Tuesday, December 29, 2015

CLANG! {rattle}

Around age eight, I got a BB gun.  A couple years later I was allowed to have a pellet gun.    Most people will just assume at this point that I must've gone around killing birds and whatever else I saw

Yeah - NO.  I did NOT go around killing things.  There is something else much more fun you can do with a BB/pellet gun.

I used to set up aluminum cans in the branches of trees and shoot at them.  Also fun to set the can up so that it will fall when you hit it.  A partner waits for your shot and then tries to shoot the can on the way down.  The only thing we killed doing this was hours of time.  Birds and squirrels and so forth do NOT make that satisfying CLANG! when you hit them.  Properly sighting the gun was also great fun.  You had to invent some kind of way to hold the gun perfectly still and keep everything consistent, and then make your sight adjustments.  It was a creative and ultimately very rewarding challenge to really get it dialed in.  I got it to the point where I could hit a thin piece of rope from about 25 yards back.  That never made a sound, but it was very satisfying to see the whole rope move when you hit it solid.  Initially I would rest the barrel of my gun in the fence for that shot, but sometimes I could shoot it freehand.

Cans were probably the most fun, but after a while they'd have enough holes in them that you'd run out of fresh metal to hit.  Old, shot-up cans just don't sound as satisfying as fresh ones, so the other thing we'd turn to was Army Men.  We would build bunkers and trenches and fortify them with twigs and bark.  Then we'd stand back the 25 or so yards and see which of us had made the strongest reinforcements.  Lots of creativity there, too.

One day, while we were shooting from the deck in back of our house, my neighbor comes walking over holding a dead bird by its feet and says, "I think I got one of your victims here."

Friday, December 11, 2015


What I have learned is that if you are a fan of politics (and there are plenty of them out there) part of the fun is relishing in the opportunity to decry the candidate on the other side as a complete idiot.  Taking sides is fun.  Someone with the opposing political view is the enemy.  It's as much sport as anything else, including actual sports, where rivalries are a fundamental element.

In light of that...

What was proposed was a temporary ban until we establish a better process for vetting some immigrants, then we lift the ban and carry on.

This was turned into accusations of hate speech.

I like to think I present that information separately from my opinion of the idea, but if you'd like to know what I think about it, I'd say that enhanced border checks probably won't have much to do with stopping folks bent on terrorism.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


It's probably safe to say that people who have never seen a gun in person, let alone held or even shot one, are most likely to look at guns strictly as weapons of terror.  If you have no personal experience with them and all you know is what you see in the news, that would kind of make sense.  That same kind of thinking would probably lead you to think that guns are something that you can just ban and that will make them go away.

I guess that idea works if we assume that every act of gun violence is committed with a brand new gun.

I think the real truth is that if there were actually an answer to this problem we'd have solved it by now.