Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: More Guns, Less Crime

FBI Reports Huge Decrease In Murders As Firearm, Ammunition And “Large” Magazine Sales Soar
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Last week, the FBI issued its preliminary 2009 crime report, showing that the number of murders in the first half of 2009 decreased 10 percent compared to the first half of 2008. If the trend holds for the remainder of 2009, it will be the single greatest one-year decrease in the number of murders since at least 1960, the earliest year for which national data are available through the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Also, the per capita murder rate for 2009 will be 51 percent lower than the all-time high recorded in 1991, and it will be the lowest rate since 1963—a 46-year low. Final figures for 2009 will be released by the FBI next year.

According to gun control supporter dogma—“more guns means more crime”—the number of privately owned firearms must have decreased 10 percent in 2009. To the contrary, however, the number rose between 1.5 and 2 percent, to an all-time high. For the better part of the last 15 months, firearms, ammunition, and “large” ammunition magazines have been sold in what appear to be record quantities. And, the firearms that were most commonly purchased in 2009 are those that gun control supporters most want to be banned—AR-15s, similar semi-automatic rifles, and handguns designed for defense. The National Shooting Sports Foundation already estimates record ammunition sales in 2009, dominated by .223 Remington, 7.62x39mm, 9mm and other calibers widely favored for defensive purposes.

Also indicative of the upward trend in firearm sales, the number of national instant check transactions rose 24.5 percent in the first six months of 2009 compared to the first six months in 2008, the greatest increase since NICS’ inception in 1998. Through the end of October, NICS transactions rose18 percent, compared to the same period in 2008.

More Guns Means More Crime? Hardly. In 2009, more guns meant less crime, in a very, very big way.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

LRGC Third Annual Red, White and Blue December

Yesterday I participated in the 3rd annual Red, White and Blue December match at Langhorne Rod & Gun Club.  This is the annual Kalashnikov match run by LRGC.

This year was a bit different from the prior two events.  First, participation was limited to 33 pre-registered shooters, run in three strings.  Second, there was no pistol component, it was rifle-only.  Finally, each shooter ran the course individually, rather than having everyone shoot at the same time.  The match director described the event ahead of time as, "Reflections on a gentle Summertime in Grozny."

Due to really foul weather* and a half flooded range, the planned course of fire had to be changed up a bit.  Anyway, it was as follows:

1. Four steel targets from 200 yards, maximum of 15 shots.  Each steel target was about 2/3 the size of a human torso.
2. Advance to a plywood cutout of a car, neutralize two IDPA targets from urban prone under the car.
3. Advance to another car and neutralize 3 IDPA targets while avoiding a no-shoot target.
4. Advance to a Bianchi Barrier (basically a big rectangle barricade), hit two steel, and neutralize 3 IDPA targets.  Avoid a no-shoot.
5. Advance to barrel and neutralize 3 IDPA targets while avoiding a no-shoot.
6. Advance to a car, neutralize 3 IDPA targets and hit two steel.
7. Hit two small swinging targets about the size of a cantaloupe while advancing.

When advancing from one stage to the next the rifle had to be placed on safe.  At the end of the course it was cleared and placed down while range officers scored targets.

The temperature was in the 40s and it rained all day.  Also, we'd gotten about a foot of snow about a week ago so everything was soaked.  To stay dry I wore my Mountain Hardware Exposure parka, a ball cap, a pair of German surplus rain pants, and Merril Waterproof boots.  I also had a pair of Mechanix work gloves which became soaked rather quickly.

All my foul weather gear performed exceptionally. Except for my hands I'd remained totally dry and warm until I had to advance to position #4, when I found myself in a foot-deep mixture of water and slush.  At that point my nice waterproof boots became buckets.  The second half of the course (stages 4 through 7) was covered in from 8" to 12" of this slop.

The steel targets took one hit apiece to neutralize, while the cardboard IDPA targets.  These required two kill zone hits to neutralize, so I put at least 3 shots into each.  The final targets in stage 7 required one hit apiece to neutralize.

By the time I got to stage #7 my rifle was shaking all over the place so hitting targets the size of melons was not easy, even though the range was about 10 yards.  I really need to get into better shape.

I shot my Century Arms M70AB2T Yugoslavian underfolder AK, fed with Combloc steel mags and one Tapco plastic mag (which came with the rifle).  Ammo was from an older lot of Wolf Military Classic 7.62x39 with lacquered cases.  In the 292 seconds it took me to run the course I went through almost 3 full mags.  The rifle ran like a champ.  It's very smooth shooting and the extra pound or so compared with Romanian stamped AKs helps to reduce recoil and muzzle flip.  I've only had the Yugo for a couple months but it's become one of my favorite rifles.

Shooting a rifle while on the move, in poor conditions, and against the clock is a lot different than on a nice sunny day on a square range.  As you move and your heart races it's harder to keep your rounds on target.  There were also a couple times when I had to wait a fraction of a second for my sight picture to clear from the smoke from oil burning off or steam from the water hitting my rifle.  Unconventional shooting positions like urban prone (where you're laying down and the rifle is almost on its side) are not conducive to the most accurate shooting, either.

Likewise, when your gear is not merely wet but soaked it's harder to run.  Thankfully, the plastic Century furniture provided a secure grip even when wet.  Being a Russian designed rifle, the AK was designed for use in crappy weather when you're wearing gloves, with a nice big selector and charging handle.

To carry my magazines I used a Hungarian surplus AK mag pouch.  I'd prepared my magazines ahead of time with paracord loops to aide me in pulling them out.  I'd also tied a Maxpedition Rolly Polly dump pouch to the strap of the mag pouch but it flopped around too much and I wound up dropping the mags, which is OK in competion but not so good if you're in a fight.  Next time I'll work out something better.  (I'd planned to have it on a belt but said belt wouldn't fit around me while I was wearing a fleece jacket and waterproof shell.  I forgot to check this out ahead of time.)

I wound up finishing in the middle of the pack.  I had problems hitting the steel from 200 yards do to never having fired this rifle at that distance before.  After using up about 10 rounds of the maximum 15 for that stage, I decided to just take the time penalty for the misses and move to stage #2.

All in all, it was another kick-ass event at LRGC and more good hands-on time with my rifle.

*The LRGC Practical Rifle crew holds their events no matter how bad the weather is, unless the conditions are actually hazardous.  E.g., lightning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Belgian Corporal

This is an excerpt from the book  "The Gun Rights War" by Neal Knox, posted by Chris Knox to the book's Facebook page.

The Belgian Corporal

by Neal Knox

In the summer of 1955, I was a young Texas National Guard sergeant on active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. A corporal in my squad was a Belgian-American named Charles DeNaer. An old man as far as most of us were concerned, being well over thirty, Charley commanded a certain amount of our respect, for not only was he older than the rest of us, he had lived in Belgium when the Germans rolled across the low countries by-passing the Maginot Line on their way into France. He had seen war.

One soft Oklahoma afternoon, sitting on a bunk in the half-light of an old wooden barracks, he told me his story.

In Charley's little town in Belgium, there lived an old man, a gunsmith. The old man was friendly with the kids and welcomed them to his shop. He had once been an armorer to the king of Belgium, according to Charley. He told us of the wonderful guns the old man had crafted, using only hand tools. There were double shotguns and fine rifles with beautiful hardwood stocks and gorgeous engraving and inlay work. Charley liked the old man and enjoyed looking at the guns. He often did chores around the shop.

One day the gunsmith sent for Charley. Arriving at the shop, Charley found the old man carefully oiling and wrapping guns in oilcloth and paper. Charley asked what he was doing. The old smith gestured to a piece of paper on the workbench and said that an order had come to him to register all of his guns. He was to list every gun with a description on a piece of paper and then to send the paper to the government. The old man had no intention of complying with the registration law and had summoned Charley to help him bury the guns at a railroad crossing. Charley asked why he didn't simply comply with the order and keep the guns. The old man, with tears in his eyes, replied to the boy, "If I register them, they will be taken away. "

A year or two later, the blitzkrieg rolled across the Low Countries. One day not long after, the war arrived in Charley's town. A squad of German SS troops banged on the door of a house that Charley knew well. The family had twin sons about Charley's age. The twins were his best friends. The officer displayed a paper describing a Luger pistol, a relic of the Great War, and ordered the father to produce it. That old gun had been lost, stolen, or misplaced sometime after it had been registered, the father explained. He did not know where it was.

The officer told the father that he had exactly fifteen minutes to produce the weapon. The family turned their home upside down. No pistol. They returned to the SS officer empty-handed.

The officer gave an order and soldiers herded the family outside while other troops called the entire town out into the square. There on the town square the SS machine-gunned the entire family-father, mother, Charley's two friends, their older brother and a baby sister.

I will never forget the moment. We were sitting on the bunk on a Saturday afternoon and Charley was crying, huge tears rolling down his cheeks, making silver dollar size splotches on the dusty barracks floor. That was my conversion from a casual gun owner to one who was determined to prevent such a thing from ever happening in America.

Later that summer, when I had returned home I went to the president of the West Texas Sportsman's Club in Abilene and told him I wanted to be on the legislative committee. He replied that we didn't have a legislative committee, but that I was now the chairman.

I, who had never given a thought to gun laws, have been eyeball deep in the "gun control" fight ever since.

As the newly-minted Legislative Committee Chairman of the West Texas Sportsman's club, I set myself to some research. I had never before read the Second Amendment, but now noticed that The American Rifleman published it in its masthead. I was delighted to learn that the Constitution prohibited laws like Belgium's. There was no battle to fight, I thought. We were covered. I have since learned that the words about a militia and the right of the people to keep and bear, while important, mean as much to a determined enemy as the Maginot line did to Hitler.

Rather than depend on the Second Amendment to protect our gun rights, I've learned that we must protect the Second Amendment and the precious rights it recognizes.

Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit is included. Text is available at To receive The Firearms Coalition's bi-monthly newsletter, The Knox Hard Corps Report, write to PO Box 3313, Manassas, VA 20108.

©Copyright 2009 Neal Knox Associates

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zero Day Vulnerability in Adobe Reader

There is a zero day security exploit for the Adobe PDF Reader that is currently out in the wild and for which there is no patch.  It exploits a vulnerability in Reader’s Javascript implementation.

Details here.

If you must use Adobe Reader you should disable Javascript until this is fixed.

  • On Windows, launch Adobe Reader and go to Edit > Preferences > JavaScript and uncheck Enable Acrobat JavaScript.
  • On a Mac, launch Adobe Reader go to the Adobe Reader menu > Preferences > JavaScript and uncheck Enable Acrobat JavaScript.

Alternative free PDF viewers are on Mac (included with OS X), and Foxit Reader on Windows.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PDANet for Android

I think I mentioned PDANet in a prior post.  If not, it's a program that installs on several different kinds of smart phones enabling their use as cellular modems (AKA "tethering").  With my Blackberry I had to pay VZW $15/month for this privilege but with PDANet on my Droid there's no recurring charge.

Today I was notified of an update to PDANet for Android.  It now supports USB tethering on Macs.  Previously, Mac tethering was supported only via Bluetooth, which is slow.  When I tried Bluetooth tethering my download speeds were in the 350 kbps range.  Via USB it's around 2 Mbps, quite an improvement.

I sent the developer an email requesting clarification on licensing.  Depending on which machine I'm using I may need to tether either my MacBook Pro or Hobbit, my MSI Wind Netbook running Windows 7.  I need to know if I need to buy one or two licenses, since a desktop client is required for USB tethering.  I'll post an update when I have an answer.

In the meantime, if you have a smartphone and the need to use it as a cellular modem, PDANet is worth checking out.

Edit 12/22/09:

I received the following reply from June Software regarding my desktop client licensing question:


As long as you have PdaNet on only one phone device, you can install it on as many computers as you like.

June Fabrics PDA Software Support

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Chanukah

Happy Chanukah.

While you're enjoying the holiday tonight, try to remember why we celebrate.  It's not about trying to have the Jewish equivalent of Christmas.  I'd also urge, in a time when the Federal government has pretty much gone off the reservation, that my fellow MOTs reflect on the support the majority of Jewish Americans have traditionally given to big government, as I discussed a few years ago.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Quick Range Report

I managed to get to the range twice this weekend.

Friday night was Alexandra's birthday party.  It was girl-only, so after I was kicked out once I gobbled down two slices of pizza I packed my range bag, drove over to my parents and picked up my dad and went to his club.

I shot my 1958-vintage Ruger Single Six and my Springfield XD9.  I've been leaving the Ruger in my range bag along with some Federal bulk pack .22 LR ammo.  This way if I go to my club -- about a 50 minute drive -- and the rifle ranges are occupied, I haven't wasted a trip.

The Old Model Single Six was well used when I got it several years ago.  The action is very smooth and the piece is accurate.  I ran about 30 rounds through it then switched to the Springer.

The XD9 continues to impress.  I figure I've got about 600 or 700 rounds through it so far, a mix of Speer 124 grain Gold Dot JHP, Federal 115 grain FMJ, and Brown Bear 115 grain FMJ.  So far I've had zero malfunctions.

My second range trip was yesterday, to verify the zero on my Norinco 84S AK in 5.56x45.  This was also the first time shooting it since swapping the furniture for some Romanian wood I had laying around.  It feels a lot better with the shorter length of pull.

I'd been planning to use the Type 84S in LRGC's upcoming Red, White and Blue Kalashnikov match.  Unfortunately, I had a couple of malfunctions for which I'm not certain of the cause, so it looks like I'll probably shoot my Yugo M70AB2T instead.

One thing which pleased me with the Norinco is that it's definitely more accurate than my AKs in 7.62x39.  I think this is probably due to the Prvi Partisan 5.56mm ammo being made better than the Russian 7.62x39 I generally shoot.  It would be interesting to see how well the Yugo or my Arsenal SLR-101 would shoot with American made ammo, but it's expensive.