Saturday, April 28, 2018

Another call from the NRA... looking for money and support...

  As I wander Face book feed, I see over and over the NRA membership and contributions are swelling because of the pressure of the children for disarmament. Fine, President Obama was one of the biggest gun sellers around during his eight years in office. I have to acknowledge that there is a feeling of helplessness in not being able to stop crazy people with guns, I look at the crazy people, not the sane ones, and then I still look at all the sinners and the LOST that need God in their life. How do they not see Him everywhere?
   So there are two grave problems in America that much of those that get to make headlines and causes aren't getting safety nor good behavior from... All of us are part of the solutions and the healing and the lack of change for the better. Not one of us can be an observer and not be touched by the events and the continuing cries and oppression. People are doing things to change, not likely to change the people that are causing the troubles and problems, but they are making noise and moves.

   One of my problems with the NRA is that it has become a large power broker in the Swamp, they do lots of stuff for politics. Very much not enough for education of the masses, and promoting safe shooting sports. Shooters get what the NRA does and know they don't go around killing humans, ever. The ignorant masses aren't sure or very much are sure that without the NRA the 2nd Amendment would be repealed and government would control all the firearms and protect all the folks. Which doesn't happen in countries that have strict gun control, look at the people fleeing Central America and Mexico - where they have strict gun control, and gangs and governments prey upon the unarmed populations. For the benefit of those with power and money enough to buy great protection against the masses. Those powerful elites; government, gangs or just goofballs, have all the weapons and warriors they need and ignorant fears of the unknown or badly portrayed in media, news and entertainment will continue to keep the masses unprotected and exploited.

   I guess in the end, I will continue to do the little I can - in discussing, training, helping and educating all those that don't believe as I do, see what I see and get off my chair and away from the mindless media stream. I mean, we do live in a world that the women aren't that beautiful, available and wanton. I do thank God for the really beautiful, nice and loving women that are never portrayed in the fantasy lands of our culture.  It is exactly the same with the news (about what to fear now) or the entertainment media as Costner kills hundreds in Paris (could never happen that way).

   Oh, I did submit my ten entries to the Sweepstakes for those rifles and NRA truck, one time. But I never seem to win those things, although I won one going between countries on assignments. It was an answering machine for the old telephone systems, but I did win something once upon a time.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Protesting everywhere for and against firearms, I answer the call of Appleseed...

 Lovely looking weekend, I rise early and drive to the ferry and head for Clinton and then Coupeville on Whidbey Island. The range gate is locked when I get there, but I am early and need to rearrange my load and garb.  I remember many fine Appleseeds right here in the previous years. The crew shows up with a call from the Shootboss that he is going around the highway and bridge maintenance improvements and will be a bit late. Andy, Franklin and I carry on. I do the prehistory, what happened before April 19, 1775.  I don't notice but all the younger folks look like they have seen me before, and they have! The Shootboss and his two sons show up about nine oh nine, not very late at all. So day one starts.
    I notice all weekend that Total Participation is lacking, no one wants to be part of a chorus, they think everyone else has a better answer? Disappointing that, I must work on my choir director skill set, which I don't remember ever having. As we shoot through the morning learning steady hold factors and the six steps in taking the shot, it seems slow. Cole is having trouble using a red dot to get his rounds on paper - never having used one, I look through his sight, left handed and see that to me the sight is way off high left, to me. So we give him a large blank paper to try and put rounds into for a group. Helps a bit.  Groups start coming together and adjustments are made as we introduce instruction on the next basic building block of marksmanship.
   Lunch and a working one where the First Strike of the match is told, then the second. We have so much history to present, but limit it to no more than forty minutes total. Our reference of Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fisher is highly recommended, I had dragged my mobile library out for show and tell. One teacher wanted to get the title and author of the 23d Welsh Fusileers, the English unit that was in the Revolutionary war from Lexington to Yorktown. Interesting reading.
  After lunch we prepare to shoot the Honor Volley for the fallen of Lexington and Concord, noting that across the nation other Applesseeds are joining us in the Rememberance Volley, I think Andy recorded it, I was noticing as I read the family names where more than one died. Tough times to stand against the Crown and Parliament, and your loyalist neighbors.
   Afternoon and more positions, and instruction on marksmanship and target engagement. We are beginning to know the shooters and work on some of their challenges. Still not enough Total participation. The wind seems to wear us out a bit. But it is more that we aren't drinking enough water and are losing the concentration we should have. I notice a hawk flying above and suddenly his tail feathers blaze out in a brilliant red when hit by the Sun, ah, that is why they are called Redtailed Hawks. Franklin, who grew up on the island, mentions knowing this for a long time.  All the adjustments and the instructions are beginning to show improvement in the shooting and groups. The Third Strike of the Match is presented to get Lord Percy's rescue party and Col Smith back to safety and the siege of Boston by irate militiamen. One Appleseed Qualification Test and a Redcoat and we clean up the range to prepare for tomorrow.
    Good food, good instructors dinner, and great rest for the night.

Day two, begin it all over again, refresh and review, safety and get the cased rifles to the line. There are three AQTs shot in the morning before lunch with dangerous old men stories. Andy adds two stories about ladies of the Revolution, and I want to talk about the two sharpshooters in Boonesboro during the Shawnee Mingo attacks but that is a bit far from Boston but really in the same period of history.

  Afternoon shooting was mostly some drills to confirm zeroing and shrink group size. Trying to find the key, each shooter has different challenges and we do cover Known Distance as the Sun beats down. Lovely day, but winterized Washingtonians forget about sunscreen until it is too late. So final AQT and Redcoat and case rifles and clean up, pretty happy group of folks, shooting in the sunshine will do that. Sent everyone home hopefully looking forward to do it all again, after much dry practice. Since lots of people had come to the island for the weekend, the afternoon ferries were packed and long lines of waiting vehicles on the shoulder.
    Need to unpack the car, check the internet and have dinner and more sleep. Can't find my camera, but it did get home with my other stuff.

Monday, April 16, 2018

How do I get so fortunate? Marksmanship and Heritage and rain in Washington State.

  Drove to the Interlake Sporting Association place in Redmond, just outside of Kirkland, off of exit 18 of I-405. And promptly got lost and confused, until I stopped at a motel and the desk clerk printed me a map.  Parked and greeted the Shoot Boss and SBiT, and helped set up, then went to meet and greet those shooters arriving for Appleseed. Very young professional friendly bunch of patriots, interesting that there weren't any children and I was the only ancient of days gone by. Have I mentioned rain, yes, there in the title. This is the ending of the raining season... so being some level of wet and cooled was a constant. Tarps on the ground and and two lines of popups kept us focused on the training and our targets.
   The first Redcoat target didn't amaze the Appleseed crew, but I hope it convinced all the shooters that they had some skills that needed honing. Step by step, inch by inches minutes and clicks the groups shrank and the shooters relaxed and started adjusting one thing at a time. Still the rain came down. the demonstrators were posing on a wet shooting mat in a rapidly filling lake. Only three Appleseed crew for the seventeen shooters meant that I wouldn't be locking names in my memory very quickly, and I was line boss many times as Ben and Andy did training and demonstrations.             During lunch I put my GPS back into my vehicle, I haven't figured out the app on my new machine for finding my lost.  Becca is a new shooter and Ben has to remind me about the Ruger 10-22 and releasing the bolt, tap it and it will come.  Morning adjustments to slings and stocks and prone steady hold factors. More single point slings than I have seen before on rifles, and the shooters often seem slicker than I will ever be on adjusting them. Nat, the Blue hat, is keeping us in targets and making the admin easier during signup. New t-shirts for this weekend, Ben even gives me an Appleseed pin, which will go on my wide brimmed hat. I get out my Gortex camo parka, because the rain really is coming down, I put the work vest over it.
    I teach sitting and the NPOA adjustments and the afternoon starts after the first two strikes of the match are told by Andy and Ben.  More positions, the carding the sights and ball and dummy are taught, and we start to put it all together for one AQT and the final Redcoat target of the first day. Getting colder and wetter, Ben puts us into the clubhouse for my telling of the Third Strike of the match, and puts me on the clock, which I made with a minute left... hope everyone realized I had so much more I could have added.
   Afternoon Redcoat numbers are much improved over the morning one, something is working. We clean up and take down the popups for the night, the wind is unpredictable and the rain keeps a comin'.

     Ben doesn't mention the vitamin 'i' for pain relief, but seems everyone got home, warmed, dried, fed, rested and sheltered fine because on Sunday - we gathered again.  we get two more crew the second day, and I get to give away an orange hat to our new ITT, the blue hat has hers.  Refeshing all that was taught the first day goes quickly after the Redcoat, and that Redcoat is better still. The third Redcoat is normally the best group scores, tired sets in by the last one of the weekend. The cloudy gray skies are fading to blue, wind is constant but the rains are holding off - and seems like we are drying out today. Ben calls me over to help Brian with making a sling with a 1907 model leather sling, since I use one. Leather Sling and Shooting Positions by James R. Owens is my reference manual. But YouTube probably has some video about it. The sling helps him get several Rifleman scores in the afternoon. All the shooters are getting better although, mechanical and ammunition will always seem to frustrate at the wrong times. Everyone keeps working through their individual challenges. Justine is interesting, he has a camera to take pictures of his shot, at the end of his rifle. The number and amount of technology in sighting systems and rifles amazes me, but then I know it is always the shooter, not the firearm that has the most control of performance.  After two AQTs in the morning, and about four in the afternoon a break at lunch for dangerous old men, and a break to prepare for KD presentation by Andy and the presentation of several well earned Rifleman patches.

   Somewhere on stepping up to help a shooter I fell down, helped the shooter clear her rifle and re-engage the target, I blew my ankle out. That was it for real walking mobility, I sat, moved a bit slowly and got to my vehicle. I found a better sling for Brian and gave it to him as they fired the last Redcoat and began the clean up. Then I left and drove quickly home to recover, ice pack for a few hours, then hot soak and napped during both. Ate my dinner and caught up on my wife's weekend.  Wash the clothes, sleep and start to slowly unload the mailbox and my vehicle - have to get ready to do it again in Coupeville this coming weekend.