Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fat is not bad for you, in a regular diet...

Everyone has opinions, even when they don't voice them they still have opinions. One of the American myths, there is an engineering or technical way to overcome all the obstacles in one's path. Modern medicine dressed the medicine show up and took the references to Medicine Man Joe's snake oil off the bottles and now have a pill or other remedy for being a poor specimen of humanity. Luckily I lived quickly through my cute and handsome phases so I have no hope of ever being sexy. Now I just want to keep breathing and mobile.

I never thought much in most of my life about carrying a pistol or revolver, always had a knife and until recently (last thirty years or so) it was never considered first as a weapon, always was a tool in the pocket of a responsible adult male, the size depended on what he was going to do with it. Pen knives once sharpened writing quills, honest. Yes, for you sexists out there, women can carry knives - but normally don't, I still remember my mother looking at me at a luau and asking for my knife, and my brother's shock that I had one (we had flown through security). But the pistol can be good to have, to shoot and such. A complaint about the old Colt .45, was missing the point, it wasn't a long distance shooter, it was for getting to your rifle (thanks Kim!) and I was always sure with my Army pistol I could club someone to death if I had run out of bullets and options. Just like a hammer.

I don't do much competition shooting, but the one time I did I shot a Browning Challenger against a Doctor with a fine target pistol (I don't know what it was, it had weights and stuff) and he had funny shooting glasses, and I beat him twice, not by too much, but enough for those two competitions. Technology and engineering didn't help him enough, needed to learn more about shooting - says the guy that hadn't shot pistol that much at all. So brash was I at all of thirty, still a youthful fool and a Drill Sergeant.

As the gun control fools got out of hand during that thirty year period, more and more people are arming themselves. I don't care, but do see that one seems to feed the other. So I have two more pistols than I NEED. Concealed carry got way bigger than it ever needed to be, but maybe the government really feels better when they have police run a plate or a name in their data base and know that the person may be armed and dangerous. You can knock on my door and I won't confront you with a pistol. The missionaries, magazine selling pre-teens and door to door sales do; they have all walked away alive, with my hope that the Lord blesses their best.

But the opinion thing is why I thought about Farmer Frank's post about the Army searching for a new rifle. Abraham Lincoln can tell you about all the efforts during his Presidency to get better rifles to the soldiers, General George Washington wanted trained soldiers and enough to feed them, he figured they came with muskets and powder. I have my opinion about the Army's rifle, and all personal weapons. I was a proud trained infantry Rifleman in August of 1967, the M14 was the rifle of my training. I only disliked the twenty round box magazines. I thought they got in the way, and I was correct about that. It shot well, I hit the targets out there, way out there and that made me happy. Then improvement showed up for fighting in the jungle against the elusive (until he wanted found) enemy. So the M16, it had some problems but my only objection was that when I ran out of ammunition I didn't feel I could beat the enemy to death with that light piece of plastic - and no, I never tried to either. I just know that bayonet training changed because others didn't feel the rifle could survive that abuse.

Now the M4 is the current rifle, and my son, that admits he wishes he had more training in marksmanship, likes the shorter shooter, for vehicles and urban terrain and not too many targets over fifty yards away. My personal choice is the M1 Garand, and would be if I were in the Army again, but they have lots of young healthy fools and don't need me now. As I get more time in shooting the rifle, and learning about it, I am happier and happier. In the end you need the tools that work for you and the jobs you have in front of you, and most important that the Army always forgot to do for improved marksmanship, is invest time and ammunition in training, practice and qualification. They will kick out cans and cans of ammunition for when you have to fight, but don't really emphasize the marksmanship before battle. I know I spent more time marching beautifully in formations than I ever did shooting, and I liked to shoot.

Just an opinion, more bullets fired badly in full auto, are probably more bullets missing the target - but you could frighten him... I still like one story from the Korean War, a company was attacking and were told they would be out numbered five to one, and one of the officers during the attack saw one of his privates sitting smoking a cigarette like he was taking a break. When confronting the soldier he was surprised by the response "I got my five." I would take a dozen like that one, please.

When I was of the position to have any and all the weapons I wanted to carry into training and combat, I added an M16A2 to my M9 pistol. I jumped with them in training, carried them around in the vehicle and field exercises. And shot them as much as I possibly could for my proficiency with them. Of course, I never got to shoot those in Iraq. There was a whole Falcon Brigade of fine Airborne Infantry between me and the few dangerous fools that the Air Force hadn't flattened and burned up before we invaded.

Just remember, that buying the outfit, getting the extra dollars worth, and such will not make you more dangerous than the fellow with the 19th Century rifle that his great grandfather gave him to shoot wolves with... cause there aren't any wolves left where he has been herding, now.


threecollie said...

I have carried a pocket knife since I was eight years old, when my parents bought their antique shop and let us kids pick little ones from the merchandise. Now I have a Swiss army knife and feel bereft if I have to go somewhere that i have to leave it behind.

Yoda of Math said...

I carried a swiss army knife with me when I worked in private industry because I was always opening up boxes and the like. When I started teaching in the public schools I had to leave my knife at home because sharp knives are weapons in the eyes of the law regarding schools. Darn idiot students, anyhow!

Earl said...

Yep, it is the idiot students that make all the rules for school - isn't it? Glad we have to wait until they are eighteen to vote and twenty-one to drink - tells me a lot about idiots.

Old NFO said...

Knives AND guns are tools... period... And I agree Earl, the pistol is used to get to the rifle :-)

I think we will see something along the lines of an M-16 but in a larger caliber, and possibly different barrel lengths for DM/sharpshooters and snipers.

I hope they leave it at a 3 round burst, as you and I both remember from Nam, too many shot everything they had on full auto and were out of ammo in the first 10 minutes.