Occupy Gracie Mansion

Grace Mansion for the uninitiated is the official residence of the Mayor of New York. For the last several years it has been occupied by Michael Bloomberg, billionaire, nanny stater, and gun control proponent.

Not content to attempt to impose New York City-style gun control on the rest of the nation through his Mayor Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg is now trying to buy six State Senate seats in the commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to block gun rights reforms there.

Bloomberg (I) has donated $25,000 of his own money to six Senate Democratic candidates, who are involved in some of the closest races in the state: Sen. Toddy Puller (Fairfax), Sen. Dave Marsden (Fairfax), Sen. George Barker (Prince William), Sen. Mark Herring (Loudoun), Sen. John Miller (Newport News) and Barbara Favola, who is running for an open seat in Arlington.

As noted in The Gothamist, not everyone is happy about Bloomberg’s meddling in their state.

When reached for comment on his donations, a manager at A&P Arms in Hampton, Virginia told a Daily News reporter, “He’s an arrogant bastard who shouldn’t be meddling.” This man will have his chance to tell Bloomberg what he thinks in person: the mayor plans to visit Virginia next week.

John Feinblatt, the mayor’s Criminal Justice Coordinator, is blunt about what they are trying to do.

The state Senate, controlled by Democrats 22-18, has blocked the passage of those bills (repeal of one gun a month and campus carry) – but the party’s hold on power is tenuous.

If these six would lose, the laws (gun rights bills) would sail through, said Feinblatt. A bad situation would get even worse.

The South saw its share of carpetbaggers and scalawags during Reconstruction. It looks like Mayor Bloomberg wants to go back to that era – at least when it comes to Virginia and gun control.

Didn’t Return Home Empty Handed

I didn’t return home empty handed after attending Chris and Elise’s wedding in Cincinnati this weekend.

From left to right is Pure Kentucky XO, Willett Pot Still Reserve, and Buffalo Trace’s White Dog Mash No. 1. The Pure Kentucky XO is a 12-year old small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd. while the Willett Pot Still Reserve is a single barrel bourbon by the same company. The White Dog isn’t yet bourbon because it hasn’t been aged. It is essentially legal moonshine. On a side note, the Willett Pot Still Reserve has the coolest bottle – it is shaped just like a pot still.

If we didn’t have to get home early today, I might have been able to pick up some others not available through the state-owned North Carolina ABC Stores. However, there will be future trips and more bourbons to find and try.

As to Chris and Elise, their wedding was wonderful, the bride looked stunningly beautiful, and Chris looked quite handsome in his tux. Elise, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati Law School in May, found out on the morning of the wedding that she had passed the Ohio Bar which made the rest of the day even more of a celebration. Congratulations to both of them and best wishes for a long and happy life together.

Reflections On A Training Class

One of my goals for the year was to take a training class. The abbreviated class offered by Rangemaster’s Tom Givens at the Lucky Gunny Memorial Day Blogger Shoot was good. However, it was not a full-blown class but rather an appetizer. So when Sean Sorrentino said he was pulling together a training class for North Carolina gun bloggers, I signed up immediately – and I am so glad that I did.

The class was offered by TigerSwan at their range just outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina. I think TigerSwan has flown under the training radar because the bulk of their work is with military and law enforcement clientele. It hasn’t gotten the same press that more famous schools like GunSite or Thunder Ranch have received. However, if my introductory pistol class was an indication of the quality of the training received, it should.

I am not a world-class shooter and I have never even shot an IDPA club match. In all honesty, I am a mediocre shooter at best. That said, by lunchtime I was not only hitting a B-8 target at 25 yards in timed rapid fire (5 shots in 20 seconds times four) but was getting 20 out of 20 on the target. Even better, five of those 20 were in the black. This was with a stock Ruger SR9. It shows what quality instruction can bring out of a shooter.

Sgt Major Brian Searcy, USA (Ret)

The lead instructor was TigerSwans’ President and COO Brian Searcy who had spent 16 out of his 23-year Army career with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta aka Delta Force. He was the unit’s Operations Sergeant Major and ran their pistol training program. He also had extensive experience as both an operational sniper and in sniper training. In terms of qualifications, skills, and experience, Brian is like Larry Vickers – another trainer and Delta Force veteran – but without the TV exposure. Brian’s assistant for this class was Paul whose last name I never caught. Paul, like Brian, had served in both the Army Special Forces and Delta Force.

Neither Brian nor Paul took the drill instructor approach to this class. Rather they showed us how it should be done, made adjustments to our shooting style, and offered quiet critiques. They also offered lots of encouragement.

The training itself is built around the fundamentals – grip, stance, target picture, breathing, trigger pull, and follow-through. Their goal was help us learn what it took to produce a single, well-aimed shot and then build from there. George at Newbie Shooter blog who went through the class with me has a good description of this process in this post.

One of the things I’ve noticed in retrospect is that much of the training emphasized an economy of motion. For example, in their draw sequence, instead of holding your weak hand flat against your chest, you were taught to hold it with your fingers spread and wrist cocked towards the target. This puts the weak hand in the position to complete the two-handed grip much quicker. Another example was we were encouraged to use our pistol’s slide release after we reloaded instead of the “slingshot method”. Again, it is quicker and gets you on target faster. When you consider what Brian and Paul did in their former lives, you begin to appreciate how these little small changes could make a huge difference down the road.

As the class wound down, Brian encouraged us to devote 10 minutes a day to dry fire practice. Building the muscle memory serves to make many parts of the shooting process an unconscious reaction so that you can concentrate on the shot and the target. A couple of days after I got home, I received follow-on tips and drills from Brian to help us build on what we learned in the class. Not only was this a nice touch but it showed a commitment to helping us grow as shooters even after the class was over and done.

In conclusion, I would recommend without any reservations training with TigerSwan. They know how to shoot and, more importantly, they know how to teach.

Cummings Keeps Pushing It Was All A Local Problem Meme

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee keeps trying to push the meme that Operation Fast and Furious was a local operation out of the ATF’s Phoenix Field Division that went horribly wrong. In a letter today to Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), he pushed to have former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson appear at the same hearing as Attorney General Eric Holder.

Our staffs have already conducted transcribed interviews with Mr. Melson and the former Deputy Director of ATF, William Hoover. During those interviews, these officials expressed serious concerns about the controversial tactics employed by the Phoenix Field Division of ATF as part of this operation. They also raised concerns about the manner in which the Department of Justice responded to congressional inquiries. Both officials also stated that they had not been aware of the controversial tactics being used in Operation Fast and Furious, had not authorized those tactics, and had not informed anyone at the Department of Justice headquarters about them. They stated that Operation Fast and Furious originated within the Phoenix Field Division, and that ATF headquarters failed to properly supervise it.

Mr. Cummings certainly has his job cut out for him if he intends to be the Obama Administration’s designated obstructionist into finding the facts of Operation Fast and Furious. As for Melson, he seems to have been bought off rather cheaply with the transfer to DOJ which allows him to keep his full pension. Of course, it is you and I as taxpayers who are footing the bill for that payoff.

Light Blogging For Rest Of Weekend

There will be light to no blogging for the rest of Friday through the weekend. We are heading out to Cincinnati for the Complementary Spouse’s nephew Chris’s wedding to Elise.

On a gunnie note, Chris, though a chemist, would like to be a Class III NFA firearm dealer. He has already been to Knob Creek a few times and has discussed setting up a NFA trust with his dad. When I see young people like him have an interest in firearms, I just smile.

Quote Of The Day

In his discussion of rumors that former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden is going to roll over on Eric Holder and others in the Obama Administration – which Mike warns might be a disinformation effort – he goes on to say that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has enough now that they could indict William Newell for perjury. That is, if the Republican leadership would allow it.

Sources say that the Oversight Committee has more than enough evidence to charge “Gunwalker Bill” Newell (and others) with more than one count of perjury. The Republican leadership, specifically John Boehner, is reported to oppose that because “he doesn’t want to get ahead of the facts,” according to one source. The same source, who works for the federal government, added in disgust, “The real reason is that Boehner is a pussy.”

The source believes that were Newell to be charged, demonstrating the seriousness of the Committee’s intent, that “there would be an instant change in the attitude of the rest of the guilty” and that “the cover-up would collapse overnight.” The cover-up “COULD be collapsed overnight,” said the source, “if the Republican leadership had the balls to do it. But they don’t.”

More than once I’ve been tempted to send a set of these to the Republican leadership as a replacement but didn’t want to waste the money.

Walsh Becomes 4th Congressman To Call Upon Holder To Resign

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) was one of the speakers at the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Chicago and made a very strong, pro-gun address. He has now become the fourth Congressman to call on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over Project Gunwalker. In his letter to Holder, Congressman Walsh said the motivation for the operation seemed to be to curtail American’s Second Amendment rights under the pretext of stopping guns going to Mexico.

Your Department has made an enormous error in judgment. It instructed federally-licensed firearms dealers to illegally sell at least 2,000 guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) intended to be trafficked to drug cartels in Mexico. The results of this error in judgment have implicated the United States in well over one hundred deadly crimes and the deaths of two federal agents.

This not only raises serious questions about your ability to serve as the head of the Justice Department, but also begs the question of why an anti-gun Administration would knowingly force licensed firearms dealers to sell guns to violent criminals. I raise this because Operation Fast and Furious — if the facts of this case had not come to light — would have been used by this Administration as another false argument to attack law-abiding American gun owners.

The American people deserve to know if your Department had any intent to link the legal purchase of firearms here in the U.S. to crimes committed near our southern border. Operation Fast and Furious funneled firearms legally purchased at gun shops in the U.S. to known criminal syndicates to prove these syndicates have access to legal purchased weapons. This is a deliberate attempt to vilify and attack the millions of gun owners in America who value our Second Amendment and have never broken the law.