The Written LAB-Oratory

Presenting Truth disguised as Fiction. And exposing Fiction disguised as Truth.

Armed and Dangerous.

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As I’ve reached a certain age, I tend to carry a particular weapon more than I did in my yout’. I’ve always been of the persuasion that you carry tools on your person to make your day easier.

You always need a knife, because things and people need cutting from time to time. Much more often the former, but sometimes, however rare, the latter.

A lighter is a must. I mean, you may run across a fair damsel who needs her cigarette lit. Nowadays, it’s more often a candle or contemplatory cigar. But you must still be ready to be a gentleman.

I have carried a gun for a while now. It’s purpose is a bit more unitaskish so I don’t need to go into that. Thankfully, aside from some paper, I’ve never had to put holes in anything. …although the couple of times I’ve tried with feral hogs, I’m sad to say I didn’t do much to ease Texas’ hog problem.

However, of late, I’ve taken to carrying one weapon more than others. It’s been around for a LONG TIME. It’s manual of arms is rather rudimentary, despite modern attempts to reshape it. It doesn’t require a license to own nor any registration. …at least not yet. I foresee that changing some day, but probably not in my lifetime.

I prefer the metal versions as polymer just doesn’t do it for me. It comes in 10, 50, and 150 round variants.

The gun, knife, and lighter tend to stay home more and more as this occupies a slot in my pockets, bags, and cases much more frequently. It wasn’t a conscious decision, really, it just kind of happened. Even before I used it regularly, it, well… it’s always been there and then migrated to my daily needs list.

Ok.. most of you probably guess already, but for those of non-Catholic upbringing, it’s a Rosary.

It’s been in the background of my life for a lifetime. I’ve picked it up from time-to-time only to abandon it for… The world, I suppose. But now… OH, BUT NOW! I’d rather it on my than my Sig, Benchmade, or Zippo.

This old world is about to puke on itself. Our masters have decided to be blatant about how we are nothing but cows to milk. Even our religious leaders are nothing but Judas Goats leading us to Perdition.

Putting my hand in my pocket and feeling raw, cold firepower is comforting. Feeling the beads run across my fingers in prayer is both soothing and disturbing. I can feel the pains of the world and the anger of the enemy.

In the end, I don’t feel peace. I feel a unique discomfort. Not in the prayers, but in the presence of “Our Times.” I see where we are headed. I see where things must go. History and math show us clearly what awaits and somehow we think THIS TIME we can outsmart it.

No one has. Ever. So I pray.

Now, apologies to my Protestant friends. I have a “Sword” as well and I use it, albeit, less than I should. But the gentle contemplation of the Rosary is so beautiful. The Devil can quote scripture, but he will never say a Rosary. He can’t bear what he lost because of The Incarnation. Mary and Jesus will always be the ones that got away. One because He is Incorrupt, and the other because she is incorruptible.

And that is the essence of The Rosary. A prayer in action, like a blade in the hands of a warrior at his last stand. Die with it in your hand, like a man. Be another who got away.  

Written by lablount

November 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s been a minute.

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I’ve decided blogging is cheaper than therapy. Plus, now that our Tech Lords don’t like opinions that run counter to the narrative, I thought starting this back up and maybe boosting the signal of non-assholian discourse could be a good thing. I know no one is reading this right now, but some day, this can be used to cancel me.

Written by lablount

November 10, 2020 at 12:09 am

She Fights!

Bear with the brief, head space forming, prologue.  It’s really leading someplace spiritual.  Honest.

The most honest assessment of the Trump victory in November is not about policy or border security or the economy or any wonkish flight of fancy.  Progressives and Statists must lie to get the common folk to vote for them.  They “pretend” to care about all the hot button issues while wearing the Pantomime Eagle and, with slogans, all proclaim they will “Make America _____ Again.”   The missing word might me “Work,” “Just,” “Merciful,” “Hope,” “Change,” et al…   But in the end, it’s all BS.  They want ONE thing.  Power.

Enter The Orange Orangutan.   Unlike other politicians, he just said the first thing on his mind.  A lot of times it sucked.  Sometimes it made no sense.  At times, it hit the mark.  It was rough guttural language that pulled no punches.  But all this, like the lies of the Elites, meant nothing.  People had heard it all before, simply in better tones, with high school vocabulary, and from normal complexions.

What ultimately gave Trump the win was, “He Fights.”  He kept getting back up.  “Quds Force.”  Back up.  “They’re not sending us their best.”  Back up.  “Grabbing Felines.”  Back up.   He counter punched like a thug in a bar brawl.  The knock-out blow, as much as it stinks and as much as the “With Her” crowd will never admit, was, “Nasty Woman.”  She was attacking him, seemingly landing blows, and out of nowhere, “Nasty Woman.”   She never recovered.  He showed with that one terrible statement, that he was going to fight tooth and nail.

For flyover country, it was “Beast Mode” and they loved it.  They found someone who wasn’t going to retreat into nuanced language or $1000/hour lawyer speak.   Debate of him and his policies is another matter (and debate there should be).  The point of all this is to show that people love and respect a fighter even if they don’t love and respect THE fighter.

That said…®  This is all temporal prologue to the Spiritual Mater at hand.  Nope, not a type-o.

Turning to Lent, I’d like to focus on Final Battles and The Final Battle, the one for, literally, All The World.  Like the Political Commoners, we Spiritual Commoners, are looking to follow a fighter.  There are many types to follow.  There is even the Spiritual Brawler, necessary for when the fight turns temporal.   These are the fighters that see the line of battle, pick a spot, and throw themselves into scrum seeking to breach the defenses for others.  The martyrs and temporal warriors, who with one firm purpose, focused all their will to that spot, at that moment, and brought the point of the spear savagely upon the enemy.  Be it roasting alive like St Lawrence or Don John‘s humiliating defeat of the Ottoman Fleet, Catholicism would be dead without their toils and blood.

There are charismatic fighters.  Venerable Futon Sheen, Patton, and McArthur.  The ones who can take a group of people and band them together simply with the force of their own will and words.  They give their St Crispin’s speech — or more importantly, their Admonition of Herald – and people follow them into the fires of Hell if need be.  They are not flashes in the pan.  They have the martial cattle to go with the hat, but they lead first with their larger than life command presence.

Then there are the John Paul IIs and the Washingtons.  The ones who speak quietly so you must lean in and, by that act, form a bond of martial intimacy.  No matter the odds or the current state-of-affairs, they betray no sense of doubt about the eventual outcome.  They are redoubts of Iron Will and Faith.  The quite walls inside which others find warmth and wait for the order to march forward.

Before Washington and JPII, and all of history’s previous Washingtons and JPIIs, there was Mary’s quiet, still, “Let it be.”  Our Spiritual Comfort.  The gentle breast that nourished Our Lord.  The Mother who carried Jesus into and out of Egypt.  The Woman who watched her son go into the world only to be broken and handed to her at the foot of a cross she fought to be near and unite with.  The Immaculate Conception that loved more deeply than any other human could and felt more sorrow that any other human will.

She entreats us to lean in close and hear her words, “Do whatever He tells you.”  This act, alone, is what makes the General of The Angels and The Church Militant.  The General who stood, toe to toe with Our Lord, The King of Kings, and gave him advise that seemingly ran contrary to His wishes.  It was a test, just as any Good King may employ to see if the person he has chosen is, indeed, ready for the job.

Her words are few, simple, well chosen, and do not betray her roles or the tide of battle.  Her “Fiat” was the acceptance of the title, Queen.  Her spurring Jesus to His Temporal Ministry was her acceptance of the role of General.

“Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” Imagine the Angels hearing Jesus seemingly rebuke her?  The silence that fell in Heaven.  You could have heard the angels drop off the head of a pin.   In reply, her humble, simple statement.  Her faith that He would hear and answer her prayer.  The firmness, and love, of a mother addressing her Son.  And then, He acts in quite obedience to, and love for, His mother.

Why do the angles willingly follow her?  Because Jesus said to? Sure.   The angels will do ANYTHING Jesus tells them to.  …whether they like it or not.  They will bend their wills to His.  Why do they follow her willingly?  She Fights!  For them.  For us.  But more importantly, for her Son!

She has, throughout all Christian History, fought for her Son.  During his life, at his death, and after her Assumption.  Interceding for the faithful in small, day-to-day, ways and in History Changing Events such as the Final Battle of Lepanto.   She hears us, takes our concerns to Jesus, then tells the Angels and us to, “Do whatever He tells you,” knowing that if it is just and merciful, He will do what she asks.

Once again, she is quietly amassing an army to fight for her Son.  There is turmoil in The Church and this country, which is consecrated to her.  She is asking all the faithful to join her.  This lent, pray and fast and discern if you will join her on her quest to vindicate her Son.  She is a fighter we can follow AND respect.  And she is guaranteed the final victory over The Serpent.  We may not be upon the eve of THE Final Battle, but it sure seems like the end of AN age. …Even if Out Lady shows no worry.

Written by lablount

March 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Catholic, Lent, Religious

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Satan, The Happy Camper.

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Paraphrasing someone smarter than me, “Think on the end of your life and you will not sin.”  This is actually a pretty good rule for anything.  Start at the end — what you want to accomplish, your mission statement — and “work backward” to find all the steps you will need to accomplish to reach that goal.

Be cognizant of the end point so you don’t go astray.  And if you need to take a detour, for whatever reason, you always know that you should get back on track ASAP.

What is the end point of Lent?  What are we working toward?  Easter.  The Resurrection.  The Fulfilment of the Mosaic Covenant and the establishment of the New Covenant.  Our jobs are to purge ourselves of ourselves and make room for The Only One who really matters.  We are to become, to fulfil, to live, the New Covenant.   YAY!

But…  That makes Satan happy.  *RecordScreech*  Because once we know the truth of the New Covenant.  Once we’ve been healed, our eyes see, and our ears hear, we are held to a New Standard.  Our hearts are no longer hard.  Our minds are no longer closed.  As our parents would say, “You know better than that!”

So when we slip, as we all do, the sin is so much sweeter (rotten) for Satan.  When the Noble Savage sins, it’s like tepid American Beer to Satan.  But when a Christian sins… Oh, how the halls of Hell echo with drunken glee.

So as most of us start Lent, we think, “I can make it 40(ish) days.  No problem.”  Sure, yeah, no problem.  But, what about next year?  What about the end of your life?  Don’t let the near goal overshadow the long-term goal.  Satan is waiting to make lemonade.  Are you ready for him?  Are you ready to commit?

Written by lablount

February 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Going to File this Under: Believing Your Own Bulls**t

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Dear David,

Anthropomorphic Global Warming has been shown to be a sham.  …So much so the true believers have switched to “Climate Change”.  But guess what, the climate does change due to sun spots, precipitation patterns, and other natural phenomena.  So running scared because of climate change is kind of like fearing the dawn.  It’s going to happen.  It’s happened in the past.  And guess what, we made it out okay when we were running around in animal skins, we’ll be just fine now.

Remember, Global Warming alarmists said that we’d all be dead in 20 years if we didn’t stop everything and shiver cold in the dark.  I believe that was 30 some odd years ago.  Then Al Gore said it again 10+ years ago.  OH! But remember in 1975 when it was GLOBAL COOLING!   Climates change, David. Expecting the Earth to humor this generation of humans with constancy is as foolish as acting as if killing people will do anything about it.

Your “not enough room” argument has been disproven time and again.*  There’s PLENTY of room for people in the world.  The Population Bomb predicted that by the 80’s we’d have hundreds of millions of people dying of starvation.  And while starvation is still an issue in some places, I think you’ll find that the Governments, and by governments I mean dictators, war lords, and their accomplices in the UN, in those regions use starvation as a means to an end.  David, we can grow SCADS of food.  If we stop letting petty tyrants affect the flow of food and stop burring corn in our cars, we can feed everyone.

David, I know in your dotage you strive to be relevant.  I know it’s not popular to tell the truth that life has risks and there isn’t a magic policy or pill we can do to fix it all.  But to go so far out of your own humanity to suggest other humans should die or not be allowed to exist so that your cushy Western Hemisphere life should go unchanged is the height of hubris.

I really don’t see how someone who can see so much beauty in the world can look back on his own kind and not see the same beauty, but a bug that should be culled like any other pest.  As always, David, I invite you and your followers to lead by example.  I mean, eight decades and counting is an awful long time to be kicking about on this rock.  Take the hemlock and allow someone else to occupy your carbon foot print if you are so committed to population control.

Or do you, just like the eugenicists, mean only those brown people should be curbed?  Maybe not.  Perhaps your brand of death worship is more nuanced and the “human weeds” aren’t just those from funny sounding ferrin’ lands, but those on the wrong side of the tracks.  I mean if they can’t fund impressive international death cult NGO wannabes, be a TV celebrity, or be part of the politically connected class, why expose them to a meaningless life in the first place?

David, you’re an impressive person.  Don’t flush all that down the drain by becoming a caricature of an late 1800’s British Philanthropist who thinks his money and lineage gives him the right to tell the rest of the world how and when to die.  Humanity doesn’t need to, “sort itself out,” nor does it need a, “coordinated view about the planet,” (presumably under your ilk’s vast omniscience).  What is needed is to let humans be humans and nature be nature.   When there is a famine, people will share.  When there’s not, people will grow.  It’s simply the way our world has worked since the dawn of Man.  We messily work it out without some hero stepping in and telling us who needs to die and who needs to live.  The White Man’s Burden ended long ago, David.  We can sort it all out for ourselves, but thanks ever so.


A friend.

*Okay, so that article was written when we hit 6 billion and now we have over 7.  We can put some of the more annoying people in Oklahoma and the example still works.

Written by lablount

January 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

It’s a Mag. Cap World!

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Let me spend a few words talking about magazine capacity and how it will do NOTHING to stop lunatics and criminals but it will affect law abiding citizens and endanger more lives.  I’m going to examine two scenarios and show just what an absurd law this would be.

For Scenario #1 I want you to transport yourself to a land of make-believe where criminals follow some laws before they break other ones.  Specifically, I want you to imagine a world where our bad guy, who is going to steal guns, won’t steal a standard capacity magazine.  So our bad guy takes a bunch of handguns whose standard magazine capacity is, say, 20 rounds and one rifle that has a standard capacity of 30 rounds.  But, being the law abiding criminal, he doesn’t take ANY standard capacity magazine at all; he takes only Ban Compliant 10 Round magazines because it wouldn’t be cricket to kill people with something that is against the law.

So our shooter bad guy goes to a school because the voices in his head that helped him concoct this act of evil tell him it’s time to kill some kids.  Apparently the only better angels of his nature were concerned solely with obeying the magazine capacity law and not killing children, but hey…  So let’s say he leave his rifle in the car (Just as it happened at Sandy Hook) and only takes in the easily concealable handguns.

Now he is going to be in a gun fee zone where he has complete tactical advantage.  He can change magazine at will without any fear of being shot.  Make a gun with your hand.  Pull your “trigger” 10 times with a second pause in between each shot.  That’s about how long it takes someone who isn’t a proficient shooter to reacquire a target.  Now after the 10th shot, pause for, let’s make it 3 seconds.  Even though you can change a magazine in 2 seconds with no training and in less than a second with a little training, we’re going to assume a bit of an adrenaline dump and make a second’s worth of shock that you’re run out of ammo.  Now go back to pulling your trigger again 10 times.   You lost 3 seconds between your standard capacity mag and they neutered 10 round mag.  Not a lot of time when you have the advantage of being the only one with a gun.

BUT WAIT!  Our shooter thought ahead and brought 4 guns(See link above)!  He only has to wait 1 second to draw a new one.  Or he could have had #2 in his left hand.   He could expend two guns worth of ammo, make sure he’s safe, spend 6 seconds loading his guns, then go back to picking off kids who’ve hidden under desks.

The point being, he has tactical advantage.  He can pause, reload, kick, stab, punch, et cetera… all he wants.  And no one can stop him because he’s going to have a loaded gun that can be used on an unarmed defender.   Even if he took in his rifle, he still has NO RESISTANCE so he can do a reload whenever and how ever he likes.  Net result; dead children.  Nothing has changed.

Scenario #2:  A 120 pound lady is walking to her car.  She is assailed by multiple attackers.  She, a law abiding citizen, has purchased a Glock 19 that has a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds.  But the law clearly states you can only buy 10 round magazines and the gun only comes with a 10 rounder.  There are older 15 round magazines out there, but, when you can find them for sale, they are now $50 or $60 each and she can’t afford that right now.  She’d doing good to afford the gun (used $450 + tax), the Ammo ($220 + tax*), $50 holster or $120 gun purse, and the $200+ for the class and license to carry the gun.  So a RICH PERSON can still get ahold of standard capacity mags, but a work-a-day mom just trying to get back home to her family can’t.

9mm is good defensive round, but it’s not uncommon for it to take upwards of 5 rounds to stop an attack.  That’s a very important thing to remember, a defensive shooter is not trying to kill, but stop that attack RIGHT NOW.  One bullet may kill someone in a few hours without medical attention, but it may take 5 or 6 to STOP that attacker in his tracks.  Add drugs to the mix and you can guarantee that you will need more than one round to STOP someone.

Our lady is observant, she sees the bad guys, she’s doing EVERYTHING right.  But they move to attack her.  She draws her gun.  She fires 5 shots into thug #1, he slows and stops.  She fires 5 rounds into thug #2, he falters.  Because she was smart and carried her gun with a round in the chamber, she is able to put 1 round in thug #3 who doesn’t stop.  He takes a knife, plunges it into her just below the rib cage, makes a downward “J” motion with his arm, and her intestines spill out on her shoes.   She doesn’t make it home.

She didn’t have the tactical advantage so she wasn’t able to reload without being assaulted.  She is now dead, her children get to weep, and her husband has to plan a funeral.  …all because some politician needed to make splash and pay off a special interest group.

“Oh surely this never happens,” you will say.  It’s not a regular occurrence, no.  But multiple attackers and flash mobs are happening more often now.  They are certainly happening more than the media frenzied mass-shootings.  And remember, our directive in the debate is, “…if it saves just one life…”  With a 15 round magazine, our lady is now safely giving her statement to the responding officer.    With a 10 round magazine, the officer is informing a husband and father that his world has fallen apart.

“Why not carry a gun with a bigger bullet?”  Well… Handguns only punch holes.  There is only so much damage you are going to do with a handgun.  Trading “up” to a higher caliber only gives you a little more “oomph” with the trade-off of less accuracy, and the weaker you are, the more pronounced that trade-off is.  That’s one of the reasons the military went to the 9mm round.  The brass hats decided that more rounds and accuracy make up for the less power in the 9mm.  If you are a woman, you should be allowed to use the best caliber that you can shoot.  And for many women, that’s a 9mm.  Taking magazine capacity away will only hurt women shooters forcing them to either HOPE they are only attacked by one person or trying to shoot calibers that are too inaccurate for their frame and strength.

The takeaway from this is simple; restricting magazine capacity is only going to affect law abiding citizens, with women, truly, being the hardest hit.  It will do NOTHING to stop what happened in Newtown, CT from happening again.  It will not stop spree killers and mass shootings.  This is simply a worthless idea being hailed as a cure-all that will only give those who hate the 2nd Amendment momentum, act as a sop for special interest groups, and set the stage for politicians to say, “See, we need to do more,” when the next tragedy hits.   Don’t fall for it.  Call and write your elected officials today and keep the pressure on.

*YEAH!  That’s on the low end.  20 rounds of defensive ammo costs upwards of $20. And you need to run 200 rounds, failure free, though a semi-automatic gun before you can deem it “working properly”.

Written by lablount

January 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

Once Again, Barack Obama Strives for Perfect Attendance.

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Yesterday, amid great fanfare and spectacle, complete with innocent children as props, President Barack Obama bravely voted, “Present,” dropped back five, and punted.  His 23 Executive Orders were, to put it mildly, a joke.   They were a kin to a kid being told he needed to turn in a seven page paper and he kept typing the same things in different ways page after page.  And if that wasn’t enough, Our President then, with amazing intestinal fortitude (and a straight face) handed Congress the whole mess and said, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

The thing is, The President could have done A LOT of (temporary) damage to the firearms industry with powers he does have.  He could have instructed the BATFE (eye-ee-eye-oh!) to ban the importation of a whole host of guns by deeming them “Not suitable for sporting purposes.”   Now, that would have caused some legal problems because the regs would have to be bent so far as to break, but given Obama’s predilection for full-blow constitutional crises, the legal dust up over the rules for “sporting purpose” would be like fighting a traffic ticket by comparison.

Companies like Glock and Taurus would be hit hard as their manufacturing presence in the U.S. is either small (TaurusUSA) or nonexistent (as with Glock).  All manner of full capacity magazines (30 rounds) could be made illegal to import.  Especially the ones imported for the always maligned “AK-47*” that, apparently, most gun owner agree is evil and, “only belongs in the hands of the military,” never mind the militaries that field the AK-47 are almost all criminal enterprises that terrorize unarmed citizens until the citizens get ahold of their own AKs…   But I digress.

He could have bravely ordered The Acting BATFE(eye-ee-eye-oh!) Director to begin bending the regs and shut down the flow of evil 30 round magazines and semi-automatic weapons into the country from ferrin’ godless lands.  And if you doubt he has the authority to do that, try and find a NORINCO 1911 or NORINCO SKS at your local merchant-of-death.  You can’t.  Not because they’ve been bought up with all the other guns in this crisis, but because Bill Clinton outlawed their importation**.    Not only could Barry ban the importation of guns and parts, but also ammo.

Dear Leader could have CROWED with triumph yesterday then demanded The Congress have the guts that he did.   “I’ve stopped them from commin’ in!  Y’all stop them from getting out!”  Well… maybe not that tag line.  That might not play well with the “Fast and Furious” scandal.  But you get the idea.

However, he didn’t do anything of the sort.  My guess is because he doesn’t have a permanent BATFE(eye-ee-eye-oh!) Director to hide behind.  Regardless of the reason, he stood his prop children on the piled bodies of the dead children of Newtown and tried to yell, “LOOK! ELVIS;” leaving Congress to take the black eye.  Amid all the trappings of perfectly staged photo-op, Our President stared out at the smoking hulk of the Reichstag, where he’d fanned flames only a short time ago, and said, “NOT IT!  But, you, Congress, make me a cake as fast as you can so I can tell them to eat it.”

Now the sad truth of any importation ban is that Glock and other companies like it would just temporarily partner with a U.S. manufacturer to build enough parts for their guns to be considered “Manufactured in the U.S.A.” until they could build or buy their own plants.   Companies like Taurus would just push to expand their U.S. facilities as fast as they could.  The only companies to be permanently affected would be the outliers that only serious gun nuts like me would care about (like NORINCO).  But that wouldn’t stop the narrative that “The President took firm action.”  And in the future when GlockUS opened its doors with jobs for some small community in a Southern state, Dear Leader could just say, “Hey, I did my part, it was those evil Republicans in The House that killed the bill that would have saved just one life (My political one).”

Please don’t get me wrong.  I HATE Executive Orders.  I’m happy Dear Leader didn’t send the rule-of-law into another tailspin with Extra-Constitutional mandates.   I’m happy, both for political and constitutional reasons, Congress has to go on the record with this nonsense.   I fear a deal will be struck that will outlaw private sales and standard capacity magazines.  I fear The House Republicans will cave and pick those low hanging fruits for a compromise.  But they shouldn’t because The President showed he’s not going to do anything more than talk about this.  He’s voted, “Present,” so The Congress should listen to the people, the States, and The Constitution and do the same.

* FYI:  For all the bluster from Dear Leader about AK-47s; REAL AK-47’s are heavily regulated by the NFA of ’34.  You can’t own one without an ok from the ATF, an okie-dokie from your locale’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, a deep background check by the FBI, $200 for the tax and paperwork, a several month wait, and a spare $10K-$20K for the legally transferable registered weapon itself.   All civilian “AKs” are AIR-QUOTE AKs.  They LOOK like an AK-47 but are simply a semi-automatic version.  It’s like owning a kit version of a real Shelby Cobra. 

** It’s toward the end of the page.  You can see that 1994 was not a good year for the 2nd Amendment and was the high water mark for anti-2A forces.   Just like an aging hippy trying to recapture their youth with a bottle of Cuervo and bag of “glaucoma medicine”, me thinks the haters of the 2nd Amendment are trying to recapture the halcyon hays of joy they used to get in their little black hearts when they could say, “boo,” and everyone would bow to their whims.   Times, and the internet, have changed.  Anyway, if you find the page, “TLDR,” here’s the relevant line:

“Also in 1994, President Clinton, by Executive Order, banned importation of firearms and ammunition from Red China, then a major exporter of AK-47-type semi-automatic rifles.”

And notice the phrase, “AK-47 type.”  See footnote “*”

Written by lablount

January 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter. The Reason for the Seasons.

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There is a time for everything.  I love the concept of “keeping the reason for the season all year long,” but it’s really impossible.  We can’t stay up or down for too long without burning out.  We all know those who are in a perpetual state of anger or hate.  These are the most tiring people to be around.  Even those who are in an eternal state of happiness without regard to circumstances are beyond the emotional or mental patience of most people.  Both bounds of the pendulum come across as fake or immature.

Without the up time, the down time seems pointless and without the down time, the uptime is unbearable. But that is only half the story.  A few days ago I was almost in a pretty bad accident. A car decided that his nice calm 30 mile an hour lane was just too slow and that my lane cursing along at 60 was much nicer.  The problem was that he executed his lane change only about 30 yards in front of me. Time slowed.  My vision narrowed.  My muscles took over.  I didn’t have to think about looking for more roadway to extend the distance between us.  I never had to tell myself to scan for other cars.  My foot never received an urgent message from my cortex, “HEY!  BREAK!  BUT DON’T LOCK ‘EM!”

The crisis only lasted a split second, but because I’d thought about this and worked on it before, I avoided the pile up with only a post adrenaline dump to deal with.

There’s a saying, “Train like you fight.  Fight like you train.”   Sonny Puzikas, former Spetsnaz, says you will only rise to the level of your training.  Training isn’t reality, it’s realistic.  The brain doesn’t care if the bullets are real or fake, as long as the scenario is realistic your brain will wire itself to respond a certain way to certain stimuli.  I was never in an accident like that before, but I’d thought about it, pretended it would happen, and trained my brain to react a certain way.  And the training didn’t really take all that much time.

So you don’t have to train 24/7?  But you do find time to train and to work on that training.  We know this in other areas of our life and it’s why we take courses relevant to our state in life so we know what to do in our vocation or avocation.  We also take refresher courses or “continuing education” to remind us of the things we should already know.

The religious seasons are our training sessions.  Each time they come around we can focus on various aspects of our spiritual training. Why?  Because you never know when life is going to deploy you into a theater of spiritual warfare.  Just like soldiers never know when they may be called up, we never know when we will be called upon to do spiritual battle.  These times are our continuing education to remind us (when we get hit with a huge amount of ugly) not only what to do and how to do it, but WHO we should be calling on for help.  Those who don’t take advantage of these times find themselves floating on a sea of uncertainty just like a green civilian handed a rifle and thrown on a barricade.

That’s why it’s so important to focus on Advent when it’s Advent and Christmas when it’s Christmas.  Forgetting Advent and taking a month of consumer driven “Christmas” with only one day of actual Christmas, leaves you without this year’s continuing ed.  When January rolls around and the news piles up with evil and work piles up with troubles and family piles up with needs, if you didn’t take the time to reflect and learn, you will be rolled over by life.

So, this Lent, take the time to really reflect.  Give yourself the chance get ready for the Easter Season so that when it’s over you will be ready for the machinations of life come the summer months.  Then when Advent and Christmas comes aging, you can gear up for that year’s training.  Train like you fight…

We are creatures of dynamism.  We grow and change and we can’t evolve in life without taking time out to reflect and train ourselves and meld the old to the new.  Each season can give us, if we chose to learn, new insights to ourselves and our relationship to God.  Don’t be fooled by Madison Ave. into giving up the time appointed by God to continue your education of Him. Without it, you will fight like you train, which means, not well at all.

Written by lablount

January 7, 2013 at 1:08 am

A Christmas Gift: The Sheer Madness of Love.

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The great problem I would have with being an atheist, let alone, an antitheist, is my intense lack of faith in accidents on such an immense scale.  I play poker (poorly) and know the odds of hitting a simple inside straight or making a royal flush on the river.  Of course if you do suck out, the odds on that hand are 1 in 1.  But to believe that your hand’s success invalidates the shear reality of math is a kind of willful hubris that I just don’t have the imagination to trust.

I look out on the night sky and see a vast universe that may be one of many.  I live on a planet that is one of many in a solar system that is one many in a galaxy that is one of many.  I am a man, one of many in a species that trundles along throughout history with other species of flora and fauna.  To the atheist, this is proof that we are nothing special.  They have an abundance of faith in utility, matter, blind luck.

But in my lack of faith I don’t see evidence of the mundane.  I see the efforts of a mad lover trying to express Himself through his art.  Each life a sonnet.  Each star a symphony.  …every opus littering the work shop of an obsessed artist struggling to be understood through, and by, his children.

It’s a condition every small “c” creator understands.  Half-finished poems.  Long ago penned notes strung uneasily on treble and base. Sculpture mocking from beneath the stone.  Great bends of metal that refuse to conform to image of the mind.  All scattered about as his uneasy mind hurriedly tries to capture the latest inspiration, trying to get this one right, only to find, it too, has a mind of its own.

Writer or welder, thespian or terpsichorean… We all search for that elusive place where inspiration intersects with reality.  And even when the work is done as best we can complete it… When we put pen or torch down.  When scene has cut and coda done…  The ache begins.  What is next?

A creator creates because he has no choice.  To stifle that impulse, is to induce despair in a mind diseased by love of creation itself.  That is the universe(s) I see; madness reaching out to its creations, begging to be understood.  For only when the creations understand the creator does the creator find that bliss of perfection.  Which may well be why all artists are just a bit off center.  We will never have a story say, “thank you,” or an expertly performed pirouette look back at its dancer in awe.

I can’t be an atheist for, at my heart’s core, I am an artist and I recognize the sketches and sheet music that a mind, undone by its need to make real its passions, has strewn across math, science, and matter. I see the love notes in the vast cosmos and smile while at the same time cursing my pitiful craft… The ache is always there.

I understand God.   I don’t fathom it.  I will never comprehend it. But I understand.  So this Christmas, I will give you the only gift I can think apropos and the one gift I will almost surely never receive:

Thank you.

Written by lablount

December 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Catholic, Christmas, Religious

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Conservatives and “Plan B” or… Everything is Proceeding As I Have Foreseen.

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I was looking for a way to discuss this but every time I sat at the keyboard my mind just went, “Meh, not ready yet.  Still hurting.”  The November elections left me in a funk for days. Not so much about the liberal that lost but for the socialist that won.  I processed through the first four stages of grief, added three sub-stages of my own (Pizza, Beer, and Range Time), flirted with Stage five, and still haven’t found a way to get to stages six and seven.

In the back of my mind, however, there was a small feeling of relief: I never had to be date-raped by the Statist Republican Leadership ever again.  Since ’88 they’ve been telling us to shut up and vote for the guy they gave us or there would be this endless parade of horribles.  “If you love America you will do what we say or you’ll get Socialized Medicine, a bottomless pit of debt, an Imperial President, destruction of The Constitution, full on Socialism, overarching federal regulations, destruction of the culture, loss of fee speech, the death of religious freedom, a castrated Second Amendment and, the one thing you fear most… you’ll be paying for abortions and will be materially complicit in the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of babies.”

Well… guess what?  We did vote for posers like W, lairs like his father, moderates like Dole, and out right lefties like Romney.  Heck, we even voted for Wendell Willkie II, or as most know him, John “I thought the media was going to give me a pass” McCain.  Yes, we voted for them because we did fear the worst and held out hope that the GOP was still, somewhere deep down inside, the party of Regan.   After so many trips to the dance with a date someone else picked for us, we were getting tired of being left in the corner while they partied with the pretty girls.  However our love of country and fear of Socialism kept us in line.

We voted for all these losers because we hoped we could stem the tide of fiscal irresponsibility and social decay.  Now, after supporting these abusive boyfriends who, all, at one time or another, threw us under the bus, then blamed us for the disaster they caused, we have almost all the parade of horribles virtually enshrined as official doctrine.   Which means, we have nothing left to lose.  I wondered if others felt the same.  I now have my answer.

Speaker Boehner and his gang of moderate-to-left Republicans were told to “shove it” by The House conservatives on the “Plan B” vote. Immediately, the party elites, fresh from their cocktail parties, all decked out in their golf (or spay-on?) tans, began to mumble about the horribles again.  They complained that now, because of the conservatives, the momentum was now back in The Senate.  No, you sad old fools, it’s back in The Senate because YOU wanted to continue to be Socialist Lite™ and we don’t have to go along with it any more.

Of course Mr. Speaker will have his revenge.  Last week when Mr. Speaker was handing out the goodies and kicked several good conservative reps out of key committees, it became clear that the party elites wanted to clean, well… House, and were happy to lose The House to do it.  I started to wonder how they were going to do it.  They would need some miracle to beat down the real conservatives. Enter Newtown.

If you remember the Columbine shooting and the political barn raising held on the bodies of the dead; the ’94 AWB was passed to make life safe for the children.  Never mind that it did nothing but drive up the price of standard capacity magazines and make the AR-15 the number 1 selling rifle in the U.S.  The purely cosmetic ban was the Left punishing the Right.  … And the left suffered.

America threw a, “…temper tantrum…,” claimed the shocked and distraught Peter Jennings during the ’94 election night coverage, just a few short weeks after the ban passed.  Dems were booted from power left and right.  And I mean Left AND Right.  But the conservative wing of the party never recovered.   The mid-nineties was the official death knell of the Blue Dogs with any power.  The Kennedy wing of the party, although they suffered defeat, was much more entrenched in the leadership and survived to fight another day.

This was all just a byproduct of Clinton’s desire to take the party by the horns and knock down the Congressional leaders who marched into The White House after his inauguration to tell him how things really were going to be.  But they forgot they weren’t dealing with a puppet, they were dealing with a redneck used to getting dirty.  So Willy stood aside and let the Party elites get punted.  Of course, turnabout was fair play in 2008 when Kennedy picked Barry over Hil.

Don’t think Boehner didn’t learn something from this.  He’s going to side with The POTUS and try to allow a bill to pass with the faith that the party elites will survive and the weaker, newer, conservatives will fall even though they would not have voted for it.  The “R” next to their name will be enough to poison support.

Will it work?  I don’t know yet.  But I do not look forward to the next few months.  I’m really afraid that my predictions will come true and I don’t pull off the maniacal laugh thing very well.

But, for the time being, it’s good to see other conservatives exercising the same freedom I feel.  Hopefully it’s the same resignation that led to the Battling Bastards of Bastogne and not The Little Bighorn.

Written by lablount

December 22, 2012 at 12:07 am