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August 14, 2006

Pretend tough
Posted by Patrick at 08:51 PM * 162 comments

Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte comments on the news that TownHall dingbat Mike S. Adams is, like fellow pretend tough-guy Dick Cheney, a fan of “canned hunts”:

I’m digging deep in my brain and trying to find an example of a more pathetic display of grabbing at masculinity than the canned hunt and nothing comes to mind. Men who go on canned hunts (like Dick Cheney) remind me of nothing so much as guys who go to strip clubs and convince themselves that the stripper really liked him and he could totally get with her if he wasn’t paying her. Except even sadder for some reason.

Guns are fun. Meat is delicious. But, dudes, you guys are sissies.

Comments on Pretend tough:
#1 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 09:35 PM:

Wow. If you follow the links upstream, you find this video of Borat (a character played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen) visiting one of those canned hunt ranches.

#2 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 10:07 PM:

Men who shoot fish in barrels, then beat their chests over it. They could save some trouble by just painting a picture of a he-man on a piece of plywood with a cutout for the head, and having their picture taken.

Oh, but I thought of something more pathetic. "Men" who get off on Internet sites where girls kill small animals. I don't have any links; I saw recently that they exist and pursued the matter no further. Perhaps it was on bOINGbOING.

Hey, your last paragraph is darn near a poem. Here's my WW2-poster-type tag line: "One shouldn't give kissies to chest-beating sissies."

#3 ::: Dan Lewis ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 10:39 PM:

Almost OT, but this video of pretend tough guy George Allen calling a 20-year-old Jim Webb staffer "macaca" in a crowd full of white Republicans has been making the rounds.

#4 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 10:59 PM:

Kind of makes you wonder how the suspension of disbelief works so that someone could walk up to, say, a bear in a cage, shoot it, and feel like that somehow validated their toughness.

CSI already did the "canned hunt" episode. The bear was drugged so it was sluggish, the hunter shot it right in the forehead and the bullet glanced off, but stunned the bear. when the hunter was examing the bear, it woke up and killed him.

Then again, having an al queda suspect tied up, blindfolded, and waterboarded suddenly takes on new meaning. Cheney probably gets the same chest beating thrill from shooting a drugged and caged bear as he would authorizing the torture of some captured suspects.

#5 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:00 PM:

I’m digging deep in my brain and trying to find an example of a more pathetic display of grabbing at masculinity than the canned hunt....

Torture. Think about it.

#6 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:47 PM:

I have no desire to hunt even though I have a good deal of the skill sets, I wouldn't do it unless I absolutely HAD to hunt to feed myself and my family. I see trophy hunting as a fairl pathetic way to make ones ego feel bigger at some poor creature's cost, and canned hunting is beneath contempt. After finding that out about Mr. Cheney long ago, I'm not sure I could be polite if I ever met him in person (not that that is likely).

(thus spake the person who live-trapped the squirrely out of her attic and took it to a fairly distant public park, so far 3 squirrels - Mo Dept. of Natural Resources person said "if you kill it it's okay, it was damaging your property." and I said "Ma'am, I can't do that. I just need to know how far to take it so it won't come back." (10 miles, fyi, and the painter fixed the place they were getting in this summer. I took it out to Minor Park, which is about 15 miles.)

#7 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:12 AM:

Is it possible Greg & Lizzy (above) are experiencing quantum entanglment?

#8 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:21 AM:

Mez - I dunno, they both seem to have made it out of Schroedinger's little box alive.

#9 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:38 AM:

It has a pretty long history, here and in England (bird particularly). Still, it bugs me similarly. Also "punt guns", and many of the extremes of buffalo hunting (including the native practice of driving a herd over a cliff).

Lots of streams and lakes are stocked with fish, too; but usually those are juvenile fish that have to grow up for a year or two before being caught, and that makes it somewhat less troubling. Either that or fish just aren't fuzzy.

#10 ::: Stephan Zielinski ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:21 AM:

If you leave the fish out long enough, it gets pretty fuzzy.

When I was a callow youth, even less polite and less in control of my tongue than I am now, a (non-blood) relative happened to be showing slides of his place in Alaska. He'd shot a bear that'd been hanging around his place-- and was posing beside the corpse. Small black bears are smaller than large humans.

"Cripes, _____, that bear is smaller than you are!" I said.

"Well, yeah-- but look at the claws on that thing!"

"Did he have a gun?"

(To his credit, they ate it.)

#11 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:41 AM:

This goes back a ways, but there is a scene in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers, where either the French king or the Duke of Buckingham (it's been too long) is at a hunt where there is a long corridor constructed out of fabric and beaters are driving all the animals in the forest towards the hunting party. It's all quite historically accurate. Doesn't justify it today, but yet again we can see that wealth and privilege don't buy class.

#12 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:50 AM:

Kind of makes you wonder how the suspension of disbelief works so that someone could walk up to, say, a bear in a cage, shoot it, and feel like that somehow validated their toughness.

"You've just killed a small animal - it's time for a lite beer."

You're assuming way more capaqbility for rational thought than is strictly applicable here.

Besides, this might just be Man asserting his dominion over the Beasts of the Field, in the mind of a wierdass Religious Right Conservative ... um ... thinker. Them thar Beasts are bein' dominionated, with guns, fences, tranquillisers and any other tools the Compleat Hunter can muster.

#13 ::: Fred A Levy Haskell ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:57 AM:

Hey, I'm a guy who goes to strip clubs and who once got picked up at one by one of the dancers; we, like, totally got with each other for a few months or so. Does this make me a sadsack loser type guy like Cheney or something? Gee, I sure hope not....

#14 ::: Fred A Levy Haskell ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:04 AM:

Lizzy L: I thought about it. You're right.

DD-B: Yup. Fish are definitely not fuzzy. This explains much.

#15 ::: C Allan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:26 AM:

Just so the round of voices saying this is pathetic is complete, a Republican-sympathizer (I'm not registered to vote--no use when you plan on renouncing citizenship as soon as possible) has to step in. And thus I do.

Seriously, I'm rabidly pro-firearm, pro-hunting, but come on. If you're only capable of killing tame drugged animals--don't even bother. That's what agri-business is there for.

#16 ::: lalouve ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:48 AM:

I don't object to the Swedish moose and roe deer hunts (they breed like vermin and have few natural enemies here), or the stocking of fish back into waters where they used to live. However, canned hunts? Come on, just pay some farmer to shoot his cow...

#17 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:50 AM:

I have to object, here, to the denigration of the noble sissies of this world by your associating them with Cheney and Adams and others of their cheezy ilk. Sissies go forth into this world and face, generally on their own, with little support from those who should be standing with them, the daily and often terrifying abuse of those who consider them too girly-ish for words. It takes some balls to live in this world like you've got a right to live here when most of the people you run into every day treat you with contempt.

Heh. I'd like to see Cheney and the rest of these creampuffs survive what sissies have to find a way to survive every day of their lives.

(No offense to creampuffs intended, of course.)

#18 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:56 AM:

One of my coworkers went with a friend on one of these so called canned hunts out in Texas. This one was a 40 acre fenced in area that a wild boar would be released in. Dogs were sent after the boar, and after it was pinned by the dogs the hunter then had the option of killing it with a rifle, a pistol, a boar spear or a knife. My coworker's friend decided to use a rifle, and parked his truck in the field while he filmed the "hunt".

On cue, the boar, chased by the dogs, burst out of the brush, running across the field. The "hunter", filming the dramatic chase, panned across the field, and showed the boar headed right for the now open door of his truck. Before he could stop it, the 300 pound wild boar, followed by the dogs, all leaped into his truck, where a massive Donnybrook took place for several minutes. My coworker was laughing way too hard to be any help, and the "hunter" had no idea what to do anyway. Eventually someone opened the other door and the boar and dogs got out, but the entire interior of the truck was destroyed by the fighting animals.

The coworker said he could always get a rise out of his friend by asking him if he was going out west to hunt any more boars.

#19 ::: Mark Wise ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:23 AM:

Moe99: It was the Duke of Buckingham at the "hunt". D'Artagnan had just raced across the Channel to reclaim the diamond studs.

#20 ::: Martyn Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:28 AM:

'Canned hunts'? Where is Jean Claude van Damme when you really need him? Or was that a different piece of 'family entertainment'?

I might not agree with 'pleasure' hunting, but I can see why some otherwise rational and reasonable people might derive a satisfaction from it that don't understand, but what sort of dickless wonder is going to indulge an a charade and then pretend it is the real thing?

Guns are 'fun'?

#21 ::: Connie H ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:41 AM:

Going back a bit, I'll speak up to defend the autochthonous practice of the buffalo jump -- bison are about the size of a VW Beetle, and it's really quite dangerous to kill one with arrows and spears. Plus, it was done for survival, not for the thrill or just a trophy.

So very much a different hunting paradigm than a canned hunt, really.

#22 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:54 AM:

Gods above. From what I'm hearing, *I* could probably shoot something on one of those canned hunts - and I'm a female, with impaired depth perception (selective monoptical perception as a result of treatment for amblyopia) and absolutely lousy aim with *anything*, who has never handled a gun in her life. I combine this with a lack of large muscle coordination which means I'm the only person I know of who can trip going *up* stairs.

If they want a challenge, why not damn well sneak up on the animal and pat it? If you can do that, then get away safely afterwards, you're a big brave man, and I'll be willing to accept it. But doing the equivalent of "fish, barrel, tacnuke" - please! Grow a flippin' life.

#23 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:11 AM:

My family was discussing canned hunts while on a nature drive last weekend, and the discussion turned into trying to figure out how you could insult someone's masculinity without being rude to gay people in the process. I finally figured out that it's not the machismo or the lack of it that's the problem, it's the lying. I grew up in a culture where people went out and stalked deer and moose and shot them and dressed them and that was the meat their families ate all winter (or longer; I'm here to tell you that a frozen moose lasts forever). Drunk idiots who go out and blast away at anything that moves are decidedly a lower order of being and despised by all right-thinking people. People who go on canned hunts (which I don't think any of us had ever heard of back when) are beneath even that.

And even more ironic is that the men who go on canned hunts probably consider my people to be white trash and contemptible.

#24 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:26 AM:

I've always thought Cheney tried too hard to project the tough guy image to be for real. This just confirms it. As near as I can tell, the real tough guys have nothing to prove. They don't go around cultivating the image. They don't go around doing things that trumpet they're tough guys. They certainly don't engage in some sort of set up trophy kill, then behave as if they've done the real thing.

I think you're a tough guy when no one buys your best effort to camouflage.

#25 ::: Stephan Zielinski ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:45 AM:

Insulting someone's masculinity without implicitly insulting gay people, eh? Should be easy enough; just attack on their missing sterotypically masculine virtues.

Example: "You limp-dicked, irrational, overemotional coward. Better hope you don't lose the job your schmoozing and ass-kissing has kept you so far, or else your family is going to starve. Better hope your friends don't abandon you-- because without their constant help, you'll be whining to strangers for handouts in a week. Better not lose the repairmen's numbers; I despair to think what would happen if you tried to fix something yourself. Better not lose your calcuator; I doubt you remember enough arithmetic to compute a tip, let alone any of the underlying mathematics. And I hope you remain uninjured-- because given your inability to withstand pain, your whimpering would be annoying."

#26 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:00 AM:

Yeah, guns are fun, at least in my experience. I found out that I didn't like killing things with one, but shooting old cold cream jars with an air rifle at my granddad's ranch was transcendently delightful, especially since I'd had years without practice of any sort and seemed to be shooting better than ever. It was also fun helping Dad mold and reload ammo in the basement, and make arrows. I keep thinking of going to a target range, but these things cost money.

I'm pretty sure Dad enjoyed hunting, which put much-needed meat on our table (he was a working musician supporting a family of six), but even if he didn't bring anything back, I know he had a good time along the way.

On the other hand, make-believe manlymen like Cheney and Adams... well, as Confucius might say, "The man who shoots fish in a barrel usually has liquid running down his leg."

#27 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:02 AM:

Martyn --

Yeah, guns are fun. Shooting accurately is a considerable challenge, too.

On the whole inappropriate overcompensation thing, often, yeah, but it's just as often plain old-fashioned blood-lust. It doesn't matter what or how very much, so long as they get to kill something with eyes and a spine.

#28 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:10 AM:

Drunk idiots who go out and blast away at anything that moves are decidedly a lower order of being and despised by all right-thinking people.

I lived for seven years on a farm in the tropics where, in season, drunk idiots felt they had every right to trespass, break fence, and shoot livestock. In that time, a total of two people asked permission to come on the land to hunt. Both got that permission (granted, one was the local police inspector, and the other was the prime minister's son-in-law). Those who were told to leave complained bitterly -- I kept getting asked 'How come your father loves birds so much?' -- at being prevented from indulging their urge to shoot birds (especially birds roosting on branches). Of course, when you've had a good breeding cow shot in the face by some idiot who mistook it for a bird you tend to get a bit angry.

#29 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:41 AM:

Of course, when you've had a good breeding cow shot in the face by some idiot who mistook it for a bird you tend to get a bit angry.

GRIN - quote of the day for me. :-)

My ex father in law was a devoted hunter. He even had a dog, and it turned out he was a very good hunting dog, pointing at beehives, bushes, and the like with great enthusiasm (as well as being the most handsome, funny and smart English Setter I've ever seen - I won't say I miss him more than the ex, but I miss him a lot).

The thing is, my in-law would go out hunting and somehow never came back with actual dead meat. He did come back, however, with a wounded owl, three orphaned birds whose name in English now doesn't occur to me, and several other instances of wildlife in need of help and succor.

He had his faults but I always loved him very much.

#30 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:47 AM:

I think the canned hunt makes perfect sense. Teresa's title about the astroturf organizations says it all. "No intention of playing fair "

These guys like to win. That's all that matters. Who cares if the bird can barely fly? Who cares if the bear is drugged? The animal lost, the hunter won. Rigged elections, lies, cronyism, Guantanamo, shooting a caged animal, it's all bloodsport with rigged odds.

#31 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:56 AM:

Nah--not he-men--not even fake he-men. Aristocrats. That's how aristocrats have always hunted.

#32 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:02 AM:

Insulting someone's masculinity without implicitly insulting gay people, eh?

You make a lack of masculinity sound like a bad thing. :)

I always think the issue in situations like this is the pathetic self-delusion more than anything to do with somebody's delusions, or the lack thereof, of masculinity, or the lack thereof. Which is what calling somebody a sissy is meant to strike at, of course. These delusions, I mean. "You think you are a Tough Guy, eh? You are just a sissy." (FX: sound of balloon popping.)

Trouble is, most sissies I know are tough as nails and notably freer of the sort of self-delusions most people suffer from. I'm not saying it's insulting to gay people to call somebody a sissy; I'm just saying it's inaccurate to call these kinds of Tough Guys sissies. I mean... if only.

I generally confine myself to formulations like: "Think you're a Tough Guy, eh? Shooting poor, dumb, trapped animals who don't have a chance? Yeah, you're some Tough Guy, all right."

#33 ::: Ann ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:03 AM:

There are, as has been pointed out upstream, different levels of stocking ponds/streams with fish.

I know that here in Missouri a farmer can (or could ten years ago) dig himself out a pond, fill it, and the conservation dept would stock it with fish. It's not really for the purpose of fishing, but the farmer I knew who told me this (while I was fishing in one of his ponds) occasionally does use them for fishing. Still, in a situation like this, the fish has an even chance, as long as you aren't using, say, dynamite.

Same for some stocking that's done for the purpose of fishing--if it's not overstocked, say, or if the fish have an avenue of escape. Once again, in Missouri there are "trout parks" that work this way. The trout are not overstocked, and if they're smart enough to swim back the way they came, they're safe for good (fish sanctuary!). If they go downstream far enough, they're out of the park, and the density of fishers drops precipitously. So the fish has a fighting chance. Fishing places like that is a bit easier than fishing just anywhere, but I can tell you from personal experience that it's not shooting fish in a barrel.

Now, I have relatives by marriage who go to a lake stocked with trout. You pay by the pound for whatever fish you pull out, no throwing back. And no escape route. They stock the thing so thick you can practically walk across the water on trout backs, and the trout are huge, to keep the price up. Now that's fish in a barrel. What's more, these relatives don't really like fish very much, just fishing, and so they end up with a freezer full of giant fish that just sits there.

I've stopped associating with those particular relatives by marriage. Sure, fish aren't fuzzy, but....ugh.

#34 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:06 AM:

Ana: Your ex father-in-law sounds like a decent chap.

Once, we nursed back to health a bird some idiot hunter had wounded. What made us really angry was that the bird, a pea dove, belonged to an endangered species and was on the protected list.

Now, organising a canned hunt of idiots who shoot endangered animals and those who don't even bother to look for the birds they've shot, that has a certain appeal.

#35 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:24 AM:

Hell, the White House is overrun with phoneys. I then can't say I'm overly surprised that even their hunting is a phoney act. Besides, as Sean Bosker pointed out above, those guys are all about winning. Doesn't matter how they win.

#36 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:29 AM:

Ailsa Ek writes:

Drunk idiots who go out and blast away at anything that moves are decidedly a lower order of being and despised by all right-thinking people. People who go on canned hunts (which I don't think any of us had ever heard of back when) are beneath even that.

And even more ironic is that the men who go on canned hunts probably consider my people to be white trash and contemptible.

Not bad. Throw in the sissies and the creampuffs, mentioned above, and you have the seeds of a new variation on The Geek Hierarchy.

#37 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:52 AM:

I recall what MAD Magazine once said:

"The North American Hunter can be identified by his big red coat, his big red cap and his big red nose!"

Or the Monty Python sketch "Hunting Mosquitos":

"Hank and Roy Spim are tough, fearless backwoodsmen who have chosen to live in a violent, unrelenting world of nature's creatures, where only the fittest survive. Today they are off to hunt mosquitoes..."


#38 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:04 AM:

Meg Thornton,
I too fall up stairs. It's the falling down them that scares me.

#39 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:05 AM:

Come on people... look at the bright side. Cheney learns from his mistakes, when there are variables, randomness, chance, and real life circumstances in play, he shoots the wrong thing. This is a life affirming possibly life-saving decision on his part. At the very least it avoids further reckless endangerment, manslaughter, or murder cases brought against him.

If all members of our government showed as much adaptability and ability to learn from misstep we might be in a much better place these days.

#40 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:13 AM:

Of course, when you've had a good breeding cow shot in the face by some idiot who mistook it for a bird you tend to get a bit angry.

Old joke: A farmer gets fed up with having his livestock blown away during deer season every year, so he goes out and buys a bucket of bright yellow paint, and labels everything. He paints "COW" on the side of the cows, and "HORSE" on the horses, and "CHICKEN" on the chickens. Then he and his family go down into the deer-season bunker until the shooting stops.

The day after hunting season, he comes back out, and lo and behold, the cows, horses, and chickens are all fine. "Hot damn," he says, and hops on his tractor to get back to work.

And the engine won't start. There's a bullet hole through it, right where it says "John Deere."

#41 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:55 AM:

Chad Orzel: Fortunately, I wasn't drinking coffee.

#42 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:00 PM:

When I was fairly young, I bought a .22 caliber rimfire rifle. I'd take it out to the pasture, set tin cans up on strings, and see how far out I could hit them. Once in a while, I'd take it over to a friend's farm and he had his own 22, and we'd shoot cans and see how far out we could hit them.

At some poitn, I put a optical scope on it, which was a whole lot bigger around than the rifle was. The first time I took it over to my friend's place with the scope, he gave me all this grief about having a big scope on a little rifle. Plus the thing would shift over time, so I' have to take several shots to get it lined up.

Anyway, he was giving me a whole lot of grief, so finally, after I had it sighted in, I pointed to an old barn about twice as far away as the cans we were shooting at, and asked him if he mind if I shot the lightning rod off the roof. (The barn had a hole in the roof and the siding was coming off, so it wasn't like it would notice) It was a foot tall spike, no ceramic ball or anything, going straigt up from the peak.

He laughed, said I couldn't hit it anyway so it didn't matter. I asked if it was OK again. He laughed again and said "yes". So, I settled down into a comfortable spot, aimed for about a minute, pulled the trigger real slow, and when the rifle finally fired, nothing happened.

My friend started laughing at me. And I got up, handed him the rifle, and told him to look through the scope.

The lightning rod had a hole going through the middle of it.

Well, actually, it was a "C" shaped hole because the bullet must have cut through one side of the lightning rod. And there was a sliver of metal on the other side that was still holding the lightning rod up.

He stopped giving me grief about my scope after that.

#43 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Meg Thornton: I have tripped going upstairs. Subway stairs. Or maybe I slipped. But I've taken my share of near face-plants onto metal-edged concrete stairs on the way up.

And I like dance and shit, you know? I can throw things with a fair degree of accuracy, and I spin fire and like that. So tripping going up stairs isn't necessarily a sign of klutzism.

Stephan: I LOVE IT!!!! Kudos.

OTOH, I have a minor problem with the notion of insulting people's masculinity in general: lack of masculinity, as Michael Weholt points out, is not a bad thing. And the notion that it is is a form of sexism. If you can insult a man by comparing him to a woman, you implicitly insult all women. In this same fashion, using 'gay' to mean 'stupid and/or lame' implicitly insults gay people. (I was flatspinning a towel at the gym the other day, and this young guy I know said "That's the gayest thing I've ever seen you do." I retorted "You could see me do something much gayer if you play your cards right!")

And again, the notion that "sissies" are necessarily gay is inaccurate too, as is the notion that gay people are necessarily sissies. I'm on the butch side (not by much, but not a sissy these days), and I'm as gay as they come (and they do, / /a/n/d/ /a/l/w/a/y/s/ /t/o/o/ /s/o/o/n/). I've met some pretty...effeminate guys who were completely hetero, too. These things just don't covary as much as people assume they do. Also, I was much more of a sissy when I was younger.

So I second Michael on "You say 'sissy' like it's a bad thing." They're wimps, wusses, cowards, losers, and fake-ass self-deluded jackholes. Plenty of wordage there.

#44 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:05 PM:

blech. Don't we have Teddy Bears because some dude... oh... his name's escaping me right now... rhymed with Gosevelt... decided that this sort of thing was totally incompatible with the American spirit?

My dad's uncle used to hunt deer. Since he lived alone and couldn't possibly eat all the spoils of his hunting, he had a habbit of dragging his kills onto the property of needy families and then knocking on their door to inform them that the animal was theirs because it'd been killed on their land. He'd skin it, clean it, etc, stuff their freezer full of the meat, and offer to sell the hide for them.

To me, that sounds like an awesome way to excercize a hobby and help the community at the same time. And honestly, as much as I love the cute little guys, deer would starve themselves to death if people didn't shoot 'em.

Not that I've got the cajones, but at least I know better than to shoot caged ones. And I am a sissy girl.

#45 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:17 PM:

Not that I've got the cajones...

Ha! I knew there was a reason to learn Spanish!

You mean cojones, actually. Unless, of course, you meant to say you didn't have the drawers for this sort of thing.

#46 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:18 PM:

What IS maculinity, by the way? I mean, besides killing and breaking things? I look at Dubya and Cheney and I see that kind of masculinity. I look at Bill Clinton, and I see the other obvious kind. I look at Al Gore and I see a third kind, where one builds things and a world.

#47 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:22 PM:

As to the good breeding cow shot in the face by some idiot who mistook it for a bird: I recently lost a good breeding cow to an idiot teenager who shot her in the eye with a paintball.

There's definitely a geek hierarchy equivalent in the hunting world; I'm at a loss to determine if bow hunters or black powder hunters would be at the top, though. Dad accidentally killed a ruffed grouse with a thrown rock once; wonder where that would rate?

#48 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:46 PM:

What IS maculinity, by the way?

I think masculinity is a competitiveness, like having a game with rules and seeing who can win that game. It would describe sports, but it doesn't have to be physical games. It could even be business. I think one of the key requirements of masculinity is having the ability to take risks. To be able to act, to move, to choose, in the face of uncertainty and even fear.

The healthy version of this would motivate people to use competition as a way to better themselves.

Where this get convoluted is when competition stops being about doing your best and starts being about lording over the losers. It also gets messed up when it goes from "taking risks, acting in the face uncertainty" and morphs into "wipe out all fear".

The idea of hunting a caged animal seems to commit both mistakes. It isn't about making the individual better, it's about dominating the other. And it does so in a situation that actually removes all risks by caging the animal.

Now, I don't have a problem with caging an animal on a farm and raising it to feed yourself or others. But that can be masculine in a different way, the risks being the weather, the health of the herd, the price of fuel and food. The competition being to do it as efficiently as possible so you can actually make a profit when it's all over.

But to drop a chunk of money to have someone set up a "hunt" between you and a caged animal doesn't challenge you to better yourself and has removed all risks. I'm not sure what that is, but I wouldn't call it masculine.

#49 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:58 PM:

blech. Don't we have Teddy Bears because some dude... oh... his name's escaping me right now... rhymed with Gosevelt... decided that this sort of thing was totally incompatible with the American spirit?

I seem to recall that the noble Roosevelt in question pardoned the bear cub's life... because there were reporters with cameras there. The bear was subsequently shot a little later once cameras were safely out of the way. So while this is probably a relevant comparison for canned hunting and the current administration's relationship to it, perhaps not in the way you intended.

(It may well be that I'm incorrect in this 'rest of the story' variation, mind; I'm failing to find my original source for it, despite searching.)

#50 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:02 PM:

Pardoname, Miguel. No soy un buen deletreista. Pero tampoco tengo los cajones, aunque no creo que se fabrican bombachas especiales para cazadores. A lo menos, no lo tengo.

[[Pardon me, Michael. I'm a bad speller. But I also don't have the drawers, because I don't think they make special underwear for hunters. At least I don't have any.]]

#51 ::: Derek ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:24 PM:

Oh boy, have I got a treat for canned hunting fans (and by "fans" I mean people who, like me, think it is pathetically faux-macho and in many respects hilarious). This video link is from a segment on The Daily Show just after the whole Dick Cheney "Oops I thought your face was a bird" incident. Alternatively, click over to this page, and it's the second video link down, the one titled "Nate Corddry goes on an Easter Egg hunt... of death."

I loves me some satire.

#52 ::: Derek ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:28 PM:

Avram, I'm looking forward to watching the Borat video clip, but right now I'm stymied by YouTube's "scheduled maintenance" or something. Pfft - I can't believe they're bogarting the comedy like that. :P

#53 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:41 PM:

Canned hunts have a long tradition (bow and stable hunting, birds from cages, etc.). Some of them go back to days when this was a way of getting meat, and fair wasn't an issue.

Nowadays, they aren't justified, at least not in the West.

To be half fair to the Duke of Buckingham, as portrayed, he was killing the deer with a deer sword, and so was at some risk.

As for the bear... I'm not sure how I'd feel about one hanging about. For a day or so, maybe. But bears are big (even when smaller than a person. Cubs can kill you, and my equivalent of claws is a gun) and if the decide one's home is a feeding ground, it is likely to get ugly.

So, absent more info, I can't condemn the man out of hand, because I don't know that I might not have made the same decision.

#54 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:43 PM:

In Cambodia just outside Phnom Penh, there's a place where you can pay $20 or so to fire a rocket-propelled grenade. For an extra hundred, they offered to bring in a water buffalo for a target.

#55 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:31 PM:

Cans are breeders of International Agents of Botulism.

Many cans contain liquids, some even gels. You know the drill.

A wounded can may pursue its hunter for long distances, especially downhill.

Can hunting is a great Ameri-CAN tradition. Think of the Pilgrims, utterly alone in the New World, bringing down cranberry sauce to serve with their turkey loaf. Or the Cowpokers building the first railroad to the Moon with the herds of baked beans and Hormel chili that once darkened the plains. GIs fought their way from the Normandy beaches to wherever it was, shooting the wild K-rats in Beggars Canyon. And the skills so honed will serve us all well in the Robot Wars to come.

Blasting cans is not just American, it is Real American. Just ask your Mom, the next time she takes the lid off some apple pie filling.

#56 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:34 PM:

He hates these cans!

#57 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:38 PM:

Hormel chili that once darkened the plains...

Cue to the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles?

#58 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:44 PM:

Cowpokers building the first railroad to the Moon ... shooting the wild K-rats in Beggars Canyon

You've a strange, strange mind, Mr. Ford.

#59 ::: Stephan Zielinski ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:47 PM:

In re: Terry's comments about the bear situation: pest control, or dealing with an imminent threat, is one thing. But were that the true reason, whence the motivation to bring over someone to snap a picture of man posing with ex-ursoid, and then show the photograph around?

Still, the central point about not being able to condemn without more information is a particularly good one. And truth be told, if I'd had to plug something with claws like that myself, dang straight I would have gotten a picture and bragged about it. But I'd also expect a lot of rolling eyes, with women snickering, "Pfah. Men." under their breath.

#60 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:00 PM:

I think Sean Bosker nailed this one.

Onward.

Bill Higgins, JESR: If there's a geek hierarchy equivalent in the hunting world, the eldest of my three brothers is way up there. He's the lunatic who crawled into a drainage pipe to retrieve his arrow and the javelina he'd wounded with it. (Admittedly, he thought the javelina was dead.) After waiting years for an elk permit, he went bowhunting and gave up the best shot he had because he wasn't absolutely sure it would kill the elk on the spot. He does black powder stuff. I can't imagine him shooting farm-raised wingless quailtards.

Greg, I like the CSI story. Aside from the morality of canned hunts, the guy was an idiot. If a bear's skull had been designed to deflect bullets, it wouldn't have come out any different.

Fred: No. Definitely not.

John: You know it's a canned hunt when the customer is given the option of using a rifle, pistol, boar spear, or knife. A boar spear is as up-close and personal as I'd ever want to get with a wild boar, and I'd be wishing I had a gun the whole time. A knife is not an appropriate weapon for hunting boar. If you do use one, it's either because there's no other choice and you're about to get mauled, or it's a setup for outrageous bragging rights -- in actuality, just a coup de grace after the dogs have run the boar to exhaustion.

That said, your story about the boar and dogs in the truck made me laugh so hard it hurt.

Martyn Taylor, guns are indeed fun. Promise.

Connie: Bison. Distinctly nontrivial.

JC, Real tough guys don't brag. It's taboo. I swear, their noses go up in the air when other guys do it.

Stephan: Great performance. I am totally not surprised.

Derek, I'm in a place where I can't watch videos, but if that clip from the Daily Show is the one I think it is, I laughed myself silly the first half-dozen times I watched it. Ask someone who was at a Wiscon music party this year about the three-part round to the tune of "Dona Nobis Pacem".

#61 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:02 PM:
And truth be told, if I'd had to plug something with claws like that myself, dang straight I would have gotten a picture and bragged about it.

Of course in your case, Stephan, it'd be hard to decide which of the two of you looked surlier.

#62 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:19 PM:

Annalee Flower Horne: Cajones are not that kind of drawer. Cajón is literally a large caja or box.

Más, tengo que decirte que aunque se escribe "pardon" en inglés o francés, en castellano se escribe "perdon". Ruego que me disculpas.

#63 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:22 PM:

Speaking of tough guys, check out these Bruce Schneier facts.

#64 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:25 PM:

Stephan: I don't think I'd take a picture next to it. That strikes me as unseemly, and lacking in respect for the animal.

I would get a rug made out of the hide.

Funny thing, in the funny odd, not funny ha-ha, Maia (my better half, for them as don't know) is a Quaker. I'd never killed anything (aside from insects), on purpose, before we started going out.

Her family has chickens, and geese, and fruit trees. Raccoons and oppossums come after the first two, and squirrels the last.

They have an air-rifle (very nice .22, scoped, adjustable trigger). They hate it. It was used only for raccoons which had run up trees. They preferred to use pitchforks to kill things.

I, being the sort I am, thought this both cruel, and senseless. So at three in the morning I have shot a fair number of the beasties (which is the way it goes, so long as the raccoons stay away from the chickens... and two raccoons will slaughter an entire coop and leave, never to return) I leave them be.

As soon as the geese hiss at them, we go outside and I shoot them.

Squirrels, in plum and peach season, are allowed to run free, until they approach the fruit trees. Maia's mother want's me to come by on afternoons Maia's father isn't home (because he hates the air-rifle, with a passion, and protecting the chickens is iffy in his book) and sit outside with a book, a pitcher of lemonade and pot them. They have been most fruitful the past couple of years, and she has been, as a result, somewhat fruitless.

#65 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 03:31 PM:

Avram: Speaking of tough guys, check out these Bruce Schneier facts.

Even more manly is the "This space unintentionally left blank" notice on that page. For years, I've been dying to see somebody admit to that.

#66 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 04:05 PM:

guns are indeed fun. Promise.

that was basically the gist of the .22 cal with scope shooting lightning rod story.

#67 ::: Martyn Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:11 PM:

Sorry guys. I was taught how to shoot by the British Army, using weapons designed to kill people. I was pretty good at it, so they told me.

It was no fun at all.

#68 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:34 PM:

Martyn Taylor: I'm sorry you don't enjoy guns. Not because there is something inherently wrong with you, but rather because some aspects of it were done badly.

Honestly, all guns are designed to kill things. Some are better for killing people than other things (the SA 80A2 H&K, for one, isn't much good for killing things much larger than people, though it will do a more than adequate job on, "varmints").

Most of the .30 caliber weapons in the world are based on a small number of designs which were meant for armies.

Just like swords (which don't have much function, other than killing people, or practicing for it), this doesn't really have much impact on the nature of things. It's what's done with them which matters.

I tend to find it reflects more on the person using them than it does the weapons themselves.

Sort of like karate, or aikido, or various breeds of dog.

#69 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:36 PM:

I suspect the fun-ness of guns depends on what you're aiming at. (I was aiming an air-rifle at crows in a tree a hundred or so feet away, and up twenty or thirty feet. Not so much to kill them as to make them decide they didn't want to make their home in the neighborhood. The grackles were much worse, and I understand the guy who bought the place a year or so later used a shotgun to discourage them in a much more permanent way.)

#70 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:42 PM:

Sort of like karate, or aikido, or various breeds of dog.

Oh, I love Aikidos! They're my favorite breed!

Not only are they beautiful, they can throw down your enemies without even touching them.

#71 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:52 PM:

And their distinctive bark, Hai!

#72 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:53 PM:

I was taught how to shoot by the British Army ... It was no fun at all.

Well, the military can do that to a person. Someone who learned to skydive in the military might not want to do it "for fun" as a civilian.

I think the thing I liked most about shooting was long range target sniping. paper targets, tin cans, old bottles. to hit something like a popcan a few hundred yards away means you have to have completely control of your body, from your breathing, relax your muscles as much as possible, and connect with the ground. Completely relaxed and completely focused. For me, it was almost meditative in its own way. I might take a minute or two to take a single shot.

But it just might not be your cup of tea.

I generally skip the threads about knitting, since it doesn't do anything for me personally.

#73 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:58 PM:

aikido. one of these days I'll get back into that. did it for a couple years in college. it was almost like sniping in that it was a time of being simultaneously completely relaxed and completely focused.

#74 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:01 PM:

Stefan, that's their "Master's home from work" bark. Their "Intruder alert!" bark is Ki-ai! Ki-ai! Ki-ai!

#75 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:37 PM:

The only problem with even a .22 rifle is the bullet can easily travel a mile if you aim up into the air, such as at a bird in a tree. I was always taught to aim a rifle, even a .22, at targets where you knew what was behind it; a tree, mound of earth, or aiming downward so the bullet hits the ground. Larger rifles of course can go much further.

My father hunts snapping turtles in the farm ponds by shooting them with a .22 pistol over open sights, from about 75'-100' away. He hits them in the back of the head when they stick the tip of their nose out of the water to get some air. A day or two later they come back up, with a little bullet hole in the center of their skulls.

#76 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:20 PM:

A day or two later they come back up, with a little bullet hole in the center of their skulls.

Heavens to Betsy!! Snapping Turtle Zombies?? I will never go near a farm pond again.

#77 ::: Tully ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:11 PM:

The velocity of a .22 Long Rifle bullet at a mile, if it gets that far, is simply that of gravity pulling it down against air resistance. It's a low-mass low-velocity round. Not that you want to get hit by one that manages to make it a mile--it would definitely hurt. But it's very unlikely to make any holes in you at that kind of extreme range, or do much real damage unless it hits you in the head. Not enough mass versus air resistance, not enough initial muzzle velocity.

None of which is a good excuse to shoot one without knowing exactly what's beyond the target. And larger mass/caliber and higher-velocity bullets sure can do damage at distance, and do. A few people get hurt or killed every year by idjits who shoot up in the air, usually in urban areas on "fireworks" holidays.

Canned hunts? Jeez, mon, just kill it and pack up the meat already. Posing for "trophy" pictures from a canned hunt is like posing with a lobster at the market.

#78 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:22 PM:

a .22 rifle is the bullet can easily travel a mile

No worries, John, this was back on the farm where the nearest neighbor was maybe a mile away, and only if you pointed in the right direction. It was a whole lot of nothing in between.

The tin cans were usually set up in a pasture, with a hill right behind them. The lightning rod was up in the air, but it would have been nothing but fields behind it for a couple miles.

If it had been a "real" rifle, I wouldn't have taken that shot.

#79 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 12:29 AM:

Tully: A few people get hurt or killed every year by idjits who shoot up in the air, usually in urban areas on "fireworks" holidays.

Evidence? IIRC, "Mythbusters" suggested this was untrue, because bullets shot at a high angle tended to tumble when coming down and fall accordingly slowly.

#80 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 01:20 AM:

CHip, a tourist actually did die from a skyward-aimed bullet in New Orleans on New Year's Eve some years back. I recall the news story quoting the poor woman's companion--that she just suddenly fell down, and they didn't know why until they got her to the hospital and found the bullet. The angle of the bullet (and, presumably, the lack of gun-retort in their vicinity) was what made them conclude it had been shot into the air--possibly from as far away as the West Bank.

My husband and I were in New Orleans for the next New Year. A dulcimer player in the Quarter asked us whether we planned to stick around for "the lottery of death."

#81 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 01:51 AM:

"Mythbusters" suggested this was untrue

They did, and did elaborate tests to establish it, but they also talked to an MD who had X-rays from two cases, with ballistics evidence that the bullets had come from guns great distances away. They never managed to resolve that, though they came up with a couple of hypotheses.

Maybe a heavier gauge of tin should go into one's hat.

#82 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:09 AM:

Addendum: How does one google the news story surrounding the incident? My search strings all end in failure!

#83 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:26 AM:

I always wonder how many people get injured by bullets fired by those mobs of folks who "celebrate" by firing guns in the air. This seems to happen in places where guns, particularly AK-47s and Kalashnikovs, are plentiful.

#84 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 03:12 AM:

Re rounds fired into the air:

No, they aren't very dangerous, but they can do some damage.

Andectdotes, for what they're worth.

When I was in gradeschool a local teacher getting hit in the side of the face was a minor bit of big news, as they tried to figure out who had done it.

Turns out it was someone shooting at someone else about a half mile away with a .45.

Same neighborhood: I was at a scout meeting and there was a loud thump, and then a rattle and something landed in the bushes. It was a spent .357 slug (no one puts a slug that heavy into a .38). Probably wouldn't have killed anyone, had it hit them, but a mild concussion, and some stitches could be expected.

If it were a spitzer (pointed slug with a boat-tailed back end) from a .30 rifle, at a low anngle of fire (not more than 35 degrees above horizontal) it could probaly still do a fair bit of damage, esp. with some of the .300 magnum and short .300 magnum rounds being so popular.

#85 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:02 AM:

TNH: "If there's a geek hierarchy equivalent in the hunting world, the eldest of my three brothers is way up there. He's the lunatic who crawled into a drainage pipe to retrieve his arrow and the javelina he'd wounded with it."

Your eldest brother = Col. John Sebastian "Tiger Jack" Moran, late 1st Bangalore Pioneers.

("He once played a tiger - would do it again -
Which an Indian Colonel pursued down a drain" - Gus, the Theatre Cat.)

#86 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 06:05 AM:

Linkmeister said: I always wonder how many people get injured by bullets fired by those mobs of folks who "celebrate" by firing guns in the air. This seems to happen in places where guns, particularly AK-47s and Kalashnikovs, are plentiful.

I vaguely recalled an article in The Wall Street Journal back in the 1980s about people getting injured in Belgrade from celebratory gunfire on New Year's. This was before the civil war(s), mind you; there are more guns there now.

And in fact this web page mentions all sorts of injuries and deaths, primarily in SE Europe, the Middle East, and Pakistan. Following a public awareness campaign in Serbia: "For the first time in 15 years, there were no accidents in Belgrade over the New Year period." They also mention an incident in Lebanon: "Three people died and eight were wounded in one night of celebratory gunfire, following the election of a new speaker of parliament."

("AK-47s and Kalashnikovs" -- the AK-47 is a Kalashnikov, no?)

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 08:34 AM:

I always wonder how many people get injured by bullets fired by those mobs of folks who "celebrate" by firing guns in the air.

The MythBusters tested that one a few weeks ago and, if I remember correctly, the only way the bullet could kill you is if it was shot exactly straight up. Still, that's one I wouldn't want to verify even in exchange for a date with MythBustette Kari Byron.

#88 ::: BigHank53 ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 08:45 AM:

There were numerous injuries and a few deaths from "happy fire" in Kuwait, following the eviction of the Iraqis in Gulf War I. I recall reading about it at the time. This did involve lots of people stepping outside and ripping off entire 30-round magazines, of course. In terms of an actual hazard to life and limb, not so much. Lightning or dog attack is far more likely to kill you.

In terms of having fun shooting at things, I'm going to recommend 10-meter air pistols and rifles. They are exquitely precise (upper-end ones are intended for Olympic competition), inexpensive to use, and quiet. I sold all my firearms except the shotgun after buying an Anschutz M10. I now hate shooting handguns--they are expensive, noisy, and uncomfortable.

#89 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:10 AM:

The MythBusters tested that one a few weeks ago and, if I remember correctly, the only way the bullet could kill you is if it was shot exactly straight up. Still, that's one I wouldn't want to verify even in exchange for a date with MythBustette Kari Byron.

I've never actually seen the show, but according to this episode summary, they concluded that bullets fired exactly straight up would not kill you, because they would end up falling side-on to the ground, and not very fast. But they accepted the idea that bullets fired at a high angle could retain their ballistic properties, and noted a couple of cases in Northern California where people were injured or killed by falling bullets.

#90 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:17 AM:

In other words, Peter, I reversed the MythBusters's conclusions. Time for my first cup of crappy instant coffee of the day.

#91 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:57 AM:

In addition to my above defense of guns and hunting, I'll add that the existence of idiots has long been known.

Family friends in rural Texas occasionally have shots fired at their house by morons in vehicles on the county road who see wild turkeys in their yard.

A gas station owner near my old home town in Colorado used to keep raise mule deer in a fenced enclosure. He finally gave up, broken hearted, because people who considered themselves hunters would stand at the fence and shoot the tame deer that walked up to them expecting food.

Also, if somebody invented a material for road signs that would send bullets back exactly in the direction they were fired from, with undiminished velocity, I'd be all for using it.

#92 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 10:44 AM:

In addition to my above defense of guns and hunting, I'll add that the existence of idiots has long been known.

"...I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow -
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow."

#93 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 10:45 AM:

I always wonder how many people get injured by bullets fired by those mobs of folks who "celebrate"

An slightly related bit of information. While on jury duty, the case involved a shootout and something like 15 to 20 rounds were fired in the heart of the city, based on the number of shell casings found at the scene. only two bullets were recovered. Several experts testified that this was not unusual in an outdoor shooting.

As for shooting into the air being dangerous, the Mythbuster show decided that if you shot far enough from straight up (like if you put the rifle on your leg and let a few off) then the bullet could follow a parabolic path, keep spinning correctly, and maintain a high velocity. Which is to say, never shoot in the air if you don't know what's around you. (They shot a 30-06 straight up, by going out into the desert somewhere and had several miles of nothing all around them. And they and the crew hid under slabs of balistic glass.)

#94 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 11:46 AM:

10m air-rifle is probably the most demanding shooting discipline in the world (I used to compete, tried out for the '84 Olympic team. I'm a good shot, better than most. I'd have needed a career day to make the cut. As expected, I didn't have one. But I did try out)

Iron sights (no scope, for those who don't speak the lingo).

A 4.5mm (.17 inch) projectile.

A 1mm target.

If any of the center isn't hit, one scores a 9, not a 10.

Shot from standing, no sling, or other support allowed, just the arm (though to be honest, the rifles are tricked out, and balanced to a fair thee well.

Men shoot a 60 round string, women a 40 (don't ask me why the difference, seems silly to me)

The woman who took gold in 84 shot a "drop 2", which means a 398, out of 400.

The reason I remember is that she was "a natural." She'd only been shooting for 18 months.

#95 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 12:42 PM:

Here's a collection of news stories at the Puerto Rico Herald about the issue:

http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2004/vol8n53/LiveEd/53-NYEveInjur.shtml

Mentioned: "Shannon's Law,"

in memory of 14-year-old Shannon Smith, killed by a stray bullet in June 1999 while talking on her phone in her back yard. The law makes it a felony to fire a gun into the air within the city limits.

In these links, mention is made of Amy Silberman, who was killed in 1994 by celebratory gunfire. But 1994 is way too early for the incident I was thinking of.

http://members.macconnect.com/users/s/scpicou/pastletters.shtml
http://www.andrewfoxbooks.com/rgae.htm
Search in page for: "gunfire"

And this one is too recent to be the one I'm thinking of:

Falling bullet victim paralyzed (Tuesday, January 03, 2006)

(Except I'm having a hard time reconciling the title's mention of "falling bullet" and a recap of the "shooting guns in the air" problem with the witness account of "shooting guns in the direction of the levee.")

And this discussion on the Snopes message boards contains links to more news stories in mainstream media about the phenomenon (one of them the Jan 2006 story referenced above). They also discuss the velocity and air resistance problem.

In any case, the incidence of falling bullet injuries and fatalities appears to be more prevalent than Mythbusters would have us believe--if I understand correctly their grudging admission that maybe, once in awhile, it might happen.

#96 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 01:45 PM:

Am I the only person who is more than slightly sick of laws named after unfortunate children?

If the law is needed, then it should be able to be argued on its own, without naked appeals to emotion.

#97 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:07 PM:

("AK-47s and Kalashnikovs" -- the AK-47 is a Kalashnikov, no?)

Yes of course the AK47 is a Kalashnikov - milled dust cover and all. All AK-47 are Kalashnikov just as not all Kalashnikov are AK-47.

The K stands for Kalashnikov (as you know Bob the designer's name). AK-47 dates to 1947 as the name implies. Later models such as the AK-M use a stamped dust cover although like all firearms the changing manufacture reflects machining methods as the most economical methods or desirable methods changed over time. With CNC milling is more desirable relative to stamping today just as stamping was more desirable relative to milling in the days of single purpose manual setup machines.

For reasons I will never understand many people choose to call all Kalashnikov designs AK-47s even when they clearly are later versions. FREX there are almost no AK-47's in the United States and almost all in the US are later semi-automatic not full and assorted commercial versions with stamped dustcovers.

#98 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:33 PM:

Linkmeister, Peter: Belgrade? HAH! Try being in Hialeah on New Year's Eve. Or several other neighborhoods in Miami. Latins have this habit of celebrating with a gun...
Personal experience: my mother was standing in front of her mirror getting ready to go out to a party.She stepped away to put on her jacket and a bullet smashed the mirror. And it wasn't even midnight yet!

#99 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:39 PM:

appears to be more prevalent than Mythbusters would have us believe

If I remember correctly, they ended that episode by talking with a doctor who had a patient brought into his emergency room from an into-the-air gunshot and the patient died. So I took it as their way of saying, this really does happen, be careful where you're shooting.

#100 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 02:44 PM:

10m air-rifle

A 4.5mm (.17 inch) projectile.

A 1mm target.

Am I reading that right?
A one-milimeter target at ten meters?

#101 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 03:28 PM:

Belatedly:

Michael Weholt, instead of insulting creampuffs, we could call the pseud-toughs Twinkies: ersatz and annoyingly durable.

#102 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 03:38 PM:

A one-milimeter target at ten meters?

Perhaps one might say a 1mm scoring ring.

The target, even the black, is somewhat larger but as noted it's center the 1mm or go home. There is an argument that 10mm guns are the most accurate of all - certainly of handheld without guidance. (obs SF - a wart 8 - Glory Road - no wart 10's in airgun.)

#103 ::: Daniel Boone ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 03:44 PM:

"I'm here to tell you that a frozen moose lasts forever..."

Well, not when it's the only fresh meat for a long Alaskan winter to feed a family of six -- by March, when we butchered the last hung shoulder, we were scraping that bone for every last fleck of stew meat.

But in more prosperous times, yes -- I've pulled moose from the bottom of the freezer that was dated four years previous, and (after cutting off all freezer burn) it wasn't bad. Not quite "fresh" tasting, but fine for stew or chili.

Bear doesn't keep as well in the freezer, there's more fat to "turn" and take on an "off" flavor.

#104 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 03:59 PM:

The K stands for Kalashnikov (as you know Bob the designer's name). AK-47 dates to 1947 as the name implies. Later models such as the AK-M use a stamped dust cover although like all firearms the changing manufacture reflects machining methods as the most economical methods or desirable methods changed over time. With CNC milling is more desirable relative to stamping today just as stamping was more desirable relative to milling in the days of single purpose manual setup machines.

There's also something called the AK-74(?), which I gather is essentially the AK-M with smaller-caliber ammunition (following the M-16's use of smaller ammo) and which is what the Russian army currently uses(?).

So what are the typical guns being used in the Middle East and elsewhere outside Russia -- AK-M or AK-74? (Ignoring issues like whether the guns are actually Russian or Chinese copies or local versions.)

#105 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 04:34 PM:

center the 1mm or go home

I don't even know if I could see a 1mm dot at 30 feet.

I used to shoot much larger targets (5 gallon cans) at 500 yards with iron sights, but that was a rifle, prone, with an arm strap.

Don't air rifles use BB's? Wouldn't they wobble out of control? Or are they rifled someway to spin them and give them some gyro stabilization. Long gone are the days of the Red Ryder BB gun...

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 04:56 PM:

Long gone are the days of the Red Ryder BB gun...

Not hardly. Your basic air rifle, as in what you can find at (most likely) your local discount sporting goods counter, isn't going to be much different at all.

#107 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:07 PM:

The black - the aiming point - is somewhat more than 1mm - center the black. Of course in general the sights are sharp and the black allowed to be fuzzy.

Precision air guns use a wasp waisted diablo pellet - think badminton shuttle cock which is spin stabilized as well. People are very fussy about the shape of the skirts. Points are flat for target use - think wadcutter - and can be quite pointed for other use - think more penetration for game or shooting through tin (aluminum) cans or even just through the air. Depending on power - think velocity and weight - the flat point can be used for some very small game - the flat point is of course streamlined like a brick. There is a 5mm bore mostly pump mostly US that uses a sharp nosed projectile like a conventional bullet. Common air guns bores run up to a .25 bore. Lewis and Clark had an air gun on the expedition and of course there is the mighty hunter's airgun told of by Watson's eye doctor/literary agent.

Although there is an historical connection between bb shot as a size for lead shot - think bb in the same series as oo buck but much smaller - typical bb guns in the U.S. use a steel shot for bb guns and are not rifled. The steel shot is of course less dense than lead and so has less sectional density and so loses speed more quickly and so falls to the ground harmless at shorter ranges. Notice that in general spherical or nearly spherical projectiles of typical small arms size - today shotgun or air rifle - are not very streamlined and so fall slowly if falling at terminal velocity - but don't try to catch bowling ball size lead ball, not even a duckpins size lead ball.

The mantra is straight magazine good; curved magazine bad. The vast majority of Kalashnikov's in general use are chambered in 7.62X39 - lots of makers around the world with some distinctions many ignore. And of course the move to a smaller cartridge meant the 7.62X39 was more or less surplus in the former Warsaw bloc.

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:15 PM:

Michael Weholt, instead of insulting creampuffs, we could call the pseud-toughs Twinkies: ersatz and annoyingly durable.

Unfortunately, the term is already in use in the gay community, to mean a) a young man between 18 and 22, b) a young man with the body type typical of that agegroup, or c) a young man with the fluffy personality and silly behavior pattern typical of that age group. Its shortened form 'twink' is also in use.

I believe this usage does come from the snack cake, the theory being that like it, such boys are tasty but insubstantial, and unhealthy if consumed to excess (the sex-as-food metaphor has a long history in the gay male community). I've said cruder things in the past, but won't repeat them here.

The term is definitely considered insulting if used substantively. Used attributively (e.g. "he has a twinkie body") it's less so.

#109 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:27 PM:

Long gone are the days of the Red Ryder BB gun...

Not hardly. Your basic air rifle, as in what you can find at (most likely) your local discount sporting goods counter, isn't going to be much different at all.

I suspect the original intent was more along the lines that a particular Red Ryder BB gun is one with the neiges d'antan and Jean Sheppard's Christmas past.

I'd say a little bit of both - for those who want one a Red Ryder bb gun is still available - depending on where one chooses to live, San Francisco or California is general is not a good bet - but only subject to local rules I for one consider extreme - places to shoot or even possess an airgun are limited and in some places a toy gun must be bright orange and a normal firearm must not be bright orange for instance.

#110 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:43 PM:

Actually, I was thinking that the Red Ryder BB gun used to be the "end all, be all" of air-powered weaponry back in the day, and now, they've got "precision air guns [using] a wasp waisted diablo pellet - think badminton shuttle cock which is spin stabilized as well."

I've an urge to shoot one just to see what it's like, but, well, that'd mean I'd have to find one first.

And I still hear santa claus saying "You'll shoot your eye out!"

#111 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 05:53 PM:

I actually have a Red Ryder BB Gun. My father saw it in a mail order catalog and got it for me for Christmas, since I liked the Jean Shepherd movie so much.

Not being much at all into guns, it is still in the colorful display box after, like, fifteen years and two moves.

#112 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 06:58 PM:

Greg London: You are reading that right. The bull (all that matters in Olympic level competition) is 1mm. The shooter stands 10m away, and uses iron sights (a peep hole in the rear, a larger hole in the front, and that shrouded with a hood).

In .22 competition the target is at 50ft (or was, I've not looked into it lately. That's still what the NRA uses for skill testing) and the bull is .25.

For .22 one gets 10 pts for so much as nicking the 10 ring. One can get an "x" for getting into the 10 ring without touching it (and prone competitions routinely are won in shoot-offs, wherein the winner has a score like, 67X, showing that after the first 60 rds (for men, the strings are 40 long for women, again it makes no sense to me) he shot 7 more X's to the second place guys 6 more) but I digress.

In 10m air-rifle the thinking is; the bullseye is smaller than the bullet, so if one misses any of the bullseye, one loses points.

Now, to the sights. They are (as with .22 competition) sophisticated, in a subtle way.

The black of the scoring rings on the targets, is scaled, so that when firing at the correct distance (for the target) no white is visible around the edges, if one is dead on center.

This allows one to shoot with the same level of, basic, confidence from 33 ft (10m) to 400 yards (and beyond, for serious shooters over iron sights), though there are other factors when shooting at ranges of more than 250-300 meters; having to do with ballistics of arc, heat, wind, mirage, bullet shape (how does velocity loss affect flight path and bullet drop... i.e. the longer it takes the bullet to get from a to b, the longer gravity has to pull it to the ground).

For shooting the animals I shoot; I have a scope (which makes it much easier to grease the space between a pair of branches to get a pneumothorax shot) which adjusts point of impact to take the distance into acount, but I have to remember to use the base of the triangle, not the hypoteneus, because that's the distance on which gravity is working). Scopes remove one of the trickiest pieces of shooting; trying to focus on three optical planes at once.

It's also a .22, using a 14.5 grain pellet (waisted, and pointed, which makes certain I get to something vital), with a muzzle velocity of about 850fps, generating 16 ft/lbs (roughly) at the muzzle. The pellet won't go through.

For punching paper, I could fire this to about 50 yards, and still be pretty sure of hitting what I'm aiming at, but past that the affect of wind and the resistance of the air makes it iffy.

Past about 60 feet I won't shoot at an animal, because the chance of getting a clean-killing shot is too small.

Peter Erwin: The AK-74 does exists (in several variants). It uses a 5.45 bullet, with a bit more powder than the 5.56NATO/.223Remington.

It's not a bad rifle, for what it is. The one's I've fired weren't all that accurate, but it was easy to handle, and light.

What it does mainly is the same thing the M-16 did, increase ammunition capacity, and manageabilty on automatic. In automatic it's much easier to handle than the M-16.

It also corrected some of the AK-47 series weaknesses, esp. the exposure of the gas-tube, which could, somewhat, easily get dented, greatly reducing the effectiveness of the rifle.

The cartridge of the AK-47 is, in my opinion, overated (I have the same idea, for similar, but different reasons for the .45 ACP, but I am thought by many to be a heretic). It's an attempt to be the best of two worlds. When designed (starting in 1944) the world thought a battle rifle needed to be .30. It doesn't.

The round is too heavy to carry a lot of ammo, and too light to punch through most modern body armor. It has too much recoil (exacerbated in the original design by an angled-buttstock, which increased muzzle-rise) to be really controllable in full-auto, and full-auto is the default setting.

The powder capacity it small, which means it's a low velocity round. Again, it doesn't have as much penetration as I would like, but (unlike the .45 ACP) it's not slow enough (or blunt enough) to impart as much of that energy to a soft target)

On the up-side, when built the round was about half the weight of the standard (7.62x54R) cartridge, and had much more punch than the 9mm rounds in use in things like the PPPShm, so one could carry more ammo than with the Nagant-44, and do more damage than the submachine guns.

It's not, as built, all that accurate, with crude sights (meant to be used in close quarters, and with automatic fire). On the other hand, it's very forgiving of abuse, and almost impossible to break (in the major assemblies.

#113 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 07:41 PM:

Greg London --

A "gunner's minute" is an inch at a hundred yards. (1:3600 ratio; 1mm:10m is 1:10,000, which means that the bull is about 20 arc seconds. The point of aim is larger than that, though.)

Typical large bore target -- iron sights again -- is done out to 1100m at targets with bullseyes that subtend four minutes of arc.

People who are good at this have been known to have entire competitive seasons without dropping a point.

#114 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 07:59 PM:

Xopher, I have been told that the term "twinkie" is sometimes used as a pejorative at TV stations to donate the person who does the traffic reports, as in "the traffic twinkie." Similar to: "the weather weinie."

#115 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:26 PM:

Greg: Next time you're in LA, I can let you fire one of reasonable accuracy. The thing which surprises most people is that it has a small amount of recoil (from the spring releasing).

Relating to Graydons comment about an MOA (minute of angle). Keeping a group to 1MOA (center to center on a given number, usually 3 or 5) is considered the benchmark. Going out past about 400m there are other problems in staying that tight.

A well made, modern, firearm, ought to be able to keep to an MOA out of the box. Most shooters can't keep it. When one shoots enough (with training feedback) to keep the weapon to it's mechanical limits is when one needs to start looking at the improvements which can keep it subtending less than that.

But most people who spend the money are trying technical fixes to overcome flaws in technique.

Me, I don't shoot enough. These days I can hold about 1MOA, to about 400m. After that I start to spread, which means I don't see the point in spending $1,000 to tune up a $600 gun which shoots as well as I do.

#116 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:33 PM:

Clark E Myers: Calif. is a fine place to buy air-rifles. I can drive to Huntington Beacn and buy anything Beeman makes, and be shooting with it in the back yard 40 minutes later.

Given that we have an R-4 zoning (light agriculture, w/livestock, a holdover from the days the folks at Santa Anita used to breed/keep horses in the area) and chickens I have an absolute privilege, under Calif. law, to shoot opossum, raccoon, dog, etc., if it's going after the them (and a limited privelege to shoot them out of hand, as prophylaxis). I can do that with anything I like, but the air-rifle keeps the cops from wasting time (as well as me having to pay for damage if I shot through one, the privilege to kill the animals doesn't extend to me not being liable for the side-effects).

Because we have fruit trees I have the same privilege with squirrels, though only when the pecans, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines are in season.

All of that in the middle of Greater Los Angeles, where the air-rifle can be used for target practice, year round.

#117 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:58 PM:

A "gunner's minute" is an inch at a hundred yards.

Keeping a group to 1MOA is considered the benchmark

wow. I have no idea what MOA I was shooting. I just remember hitting 5 gallon buckets at a few hundred yards or tin cans a lot closer. If I happen across a rifle range, I'll have to see if I can get some solid numbers.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

#118 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 12:21 AM:

From a practical standpoint, keeping to about five inches/MOA is more than adequate. Generally speaking (when hunting, be it deer, or people) that's enough to put the quarry down.

For birds, a shot gun is needed, because the target is moving too fast to be hit with anything like reliabilty; by most people, For varmints (things like squirrels, raccoons and the like) better shooting is required, because the target is smaller (don't get me started on prarie dog shooting, it's like the worst of canned hunts).

For competition, well people will practice, and they will spend the money to make the equipment they use better than they are, so that they can measure how good they really are.

Again, next time you're in LA, I can supply all you need to test it, from good rifles, to match grade ammo.

#119 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 01:24 AM:

Terry, I wish I had time while I was in LA. Target practice would be fun and refreshing for its unexpectedness. (first time I ever picked up a rifle, a .22 at YMCA camp, I got all five rounds into the small target at the end of an un-recalled range distance. Instructor said, "I bet you've already learned how to shoot." I said, "no, this is the first time I've shot a gun." I did pretty much the same with archery, and after father bought the farm property, he set us up a shooting range for us to learn how to shoot properly.

I got the "A" for effort because his guns were pretty much inherited/old. He had me help him strip them down, clean and refresh them for use to learn. the 30-ought-6 was in perfect condition, and that was the first on he let me look into. Then he handed me the whatever shotgun without looking at it himself. I looked down the barrel and asked, "Should this look all uneven and scratched?" He looked, pulled the works off the gun and said 'this is done." The barrel had been somehow damaged, all I know is that it looked really crazed compared to the rifle.

My dear husband calls me a hobbit. And apparently that carrys over. If I pick up a rock if I'm pissed off at you, duck. I'm still likely to hit. I may be slow, I may seem innocous, but I can hit a target.

(my favorite archery rememberance was going to Pennsic with the Calontir archery group. I threw out my back unloading our trailer, but the main part of it that wasn't craptastic was marching out with the rest of our army, singing Non Nobis (Henry V), and then getting a point for our side because the guy teaching us while we practiced long before prepared us. It was chilling as well as wonderful.)

#120 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 02:05 AM:

Paula:LA will be here for a long time, and I probably in it.

My 30-06 shoots at least as well as I do, and you are more than welcome to burn some powder with it.

#121 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 02:34 AM:

Minor piece of nit-picky trivia on the meaning of AK.

The Russian is "avtomat Kalashnikova" which translates to, "Kalashnikov's automatic."

In case anyone cares.

#122 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 03:52 AM:

Here's another one

Country star accused of illegally killing tame bear

Apparently he's accused, among other things, of videotaping it, and then editing it to make it look like a real hunt.

#123 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 05:29 AM:

Terry Karney and Clark E. Myers: Thanks for the abundance of info on the different Kalashnikov models; I've been wondering on and off about some of that.

It occurs to me that most of the former Warsaw Pact countries are now in NATO, which means they have to switch to NATO ammo, so they probably have to give up their AK-74s for something else...?

(And, hey, it's always fun to know what widely used acronyms really mean, and if it's Russian, even more so.)

#124 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 10:55 AM:

"donate" should have been "denote." Oh well.

I have also been told that the gender of the weather weinie and the traffic twinkie is irrelevant.

Trivia Item #674833482.

#125 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 11:24 AM:

if one needs an insulting form of foodstuff for these types of knuckleheads, has "Souffle" been taken?

Souffle means "to blow up" or "to puff up". It's a French word, not that I care, but Cheney types probably would, and isn't a soufle the thing that can completely collapse on itself with the slightest bump while cooking it? That would seem to describe the folks who collapse and gibber helplessly at the mere mention of words like "bin laden" and such.

All we need is a "Cheney Souffle" recipe, and we'd be all set.

#126 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 11:32 AM:

Lizzie L, is the implication that the traffic twinkie is a pretty airhead (of either sex)?

#127 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 11:49 AM:

Peter Erwin: Most of the former Warsaw Pact countries aren't in NATO yet, though many (not all) would like to be.

I don't know what will be decided about intercompatiblilty of weapon's systems. It may be that a simple rechambering will suffice.

It may be the cost will preclude, and we'll have a trio of ammo trains, instead of the dual train we have now (5.56 and 7.62).

#128 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Clark E Myers: Calif. is a fine place to buy air-rifles. I can drive to Huntington Beacn and buy anything Beeman makes, and be shooting with it in the back yard 40 minutes later. So long as we're picking nits: although it private labels and services Beeman is mostly not a maker but an importer - as was Air Rifle Headquarters once upon a time. The difference between men and boys is not just the price of their toys but the legal status.

And what about standing around the front yard or on the front porch with the newly purchased airgun in your hand? Mothers don't let your children dress up to play Red Ryder and Little Britches with a Daisy in the front yard.

And fen, be sure to get a permit to shoot a bb gun in the backroom when in the City of Angels.

No more children's toys a la "I think everyone should have a Red Rider BB gun. ..."Jean Shepherd -

Los Angeles Municipal Code:

SEC. 45.01. FIREARMS – KNIVES – SLINGSHOTS – SALE TO MINORS.
(Amended by Ord. No. 169,154, Eff. 1/1/94.)
No person shall sell, exchange, give or loan to any person under 18 years of age any:
(a) slingshot,
(c) fixed or locking blade knife having a blade over two inches in length,
(d) dirk or dagger having a blade over two inches in length,
(e) ice pick,
(f) tool or implement having a point similar to an ice pick, a shaft at least three inches in length and a handle,
(k) spring or air gun or other device designed or intended to discharge any pellets, BB shot, shot or other deadly or dangerous missile, or
(l) ammunition, cartridge, shell or other device, whether containing any explosive substance or not, designed and intended for use in any weapons enumerated herein.
Work related uses of any of the above weapons are not prohibited under this section.
SEC. 45.02. FIREARMS – MINORS – POSSESSION OF.
No person under 18 years of age shall have in his possession, care, custody or control any article or thing mentioned in the preceding section.

SEC. 55.00. GUNS – PERMITS.
No person shall fire, shoot or discharge any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm, or any air-gun, air-rifle or air-pistol, or any spring-gun, spring-rifle or spring-pistol, or any carbon dioxide or other gas operated gun, rifle or pistol without having first obtained a written permit from the Board of Police Commissioners.

"Section 4-14-103 of the Irvine Municipal Code prohibits the discharge of any pellet gun or air rifle that forcefully discharges any type of projectile, including metal or plastic pellets, anywhere within the city limits. As such, use of pellet guns is unlawful and would subject the violator, whether adult or juvenile, to arrest and prosecution under the provisions of the code."

California statewide
CHAPTER 6. MISCELLANEOUS
BB DEVICES AND IMITATION FIREARMS
12550. As used in this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) "BB device" is defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001.
(b) "Firearm" is defined in subdivision (b) of Section 12001.
(c) "Imitation firearm" means any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a firearm.
12551. Every person who sells to a minor any BB device is guilty of a misdemeanor.

12556.(a) No person may openly display or expose any imitation firearm, as defined in Section 12550, in a public place.
(b) Violation of this section, except as provided in subdivision (c), is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for the first offense, and three hundred dollars ($300) for a second offense.
(c) A third or subsequent violation of this section is punishable as a misdemeanor.
(d) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to the following, when the imitation firearm is:
(1) Packaged or concealed so that it is not subject to public viewing.
(2) Displayed or exposed in the course of commerce, including commercial film or video productions, or for service, repair, or restoration of the imitation firearm.
(3) Used in a theatrical production, a motion picture, video, television, or stage production.
(4) Used in conjunction with a certified or regulated sporting event or competition.
(5) Used in conjunction with lawful hunting, or lawful pest control activities.
(6) Used or possessed at certified or regulated public or private shooting ranges.
(7) Used at fairs, exhibitions, expositions, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.
(8) Used in military, civil defense, or civic activities, including flag ceremonies, color guards, parades, award presentations, historical reenactments, and memorials.
(9) Used for public displays authorized by public or private schools or displays that are part of a museum collection.
(10) Used in parades, ceremonies, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.
(11) Displayed on a wall plaque or in a presentation case.
(12) Used in areas where the discharge of a firearm is lawful.
(13) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents. Merely having an orange tip as provided in federal law and regulations does not satisfy this requirement. The entire surface must be colored or transparent or translucent.
(e) For purposes of this section, the term "public place" means an area open to the public and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways,front yards, parking lots, automobiles, whether moving or not, and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink, or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude prosecution for a violation of Section 171b, 171.5, or 626.10.

All emphasis added.

I'm still wondering why it's nobler to poison small mammals than to shoot them.

#129 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 12:33 PM:

Terry Karney said: Most of the former Warsaw Pact countries aren't in NATO yet, though many (not all) would like to be.

Are you sure? Ye Olde Official NATO site (www.nato.int) lists as members: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. And East Germany is effectively in NATO as well, so I that's everyone who was in the Warsaw Pact except the Soviet Union itself (well, and Albania, but they left the Pact in the 1960s).

But maybe you mean "fully integrated in some military sense," in which case you might be right.

#130 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 02:35 PM:

Xopher, exactly so. The attitude is, Anyone with half a brain can read the weather/report the traffic. And (with some few exceptions at local stations) everyone on TV must be pretty...

#131 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 03:14 PM:

I'm still wondering why it's nobler to poison small mammals than to shoot them.

Who said it was? If you poison them and triumphantly pose with their corpses, that's just as wussified as shooting them in a cage. But the point of poisoning them is to get rid of them, not to demonstrate manly prowess. If you're shooting them to get rid of them, I see nothing wrong with that...out in the country.

Poisoning rats, mice, etc. isn't nobler. Just safer for humans.

I don't understand why you quote at length from the LA Muni Code (or whatever). The thing that you don't get is that outside of a shooting range, there is no safe way to discharge a firearm in an urban setting. That seems like a pretty reasonable set of laws to me.

#132 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 03:25 PM:

The point under discussion was California rules for air guns to include Red Ryder by Daisy bb guns which are not commonly considered firearms nor subject to firearms rules in much of the country. Ralphie in the Jean Shepherd story/movie was all of 9 years old.

And define shooting range - I've fired guns in my own basement and airguns in my backyard - by intent - as have many of my friends.

Finally somebody objected to prairie dog hunts which are not taken in urban setting and if not shot will often be poisoned.

#133 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 03:33 PM:

But, why shoot prairie dogs when one can have fun doing this?

#134 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 03:47 PM:

And define shooting range - I've fired guns in my own basement and airguns in my backyard - by intent - as have many of my friends.

If your point was that BB guns are considered firearms, this is irrelevant. If your point was to imply the law unfairly restricts you to shoot your weapons in your basement or backyard, then you yourself highlighted "front yard" and "doorways and entrances to building" and what you present makes no mention of prohibition from shooting either in your basement or backyard.

Given the sufficient supply of idiots in the world, I don't have a problem with restrictions against firing within city limits. Your backyard would tie into someone else's backyard somewhere. Stray bullets from idiots would be a danger and the noise would be an annoyance.

Also, given that flashing a weapon as a threat is only a split second from pulling the trigger as an attack, I also don't have a problem with prohibition against public displays of firearms. People whe feel the need to walk around with a pair of six-guns on their hips for the world to see (and not because of their job) have obvious issues with the application of force.

#135 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 04:45 PM:

It's more that it's a safety issue for the person with the guns. NYC won't allow the sale of gun-shaped objects of any color, after a couple of 13-year-olds with realistically shaped, originally outlandishly colored, but black spraypainted water pistols committed suicide by cop.

Or maybe that's unfair. They probably didn't think the cops would shoot them. After all, it's only a water pistol, right?

Also, someone could take a real gun and paint it dayglo orange. The point is for our police to be able to identify an actual firearm at a glance and react with split-second timing. And to keep the bonehead 13-year-olds alive long enough to have a chance to become less boneheaded.

#136 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 05:13 PM:

It's more that it's a safety issue for the person with the guns.

prohibition against shooting within city limits I would take as protection for the city that your bullet doesn't go stray and kill someone.

prohibition against public display I would take as a way of preventing stupid escalations. You shouldn't pull a gun unless you are going to use it, and you shouldn't use it unless it's self defense. Any display prior to that point means it wasn't self defense, means it wasn't a life threatening situation, means that displaying a lethal weapon in a non-life-threatening situation just escalated it to life-threatening, for the other person, making it self-defense for them if the respond with lethal force.

In my city, police do not fire warning shots. Weapons are only fired when the situation has already escalated to the point of requiring that level of force. The police are not to escalate a situation to involve firearms unless the situation at the moment has escalated to that point.

It would seem similar concepts of rules of engagement should apply to civilians.

#137 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 05:43 PM:

Here in NC it is perfectly legal to carry an unconcealed firearm in public, although so many commercial buildings prohibit them few people carry them around. Walking down the street with a holstered pistol on your hip is quite ok, though. Women carrying pistols in their purse is ok too, but they have to get the concealed weapon permit first.

Personally, I got my wife a short range pepper spray dispenser for her protection. Less chance of her hitting someone else if she had to use it, and the capsacin in the spray is strong enough to temporarily blind and incapacitate anyone for about half an hour.

#138 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 05:50 PM:

Here in NC

your results may vary, of course, depending on your state and city ordinances.

I am not a lawyer and this was not legal advice.


#139 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 06:15 PM:

What I was doing by my lights was footnoting an assertion intended to say that California is not a friendly place for a child to buy or play with or even to possess a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun when I was challenged. Assorted emphases added in the following.

Mr. London himself said: "Long gone are the days of the Red Ryder BB gun..."

P.J. Evans said: "Not hardly. Your basic air rifle, as in what you can find at (most likely) your local discount sporting goods counter, isn't going to be much different at all."

I said: "I'd say a little bit of both - for those who want one a Red Ryder bb gun is still available - depending on where one chooses to live, San Francisco or California in general is not a good bet - but only subject to local rules I for one consider extreme - places to shoot or even possess an airgun are limited and in some places a toy gun must be bright orange and a normal firearm must not be bright orange for instance."

Mr. Karney, in my view shifted the subject from a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun to adult air rifles but that's OK because the same rules apply, replied to me: "Clark E Myers: Calif. is a fine place to buy air-rifles. I can drive to Huntington Beach and buy anything Beeman makes, and be shooting with it in the back yard 40 minutes later." As I objected Beeman is an importer - Feinwerbau and RWS mostly some Webley Tempest and lots of other such over the years but nothing from Rogers Arkansas. I then cited examples of California local rules I for one consider extreme when applied to a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun.

Mr. London said:"If your point was that BB guns are considered firearms, this is irrelevant. If your point was to imply the law unfairly restricts you to shoot your weapons in your basement or backyard, then you yourself highlighted "front yard" and "doorways and entrances to building" and what you present makes no mention of prohibition from shooting either in your basement or backyard."

I'm truly sorry that I was so unclear as to allow Mr. London to setup all these straw men to which he replies so nicely. I don't think it irrelevent to the discussion of Daisy Red Ryder bb guns that firearm rules apply to a nine year old Ralphie playing in his own front yard with an air/spring gun and thereby incriminating his parent(s) or guardian.

In that context Xopher said:"The thing that you [Clark E. Myers] don't get is that outside of a shooting range, there is no safe way to discharge a firearm in an urban setting."

I responded with an assertion that either my basement is a shooting range or that statement is false. Actually .22 in the basement is a significant lead hazard, not from the bullet but from the priming compound that accumulates on the firing line. Another example of a safe discharge is the snail trap equivalent of a clearing barrel or indeed a clearing barrel itself.

Were it not that my current age puts it before current criminal laws took effect an old picture of me at 6 in a cowboy outfit on a led pony would be incriminating - and no doubt demonstate that I needed readjustment for Lone Ranger envy (actually Hopalong Cassidy mostly Louis L'Amour is for kids).

People whe feel the need to walk around with a pair of six-guns on their hips for the world to see (and not because of their job) have obvious issues with the application of force. You'd think Salmon Idaho would be as violent as downtown DC based on the number of sixguns on hips for the world to see. I do wonder why it isn't?

I will however freely admit that as 6 year old in Austin Texas - where my babysitter also babysat Beevo and so had a full cowboy outfit with genuine skirting leather chaps flashlight shirt and all the rest - I felt a desperate need to walk around with a pair of six-guns on [my] hips for the world to see (and not because of [my] job) One of the nicest Christmas presents ever was a brace of cap pistols - obviously ruined me for life along with tales of the Indian fighters. No doubt I have obvious issues with the application of force. FWIW I carry a Dane Burns 9X23 in Alessi leather and most heartily suggest Alessi leather for any purpose open or concealed.

The small mammal issue is a different fight-Terry Karney said: "don't get me started on prairie dog shooting, it's like the worst of canned hunts)." I've shot coyotes without fair chase - coyotes killed a sheep, we left the carcass and took a stand on an overlook and got $5 for the hide - wash rinse and repeat - call that canned if you will - I've also enjoyed watching coyotes pogoing up and down mousing in a golden wheat field with no personal urge to shoot anything. I've shot small mammals when the farm figured each one dead was more than $1 on the crop saved - shoot most of them or poison all of them but no pet ground squirrels and their holes in the crop fields - grazing we left more but not enough for the community to spread.

#140 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 06:33 PM:

What we got to play with in my family was cap pistols. We usually took the roll of caps and hit the powder with a hammer or a largish rock instead of putting it in the gun. The air rifle was my father's acquisition, much later, and he had real rifles and shotguns too (the antique black-powder rifles have, I understand, been given to the Lake County museum in northern CA).

Yes, we like using the right wrong tool for the job. (We had a lot of improvised fun.)

#141 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 07:53 PM:

to allow Mr. London to setup all these straw men to which he replies so nicely. I don't think it irrelevent to the discussion of Daisy Red Ryder bb guns that firearm rules apply to a nine year old Ralphie playing in his own front yard with an air/spring gun and thereby incriminating his parent(s) or guardian.

Whatever. You don't see me quoting an entire swath of law about guns, pointing to the fact that poor Raphie can't ahve can't have a BB gun, and thereby imply the whole quoted swath of gun laws is bad.

Like I said, if you wanted to make the point that kids in California can't have BB guns, you could have accomplished that with a much more selective paste of the relevant law. But that wasn't your point. Your point was "any gun law is a bad law".

(Greg) People whe feel the need to walk around with a pair of six-guns on their hips for the world to see (and not because of their job) have obvious issues with the application of force.

(Clark) You'd think Salmon Idaho would be as violent as downtown DC based on the number of sixguns on hips for the world to see. I do wonder why it isn't?

I wonder why you're bringing up something irrelavant to my point. I said people who feel the need to walk around with a pair of six-guns on their hips for the world to see when no external circumstance justifies that need, then they have issues.

I didn't say guns automatically means violence. But it does make for a nice strawman.

If someone feels the need for a public display of firepower when there is nothing in their day to day lives that warrants that need, then they are not operating in a reality based mode. They have issues. They may be able to function perfectly fine with the rest of the world without ever causing an incident, but they've got something going on tween the ears.

And it might be as simple as the fact that they grew up with weapons around, and that's their norm, but unless they have an actual need, then why are they doing it?

Are they living in bear country? OK, fine, that's a need.

If nothing else, your rather violent response would indicate that at least in your case, there's little awareness of the difference between "need" and "want". You may really, really, really want to carry a firearm on display, but you haven't yet said why you need to. And that lack of distinction is in itself an unresolved issue.

Roaving bandits control your neighborhood? Well, there's a need. You're part of a militia? There's another need. Posse? need. Otherwise, you have a stong want indistinguished from need. You don't have to carry a firearm in view, you want to.

And I never advocated disarming you or anyone else, either. For folks who wish to carry a firearm for self defense, I have no problem with them getting trained, getting a permit, and carrying a handgun. It's just that I'd rather it be a concealed carry for the reasons of escalation that I mentioned above.

That does mean you'll likely not be able to carry a hand cannon, for simple logistical reasons that it won't fit down your pants (or maybe it will, I don't know). But if your reason for being armed is self defense, and if you think you need 20 rounds of 45, maybe you should consider just what hobgoblin that is based off of.

The DoJ reports an average of 9 million violent crimes a year. 26% were armed with some sort of weapon, 10% were armed with a gun. So, raw percentage-wise, that's pretty slim. And about 75% of victims were uninjured. But the stats also point to the fact that it's more about where you live:

Persons with annual household incomes of less than $7,500 experienced both armed violence and firearm violence at about 3 times the rates of persons with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more

And race:

Blacks were about 9 times more likely than whites to be victims of gun-related homicides likely than whites to be murdered with a firearm.

Wikipedia says Salmon Idaho, population 3,200, is 96% white, median family income is $35k, and that 20% (640 people) live below the poverty line.

The Salmon police report for 2004, shows murder, rape, and robbery were zero, and if I read the numbers right, six convictions for assault, for the year.

Statistically speaking, it doesn't look like there is any need at all for folks to walk around with six guns on their hips.

#142 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 09:47 PM:

Well, that laundry list of prohibitions is interesting. I wish I knew where some of them, nominally, apply.

Since I live in Pasadena, and Maia's parents live in Arcadia (both of which are in LA County, and inside the absolute limits of the City of Los Angeles, but are independent muncipalities, I can afford to ignore them, I don't live in (nor will I ever, for reasons completely non-related to firearms) the Holy City of Irvine) and the exemptions in (5)Used in conjunction with lawful hunting, or lawful pest control activities,and (12) Used in areas where the discharge of a firearm is lawful. apply, I still think Calif. is a fine place to own an air-rifle.

Hell, apart from the silly bans on certain makes, I don't really have a problem with most of Calif. restrictions on guns. Then again, I happen to live in a primarily urban environment, where the casual carry of firearms isn't something I see as an absolute essential; since the baseline for human behavior is one of gross idiocy, and passion rules more than reason.

If people were required to show half the skill with a firearm they are required to show with a car, then maybe I might be more open minded about letting every Tom, Dick and Harry carry, but I know that most people aren't as reasonable as I am (and despite that I still favor shall issue statutes), some of which comes from almost 15 years of watching people who've been trained do really stupid shit with weapons.

As for prarie dogs, in those places where they are actual pests, fine, kill them as you see fit. But most places they aren't real pests. They are a nuisance to cattle ranchers who have giveaway leases on public lands; so an unlimited bag is set, and an open season, so people go out with tricked out guns, from so far away the dogs have no idea they are in any danger, set up on a rest and shoot them the same way I pot tin cans.

The pleasure isn't really the difficulty of the shot, that can be replicated with a bullseye target at range.

No, they, to quote some, like to see the, "pink mist" their tricked out rifles, and tailor made ammo can make of a beastie going about it's business. They are willing to do this to the tune of wiping out an entire colony, one bullet at a time, occaisionaly having to go to the opening and clear away the corpes because they are blocking the mouth of the warren.

The only reason they are pests is because people have decided to make use of the land. It isn't hunting, and it isn't sport, it's killing for the sake of killing and it bespeaks a character flaw.

#143 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 11:00 PM:

But, why shoot prairie dogs when one can have fun doing this?

"Doing what?," I wondered, as I hovered over the link to preview the URL.

CNN really needs to stop hiring high-school sophomores to manage their website.

#144 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2006, 11:25 PM:

Speaking of Pasadena and of driving to Beeman's and of carrying home a spanking new or a repaired or modified air rifle then consider:

Pasadena Municipal Code
http colon whack whack www dot ci dot pasadena dot ca dot us whack cityclerk whack municode dot asp
9.76.020 Air guns and archery equipment.
No person shall carry any air guns, bows and arrows or other type of archery equipment in the city, except when going to or from a place particularly designed for such use; nor shall said equipment be discharged except in places particularly designed for said use and approved by the police department of the city. (Ord. 4309 § 2, 1953)
Emphasis added

There seem to be fewer exceptions in Pasadena than some other places.

Arcadia makes it clear:
http colon whackwhack municipalcodes dot lexisnexis dot comw hack codes whack arcadia whack
4221. DISCHARGING PROHIBITED.
No person shall shoot or discharge any gun, pistol, shotgun, rifle or other firearm or any air gun or pistol or spring-gun or pistol, slung shot or any other dangerous or deadly weapon without having at the same time actually in his possession and upon his person an unexpired permit so to do issued by the Chief of Police.Emphasis added

Notice too the care and consideration in drafting - a slung shot is a variety of sap or club not a projectile weapon at all but a weight with a handle.

I have no idea on what basis the Chief of Police issues or denies such permits, perhaps it is a shall issue process - do please tell me in separate email so we don't drag this out.

#145 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 12:13 AM:

The scary thing is that in Missouri and Kansas, concealed-carry is legal. Apparently you have to take training and pass a test to get a license, but one hopes the testers are honest and aboveboard (I'm not sure what goes into it, I just know it exists).

I suspect the criminals don't care. However, in my last (sentencing-the housing inspector did not show up so I got the minimum fine...) housing court go-round, I was behind a guy in the security line who pulled a whole 9 mm clip out and put it into the tray. The security guard and I both took a big step back and she said, "You have to take that back to your car." He said, "What?" She pointed at it and said "Sir, I can't even touch that. And my supervisor is coming." He re-pocketed it and strode away with no concern. She told her supervisor what had happened as I was going through (X-ray of my bag, metal detector for me, question about cell phone which I'd left in my car).

I get to go to Jury Duty Sept. 12. Woot.

#146 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 01:10 AM:

Connie H -- "I'll speak up to defend the autochthonous practice of the buffalo jump [...]"

Yup. Last forensic anthropology studies I read iindicate that these were little-used after the introduction of horses, and that most drives were made in late summer, when the meat could be sliced and dried (and fat could be rendered) for the tribe's survival during the winter. There was much waste, of course -- and there are Cautionary Tales to the effect of "Deliberate or excessive waste of food will cause White Buffalo Woman to keep game away".


#147 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 08:35 AM:

Greg London writes about the possible necessity for firearms:

Roaving bandits control your neighborhood? Well, there's a need. You're part of a militia? There's another need. Posse? need.

Snakes on your plane?

#148 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 09:03 AM:

in Missouri and Kansas, concealed-carry is legal. Apparently you have to take training and pass a test to get a license

I suspect the criminals don't care.

That is basically the idea. gun control laws won't stop criminals from carrying weapons concealed. The idea of allowing someone to get a license to carry concealed legally seems reasonable to me. Assuming they have no criminal record, and assuming they can pass a minimal test of competence.

The thing about concealed carry is that to unconceal it takes some doing. To introduce a weapon into an exchange between people shouldn't be too easy. Having a visible six shooter in a holster brings the gun into the picture automatically. And can be escalated simply having the wearer put his hand on the grip, or on the holster.

To unconceal a concealed weapon also is immediately obvious and unreversable. So while a guy might put his hand on his six-shooter's grip then take it away and claim he didn't touch it, to unconceal a concealed weapon is pretty hard to deny later.

You yourself demonstrated as witness the memorability of that moment.

The thing is that you can take people who train with weapons day in and day out, like police or military, and you'll still have mistakes happen. unarmed and innocent people get killed. So, if the population is going ot carry weapons, and not even get that level of training, then it ought to be approached in a manner that prevents amateur escalations, problems, and misuse.

Either carry it concealed on your person or in a closed case, purse, whatever. And if the person misuses it, you can take away their license.

Having some sort of testing every couple of years might be a good idea too. In our city, cops have to fire something like 500 rounds at the range every year.

Jury Duty Sept. 12. Woot.

Hey, you might learn a thing or two, like how unlike CSI police work really is.

#149 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 09:03 AM:

Snakes on your plane?

Did anyone actually see that movie?

#150 ::: Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 10:01 AM:

It's not out in Germany yet, but I did see Superman Returns the other day and the SoaP trailer was shown before it. Now the audience in SR seemed to consist of 25-30 year old geeks/ex-geeks (the latter with their girlfriends or NORMAL friends, an echo of wilder times glittering in their eyes) (yes my echoes can glitter), and in the light of that the reaction was... interesting. Half the cinema groaned while the other half laughed. A graugh, if you will.

For the record, I laughed.

#151 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 10:36 AM:

I'd like to suggest one legal use for firearms in urban areas: shooting boom cars. Not the drivers, just the cars, and preferably the engine blocks.

#152 ::: Tully ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 10:52 AM:

Paula, concealed carry doesn't really go into effect until New Year's in Kansas. They began accepting applications July 1st, but no permits will issue before 2007, and no training classes started before July 1st (class must be completed before application will be accepted for review). The new law requires a $150 application fee, full criminal background check complete with fingerprinting, eight hours of "legal issues" classes with a required-100%-passing written exam, and a "demonstrated competence" test on the range on standard FBI QT-15 targets. It's the same general standard required for "basic" certification as a Kansas LEO, though most departments require annual range qualification and legal-issues course review for all active-duty officers.

Licenses are good for four years and renewal requires full re-qualification. Instructors must be LE, mil, or Advanced NRA certified instructors and must themselves go through the state instructor training course and be certified and licensed by the state before they can hold classes. Certified/employed LEO's are NOT allowed to skip the qualifying courses or required fees for a concealed carry license, and Kansas law doesn't generally permit off-duty concealed carry otherwise. As "shall issue" concealed-carry laws go, it's pretty stringent, much more so than most.

No idea about the Missouri requirements.

#153 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 03:23 PM:

But, why shoot prairie dogs when one can have fun doing this?

Wallace and Gromit would approve heartily.

Me, I'll settle for being amazed by yet another proof that fiction has nothing on reality.

#154 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 04:13 PM:

P J Evans...what is a boom car? A term I haven't heard before.

#155 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 05:47 PM:

A car outfitted with giant speakers so those inside can share their musical tastes with everyone in the neighborhood who isn't deaf or playing their own music at similar volume.

#156 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 06:09 PM:

Xopher, usually these have two speakers that are super-subwoofers so you get vibrations you can feel a couple of hundred feet away, even if you can't hear anything else. Being less than three car-lengths from one of those - well, you can feel, and see, your own car vibrating. (Whether the windows are up or down won't make any difference.) They really prefer driving around with their windows down so everyone else can enjoy their music.

#157 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 06:18 PM:

And for the people who think driving a boom car just doesn't let them express their inner jerkdom adequately enough, there are boom motorcycles. They're usually fully tricked-out Harleys, but I've seen a Goldwing or two as well.

#158 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 07:13 PM:

The local NBC station critic says Snakes on a Plane is going to be like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where people participate in the film. He said it was so bad it was almsot good.

#159 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2006, 07:37 PM:

Did anyone actually see that movie?

It's just opening today. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 64% Fresh, though.

#160 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 01:53 PM:

The only defense against the boom car is the bass seeking missile, which really needs to be moved up on the research priorities list.

#161 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2006, 02:09 PM:

the bass seeking missile, which really needs to be moved up on the research priorities list.

Isn't that kind of fishing banned anyway?

#162 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 06:54 PM:

Isn't that kind of fishing banned anyway?
As shown on TV some of the sea skimmers are bass boats.

Notice that in Kansas - not noted for BLM cattle leases - prairie dogs have been treated like noxious weeds - I'd say folks are allowed to tolerate some prairie dogs on their own land but the neighbors will speak up if the population and so the area is growing. Conditions in the ranchettes may vary.

80-1202
Chapter 80.--TOWNSHIPS AND TOWNSHIP OFFICERS
Article 12.--PRAIRIE DOGS, MOLES AND GOPHERS

80-1202. Eradication of prairie dogs; duties of township trustees; entry upon land, exceptions; assessment of costs. In addition to the duties now prescribed by law for township trustees, in counties infested by prairie dogs, they may do and perform the following services: That the township trustees of the several townships in this state infested by prairie dogs may enter upon the lands so infested in their respective townships and make diligent efforts to exterminate all prairie dogs thereon. For the purpose of enabling them to carry into effect the provisions of this act, the trustees are authorized and empowered to employ all such assistance and to purchase the poison or such appliances and material as they may deem necessary to exterminate such dogs. The work of such extermination shall all be done under the supervision and direction of the trustees: Provided, That in any county having a population of more than four thousand (4,000) and less than five thousand two hundred (5,200) which contains no city of the second class and not more than two (2) cities of the third class, the trustees shall before entering upon the lands give written notice to any landowner who shall fail or refuse to make use of the materials offered or provided, that unless he or she endeavors to control such prairie dogs according to the methods prescribed by the board of trustees will, within fifteen (15) days after the date specified in the notice enter upon his or her land and use the necessary materials to eradicate the prairie dogs thereon; and the trustees or their agents, may thereafter enter upon the land and proceed to eradicate such prairie dogs.

After eradication of such prairie dogs, the trustees shall immediately notify the landowner or landowners with an itemized statement of the costs thereof, and stating that unless such amount is paid within thirty (30) days from the date of the notice, that the amount shall become a lien upon their real estate. If such costs are not paid within thirty (30) days they shall be assessed against the property of the landowner and the township clerk shall, at the time of certifying other township taxes to the county clerk, certify the costs of such eradication and the county clerk shall extend the same on the tax roll of the township against such property and said costs shall be collected by the county treasurer and paid to the township as other township taxes are collected and paid.

History: L. 1909, ch. 181, § 1; L. 1919, ch. 315, § 1; R.S. 1923, 80-1202; L. 1965, ch. 548, § 2; L. 1969, ch. 472, § 1; L. 1972, ch. 384, § 1; March 20. Emphasis added

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