...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 29, 2005

Gun Nut Progress Report

As a brand new gun nut, i thought it might be interesting to give you regular updates on how things are going.

progress report

i've now shot a total of 150 rounds through a pistol. The Sig Sauer P226 is still the gun to beat, in my estimation. But i recently tried two other guns, which i'll critique for you from my novice's viewpoint.

TacProIItarget.jpgThe first was a Kimber Tactical Pro II in .45 ACP caliber. i did not like this gun. First of all, it dang near took my arm off. Big bang, big kick. That's to be expected from the larger cartridge, i imagine. But i know the Kimber's sights were off, too. Look at the photo of my target. You'll see that nothing hit to the left of center out of 50 rounds at ranges from 7 yards to 25 yards. i think that's unusual. It also shot low and i had to compensate by aiming above the bullseye, which was annoying. i normally line up the sights just below the bullseye.

Also, the Kimber's grip was too short and didn't feel right. The gun was double action only and had a grip safety and a thumb safety. i liked the idea of two safeties, but i'd rather have a single action option because i tend to squeeze the trigger very slowly and watching the hammer go back was distracting to me. i want to try another .45 just to give them a fair shake, but i wouldn't buy a Kimber. They retail for over a thousand and i expected better for that kind of price.

Most recently, i tried the Browning BDM 9mm. Now, after researching this post, i learned that the BDM can be switched from "double action" to "double action only" by use of a little slotted swich on the side. i noticed the switch at the range, but since nobody told me what it was for, i didn't mess with it.

The Browning was nice, despite some problems. i found it to be accurate at all the distances i tried. It fit my hand comfortably and the trigger was easy to squeeze. It's a good looking gun and it was well behaved when it didn't jam, which was too often for my liking. The range dude said it probably needed cleaning. Also, the slide sometimes failed to lock open after the last round was fired. i expected a little more from the famous Browning name, but it was a fun gun to shoot. i still prefer the Sig Sauer's big bright sights. The Browning's sights had smaller dots and one of them had been rubbed off on my rental gun.

Next week i think i'll branch out and try a revolver.

P.S. Last night, i had a dream that i met Kim du Toit. What's happening to me?!

Posted by annika, Aug. 29, 2005 | TrackBack (1)
Rubric: New Gun Nut Stuff


Give the Glock 9MM a fling.

Posted by: shelly on Aug. 30, 2005

In particular, give the Glock 17 or 19 a fling. Stay away from the 26 for now; even in wimpy cartridges like 9x19, the baby Glocks have enough recoil and muzzle blast to teach a new shooter bad habits. I'm a strong advocate of learning the fundamentals on easy, non-abusive guns, and having them firmly ingrained before moving to more challenging fare. If you learn bad habits now -- and the chief teachers of bad habits are recoil and muzzle blast -- you'll have a damned hard time unlearning them. It's probably just as well if you stay away from the Kimber for now, for precisely that reason.

That said, methinks you're being a bit too hard on the Kimber, accuracy-wise. A "tactical" or "combat" pistol like the Kimber should be accurate enough -- and, judging from your groups, the Kimber appears to be. It's almost certainly not intended for a six o'clock hold like you're describing (that's usually reserved for bullseye), and range and choice of cartridge (muzzle velocity) will affect elevation to some extent, too; any or all of those may have contributed to your group being a tad lower than you expected. The front sight might need to be drifted right a bit, although lighting problems can cause rounds to strike left or right of the apparent point of aim.

Posted by: Matt on Aug. 30, 2005

By the way: Nice shootin', kid. ;-)

Posted by: Matt on Aug. 30, 2005


It’s nice to see you having so much fun and exercising your rights. I wonder if you got any feedback from Freddie L. Cranshaw before he went out and had a little fun too exercising his rights. I wonder how tight his groupings were, or if anybody noticed he was insane before they sold him his cache.

Remember, nobody ever got shot by someone with out a gun.

You know as well as anybody that guns don't stop crime nor do they don't make anybody think twice about committing a crime. Most gun crime involves people who know or loved each other and that most regretted what they did and wished they had just cooled off instead of picking up a gun. I can’t verify this next statement but I would wager that more people are killed accidentally with fire arms than the number of armed citizens successfully protecting themselves with their weapon(s).

A fellow I know, runs the check cashing place by the projects, was gut shot a few years back for the bank bag he was carrying at the end of the day (he lived). The stupid assholes (and yes most criminals are stupid) wanted his bag not realizing that at the end of the day check cashers are going to the bank with paper, not cash, but the point is the check casher wears a revolver in plain sight. So instead of just hitting him in the head or pointing a gun at him, the thieves KNEW they had to shoot him. This was his big benefit for having a full carry permit.

I have another true story, if you’ll indulge me? A friend of mine, we shall call him Bill, has only a target permit but carries his Glock in his suite jacket pocket. One day he interrupts a robbery in a furniture store in a strip mall. He sees a gunman menacing the female cashier and he starts to sneak towards the front of the store to help. Along the way, an unseen accomplice gets the drop on him and orders him to the front of the store. Bill’s gun is still not visible. While walking to the front, Bill who is now convinced he is going to die, drops to one knee, turns and shoots the guy in the neck, killing him. The second gunman leaps over the cash counter and get two rounds off missing Bill both times. Bill shoots back and hits him twice. End of robbery. The second guy lived. Lot’s of issues here to be sure. Bill should be dead but lucked out and the robbery might have proceeded with out any violence if not for Bill’s intervention. Bill can, in NY, go to jail for his involvement, but he lied to the police and said he was carrying his Glock in the box and took it out of the car so as not to leave it unattended while he shopped on his way to the target range. Bill having acted so heroically the authorities did not push on this matter. Since that incident, Bill has drawn his gun on two black men he though wanted to rob him in a deserted parking lot, no shots fired and he has stuck his gun through the car window of a driver he thought was harassing him.

Annika, I do not feel safer in a society that has more guns in the hands of citizens do you? Those who enter criminal enterprise and use guns I can do nothing about, but I am not convinced that more guns in the hands of citizens is the antidote. If you want to target shoot, just rent the use of a gun and have fun there is no need to take it home. If you are compelled to shoot animals; therapy is a better choice than going into the woods with a rifle. One will raise your self esteem while the other makes you question your sanity as you confront your homicidal impulses. (yes, yes, you hunters can turn the last sentence around but I’ll leave it anyway)

Criminals don't run from guns, they shoot first while citizens hesitate. Or they just run amok exercising their right to be crazy and refuse medication.

For the record, I have shot hand guns, killed animals with rifles but came to my senses as I grew older.

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/beararms.htm offers some real questions about the nature of the second amendment.

There is plenty of room for debate on the constitutional issue but far less room in the court of common sense.

Posted by: Strawman on Aug. 30, 2005

I thought I was looking forward to the jeopardy questions, but these posts are my favorites by a long shot now. Strawman's comment is just comedy gravy on a heathly serving of gunpowder-seasoned goodness.

Posted by: Trevor on Aug. 30, 2005

Strawman (how apropos),

You're kidding me. This is a fucking joke, right? Seriously. No?

Well then, congratulations. You may have just set a record for volume of shit spewed in under 1000 words. It's utterly mind-boggling. Let's look at just a sample.

"You know as well as anybody that guns don't stop crime nor do they don't make anybody think twice about committing a crime. Most gun crime involves people who know or loved each other and that most regretted what they did and wished they had just cooled off instead of picking up a gun. I can’t verify this next statement but I would wager that more people are killed accidentally with fire arms than the number of armed citizens successfully protecting themselves with their weapon(s)."

That entire paragraph displays jaw-dropping ignorance. Start by reading Kleck's "Targeting Guns", which summarizes a lot of the most relevant evidence. The best estimate is that the ratio of defensive gun uses to gun crimes (even very loosely defined) is between 3:1 and 5:1. The problem of heat-of-the-moment acquaintance killing is tremendously overblown. It arises from the fact that a significant proportion of violent crime victims are acquainted with their attackers. Childlike, kumbaya-singing anti-gunners like you picture thousands of loving moms and dads getting into spats over the decor for the remodeled bedroom and ending up dead, because it fits your preconceived notions of guns and the people who own them. The truth is that the statistics don't not distinguish between such people and, for example, rival gang members from the same neighborhood. Which group do you honestly suspect contributes most to acquaintance homicide. (Hint: This question is intended to test your sanity.) As far as whether guns make anyone think twice about committing a crime, see Wright's & Ross's "Armed and Considered Dangerous." (Brief summary available here.) Wright & Rossi found that 40% of convicted felons they surveyed said they had ever decided not to commit a crime because they feared the intended victim was armed. (That's 40% who had done it at least once. No word on how many were repeat deterees.) 34% said they'd been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed citizen."

You want to talk Second Amendment? Don't even try until you've read these:


You, sir, are a Buffoon First Class, and I hereby award you the Fucking Simpleton's Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and Bronze "A" for arrogance.

Posted by: Matt on Aug. 30, 2005


check into what they defination of "strawman" or "straw argument" is.

I know it got pissed just reading the frist paragraph....then i stopped and was looking for the joke.


Frist, I would suggest trying everything with the gun if it is unloaded. Unless you are on some funky time limited range or something like that. Take you time with a gun, dry fire it, rack the slide, press the switches, just make sure the thing dry fires correctly before you fire it (you might have hit the take down lever or somthing).

If you like the multipe safties on the Kimber, try the spring field XD. It is a glock with a grip saftey (with a grip angle of the kimber you fired).

Posted by: cube on Aug. 30, 2005

in general, the audience for this blog is pretty vocal about the second amendment. Strawman brings up some interesting points which i'm sure will be addressed thoroughly. My own thoughts are not necessarily in line, but i'll need to wait until later to write them.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 30, 2005

Miss Annika,
Addicting, no?
A lot of handguns have fixed sights. This is more or less to keep the sights from shifting under moderate to heavy use. What the proper thing to do is take a handgun with fixed sights, establish a load you're going to use in it (say Remington 230 grain Golden Sabers asopposed to Federal 230 Grain Hydrashoks) & then have the sights adjusted (or adjust them yourself) to be where you want them at. Everybody looks at sights slightly differently, so if my sights are adjusted for me & the way I shot that won't mean that they'll hit exactly where you'd expect. Don't judge a handgun too harshly cause the sights aren't lined up exactly with the point of impact.

Also your technique will cause a change in sight picture. with the Sig you mainly shot it single action. With a double action only you have a longer, heavier trigger pull. That usually means you'll pull your shots to the right a bit.

The feel not being right for you though is something you should pay attention to. with handguns it's especially important to have a good feel & if one model doesn't do it for you then you should pass on it despite any other virtues it has.

The Browning - they have a good rep & for a reason. However any firearm that is neglected will not perform well. You're working with rental guns that get cleaned when they absolutely have to be. If you were shooting mine or Matt's or any other serious gun nuts handgun odds are you'd notice it was fairly well cared for & in good operating condition despite the brand.

But ammo has something to do with things too. As do magazines. A lot of feed problems in semi's are attributable to A: ammo B: magazines or C: inadequate maintenence. It's possible that you just had a bad combination of all three (like there's a good combination).Were ya using range ammo? As in reloaded or range brand ammo? or were you using a recognizable name brand of commercial ammo? The frustrating part is that some ammo just isn't liked by some firearms, no matter how otherwise reliable it is. If the slide wasn't locking back all the time then either something is wrong with the slide catch (very possible in a well worn rental gun) or perhaps the ammo wasn't as powerful as needed to be to work the slide reliably.

But in general you're doing real well. Honestly you're shooting better than I do with handguns & "proud" wouldn't be appropriate mainly because it doesn't convey that emotion enough.

Dreaming about Mr. du Toit though? Hopefully it involved a range trip - a shootin range trip? The again compared to the met'ro'seks-uls in your current enviroment perhaps it was trying to show you it's time to walk a different path? Yeah; it be nice if you escaped to Colorado, but Texas wouldn't be someplace I'd bitch about considering wher eyou're at :P

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 30, 2005


I'm fully aware of what a strawman is, but I'm pretty sure he's serious. Unless someone has decided to adopt his identity, "Strawman" is Mike from, e.g., this comment thread, and this one, and especially this one. I'm pretty confident it's the same guy. Same condescending tone, same lack of hesitation to spout off without evidence, and the same e-mail in all cases.

Posted by: Matt on Aug. 30, 2005

Dream away, Annika. But you'd be better off dreaming about a Browning High Power (single-action only), one of the best pistols ever made.

Note: ignore Glocks, which are ugly plastic things, spoiled somewhat by their excellent reliability and decent accuracy.

Get over to Dallas sometime, and we can get you shooting some decent handguns.

Oh, and never mind the GFWs (Gun-Fearing Wussies) like Strawman.

Shoot lots, shoot safely.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on Aug. 30, 2005


Contrary to what Mr. Toit says I wish you well in your gun play. Enjoy the feel of a finely made gun, revile in its power and smell. Feel its heft and the density of the loads. Come to know the death and destruction it was designed to cause and then move on. People like Publicola are stunted and dim, lacking in imagination and breadth; imagine devoting vast blocks time on such a thing. Listen to the tenor of his voice as he extols the virtues of guns to you and welcomes you to his fold. Remind you of anything?

Hello Matt,

Why don't you take a pill, and breathe. I am not entering your house and taking your guns. I have suggested that there is some serious debate over the meaning of the 2nd Amendment and I suggest that the constitution be interpreted now and then with an eye toward the notion that what was salient and deemed necessary in 1775 may not be so today. I don't want the limited vision of the framers necessarily dictating the course of the society I live in today without a little bending of the meaning of the original language from time to time. This has been referred to as a “Living Constitution”. Just as “rights” have been found that specifically were not mentioned e.g. privacy, some “rights” that appear to have been mentioned may not need protection today, e.g. the right to bear arms. I think it is pretty clear that an armed citizenry, able to form itself into a viable militia, rather then “troops” of the central government, was the goal of the authors. They were concerned that the government not have the right to disarm the people and then use troops to impose unfair and unjust policies. I hope you’ll agree that that is no longer an idea with any merit. Did you read the Miller decision?

Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. 1, contains an extended account of the Militia. It is there said: "Men of republican principles have been jealous of a standing army as dangerous to liberty." "In a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character; and in this distinction seems to consist the essential difference between those two different species of military force."
"In all the colonies, as in England, the militia system was based on the principle of the assize of arms. This implied the general obligation of all adult male inhabitants to possess arms, and, with certain exceptions, to cooperate in the work of defence."

This appeal concerns the constitutionality of the Village of Morton Grove's Ordinance No. 81-11, n1 which prohibits the possession of handguns within the Village's borders.The district court held that the Ordinance was constitutional. We affirm.

Matt, you think this gives citizens the right to carry a hand gun or to hunt? Any State could prohibit hunting in a minute, or taking your rifle out of your house. The amendment allows you to own a proper musket and ammunition and keep it at the ready and if needed to meet on the common to fight to defend your liberty. Nothing more.
I think your argument distinction about that the amount of gun violence between people that know each other is specious. You agree that most gun violence is between people that know each other but assume that since two rival gang members know each other they are part of the data base which includes husbands and wives, uncles and other family relations. Then you arrogantly assume that the familial component of the data base is insignificant and the gang violence significant. Why? Compared to the small number of people in gangs the numbers of familial relations is staggering. It is only reasonable to assume the violence in that group is far and away more prevalent regardless of how violence prone the gang members are. What do you think the ratio of citizens to gang members is?
I will look into the stats you quote on guns used for defense. I think you numbers are wrong but I’ll wait and see.
I read the summary of the Rossie article. Nothing new, most criminals that use guns don’t buy them in gun stores, so? So, are you against background checks, keeping the records and waiting periods?
I will also not call you names and lump you into a group that may not hold or want you.

And yes I was mike. Not hding.

Posted by: Strawman on Aug. 30, 2005

I'm working on a more in depth refutation of your initial comment, but I can't let the second one slide.

Stunted? 9 out of 10 of yo' women would disagree. The tenth would remain silent cause your mother is like that. Dim? by contrast that would make you a black hole, which would also be a useful analogy in regards to your claims that I'm stunted.

Lacking breadth & imagination? That's amusing as well.

Now Casca would be the first to point out that one of my faults is being a long winded bastard, but I doubt even he would come close to the depth of personal attack you've tried to initiate. You wish to discuss the lack of merits of what you were saying? Fine. I can be as civil as you'd hope for. But I'm not above aking this to a game of deoens like you ain't never done seen before. I'm barbaric, remember? (you implied that w/o directly stating it).

Always amazes me that those "emlightened" folks of the socilaist/statist persuasion rely on name calling & denial of facts rather than using logic as a basis for their disagreements.

As I said I'll have a substantive response to your initial comments directly. & right now I consider us even (mor eor less) so it'll be up to you to decide if you wish to conduct yourself in a rational manner, or if I have to get ghetto on your ass. If th elater come to my blog as miss Annika doesn't need the band width going to me schooling you in insult & derisions.

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 30, 2005

"Listen to the tenor of his voice as he extols the virtues of guns to you and welcomes you to his fold. Remind you of anything?"

Almost forgot about that part. Tell me, what is it reminiscent of? ow can you extrapolate the tone of my voice from fairly static type? Would that also be the clairvoyance that should allow gun dealers to judge the intentions of those they sell to?

What it should remind a perosn of, & what I assume miss Annika views it as, is a friend trying to help another friend become self reliant & independent. I want her to be able to defend herself. I don't want her to rely upon the state, or perhaps even worse, a statist such as yourself. I would much rather she develop an affinity for the shooting sports that would translate into an increased ability for her self protection than to see her take your view & be at the mercy of any violent confrontational criminal who wanders into her life.

But please do tell me what it's supposed to remind her of.

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 30, 2005

If you can believe it, in my dream Kim responded to my email invite by flying to San Francisco of all places, so we could chat about blogging and Browning. But of course that could never happen in real life because neither Publicola nor Mr. du Toit would ever set foot in that city, i'm sure. Anyways Kim, i read your old review of the Browning HP, and it's on my list. Thanks Publicola for easing my mind about those sights. i will try to watch that rightward pull on DAOs next time. As for the ammo i used in the BDM, i saved the box. It says "Magtech 9mm Luger 7,45g (115gr.) FMC (9A)" whatever that means. And my range requires that you buy their brand for use on the range, but it's retail, not handloaded stuff.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 30, 2005

"You know as well as anybody that guns don't stop crime nor do they don't make anybody think twice about committing a crime."

Strawman, with regard to gun possession and the Constitution, I regret that you are uninformed. Please read CAREFULLY John Lott's "The Bias Against Guns." Imagine Joe DiMaggio hitting a baseball. That's how easily Lott refutes your statements on guns.

Posted by: Mark on Aug. 31, 2005

Miss Annika,
You'll find that for almost unexplicable reasons some firearms perform really well or really poorly with a specific kind of ammo. If you're lucky yours works well with the cheap stuff, but the one that comes off the assembly line right before yours might only do well with the expensive stuff.

But be careful; some ranges will use handloads packed in factory boxes. they're not so much trying to defraud you, it's just the factory boxes are for some unexplicable reason very convenient for storing ammo in :P Magtech though is usually decent stuff.

& there are circumstances where I would set foot in San Fran, but I doubt that the people of that city will call me to help liberate themselves from Cali. :P Mr. du Toit though doesn't have the same opposition as I do. Oh, he wouldn't be happy about it, but I know he's been to Chicago recently & Chicago is much worse than Cali. Then again there is another circumstance that would cause me to go to Cali...

A few years back my then g/f went to Mexico for a few months. I feel the same about Mexico as I do about Chicago but I found myself planning a trip there. Course said trip was for the purpose of rescuing said g/f while holding off the entire damned country but still...

& the box - 9mm Luger is a common name for the 9x19mm cartridge, also called the Parabellum. Parabellum came first as it means "for war" (if i recall my german correctly) & since it was the chambering of the Luger pistol eventually 9mm Luger became more commonplace. 115 gr is the weight of the bullet (which I know you knew, or would that be I mu you nu?) FMC means Fully Metal Contained which more or less just means the lead is totally covered by a jacket of metal (presumably copper) 9A is just the product code to distinguish that 115 gr FMC load from the 6 other 9x19mm loads w/o having to write it all out. Btw, your bullet should have been traveling at around 1,135 feet per second.

Here's a more thorough reply to your initial comment.

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 31, 2005

mmmmmm chicks n' ammo.....

Posted by: Pursuit on Aug. 31, 2005

Publicola's reply to "Strawman" will probably send him back to Moxie's under a new alias where he can again pretend to be gay.

Posted by: d-rod on Aug. 31, 2005


Whoa there. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're not done with your original comment:

Your response tells me that you aren't familiar with Kleck, or Wright & Rossi (and you completely missed the point of my cite to W&R). In other words, you haven't read or even heard of some of the leading literature on guns and crime. I'm no criminologist, and I don't claim to have read everything that's been written on the subject. But this is not esoteric stuff I'm citing here; anyone who wants to be able to consider himself reasonably well-informed on the guns-crime issue simply has to be at least passingly familiar with them. If you were familiar with Kleck, and Wright & Rossi, but disagreed with them, I could at least respect that. But you're not. You're simply ignorant. That's inexcusable in anyone who presumes to hold forth on this subject with sweeping statements such as yours. The results of Wright's and Rossi's interviews, alone, completely demolish your claims that "guns don't stop crime nor do they don't make anybody think twice about committing a crime" and "Criminals don't run from guns, they shoot first while citizens hesitate."

If you want a little more detail about acquaintance crime, let's do so. The anti-gun groups commonly trot out statistics about crime among families and acquaintances in order to support their claims that most "gun violence" results from tragic, heat-of-the-moment incidents involving otherwise decent, law-abiding people who could not control themselves in the presence of a gun. In a claim reminiscent of that stupid old movie, Reefer Madness, they assert that the mere presence of guns leads to homicides by encouraging otherwise sane, law-abiding people do to bad things when they're upset. (They lump in acquaintance crime with family crime, despite the fact that we know almost nothing about the actual relationships between the parties in acquaintance crimes, because it boosts their numbers.) That's an important argument for them, because if it were true it would suggest that by severely restricting the availability of guns among the law-abiding -- the group of people most likely to obey gun laws -- we could significantly reduce crime.

But the only "evidence" for this proposition is that a majority of violent crime -- IIRC, about 55% in the case of violent crime other than homicide, and an unknown proportion of homicides (but likely greater than 50%) -- is committed by family members and friends or acquaintances of the victims. This is a non sequitur. One cannot conclude from the aforementioned facts anything about the state of mind of the offenders, whether they loved or liked their victims, whether the crimes were premeditated, whether the criminals "regret" their actions, whether they acted in the heat of some sort of passion, or whether they were ex ante law-abiding people. All we know is that people are somewhat more likely to be victimized by someone they know, at least in passing, than by someone they've never seen before. (Which makes perfect sense, since most people aren't likely to have many beefs with complete strangers.)

So are these offenders generally law-abiding, peaceable people before they commit their violent crimes? The several studies that I've seen or read of suggest that they're not,. For example, most estimates conclude that between 70% and 90% of domestic homicides are preceded by incidents of violent abuse. (The studies have been limited in geography and time, so the results have varied. I have seen no good national-level data on this question.) About 3/4 of domestic homicide perpetrators (depending on what study you look at) have adult criminal records for violent felonies or burglaries, and more than half (in most studies) of their victims also have criminal records. Juvenile offenders appear even more likely to have violent criminal records, and their records appear to be more serious on average. IIRC, similar numbers apply for most people who commit violent crimes against victims with whom the offender has no preexisting relationship. It does not appear, empirically, that violent criminals are average, peacable, law-abiding people suddenly gone bad in the heat of one moment; instead, they seem largely to be criminals doing what they've been doing for years. The truth is that violent crime in this country is largely a problem of a violent criminal underclass. If you are not a member of that underclass, you are not very likely to commit or be victimized by a violent crime, even if you own guns -- or perhaps especially if you own guns. (And note that if crimes of passion "caused" by the presence of firearms really were a significant proportion of violent crimes, we'd generally expect to see relatively high numbers of homicides where firearms are readily available. But the states and localities with the highest gun ownership rates tend to have relatively fewer homicides than those with very restrictive gun laws.)

As to my supposed arrogant assumption that, "that the familial component of the data base is insignificant and the gang violence significant," the fact is that roughly 1/6-1/5 of violent crimes, including homicides, involve an offender who is a family member or person in an intimate relationship with the victim. That's a pretty small proportion, compared to friend and acquaintance crimes. Period. And I can't help it that DOJ's definition of "acquaintance" is in fact broad enough to encompass the relationship between rival gang members, between a prostitute and a john, between a drug dealer and drug buyer, between a bookie and a bettor, or between two strangers who strike up a conversation in a bar. We don't know for sure how many non-family acquaintance murders fall into those counterintuitive "acquaintance" relationships. (There's no particular reason that I know of to think that it's not a significant proportion.) But by the same token, there's simply no persuasive evidence of which I'm aware to support your claim that "Most gun crime involves people who know or loved each other and that most regretted what they did and wished they had just cooled off instead of picking up a gun." If such evidence is out there, please provide it.

Moving on to the Second Amendment, I'm not sure I see the point of a debate. Debate requires a minimal set of shared assumptions. Since I am not a living constitutionalist (I view that theory of constitutional interpretation -- if indeed it deserves to be called a theory -- as a lawless usurpation of powers shared by the States and Congress under Article V of our Constitution), I don't think you and I have that minimal set. You can quote me Quilici v. Morton Grove or Cases v. United States day long, and I simply don't care because I view those cases as wrongly decided and intellectually dishonest. Likewise I can quote you the Founders, and eighteenth and nineteenth century commentators and cases, all day long, and it won't matter because you simply don't care about what the Founders (and/or the ratifiers of the 14th Amendment) intended the Second Amendment to accomplish. We can discuss United States v. Miller, and I can explain to you why it's a strongly pro-individual rights decision that implicitly vindicates my right to own a machine gun; but even if I persuade you of that fact (which is true, by the way) you'll simply say that the Court was insane and that, even if they were right as a matter of original intent, times have changed. So what's the value in this exercise?

While you're at it, who are the participants in this "serious debate" about the meaning of the Second Amendment? Explain. What is the subject of the debate, exactly? Whether the Amendment secures an individual right? It clearly was intended to, if that's what you mean. Even Larry Tribe now agrees, reluctantly. (Of course it doesn't do so as a practical matter because a great many judges are committed to ignoring the Second Amendment, but that only indicates that many judges think might [the judicial power] makes right, no matter how intellectually bankrupt they may be.) So is the debate about the scope of the right, what is and isn't permissible in the field of firearm regulation? What?

There is one thing that I can't let pass without comment, though. You claim that, "The [Second A]mendment allows you to own a proper musket and ammunition and keep it at the ready and if needed to meet on the common to fight to defend your liberty. Nothing more." Are you serious? So I suppose you believe the Fourth Amendment doesn't protect the data on your computer, because computers didn't exist circa 1790? And the government can freely censor online speech because the Internet didn't exist circa 1790, either? And freedom of the press applies to the New York Times only as long as it uses circa 1790 printing presses? I hereby award you a second Oak Leaf Cluster for your FSC.

Oops, I almost forgot: Even the anti-gun scholars concede 65,000-80,000 defensive gun uses per year (an estimate that is deeply flawed for a number of reasons that Kleck explains). According to the CDC (Table 12), in 2002 there were 762 accidental deaths by firearms, nationwide. Since 65,000 is a whole lot more than 762, your "wager that more people are killed accidentally with fire arms than the number of armed citizens successfully protecting themselves with their weapon(s)" is out the window, even accepting gross underestimates of total DGUs. Wrong again.

Posted by: Matt on Aug. 31, 2005

Annika, I came by way of Publicola's place. Glad to see that you're learning to shoot. If 9mm is your thing, you might want to try a Springfield XD9. I bought one for my daughter to use, and she loves it. Fits her well and shots well. I like it as well, but I'm more of a 1911 kinda guy.

As far as what Strawman has said, it is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.

Posted by: Bill on Aug. 31, 2005

i haven't shot a Springfield, but i've looked at their website because they make a replica WWII style 1911. i also noticed that a cool looking gun in the movie Sin City was made by Springfield Armory. i was shocked to see that they are made in Brazil though. i mean, i don't want to sound prejudiced, but when i think precision machinery and quality control, i don't think Brazil.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 31, 2005

Actually Taurus makes some decent stuff & they're based in Brazil. Matter of fact I have this nice little affordable 12 gauge side by side shotgun that came from Brazil. & if I recall right Harley-Davidson engine blocks are made in Brazil. we ain't talking things that will be looked at by artisans 300 years form now as a sign of our prowess with metal working, but if cared for they'll probably still function.

Course shame of it is Brazil passed some major gun control laws recently.

Posted by: Publicola on Sep. 1, 2005

It looks like another Eloi has accepted his fate of being Morlock food.

I have a spare tire in my trunk ... I do not fear flat tires.

I carry a firearm ... I do not fear evil.

If he ( or the state, acting as his agent ) comes for my firearms, I will simply kill them.

Posted by: Kristopher on Sep. 1, 2005

"If you are compelled to shoot animals; therapy is a better choice than going into the woods with a rifle. One will raise your self esteem while the other makes you question your sanity as you confront your homicidal impulses."
Deer are a good dinner. Therapists write notes, nod and say "hm-mmmmm . . . ."

On the whole, the deer is better company.

Anyone who doesn't appreciate the subtlety of the differences between a deer and a therapist has spent too little time with deer and too much time with therapists.

Posted by: jerry the geek on Sep. 2, 2005

If you want to give .45 another try, rent a Glock 30. It is the softest shooting .45 I have ever used.

Posted by: g on Sep. 2, 2005

Let me be the first to compliment Annie's fine collage.

Her t-shirt reveals the letter "IG" and "SAU"

"Pig sauce"?

"Big Sausage"?

Posted by: Mark on Sep. 4, 2005

...just wandered over here from Instapundit, via Kim do Toit. It *IS* fun, isn't it Annika?

Just a coupla thoughts:

For fun & practice, try a .22. They're easy to shoot, easy to pay for (including the ammo) and even moderately priced ones are accurate.

Revolvers: your experience will depend heavily on how the grip fits your hand. Fortunately, they are hugely adaptable, so you needn't live with the grip that came on the gun. Look for something that fills the space behind the trigger guard.

Posted by: Doug on Sep. 13, 2005

The Kimber is a single action only gun.

Posted by: steve on Sep. 29, 2005