The Sazerac Bar

Before I went to New Orleans this past week, my ENT doc who is a New Orleans native said if I was going to have one cocktail that epitomized the city it was the Sazerac and not the Hurricane.

After I got to my conference I met a lady who was a native of Lake Charles who echoed my doctor’s recommendation. She went further and said I should have it at the place it originated – the Sazerac Bar. The bartender in the Hyatt agreed and said while he could make an “almost Sazerac” that my first one should be the real thing.

I know good advice where I hear it. Since I had an ample window of time between the close of the conference and when I had to leave for the airport, I walked over to the Roosevelt Hotel and went into the Sazerac Bar.

The first thing I should say is that the Roosevelt Hotel and the Sazerac Bar are like a step back in time to an era where men wore suits, women wore hats, and elegance was the rule and not the exception. The readers of Conde Nast Traveler recently voted the Roosevelt as their 2013 Reader’s Choice for hotels in New Orleans. Even more significant is that the Sazerac Bar was named the 3rd best hotel bar in the world in the Saveur Culinary Travel 2013 Awards.

My bartender Matthew knew his way around a bar and the Sazerac he made me was phenomenal. And this was before he heard that I was from western North Carolina. His in-laws are from here and he just loves the mountains of North Carolina.

The Sazerac itself consists of Sazerac’s 6-year old rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, a lump of sugar, and Herbsaint. The Sazerac was named the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana legislature back in 2008.

All I can say is that I need to go back to New Orleans not on business so that I can see more of the city and taste more of their distinctive cocktails.

It Begins Again In Illinois

When the legislature returns to town, it is always a time be on guard. It doesn’t matter if it is Washington DC, Raleigh, or, in this case, Springfield, Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly reconvenes tomorrow, October 21st, and the anti-gunners are seeking to cut back some of the items contained in the shall-issue concealed carry act that passed in July.

The Illinois State Rifle Association has sent out an alert regarding four bills that the gun prohibitionists are proposing including ones that would ban concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, increase penalties for carrying in prohibited areas, and eliminate safe havens for gun owners near school zones.

On the good side are three bills including one that would provide for reciprocity between Illinois and a number of other states. Currently, the only way a non-resident of Illinois may carry once the Illinois State Police implement the concealed carry law is by getting an Illinois non-resident carry license.

The full alert from ISRA is below:


The Illinois General Assembly returns to session Monday, October 21st, and the anti-gunners are wasting no time in attempting to dismantle the concealed carry bill passed last spring. Your help is desperately needed to shut down the gun control movement’s efforts to strip you of your fundamental right to defend yourself and your family from muggers, murderers, robbers and rapists.

We also need your help to support 3 pro-concealed carry bills that have been introduced. The details on all the bills are below:


HB3646 – DANGEROUS BILL – Bans Concealed Carry in any restaurant that has alcoholic beverages on the menu. Drastically reduces your choices on when and how to protect yourself. This bill is a foot in the door to create a growing list of places where you will be prohibited from protecting yourself and your family from dangerous criminals.

HB3669 – DANGEROUS BILL – This bill eliminates “safe haven” provisions for areas near schools – meaning that you could not even have a firearm locked in your trunk if you drive on to ANY property controlled by a school district. Once again, this bill would severely limit your self defense options and would make you a felon for doing nothing more than possessing a firearm. Under this bill, you would have to leave your defensive firearms at home if your plans called for you to enter any lands controlled by a school district. The real purpose of this bill is to pave the way for sweeping prohibitions on concealed carry that would make self defense impractical and a serious legal risk for most Illinois citizens.

HB3675 – DANGEROUS BILL – This bill would severely increase penalties for persons found to be carrying firearms in restricted areas. This bill is designed solely to scare law-abiding citizens out of carrying defensive firearms. This bill in no way targets gang-bangers or other violent criminals.

SB2594 – DANGEROUS BILL – This is another bill that would prohibit carry in restaurants that have alcoholic beverages on the menu.

HB3651 – GOOD BILL – This bill lowers the burdensome 16-hour training rule to a more reasonable 8-hour requirement. This bill also eliminates the re-training requirements for carry permit renewals. In short, this bill undoes that anti-gunners’ attempts to discourage people from applying for carry permits by easing burdensome training requirements.

HB3650 – GOOD BILL – This bill provides for concealed carry reciprocity between Illinois and dozens of other states.

HB3649 – GOOD BILL – This bill reduces the exorbitant fees the State Police plan on charging people for permit applications. The state should not be allowed to price-gouge citizens who want to defend themselves. This bill would make fees more reasonable and thus allow greater access to self defense for Illinois citizens.


1. Call your State Representative and politely tell him/her that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and you do not want your right to self defense diminished for political reasons. Ask him/her to vote AGAINST HB3646; HB3669; HB3675.

2. While on the phone with your Representative, tell him/her that you would like them to vote FOR HB3649; HB3650 and HB3651.

3. Call your State Senator and politely tell him/her that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and that you do not want your right to self defense diminished for political reasons. Ask him/her to vote AGAINST SB2594.

4. Post this alert to any and all Internet bulletin boards or blogs to which you belong.

5. Pass this alert along to all your gun owning friends and family members – ask them to take action as well.

6. Please consider a generous donation to the ISRA so that we can continue to fight against those who would take your gun rights away from you.

If you do not know who your State Representative or State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:

If you already know who your State Representative and State Senator are and just need the contact info, you can find that here: & .

Attack On One Of The Safest Ranges I’ve Even Seen

Back in October 2011 I had the opportunity to take a class from Brian Searcy of TigerSwan. It was a fantastic class on a fantastic range. The range was set on a 1,000 acre property. It is one of the few ranges not on a military base that actually meets DoD safety standards. The danger zone is contained entirely within property controlled by TigerSwan.

Nonetheless, some Cumberland County, North Carolina residents want the range shut down despite being in the middle of damn near nowhere. I remember it being almost 10 miles from I-95 and almost a mile from the road to the range.

Frankly, I cannot conceive of any reason to try and shut down this range beyond some vague anti-gun hysteria. The land owners are claiming reduced property values, the danger of stray bullets, and noise which in my opinion is just a smokescreen.

TigerSwan has reapplied for an operating permit under new rules promulgated by Cumberland County. County Commissioners will vote on this permit on Monday, October 21st. Grass Roots North Carolina has issued a release and action alert which I have reprinted below. Having shot on this range, I’d urge everyone to assist TigerSwan in obtaining this permit. If TigerSwan is shot down by Cumberland County, it would mean no range in North Carolina is safe.

They talk about ‘Gun Safety’ but don’t want anyone to practice and train…

The Second Amendment supporters responsible for developing Tiger Swan, a relatively new but well-used Cumberland County outdoor range, have done everything right. The operation was recruited by county officials in 2008 to locate in Cumberland County and began operations in 2010. After years of work and at great expense they have exceeded the numerous difficult requirements now required for establishing new outdoor shooting ranges. For their range they have:

  • Obtained almost 1000 acres of agricultural land, five times the 200 acres required by county rules.

  • Carefully and professionally engineered their site to contain all “Surface Danger Zones” on the property itself.

  • Maintained access control.

  • Secured liability insurance of $5 million, exceeding the required $2 million.

  • Hired an engineer to plan and certify that the range to complies with EPA “Best Management Practices.

Since opening three years ago, a small group of residents has sued Cumberland County to revoke Tiger Swan’s zoning, effectively “moving the goalposts”. Although this group cites concern over noise, danger from stray rounds, and unsubstantiated claims of reduced property values, it is clear what they are really attacking: the right to use firearms in Cumberland County.

While fighting in the courts, Tiger Swan has reapplied for an operating permit under revised County rules established by Commissioners in June, 2013. The Commissioners will meet this coming Monday, October 21 to decide if the permit will be granted.

Denial of this permit will eliminate training opportunities for citizens and law-enforcement officers, as well as cause a chilling effect on range development everywhere in the state. If this first-class operation can be “run out of town” by the gun grabbers, anyone can.


  • Email Commissioners. Tell them you support the range operated by Tiger Swan.

  • Sign the petition in support of granting Tiger Swan’s operating permit HERE or go to:

  • Plan to politely attend the Commissioners’ meeting this Monday, October 21, 6:30 pm, at the Cumberland County Courthouse, Room 118.

  • Help GRNC continue to defend your rights by joining and/or donating HERE or go to:

Contact Information

Contact Cumberland County Commissioners using the cut-and-paste list of email addresses below:;;;;;;

Sign the pro-Tiger Swan petition HERE or at:

Directions to the Commissioner’s meeting at the Cumberland County Courthouse, room 118 are HERE or go to:


Suggested Subject: “I Support Tiger Swan Range”

Dear Cumberland County Commissioner:

Those opposed to the Second Amendment often cite concern about safe handling and adequate training as excuses to infringe on the right of citizens to bear arms.

At the same time these same groups attack efforts to provide training and practice by making it impossible for shooting ranges and training facilities to operate. They cannot have it both ways.

As you know, the Tiger Swan range has bent over backwards to comply with rules and regulations, and has safely operated in Cumberland County for years. This organization provides important training opportunities to both citizens and law-enforcement. It is in the best interest of both citizens and the County for this operation to continue. In addition, it is only fair.

I expect you to approve Tiger Swan’s operating permit. I will be monitoring progress through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.


Light Blogging Until The Weekend

I will be in a business conference out-of-state starting today and continuing through Friday. As such, I anticipate that blogging will be light to non-existent until the weekend.

Did  I mention that the conference will be in New Orleans and that shuttles will be provided from the conference to the French Quarter every evening? I guess I failed to mention that part!

I plan to have my first Sazerac and some cold oysters on the half shell. I’ll have reports on that after the fact.

About That Arms Trade Treaty

Controlling your and my rifle is important but brake pads for those grounded Iranian F-14 Tomahawks are not. If a story published in the Philadelphia Inquirer by the lefty journalism group Propublica is correct, then that is the intent of the Obama Administration.

Starting yesterday, a number of items that previously had been controlled by the State Department through its arms control regulations will be transferred to the control of the Commerce Department which has weaker controls on exports of these items.

In the current system, every manufacturer and exporter of military equipment has to register with the State Department and get a license for each planned export. U.S. officials scrutinize each proposed deal to make sure the receiving country isn’t violating human rights and to determine the risk of the shipment winding up with terrorists or another questionable group.

Under the new system, whole categories of equipment encompassing tens of thousands of items will move to the Commerce Department, where they will be under more “flexible” controls. Final rules have been issued for six of 19 categories of equipment and more will roll out in the coming months. Some military equipment, such as fighter jets, drones, and other systems and parts, will stay under the State Department’s tighter oversight.

Commerce will do interagency human rights reviews before allowing exports, but only as a matter of policy, whereas in the State Department it is required by law.

While spare parts that will now be regulated by the Commerce Department may not be exported directly to such rogue nations as Iran and Syria, the controls on re-exports of these spare parts will have much less regulation. Spare parts are the key to keeping aging fleets of jet fighters in the air and not the ground.

The story does note that the one area in which the Obama Administration refused to switch to the Commerce Department was, you guessed it, firearms and ammunition.

In one area, the administration does appear to have temporarily backed off – firearms and ammunition. Any decision to loosen exports for firearms could have conflicted with the president’s call for enhanced domestic gun control.

According to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal last spring, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security both opposed draft versions of revisions to the firearms category. (The Justice Department press office is out of operation due to the government shutdown, and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.) Shifting firearms was also likely to be a lightning rod for arms control groups. As the New York Times’ C.J. Chivers has documented, small arms trafficking has been the scourge of conflicts around the world.

Draft rules for firearms and ammunitions were ready in mid-2012, according to Lawrence Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for gun manufacturers. The Commerce Department even sent representatives to an industry export conference to preview manufacturers on the new system they might fall under.

But since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December, no proposed rule has been published.

Keane thinks the connection is irrelevant. “This has nothing to do with domestic gun control legislation. We’re talking about exports,” he said. “Our products have not moved forward, and we’re disappointed by that.”

Read the whole article to see the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration.

In related news to the Arms Trade Treaty, a number of Senators and Congressmen have come out in opposition to the ratification of the ATT. The treaty needs 67 votes in favor for it to be ratified. So far 50 Senators have come out in opposition to it.

From the NRA on the letter from 50 Senators and 181 Congressmen to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry opposing the ATT:

Fairfax, Va. – Today, a bipartisan group of 50 members of the U.S. Senate and 181 members of the U.S. House sent a clear message to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty will not be ratified. Earlier this year, the U.N. adopted and President Obama directed Secretary Kerry to sign this treaty, which does not exclude civilian arms from its scope and therefore directly threatens the Second Amendment.

“The Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated its contempt for our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of our 5 million members, the NRA would like to thank those who signed these letters for their principled stand in defending the Second Amendment freedoms of all law-abiding Americans.”

The Senate effort in opposition to the ATT was led by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Their letter, signed by 50 senators, states clearly that “as members of the Senate, we pledge to oppose the ratification of this treaty, and we give notice that we do not regard the U.S. as bound to uphold its object and purpose.”

A bipartisan group of 181 members of the U.S. House sent a separate letter of opposition. That effort was led by Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

“The NRA will continue to fight against ratification of the U.N. ATT, which undermines the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” concluded Cox. “With 67 votes in the U.S. Senate being necessary for ratification, these letters send a clear message to President Obama and Secretary Kerry that this attempt to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be met with strong opposition.”

Supreme Court Decides Not To Hear Carry Case

The US Supreme Court today denied certiorari to Raymond Woollard in his challenge to the state of Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for a carry permit. While he had won at the District Court stage in a surprising decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Maryland’s favor on their appeal using intermediate scrutiny.

From the Baltimore Sun summation of the chronology of events:

Among the subsequent cases was the challenge to the Maryland permit law, originally brought by Raymond Woollard. The Baltimore County resident had twice been given a handgun permit after his son-in-law broke into his home on Christmas Eve 2002. But when Woollard applied to renew the permit in 2009, state police decided the threat against him had passed and declined the application.

Woollard sued over the denial of his application and a federal district judge struck down the permitting law last year. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, ruling that the law is reasonably adapted” to the state’s “significant interests in protecting public safety and preventing crime.”

In asking the Supreme Court to have the final say, Woollard’s lawyers said the issues at stake were broad and involved questions that were not spelled out in the Heller ruling.

The appeals court that upheld Maryland’s law found that “the Second Amendment has no practical impact beyond the threshold of one’s home,” attorney Alan Gura wrote in a court filing.

But he said other federal courts have reached different conclusions, including a ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that “asserts that the right is equally important outside the home as inside, and should (subject to regulation) be generally accessible to law-abiding individuals.”

Gura urged the Supreme Court to sort out the issue once and for all.

Maryland’s lawyers argued in court filings in response that the case was a simple question of the appropriate state regulation of firearms and did not warrant a look by the high court.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is now running for governor of the state with a running mate who describes herself as “Trayvon Martin’s Mom”, was pleased with the decision of the Supreme Court saying it would make Maryland a safer place.

In related news from little more than a month ago, Kris Lee Abbott was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he had attacked his parents and his estranged wife. Abbott was the son-in-law of Raymond Woollard whose attack led to Maryland initially issuing a carry permit to Woollard.

I quite agree with Bitter’s comment on the denial of cert.

The fact that the Supreme Court is completely unwilling to protect your right to actually bear the arms instead of just keeping them should motivate gun owners to get involved in the political fights. It is absolutely clear that you cannot count on the courts, and elections have consequences.

One need look no further than the potential Democratic nominee for governor and his running mate in Maryland. I doubt you could get two more anti-gun politicians on a ticket together unless you found a way to pair Michael Bloomberg with Dianne Feitnstein.

Take That, You Red Staters!

Thanks to the continued hissy fit by the White House and their Democratic allies in Congress, government shutdown theater will now impact deer hunting in east Tennessee according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

CROSSVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been informed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) that the deer hunts scheduled Oct. 19-20 have been cancelled at the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area.

The cancellation comes as a result of an effort to initiate an orderly shutdown in support of obtaining a safe and secure status. The cancellation, at this time, applies to the Oct. 19-20 hunts. A decision on the other hunts, scheduled in November and December, 2013, will be made as this information is received.

I guess the Department of Energy was feeling a little left out by all the attention given to the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service and wanted to get into the act as well. There is nothing like having a politicized bureaucracy when you want to stick it to the red-staters!

H/T The Archery Wire

Marksmanship Training For Combat

Traditional marksmanship training in the Army and Marines involves static targets with the occasional moving target. The USMC’s Marine Warfighting Lab in conjuction with the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group are working on marksmanship training methods that are much more realistic.

Back in September, the Marine Warfighting Lab gathered data on different techniques using experts from the Basic School as their guinea pigs.

The Sept. 16-27 experiment had a handful of Marine instructors from The Basic School here practicing a series of techniques for hitting moving targets while shooting from the prone, kneeling and standing positions with M4 carbines and the service’s M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

They used the tracking method, which involves leading the target before shooting at it. Marines also practiced using the ambush method, which calls for picking a fixed point in front of a moving target and firing as it moves into it.

The third technique is known as the swing through method. The newer technique has the shooter begin firing at the rear edge of the target, moving the muzzle forward to the front while continuing to fire.

The experiment also involved Marines firing in semiautomatic and three-round burst modes from the M4, and full auto from the M27.

The key to the new training are wheeled robotic targets that can move at a speed of over 8 mph. These robotic targets feature a mannequin that will drop when hit either in the head or the “spine”. Whether these targets are rolled out for training in the rest of the Marine Corps and Army may be problematic due to their cost. Each robotic targets costs $100,000!

The video below shows the training using the robots.

Still Dangerous In His Old Age

I came across this interview with Trooper Stan W Scott, No. 3 Army Commando, in which he demonstrates the proper use of a Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife. He was giving a lecture at the National Army Museum in London in connection with a 2011-2012 exhibition. The exhibition was entitled “Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics”Commando Comics are a military oriented series of comic books dating from the 1960s that are still being published in the UK.

These old WWII veterans fought in a brutal war where both strength and cunning were prized. It shows in his demonstration on how to fight with a knife.