Bittersweet

I was seriously considering taking some vacation time for this, but I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately as it is so adding another trip to the schedule just didn’t seem feasible at the time.

It gratifies me to see that many others took up the baton and ran with it.

Thousands Show Up to Properly Send Off Texas Air Force Veteran

These are the people that Hillary and Barack and Michelle and Bernie and Joe disparage as “deplorables”.

These are the people that the media constantly accuse of being “literally hitler” and full of hate.

What I see are real people. People who work hard for what they have and don’t have the time to attend demonstrations and rallies over petty political squabbles…but when a true fellow American is in need, they’ll drop everything and rally to the call.

This is the America that I identify with…and it’s always *been* great.

Why we have so much plastic pollution:

This is something that just drives me nuts.

I’m using some medicine I just bought as an example, but this is true about lots and lots of goods that are packaged in quantity.

They sell this stuff in little bottles. They also sell bulk packages of three bottles and in this instance, they had them on sale, buy one get one half off.

I have to take this stuff daily so I’m always in the market to save a little money…three bottles in a pack for less than three separate bottles and on sale to boot…what could go wrong?

There are 14 pills in each bottle. This is what the contents of one bottle looks like.

Seriously?

They couldn’t have used a smaller bottle for that?

So…the first thing I did is consolidate to cut down on the number of stupid little pill bottles I had to store.

The contents of all those bottles filled a little over half of one bottle.

And resulted in this much plastic waste for no particular reason:

This is marketing…putting small quantities in big bottles so you’re willing to pay more because you feel like you’re getting more for your money.

It doesn’t make ME feel that way…when I get a package of something I’ve bought, open it up and find that it’s 90% full of air, I feel a bit ripped off and am a lot less likely to purchase that product again.

But I’m abnormal in a lot of ways so I guess that’s just one more.

But the thing I couldn’t help thinking was “they want to take away my plastic straws, but they don’t say a word about useless crap like this???

/rant

Laughing Out Loud in the airport

I was in the airport recently and was checking to see if they had free wifi.

The name of one of the local wifi access points (probably someone’s phone hotspot) caught my attention.

I laughed out loud after my initial double-take.

I wonder if that’s an effective way of keeping people from trying to hijack you’re internet connection.

Help Needed

Kevin Baker of The Smallest Minority is having serious medical issues and his family could use some help. Kevin is a great and honorable man I’ve known online for years, have met a few times in the real world and consider a friend.

His blog has been one of my regular reads for close to a decade. His posts are always extremely well thought out and meticulously researched and documented. He’s had a huge influence on me and how I view many issues including the Second Amendment.

Especially for my readers who are members of the shooting and gun-blogging community, but also for anyone who has a few bucks to spare, I ask you to consider kicking in a little to help out.

You can read a little more about him and donate to his gofundme page by clicking here.

Dogs On Deployment Fund Raiser

If you’d like to help out a worthy cause, my wife and I are participating in the Dogs on Deployment virtual 5k fund raiser this year.

Dogs on Deployment help service members find foster families to care for their pets while they are on deployment.

It’s a really great way to support the people who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.

If you’re interested in supporting this worthy cause, please visit my fund raising page.

1911 Night Sights

History: I’ve always loved the 1911 platform and wanted one, but couldn’t afford a really good brand.

I ended up buying a Rock Island Armory Tactical 1911 (I got the tactical mainly for the Ambidextrous safety).

I’d heard good things about RIA, but I honestly wasn’t expecting much. Something I could take to the range and shoot.

I was very pleasantly surprised. I posted about it at the time, but one of the shortcomings to my mind were the sights.

Well, here it is 9 years later, and I finally fixed the sights issue.

I purchased Meprolight tritium night sights through Amazon.

The rear sight fit perfectly out of the box. No problems with it. The front sight required some fitting. The base was a bit too wide to get started. I also had to clean up the cuts on the slide a little bit. I don’t think the original was peened, but the edges of the cut were a bit rough and kept snagging when I tried to press the new front sight into the dovetail. A little work with my jewelers files fixed it right up.

The new sights stand just slightly taller than the originals. Not enough to interfere with holster fit or anything, and not really even noticeable without putting them right up next to each other.

As far as performance. I’m extremely happy. Here’s the sight picture under full light:

And here’s under low light:

They aren’t adjustable for elevation so I was a little concerned about that, but I took it to the range yesterday and point of impact was perfect for a center hold at 25 yards using my standard 230gr JHP at 850fps.

I couldn’t possibly be happier.

On another note, after having owned my RIA 1911 for 9 years and having fired thousands of rounds through it, I also couldn’t be happier with the gun. I am increasingly impressed with how it’s held up over time. At this stage in my life, I could afford to buy a “better” 1911 for a lot more money, but I have to say I feel no inclination to. I’m perfectly happy with my $425 RIA. It has proven itself to be reliable, accurate and a solid performer, and with the new sights, I’m even more confident in it.

What does an illegitimate lobby thwarting the will of the people look like?

It looks like this.

We know who supports the NRA. You can see NRA stickers on car windows even in the bluest cities in the country. But who really supports the anti-gun political network? You’ll need to spend hours sorting through paperwork, following the trail, comparing addresses and researching names, to even get a hint.

That’s what an illegitimate lobby thwarting the will of the people really looks like.

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:

You know your state sucks when…

…the souvenir shops in the largest airport in your state…

…only sell souvenirs from a city in a different state.

I was in both Terminals A and C of the Newark International airport and there was not a New Jersey or Newark hat, t-shirt or coffee mug to be found.

Not that I would have wanted one had I found one…the absence was just striking to me. It’s the only airport I’ve ever been in (and I’ve been in a LOT of airports) that didn’t have some sort of memorabilia from…well…the location of the airport.

Prime example of Media Malfeasance

Headline:

Man charged after Heights party-goer shot to death while wearing bulletproof vest

Really? BulletPROOF?

A Rosenberg man has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of another man wearing a bulletproof vest at a party in the Heights, Houston police said.

Officers were dispatched early Sunday to a garage apartment in the 300 block of West 23rd, where a man had been shot in the chest. Paramedics pronounced the man him(sic) dead at the scene.

Um…not so much.

Gee, I wonder where [media] the idiot [hollywood] could have gotten the idea [media] that a bullet resistant [hollywood] vest is actually bulletproof?

By the way…the trigger puller was arrested for felon in possession as well as for, well, shooting someone…but it’s obviously the NRA’s fault because if we pass one more law and make it even more illegaler than the 3 felonies (minimum) they were already committing, that would have prevented this tragedy, or something.

Fake Gun Interviews

From VCDL President Phillip Van Cleave, via e-mail
—-

February 20, 2018

Last weekend, while doing what seemed to be a regular interview, I discovered that a movie is being made with the intent to discredit gun-rights leaders across the country.

No, this is not a joke, it is real and we need to get the word out to other gun-rights organizations, gun-rights leaders, and prominent firearms trainers across the country and we need to do this FAST.

Back in 2014, alleged Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein said he was going to make a movie “that would make the NRA wish they weren’t alive.” (All gun organizations are the NRA in his mind.) And he was dead serious. Michael Moore has been attempting to discredit gun owners and leaders for years by tricking people and using creative editing techniques to make them look foolish or idiotic.

Who’s behind this effort isn’t clear, but they are EXTREMELY WELL FUNDED PROFESSIONALS. For example, to reel me in and to try to make me feel beholden to them, they laid out the red carpet, by providing luxury accommodations, limousine service, and providing a generous monetary allowance to cover meals and other expenses for two days.

They use psychological manipulation, as well as lies and tricks to put their victim into comedic situations that subject them to public shame, embarrassment, and ridicule. I believe the intent is to destroy reputations and even lives.

I did some detective work in the days immediately following the “interview,” and I managed to find out they had targeted at least one nationally known firearms trainer and I know there are more. They appear to be setting up near gun shows. I also found out they covered their tracks carefully to avoid revealing their true identity.

It started when VCDL received an email last week from a company called “First Freedom Television” to do an interview with an “Israeli security expert” on the “shared security interests of like-minded countries, such as the U.S. and Israel.” It went on, “Unlike the misguided position of American liberals, who aim to eradicate guns altogether, Israel has proven that universal gun training and widespread gun ownership actually leads to a safer society.”

I do interviews all the time, and this one didn’t seem to be all that much out of the ordinary.

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, I did the interview in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. About 5 minutes into the interview, my radar turned on big time when the interviewer was making claims about Israeli schools training selected children to use firearms from age 17 down to age 4 (!) as a last ditch effort in stopping a terrorist attack on a school if the teachers and security staff had been killed. The children would have codes to unlock secured firearms in such a case.

When I balked at 4-year-olds being able to do that, he showed me an alleged newscast video on his iPad. The text was in Hebrew, but with an English-speaking narration, talking about how a 4-year-old boy had indeed stopped a terrorist attack at his school. The newscast said that he killed two terrorists using his dad’s gun, which he had brought to school in his backpack to show a friend, in violation of school rules. Israeli Premier Netanyahu was touting him as a hero in the video.

While I’ve never been to Israel, I do know they have some serious terrorism concerns, especially at schools and other public gatherings. The way they handle some of their security can be very different from what we have in the U.S. But that news story just didn’t look right, and 4-year-olds can hold a gun and fire it with supervision, but not take on terrorists, and especially manage to shoot and kill two of them.

Because of this and various other odd things I noticed during the interview, I was now convinced that something wasn’t right. This wasn’t real and probably some sort of a set up.

I could only think of Hollywood’s threat. At a minimum, it could be a comedy which would play only in Israel, but it could be a more damaging attempt to make a “mocumentary,” by someone like Michael Moore, or, even worse, a Sacha Baron Cohen-esq “Borat”-type of shock comedy meant to be devastatingly embarrassing and humiliating to the victim in the crosshairs.

As the 15-minute interview terminated, the interviewer asked me if I, as an English-speaking firearms trainer, would help him make a “gun safety” training video for children of various ages. This had to be the “kicker,” I thought.

For better or for worse, I decided that I would play along with the scheme so I could find out who was behind this and where this was going. I figured if I was right about this being a set up, I could blow the whistle and get a warning out to the gun-rights community across the country to protect as many people as possible and maybe derail this attack. If it turned out to be nothing, then no harm, no foul.

We recorded for almost 3 hours using Airsoft guns as props. They even had a teleprompter!

I was right – it was a set up – and it was much worse than I could have imagined. If you’ve seen the 70’s movie, “The Sting,” it was much like that. It was a well-orchestrated, well-choreographed, psychological manipulation, with a production cast of at least 10 people, to slowly lead a person down the primrose path.

We went step-by-step with a ready, and seemingly logical, answer every time I balked at some crazy part of the training. They seemed to have thought of every thing that a person might question. All I can say is that these people were extremely good at deception and manipulation. And no matter how stupid the things the interviewer and I were doing (we were side-by-side the whole time), no one else cracked a smile or laughed once, and I was watching. The professional actors were keeping up the appearance that this was a serious project.

The end goal was to get the victim to make a “training film” teaching 3 and 4-year-olds how to shoot guns hidden in toy animals at “bad” people, to sing little songs and make gun noises during the training to make it “fun for children,” and even teach little kids how to shoot a rocket-propelled-grenade or a squad automatic weapon at an approaching suicide bomber vehicle!

It all sounds unbelievable. But everything was elaborately and expensively staged; every contingency planned for, with explanations that make unbelievable things seem plausible (fake documents and videos about how Israel handles security in their schools, for example). The interview moved along at a pace, designed not to give the “mark” time to reflect on where things are going. The craziness factor very gradually got more extreme, like cooking a frog by slowly heating up the water so he doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late. It’s a con game, a sting, plain and simple.

I don’t know if they have other scenarios or they will use other company names to continue concealing their identity, but anyone doing an interview dealing with gun rights where they sense something odd should terminate that interview. Or, better, bring a recorder and tell the other party you are going to make your own recording of the interview. If they say “no,” then walk out. I am going to make that my own policy going forward to protect against any future fake interviews. BTW, they had me leave my cellphone in an office “because it might interfere with the recording devices,” but I think it was so I couldn’t take any photos of them or make any video or audio recordings on that phone.

In the end we played each other and I confirmed what I feared this was all about. Sadly for me, I’m sure I’m going to be in whatever crazy film finally comes out, looking really stupid and, just as sadly, I’ll probably be in good company. A few of us will no doubt get hammered, but if we can get the word out IMMEDIATELY, we might be able to save the reputations of many other good people.

Finally, looking at the possibilities and what I saw while making the “training film,” I’m betting this is going to end up being a “Borat”-style film and it’s going to be vicious on the victims.

Please share this alert far and wide.

Philip Van Cleave
President
Virginia Citizens Defense League