Local Boy Makes It To The Big Time

Four guys were hanging around a coffee shop on a Saturday morning in 2006, solving all the world’s problems in just a few hours. We’d known each other from college, and all of us shared a passion for technology, Christ, our families, and our country.

Oh, and Salma Hayek. Her too.

We decided to start a blog to let the world know we’ve solved everything that ails it, and the rest, as they say, is history. Two of the guys from the coffee shop made a few posts and then never wrote again, and a fifth friend joined in as well, but two of the guys wrote often, and started to get some notoriety for what they wrote.

Now one of those two guys is the editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com.

Congratulations, Ex(urban)Jon.

On a related note, I think I’m going to begin powering down this part of the blog and move my political rants to the member feed of Ricochet. I believe in their model, and it’s time to support it with money and content. I’d encourage everyone reading to join Ricochet, it truly is a unique outpost of civility in the ever-increasing vulgar wasteland of the ‘net. Other things working against keeping up the blog is that I’m not wired in to the local scene like I was in Arizona, and I’m just not as motivated to write about politics as I was in 2008. The gunblog will continue, but it will be moved to the MisfiresAndLightStrikes.com domain and spun off on it’s own.

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September 26th, 2015 by KevinC

Confederate Flag Musings

I was at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix a few days ago checking out various firearms and other items on display. Such expositions are a great place for freedom-loving people to conduct business and support their civil right to bear arms. However, there were a few displays of one particular symbol of subjugation and rebellion that made me angry.

The Confederate flag.

First, let me tell you that this is a flag that I hate. Yes, I used the word hate because of the history behind it. The Confederacy, their leaders, and their flag are a shameful part of American history that should serve as a cautionary tale to future generations. The CSA seceded from the USA in order to continue slavery in Southern states and to expand it into the New Mexico Territory. The Confederate flag is the flag the South fought under.

Second, the Confederacy was run by the Democrat Party! When you hear the term “Solid South” it means entirely (white) Democrat Party political leaders. This party supported the continuation and expansion of slavery, which caused a new party (Republican) to emerge  in 1854 that was opposed to slavery. The Democrats in the south decided to secede from the USA and fought under the “Stars and Bars” until the Civil War ended.

What got my attention was one vendor displayed the Confederate flag next to the American flag. What was worse, it was at the same height! All this at an event which celebrates one of of our civil rights, the Second Amendment. Given the history of the Confederacy and it’s denial of civil rights, this is an odd juxtaposition. What’s more, my guess is the exhibitor wasn’t a registered Democrat and doesn’t believe that black people have less rights than non-blacks.

And yet the Stars and Bars flies at a gun show…

This is foolishness on display and it hurts those of us who believe in civil rights. As Alfonzo Rachel says in this piece, waving the Confederate flag sabotages the message that conservative, pro-gun citizens want to get across. When educated, professional people like myself see the Stars and Bars, I want to distance myself from it. That same holds true for black vendors and attendees at the show who cherish freedom as much as anybody else.

Time to lower the Confederate flag and put it away for good.

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December 10th, 2014 by exurbandoug

What Recovery?

Despite what the MSM and the Administration say, there isn’t much economic growth going on.

Latest example, this article on the fallacy of an economic recovery.

When you have lost Mother Jones, you have lost the Left.

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December 31st, 2013 by exurbandoug

A Day at the Range

This past Saturday, exurbanKevin organized an event down in Casa Grande where Arizona firearms enthusiasts could meet and shoot.  It was a good time and worthy of a post here at Exurban League.  You can read exurbanKevin’s post about the event by going here, or you can keep reading my account.

First of all, anybody who thinks Arizona doesn’t get cold during the winter has not spent too many winter mornings here.  It was downright chilly (upper 30s) around 0730 when we arrived at the range.  However, before we started shooting we decided to run into town to grab some targets and ammo.  The local Wal-Mart in Casa Grande only had three boxes of 9x19mm ammo left, which I promptly purchased.  What was even more amazing is that they were out of clay pigeons and paper targets!  Disappointed, we headed back to the range with only a little bit more ammunition in our stockpile.

As a side note, I shopped for ammunition at my local (Mesa) Wal-Mart the previous night.  They only had a few boxes of .40 S&W left and no 12-gauge shells.  Common rounds like 5.56×45, .30-06, .308, 7.62×39, .45 ACP, and 9x19mm were gone, only some boxes of oddball calibers were left.  Hmmmm, wonder why that is…

We got back to the range and started unloading our iron.  I had a new Mossberg 500 shotgun that needed some rounds put through it, so I was excited to finally prepare it for live firing.  As we unloaded, more of our fellow citizen-journalists and firearms owners started showing up.  The open cases revealed a wide assortment of military and civilian weapons in various configurations.  Some had simple optics, other had red dot sights, while others just had plain ol’ iron sights.  This is the kind of diversity that I support!

What kind of weapons you ask?  Well, here are the ones that I can remember:

  • Mossberg 500
  • Mossberg 950
  • AR-15s (several different ones)
  • Ruger 10/22
  • CZ 75 P-07
  • CZ 75
  • Smith & Wesson Model 22
  • Smith & Wesson MSP
  • Makarov PM
  • M-25
  • Beretta AR90
  • Ruger SR9
  • Magnum Research Baby Eagle
  • M-1 Garand
  • M-1927 Thompson Submachine Gun
  • Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum lever-action rifle

For all the people who were there and whose weapons I did not recognize, sorry for the oversight.

The range was fairly quiet at first, there were two other people shooting some magnum rounds out of a few bolt-action rifles on the north side of the range.  As the sun got higher in the sky and the temperatures began to climb, more people began to show up and the range became busier.  However, no Range Master was present during the entire time.  All people at the range ensured that things stayed safe and that when the range went from hot to cold and vice versa, everybody was aware before the change took place.  Hmmm, self-governance…wonder where that could also apply?

Another observation, at least half of the shooters on the range (not just in our group) had AR-15s of various types.  There were various calibers and weapon configurations but there was one common element in all of them.  These firearms (or “assault rifles” as the MSM calls them) were all operated in a safe manner by their owners.  Call it supposition on my part, but I will venture to guess that this happened thousands of times across the country on the same Saturday morning.

Kevin and I were talking about Gun Culture 2.0 and how the profile of firearms owners has changed over the past 10-15 years.  One aspect of this is there is no typical gun owner anymore.  There were men and women of all ages at the range, if I wasn’t color-blind I would be able to tell you what races and ethnicities were represented too.  They came in a variety of vehicles too, everything from large American pickup trucks to small, inexpensive Korean econoboxes.  In other words, firearms owners represent a wide cross-section of America.

During the event, people in our group took time shooting each other’s weapons.  We shared ammunition, helped each other out when there was a jam, assisted others with grip/stance/posture, spotted, set-up targets, and encouraged one another.  It had the feeling of a community that was watching other for each other in a spirit of collaboration and learning.  It felt great to shoot a variety of weapons and learn some new things from the other people at the event.  Overall it was a great experience to be a part of.

Kevin has said before that shooting firearms is a gateway drug to freedom.  I think this is true because there is something intrinsically satisfying about the act of shooting.  It takes discipline, control, observation, alertness, and maturity to effectively operate a firearm which helps add to the satisfaction of the activity.  When I started hitting targets consistently at various ranges along with improving my handgun skills, I felt great.  The event brought a smile to my face and made me wonder why I don’t hit the range more often.  Its an activity only a free person can enjoy, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

One final thought, if you enjoy firearms and want to make a difference, bring a friend to the range sometime.  Especially encourage those friends of yours on the center-left to come out and observe what takes place at a range.  If more non-firearms users and owners could see (and maybe even participate in) shooting events up close, that would help them understand why so many of us enjoy it.  Heck, it may even soften their support for more gun laws.

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January 7th, 2013 by exurbandoug

On Target

Part of being a marksman is being able to hit a target.  That skill requires keen perception, self-discipline, body control, and steady nerves to be successful after countless hours of practice.  I confess that I am not a marksman…yet, but I can discern some who are highly accurate practitioners of their craft.

Case in point, Larry Correia’s recent post on gun control.  This guy is on-target and consistent when it comes to analyzing the root causes and coming up with effective prevention measures.  Read the whole thing but here is one key quote worth highlighting:

Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.

In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.

The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.

Of course, the Democratic Media Machine (DMM) is going to ignore and/or disparage articles from experts like Larry Correia since they don’t fit The Narrative.  However, as free people we should arm ourselves with facts so that we don’t bring a knife to the coming fight over guns.  Our Constitutional freedoms need defending and as free people, we need to have the truth on our side.

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January 3rd, 2013 by exurbandoug

Taking Our Guns

…yes, that’s what the Left wants.

Need proof?  If you can bear it, go to the Daily Kos and read this admission.

Need more proof?  Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is talking about “confiscating” being an option.

The refrain that is being heard is a call to ban those scary, black “assault rifles” and other arms that look like they came from a military arsenal.  The calls are for “reasonable restrictions” on the purchase and ownership of these arms, meaning anybody who stands in opposition to these moves is…unreasonable.  The Main Stream Media (MSM) will repeat the usual talking points about how the Founders never envisioned “automatic” weapons being in the hands of common citizens and how one does not need an “assault rifle” to go hunting.  Inanimate objects like firearms will be vilified along with the owners of them, all because a crazy kid used an AR-15 to kill a bunch of people in Connecticut.

Addressing mental illness, gun-free zones, alienated youth, and extant firearms laws won’t be on the agenda.

If the last decade or so has shown anything, its that the mask is off the Democrat Party, the MSM, education/academia, the entertainment industry, and the chattering classes.  The truth is, these are institutions run by hard-core leftists who have an agenda to take away our Constitutional freedoms along with increasing amounts of our wealth.  Their vision of a society run of a cadre of high-educated and “enlightened” people runs counter to both American traditions and human history.  Free people with arms to protect themselves (both against individual and State aggression) are a threat to this vision.  As we see now, the Left will do whatever it takes to disarm the public and discredit those who are law-abiding gun owners.

For the gun-grabbers, they will never let a crisis go to waste.

HT to HotAir on this.

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December 23rd, 2012 by exurbandoug

No Hope, No Change

From Hope and Change to more of the same.  As Powerline points out, this is the case both with drone strikes and climate change.  Despite a lot of rhetoric dating back to 2008, the current President is continuing on with the policies of the last President.  That is to say, all the environmentalist talk about carbon taxes, the Kyoto Agreement, and other utopian proposals are on a road to nowhere.  Not that many people are shedding tears over this development mind you.

At the end of 2012 here we are.  Perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Maybe some of the Bush policies weren’t so far out of the mainstream after all, given President Obama’s continuation of them.  Stealth bipartaisanship, emergent reality, wise policy, call it what you will but it represents continuing the course set last decade.  Good, bad, or indifferent this is the reality behind the curtain.


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December 21st, 2012 by exurbandoug

Profit and Loss

Profiting by loosing is not a good thing, it takes away the sting of defeat and does not prompt the introspection needed after a loss.  Just as pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong, so is losing in elections.  At least on the national level, there seems to be something wrong with the GOP but little is being done to correct it.

2012 should have been a victory for the Republican Party at the Presidential level.  The economy has been in the doldrums over the past four years with dim prospects for recovery any time soon.  When it comes to foreign policy, the Obama Administration has proven inept during its reign.  Higher taxes and onerous regulation are also a drag on business, which has kept both employment growth and profitability at low levels.  I could go on but this should have been a fairly straightforward win for the GOP.

But it wasn’t, now we get four more years of the incompetence and increasing tyranny of the Obama Administration.

What caused this?  Well, some of the blame can be placed at the feet of the courtier of professional consultants who worked on the Romney campaign.  Erick Erickson wrote a few weeks ago that this small group squandered both a great opportunity and a large amount of money.  Read the whole post but what it comes down to is:

The fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza reveals a tangled web of incestuous relationships among Republican consultants who have made millions all while the GOP went down the tubes. Here the top party consultants waged war with conservative activists and here they waged war with the Democrats. On both fronts, they raked in millions along the way with a more fractured, minority party in their wake. And they show no signs of recognizing just how much a part of the problem they are.

Other people I have talked to have said something similar about those who identify themselves as Republicans*.  It boils down to the “I got mine”  mentality where one has attained a combination of comfort, status, and wealth at a certain point in their lives.  Oft times, this comes after a period of hard work and struggle to achieve a certain level of success.  After that, there is no longer a pressing need to fight;  sustaining a lifestyle, profession, or social status becomes the top priority.

Despite Romeny’s loss, many of his consultants were well renumerated for their time and service.  They walked away with large paychecks, more contacts in their Rolodex, and additional lines on their CVs.  Keep in mind that I don’t begrudge anybody’s success, these people spent a lot of time and energy on an unsuccessful campaign just as Team Obama did on their successful one.  The GOP consultants did well despite the result, which is a problem.  The money that flowed into the campaign was not used effectively to elect Mitt Romney, yet at the end of it all the consultant’s checks cleared.

Looking back, I see a lack of both desire and competence eminating from the top of the GOP.  The sooner the leadership of the party wakes up and takes stock of this situation, the better.  Our country’s future is at stake, those charged with helping get center-right candidates elected should act with the same sense of urgency many in the grassroots have.  If we don’t, the Republican Party may continue to have problems at the Presidential level even with favorable conditions.

*Note that “Republican” and “Conservative” are not the same.  One is a political party and other is a movement with a shared set of beliefs. 

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December 19th, 2012 by exurbandoug

DOOM, Coming Soon!

There used to be a regular posting over at Ace of Spades called DOOM, where a blogger would write about events and trends that identified impending problems.  For the past few months, there haven’t been many DOOM updates, mostly because people’s energies were focused on the 2012 elections.  However, a DOOM article from a few days ago got my attention.

As time goes by, one trend is becoming increasingly evident to many people.  The progressive model that has been a part of our politics for over a century now, is unsustainable and about to collapse.  Numbers (both demographic and financial) don’t add up along with the litany of failure it has produced (read “Great Society” or “Public Education” or “War on Drugs” to start with).  Add the human misery it has produced along with the lives it has stifled and you have a rotten structure that is no longer sound.

One of the links on Andy’s DOOM posting was from Real Clear Politics.  A key quote from that article sums up what we are facing today.  Read the whole thing but here is a precis of what is in it:

The root cause of the economic disaster that lies ahead is the kamikaze drive of democratic governments to displace the functions of the family, including the care of relatives in their old age. Since time immemorial, in every human society that ever was, and buttressed by social mores central to every religion ever practiced, children, grandchildren, and kin did what governments the world over now promise to do.

Ours is a model that is not sustainable over the long haul, it will either stop and be replaced by a more sustainable one continue and die-off in the coming years.  What is clear is the progressives got it wrong and the society we are living in today is making that more clear as the bills come due.

Instead of having government as the provider of essential services and protecting people’s rights, it has become the taker and distributor of people’s wealth.  As citizens and families move away from caring for each other, a faceless taxpayer-funded bureaucracy attempts to take over.  The prize dangled before the citizens is a mirage of a good life full of leisure and comfort the government can guarantee.  All it costs is a lot of money and increasing government involvement in both business and personal affairs.  As Andy writes:

Now we vote for “the government” to do for us what we won’t do for ourselves. Chief among these things is stealing the fruits of our neighbor’s labor for our own benefit.  Like an addict confronting his addiction, the first step is admitting we have a problem. Based on November’s election results, we’re not there yet.

Citizens are in denial about where we are at and what is sustainable.  As we look around us, much of what is familiar will not be able to continue for much longer.  The end of the road is approaching and a new path will have to be taken.  My guess is the road we take as Americans will probably look a lot like it was in our past, with governments doing much less and private entities doing much more.  Soon, there won’t be enough wealth to confiscate without destroying the incentive to produce, a course correction will be necessary.  It will happen soon, the only question on my mind is how it will all come about.  My fear is that violence and upheaval will accompany this change, but I was recently wrong about the election so don’t take my comments too seriously on this or any other matter.

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December 17th, 2012 by exurbandoug

Small Business, Big Heart, Union Target

Lost in the legacy media’s non-coverage of union violence in Lansing, MI over the past few days was the plight of a local hot dog vendor.  Clint Tarver is a local small businessman who has been operating his hot dog near the State Capitol for years, for a little background watch this short video about him.

Seems like a decent guy doing his best to make a living feeding people around the Capitol building.  However, Clint was targeted by union thugs when they destroyed the AFP tent the was erected nearby.  I guess the union goons didn’t like the fact he was trying to make a few bucks catering to the people who showed up in support of Right To Work legislation.

It gets worse.

Over at Ironic Surrealism, the Velvet Hammer reports that Clint (who is black) was called “N***er” and “Uncle Tom” by the union stooges who attacked the tent.  His equipment and supplies were destroyed in the attack although Clint was not physically harmed.  It was another shameful display by the union chumps at that event.

What is both shameful and disturbing about all this though it the union thugs showed their contempt for an ordinary businessman.  The Hot Dog Man was trying to earn a living by working at an event, in presumably cold weather.  Standing for hours is hard but from the looks of it, Clint Tarver does it with a smile and warm heart.  I don’t know what his politics are but I don’t care and I doubt most of his customers do either.  He’s filling a need for hungry patrons and adding value in the process.  Plus, he is contributing to the local economy from his purchases and tax revenues that he collects.  In other words, he is a small yet important part of the business community.

All this does not matter to the union stooges though, he is regarded as an enemy to be assaulted because he dares to cater to people who don’t share their political views.  The union thugs use force and violence when political events don’t go their way and if a small businessman’s assets are destroyed along the way, well that’s too bad in their minds.  This level of contempt for business and the people who run them is what really makes me angry.  There are millions of other men and women just like the Hot Dog Man who work every day, often spending long hours at their jobs, providing value to their customers.  They make our economy work, even in difficult economic times.  This fact is lost on the goons who rely on a union to keep them employed.

If nothing else, this incident shows organized labor’s true colors.

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December 12th, 2012 by exurbandoug