Category Archives: weapons

Shanks on a Plane

It never fails to amaze me how different folks opinions are in different parts of the country.

Maybe that isn’t even fair, maybe it is more of a

In either case, I was having a discussion with a group of vendors at work today and the discussion when from traveling, to travel, to the inevitable topic of dealing with airline security. Everyone shared their stories about someone they knew, or themselves, that accidentally bought a knife, multiplier, or illicit shampoo bottle unmolested through security.

I recounted the days when I would always fly with a knife on a plane. Sure, it was a straight-up tactical folder, but rather my special “airline-travel knife” – usually a SAK that I wouldn’t be devastated if some eager security dude decided to add to his collection. If there were any questions asked – and their usually weren’t – it was usually dispelled by a quick flash of my medic badge and a mildly gruesome story of the benefits of a field-expedient tracheotomy performed mid-flight.

Of course I never got to perform said operation . . . but I am really sure I could. 🙂

Anyway . . .

One of the fellas had just finished describing his accidentally bringing a leatherman multiplier through security and noticing it after the fact, I quietly lamented that I no longer carry a knife on a plane (one viewing of America Undercover: Inside America’s Prisons was enough to keep me on the straight and narrow) . . . I quietly suggested that rather than disarming folks who travel on planes

My suggestion and remedy for security woes, was that everyone on the plane should be allowed to – nay issued – some sort of weapon for airline travel.

Don’t get me wrong here

That’s What’s Up – Some Freedom!

Supreme Court finds individual right to own guns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, for the first time in the nation’s history, that individual Americans have the right to own guns for personal use, and struck down a strict gun control law in the nation’s capital.

The landmark 5-4 ruling marked the first time in nearly 70 years that the high court has addressed whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, rather than a right tied to service in a state militia.


Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.


Court: A constitutional right to a gun

Answering a 127-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the majority stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, or laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, or laws putting conditions on gun sales.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washington’s strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in one’s home, and a requirement that any gun — except one kept at a business — must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place. The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed.


Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.


Get your hands off my guns, you damn dirty Apes!

Everyone has their day in court, or so the saying goes. For those of you who have been living in a cave, on Mars – with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears – The Supreme Court began to hear arguments today in a Washington DC case that challenges the classic question of the Second Amendment – whether the right to own a weapon is a individual or state right.

Overall the news I have heard so far is fairly positive on the pro-gun side, but knowing how screwy things are right now, I am sure that can change fairly quickly.

In either case, and in honor of this momentous occasion, I have to give a plug for the controversial and wonderful Unintended Consequences by John Ross. It was recommended to me by one of my hunting buddies and its a great novel about how gun control got started in America and where it can lead if it goes out of control.

Here’s an overview. I am sure some would consider it to be fairly alarmist, but it gives some background on how gun control started in this country (post-reconstruction to keep guns out of the hands of the recently freed slaves) and how ridiculous some of the gun control laws are vs. the amount of crime they are actually preventing.

I think it stands with Boston’ s Gun Bible as two of the best books for the shooter who is interested in self-defense and wants to know more about

Also – while researching the web today to get the latest on the case I found this great deconstruction of the most common arguments against the Second Amendment.

The article breaks down 5 arguments against the individual right to own a firearm – even getting into the details of what it would actually mean if we limited private ownership of firearms to the actual weapons around at the time of the Constitution.

I won’t spoil the fun, but let’s just say we’d be limited to around 1820 or so, when the percussion cap replaced flintlock ignition as the new standard. High tech!

Here’s an excerpt:

The Second Amendment’s basis lies in the natural right of self-defense. For the Founding Fathers, the Second Amendment was not a dispensable exercise in “what if?” They had confronted an oppressive government with personal armaments and succeeded in securing liberty. The Second Amendment is a provision ensuring that citizens would always have the necessary tools for physical resistance to future tyranny.

Whether or not you are a gun owner, hunter or recreational shooter, pay attention to the news and watch what happens with this case. The old Chinese proverb May You Live In Interesting Times will go double for the next few months as we’ll not only be deciding which two shysters will be running for President in the fall, but also seeing how the Supreme Court does at deciding a real case – with ramifications that could shake our Republic down to its very core.

Ok – too dramatic?

Does this put it into perspective?

More information
Gun Owners of America
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
A Human Right

a human right

First Assault Knives, Now Assault . . . um . . . Swords?

I always find it ironic that George Orwell – who in 1984 wrote the greatest warning of the dangers of oppressive and totalitarian government – is English.

In my short life, I have never seen any other country be in such a rush to throw their God-given freedoms down the toilet (I am sure some of you are thinking of US in this regard, but I assure you that the recent unpleasantness is more a knee-jerk reaction to the ‘post-9-11 fear culture’ heightened by our media and purveyors of security-related products and solutions) .

I know that in being a monarchy English people are probably used to being subjected to the whims of silly laws (I mean, come on – its 2008 and we still have Kings??), but the badassery of the British soldiers have given me pause to wonder if perhaps it is a result of laziness of the people or maybe they are just tired of fighting . . .

Anyway, a few years ago England passed an “Assault knives ban” – yes, you heard that right – but apparently even this wasn’t enough to quell the monstrous criminals lurking below the surface, inspired by the menace of an inanimate object to rise up and attack, well . . . cars?

Ban on imitation Samurai swords

Imitation Samurai swords are to be banned after a spate of attacks in the UK, say ministers.
The Home Office has confirmed plans to outlaw the weapons in England and Wales after putting forward the idea earlier this year.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said there was a clear danger to the public posed by easily-available swords.

The proposal is expected to stop short of banning genuine Japanese swords held by collectors or genuine enthusiasts.

In March 2007 the Home Office proposed banning imitation Samurai swords after representations from both MPs and the public. Ministers in Scotland had proposed a similar move in 2006.

Defending the sword
Calls for a ban came after a number of high-profile incidents in which cheap Samurai-style swords had been used as a weapon.

The Home Office estimates there have been some 80 attacks in recent years involving Samurai-style blades, leading to at least five deaths.

While genuine Samurai swords are part of Japanese history and change hands for large sums of money, there is a trade in imitation blades which can be bought over the internet for as little as £35.

“We recognise it is the cheap, easily available samurai swords which are being used in crime and not the genuine, more expensive samurai swords which are of interest to collectors and martial arts enthusiasts.”


There is a video on the above link that shows some ninny with a samurai sword walking down the middle of a busy street – sword in hand – trying to “attack” cars as they drive down the road.

Um, I can think of a way to stop that kinda silliness. In fact, that may be the exact reason why there is a GRILL GUARD on my Land Cruiser.

Think about Shawn of the Dead – would he have gotten nearly as far without access to the namesake wall hanger acquired from The Winchester pub?

Let’s hope they keep some edged weapons in England. There may come a time when they’ll need one to spread marmalade onto a crumpet.


NY Jedi – Light Saber Class

YouTube –

New York’s Geekiest Train To Be Jedi Knights With Light Saber Class
If police officers are New York’s Finest and firefighters are New York’s Bravest, then this group can proudly claim the title as New York’s Geekiest.
But make no mistake about it, if Darth Vader ever sets his sights on the Big Apple, the NY Jedi would be our first and possibly only line of defense.
“I think we take the geekdom another level up,” says Jedi Grand Master Flynn, an instructor at the NY Jedi school. “What we do is we teach light saber stage combat and what that means is you come in to our class and you learn real practical martial arts knowledge and techniques to practically wield a light saber to tell a story and put on a show.”
The organization got its start a few years ago at the Greenwich Village Halloween parade when two now members just started a mock light saber fight on a rooftop and drew such a crowd, they decided to make something more of it. Now the group puts on performances everywhere from parties to conventions.
It all centers on that legendary Jedi weapon. One of the first lessons young Padawans must learn from their apprentices is the physics of the light saber.
“No other sword in history is anything like a laser sword because as it’s displayed in the ‘Star Wars’ movies, you can block with it, strike with it, but you can move it any direction whatsoever. No other sword can do that,” says Flynn. “You have to turn the blade in the direction of the cut, but you don’t have to do that with a saber.”
“You don’t have to be a ‘Star Wars’ fan to really love a light saber,” says NY Jedi Altrell Pearsall. “There just something cool about a light saber.”
Some students, though, sign up for Jedi training because of the obvious health benefits of using the Force. After all, the class does force them to get up off their couches and get some exercise.
“In comparison to going to a gym, it’s just as much of a workout, if not more sometimes. I mean you’re using your upper arms a lot, so my upper arm strength has been built up quite a bit and just physically you use your whole body, everything. It’s just a good workout,” says NY Jedi Maria Nowak.
Even though right now this is just for fun, fitness, and show, the folks at NY Jedi say they are working on a competitive element so that maybe one day the NY Jedi might take on the New Jersey Siths or the Carolina Clones.
“What’s going to happen is there are clubs now starting up all over the country,” says Flynn. “We’re going to be hosting tournaments. Come on the stage; show us what you’ve got.”
As for me? I personally decided to try a class…in order to become a more powerful technology journalist than anyone could possibly imagine.

The Predator Mad Minute

Last night I put Predator on in the background while I was working on some projects. I have probably seen the movie a good fifty or so times and I still notice little cool things about it.

I looked up from the work table at the scene where Bill Duke’s character Eliot rushes up on the recently slain Blain (Jesse Ventura) and sees the eyes of the Predator. He picks up “Ol’ Painless” the minigun and starts to ventilate the jungle. He is soon joined by the team in a massive shoot-out at the unseen Predator. I always thought this was a great scene for all of the different weapons the team took out on the mission.

I had no idea these kind of shenanigans could serve a tactical purpose.

My first clue came from the Predator entry in font of all true knowledge in the universe, Wikipedia:

Eliot starts screaming and immediately opens fire and is joined by the remaining members of the unit. In what is known as a “mad minute”, all members of the team saturate the jungle with bullets. They stop firing and to their shock, are unable to find any bodies.

So learning more, I found out that a ‘mad minute‘ is a real military term, having come from the British:

Originally, “Mad Minute” was a pre-WWI term used by British riflemen for the act of getting 15 aimed bullets into a target at 300yds within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle).

Now for someone that grew up shooting all of the weapons of the pre-WW2 British Army, I have to say I am pretty ashamed at having never heard of this before.

But wait – there’s more!

Mad Minute is a military tactic used to surprise enemy snipers when their location is unknown. If there are too many possible positions to determine where the enemy fire is coming from, each likely enemy position is assigned to one or more soldiers. Upon receiving the signal, all simultaneously fire a specific number of rounds. The tactic has a long history of effective use; it also has strong secondary value as a morale booster.

The name “Mad Minute” comes from the experience of “madness” during the time of heavy firing upon various targets without knowing the exact location of the enemy, leading to heavy use of ammunition.

Hell, I even found a video on YouTube showing a ‘mad minute’ with a surplus British SMLE rifle (WW1 vintage). Too cool!

I had no idea our post-paintball-game antics had a real tactical purpose.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Zombie War Weapons – On Sale Now!

Nothing says “Back Thee Off Flemish Dog” quite like a pole axe.

Although they haven’t been in general use for a few hundred years (except by the Swiss Guards and SCA folks) they are still a great choice for the would-be zombie fighter. Not only can the keep the recently reanimated at bay, but they also offer the dual option of axe and big hammer to use on your undead foe. They sometimes even have a top mounted spike – yet another action possibility.

I just got the new Cold Steel Special Projects catalog and noticed that they are offering their version of the Pole Axe as a closeout item. The Special Projects catalog – although really cool and well laid-out – is notorious for having higher prices than one can find at discounters and gunshows. However – if something is in their closeout section, than it really is a great price and is often lower than you can find used items for at either of the above locations.

Their version features an axe blade and hammer head and comes complete with an ash pole (almost worth the price of the whole deal – almost) and langettes – which are the steel pieces on the side of the wooden pole, originally intended to protect the weapon and user from sword strikes (and similar).

The weapon is being offered at $29.99 (plus shipping), which is $70 less than their MSRP of $99.99. Most discounters were offering it for around $65, so this is definitely a great deal.

At that price you can afford to equip your whole family, clan, and/or zombie attack force. 🙂

Why I love America, Part 1

I am sure I am not reading this article the way it was intended, but I am proud to see that we are Number 1 in the world for small arms ownership.

U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.
About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

“There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people,” it said.

It is interesting to note that during the American Revolution, less than 10% of the population actually contributed actively to the fight for freedom against the British. Maybe there is something to this number?

“Weapons ownership may be correlated with rising levels of wealth, and that means we need to think about future demand in parts of the world where economic growth is giving people larger disposable income,” [Small Arms Survey director Keith Krause] told a Geneva news conference.

Hmm – guns mean wealth? Does that means there should be a measure of firearms, per person to determine how well a country is doing? 🙂

The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million held by law enforcement and military forces.

It’s actually part of the national culture of America and free societies that power should tilt towards citizens and not governments. Isn’t more might with the government rather than the citizenry one of the basic tenants of totalitarianism? Oh wait – isn’t most of the world totalitarian?

I am seeing a pattern here . . .

Five years ago, the Small Arms Survey had estimated there were a total of just 640 million firearms globally.

Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons are thought to be registered with authorities.

More here.

I am sure the actual point of this article was to point out how bad America is for having guns. And how unfortunate it is that all of these world governments don’t have tabs on all of their armed citizens. I think that is a great point – if you are coming from a “hey, how can we best oppress the populations of our countries?” perspective.

The main idea to keep in mind here is that we live in a free country that is unlike any other country in the rest of the world. Europe is filled with countries that for the past 1000 years or so have hovered somewhere between fascism and a semi-socialist-based-democracy hybrid – depending on their uneasy relationship between warring ethnic factions and how well their economies are doing at the time.

Africa is a post-Colonialist nightmare where their countries have been depleted of all natural resources and then left to their own limited devices. The Middle East is a vast sandbox where some of the kids have won the lottery live like medieval kings and all the other serfs are forced into post-tribalist ‘countries’ based on British, French, and Belgian-inspired boundaries, rather than the true tribal and/or ethnic make-up of their people.

Most of Asia is based on failed Stalinist promises and a general fear and mistrust of all things Chinese.

Extreme viewpoint?


My point is that America is the litmus test for how free people can self-govern without a monarch or tyrant and still be successful stewards of the world.

Maybe these are all unfair generalizations, but I am not one to jump on the ‘everything in America stinks’ bandwagon. Sure we have our problems – we use too much toilet paper, have too many traffic cameras, and too many people wanting others to be unhappy/poor/vegan because they are unhappy/poor/vegan, but I still think there is a reason we are the number one country in the world.

– We are also the only country that actively contributes money and materials to help the rest of the world with their natural disasters and economic problems (can’t remember many countries giving us help with Katrina and/or donating to help the homeless)

– We are the only country that adopts unwanted children from other countries (without regard to the racial and caste lines that other countries are constantly bombing and maiming with machetes over – just ask someone living in Pakistan if they’d like to adopt an Indian orphan)

– We are warlike and we are aggressive, but in all of our battles we take all casualties off of the battlefield and give them the same level of care – friend or foe. Do you think the Islamafacists think enough of the Golden Rule to render medical care to our soldiers? Don’t believe me? I sat in a medical conference with a recently returned Naval field surgeon who showed us pictures of US Marines and Iraqi guerrillas sitting in a waiting room for their turn at the operating table.

America is successful because people living in a free society have more reason to excel.

If that means we have more guns – then so be it.

Maybe this is why we haven’t been invaded by a foreign power since The War of 1812 . . .