She had to ask

Jennifer asked for us to share our stories about how we became “gunnies”.

If you’ve read the “about me” blurb in my blogger profile, you already know that I’m a redneck by birth, so it goes without saying that I’ve never lived in a home without guns.

But I wouldn’t say that I was raised as a gunnie.  The guns I grew up with were tools. They were never points of fascination or great enthusiasm.  Having a gun in the house held about as much significance for my family as having a hammer or chainsaw.

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy shooting.  I did.  I shot BB guns constantly as a kid, played Cowboys and Indians and Army with my brothers with toy guns, got my first .22lr rifle as a young teen and just about wore it slam out (I still have that rifle).  My friends and I used to go shooting all the time as a teenager.  But there were other things I enjoyed as well.  Shooting wasn’t my life by any stretch of the imagination.

Gun ownership carried over into my adult life and, like I mentioned, I don’t believe I’ve ever lived in a home that didn’t have at least a couple of guns around.

I shot fairly regularly, but I wouldn’t call it “often”.  I’d go to the range (or a friend’s backyard range when available) every few months.  Whenever I went home on leave, I’d take a couple of guns with me to shoot in the back yard reminiscent of my youth.

I always took gun ownership for granted.  It never occurred to me that this American tradition could ever be endangered.  Of course, by the time I reached the age to become conscious at all about politics and laws, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was ancient history so it seemed to me that there had ALWAYS been some level of government control over gun ownership.

Then in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, gun control really seemed to pick up some steam.  They had a run there for a while where it really seemed like they were on track to get gun ownership banned completely.

The passage of the Brady bill and the faux assault weapon ban in  1994 was the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak and I began to get politically active with respect to the Second Amendment, began studying the history and the laws, joined the NRA as well as several of the other smaller civil rights organizations, and made a point to get more practice and range time in.  It wasn’t long after that I started shooting with the Navy Marksmanship team as well.

My first few years in the movement was taken up with attending rallies, writing letters to the editor (even got one or two published) and to our representatives and senators in Washington, but sometime in 2005, I discovered blogs and Captain of a Crew of One was born.

You might notice that my archives only go back to 2006.  That’s because after about a year or so of blogging regularly, the blog was beginning to feel like a job, rather than something I was doing because I enjoyed it.  I shut Captain of a Crew of One down and even deleted it from blogger.  I took about a 6 month or so break and then started it back up again late in 2006, determined that I was not going to be a slave to it and that I’d only worry about posting when I had something to say.

As regular readers well know, I’ve kept to that decision very diligently, which explains the weeks-long lapses in posting from time to time.

At any rate, it was basically the successes of the anti-freedom lobby that spurred me to action.  Since I’ve become active in the politics, I’ve also become much more active in the community in general.  I’m now an NRA and 4H instructor, Range Safety Officer, Active in both National and Virginia gun rights politics, and still even blog occasionally.

It was the successes of the Brady Campaign and their ilk in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s that proved to be their downfall.  Many of us were spurred to get active in Second Amendment politics around that time.  They woke the sleeping giant, and boy was he pissed.

The battle’s not over and probably never will be, but the successes that we’ve realized, through the tireless efforts of many great and dedicated patriotic Americans, are difficult to believe having come from where we were just a few short years ago.

I’m proud to have been able to play a tiny part (and, believe me, my part has been TINY) in that success, and seeing young, up and coming activists and representatives of the shooting community like Jennifer and her husband Michael, is very encouraging for us old codgers.

Arachnophobia

Lissa recently recounted her harrowing experience and the epic battle that ensued when her home was invaded by a dangerous predator.

Today, in response, Jay asked about Phobias.

Lissa hit mine right on the head.

The only thing in the world that I have an irrational fear of is spiders.  There are objects and critters for which I have a healthy respect due to their potential hazards.  There are situations that can cause me to feel abject fear.  But those are rational reactions to real or perceived threats.

My fear of spiders is admittedly completely irrational and not based on any legitimate or even perceived danger.

Knowing that doesn’t keep me from being afraid of the stupid things.

I don’t allow my fears to prevent me from living life.  I swallow my fear and do what I have to do.  It isn’t easy, but I do it.

That is not to say that I live in peace and harmony with the object of my fear.  During “spider season” (typically the early fall in this area), I regularly go on safari around the outside of my house, I unashamedly engage in chemical warfare, utilizing a pump sprayer of anti-arachnid nerve agent and pumped up enough to avoid CQB by employing it in the manner of artillery or air strikes. (“Bravo six, this is Alpha actual, left 5, drop 20 and fire for effect.”   “Roger Alpha…outgoing, stand by”).

Obviously, this technique doesn’t work well for room clearing in urban warfare and so I do have to have a CQB option.

In comments to Lissa’s post above, Dr. Feelgood asks “What caliber [for spiders]?” and recommends 6mm airsoft.

Here’s what I employ against the vile beasts in an in-home, Close Quarters setting.

12 shot revolver with a 6.5″ barrel in 3″ rubber band.

Doesn’t have much in the way of sights, but you can just aim down the top of the barrel for pretty good results.

Decent trigger, though a bit creepy.  Pretty accurate up to about 10 feet or so.  With the right ammo, it has plenty of power for your average 8 legged adversary.

Ammo is cheap and plentiful and, as far as I know, the Brady Campaign isn’t even trying to get these banned yet.

Someday, perhaps, I’ll overcome this irrational fear.  Until that day, though, my anti-arachnid arsenal is never far from reach.

OK, I did it.

Click here to take the quiz.

I think that’s the least progressive score I’ve seen yet.

There were a couple of really iffy questions.  For example:

Hmm.  The problem I have with this question is that the left loves to mischaracterize the conservative position in this way, but it’s simply not true. 

The conservative position is NOT that Immigrants are a burden…  The conservative position is that ILLEGAL immigrants are a burden.

They DO take jobs because they are willing to work (illegally) for below the minimum wage.   Most Americans won’t.  Because they will accept being (illegally) paid “under the table”.  Many Americans won’t.  Because they have no problem with the employer (illegally) failing to pay social security taxes, medicare taxes, workers comp insurance, unemployment insurance and other mandated employee expenses that shady employers avoid by hiring illegals.

They DO abuse government benefits because they contribute very little to the society or economy and nothing that wouldn’t be contributed by legal residents were they not here (Illegally).  In many states they are granted government services “no questions asked”.   They don’t pay their fair share of taxes because they often are paid in cash.  They don’t have health insurance so they go to the emergency rooms where they can’t be turned away.  They don’t have auto insurance or driver’s licenses, so when they’re involved in an accident, they can’t pay for it…if they don’t just flee the scene.  Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’m sure the properly “progressive” answer is to score this question a zero…which is also the correct properly conservative answer taking the question literally;  but because I read into the question a bit and I interpreted it with an “Illegal” at the beginning, I scored it a 10.

Basically, I believe this one question may be why I scored so much lower than everyone else, because I’m sure most conservatives answered it literally and scored it at or near the bottom of the “agree” scale, which, of course, the progressives will interpret as indicating agreement with their support for ILLEGAL immigration.

Another one I thought was a loaded question:

The progressive answer to this question depends completely on what party is in power at the time.  If the Republicans are in charge, the answer would be “0”.  With Obama and the Dems in charge of two of three branches of government, I’m sure they consider the correct answer to be “10”.

What it really boils down to is what and whom are being criticized.  Is it unpatriotic to criticize GW Bush for some aspects of his war policies?  Of course not.  Mistakes were made.  Is it unpatriotic to criticize a General who is executing his duties poorly and prolonging the war or costing the lives of the troops under him?  Of course not.

Is it unpatriotic to protest outside the Marine Corps recruiting office or to prevent recruiters from visiting campuses, accusing them of being murderers and war criminals?

Oh HECK yes.

Is it unpatriotic to call the General who, through his leadership, and vision, orchestrated a dramatic turnaround in the war, significantly reduced the casualty rates, and helped to insure eventual victory “General Betray-us?” 

You bet your sweet bippy it is.

So, how do you honestly answer that question?  It doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Anyway, there were some other questionable items but those were the most egregious.  This poll is, of course, being presented by the inaptly named “Center for American Progress” so I’m sure they’ll find some way to use the results for propaganda purposes…but it was interesting if nothing else.

Besides, if enough of us “conservative” gunnies take the quiz, we’ll drive their average down…assuming, of course, that they’re even being honest about what the average American’s score really is. 

The Breda Meme

I don’t do memes often, but Breda asked and how could I say no to her right?

I couldn’t find an actual baby picture. I’ve got an album around here somewhere that has my baby pictures in it, but I can’t locate it at the moment. The last time I saw it, my wife was looking through it. She may have stashed it somewhere so I couldn’t make it “disappear”. Anyway, here’s my little brother and I with one of the many dogs with whom I’ve shared my life. This one was named “Scooter”.

See, I wasn’t any better looking when I was young.

The little brother was always the cute (and spoiled) one.

Man…look at those clothes.

You’d think it was the 70’s or something.

Oh…wait…

I don’t normally post these…

…but I like the show/movie and I liked the results I got…it’s not a perfect characterization of how I see myself, but pretty close; so…

Your results:

You are Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)

Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
80%
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
75%
Wash (Ship Pilot)
65%
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
55%
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
50%
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
50%
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
40%
Alliance
30%
River (Stowaway)
20%
A Reaver (Cannibal)
10%
Inara Serra (Companion)
10%
Honest and a defender of the innocent.
You sometimes make mistakes in judgment
but you are generally good and
would protect your crew from harm.


Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

Coffee Cup Meme

I haven’t been tagged, but I couldn’t pass this one up.

Tam started it (unintentionally), then Cowboy Blob started tagging people willy nilly.

Basically, they’re posting pics of their coffee cups.

I wanna play.

Click all pix to make bigger.

A long time ago, in a land far, far away….sorry….I built my own little sports bar in the “bonus room” upstairs. When my wife and I quit drinking a few years ago, she didn’t want me to get rid of the bar because I’d built it from scratch all by my lonesome, so we’ve been working on turning it into a coffee bar. It’s still a work in progress, but, as you can see, we’ve got us some coffee mugs.

That’s not all of them by a long shot…just the ones we wanted to display. Didn’t want to put too many out and clutter it up too much.

Here are a few of my personal favorites. From left to right: one of my dad’s old cups. It was given to him by my kids when they were little and says “Grandpa” on the back. Mom gave it to me when dad went home.

Dad loved old cars and owned a restored 1930 Model A that he loved to putt around in. I’ve got a picture of it around here somewhere, I’ll try to post it someday.

Next is my Colts mug given to my by my kids at some point…I think it was a retirement present, but my memory sucks so I could be rememberating wrongly. Next is my first “First Class Mess” mug and then my first “Chief’s Mess” mug. The First Class Mess and Chief’s Mess are associations of E-6 and E-7 through E-9 personnel (respectively) in a Navy command. You are typically given a mug by the Mess when you join. The first ones are always meaningful because they represent major milestones in an Enlisted Navy career.

In case you’re interested, here’s a better overall view of the bar and room from the corner.

The French Doors lead out onto a balcony, which I used to call the “Smoking Deck” (I don’t need the nanny government to pass a law to ban smoking in my bar…I’ll do it on my own, thank you very much) but I believe is going to be changed to “the observation post” because it gives me a vantage point to monitor the criminal activities of my new neighbors.

And here it is from the opposite corner, standing between the French doors and the bar.

Considering how uninspired artistically and decoratively speaking I generally am, I’m pretty proud of how my cozy little play room turned out so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to brag a little bit.

‘Course I probably should have taken the cover off the pool table for the pix…Oh well, next time.

The infamous meme

I was tagged by Earl to participate in this meme. I’ve done memes once or twice before, but this is the first time I’ve ever been specifically tagged. I’m honored.

First the Rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play….

I’ve been beating myself up about this for over a week now and haven’t been able to come up with a 6 word memoir that summed me up. Everyone else that’s played has been so creative with it and I’ve just been drawing a blank…as usual.

It finally hit me today; the problem I’ve been having with this meme pretty much sums me up:

I can’t create, so I contribute.

No picture to go along with it.

I’ll follow the rules and tag five people (actually came up with six…it does say “at least”), but don’t feel obligated. I’m interested in what you come up with, but I won’t be heartbroken if you don’t play. I tried to get people who haven’t already posted one but if you’ve already been tagged, I apologize that I missed it:

Steamdragon, Rustmeister, Big Bad Wolf, Ctone, Thirdpower, and Nicki.

Tag, you’re it.

OK, I’ll play

Some other gun bloggers have been talking about their favorite fictional firearms so I thought I’d ante up with my 2 cents.

Although beefy and powerful is good, we live in a day and age where discretion can be the better part of valor. Sometimes small and powerful can be as good as, if not better than, big and powerful.

With that in mind, I present the ultimate in concealed carry:

The Noisy Cricket

The only down side is that the recoil and muzzle flip can be a bit…um…snappy.

This text will be replaced