Saturday, December 15, 2007

Anti-Gun Stupidity in Colorado?

OK, here's another item I saw while in Colorado Spring this past week-- "More Firepower For Security Guards?"

"...Next week, the City Council will decide whether to change an ordinance limiting guards to revolvers, and let them use semiautomatic weapons. Law-enforcement officers already carry semiautomatic weapons like the .40-caliber handgun, the 9-mm handgun or the AR-15 9-mm assault rifle."

The article is rife with idiocies, but none more stupid than the essential point, that the Colorado Sprimgs City Council sets arbitrary limits on what arms a security guard can carry. Like every gun control ordinance, this one is not rooted in common sense. If you are asking a guard to place himself (or herself!) in a position where he might have to employ deadly force, then shouldn't he be allowed to choose the weapon that he is most comfortable with?

Note that the article asserts that one is "outgunned" if armed only with a revolver. I don't think so; a .38 or a .357 is a very effective weapon, especially at the conversational distances that characterize most gunfights, and they probably have an edge over semi-automatics at longer ranges. They do require learning and mastering a different set of gunhandling skills, but that's a training issue, not a suitability issue. Remember that volume of fire does not constitute firepower; effective hits constitute firepower. I can't remember who said that-- it may have been Jeff Cooper himself-- but the truth of the matter remains.

The problem here is not that the city council says that you can only use revolvers, but that the city council places any limits at all on the choice of armament. If a security guard carries a .38 Special revolver and an M1 Carbine, but can make these guns perform up to their capabilities, then he's certainly not outgunned. But let him make the choice. It's his life at stake.

Anti-Hunting Stupidity in Colorado?

Just got back from a week spent in Colorado Springs. Work, not pleasure, but I was able to hoist a few at a great brewpub downtown, Phantom Canyon. I can also recommend the Antlers Hilton, but not its attached brewpub, where the beer was a-w-f-u-l. The chow was ok but the beers were flat and tasteless, so much so that the waitress asked how I liked them and wasn't surprised when I said I didn't. Anyway, Phantom Canyon is right across the street from the Antlers, and has everything you want.

While there I took in some of the local news, which included of course the church shootings. Also dismaying, in its own way, was this-- "Elk To Be Shot In RMNP." Note that the headline reads, "to be shot," not "RMNP to open for limited hunting season." What this means is that the National Park Service will pay "sharpshooters" to cull the herd, because the current elk herd there is more than the land can support.

I say there's a better way to do it. Instead of paying people to come and cull the herd-- Capstick once wrote that culling was a "dismal business"-- why don't they get Congress to change the law, and then issue permits and tags by lottery to the TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HUNTERS WHO WILL PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF HUNTING THERE. Right now, nonresident Colorado bull and cow elk tags go for $501 and $251 respectively. If we allow for, say, a five-to-one ratio in the number of permits and tags issued versus the number of animals actually taken, RMNP could put a big dent in the elk herd and raise a large sum each year. All of that money could go directly to that park, to improve and preserve the habitat. There would also be, as there is anywhere else big-game hunting is practiced, a substantial boost to the local economy.

The article says also that some of the meat will go to Indian tribes. To hell with that. The last thing those people need is more handouts. If the NPS won't open the park up to hunters nationwide, let them open it up to hunting parties from the Indian tribes. Now that would be something to see.

But I tend to think that the powers-that-be in the NPS won't want to hear any of it. I think that organization is riddled with anti-hunters and is one of the biggest obstacles to real wildlife conservation in the US today. This is all despite the facts in front of their faces. Sad but true, and I bet Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave. Might have to write my Congressoids about this.