Tuesday, July 31, 2007

eBay Will Finally End gun Related Sales

***Message from Matt Halprin – New Listing Restrictions on Gun Parts***

July 30, 2007 | 10:00AM PST/PT

Matt Halprin

Hello everyone…In mid-August, we will be updating our Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy to place more restrictions around gun-related items. Once these changes take effect, we will prohibit listings of any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun. This includes items like bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Please read the Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy for more details on our current policy.

As you may know, eBay does not allow the listing of any items which are regulated by individual states or the federal government; however, there are still a large number of firearm-related parts that are legal and are widely available in retail stores. These items have also historically been allowed on eBay.

After learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, we felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do. After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team – along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. – have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require.

This new update continues to encourage safety among our community members and brings our policies in the U.S. and Canada in closer alignment with our existing policies in other markets around the globe.


Matt Halprin
Vice President, Trust & Safety
Not such a big deal because now I think that firearms component and parts auctions will be concentrated at Auction Arms and Gunbroker. What really saddens me is that eBay is no longer what the founders envisioned and is, in fact, managed by ignorant, controlling people. Imagine the worst of the antique mall managers who think they know everything and try to make their renters jump through hoops to sell in their facility. It is such a mental attitude that has eBay in the position of banning legal items and allowing the sale of porn. As you might know, it isn't only the firearms community who've been dismissed by eBay, the tobacco and alcohol folks have, too. Notice a common thread here? Yep, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. I'm not quite sure why, but this government entity has made, at least since 1994, a special effort to intimidate folks and discourage them from even legal commerce in these items. They've made some spurious charges and seized on some rather innocuous acts as a pretense for legal actions that have frightened some folks including the already pre-disposed management at eBay. This is the sort of thing that is a real threat to freedom in this country.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tom Selleck, Firearms, the NRA and Movies

Several months ago Tom Selleck donated several firearms to the NRA's National Firearms Museum. Pictured here is my favorite, the 1876 SRC from Crossfire Trail (Also shown are a Schofield and open top Colt conversion from the same show.). Altogether he donated the following:
- Henry .44-40 reproduction rifle imported from Italy by Allen Firearms, an early retailer of Western replicas. Mr. Selleck used a Henry from Stembridge Gun Rentals, a Hollywood prophouse for the 1997 film Last Stand at Saber River. Mr. Selleck had this rifle specially engraved to match that prophouse rifle, which was damaged from overuse in other films.

- Winchester M1876 .45-60 rifle modified by Ken Howell of R&D Gunshop for use by Tom Selleck in the 2001 film Crossfire Trail. Based on an original carbine receiver made in 1879, this longarm was rebuilt for movie use.

- .45 Schofield revolver from the 2001 film Crossfire Trail. This hand-built revolver was manufactured by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop for the film.

- Colt Richards Conversion .44 revolver manufactured for the 1997 movie Last Stand at Saber River. Engraved with Cable on the backstrap, this ivory-stocked revolver was the one maintained to match its early presentation condition in the film.

- Colt Open Top .44 revolver manufactured from a Colt blackpowder reproduction for use in Crossfire Trail. The revolver was modified by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop.

- Colt Single Action Army .45 revolver used in the 2003 movie Monte Walsh. This revolver was hand-built by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop for the film.

- Winchester M1886 .50 Express carbine from the 2003 movie Monte Walsh. One of two carbines restored from production receivers by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop. Both guns letter as .50 Express carbines.

Mr. Selleck is a NRA board member, a gun owner and an actor. I'm told he's pretty good looking but I don't think he's much different from me. We both have mustaches and graying hair. I don't know if he needs glasses or had Lasik or similar eye surgery to correct his vision. I do know that we also like the old guns. I couldn't get over that he had these guns "in storage" so he donated them. I certainly wouldn't have had them "in storage". Maybe he just sees them differently. Anyway, I thank him for sharing them with the rest of us. I hope I'll actually be able to visit the museum one day when I go to visit my daughter just 10 miles from there. She'll have to drive me though. I'm not much for enjoying city traffic and she's adapted like a fish to water!

So Tom Selleck likes firearms. He is or has been the member of at least a couple of organizations including the NRA and supported firearms ownership. For that he's sometimes been pilloried, most notably by the incredibly obnoxious Rosie O'Donnell. Maybe it hurt his career. Maybe not. I know a lot of folks who will watch his movies/TV shows just because he's pro-gun. They know whatever he's in will be tempered by his views. Lately, he's been doing a series originated by Robert B. Parker about a character, Jesse Stone.

Jesse likes dogs and hurts when they die, he drinks too much, he still loves his ex-wife, he likes people and he does the right thing no matter what. He also knows how to use his Colt Government model .45. Can't fault him for his taste in guns. This is one show that both the wife and I like. I hate reading fiction but I can stand this. Tom Selleck does a great job with the part and the character is reasonable as are the plots. I'm beyond tired of the cop shows that explain some eosteric forensic technique that takes place in one-tenth the time possible and without budget constraints. Some are downright phony (at least so far). Not in Jesse's world. Good stuff.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Billy and Baton

I don't know exactly how I came by these but I seem to remember they were thrown in on a trade for something else. I've accumulated a lot of "stuff" that way and some of it moved on.

The first is a US Army issue type (maybe it is the real thing, hard to tell) riot baton or 36" quarter-staff. Yeah, turned wood sticks. Exciting as all get out, right? But, with the proper training you can completely control an unarmed person and disarm somebody armed with a knife. AND you can do this without permanently harming that person.

The second is the old standard billy club. Turned hardwood painted black. I've never used this, just had it. Used to be that every policeman seemed to have one of these. I've never trained with it, I just have it.

- FM 19-15, Chap 10
- Monadnock Baton Chart - a PDF file.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why A Gun

****By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret) ****

**Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it. **

**In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some. **

**When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender. **

**There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly. **

**Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physicallly superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable. **

**When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.**

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lack of Posts, an Explanation

Y'all might have wondered what happened to my normally blistering schedule of posting. Not even a book review or photos of rabbits in a field. Well, I've just completed the April-July Bathroom Renovation Hell Test of Marriage. You see, my wife (who hates the "Hobie" moniker by the way) decided to have our upstairs bathroom remodeled/renovated. I suppose it needed it. The vanity, that cabinet that holds up the sinks (bowls) and hides the plumbing was about 30 years old and had suffered the indignities of 5 children growing up with it. It wasn't an expensive unit when new and the doors were starting to fall off the hinges. There was no storage either. Also the toilet was even older and seldom flushed with any sort of confidence inspiring regularity. The only good thing about it was the 5 gal tank which, when it worked, managed to get just about any load all 120 feet to the sewer at the street. The wall paper was peeling, the ceiling fan was dead, there was no electric outlet and the room was lit by a single 60W bulb. The old tile was covered with 20+ year old carpet (hint, don't put carpet where it can repeatedly get wet) and coming up off the floor. I guess the bathroom was due a face lift.

Anyway, my dear wife got a contractor who came in and ripped everything out only to not come back for two whole weeks AND not replace/install the toilet flange. Add to this numerous hair-pulling discussions on cabinetry vs. plumbing of which the resulting decisions, absolutely agonizing as they were, were still incorrect AND damaged and delayed shipping of the vanity, etc and you will see that a pattern rapidly developed by which our only bath with a shower was out of order for a loooooong time! Oh, we had the shower for all but a week of that time. Yes, we took showers elsewhere.

All I can add is that as one gets older, the availability of a bathroom, specifically the toilet, in the middle of the night, becomes more and more important. Aging as rapidly as we did during the project, bathroom availability was approaching desperation levels. And then... the plumber arrived. 5 hours later he'd managed to fix our 1926 incorrectly renovated oddity and bless with a working crapper and sinks! Joy of joys! Now I only have to get one drawer in the vanity shortened so that it will work around the drain (eyes rolling here) and all will be well. I hope.

Now the wife wants (and it needs it) to refurbish the back porch, replace the hot water heater, replace some sash cords, install central air and redo the kitchen. I'm thinking that it would be cheaper to move (as well as less stressful).

Saturday, July 07, 2007

.303 Brit Ammo Carry

Having a No 4 MK I rifle and needing to have some "authentic" method of carrying a "few" rounds of spare ammo, I started to cast about for some sort of ammo belt. So the first thing I tried was the US issue ammo belt. 2 stripper clips of .303 fit quite well in each of the 10 pockets giving the bearer 100 rounds of .303 Brit and quite a load around the waist! However, access is quick and easy and the ammo is fairly well protected and not subject to corrosion while in the woven canvas belt.

But frankly, I was thinking that the belt system was uncomfortable and one of those nifty "Light Horse" deals would be just the ticket. The first that I found was this 1917 made leather gear. The 1903 5-pocket bandolier, it cost me $35 at a gun show and I still think it was worth every penny. After a good working over with saddle soap, it seems to be in as good condition as when it was turned in to the supply sergeant after WWI! Worn over the left shoulder (to keep the right shoulder clear for the rifle butt), it is comfortable and bears the weight of 50 rounds of .303 British very well. However, I was concerned with verdigris and so don't store ammo in the bandolier. That is the same problem I have with my other neat piece of leather .303 gear. International Military Antiques sells a reproduction. Mine being original, I don't have any idea as to the quality of the repro, you're on your own. But I will repeat that the system works.

This bandolier, in which the .303 round are individually placed in the loops, is also leather and even more like to raise the ugly head of verdigris if one chooses to store brass cased ammunition in it. But, it works well for carrying ammo as well as providing rapid and easy access to that ammo. International Military Antiques sells this nifty reproduction. Not inexpensive but, unless you can produce one with your own leather working gear, worth the price.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Happy Independence Day to All US Citizens

Along with eating, music (Restless Heart is across the street at the moment), and fireworks we had a parade this morning.