Shooting off steam, with the NRA’s Women on Target

BulletIt turns out that a great antidote for being disgruntled is to fire off a few rounds.  That’s what I did yesterday when I attended an NRA “Women on Target” gun safety and training class at Bullseye, Marin’s only indoor shooting range.  I had a wonderful time.

We spent the first hour receiving instruction about guns — how they work and how to use them — from a former Navy weapons instructor.  He opened by telling us that he loved teaching women, because they seemed more open to instruction than men and were definitely more willing to ask questions.  And question him we did.  By the time the hour was over, we knew more than I ever thought possible about the way guns and bullets work.  It was very entertaining.

We also learned, of course, the gold standard for gun safety:  (1) Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction; (2) Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; and (3) Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

With respect to Rule 1, a workplace colleague who is also an NRA instructor told me that he tells his students that they must never point the gun at anything they’re not willing to kill.  When he taught his daughter shooting and she carelessly turned an unloaded gun towards him, he immediately announced that, because he was now dead, the lesson was, and then made her wait a week before he’d resume her lesson.

After the classroom instruction, we headed down to the firing range.  There were five instructors for ten women, ensuring that we all got lots of personal supervision.  I got to work with a revolver and a pistol, both of which shot .22 caliber bullets.  The revolver weighed less than the pistol, which should have made it a nicer gun for me, but I found it easier to aim with the pistol.  I therefore ended up using the pistol three-fifths of the time.

What was most fun was watching the other women just light up as they got more adept at shooting.  Some had used guns before, but most were newbies.  They were there for myriad reasons:  personal security reasons, for principle, for curiosity, for family pride, etc.  One women was terrified of guns and was taking the class in the hope that it would help assuage her fear.  Last I saw her, she was still a little nervous, but was also happily, and competently, firing away at a target.  I think she learned that a gun, like a car, is both a tool and a source of fun, provided that it is used safely and responsibly.

Another woman went from firing one cautious shot per minute, without getting anywhere near the target, to emptying the 10 round magazine in a couple of minutes.  When she started, she was game but nervous.  When she finished, she was glowing with happiness as she showed how she had a nice pattern of shots all contained within a circle that was about 3″ in diameter.

Why is firing a gun so much fun?  I know that it satisfies my targeting abilities.  Over the years, I’ve discovered that I have decent aim, whether playing darts, tossing paper balls into a garbage can or, as it happens, shooting guns at targets.  It’s also fun to know that there is room for improvement.  Since I’m merely a decent shot for a beginner, there’s so much room to grow.  I like doing activities at which I can get better.  As I tell my children, there’s only so good you can get at folding laundry . . . and then it’s just boring.

Guns are also fun because they make one feel less helpless.  I know that, should I be in a situation in which I need to fire a gun to save my life (or someone else’s) I can do it.  I hope that I’m never in such a situation, but now I know that I can handle it should it arise.  That’s a good feeling.

And finally, I wonder if guns aren’t fun because, after growing up anti-gun, shooting a gun feels like a slightly illicit activity to me.  I also feel very good knowing that, with every shot I take, I’m thumbing my nose at the sizable segment of the population that would like to erase the Second Amendment, leaving us without recourse against predators, both governmental and non-governmental.

I’ll end by throwing in a very deserved good word for Bullseye, the shooting range and gun supply store.  I cannot tell you how nice the people who work there were, and that goes for the instructors and the people manning the counter.  They weren’t just courteous and efficient, they were really friendly.  Being a neophyte, I find the thought of gun stores and ranges somewhat intimidating, but these people couldn’t have been nicer.

I also learned that, to encourage women, Bullseye has a ladies night.  Every Wednesday night, from 6 to 8, ladies get half off on lane rental.  (Also, although it’s not on the website, there might be a special deal if two or more women come in during ladies night needing to rent guns and buy bullets.  If you’re planning on going, call and check on what deals they have. )

Tuesday evening round-up

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few deserving links, before real life catches up with me.

StandWithUs, which may well be the most effective pro-Israel group I know, is sending around an emergency alert asking people to protest the newest front in the BDS movement:  getting Israeli architects expelled from international organizations:

On March 19, the Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA] voted to call on the International Union of Architects [UIA] to boycott Israel and suspend it from the prestigious international union because of Israel’s allegedly “illegal” activities in the West Bank.   The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), RIBA’s sister organization, passed a similar resolution.  Both were engineered by RIBA’s Angela Brady.

In short, RIBA backed BDS (the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement) whose goal is to demonize Israel, isolate it as a pariah, and eventually eliminate the Jewish state.

This resolution is irrational and fundamentally anti-Semitic.

Read the rest (and take action) here.

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You’ve already read it elsewhere, but I’ll reiterate it here:  What was first a supposition is now backed by proof — the Obama White House orchestrated the Benghazi cover-up.  The administration’s — and especially Hillary’s — fecklessness left Americans in Benghazi vulnerable to attack; the administration’s political cowardice led to any attempt to defend our ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi during the attack; and the administration actively engaged in a cover-up to hide its myriad failings, not the least of which was lying to the American people about Al Qaeda’s growing presence in the Middle East and Africa.

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Yesterday, I blew a gasket about John Kerry’s reprehensible statement likening Israel to an apartheid state.  Sadly, he is not an anomaly within the Obama administration.

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I need to coin a new word, because I’m not homophobic. What people do in the privacy of their own lives is their business, not mine and, as long as they’re not aggressively making it mine, I wouldn’t presume to judge or even care very much. What I am is homo-politics-phobic, meaning that I cannot stand the way gay activists have intertwined themselves with Leftism, which I do hate, and announced that, if you don’t like their Leftist politics, than you’re a homophobe.

My strong suspicion is that I’m not alone. Certainly, the NRA cares only about people having the opportunity to exercise their constitutional freedoms. That’s why they’re perfectly happy to make room in their big tent for an Asian gay man who strongly supports the Second Amendment.

Incidentally, on the subject of privacy, Dennis Prager has something very important to say about Donald Sterling’s rant. The rant is certainly ugly, not to mention psychologically fascinating (Sterling sounds as if he’s terribly afraid that his decidedly meager charms will be inadequate to entice his black/Hispanic girlfriend if she finds herself in the company of men who are not only as rich and famous as Sterling, but who are also attractively black). There’s a bigger societal problem though, says Prager, that no one is talking about, and that’s the loss of privacy.

This is consistent with what Prager has always said, which is that people must be judged by their acts. In that regard, I’ve often pointed out to the kids that the Democrats’ darling Harry Truman was a racist who integrated America’s Armed Forces and an antisemite who supported the creation of Israel.

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And finally, one of the reasons I came to be a big fan of Castra Praetoria is the periodic “Heard in the Clear” posts.  Always funny and often profound.

Saturday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSaturdays just slip away from me. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. Suddenly, it’s 1:30, and I’ve accomplished nothing more than making another batch of haroset, which I’m trying to eat in lieu of ice cream. There are things, though, that I’d like to share with you:

The first thing is a plea from the Media Research Center asking for funds to help offset the invaluable assist the Obama administration is getting from a complicit media.  As you know, but too many Americans don’t, the media pretends to the American people that it’s independent, even as it shills and covers for the President. The deadline for this particular fundraiser is tonight, which is why MRC gets top billing here.

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Speaking of valuable organizations asking for money, the NRA is taking very seriously Michael Bloomberg’s promise to spend $50 million to undermine the Second Amendment in America. The NRA has put together a great fundraising video (see below), and you can donate here if you feel so inclined:

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Andrew C. McCarthy is one of those guys who has a binary effect on me. Either I love what he writes or I hate it. This time it’s love, as he talks about the way in which Obama is using his pardoning power to nullify drug control legislation. It’s a typical Leftist move, of course. If you’re a Leftist and don’t like legislation or constitutional rights, you don’t go through Congress to repeal or amend them; instead, you simply announce that you’re the Magic Negro, the man who defines what sin is (“being out of alignment with my own values”), the new messiah . . . and you avoid implementing the law and, if so inclined, actually undo its effects.

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It’s not often that you read in just one article a straightforward, commonsensical, easy-to-understand, comprehensive take-down of the global warming scam. You especially don’t expect to see that kind of thing from a world-renowned emeritus professor and former NASA scientist talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post (a paper I read a lot back in the days when I lived in England).

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I’ve mentioned before that I had Elizabeth Warren as a professor back in the day. I went into her class ignorant, and came out still ignorant, but also frustrated and confused. Whatever else she was, she was a very poor communicator, which is why I find it so peculiar that the Left considers her a spokesman for their Progressive economic causes. Back in the day, speaking in her breathy, elliptical, somewhat telegraphic way, she managed to say nothing at length.

With those memories in my mind, my metrics say Warren would be a dreadful presidential candidate, so I can understand puckish conservatives urging her to run. Of course, should she run, what will actually happen is that she’ll still be better than Hillary, whom people dislike, and she’ll win the primary.  As the first female Democrat presidential candidate, the press will anoint her and that will be the end of it for any Republican opponent. (On that point, please see again my first item, above, regarding the MRC’s plea for funds to de-fang the press.)

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Peter Wehner has disturbing RINO tendencies, not to mention the arrogance of his class when it comes to Palin. Nevertheless, he’s an extremely lucid commentator when it comes to honing in on Obama’s failings. I both enjoyed reading and was depressed by Wehner’s elegant laundry list of Obama’a serial failings in every area of presidential endeavor.

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You know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about narcissists. One of the most dangerous things about them is the way their emotional armor means that they are incapable of acknowledging themselves at fault but must, instead, always deflect blame onto others. This tendency is especially destructive when it exists, not at an individual level, but at a societal level.

Take, for example, Islam: No matter where one looks around the world, once Islam is in charge, the economy collapses, violence increases, freedom disappears, and women, Jews, Christians, gays, and other Islamically disfavored groups are attacked, enslaved, and destroyed. This is a society that is ripe for introspection but, because it’s predicated on narcissism, the only thing it can do when it confronts its disastrous existence is . . . blame the Jews.

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We’ve already talked here about the fact that those environmentally friendly wind farms puree birds, while the solar farms barbecue them. That’s not why I’m linking to this PowerLine article. I’m linking because I love the title: MICROWAVES OF THE DESERT; CUISINARTS OF THE SKY.

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Cliven Bundy, a private citizen, makes an inarticulate, but arguably valid point that American blacks are as enslaved by the Democrat party now as they were in the antebellum South. The media mangles his argument, and destroys him as a “racist,” making toxic his entirely valid argument that past due monies owed to the government do not justify the Bureau of Land Management showing up at his farm with full military force, slaughtering his cattle, destroying his water lines, and aiming snipers at his home.  Think about it.  If Bundy were an IRS employee (lots of back taxes there), he would have gotten a bonus, and if he were Al Sharpton (even more back taxes), he’d be palling around with Obama and Holder.

No matter the government’s “right” to the land (which is separate from the justice of its claiming that right), Bundy stands for the increased tyranny of the federal government, one that sees it viewing itself as master, not servant.  Indeed, one can argue that, although the government is acting according to the laws it’s made, its laws and procedures have become so fundamentally flawed that, per the Declaration of Independence, our government has invalidated itself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

But I digress. I actually just wanted to talk about Bundy now being toxic, thereby invalidating ideas unrelated to the subject matter that made him toxic.  It’s different if you’re on the Left.

If you’re on the Left, no matter what you do outside of politics, you’re never toxic. Take Paula Poundstone, for example, a convicted child molester. That fact isn’t preventing the Marin Jewish Community Center from opening its arms to her. I don’t know whether Poundstone has reformed or repented, something that makes a difference to me, because I’m a big believer in both. I just know that, if Poundstone was a conservative, not a Progressive, she’d never be forgiven for her sins, and would be persona non grata in perpetuity, as to all matters.

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And finally, maybe we are at last seeing small cracks in the damned dam that is political correctness:

Zo and some friends take on the racism behind Sarah Silverman’s “‘Black NRA” video

It must be enormously frustrating for the Left that new media no longer means that the Democrat white power structure can be the official and the only voice for black America.  Because Democrats’ vested interest is in keeping blacks subordinate to the Democrat party, that Leftist voice has always worked full-time to tell blacks (a) that they are victims and (b) that they can find succor only within Big Government.

Sarah Silverman’s unfunny video about a “black NRA” is the perfect illustration of this paradigm.  It attempts to be a satire implying that the NRA wants to kill blacks.  The problem is that this world view is so grossly untrue that the video does nothing more than engaging in skin-crawling racism that tells the world that blacks are irremediably murderers who cannot be trusted with weapons.  (That is, the only way to save blacks isn’t to change their culture, it’s to keep all of them helpless.)  Ouch.

Last week, I posted Colion Noir’s rebuttal (along with Silverman’s video).  This week, the honors go to Zo and friends:

What I particularly like about this video is that it acknowledges a problem — black drug use and gun violence — but refuses to fall into the “we are victims, whites are racists, Big Brother is the savior” trope. Instead, it’s a video that speaks about true black empowerment, not by insulting whites into obeisance, but by raising blacks up to the full dignities of all Americans.

Hat tip:  Danny Lemieux

The deep, pervasive, ugly racism of the anti-Gun left

This Sarah Silverman anti-gun commercial comes from “Funny or Die.”  It’s not funny.  In the parlance of comics, “Silverman died up there.”  Not only is it not funny, it’s terribly, terribly racist, since the implication is that the only thing that blacks will do if one gives them guns is commit murder:

Aside from being racist, the video the video raises stupidity to epic levels.  The wonderful Colion Noir, after delivering a few nicely calculated verbal blows to the video’s participants, gets to the heart of the matter:

It’s worth considering as you watch both those videos that anti-gun efforts in America, going back to the revolutionary war, have been aimed at keeping black people in their place, in part by keeping them away from their right to bear arms.

Colion Noir challenges those racists who claim he must be an NRA puppet

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I like Colion Noir’s pro-Second Amendment videos.  Let me just say it again:  I really like his videos.

What’s tragic is that Noir is being forced to defend himself against charges that he’s a brainless oaf who is being used by the NRA.  Even thought he has to defend himself against unspeakable racism, Noir manages to be funny and on point.  (And he’s certainly right about one thing:  he’s much better looking than Tyson Beckford.)

Two stories about guns, each showing that the issue is how they’re used, rather than their existence

First, from the NRA, a really solid video about women and guns:

The point, of course, is that guns without people are simply inanimate objects.

Second, an article about the use to which Palestinians put guns — training their children to kill Israelis.

Guns aren’t the issue. Culture is.

Obama whines and Biden cries when their gun grab bill fails

Obama frowning

Here’s another one that appeared first at Mr. Conservative, but I wrote it and I agree with every word I wrote:

With the failure of the Democrats’ gun grab legislation in the Senate, the President and the Vice President took the political blow like the sensitive, New Age, Progressive men that they are – Obama whined and Biden cried.

Standing on the White House lawn, along with the same sad, bedraggled group of people Obama has been dragging around for weeks as he made his emotional argument against guns, Obama hurled insults in every direction. Ignoring the fact that the gun control bill contained cute little provisions, such as the one giving liberal physicians the right to report for a national criminal background check patients seeking treatment for depression, Obama blamed his newest scapegoat – the NRA:

But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of “big brother” gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn’t matter.

And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators. And I talked to several of these senators over the past few weeks, and they’re all good people. I know all of them were shocked by tragedies like Newtown. And I also understand that they come from states that are strongly pro-gun. And I have consistently said that there are regional differences when it comes to guns, and that both sides have to listen to each other.

In fact, Senators – the Democrat Senators — backed away from the bill because their constituents recognized an unconstitutional gun grab when they saw it — and they let their displeasure be known. In addition, these same constituents understood what Obama refuses to acknowledge: that nothing in the bills before the Senate, including the background check, would stop a future Newtown, while everything in the proposed bills was intended to undermine the Second Amendment.

We know that more guns in law-abiding hands, not fewer, will protect students; we know that, despite the dog-and-pony show not all Newtown parents support gun control; and we know that both Biden and Obama are hostile to and neither understands the Second Amendment. No wonder the NRA prevailed.

While Obama whined, Biden looked as if he was seconds away from tears. With his mouth pinched shut in a frown, and his eyes squinted closed, Biden, the same man who cackled maniacally through the Vice Presidential debate, was the personification of tragedy.

Biden near tears

Obama and Biden represent the debasement of American politics. Government is no longer the preserve of intelligent gentlemen – it’s the home of emotional actors who try use tragedy to bully through an agenda that has as its sole purpose depriving the American people of their individual rights. It’s true that bad things happen because of guns. Bad things also happen because of pressure cookers, and cars, and baseball bats. We cannot legislate away risk. The Founders understood, though, that, even though guns do present the risk of accidental and intentional injury and death, they are the only reliable tool standing between an individual’s freedom and his government’s overreach.

Do you remember a president EVER doing something like this? Because I don’t.

Obama frowning

I’ll just quote from the Washington Times story, and then you can tell me if this is unique in your experience — that a President hurls defamatory insults at a hugely popular private organization:

President Obama angrily blamed the defeat Wednesday of his centerpiece gun-control proposal on lies spread by the National Rifle Association, calling it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Mr. Obama said in the White House rose garden about 90 minutes after the vote. “It came down to politics.”

As he spoke, Mr. Obama was surrounded by family members of victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Also with him was former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, wounded in an assassination attempt.

[snip]

The president put the blame squarely on the NRA, which he accused of spreading falsehoods that the legislation would lead to a national gun registry.

“They claimed that it would create some sort of big-brother gun registry, even though it did the  opposite,” Mr. Obama said. “This pattern of spreading untruths … served a purpose. A minority in the U.S. Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms, even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery. It’s not going to happen because 90 percent of Republicans just voted against that idea.”

With his attack on the NRA, former VP Al Gore stands fully revealed as an American-hating nut

You all know how much I dislike and disrespect Al Gore.  With a recent attack against the NRA, he’s managed to drop even further in my estimation, something I didn’t think was possible.  The following post (which I wrote) originally appeared at Mr. Conservative:

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Al Gore’s name has become synonymous with hypocrisy. He tells Americans they most freeze in the winter, bake in the summer, and drive microscopically small cars to afford $5/gallon gas. Meanwhile, he has a disproportionately huge carbon footprint. He owns numerous properties, all of which suck up more energy than the average American home, and he uses jets and SUVs to travel between his homes and his speaking gigs.

Recently, he refused to sell his failed “Current TV” cable station to Glenn Beck, citing incompatible values. When he eventually sold it (netting himself $100 million) the purchaser was Al Jazeera, an America-hating, anti-Semitic Qatari media empire that now has a foothold in America.

To Gore (or, as we here like to call him since that sale, “alGore”), the sale made perfect sense because Al Jazeera shares its values with this man who once stood a heartbeat away from the President and hoped to be elected to that office in his own right:

Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.

Al-Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

Gore couldn’t have made himself clearer: He has more in common with anti-American Al Jazeera than he does with all-American Glenn Beck.

Now Al Gore has taken yet another step to distance himself from American values, while still claiming to represent American interests. In a keynote speech he gave to the annual South By Southwest Conferences (SXSW), a gathering spot for stars in film, music, technology, and politics, Al Gore launched a direct attack on that most American of institutions – the NRA:

The NRA is a complete fraud because it is financed by the gun manufacturers.

Right. Got it. Al Gore’s plan is clear: pull the plug on the energy usage that makes American a dynamic, first-world country; disarm Americans by backing gun control and attacking the NRA, an organization that has been a bastion of individual rights since the end of the Civil War; and use Al Jazeera to indoctrinate Americans with its toxic blend of anti-American and anti-Semitic news.