Boomershoot weather

My son once suggested we auction off a rainy day on eBay to someone who wanted it to rain on a particular day.  They would choose the day and we would then schedule Boomershoot on that day to guarantee that there would be rain.  Except for the one event in July of ’99 (we had a fire the next day instead of rain the day of) he would have been able to deliver on his auction.

This Sunday, the 27th, we are putting on a “private party”.  I started watching the weather forecasts last weekend.  It didn’t look good–rain AND snow was predicited.  I sent an email to the participants telling them to bring rain gear and to plan on getting wet.  No response.  Okay, if they can handle it so can I and the kids helping me.

I sent an email to my cousin who owns some of the land we use for the event.  Being a farmer he watches the weather forecasts pretty close.  Our email exchange follows:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:21 PM
Subject: Boomers on Sunday afternoon.

There will be a few guys shooting some boomers this Sunday afternoon.  Is this something that would interfere with any of your plans?

The regular boomershoot is April 29, 30, and May 1.


From: Alan
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 5:30 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: Re: Boomers on Sunday afternoon.

It will probably be snowing this week end so I won’t be out and about.  Have fun.


From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 6:48 PM
To: Alan
Subject: RE: Boomers on Sunday afternoon.

The forecasts I have been looking at predict rain but since it’s a boomershoot event I figure freezing rain and 30 MPH winds is more likely.  But I suppose snow is possible too.


Good deed for the day

I just sent the following email to the author of an anti gun editorial.

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wed 3/23/2005 12:31 PM
Subject: RE: Red Lake, Minnesota Shooting [On Gun Control]

I just read your article (  There are a couple errors that I thought you should be aware of.

You stated:
As a matter of fact, according to the Brady Center there was a 66% decline under the ban for crimes that could be traced back to the use of assault weapons.
The Brady Center report had found a 66% decline in assault weapons’ share of total crime gun traces from the pre-ban period to the post-ban period.
The difference is that in your statement you said the 66% decline was in the USE of assault weapons.  Whereas what they actually said was there was a 66% decline in the assault weapons’ share of total crime gun traces.  “Crime gun traces” does not mean the gun was used in a crime.  Those traces include guns that were stolen and the trace was done to find the true owner.  In fact if you read the actual report the Brady Center bases their talking points on ( you will find (section 6.1) “…up to a quarter of the guns confiscated by police are associated with violent offenses or shots fired incidences”.  Furthermore the traces are at the discretion of the local police who confiscated the firearm.  Any changes in their policies regarding traces will affect those numbers.  Hence, the trace data is unreliable and to the extent it is reliable it does not reflect the use of that gun in the commission of a crime.
You also state:
Just prior to the assault ban being enacted it was noted that there were approximately 15 people killed per 100,000 in gun related deaths. By 2002 the death rate due to guns was down to 10 per 100,000 or 30% less. ( I don’t know about you but that looks pretty effective to me!

Aside from the fact that you include ALL people killed with firearms, including those that are justified or even praiseworthy shootings by the police and private citizens using them in defense of innocent life if you read the National Institute of Justice report rather than the Brady Campaign talking points you get still more concerning errors:

AWs were used in only a small fraction of gun crimes prior to the ban: about 2% according to most studies and no more than 8%. Most of the AWs used in crime are assault pistols rather than assault rifles.

Therefore it is simply not possible that a 30% decline can be attributed to the banning of something that was only used in, at most, 8% of the crimes.  That doesn’t even include the effects of criminals substituting other weapons to commit murders if the banned firearms are unavailable.

In short your article only focuses on the adverse effects of firearms ownership and use and relies on Brady Campaign talking points rather than actual criminological results.


Joe Huffman

Update: Fixed some format errors in the blog post version, and a couple of typos that were in the letter I sent to the author.

Quote of the day–Patrick Henry

They tell us, sir…that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty and in such a country as that which we possess are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come!! I repeat it, sir, let it come!!!

It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Forbid it, Almighty God — I know not what course others may take; but as for me — give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry
Speech, March 23, 1775