A Million Dollars A Minute

That is not what the US government spends, no they spend more that that, that is what they borrow…everyday, all day long. The current total for the US Federal debt is about $20.7 trillion dollars and as Judge Andrew P. Napolitano observed in his post A Million Dollars A Minute “that is a debt bomb that is waiting to explode.”

He goes on to explain:

Every year, the federal government collects about $2.5 trillion in revenue and spends it all. It borrows another $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion and spends it all…the federal government will need to spend about $1 trillion a year in interest payments.

That $1 trillion is 40 percent of the revenue collected by the federal government; that’s 40 cents on every dollar in tax revenue going to interest on old debts — interest payments that are legally unavoidable by taxpayers and voters.

The US National Debt Visualized (image courtesy of Demonocracy)

The government (unlike the rest of us) can use some pretty shady accounting practices to maintain this level of debt creation. For example, the can print money to use to buy their own debt (don’t try that at home); they can manipulate the economy to increase inflation making the debt worth less and they can even manipulate the interest rates so they can borrow more at less cost. There are a lot of other tricks they can use but this cannot go on indefinitely. Eventually, they (meaning we the people) will have to pay the piper.

Think this is not a serious threat? Think that there are more serious threats out there like the Russians? Here is what the Judge had to say about that:

President Obama’s and President Trump’s own military and intelligence chiefs have argued that the national debt — not the Russians or the Islamic State group or the North Koreans — is the greatest threat to freedom and security that we face today.

And before anyone jumps up and starts blaming either side of the political aisle, both parties are guilty of digging us into this hole:

…after eight years of publicly complaining that then-President Barack Obama was borrowing more than $1 trillion a year to fund the government — borrowing that the Republicans silently consented to — congressional Republicans, now in control of Congress and with a friend in the Oval Office, voted to spend and hence borrow between $5 trillion and $6 trillion more than tax revenue will produce in the next three years; that’s a few trillion more than they complained about in the Obama years.

While I am concerned about war with North Korea and terror attacks this is what really keeps me up at night. Keep in mind, that the last time the world faced a financial crisis of this magnitude we ended up in this little conflict called World War II. People in desperate economic times with clutch at any promise of prosperity even if it is made be madmen like Hitler.

How many are actively preparing for this disaster? How many people around the world even realize the magnitude of the risk we are facing?

Think, plan, prepare…and God bless.


Some Light Weekday Reading: Living Through Civil Unrest

A little light reading for your weekday…

I came across this post on the ZeroHedge site and thought it provided some interesting insights. The author lived through the Ferguson riots and shares her thoughts:

What Civil Unrest Is Really Like: We Survived The Ferguson Riots

What I found interesting is her observations about “Normalcy Bias” and how dangerous it could be. I found that myself during Hurricane Harvey. With statement like “it’s just another hurricane” and “we never flood in this neighborhood” coming out of my mouth for days before and even during the storm.

I also liked some of the other recommendations she made:

Don’t think it could NEVER happen to you.  We lived in a small town surrounded by wonderful people.  I would never have dreamed in my wildest nightmares that we’d be enveloped in civil unrest of any magnitude, let alone that magnitude.
Being ready for the unexpected is a MUST! You never know when you literally have five minutes to be out of the house before unrest of one sort or another reaches you.
Learn to use social media to your advantage. During the whole situation, Twitter was our best friend…

One thing stood out for me. She never mentions firearms or the use of weapons for self-defense. I have read that some businesses and homes seem to have been spared the violence because of visible armed protection. I know that during the LA riots the Korean shopkeepers were able to protect their businesses with rifles from roof tops. I really don’t know what place firearms would have in such a situation. Herds of humans are highly unpredictable creatures. A few, well placed shots may drive them off. It could also enrage them further. Some folks that I know and follow have suggested combinations of household chemicals that when combined makes for rather unpleasant chemical reactions that would discourage mobs.

I wish I could say that we would just get out of dodge but given Wonderful Wife’s work responsibilities that probably won’t happen. Which means we would probably be “bugging out” to her work. Which presents “a whole ‘nother set of issues.”

What are your plans for something like this?

Take care and God bless.

The Tactical Professor: Snubbie Recomendation

Claude Werner, also known as the Tactical Professor, recently responded on his blog to the question:

Which snubby do you recommend?

His response was well worth the click and the read but his basic response was:

The S&W 642 and Ruger LCR .38 Special have become the default purchases for people who want to carry a snub. They work for some people but not everyone.

More importantly, he shared a critical test to determine whether you have what it takes to carry a snubbie for self-defense:

A baseline go/no go test would be whether the person can make 5 hits out of 5 shots into a 12 inch circle at 7 yards in 15 seconds and then repeat it successfully 3 more times for a total of four separate strings. That’s the test for the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program Defensive Pistol I Pro-Marksman Course of Fire.

Since I carry a snubbie much of the time I decided I should try out the good professor’s recommendation and see if I had what it takes. I tried the test with my new Colt Cobra, with the LCR I carry on a regular basis and with the Smith & Wesson 442 I used to carry regularly. It wasn’t pretty but with every one of those revolvers I passed the test…every time. I generally made the shots in around 10 seconds.

Surprisingly, the LCR was the worst grouping of the three. I did a bit better with the Colt and amazingly the 442 with the crappy whiteout covered blade front sight gave me the best group of all…

Using the laser to guide my aim instead of the front sight I fared just about as well with LCR as with the 442.

I’ll have to think on those results for a bit.

Now here is where the good professor goes off the rails where it some to conventional thinking:

The truth is that the .32 S&W Long is a far better choice for the beginning revolver shooter than the .38 Special.

Considering my recent experiences with a Smith & Wesson Model 30 chambered in this cartridge (link) I have to say I concur (not that someone like Claude Warner needs my approval). That is a very easy round to shoot and the near lack of recoil makes it a great starting place for beginners. It is also interesting that I just share my thoughts on smaller calibers (link) a little bit ago.

Hope you find this information useful. Try out the drill and let me know how it goes!

Take care and God bless!


Don’t Carry That Round It WIll Just Make ‘Em Mad

I see and hear this sort of comment all the time for just about every caliber smaller that doesn’t start with a 4. The most recent example was a FezBook forum for concealed carry. A newly licensed concealed carrier asked about carrying his .25 ACP pistol until he can afford a decent holster for his 9mm. Immediately the “gun gurus” jumped in with statements like:

Don’t carry a .25 it will only make the attacker mad!

The .25 can’t even dent a license plate!

That round won’t stop ’em. Heck, they won’t even feel it!

My typical response to folks who post craziness like this is to invite them to do a test. Come out to the range and stand in front of me to test exactly how harmless these rounds are. Fortunately, no one has been man enough to back up their claims of how ineffective these rounds are and call my bluff of an offer. I hope no one ever does.

Now, I know that smaller calibers (up to and including, by some folks, .38 Special and 9mm) are generally not as effective as larger calibers. I know that most of them fail the FBI standards of 12-16 inches of penetration through four layers of denim.  I know that there are better choices than .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32, etc. but given the choice of being armed with a sub-par caliber or being unarmed. I would choose to be armed…every time.

That’s my opinion, but it is also backed up by facts.

Greg Ellifritz did a detailed study several years back on the stopping power of various rounds in real word incidents. If you look at the chart below you will see that while the number are not great compared to other handgun rounds they are in the ballpark with much more powerful rounds.

For example the average number of rounds to incapacitation (counting only center mass hits) is 2.2 which is worse than .22 LR but actually right in line with 9mm and .40 caliber ammunition. The percent of fatalities from .25 ACP is also very comparable, statistically, to both of these rounds as well. Also note that this study factors out the “psychological stops” where mere fact that the victim was armed ended the attack. That number, regardless of the caliber of the firearm, was around 90%.

The bottom line here is that even tiny rounds out of mouse guns can stop an attack and having a gun is far more important than the caliber of the gun you carry. As the old saying goes, a .25 ACP on your person is more effective than a 500 Smith & Wesson Magnum in the safe. With that said, I still recommend a “duty caliber” if you can handle it and afford it.

God bless

Range Report: A Herd Of Snubbies

Wonderful Wife bought me a Colt Cobra for my birthday and I was finally able to make it out to the range this week to spend a little time shooting it and comparing it to a few of the other snubbies that I own including a Colt New Agent form back in the 1980s which to me is the true precursor to the current Cobra model.

A herd of snubbies; (Left to Right) Colt Cobra, Taurus 85, Ruger LCR, Smith & Wesson 442, Colt New Agent, Ruger SP101

For anyone who has not had a chance to take a look at the new Cobra, it is an all steel snub-nosed revolver chambered in .38 Special. Unlike most snubbies on the market it is a six shot revolver. Also unlike most of the current offerings the front sight (a fiber optic on this model) is replaceable and held in with a small set screw in the front of sight.

The Cobra is a great little revolver. It is the most pleasant to shoot of anything in the “herd.” The trigger is amazing in either single or double action. Even new, out of the box it is smooth and light. The trigger compares well with my Smith & Wesson 442 that has aftermarket Apex springs installed. It also edges out the trigger on the Ruger LCR I carry on a daily basis.

The big over-molded stocks on the Cobra also contribute to the shooting experience and really help control the revolver and tame the recoil. The fact that this little revolver weighs in at 25 ounces also helps tame the recoil and makes this a much nicer shooter than anything else on the table. The flip side is that the weight plus the extra width of the six shot cylinder, exposed hammer and the huge rubber grips make this a little less appealing as a carry piece.

The bead blasted finish doesn’t compare to the rich finishes on most older Colts and Smiths. To me, it is not a pretty finish although it may be functional. Only time will tell on that. I will say that by the end of the time on the range the area around the forcing cone and the end of the cylinder was blackened. I assume it will clean off.

The big surprise to me was the little Smith & Wesson Model 30 with a 3 inch barrel and chambered in .32 Smith & Wesson Long.

Smith & Wesson Model 30

This gun was an absolute dream to shoot. The trigger was excellent in both double and single action. The old school stocks which are not terribly pleasant compared to many modern stocks were just fine with the light recoil of this caliber. Of course, like most old Smiths in decent condition the blued finish is amazing compared to modern finishes like that on the Colt. I don’t know if it is the gun itself or the combination of caliber and gun but this is one sweet little snubbie.

I could shoot it all day except for two things:

1. It is not mine and I had to return it to its rightful owner.

2. The price of .32 ammo to feed this little guy is pretty high and the availability is pretty limited. As a courtesy, and in hopes of being able to shoot this little snubbie more often I checked the availability and price of reloading dies and even those are tough to find and pricey where they can be found.

Oh well…

I wonder if the new .327 Magnums from Ruger would be as much fun to shoot? They would certainly be easier to find than an old Model 30 (and probably cheaper). But would they be as much fun to shoot? That’s the question.

Take care and God bless!

Ignorants Should Not Govern

Congressional candidate Karen Mallard posted a video of Fezbook. To gain votes and take a stand for gun more control the candidate used a power saw to cut the barrel, hand-guard and gas tube of an AR-15. Her grandstanding turn the AR-15 into a straight-pull bolt action rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches; by definition a short barreled rifle or SBR.

A felony about to be committed by a Congressional candidate

By federal law, possession or manufacture of an SBR is illegal without going through the same steps as are required to purchase or manufacture a suppressor; the proper forms filled out, sign off by the chief law enforcment officer in your are, payment of a $200 tax and review/approval from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (and other stuff). A process that generally takes six to eight months. She, obviously, did not follow the law. She was probably completely ignorant of the fact that this law even existed. Just as she was ignorant of the fact that sawing through these parts of an AR would not disable it.

That is the problem. People who are ignorant of the laws that already exist should not be entrusted to make or enforce those laws. People who are ignorant of how a technology, whatever that technology may be, should not be crafting laws governing that technology. If you want to make such laws fix your ignorance first!

As long as this is the law of the land, she should be prosecuted for violating it as any other citizen would be. There is video evidence available on her own postings that she violated the law. Some might argue, “but she didn’t know.” Last I checked ignorance of the law was not a defense. Others would say that just like Hillary Clinton, “she didn’t mean any harm.” So what. Does that mean I can convert all my rifles to SBRs as long as I don’t mean any harm? If so, I would gladly save myself the hassle and $200. I won’t do that because I am a law abiding citizen and see fit to educate myself about the laws governing this technology…

It also brings to mind a fellow by the name of Randy Weaver. In 1992 the US Federal government accused him of making illegal Short Barreled Shotguns. The ensuing nightmare of various federal agency mistakes and aggression resulted in the deaths of Mr. Weaver’s wife, sixteen your old son, the family dog and a US Marshal at a place called Ruby Ridge.

Take care and God bless.