Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This still applies today.

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."

Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On politics, voting and the White House race.

Many people ask who I'll be voting for, but when they ask me that they aren't actually looking for a name. What they're truly asking is "are you a republican or a democrat?". People have closed their minds off to everything outside of republican or democrat. To them, there is nothing else. In fact, what the republicans and democrats actually DO matters little. There is only one thing that matters, and that is the letter R or D behind a politician's name. That politician doesn't have to do or say anything in particular to warrant the love or hate of the people on either side, as long as the people can easily identify the letter. Voting for the right party matters more than principles and more than convictions.

I used to vote that way as well. I would simply vote for whoever the party nominee was. The "lesser of the two evils" they said.

But I'm done voting for evil now, and I don't care if one side calls themselves republicans and the other calls themselves democrats.

Politics can be very complicated of course. So I've simplified it down for myself and made it easy. My political belief system is based on maximum freedom for the maximum number of people. My poltical beliefs are based on the letter of the US Constitution, a document written to protect us from the horrors of an oppressive, powerful, centralized government system. We all have natural, God given and inalienable rights. We all have the right to defend ourselves, to travel freely in our own country, to keep and do as we wish with our privately owned property. We have the right to be free from oppressive taxation and waste of our money. We have the right to be free from invasion of our privacy. These rights and many other liberties are our's to keep and no one's to infringe upon, especially a government of people just like us who see themselves above us.

The only candidates currently left in the 2016 US Presidential race who have any hope of winning the White House are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

My beliefs on Trump are pretty simple, which is how I try to keep all political thought processes. He's donated many thousands (or even millions) of dollars to any cause or person he feels would have benefitted him the most at that time. Occasionally this includes republican polticians and "republican" causes, but most often the receipients of his money and support have been progressives and statists, democrats, neo-liberals and the like. A few examples include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, Bill Deblasio, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Trump has also supported unconstitutional efforts, such as the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. He's supported misuse of eminent domain, increased taxes and increased spending. He's been  pro-choice (AKA anti-life). He has little understanding of what the US Constitution is or what it is there for. He changes his positions with the political winds, which is why I do not trust him. Having the letter R after your name does not earn my vote by default, especially if that R used to be a D or an I.

I am well aware of how Trump is currently branding himself and my problem with it is that it is completely different from his entire history, including his history as recent as 2014. I do not trust the man one inch and there is not one single argument I've heard from anyone as to why I should trust him. When asked why I should trust him or vote for him given his history, his supporters always resort to something to the effect that he isn't Hillary Clinton. Sorry, but you can't simply say "I'm not Hillary" and earn my vote by default. No, you need to base your political positions on an originalist interpretation of the US Constitution. Funny that no one has EVER accused Donald Trump of being a Constitutionalist, isn't it?

I don't even need to say much about Hillary Clinton and her failures. The news media has given Hillary a full pardon for her "Russian reset", which turned out to be a total disaster. Our relations with Moscow haven't been this bad since the Cold War, and even now Vladimir Putin talks regularly about the strategic deterrent capabilities they posses. Her role in the Benghazi incident goes without saying, those the press is prepared to let her pass on that mistake as well simply because they've grown bored with the story. Still left is the FBI criminal investigation into the classified information Clinton stored on a personal server inside the basement of her private residence. Obviously this behavior is totally illegal and left US secrets wide open to be gleaned by any half-capable foreign actors. The most likely would be Chinese computer network exploitation experts. Her actions as Secretary of State alone (I could pile on her inappropriate actions during her time as First Lady and her dismal record as a senator) should at least disqualify her completely from ever stepping into public office again, and more likely should land her behind bars.

Bernie Sanders is a more appropriate punchline than an appropriate consideration for any office in a society that calls itself free. The man is an avowed socialist and his entire political platform can be summed up as such: "I'll give you the most free stuff". He's proposed raising taxes to a 90% rate and proposed that all schooling and all healthcare should be free. But if it's "free", then why the 90% tax rate? Because it's not free. He either doesn't understand this or he is lying. On many occasions he has shown himself to be a complete economic dunce, despite running his entire campaign virtually on his economic policies alone. One example is when he stated that student loans interest rates should be as low as home loan interest rates. If he had any understand of economics at all, he'd realize that home loan interest is lower because if you default on your home loan, the bank will get your home as repayment. But what will the repayment be on an education if you fail to pay the student loan? Can they repossess your brain? Can they take back the knowledge? Of course not. This is a simple economic principle that has totally escaped Sanders. His many years spent in Congress (first became member of Congress in 1991) have been a huge waste as well. Since 1991 he has failed to author a single bill that was ever passed into law.

Ted Cruz has been a thorn in the side of the so called "establishment" since he defeated David Dewhurst for the US Senate in Texas. His voting record reflects an originalist interpretation of the US Constitution and this has earned him many enemies on both sides of the aisle. While certainly not the perfect candidate (are there any?), his record of voting and the issues he supports represent the closest opportunity Americans have had since Ronald Reagan to vote for a candidate with strong Constitutional Conservative leanings. There is no other candidate left in this race (since Rand Paul has dropped out) that is widely described as a Constitutionalist by anyone who understands the meaning of the word.

I can no longer hold my nose while voting  and I will no longer simply settle for whoever is less evil than the rest. I do not have any use or value for made up
political parties. I will forever base my votes on which candidate holds a strict, originalist interpretation of the US Constitution and who's actions display this. If no candidate exists on the ballot, then I will be forced to write the name in myself. Surely many will chirp and screech about my failure to vote for their candidate is a de facto vote for the opponent, but I disagree. My vote does not belong to any one candidate by default. Failing to give it to that default candidate does not represent a theft of a vote from the default candidate. It is my vote until someone, a Constitutionalist, earns it. Having a certain letter after your name is not enough. Not being Hillary Clinton is not enough. Vowing to give away free stuff is not enough. I require a thorough understanding of the US Constitution, the importance of it and the will to abide by the constraints it contains.

There is one and only one candidate left in this race who fits that description and that is where my vote will go.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A truly simple guide to being an accurate pistol shooter.

I've had some people ask me to teach them how to shoot, but most who ask do not actually follow through on the plans to go shooting. Many people are intimidated simply by how complicated some pistol shooters make it sound. I'm going to try to explain this as simply as possible. Shooting a pistol accurately IS truly a simple thing. If it's being made to sound complicated, then it's probably not being explained properly.

There are four things to focus on when shooting a pistol. You need to focus on stance, grip, sight picture and trigger squeeze, in that order.

Stance: Get into a comfortable and well balanced stance. The most important thing to remember about stance is "nose over toes", which means basically not lean backwards. Many people go into their shooting stance looking like they're getting ready to do the limbo. Lean forward slightly at the waist and hips. Shooting a pistol is an aggressive action no matter what your target is. So be aggressive and lean into it a little. Nose over toes. Get comfortable and don't lean backward.

Grip: Wrap your shooting hand around the grip normally and place your trigger finger straight alongside the slide, being careful not to put it inside the trigger well until it's time to fire. Your thumb should be pointing forward, not up or down. Your non shooting hand needs to be wrapped around the other hand, letting each finger fall into the "spaces" or "grooves" between the fingers on your shooting hand. Your thumbs should lie together pointing forward toward the target's general direction. Hold onto the grip as tight as you can. It's that simple. The tighter the better. Tighter equals less movement during firing. Hold your arms straight out toward the target and let your elbows point a little outward rather than downward. This elbow position is recommended but not vital.

Sight Picture: Sight picture is very important to getting a good shot. The rear and front sights must be aligned on the exact spot of the target you want to hit. The pinpoint location of where you are aiming is referred to as the "point of aim" (POA). The spot where the fired bullet actually hits is referred to as the "point of impact" (POI). You need to have a good sight picture lined up, because if the POA and the POI are not in the same spot, the difference can indicate exactly what type of problem you are having with the other steps. Again, the front sight needs to be well aligned with the rear sight and then placed on the center of the target. Try to focus your eyes on the front sight above all else. This will normally cause your view of the target to become slightly fuzzy, as the eyes can only focus on one of the two objects that are at differing distances. It is alright for the target to look slightly fuzzy. This will not make it harder to aim the (clearly seen) front sight at the center of the target. Focusing on the front sight and keeping it clear in your view will help you keep it steady.

Trigger Squeeze: The trigger squeeze sequence is where you need to practice the most. Getting the other three steeps right simply requires a bit of memory. The trigger squeeze is a technique that requires practice and patience. If you have a good sight picture, then you easily diagnose a bad shot with the trigger technique you're using. Someone who "anticipates the shot" will often have a low POI compared to their POA. Someone who "pulls" on the trigger instead of properly rolling the trigger smoothly back will often have a POI that is to the right of the POA. These are very common mistakes and take a little practice to overcome. Even experienced shooters will often notice a low-right POI, and they know that they need to smooth out their trigger squeeze and stop anticipating their shot. As a shooter, you should allow the recoil of the pistol to "surprise" you. Obviously you will not be mentally surprised by it because you are purposely firing the pistol, but the recoil should be allowed to physically surprise you. Bracing against or pushing against the expected recoil is a natural reaction you need to practice yourself out of. It's. It difficult, but does require some practice.

Those are the four aspects of pistol shooting. It can really be as simple as that.