. I would not be praying for peace in the face of an enemy intent on bringing war to innocent civilians. I would be praying for those savages to be wiped from the face of the earth. My prayer would be along the lines of Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” I would be praying for the Rights of civilized people everywhere to be restored to them. I would be praying that their God given Rights of self-defense be restored and that they would be allowed the use of arms in that defense. I would pray that the governments of Europe would finally listen to their citizens as they begin to raise their voices in protest. I would pray that if they didn’t listen to their citizens, that those citizens would rise up and throw out their own governments. I would pray that the tide be turned and the infiltration in Europe of radical Jihadists be stopped. I would be praying that the West would finally realize the existential threat we face and declare the resolve to end radicalism and 500 B.C. ideologies that are incapable of reform or coexisting with anyone. I would say my prayers would not be answered though and lacking that outcome, we must focus on what we can do.
  Know that the enemies of the West, the enemies of civilization itself, are preparing themselves daily. They are training their children to kill our children while the children of civilized Nations are being taught to tolerate the intolerant. Their hatred of the West and the Jihad they seek is preached daily in Mosques around the world. It is taught daily in Madrasas around the world, where precious little else is taught. Civilized Nations have allowed the debate to be silenced by allowing “political correctness” to be the only voice heard while dissenting views are shouted down, threatened and in some cases made illegal. It is considered hate speech to even speak out against these atrocities in some Western countries. Citizens everywhere must be allowed to speak freely and lacking government protections, be allowed the use of arms in defense of themselves and others.
  The first thing we need to do is to eliminate our fear. We should not recoil in fear when we see atrocities by savages committed against civilized societies. They seek to terrorize us by their actions to freeze us in fear. I don’t fear them, I loathe them. Their savagery doesn’t instill fear of them in me, it instills anger towards them. We should eliminate the fear some have of being called names for speaking out. We should refuse to be shouted down for speaking the truth. We should eliminate our fears of going about our lives after such atrocities, but we should go about our lives with knowledge and a plan of action should the need arise by being aware of our surroundings (situational awareness). Eliminate those fears and we begin to eliminate the effect of terrorizing the West.
  I’m writing these words in a land blessed with the freedoms and Rights bestowed on us by our Creator. I thank God daily for the brilliant Founding Fathers that gave birth to my Nation and put pen to paper of the Rights we each have been given; not by them or the government, but bestowed on us by God. These Rights and freedoms are not limited to those blessed to live in America though. They are the Rights and freedoms from God for every person on earth and I pray that people around the globe would read those documents and know that they have those Rights and that they would fight for them. It appears that many in Europe are waking up to this idea. Even the INTERPOL has suggested that an armed citizenry would be the only way to stop attacks from such evil savages. Perhaps they realize something that most governments around the world do not……..the Police can’t be everywhere and personal safety is almost always left up to the individual at the scene of the crime to deal with.
  I’m thankful for the good and kind people of the world. I am thankful for those that gather and pray for others and pray for peace. I wish them peace in their lives and hope no act of war is ever visited on them, near them or to their families and friends. I thank them for their prayers for the victims of an evil ideology. As they say their prayers, I will say mine. “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
  Go armed everywhere you can. Limit the places you go where you are denied the Right of self-defense. Stay alert and stay alive. Like it or not, the fight will be brought to us until we vow to fight back and defeat them and no amount of wishing will make them go away. Only brute force resistance and savagery returned in kind will do that.  

“Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Luke 22:36