Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts

November 03, 2018

Red-Jacketed Rangers Give Up Their Lee-Enfields; Somber Danes Keep Theirs


A Canadian Ranger shoots his Lee-Enfield rifle in .303 British.
I like shooting old wooden-stocked bolt-action military rifles, so I was a little sad to learn recently that the Canadian Rangers were giving up their Lee-Enfield rifles, based on the model adopted by the British army in 1895.

The Canadian Rangers are military reservists who establish a government presence in the Far North ("sovereignty patrols"), perform search and rescue, and so on. Why the bolt-action rifles? Mainly for hunting and for aggressive bears. As reported by the National Post, the Lee-Enfield worked well for decades:

Canadian Rangers with Lee-Enfield rifles
at a shooting match in Ottawa (National Post).
Since 1947 the Lee-Enfield has remained the main service weapon of the Canadian Rangers, a part-time force mainly devoted to Arctic patrols. [In August 2018]  the Canadian Rangers began replacement of their Lee-Enfields with the specially commissioned Colt Canada C19.
Unlike many other antique items in the Canadian military, the Lee-Enfield didn’t hang on for so long out of apathy or tight budgets. Rather, it’s because it’s still one of the best guns to carry above the tree line. . . . .

The Lee-Enfield is on
the Rangers' insignia.
Its wood stock makes it uniquely resistant to cracking or splitting in extreme cold. The rifle is also bolt-action, meaning that every shot must be manually pushed into place by the shooter. This makes for slower firing, but it also leaves the Lee-Enfield with as few moving parts as possible.

“The more complicated a rifle gets … the more prone you are to problems with parts breaking or jamming in a harsh environment,” said Eric Fernberg, an arms collection specialist at the Canadian War Museum.

“It might seem old-fashioned … (but) the retention of the Lee-Enfield by the Canadian Rangers was a wise choice for their role and environment.”
The Rangers' new C19 in .308 Winchester.
The new rifle, still bolt-action, is lighter and more accurate, says the government.

Canadian Rangers march with their Lee-Enfield rifles.
As the photos show, the Rangers are mostly Indians and Inuit people.
The Canadian Rangers provide a limited military presence in Canada's remote areas and receive 12 days or so per year of formal training (often more days of training are offered but attendance is not mandatory), albeit they are considered to be somewhat always on duty, observing and reporting as part of their daily lives. Canadian Rangers are paid when formally on duty according to the rank they hold within their patrol and when present on operations or during training events. They are paid in accordance with the standard rates of pay for Class-A (part-time) or Class-B (full-time) Reserve forces, except when they are called out for search and rescue missions or domestic operations (such as fighting floods and wildfires), when they are paid as Class-C Reserves and receive the full Regular Force pay and benefits ("Canadian Rangers," Wikipedia.)
When I was introduced to mountaineering as a teenager, I received two conflicting pieces of advice about colored outerwear.

One was to wear bright colors because they cheered you up, particularly if the sky was grey and the wind was blowing. I took that counsel to heart during my five years in western Oregon, where my burnt-orange cotton anorak was my go-to jacket. I had a bright red down-filled jacket too, but it was better back in Colorado, out of the Northwestern drizzle.

The opposite advice came from famed mountaineer Paul Pedzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School. I never met him, but I read somewhere that he told his students to wear subdued colors above timberline as a courtesy to other mountaineers. Let other climbers sit on a summit and enjoy the view without having to look at dots of orange, bright blue, or red on the next ridge over — that was the gist of it.

While the Canadian Rangers have their new rifle, another elite group of Arctic patrollers, the Sirius Dog Sled  Patrol, part of the Danish navy, is sticking with a related Enfield — in their case, the Model 1917 American Enfield, as carried by many "doughboys" in World War One.

And while the Rangers favor their British red, the Danes seem to be in Pedtzoldt's somber-colors camp.

You can see them in this recruiting video (in Danish with English subtitles):


December 30, 2017

Medical Marijuana and Firearms Purchases (3)

A year ago I speculated what would happen if the authorities went after gun buyers who marked "No" to the question, "Are you an an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana [and list of other drugs]?
on the federal form 4473, completed by every purchaser  were also on their states' medical marijuana registries.

Shortly afterward, I noted that the federal Department of Justice was still taking a hard line, despite the number of states with legal medical marijuana.

Last month it has happened — or almost happened — or will yet happen — in Honolulu. As Tom Knighton wrote at Bearing Arms,
Hawaii is one of the handful of states that maintain a gun registry. They know every lawfully held firearm in the state and who has it. As a result, it was easy for law enforcement to compare the two databases and figure out who owned guns and was getting medical marijuana.
Now, he continues, they are "reviewing the policy" after getting a lot of pushback, not just from gun owners/buyers but from the larger pool of cannabis users too.

The problem remains, as the Honolulu police are happy to state, "Federal law prohibits firearm possession for unlawful users of controlled substances. Pot is classified as a controlled substance under federal law."  So just saying, "I'm a medical user, I'm not an addict fercrissakes" would go nowhere in a federal court.

So when do we get national legalization?

January 21, 2017

When Liberals Turn Preppers

A new meme has been going around news media lately, the "liberal prepper."
The signs of change are surely in the air. Groups that cater to gun-toting bleeding hearts — such as the aptly named Liberal Gun Club — say they’ve seen a surge in paid membership since the election. Candid talk of disaster preparedness among progressives is showing up on social media. Even companies that outfit luxury “safe rooms” — which protect their wealthy owners from bombs, bullets, and chemical attacks — attribute recent boosts in business to the incoming administration.
Terrified by the so-called "Trumpapocalypse," this (presumably) Hillary voter is stocking up on guns and canned food — example: Colin Waugh of Independence, Mo., an "unapologetic liberal . . . no fan of firearms."

Read the article, watch Colin Waugh make a string of newbie mistakes, but don't be too judgmental.

And remember, we don't say "survivalist" any more; we say "prepper." 

For instance,  Waugh has been "browsing real estate listings in Gunnison County, Colorado, which he’s determined to be a 'liberal safe-haven.'"

Does he know that the average low temperature this month in Gunnison is -6° F. (-21° C)?  Does he know how short the growing season is? Or how expensive the college town/resort-area real estate is?

In the event the "Trumpapocalypse" occurs, does he plan to drive 750 miles across lawless prairies to his Secret Mountain Hideout?

He would be a lot better off staying in Missouri. I recommend Moniteau County. It's close by, has no large cities, and land is much more affordable.

To protect himself against "state-sanctioned roundups of Muslims, gays, and outspoken critics," Waugh has purchased two guns, a 9mm pistol and an unspecified shotgun.  I hope that he gets some serious instruction and practice with them. Start with the assumption that everything you see in movies and TV about guns is wrong. (People do not fly through the air when shot, for one thing.)

But here's the thing. Planning for disaster is a good thing. Sure, there is plenty of apocalypse porn out there, even "Trumpapocalypse"-porn, but you don't have to wallow it it.

Taking care of yourself and yours is a good plan. Government cannot do it — at least when disaster first strikes. Even with good resources and planning, it takes at least 48 hours for the wheels to turn, and that is a best-case scenario. 

(As a member of my county's emergency services board, I have seen plenty of planning and discussion, not to mind that I have been evacuated from my home four times in the last eleven years.)

As blogger Liz Shield writes, "Are we sure this guy isn't one of us? . . . . Welcome to the world of 'taking care of yourself and your family.'"

Anyone who is serious about self-defense, about food, and about general preparedness — "keeping your wits about you," etc. — is going to be a more effective citizen and less of a drain on public resources.

Unfortunately, bullets will not stop a Missouri ice storm.

December 17, 2016

Medical Marijuana and Firearms Purchases (2)

Last month, I speculated what might happen if hostile government agencies cross-referenced state medical marijuana cardholders with the federal Form 4473, filled out by gun buyers, which contains the question "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?" (Answering "yes" means no sale, while lying would be a federal offense.)

Since that post, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has strengthened its position, adding "a new warning statement reminding applicants that marijuana is still considered federally illegal despite state laws allowing medical marijuana or recreational use. In other words: The ATF doesn’t want gun sellers or buyers to mistake the increasingly common state-legal cannabis for the nonexistent federally legal marijuana."

After I wrote, I  had couple people tell me that the same thought keeps them from registering for medical marijuana, even though they have conditions that would qualify them for it.

Others agree that while such a cross-checking is not supposed to happen, it could happen. Somebody in Agency A does a favor for his buddy in Agency B — that is how the world works, especially in law enforcement.

And some other news picked up since then:

¶ President-elect Trump has picked Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, and whatever else may be said of him, good or bad, Sessions appears to be a hardcore Drug Warrior.
"We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized. It ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger," Sessions said during an April Senate hearing.
Trump's pick for the Dept. of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John Kelly, at least makes room for medical use.

 ¶ While 28 states and the District of Columbia now permit medical and/or recreational cannabis use, the federal government could still swing its hammer at any time and force them to comply with federal law that regards it as illegal. It's just that the political will is not there to do so. Read more about obstacles here.

¶ Even "loose" Colorado may further restrict legal home growers, based on the assumption that they are feeding the "gray market."

¶ Finally — and this is disturbing — the Obama Administration has even cracked down on cannabidiol (CBD), the product used for medical treatment that does not get you high.  The industry reacted:
"Once again, the federal government has shown that it has not caught up with modern science," says Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. "It's common knowledge that CBD has numerous medical uses, including curbing the effects of epilepsy and reducing muscle inflammation from injuries. To deny that shows a complete disregard for the facts."
I had just bought a bottle of CBD-infused hemp oil by mail from an organic grower in southern Colorado to put on my dry, cracked hands in the winter. But apparently that easy purchase violated "international treaties," and we can't have that. The DEA claims its new move is primarily "administrative." (Nothing to see here, move along.) It's just that shipping CBD oil is now a federal violation unless companies go through a whole new restrictive registration process, right now!

A lawyer whose practice focuses on cannabis commented, 
“The sky is not falling; however, this is a very concerning move by the DEA,” [Bob] Hoban said. “What it purports to do is give the DEA control of all cannabinoids as a controlled substance.”

Even if this new code may be rooted in an administrative action to better track research and imports and exports, Hoban said the danger lies in when other federal and state agencies use the drug codes as defining factors of what’s legal and illegal. . . .
“It worries me because the definition of any marijuana-derived products, such as cannabinoids, are not unlawful substances, per se,” he said. “It seems like they’re trying to extend their authority over all cannabinoids.”
Regulators got to regulate, don't you know. Despite the Sessions nomination, it would be highly ironic if Trump's people ended up being less passive-aggressive about cannabis than the Obama Administration. But I am not holding my breath.

That said, if you are purchasing firearms, why stick your head in a noose by being a registered marijuana user, at least until the law changes to reflect public opinion?

November 06, 2016

Medical Marijuana and Firearms Purchases

Twenty states and the District of Columbia permit medical marijuana.  A bunch more are moving to liberalize their laws on recreational use, but it is the medical side that interests me, because it involves record-keeping.

I have not heard too many hunting- and shooting writers address this issue, but it does not take much of a conspiratorial mindset to see a trap here that could be set for legal gun-owners.

As a Coloradan, I have seen the Obama Administration speak with forked tongue on the cannabis issue. When Colorado first legalized the stuff, there were no DEA agents kicking down store doors. I had the feeling that our votes as a "swing state" in presidential elections mattered enough that they were not going to come and start arresting people on federal charges.

But the administration's other hand held the big stick:
• Cannabis businesses were constantly blocked when they tried to have business banking, because the federal government never told banks and credit unions to stop treating these as criminal busineses. Worried about their own status, the financial companies refused to open account and shut down accounts that they learned were connected with cannabis.

• Industrial hemp farmers were not hassled either — except the feds would not let them import seed from Canada, where it's legal. And they have banking trouble too: some are turning to Bitcoin and other electronic money systems.

• Despite various petititons, the Obama Administration refused last August to reclassify cannabis, leaving it as a "Schedule 1" drug, right there with heroin. That's handy if you plan to prosecute someone.

• Likewise, despite the evidence that cannabis helps veterans with PTSD, the Veterans Administration takes a hard line against it. It's illegal for active-duty military, of course, but veterans can get an extra kick in the butt:
For instance, veterans are routinely blood-tested every time they go in for a VA appointment, [VA spokesman Sam] House said. So if a veteran tweaks his or her back in a way for which a doctor would prescribe prescription painkillers, when the bloodwork comes back positive for marijuana, the VA doctor can no longer prescribe the painkillers.
Now let's talk about Form 4473, the form you fill out at the gunshop counter when you make a purchase.

Question 11e asks, "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?"

It stands to reason that thousands of buyers are checking "No" with mental reservations. "I smoke occasionally, but heck no, I'm not an addict. And in my state I'm not an 'unlawful user' either!"

As Wikipedia says, "The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required "'bound-book' called an Acquisition and Disposition Log. A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business."

So imagine a presidential administration that wanted to stick to the law gun-owners. They collect the 4473's, cross-reference them with state records over who has a medical marijuana card, and there you have it — a huge list of people who can be federally prosecuted for perjury, at the least.

There is some legal protection for that information, but where there's a will, there's a way to get an approving legal opinion from government counsel.

Some people might consider this a feature, not a bug.

Too conspiritorial, or quite possible?

March 09, 2016

What Does and Does Not Happen on NOLS Planet


WMI instructor Amy Shambarger demonstrates creating a quick compression splint.

Last weekend was devoted to the two-day wilderness first aid class, taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute, (WMI)  part of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming.

It is an excellent course — the instructors are strong — and to quote the website, it is for "the needs of trip leaders, camp staff, outdoor enthusiasts and individuals working in remote locations."

I have taken it twice now, with two different sets of instructors, to keep on the two-year recertification for the fire department, thinking mainly in terms of accidents during wildland firefighting — I am not an EMT and don't want to be.

But there are some curious omissions and asumptions. I suspect that they derive from the NOLS model of a trip with designated leaders that goes into a designated park or wilderness area in North America.

It is assumed that Search & Rescue and/or a medical-evacuation helicoper will come. Of course, you can now be choppered off Mount Everest, for a fee.

One odd omission was our friend the rattlesnake. (I could have guest-lectured.) I do see that the advanced version of the course (five days instead of two) includes "bites, stings, and poisonings."

Likewise, does the five-day course include gunshot wounds? I know, I should have asked. But I was busy sorting gear. ;)  I am not thinking combat-medic stuff here so much as the unfortunate accidental discharge.

I suspect, however, that guns do not exist on NOLS Planet, but "individuals . . . in remote locations" maybe ought to know. Here again, some people are teaching "shooter self-care" classes, but not in my area, unfortunately. There's an opportunity for someone.

(If you think there was a golden age of safe gun-handling, read some of the accounts of mid-19th century wagon trains, for example.)

March 02, 2016

Recommendations for National Rifle Association Directors

If you are a voting member of the National Rifle Association, here are two sets of recommendations (with overlaps) from bloggers I respect.

Lawyer Dave Hardy offers his selections at his Of Arms and the Law blog.

At Shall Not Be Questioned, Sebastian weighs in selections and the Grover Norquist-recall question that is also on the ballot.
 
As for the rest of the candidates, I will never vote for Bob Barr of Georgia. It might be true that the Second Amendment defends the First, but Barr has demonstrated in the past that he has a poor grasp of the First.

Some people also think that colorful rocker Ted Nugent has passed his sell-by date.

April 27, 2015

"ATF" in Florence

There is an Internet meme to the effect that "ATF should be a convenience store, not a government agency." You can buy the T-shirt.

Down in Florence, Colo., that is almost true.

March 09, 2015

Blog Stew: I'll Eat my (Coyote Brown) Boots

 I have so many links to offer. Does anyone still click on hyperlinks? Here is a start, anyway.
Note crucial color difference.

• The Army is switching to "coyote brown" boots, just so you will know. "Desert tan" is just so Operation Enduring Freedom. Having the better boot color will aid the fight against Islamist terrorists.

• "Guntry clubs" — apparently this is a "thing" now, as people say on the Internet. "Savvy investors" are interested, says the Washington Post.

The average age of new target shooters is 33, while 47 percent live in urban or suburban areas, and 37 percent are female, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry.

Me, I will stick with the Blood of Christ Shooting Sports Club.

• Hunting-angling-food blogger Hank Shaw on the dangers of trichinosis, particularly from eating bear meat.
It is a fact that bear and cougar meat are the most prominent vectors for trichinosis in North America. Pigs, which are what most people think of when they think of trich, are actually not commonly infected.
This is a link that you definitely should click.

February 17, 2015

The Ultimate "Prepper" Gun?

Check that store-bought hex nut.
At The Firearms Blog, Nathaniel F. reviews a Mongolian snaplock carbine owned by friend-of-this-blog Steve Bodio.
In Central Asian villages, even blacksmiths are uncommon, which means field-expedient repairs are common, and many percussion weapons get converted to the easier-to-maintain flintlock ignition. Purpose-built guns like these would be purchased by shops on rare trips to larger towns. The quality of the weapons would typically be fairly uneven, so patrons would not be allowed to fire the guns before buying, lest the shop be left with a bunch of undesirable junk guns. As a result, interesting superstitions about how to tell the quality of a rifle came to be, including putting a steel pin in a puddle of saliva on the barrel, and slowly rotating the barrel.  By watching the rotation of the pin in the saliva, supposedly they could tell which barrels were good.
It is no antique: Bodio estimates that it was made in the 1950s. Simple, reliable, easy to repair.

July 31, 2014

Blog Stew: Who Lit the Fire?

¶ After a year, is El Paso County about ready to prosecute someone for starting the Black Forest Fire? It seems obvious that it started at someone's home.

Women & Guns celebrates a 25-year anniversary with a retrospective article about the magazine, concealed-carry purses, bra holsters, and the evolution of the firearms market.

¶ The Denver Post looks at the decline in Colorado's mule deer population, which I think the robust elk numbers tend to mask.

Energy development on the Western Slope — what we used to call "the deer factory" — gets some of the blame.

July 08, 2014

Changes in the Neighborhood, 1887 to Now

A. C. (or A. Q.) Monroe's Cash Store, 1887 (Denver Public Library)


I found this photo while researching the Squirrel Creek Lodge series. It was taken not far from where I live. My first thought was that that is more people than live on that road now.

My second thought was, "Maybe not, but the population skewed a lot younger in 1887. The school bus does not even come halfway up the road today."

Here is another photo dated 1887, with the store in the center. Click for a bigger image, and you will see a man sitting in a wagon.
Denver Public Library collection.
Not one of those buildings remains today. In the Teens and Twenties, some new cabins were built there— a little resort catering to the new automobile tourists, called "Greenwood Cabins," I have been told. Some friends have one of the cabins (no heating, no plumbing) on their property and use it as a summertime guest bedroom.

I wonder about the photo dating, though, because in the larger photo, the false front of Monroe's store is not missing a corner.(Update: See comments for probable explanation.)

I was in the area today (a cloudy day) and tried to replicate the photograph, lining up the two little rocky ridges on the hillside behind.

Actually, this is the biggest house on the road, so not typical of the area.
I think the store stood just to the left of the large house, which was built in 1989. There is a cement foundation there too, but I suspect that it is early twentieth-century. Those 1880 buildings were lucky to have a row of rocks in a shallow trench for a foundation.

And what were all those people doing? Ranching (the public land was open and un-managed) and small-scale sawmilling (ditto)? This was not a mining district. There were coal mines and even oil wells in the next county north, about 10–15 miles away, but back then miners usually lived within a mile of the mine and walked to work. There may have been some small dairy operations.

Denver Public Library collection.
One thing has not changed. A lot of backyard target shooting goes on. That is Mr. Monroe (of the store?) fourth from left. I don't recognize any of the surnames, although one of them, Holbert, is the name of a drainage about twenty miles north, as the Mexican spotted owl flies — M. and I found a nesting pair there twenty-two years ago when we were paid by the BLM to census owls.

I am tempted to check these names against the oldest graveyard hereabouts.

And the forest looks a little different too. Put that down to a century-plus of fire suppression and and cessation of local logging. It's mostly private land, with a little BLM at the far left of the ridge.

The burnt tree in the foreground of today's photograph is a relic of the 2,500-acre fire in 2012 that cleared away most of the houses on that side of the road.

Now there is a row of concrete foundations there for visitors of the future to wander among and wonder about.

March 30, 2014

Blog Stew Must Have Chile Peppers

¶ Oh no! New Mexico chile production is falling. Pueblo County will just have to take up the slack.

¶ I doubt that Timothy Bal of Belle Mead, N.J., would want to rent our vacation cabin.

How the Humane Society of the United States invests its millions. Note that there is nothing here about helping animals.
Since I work around the corner from HSUS, I know exactly what their headquarters building looks like, and I have some idea of what they know about their core business (direct mail). Suffice it to say that they have screwed that last one up so badly that they are now facing a court-approved RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit – the same one the ASPCA has already paid $9.2 million to settle.
Where does the money go? Into more direct-mail campaigns to raise more money. They call that "celebrating animals, confronting cruelty," but you can call it offshore banking. 

March 25, 2014

Middle-schoolers in Shooting Spree! (Safely)

Students from Craver Middle School in Pueblo County get a supervised trip to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Range out at the reservoir (with video).

There is an Project Appleseed tie-in, not well explained—but what do you expect from local television.

The kids liked it. 
"My favorite part is shooting guns. When I was little we used to go to the shooting range," said another student, Danielle Cooper.

These students have been on field trips before. But not one quite like this.
Guns in school can be a touchy subject.

"Often firearms and schools don't mix. There's a big fear there. So we are pushing the safety aspect and hopefully ease some people’s fears," said Timothy Baird, with the Craver Middle School.
The school's website lists Mr. Baird as a music teacher, so you may insert the "song of my people" meme here.

January 09, 2014

Aliens, Sex, and Incorrect Firearms Usage

The blogosphere this week noticed a claim by Paul Hellyer, former Canadian defense minister, that people from other planets do indeed exist:

“[I’ve] been getting from various sources [that] there are about 80 different species and some of them look just like us and they could walk down the street and you wouldn’t know if you walked past one.”

Canada . . . it is no accident that the X-Files television series was filmed in Vancouver. (That is why it was always cloudy — and you don't see so many Douglas firs in northern Virginia.)

In hot-blooded Santa Fe, N.M., however, they don't just write blog comments about the existence or non-existence of aliens.

They interrupt  "a sex act" involving a gun to threaten their partner over the "Do aliens exist?" question — or so says the Albuquerque Journal. I don't think that Smith & Wesson will be using Jennifer McCarthy in their advertising.

"“Who is crazy, you or me?" is still begging the question, however. Is it crazy to believe or not to believe?

UPDATE: Ms. McCarthy is novelist Cormac McCarthy's third ex-wife.

January 06, 2014

Your Campsite is your "Castle" . . .

 . . . at least in Oregon
The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a man found guilty of illegally carrying a concealed weapon after he argued the campsite where he pitched his tent for the week was his home and provided an exception to the state's concealed weapon law.
(h/t Alphecca)

October 22, 2013

Blog Stew with "Thump Thump Thump"

¶ "Wind-turbine syndrome" — on its way to becoming a diagnosis.

¶ Colorado, where you can't bank your legal marijuana money, but you can defend it with firearms.

¶ "Dead zone" is putting it a little strongly, but yes, if you live in the mountains (or parts of the prairie) the ambulance is thirty minutes away. So is the fire engine and the deputy sheriff. Have a plan and hope for the best?

¶ Now this is truly a "sportive dackel." (Literary reference.)

June 10, 2013

Utah Target-Maker Tries to Educate Some Shooters

BLM graphic.
Can you say "cover your ass," boys and girls? Yes, I thought you could.

Action Targets, a Utah-based company, has put out a news release on "10 Ways to Prevent Wildfires While Targetshooting This Summer."

It is all sound advice, such as "don't shoot tracers in dry vegetation" and "don't shoot that old sofa that someone dumped up the gulch because it might smolder and catch fire." And "no Tannerite."

And it just might have something to do with the situation summarized last March at Wildfire Today:
According to Utah State Forester Dick Buehler, of the 1,528 fires in the state in 2012, 33 were caused by target shooting which cost over $16 million to suppress. In October, 2012 when we wrote about the increasing number of fires started by target shooters using exploding targets, we found 10 fires started by these devices in Utah over a 5-month period last year. One of them burned over 5,500 acres.
The BLM has some similar advice. I like the tarp idea.

The outdoor shooting range that I use has a no-tracers rule, and this is why.

Up at Fort Carson, however, they still seem to start at least one fire a year with tracers and/or pyrotechnics of some variety.

May 17, 2013

Majority of Colorado Sheriffs to Sue over Gun Control Laws



Some 54 Colorado sheriffs, representing 84 percent of the total, "say recently passed state gun control laws are unconstitutional, and they plan to file a federal lawsuit Friday to block them," making the announcement at a news conference today.
At a Friday news conference in Denver, sheriffs, disabled individuals and a woman's group said two new laws requiring universal background checks for gun buyers and restricting the size of high-capacity magazines violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the Fourteenth Amendment's prohibition against states denying individuals due process and equal protection under the law.
Knowing how he feels, I am sure that the sheriff of my county has joined the suit, although apparently he did not drive up north for the event.

This group of sheriffs was probably more bipartisan than the legislators who rushed those bills through the process a few weeks ago.

For those who need a refresher: A county sheriff (from the Old English scirgerefa, "shire reeve," or official in charge of a shire/county), is part of the judicial branch of government, not the executive branch, like a city police chief. He or she is elected, not hired.

In an urban county, such as Denver, the sheriff runs the jail and carries out other orders of the court. In unincorporated areas and some small towns, the sheriff provides law-enforcement functions and others, such as serving as fire marshall.

April 27, 2013

Advances in Colorado Agriculture

Image from infohemp.org.
In far southeastern Colorado, a farmer plans the first legal hemp crop since the World War II era.
"I believe this is really going to revitalize and strengthen farm communities," said [Ryan] Loflin, 40, who grew up on a farm in Springfield but left after high school for a career in construction.

Now he returns, leasing 60 acres of his father's alfalfa farm to plant the crop and install a press to squeeze the oil from hemp seeds. He'll have a jump on other farmers, with 400 starter plants already growing at an indoor facility prior to transplanting them in the field.
M. and I were just discussing planting potatoes during breakfast. Grand Junction is lower and warmer than where we live, so people are already planting there.

One Grand Junction woman made an interesting discovery in her potato patch. All I ever found were old tin cans, etc. Some people have all the luck.