Louisville Meetup?

It is my understanding that a) there is a convention of some sort in Louisville next month and b) that region of Kentucky is famous for distilling alcohol from maize and storing it away for many a year.

I think we should prevail ourselves of the opportunity to assess the fruits of their labour when we are in that area. I’m in town Thursday thru Sunday AM. Saturday night is out (I’ll be at the Michael Buys The Booze Party), but the other nights are open.

Booze, anyone?

Update: Tam’s talking about doing something as well.

You’re Next.

toronto-sniper

If you think that the anti-gun forces out there will leave you alone because you don’t own a pistol or a revolver or a semi-automatic firearm of any kind, think again. Apparently, a lever gun with a scope is now a “high-powered sniper’s rifle”, at least in the minds of the (feverently anti-gun) Toronto police force.

Detective Sergeant Tam Bui is asking the public to come forward with any tips regarding the murder of Clinton Yow Foo of Toronto on Oct. 1. The 37-year-old was shot once just before midnight with a lever action Browning BLR short magnum (sic) rifle, which the police have recovered. Bui described the weapon as “high-powered” and said it was outfitted with a Bushnell legend scope and a unique bipod mounted on the front.

No word on the actual caliber involved, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s .300WSM. And since when is a Caldwell bipod fitted onto a sling swivel a “unique” feature? This gun is as plain-jane as they come, yet the anti-gunners are able to make it sound like it was once owned by Gunny Havelock. 180 metres is about 200 yards, so this wasn’t an impossible shot by any means… heck, my Savage bolt gun is ZEROED at 200 yards, and at that distance, it’s adjust just adjust left or right for wind as needed and away you go.

If you own a firearm or want to own a firearm, you are not an innocent bystander, because no matter how innocuous or how suitable for “sporting purposes” your gun may be, the anti-gunners are ready, willing and able to make it seem like it (and you) are capable of committing homicide at a moment’s notice.

We Also Walk Dogs.

What if retail gun stores stopped being about guns and started being about lifestyle? What would they look like? They’d sell guns, and DIY home alarm kits. They’d have a range, and a dojo and a service that (for a small fee) will walk through a customer’s home and make recommendations on home security. They’d sell first aid kits and car emergency kits and flashlights and have classes on pistol shooting, prepping on a budget, preventing credit card fraud and how to stay safe on vacation.

They’d cover all the bases, not just the gun base. Gun Culture 1.0 stores sell camo clothing and tents and decoys and barbecues and other items only tangentially related to pulling the trigger. Why should a Gun Culture 2.0 store be just about guns?

* And this time, it’s a science fiction reference in the title, not a music reference.

Apple Stores, Gateway Stores

Former_Gateway_Country_Store

Remember Gateway computers? Remember when Gateway decided to open up retail stores to show off their computers, digital cameras, plasma TVs and MP3 players?

They failed, and they failed spectacularly and quickly. Soon after Gateway stores crashed and burned, Apple computer decided to open up their own brand of retail stores, and the computer industry was skeptical of their chances of success, to put it mildly.

Apple succeeded where Gateway did not. They’re still going strong, and the presence of an Apple store may be the reason why some malls fail and some don’t.

Why? Well, I can’t put it better than this:

Many retail experts and analysts failed to predict the massive success of the Apple Store when it first opened in 2001 because they made the mistake of confusing numbers with feelings. Numbers don’t have feelings; people do. And people drive a great customer experience.

When you walked into a Gateway Store, you were shown a bunch of Gateway computers and gadgets, but had to figure out for yourself what purpose those gadgets were for. The purpose of a Gateway store wasn’t to sell a lifestyle based around Gateway products, it was to sell Gateway products and you had to figure out a reason why you’d use one. Their stores was product-centered, and they died quickly, along with Gateway itself.

Apple store

Compare this to Apple Stores. When they first launched, they had five sections: Home, Office, Music, Movies and a “Genius Bar” where you got tech support for your Mac. In each area, there was a selection of Apple computers and other 3rd party devices which fit in with each section (this is before Apple made MP3 players, phones, set-top boxes, watches, etc.). They had a kid’s area which had a few iMacs with kids games on them. Apple Stores weren’t focused on selling product, they were selling a digital lifestyle based around the Mac.

And now they’re the #1 company in the world.

How many gun companies are selling product, and how many are selling lifestyle? Who is the Apple of guns, and who will be Gateway? Gun Culture 2.0 is, well, a CULTURE, and cultures have lifestyles.

Crowdsource Your Security

cell411

Cell 411 is an app and a micro social network which allows users to quickly contact each other or groups of friends and family members in case of emergencies. The app is designed to work quickly, provide instant GPS coordinates to your entire group to the current location, offer turn-by-turn directions to the location and even stream live video

Ok, I’m interested. This app assumes a) you have friends you CAN help and b) there will be cell phone / data coverage available when you need it. That last one is a biggie: Can you imagine how crushed the mobile networks would be if the participants in a Ferguson-level riot were using Cell 411 to stream video of their looting open-source wealth redistribution and the innocent business owners greedy capitalists were using the same app to frantically call for help from their well-armed friends?

I like the idea, though. The more we can do to move the burdens that government has assumed for itself onto our shoulders, the better.

Power to the people, y’all.