Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Pumpkin

A short video of post-Christmas fun. A leftover Halloween pumpkin meeting its demise thanks to a bit of Tannerite and a .308 Winchester, captured in HD on my Casio EX-ZR100.  I after sitting around for several years, my stock of Tannerite seems to have lost a bit of its zip, but it is still loads of fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making your own sign, not cool

My local Aldi grocery store decided to make their own no-CCW sign. That's legal to do in Ohio-- unfortunately--but annoying. I had to walk back to my car, because it wasn't what I was looking for at a distance.

Here's the official recommended sign. Can you spot the difference?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ohio SB 17 Restaurant Carry Now in Effect

I was a bit slow with this post, but better late than never.

As of September 30th, 2011 Ohio Senate Bill 17 is now in effect.  It now legal for a person licensed for concealed handgun carry to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol so long as they do not drink any alcohol and haven't been drinking previously.  Restaurants can still post a sign to keep your gun (and probably you) out of their restaurant.

It is now also easier to carry a firearm in a vehicle.  Basically all of the specific instructions for manner of carry are gone for CCW license holders.  Firearms should of course still be carried securely and cautiously, but how you choose to do so is now limited solely by safety concerns instead of arbitrary legal code.

Thank you to all of the sponsors and supporters of SB 17 and sister bill HB 45.  Though it was SB 17 that made it through the final leg of the process, the sponsors of HB 45 also put forth a valiant effort that ultimately lead to SB 17's successful passage.   Special thanks to Representative Lynn Slaby and Senator Frank LaRose for their excellent representation of my district and their yea votes.  Also, thank you to Governor Kasich for signing the bill.  I am not sure about a lot of his other decisions so far, but I do appreciate his help on getting this done.

I am not a lawyer so, please do read the bill details for yourself.  It can be found here.   The updated CCW Manual published by the Ohio Attorney general can be found here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ohio SB 17 Restaurant Carry Goes to the Governor (Not law yet)

Yesterday a slightly amended version of Ohio Senate Bill 17 passed the Ohio House of Representatives and received concurrence in the the Senate.  It now goes to Governor John Kasich to be signed.

The amendment was a minor legal tweak to make sure that drinking beer was also prohibited along with other forms of alcohol when carrying a firearm.   While perhaps redundant with other sections of the Ohio revised code prohibiting the consumption of intoxicants while carrying a weapon, it doesn't appear to have had any negative affect on the bill.

Again, House Democrats attempted to kill the bill by adding toxic amendments and subjected the bill to additional mostly repeated debate for almost 40 minutes.  Representative Bill Patmon even managed to try to find a way to play the "race card," comparing standing by the 2nd amendment to standing by the long ago removed part of the Constitution counting a black person as 3/5ths of a person.  Even has he and other Democrats argue that their inner city [mostly black] constituents are too dangerous and untrustworthy to be allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves.  It is just ok for rural [mostly white] people to have guns.  Urban areas should have different rules they say.  Perhaps urban citizens should only be able to carry 3/5ths of their gun.

Here is a link to the 40 minutes of House debate.  The modified bill was then sent to the Ohio Senate for concurrence where it was agreed to so quickly that I couldn't find video for it.

With luck, the Governor will do the right thing and sign the bill soon.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting Better

I got lucky Saturday with a bright sunny day where the rains that was predicted mostly didn't materialize.  So, I decided to give the clay shooting range another try.

I was a bit concerned the range might be busy since this time I was going on a weekend.   It was busy, but not unmanageably so.  There was a group of 3 people there with a hand tosser.   They seemed to be having a lot of fun but were having some difficulty getting the clays to go where they wanted them.  So I set up as far as I could away from them down the shooting line.  They cleared out maybe 20 minutes into my session and I didn't see anyone else until I was leaving.

My skills at clay shooting have definitely improved since my last session.  I started out shooting singles and was hitting a very high percentage of them.   I wasn't keeping score, but I'm guessing probably 17 of the first 20 shots were hits.  Because it was going to so well, I switched to doubles.  I was steadily hitting the first of the 2 shots, but missing the second   Soon I was hitting the doubles as well, but only sporadically.  This I think is video of one of my double hits.  The video quality isn't quite good enough to see for sure.  I think the falling objects you see after the shots are just the shotgun wads.

Later on I was joined by a crazy bird that showed no fear of gunfire.  Here you can see me pausing to avoid shooting it.

I believe it was a vulture.  In farm country, vultures are attracted to gunfire because it often means there is a newly deceased groundhog lying in the field.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Clay Shooting

Today I was fortunate enough to get some free time and nice weather to try out some clay shooting with my Mossberg 930 12ga shotgun.  I also got to try out my new Trius 1 Step clay thrower.  It was fun day but I have a long way to go before I can could be rated even marginally competent.

Here's a video of one of my few hits:

As you can see from this short video, the Trius really wings the targets out there.  I was launching the targets myself using the spring loaded pedal.  By the time I got my balance, the targets were already out at a challenging distance.

I did do better later when I switch to my left foot as the launching foot.  Shortly before I quit, I had hit 3 of the last 4 targets.

The video was shot with a DVK808 #11 keychain camera taped to a hat.  It seemed to work pretty well. It did have some issues maintaining consistent color as my view shifted from ground to sky.

I did run into a minor technical problem with the camera + hat + tape setup.

Next time, I'll use more tape.  Luckily the camera is pretty tough.

One thing that disappointed me is amount of litter at the range.  I expected clays, clay pieces, and maybe a few missed shell hulls.   Instead I found lots of shell hulls (clearly no attempt to pick them up at all) and trash.   Boxes, soda cups, cans, plastic bags.  Just lots of trash.  I cleaned up my stuff and a bit more, but there is still plenty more.  Since there was no one there, I also reclaimed a few unbroken targets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ohio Senate Passes Restaurant Carry SB 17 (Not law yet)

Today the Ohio Senate passed its own version of a law to allow concealed weapons carry in restaurants that serve alcohol just one day after it left committee.   This puts the efforts of the Ohio House to shame as the their version (HB 45) has been sitting immobile on the House calendar for 2 weeks.

Click here to see work get done.  SB 17 Video

Following these bills for the last month or so has been enlightening. I have a much better understanding of how the House works.  On thing in particular came as a surprise to me.  I had assumed that many hours day were spent in the main auditorium debating the merit of bills and taking votes.   Not so.  The House seems to meet 2-3 times a week for a little over an hour.   At least half that time will be spent doing things that have nothing to do with legislating.  They honor soldiers, teachers, boy scouts, or sports teams.  They introduce resolutions to give a day a name day or congratulate someone.  What little time the do spend actually doing legislation seems rushed and haphazard.

I haven't been following the Senate since I assume the House would be first with a bill out the door.  One thing I, and apparently many other people, have yet to understand is who makes the schedule.  I still don't know who gets to decide when bills get a vote.  The videos of the sessions reveal nothing on this.  If anyone who reads this knows. Feel free to comment.  

Hopefully, the house can get this Senate Bill passed and sent for a swift signing at the Governor's desk.  It is just a shame they had to spend so much time in committee debating their version of the bill that is now irrelevant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First trip to the range 2011.

Today I finally got to enjoy my first day of target practice this year without snow on the ground. My trip to the ODNR range turned out to be much more pleasant that I hoped as the temperature quickly reached 60F. I had planned to hop around the between the 50 and 25 yard ranges for some rifle and pistol shooting. However, I ended up just camping on the 50 trying to master my Ruger 10/22 with iron sights. I still had a few adjustments to make to the sights to get it shooting straight. I think I mostly have dialed into the point where any fault in aiming is mine now. Here are some of my targets with quarter included for size reference.

As you can see I was getting better at the end, but you'd still stand a fair chance of a long and happy life as a red dot on the other end of my Ruger 10/22 at 50 yards.

Then I switched over to my Savage 17 HMR + scope package--still at 50 yards.  These pictures include a dime for reference.  Every shot fired is on that target at least in the black of the one I was aiming at.  I do love that gun.

After finishing up at the rifle range I went looking for the unsupervised hand trap, clay shooting, range.  I had heard rumor of it, and had even seen it on the park map.   However, it still wasn't clear to me exactly where it was or what to expect.  I did find it.  There were about 6 people there when I arrived. I managed to avoid getting them in my pictures.  My thought was it would be nice to use a clay launcher, but I wasn't sure if it was allowed.  I found very limited signage, and the people there were using a spring loaded launcher.  So, I guess it is ok.

Below is a map showing the unsupervised hand trap area.  GPS: N41 23.471 W80 55.419

View Grand River Hand Trap Clay Range in a larger map
Here are the signs I found:
This was at the entrance.  Notice there is no real mention of a target range.

This sign is as you leave the parking lot headed toward the range.  Notice that some idiot shot it.

This picture and the next one are from the firing line looking out over the target field.

I think I'll be getting a clay thrower so I can give this a try sometime in the future.

After that, I finished the trip up with a stop to Blazing Bill's for the best perch sandwich I've been able to find.   All in all, it was a very good day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Restaurant Carry HB45 up for committee vote

The Ohio House restaurant carry bill may be up for a committee vote March 8th. Now is the time to contact your representatives to show support. More details available here at the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restaurant Carry Lives Again

The restaurant carry bills have returned to the Ohio legislature. This time they separated the part of the bill that would allow people who had committed certain minor drug related crimes to eventually get their second amendment rights returned. I think it was a wise move to separate them.

Details at http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7654.

Restaurant Carry: HB45, SB17
Restoration of Rights: HB54, SB61

I fully support, encourage, and desire restaurant carry. I encourage all how read this to support it as well.

I am less certain on the restoration of rights to misdemeanor drug offenders. I'd much rather we make up our minds as to whether using things like marijuana are really crimes or not. Treating it as half a crime isn't good for anyone. As it is, I'm torn. Important human right restored, or less-than-totally-responsible person with gun. I'd love to see a video of debate on HB54/SB61. I'd love to see some stats showing drug users aren't overwhelmingly total dumbasses and failures at life before deciding. I haven't met enough to know.

Monday, January 24, 2011

21 Foot Rule

21 feet is often considered the distance at which the advantage of having a holstered gun is about even with that of having a knife. This is a popular topic of debate among the those who think a lot about self defense. However when discussing such things it is important not to come off like a lunatic that has lost all perspective.

Take this guy for instance... He manages to come off a little creepy.

Video 1 (Watch first)

Thankfully you can always count on another clever Internet user to present an alternate point of view.

Video 2
(Watch second)

Friday, January 21, 2011

H.R. 308, the "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act."

The bill to limit gun magazines 10 rounds has been introduced. Details can be found here. I haven't been able to find the bill text just yet. Supposedly, it lacks protection for existing property that original 90s assault weapons ban had.

(Updated) Bill text and other details can be found here.

Register at PopVox to make your opinion known. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr308

Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Lott Weighs in on Post-Arizona Gun Control

In the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shooting there have been a many comments from scared politicians hoping to make everyone feel better by passing new laws to limit access to guns or gun accessories. While their hearts might be in the right place, it is sometimes helpful to apply some math instead fear based random brainstorming to solve a problem.

Here is an opinion piece by John R. Lott Jr. outlining his thoughts on the subject. He is a statistician, author, and in general very smart man. I also recommend his book "More Guns, Less Crime," particularly if you enjoy math. The even if you happen to somehow not agree with his conclusions the raw crime statistics are fascinating.

Again I encourage you read Mr. Lott's opinion. With that said, here is my opinion.

One of the more popular ideas is to ban "high capacity" gun magazines. While I don't think 30+ round magazines for handguns are particularly practical, I very much disagree with banning the sale of items that are not in and of themselves unreasonably dangerous. I also very much disagree with their threshold for what constitutes "high capacity." Ten rounds is generally the number thrown around. Most full sized semi-automatic handguns come standard with 15-17 round magazines, so 10 would hardly be considered the norm. It doesn't make sense to pass a law that would limit such a common item.

Every law has a costs. Costs to pass, costs to document, costs to enforce, costs to prosecute, and perhaps most importantly costs legal credibility.

Each law passed subtracts credibility from all the laws that came before it. The human mind can only hold so many rules. If there are too many laws with so little obvious application to public safety, it becomes difficult to take any of them seriously. If every day a citizen lives is a minefield of seeming trivial rules and regulations, eventually they must resign themselves to the impossibility of living totally within the law.

Due to the sheer number of laws in the US it is hard to imagine that during a lifetime any citizen could get by without breaking some law, probably many, without even knowing it. If there are too many laws they become a burden on society instead of value. All citizens become potential victims of political or personality driven selective enforcement, and basic rights suffer because of it. Iran is good example of this. Everyone there ignores all the little laws and live de facto free lives--which is fine until they say something someone in power doesn't like and law enforcement comes by with their magnifying glass looking for a way to make them disappear. We need real freedom, not de facto freedom created by lax law enforcement.

I beg legislators to consider a few things when deciding to add new a law:
1. Does the law really solve the problem? Can you prove it?
2. Is it already covered under existing law? Or can the same thing be accomplished by removing language from existing laws or making minor modifications?
3. Is reasonable for a citizen to comply with the law? Would they need knowledge or tools that aren't likely to be accessible in order to comply? Is it common sense that there would even be a regulation about the thing or action being controlled?
4. Can the law be practically enforced?
5. Is the law worth enforcing consistently, all of the time, even if it means other laws get less attention?
6. Is whatever problem this law might solve worth the negative affect on daily life the law may have multiplied by the total population? For instance, would reducing the chance of 1 person being injured be worth 1 hour of 300 million peoples lives?
7. Remember that MANY people have given their lives to keep this country free. Perhaps if they thought freedom our was worth near certain death for themselves, we can concede that it is also worth a 0.0001% increased probability of death for ourselves.