23 June 2007

Outlaw?

An Apache's version of the fly by...

22 June 2007

Oz rocks

Having been fortunate enough to know some Aussies personally, I've always liked the land down under. Great sense of humor, friendly people, and they like beer.

Considering their support in the ongoing struggle, I'm liking them even more. And unlike our good friends the Brits, it would appear that they don't give up quite so easily...

It turns out that Iranian forces made an earlier concerted attempt to seize a boarding party from the Royal Australian Navy.
The Australians, though, to quote one military source, "were having none of it".

The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".

Too bad the Brits didn't learn from this lesson....

21 June 2007

IDPA Rules Rant

We've been shooting USPSA for almost a couple of years now, after shooting IDPA for several years before that. Catfish and I have been discussing some aspects of matches for both sports, and from these discussions and my own personal observations, I've reached an inexorable conclusion: IDPA rules are silly.

Not all of them, mind you. The safety stuff goes without saying. I like the self-defense aspects of the sport, where you learn about tactical priority, use of cover, things of that nature. I like that the COF limits the round count, believe it or not - more people can shoot with real-life gear. There are many good things about the sport. So let me amend my original assertion: IDPA rules can be silly. Seriously, a sport that has a FTDR (Failure To Do Right) rule in addition to procedural penalties should raise more than a few eyebrows.

Where it all breaks down for me is when subjectivity is introduced to the rules, and by extension, to the courses of fire and the sport in general. Let's take the proper use of cover as a beginning example. The rules stipulate that 100% of your feet (I assume both of them), and 50% of your upper body must remain behind cover at all times. This sounds all fine and good, but it's typically a subjective call. Where does the upper body begin? Where is the Safety Officer positioned in relation to the shooter, in relation to cover, in relation to the target? I've seen the "cover" call made in some ridiculous situations, based solely on the whim of the SO on the stage. It's not so much that it's a silly rule, it's that it's subject to too many variables. Therefore, the evaluation of proper use of cover is subjective. How would you make it objective? Use a shooting box. Oops - they do that in USPSA, don't they? We can't have that, then.

Another example might be the infamous holster rule: no light should be visible between the holster and the shooter's belt/body. Unless you're a woman, of course. Then the whole thing is moot (AKA the "boobie rule"). I've had my holster both pass and fail inspections of this rule. The same holster, different matches, different observers - again, subjective. Don't get me started on what an "appropriate" cover garment might be - there are subjective rules for that, too. I believe USPSA does a fair job of defining legal and illegal equipment.

How about the ability (I'd even assert "requirement") of an IDPA COF designer to specify shooting positions, target engagement specifications, etc.? "Stand here, engage these 3 targets with 2 rounds each, move here, engage these targets in tactical sequence with 2 to the body, one to the head," etc. These sorts of things do nothing but generate endless questions (based on the confusion that this creates) from shooters about what they can and cannot do. In USPSA, most COF descriptions are something to the effect of "start at position A, and engage all targets as they become visible." 2 rounds on paper, knock the steel down. Easy. It puts the burden on the course designer, not the shooter, and removes ambiguity.

There are the downright silly rules, too. Tactical reloads, or reloads with retention. You must retain your magazine, unless you're at slide-lock, even if the magazine is empty. What a terrible habit to develop. Drop the empty mag, ram a full one in there, and get on with the gunfight. If you think you're gonna need those 2 bullets in the mag you just wasted 2 seconds stowing away, well, your gunfight priorities might be in the wrong place. No movement of more than 10 yards between any 2 points, because...wait, what? Isn't movement a fundamental tenet of defensive shooting?

I guess most of this discourse gets down to the old argument about whether IDPA is a game, or if it's some sort of training. Let's put it this way: you keep score. Any time you keep score, someone will want to find a way to win. That's all fine and good, but there are many in the sport that say this position flies in the face of the "spirit" of IDPA.

I've tried to chronograph this "spirit," but have yet to get a tangible reading. However, there are PLENTY of shooters who are willing to give us the benefit of their opinion on matters of "spirit" or "intent." I've seen all sorts of opinions up and down the spectrum, and most of them devolve into dogma based on intepretation of a rule. That's the important part: interpretation.

Yes, the sport has created fundamentalists of its own. How scary is that?

It's this sort of nonsense that gets generated whenever subjectivity is allowed to creep into a sport. Either you can measure it consistently, or you can't. Either it is, or it isn't. Either you do, or you don't. Everything should be a binary decision: yes or no, wrong or right, hit or miss. And those decisions should be repeatable, measurable, and finite for all involved, both competitor and adjudicator. Ambiguity leads to dissenting opinions, and opinions lead to arguments - every time. Heck, it doesn't even matter if the rule is stupid, as long as the rule is the same for everyone, and is measurable, repeatable, and finite.

Okay. I feel better now. Please use the comments to add to this discourse if you feel so inclined. Facts are welcomed, but silliness will be made fun of.

19 June 2007

Take one minute and send an email

Take a minute to cut and paste this email address and send a thank you note to the Marines in Iraq right now.

Send the mail to: RCT-6lettersfromh@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil

Cut and paste the email address and you'll do just fine. Seems the jarheads are tired of getting the same old shit sandwich the media is making them eat every time the turn around and catch some news on TV.

Let the Devil Dogs know you appreciate their sacrifice.

The Nuge Rocks!

Here's Ted, telling it like it is. Cliff's notes version is that the left is the group in this country that is intolerant, not the right. And I've gotta say, he's right on the money here.

You don't think I'm (we're) right?? Try smoking a good cigar in any one of many cities, including Dallas, that has banned public smoking. Wanna carry a gun for your own defense? Better not live in one of the many liberal cities that has determined guns are more dangerous than cars. Wanna listen to talk radio?? Better get in on that quick before the lefties make that illegal too through the so called "fairness" doctrine. How about celebrate Christmas?

And now, the Nuge lets us know that certain roadies were canned by Sir Paul - an econazi of the nth degree - for sneaking a hamburger in on tour. That's right, eating red meat on tour with the Beatle will get you fired.
You heard that right. Fired for eating meat by an animal-rights maniac, hard-core vegan bass player.

Examine the agendas of the liberal "party of peace." Its members clearly don't believe you and I are smart enough or capable of making our own choices in life.

While conservatives "live and let live," the left arrogantly thinks it knows better than we do and will burden "we the people" with more government control until we are taxed to death.

18 June 2007

With a whisper

Less than three hours later, [Thursday, June 14, 2007] the bill passed by a voice vote. The bill in question, H.R. 2640, is a massive expansion of the Brady Gun Control law, the subject of many previous alerts by Gun Owners of America.

The bill's supporters can talk all they want to the contrary, but forcing the states to hand over to the federal government millions of records of Americans for the purpose of conducting a background check is certainly an expansion of gun control.

This is a bill designed to make the gun control trains run on time. Problem is, the train's on the wrong track. We don't need greater efficiency enforcing laws that for years we have fought as being unconstitutional.


And this, gentlemen (and ladies) is how it begins.