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Posts Tagged ‘Guns’

Protecting your guns from rust

AccurateShooter has an article about a couple of ways to protect your guns from rust, for instance, when storing them away for the winter. I had to put all my guns into storage for a few months earlier this year, and although I live in a relatively dry climate (California) I didn’t want to take any chances, especially since I wasn’t sure I’d get them back out before the wetter seasons. Personally, I’m too lazy/busy to coat every single metal component on every single one of my guns with some protectant, but I’m too cheap to buy nice gun socks for them all, so I ended up getting ZERUST gun bags from Creedmoor. At $4 a bag, they seemed to strike the right cost-performance point, although they are not perfect either. My main complaint with these bags is their size. They were too short for my Swedish Mauser (I ended up using two bags), and too narrow for my AR-15 (I left the butt stock sticking out). Nonetheless, if you’re lazy and cheap like me, they may be an acceptable solution.

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letter to Obama

I’ve stated elsewhere in this blog that I’m a liberal, but I’ll take it up a notch and reveal that I am also an Obama supporter. Wait a minute. A proclaimed gun enthusiast who’s also an Obama supporter? Isn’t that a contradiction? Well, my answer is no, it’s not a contradiction. Obama acknowledges that we have an individual right to own guns, as the Supreme Court recently ruled (and those of you who think he’s going to “sign away our rights” are crazy; he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, he knows and respects the Constitution more than you or I — and certainly Bush or McCain). He does support “sensible” gun control laws to decrease gun crimes, but guess what, so does McCain and the Supreme Court. So the difference comes down to what they think of as being “sensible”.

Obama’s views on what’s “sensible” probably is more restrictive than McCain’s views. But here’s the thing about us liberals: we’re open minded. We’re so open minded that we frequently change our minds about things when faced with convincing arguments backed by credible data. Some people call that “flip flopping”, but admitting that you’re wrong isn’t a bad thing. And when it comes to guns, we (gun owners) have the upper hand because most liberals don’t know jack about guns, and their positions are based largely on ignorance. I know this because most of my friends and coworkers are liberal, and it didn’t take much to convince them that having my guns taken away would be wrong (and nonsensical).

So, here’s a letter I’m sending in an attempt to convince Obama (and other liberals) that gun bans simply don’t make sense. Regardless of whether or not you support Obama, I’d encourage other gun bloggers to spread this around. Because if Obama is elected, you’d want him to have read this.

I’m a strong supporter of Senator Obama in his presidential candidacy, and have donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign. I support him because I believe he is a truly inspiring leader, and agree with him on many issues, except one. As a gun owner and a liberal, I find his position on gun control, specifically his support for banning certain types of firearms1 to be contrary to the liberal ideal.

Let me tell you a story about my friend Anne. Anne is another vocal supporter of Senator Obama. She has a degree in English from a prestigious university in Chicago, and works at a large internet company as a technical writer, while studying for her LSATs. A while back, she went to a local shooting range with some coworkers, and really enjoyed the experience. So I took her to the range recently, and after showing her how to safely operate a variety of rifles I own, I let her shoot them all. Her favorite gun? The AR-15, a civilian version of the M-16 rifle. It is a semi-automatic rifle, and looks like a military rifle to the untrained eye. She liked it so much, that she wants one of her own, except Senator Obama seems to think she shouldn’t be allowed to own one.

Why does Anne need a military-type semi-automatic rifle? Anne doesn’t need ice cream on her apple pie2. Anne doesn’t need an occasional glass of wine3. Anne could survive without knowing how to drive too4. We don’t need most things in life, but in this country, we are afforded a myriad of freedoms, because freedom is what makes us happy. Anne needs a military-type semi-automatic rifle because it makes her happy5, and because nobody has any rational reason to deny a responsible girl like Anne that happiness.

Gun violence is a problem in this country. However, gun bans aren’t the answer. No study to date has shown conclusively that gun bans are effective at all6. Yet, gun bans unfairly and irrationally punish law abiding and responsible citizens like myself and Anne. It is analogous to banning alcohol consumption because occasionally someone drives while drunk and kills people. The only reason liberals don’t propose alcohol bans yet support gun bans is because most liberals enjoy alcohol, while most of them never learn about firearms, their safe handling, and why some people enjoy owning and shooting them. However, ignorance is not a sufficient condition for legislation. I’m not attracted to men, but that doesn’t mean other men shouldn’t be. I don’t believe in god, but that doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t either. Liberalism is about inclusiveness and tolerance for views we may not agree with or understand, within reason. Yes, reason. Show me that I, and millions of other law abiding gun owners are a menace to society. Show me that denying us guns will stop criminals from committing crimes. Then I’ll agree to a gun ban. Until then, gun bans are irrational and wrong, and I urge Senator Obama to focus on approaches that more effectively curb gun violence without unnecessarily restricting our right to happiness.

  1. 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998, as cited on http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Barack_Obama_Gun_Control.htm
  2. Obesity kills over a 112,000 people every year, according to the CDC.
  3. In 2000, 85,000 people were killed by alcohol.
  4. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41,059 people were killed in automobile accidents in 2007.
  5. According to at least one study, gun owners are happier even when controlled for income and education.
  6. Gun Laws and Crime: A Complex Relationship on NYTimes.com

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choices

I’ve been shooting my VTR a lot, but I’m also looking to add another semi-automatic rifle to my collection. Right now, I have a few Garands and an AR (which I shoot almost exclusively for CMP-style matches) so I’m thinking of getting something smaller. Some of the options I’ve considered so far are:

  • M1 Carbine — Since I already have Garands and a 1903, it would be nice to add an M1 Carbine to my collection. I do like old mil-surp rifles; it’s kind of like adopting a janky-ass abandoned kitten and nurturing it. On the other hand, a 60 year old M1 isn’t going to be as accurate, and I wouldn’t be able to customize it without destroying its historic value. I’m also leery of adding yet another caliber; especially one which is also essentially only used by one particular gun.
  • AR-based carbine — I have a spare lower and a U-15 stock, so I could just get an upper and a parts kit and have another rifle without spending too much money. On the other hand, I’m actually not a huge fan of the AR action. My existing AR is accurate and works reliably, but also requires a lot of maintenance. For every hour I spend shooting it, I probably spend about an hour cleaning it.
  • Ruger Mini-14 — I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Mini-14. I’ve never shot one, but I hear it handles well and is super reliable, even if not terribly accurate. It also shoots .223 like 2 of my other guns, so I won’t have to add yet another caliber, and unlike the AR, I can have a detachable magazine and still be California legal. I guess the turn-off for me here is accuracy. You can get accurized Mini-14s but they cost probably twice what an accurate AR would cost me.
  • Kel-tec SU-16 — Haven’t shot one, but I’m generally sort of meh about these rifles. The pros are similar to the Mini-14, except I haven’t come across very many people praising the SU-16 the way I’ve heard people praise the Mini-14.

The top contenders right now are either a accurized Mini-14, or an AR. If I go the AR route, I’m thinking of possibly getting a gas-piston upper (by POF or Bushmaster) which will eliminate the high maintenance cost (which is the side-effect of the direct impingement action on standard uppers), though they tend to be more expensive.

Ultimately, my next big purchase is going to be reloading equipment, so I’ll be mulling over these choices for quite some time to come. Not to mention the custom long-range rifle I’m thinking of building, but that’s a whole other post.

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