Monday, February 16, 2015

Why only 90,000 licenses in first year of Illinois Concealed Carry?

I will speculate that

A) Many of the fine people of Illinois find that the application process is daunting (beginning with that infernal online digital ID).

B) The whole process is cumulatively expensive.

C) Finding the time to fit the classroom sessions into your life can be challenging.

D) Some have concerns about the live fire qualification.

E) Some folks do not yet own a handgun (a few individuals in my class did not own their own handgun and had to borrow or rent one, so I'll assume that to be fairly common).

F) Some folks fear disqualification via some arcane legal issue from their past.

The State of Illinois gets $150 for each application, and many applicants will pay in the neighborhood of $250 - $350 for the required classroom and range training; that $400 - $500 total is not an insignificant amount to most of us.  To speed things up, you can pay for non-requisite fingerprinting (~$55), and some training outfits such as GAT Guns will do the online registration for you as well for an additional fee (~$30).   Anyway, should a husband and wife each apply, the $800 - $1000 total investment could make a noticeable dent in the family's discretionary income.

I often wonder if Illinois made this process difficult and expensive to insure handgun carriers were qualified or if the whole thing was intended as an obstacle to deter folks of modest means from carrying handguns.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Traditional Valentine's Day Blog Entry - 2015

“Buy her diamonds,” say the commercials on radio, television, and the internet. Cram it, that ain’t gonna happen. I don’t care how much these commercials try to shame me into feeling cheap or unsuccessful, there ain’t gonna be any Valentine’s Diamond. Nor will there be a new Lexus in the driveway, elegantly wrapped in a gigantic heart-shaped red ribbon.

Many women, if not most, hate Valentine’s Day. Not having a significant other, or having one who doesn’t deliver a gift, can be painful. Valentine’s Day is a cruel day of angst. Even if she has a love who has righteously shown up with a dozen roses year after year, eventually she will wonder why the loser hasn’t bought her a Rolex like Mr. Successful does in the TV commercials.

The only guys who enjoy Valentine’s Day are looking to get Fifty Shades of Laid. Most guys detest Valentine’s Day. Roses can jump to $100 a dozen in some areas, and giving the obligatory heart of chocolates is cliché and considered cheap. When your love says she doesn’t want anything for Valentine's Day, you guys best know that you had better show up with something, and you had better hope your sweetheart did not see that damn Lexus commercial.

The legend says St. Valentine died by execution and I am certain the truth is that it wasn’t just an act of revenge for his womanizing. Once Valentine started giving out the gifts, the little fornicator was doomed; all of the other men knew women would expect gifts forever. If Val had discreetly jumped from bed to bed, he would have died a worn out but happy old man. Nope, he just had to start handing out his flowery business cards. The horny little bastard got what was coming to him; the way I heard it, that short, fat, bald, incontinent hit man named Cupid was hired to put an arrow through Valentine’s cheatin’ heart.

We now need to find out if the fool who started the "Sweetest Day" nonsense is still around, and if he is, we need to paint his sorry ass with honey and stake it to a Texas anthill.

With my eternal love, and all of that other unctuous saccharin rot, 

Your Valentine,


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Range review of Federal LE13300 12 GA 2.75''' Tactical 00 Buckshot

The shotgun used for this session was a typical home defense style Mossberg 500 with a smooth, clean, 18-inch cylinder bore barrel.

Now, don't go getting all "gun geek" on me if my range results with this load don't match yours.  Not all guns are equal, and production runs of ammo can be different.

All target distances for this range session were set via the Meggitt Training System; there was no guessing.

Don't suffer an anxiety attack over the "Law Enforcement Ammunition" label on the box; this ammo is available to the public.  The "tactical" part is the lower recoil, mostly from having eight double ought buckshot pellets instead of nine, and the use of Federal's Flight Control Wad for better (tighter) shot grouping.  I'm not a "tactical guy."  The "practical guy" inside of me found a couple of hundred rounds of this stuff very cheap years ago; since GTR Sporting Club shooting range in Waukegan allows shotguns, I have an opportunity to burn some of it from the inventory just for fun.

The first shot was an attempt at a head-shot at sixty-feet and the shot grouping fell apart; two pellets missed the head of the silhouette to the left, and two pellets missed to the right, two pellets were totally missing, one pellet hit a shoulder, and one hit the head.  The large hole in the head is the shot wad; one (or more) of the missing pellets may have been covered by where the wad hit.

I lowered my aim a bit for the second shot, which was at fifty-feet.  While all eight pellets were in the black, the group was loose.  The shot wad did not whack the target this time.

The third shot was at forty-feet, which looks to be the outside-distance for an acceptable group using this particular gun with this particular load.

The fourth shot was at thirty-feet and again the closer distance provided a tightening of the group, but peculiarly there were three pellets missing, perhaps covered by the hole made by the wad.

I did not see any point in bringing a target closer than twenty-feet, so I used that distance for a final five-shot-volley as fast as I could rack the slide and squeeze the trigger.  Other than to say that Federal LE13300 is very easy on the shoulder and provides easy recovery during rapid fire,  this final exercise had little scientific value... but it sure was a whole lot of fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What will Super-Artificial-Intelligence decide about religion?

"Howdy Parson, welcome to HELL!" (Lee Marvin as Ben Rumson, in the movie "Paint Your Wagon")

Only a very few believe that Super Artificial Intelligence will NOT happen.  For the most part the discussion has shifted from "if" to "when," and how scientists and politicians plan to bottle it up.

Where does religion fit in with Super AI? 

Will science try and shield Super AI from all flavors of religion?  What happens if the Super AI declares itself to be God and decides to purge wickedness from the earth?  How will a godlike Super AI define "wickedness?"

What happens if Super AI proves, without any doubt, that there IS or IS NOT a God?

Are all y'all ready for this stuff?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lake County Illinois Sheriff's Sergeant dumped a bag containing a loaded AR-15 in the middle of the road

It was safely recovered by an honest citizen.

EDIT:  The Tribune has placed the article behind its PayWall.  It was not there earlier.  Sorry about that.  As soon as another service picks up the story I will relink.

EDIT:  Now the PayWall is gone.  EDIT:  PayWall is back.

EDIT: It is after 8PM.  Well, lemme see what I can cut and paste from other sites on the web;  Fair Use etc.

EDIT: 9:00PM I changed the url for the Trib article (above) and the PayWall vanished; it probably will return sooner than later.

Below is what I came away with from the Trib and other sites that sourced the Trib:

A Lake County sheriff's sergeant apparently left his assault weapon on the trunk of his car, then drove away without realizing his mistake until the weapon was recovered from the middle of an intersection, officials said Monday.

Lake County officials are investigating the incident, which Undersheriff Ray Rose described as "a very serious matter."

"Law enforcement officers commonly carry the AR-15, which has replaced the shotgun because it is more accurate," Rose said.

"What happened is, he had his car in for service and was switching cars," Rose said. "He put this rifle on the trunk of his personal car and left, not realizing he had left it unsecured, and it fell off."

He added: "If the investigation validates that, it's simply unacceptable."

No one was hurt. McHenry police closed the case after turning the firearm over to Lake County authorities, according to a police report.

The man who found the weapon, Eric Koehler, 38, said he had just picked up his kids from his ex-wife's house in the Lancaster Falls subdivision near Wauconda on Sunday afternoon when he spotted a black bag in the street.

"I own a couple of guns myself so I recognize the case," said Koehler, who, finding the bag heavy, put it in the back of his truck. "I didn't want to freak out my kids. … I thought, when I get home, I'll take a look and see what it is."

Once at home in McHenry, Koehler said he called police after unloading a 20- to 25-round magazine from the .223-caliber weapon, which was identified as government property. McHenry police traced the rifle to the Lake County Sheriff's Office and contacted the department, which sent a deputy to pick it up, according to a police report.

Koehler, whose children are 7 and 11, said that once he reached his apartment, he settled his kids and then went to a closed bedroom to inspect the weapon. After he unloaded it, he called his ex-wife to see if anyone had reported the weapon missing because he knew several police officers live in the neighborhood.

"I didn't want to get anyone in trouble over it, but I wouldn't want to leave it in the road," said Koehler, adding that many children live in that neighborhood.  "I am glad I found it … so nobody can do God-knows-what with it."

Authorities declined to identify the Lake County sheriff's employee assigned to carry the firearm, though Rose confirmed the employee's rank as sergeant. The sergeant had not been placed on leave, Rose said.

The two-page police report — released by McHenry police after the Tribune filed an open records request — was labeled at the top: "Press excluded." 

McHenry police did not respond to requests for further information.

It was not clear how long the weapon remained in the roadway before Koehler came upon it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shooting range session with the S&W Model 638-1 Bodyguard

The subject range session is from back in late December following my purchase of an older S&W Model 638-1 Airweight; this blog entry was written back then and I am just now penning the final edits.  When it comes to speed, I tend to be a glacial old dude.

On a related note, I have burned through a few boxes of the rare and expensive Federal 125 Grain NON+P Nyclad Hollowpoints while practicing with my carry airweight snubbie revolvers.  I am leaning toward using the plentiful Winchester Q4171 130 Grain FMJ Ball as a surrogate range load; IMHO Q4171 is close enough on muzzle velocity and felt recoil to the P38M to serve as a passable practice load.  Opinions on this are welcome.

The intent of this session was to lob 5-rounds into each of 6-targets, with 2-targets each set at distances of 15-feet, 21-feet, and 30-feet.   The red section of the targets are 6'' across, while the numbered scoring areas are 10'' across; for my use, anything outside of the 6-ring scores as a miss.

I only fired 5-rounds using the Crimson Trace Laser.  The first three rounds were very darn nice but I then lost my mental focus and flinch-fired 2-rounds low, both of which obviously scored as misses.  Subsequent to that less-than-stellar display of marksmanship,  I decided to shut the laser off and shoot the balance of the session (25 more rounds) using the revolver's fixed sights.  Sometime during year 2015 I'll blog a session (or more) dedicated to familiarizing myself with the Crimson Trace 405 laser sight currently on this revolver; to my eyes and fading braincells there is a big difference between "front sight focus" and "red dot focus."

Let's be clear on a couple of things, the gun shoots fine, and the Crimson Trace laser sight works fine;  I'm the one with the adjustment issues.

The arrow points to my third miss of the session (I failed to highlight that on the paper target with my trusty blue-marker).

All in all, this was not a bad session for me.  I got to try out my new-to-me revolver, the targets provided good feedback on the fundamentals that need my attention, gun safety was foremost, and I had a good time without the risk of venereal diseases.