Sign of the times

I’m very pleased with this ruling:

The FAA’s drone database hit a major snag this week, courtesy of a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. The D.C.-based court sided with drone hobbyist John Taylor, who argued that the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t have jurisdiction over what the law classifies as model aircraft.

“Taylor does not think that the FAA had the statutory authority to issue the Registration Rule and require him to register,” Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the statement. “Taylor is right.”

Less regulation is almost always a good thing.

The current administration says it is going to cut regulations across the board. This does not appear to be a result of those efforts but I welcome the elimination of regulations no matter how it comes about.

Unfortunately, it’s only a grain of sand on a beach.

Quote of the day—Lauren Levy

Even if they’re colorful and super cool, kids shouldn’t be playing with water guns because it normalizes the real thing.

Lauren Levy
May 17, 2017
Why Kids Should Never Play With Water Guns. Period.
[I find it very telling that Ms. Levy is strictly opposed to someone thinking exercising the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms is normal.

In the comments I found this which pretty much sums it up:

More LEFT wing lunacy. These people are not rational. They strip every freedom we have either through non-stop new legislation (California) or through public shaming.

Time for regular common sense people to stand up and say, “F$#@ YOU!!!”

Anthony Prieto

—Joe]

I still think this is cool

The images below are of the field near Boomershoot Mecca. In the first one you can see Mecca on the hill (the shipping container with trees around it).

I have probably seen this sort of thing a hundred times or more but I still think it is cool.
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Something about the water vapor rising from the field is unusual enough to fascinate me.

Quote of the day—Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Soviet organisation has made possible the creation of armed forces of workers and peasants which are much more closely connected with the working and exploited people than before. If this had not been done it would have been impossible to achieve one of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism—the arming of the workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
1919 (see here)
The Basic Tasks Of The Dictatorship Of The Proletariat In Russia
[As many people have pointed out, Democrats/Socialists/Communists are not anti-gun. They just don’t want their political opponents to have guns. See also the Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars where they disarmed everyone except members of the Russian Communist Party.—Joe]

I suppose the brass is good.

At Boomershoot this year someone gave me several boxes of assorted .40 S&W ammo (562 rounds) and told me to appraise them and give them credit for Boomershoot 2018. In the collection was this:

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ExtremeShock

$9.00 for five rounds? What does a box of 20 sell for these days without all the fancy packaging? Oh. $62. No thank you.

As an engineer I’m frequently annoyed that crappy products in the hands of the “right” marketing and sales people can be a success. And furthermore that marketing and sales people can get away with outlandish claims. At the face of it this appears to be one of those instances.

A quick Internet search indicates my hunch that the claims exceed the function is correct:

.40 “EXTREME SHOCK” Ammo Gel Test and The Box O’ Truth #23 – ExtremeShock Ammo and the Box O’ Truth.

But my favorite find of the search is a description of how the bullets are made:

They’re, in fact, made up of a special compound derived from Chuck Norris’ beard hair. The hairs are ground into a special powder and mixed into a paste with Jack Bauer’s tears. The paste is then forced into molds of bullets created from the bones of John Wayne. The molds are super heated, then rapidly cooled by the cold stare of Clint Eastwood.
It was on “How it’s Made”…

Well, I suppose the brass is good and I can reload it.

Quote of the day—Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible – these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
March 1850
Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League
[Interesting reading.—Joe]

Easy and difficult

Speed steel shooting has sometimes been called “drag racing with a handgun”. While this is almost always true the stage designer can give you a wide range of challenges. The Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club Fun Steel match on March 25th, 2017 was the widest range of difficulty I had ever seen in a single match. One stage only took me 1.52 seconds to shoot. Another took 4.97 seconds. Here’s the video:

Match wise, I won the rimfire iron sight division with an average shot time of 0.6658 seconds per shot. I came in dead last in the centerfire iron sight division (I had problems with my gun again—details in another post).

Here are the final scores:

Brian L.          PCC-O       45.31
Jon S.            RF-O          54.86
Brian L.          RF-RV-O    58.51
Dan L.            RF-O          63.00
Jim D.            RF-RI-O      63.81
Joe H.            RF-I            66.58
Jeremy P.      CF-I            79.85
Craig J.          RF-I            80.29
Jon S.             CF-O          82.44
Thomas A.     CF-O          85.49
MAC                RF-RV-I     93.16
Roy L.              CF-O         95.15
Craig J.           CF-I           101.38
Roy L.              CF-I           101.44
Thomas A.      CF-I           103.21
Scott B.           RF-RV-I      104.78
Roy L.              CF-I            107.51
Thomas A.     CF-S           109.63
Dan L.             CF-LR         117.82
Scott B.          CF-RV-I       118.46
Bret C.            CF-I             127.46
Joe H.            CF-I             132.58
Brendan         RF-I             142.51
Alaska B.       CF-LR          274.21
MAC               CF-RV-I          DNF

Update: Stage pictures.

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The two small plates in the center were not visible to someone of ordinary height. This picture was taken from a viewpoint of approximately 7.5 feet above the ground.
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USPSA match results

It’s been a several months since I shot in a USPSA match. I practiced a bunch in the previous two weeks but I completely forgot to practice one handed shooting. I remembered this as I was driving to Idaho to work on the weather station but then it was too late to do much about it. I had an extremely busy weekend and I was suffering from a lack of sleep and decided sleep had a higher priority than even a few minutes of dry firing.

Two of the stages had some one-handed shooting and I did okay on them (in fact, I won one of the stages). Overall I felt I did okay but not great (especially the classifier). When I looked at the overall results (Limited Division) I was surprised:

Lewiston Pistol Club USPSA-May 2017 – 2017-05-14


Match Results – LTD
Place Name No. Class Div PF Category Match Pts Match %
1 Huffman, Joe TY29386 B LTD Maj Senior 339.3213 100.0000 %
2 Meyer, Wade A95272 C LTD Maj 330.5290 97.4089 %
3 Piper, Steve A88114 U LTD Maj Senior 294.2301 86.7114 %
4 Imel, Kevin L2544 B LTD Maj 273.4669 80.5923 %
5 HARRIS, MARK A102929 U LTD Min Senior 262.6431 77.4025 %
6 Smith, Mark U LTD Min Military 205.7575 60.6380 %

Wow!

What happened?

It turns out that, as in most of the other matches I have done well in, I get the best results when I don’t try to do my absolute best. Not making really bad mistakes yields better results than having a mixture of awesome and catastrophic stages. This was a mixture of mediocre and good. My fellow competitors had a mix of catastrophic and good:

Six Chickens (03-02)
Stage Results – LTD
Place Name No. Class Div Points Pen Time Hit Factor Stage Pts Stage %
1 Meyer, Wade C LTD 57 0 14.66 3.8881 60.0000 100.00 %
2 Smith, Mark U LTD 50 0 17.00 2.9412 45.3877 75.65 %
3 Imel, Kevin B LTD 50 10 15.25 2.6230 40.4774 67.46 %
4 Huffman, Joe B LTD 49 20 11.72 2.4744 38.1842 63.64 %
5 HARRIS, MARK U LTD 53 20 17.76 1.8581 28.6736 47.79 %
6 Piper, Steve U LTD 42 50 10.15 0.0000 0.0000 0.00 %
May Flower Mayhem
Stage Results – LTD
Place Name No. Class Div Points Pen Time Hit Factor Stage Pts Stage %
1 Piper, Steve U LTD 136 40 18.11 5.3009 160.0000 100.00 %
2 Meyer, Wade C LTD 155 10 30.46 4.7603 143.6828 89.80 %
3 HARRIS, MARK U LTD 160 0 37.94 4.2172 127.2901 79.56 %
4 Huffman, Joe B LTD 146 20 30.60 4.1176 124.2838 77.68 %
5 Imel, Kevin B LTD 152 10 34.60 4.1040 123.8733 77.42 %
6 Smith, Mark U LTD 156 10 40.02 3.6482 110.1156 68.82 %
Paper Plates 2
Stage Results – LTD
Place Name No. Class Div Points Pen Time Hit Factor Stage Pts Stage %
1 Piper, Steve U LTD 106 0 15.93 6.6541 115.0000 100.00 %
2 Huffman, Joe B LTD 109 0 19.45 5.6041 96.8533 84.22 %
3 Meyer, Wade C LTD 105 0 20.03 5.2421 90.5970 78.78 %
4 Imel, Kevin B LTD 110 0 21.34 5.1546 89.0848 77.47 %
5 HARRIS, MARK U LTD 113 10 31.93 3.2258 55.7501 48.48 %
6 Smith, Mark U LTD 100 20 32.57 2.4562 42.4495 36.91 %
Brave You Are?
Stage Results – LTD
Place Name No. Class Div Points Pen Time Hit Factor Stage Pts Stage %
1 Huffman, Joe B LTD 69 0 19.36 3.5640 80.0000 100.00 %
2 HARRIS, MARK U LTD 54 0 23.80 2.2689 50.9293 63.66 %
3 Meyer, Wade C LTD 70 30 24.77 1.6149 36.2492 45.31 %
4 Imel, Kevin B LTD 57 40 19.05 0.8924 20.0314 25.04 %
5 Piper, Steve U LTD 55 40 17.51 0.8567 19.2301 24.04 %
6 Smith, Mark U LTD 48 40 23.01 0.3477 7.8047 9.76 %

I forgot to turn on my camera for the first stage we shot (May Flower Mayhem) but here are the other stages:

Greg Hamilton for Seattle Mayor!

This is going to be interesting.

See also here.

Via multiple sources and an email from Ry who says, “First time I regret not living in Seattle”.

Who is Greg Hamilton? He is the founder and Chief Instructor InSights Training Center. I’ve known Greg for over 20 years and have 51 QOTDs from him here on this blog.

Update: Video of Greg Hamilton’s Mayoral Announcement.

Quote of the day—Bakwa

Most of the people who don’t like guns only don’t because they’ve developed a pathology of discomfort around the idea of them.

It seems to come down to their understanding [or lack thereof] of guns and comfort of being able to use them themselves. If they can’t conceive of someone using them responsibly, then they don’t want people to have access to them. Thus, because they aren’t competent enough with firearms themselves to understand them and their function, it is hard for them to understand how others could be competent with them as well without some kind of extensive training to prepare them [such as law enforcement].

This, combined with the sort of heard mentality of them and their peers, makes for a seemingly self evident understanding that no one should own guns accept law enforcement and such.

Every single person that I’ve taught to shoot, has become pro gun if they weren’t previously, just because of the realization that guns are tools that people can and need to understand just like any other tool. One can be irresponsible or responsible with any tool. Machete, chain saw, gun, knife, car, pen, hammer, saw, screwdriver, etc… Any tool can be dangerous or serve a positive purpose.

Bakwa
May 15, 2017
Post in the thread I may have found the answer to the gun control problem. Dead Serious.
[Take a new shooter to the range whenever you can.—Joe]

Boomershoot maintenance

Boomershoot prep and maintenance is essentially a year around job. Adding the weather station added to the maintenance part more than I expected. I did original power consumption calculations without the webcam. I purchased a cheap (but very low power consumption) webcam and it looked like the solar power system was marginal but should be good in the summer. At Boomershoot this year I swapped out the cheap webcam which was having problems for a better one which used more power. My spreadsheet said it should be okay during the summer but winter was going to be a problem.

Well… I was pushing the envelope too far and the system went down May 6th about 05:15. On May 7th my brothers helped diagnose the problem, gave the battery a little bit of a charge with jumper cables from their vehicle battery which got it back online about 16:51, and it ran until 18:35.

I purchased another solar panel and showed up onsite Saturday morning. I stopped at Boomershoot Mecca, picked up tools, and looked for a spare, very cheap, low power charge controller I purchased several years ago. I couldn’t find the charge controller and finally went over to the shooting line and the weather station.

I put the site on a temporary power supply and had it up about by about 11:15. I poked around with my meter and discovered the charge controller had power coming in from the solar panel but nothing was getting through to the battery. I concluded the charge controller was bad. I connected the solar panel directly to the battery, which was discharged down to 4.5 volts, and went looking for the charge controller again. It wasn’t at the Taj Mahal and I went back to Mecca and did a very deep search. I finally found it and went back to the weather station. The battery was up to about 10.4 V and I decided to try the existing charge controller again. This time it worked. It appears the charge controller runs on power from the battery. If the battery gets too low then it stops working and the battery will never get charged up even though there is plenty of solar power available. This seems to be a serious and easily fixed design flaw in the charge controller.

Installed the second solar panel and made sure everything was working as expected:

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I left the temporary power installed in the hopes the battery would get enough charge by morning that I could switch over to the permanent supply without it getting into another death spiral.

I then went back to Mecca, straightened things up, moved some things to the Taj Mahal which had been left at Mecca, and did an inventory of target materials so I know how much to purchase for next years event (sign up here!).

About 02:00 on Sunday the site went down again because the temporary supply ran out of power. I arrived onsite about 07:15, found the battery was about 11.5 volts and slowing rising. I still had some time available onsite and decided to start charging the temporary supply from the inverter in my vehicle and run the station from it while the solar panel continued to charge the battery. The cables were too short to connect while the vehicle was parked on level ground so I tried to get closer:

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I actually was a couple feet closer but slide sideways down the hill. The cables were just barely long enough. Another inch away and they would not have reached. But even after a couple minutes of charging my temporary power supply was still too low to run the Internet connection, weather station, and the webcam. I connected things to the permanent, solar powered, power supply, got it up and running about 07:25, and went about the other chores I had to do.

The original solar panel had a bunch of bird droppings so I cleaned it.

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I moved the yellow fiberglass stakes we used to mark the parking area to a spot less likely to get lost in the grass. Then I picked up a garbage sack full of milk jugs ripped apart by explosives in the attempted fireball:

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The webcam caught me doing various things

  • Moving the stakes:
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  • Cleaning the solar panel:
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  • Picking up milk jug pieces:
    PickingUpMilkJugs

Quote of the day—Still following ‏@osteomath

You have no basis for your claim except your nether region, but good for you, @Ducks_N_Bucks19 @Jeff257; isn’t #2A wonderful.

Still following ‏@osteomath
Tweeted on December 1, 2016.
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday! Via a tweet from American Hunter ‏@Ducks_N_Bucks19.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Patti Brigham

We believe that this is really not about the Second Amendment, it’s about public safety.

Patti Brigham
Co-chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Gun control groups claim victory in Florida – for now
[They claimed victory because no pro freedom bills were passed, not because they were able to pass one or more laws infringing upon our rights. They have to try and keep their morale up somehow.

Aside from blocking the bills which would have reduced the infringements upon the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment what annoys me is that Brigham thinks she can bypass the Second Amendment with an argument about “public safety”. Apparently she is ignorant of and/or disagrees with Ben Franklin on the tradeoffs involving safety and liberty. Even if I knew nothing of the issue I would be substantially more inclined to side with Franklin than with Brigham.

“Public safety” doesn’t outweigh individual rights. This is particularly true when it involves prior restraint. If it did one could make a winning case for banning speech and writing which advocates socialism. Far more people have lost their lives because of socialism in the last 120 years than have lost their lives because of private ownership of firearms.

And that doesn’t even touch upon the fact that the Second Amendment is about public safety.—Joe]

All freedoms have their opponents

I’ve sometimes heard it said that anti-gun people should just think of private gun ownership as religion with the NRA as the formal church organization and leave us alone. I could almost see that working.

And the concept isn’t limited to the church of the gun. From Nashville we have this:

The Social Club had previously been known as a swinger’s sanctuary at a different Nashville location, and when owners announced the move to its current location at 520 Lentz Drive, residents were outraged.

But the owners promised no sex would take place at the club and instead would open a church to members only to get around zoning laws.

But it appears the city is going to make a fuss over it anyway. The report is quite graphic and the undercover inspectors even took pictures of people having sex (they don’t seem to be included in the report). It appears, just like with gun ownership, people want to control others who are “coloring outside of the lines” of the boundaries they have made for themselves.

Quote of the day—Dan P. Eldridge

Instead of making it difficult for law-abiding gun shop owners, fully prosecute straw purchasers, felons in possession of a firearm and people who unlawfully use a weapon. Incarcerate more criminals, and you’ll get less crime. Make it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, and you’ll get more crime. Which goal is Sen. Harmon trying to achieve?

Dan P. Eldridge
May 10, 2017
The gauzy misdirection and untrue smears of an anti-gun-rights activist
[It’s a rhetorical question but I’ll answer anyway. Senator Harmon, Democrat, has a vested interest in getting votes. As there are over twice as many Democrats in prison as all other political affiliations combined and convicted felons are not allowed to legally vote the senator wants fewer of his constituents sent to prison. Furthermore the more crime the easier it is for the senator to spin the story that he is needed to protect them from the crime. If people realize they can, and should, protect themselves from crime then they will have less, imaginary, need for him. He does not want this.

So, DUH! The senator wants to make it harder for citizen to protect themselves and fewer violent criminals going to prison.—Joe]

As one would expect

Interesting news from inside the belly of the beast (emphasis added):

Gun control activists who previously worked for Watts in various state organizations are said to be frustrated and feeling burned by her, according to one source.

“Staff who worked for Shannon quit or are fired faster than the organization can replace them. She’s a nightmare,” the source told TheDC.

Another source close to the organization said in a written statement, “Two beliefs unite nearly all gun control supporters: background checks save lives, and Shannon Watts is a self-promoting tyrant.”

In order to be a gun control supporter you have to have a very low opinion of individual rights and a high opinion of the use of government force to infringe upon those rights. That one of the most prominent promoters of rights infringement is also a tyrant is as one would expect.

Sebastian has some advice for Watts.

Quote of the day—Jim Jefferies

I think we should get rid of waiting periods to buy guns. But… before you buy a gun, you have to prove that you had sexual intercourse with another person. Have you seen these shooter guys? Lonely looking bunch. If you can’t find someone to f— ya, then no gun! Guns don’t kill people — virgins do!

Jim Jefferies
May 2017
Jim Jefferies explains that ‘guns don’t kill people — virgins do’
[This got a smile out of me.

I suppose it makes as much sense as the waiting periods and background checks. Still, it is as pointless and unconstitutional as all of the other infringements they throw at us.—Joe]

Quote of the day—skozlaw

These are people who literally decided that a room full of dead grade schoolers was less important than the possibility that they might have to fill out an extra piece of paper at a gun show.

They absolutely get it, and we need to remember that they’re just complete, farking dickwipes who don’t care.

skozlaw
May 10, 2017
Comment to Gun rights blogger becomes gun control statistic
[This is what they think of you.

The ignorance meter is pegged out, all input channels are blocked, and they are absolutely certain they can read our minds.

Don’t quit your day job skozlaw. You aren’t going to make a living as a psychic.—Joe]

Boomershoot mud

Boomershoot was muddy for staff this year. Last fall Barb and I restored the berm with a dozer and planted grass on all the bare dirt. The grass was looking pretty good, for new grass. As soon as we started walking in it, it turned to soup (photo by daughter Kim of her own shoes):

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The targets started out white but after a nearby detonation would become completely covered in mud. One participant called the targets, mounted on the top of 18 inch tall surveyors stakes, “Mud Lollipops”.

Photo by Kim:

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I’m going to have to replant the grass and hope it gets a better chance at survival next spring.

The parking area for participants was soft but not too hazardous. One unexperienced off road person got stuck with a two-wheel drive car but other than that I don’t know of anyone who has serious problems in that area.

At the end of the event when Barb and I were hauling stuff in the trailer back to the shed I was unable to get up a gradual hill:

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It was just too greasy. We carried everything going to the Taj the last 100 feet but still the load was just too much for my vehicle to pull up the hill on that grease. I had to unhook, connect with a chain from 90o, rotate the trailer, hook up directly, turn around, and clawed our way out the way we came. We had stuff in the trailer that needed to go to Boomershoot Mecca (our target production facility) so rather than go the short way through the field we went via the county road.

On the way to the county road we had to cross the field past the staff clean up crew. The field had standing water in it and was soft. Each previous time I had driven across it the Escape slowed and I knew we were at high risk of getting stuck. Getting enough momentum prior to hitting the soft spot was essential and I had to make a wide berth around the staff. When you are in danger of getting stuck you don’t want to be making turns, you want to go fast and straight. I didn’t have that option this time and I blasted past in a wide arc as fast as I dared. I made it past, through the standing water and out to the county road. On our next trip back to the clean up crew Barron approached me and said:

None of us in the group has ever seen someone drifting around a corner with a trailer before.

Hmm… I suppose that is uncommon. But these were uncommon times. After all, with all the mud on the trailer Barb and I used rakes to scrape it off:

 

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Update: Barron sent me a link to his video of me going through the swamp. This is not the instance I was talking about above. This was from a little later in the day: