GRPC Post 5

Listening to the political panelists and I’m really thinking of taking a tally of current election memes. Like “this is the most important election in our lifetime,” “my parent/grandparent came to America for a better life”, and all of the religious appeals. All of which works fine for many of the attendees.

The problem is those approaches do more than just not work for me, they repulse me. Using those means that you are trying to make an emotional appeal rather than a logical one.

GRPC Post 4

This is really just me playing with the panorama feature of my phone.

Here’s the GRPC ballroom before most of the people came in:


This is it with some of the attendees:


GRPC Post 3

One of the nice things about coming to the GRPC is the sheer amount of literature that is provided. Let me make this clear, I am very grateful for what they have given me just for coming. Still, for someone who has been working hard on transitioning from dead tree to ebooks, the stack was a little frustrating.

To illustrate:


That’s the stack of books next to my iPad. A whole stack of ebooks is a hell of a lot easier to haul around than a bunch of tattooed dead trees.

GRPC Day One

Day One was mostly me getting to meet people. I met up with Kenn, which is always a blast.

I met with Katy Jackson of Kornered Kat fame, and she is just as nice as you can want.

I met with John Richardson and his “Complimentary Spouse.” They were gracious enough to let me hang around them and introduced me to several others.

All in all, they went out of their way to make me feel like one of the family for my first GRPC.

And Madison Rising rocks!

GRPC Post 2

I have it on good authority that Otis McDonald has been admitted to the hospital in Chicago. My thoughts and best wishes for him and his family.

GRPC Post 1

So I managed to make it into the hotel, which was a bit onerous. GPS’s are great tools, but mine decided I arrived when I crossed onto the airport.

I can see why people are concerned about carrying here. The hotel is literally above the terminal. I’m actually typing this out on a little balcony that overlooks one of the terminals. I’m good as long as I stay in the hotel. One escalator ride, and I’m committing a felony.

Here’s a pic from my balcony using Apple’s new panorama feature:


Going down to the floor is forbidden while I have all my toys.

I managed to meet up with Kenn Blanchard of the Urban Shooter podcast. I’ll probably be hanging out with him a lot of the time. Now to find a place to smoke cigars.

Open Carry

As I’ve mentioned previously, I listen to the Squirrel Report podcast on my way home from work. Each week, they have a call-in topic, or a topic that most of the callers talk about at any rate. I would love to listen live, but since I normally have to get up at Oh-Dark-Early, I’m in bed before they come on. One of these days that I have a Friday off, I’m going to listen and call in.

Since I can’t call in at the moment, I’m going to answer their call-in question each week. If nothing else, it should motivate me to write on this blog more.

Anyways, the episode for Sept. 6 was about open carry. My personal belief is that anything I can legally carry, I should be able to do openly or concealed. Unfortunately, I live in Florida, which doesn’t allow open carry with some very specific exceptions. There are plenty of times I would love the ability to open carry, simply so I’m not having to wear extra shirts in hot weather. Supposedly, the NRA is backing Florida Carry’s push for open carry this legislative session, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

My only open carry story doesn’t actually involve a firearm. Before my current job, I was working at McDonald’s as the night manager. One of the stores I worked at was inside a Wal-Mart. One night, a lady comes up to me as I’m closing up to tell me she saw a man with a knife. I asked where he was and did he threaten her or her children. No threat, the man just had a knife on his belt. Knowing Florida law and Wal-Mart policy, I politely informed the lady that if the man wasn’t threatening anyone or breaking the law, I wasn’t going to do anything. Needless to say, she was less than pleased. It devolved into he’s scaring my children (I think your scaring your children by the way your acting) and what if he was carrying a gun (that would be against the law, and we would have to call the police). At the end, she decided to just leave the store. Nothing I could or would have said would have done a damn thing to change her mind, and I don’t care.

I think if you’re going to open carry, you should observe the don’t be a dick rule. It’s probably a good idea to have a holster with some sort of retention as well. In all honesty, unless you’re wearing a neon green holster with a fire-engine red pistol, most people aren’t even going to notice.

There’s a good reason Gov. Scott told Tampa Mayor Buckhorn “No”

Tampa is host to the Republican National Convention later this month. The mayor and city officials held the first of three town halls August 14 to talk about issues surrounding the RNC, such as street closures, garbage collection, etc. What one would expect of a city about to host a major event.

Then came Occupy Tampa. I don’t have the exact quote and can’t find it on the internets. I heard it during the 6:00 am newsbreak on 970 WFLA on Aug. 15 on my way into work and they didn’t replay the quote during the subsequent newscasts that I managed to listen to. At any rate, one of the Occupy members managed to get to a mike and rant that the greatest threat to the protesters were concealed carry holders. If just one CCW holder felt threatened, this individual could indiscriminately spray weapons fire into unarmed protesters. Or, at least that was the tone of his comments.

Really? First off, past experience with overly-energized mobs of people doesn’t engender much trust that they will look out for my personal safety, be it political, sports, or just because. An overly excited protester or group of protestors waving potential club(s) and acting as if about to cause my death or grevious bodily injury is no different than the run-of-the-mill drunk or criminal doing the same. I can’t read their minds. I can only go on their actions and their words and respond accordingly. Perhaps the protestors should bear that in mind before they decide to get too belligerent with the regular citizenry. There is a very good reason why we use the saying that an armed society is a polite society.

Further, if we were to compare the criminal rates between protestors and CCW holders, I think I’d trust the CCW holders to show better judgement and restraint. I would even be willing to take out the bullshit charges that ususally are just “contempt of cop.”

The best way to win a fight is to avoid one. For myself, I intend to stay far the hell away from downtown during the convention. Unfortunately, there are plenty of others who just don’t have that choice.

Open Carry in Florida

So in the August 9 issue of the TBT (sorry, they don’t have it set up for me to link directly to the article) had a big front page splash on the NRA supporting a bill in the 2013 legislative session that would allow open carry in Florida. Well, welcome to the party. Never mind that you stabbed us in the back the last time.

The current law allows for “accidental” exposure of the firearm, but too much is left up to the individual police officer’s discretion. If Officer Friendly decides that you exposed your weapon in a way that is not covered under the law, then you get carted to jail and charged with a felony. Considering the tone from the top (I mean you Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee), I am still somewhat paranoid that my weapon stays covered and concealed.

If the NRA wants to lend their weight to the open carry fight, I will gladly welcome their support. My money, however, will continue to go to Florida Carry. They have never wavered in their support for those of us who carry for self-defense. I really should go to one of their open-carry fishing events, but I hate fishing.

We’ve Got An Uphill Battle Here….

Most of the time I understand that my views are far outside of the mainstream. For FSM’s sake, I’m a wookie-suited libertarian atheist who revels in the geek/nerd culture. Still, there are sometimes when that fact I’m outside the mainstream gets slapped across my face. Hard.

From comes this article: “Gallup: Majority of Americans Think TSA is Effective.”

For all the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) horror stories that pop up in local papers, then Drudge, then (often) Reason, turns out according to Gallup, that group of much-maligned gropers are doing okay. Or rather, 54 percent of poll respondees say that the TSA is doing a “good or excellent” job. However, a paltry 13 percent (barely more than the 12 percent who said “poor”) actually think the TSA is “excellent.”

WTF? Only 13% of respondents said the TSA was doing a poor job? After all the horror stories (some with video) that have been blasted across the blogs and news sites? Exactly how do these poll respondents think that TSA is effective? It’s probably like this:

The government promised that with the TSA in place, the planes wouldn’t be taken over by terrorists and crashed into buildings anymore. No planes have been taken over by terrorists and crashed into buildings. Except for lone wackos who crash their own planes into buildings. Or the terrorists that are stopped by the passengers themselves.

Since September 11, Americans have an instinctual understanding that they can no longer be passive observers during a terrorist attack on a plane. If that rare occurrence happens, then they are dead unless they fight. Unfortunately that knowledge hasn’t seemed to seep into their thinking minds. They are fully content with the theater security that is the TSA. There might be some grumbling from the conservatives on how the Israelis do it better (which is a bullshit argument when you compare Israeli and American flight volumes). There might be grumbling from liberals on lost liberties (which needs to be more than grumbling). Yet all of them are just fine with the government “securing” the airplanes.

So, if I hate the TSA, what would I do to make the airplanes safer? First, privatize airport security and make the airports and airlines directly responsible for them, as in civil liability. Private security would be forced to find that crossroad between cost, effectiveness, and intrusiveness. It would also make it easier for airports and airlines to switch companies if the current provider is not doing a good job. (Yay free markets.) Second, allow us to start carrying our weapons back onto the planes. I mean everyone. Pilots, stewardesses, passengers. Let us have our guns, knives, stun guns, batons. I don’t care if you ask that only CCW holders carry onto the planes. Just enforce the same laws that govern us on the ground. Those laws seem to work pretty well on the ground, they should work just fine in an aluminum tube flying at 30,000 feet.

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