Thursday, August 30, 2012

CCI .22 LR Quiet

CCI® Quiet-22™ was only recently introduced at the retail level. I saw it and immediately bought a brick. My reasoning is that it had to be as good as the CB-longs but with the heavier bullet they should be more effective in marginal shots on squirrels.  I've used the CB-longs (and shorts) on squirrels and they are adequate performers if, and this is absolutely necessary, they are placed correctly.  Based on my experience with heavier bulleted "cat sneeze" loads, I also thought that this load at least had the potential for VERY quiet shooting.  Here is what CCI says about their product:
Set your 22-caliber LR rifle to stealth mode with the new CCI® Quiet-22™ rimfire round. Ideal for bolt-action and single shot .22 LR rifles (and perfectly safe in semi-automatics), this new reduced report cartridge generates ¼ the perceived noise level of standard velocity .22 LR round. Perfect for areas where noise may be a problem and ideal for introducing youth to the shooting sports, the Quiet-22 allows for safe shooting enjoyment without hearing protection.

• Ultra-quiet plinking round in 22-caliber LR rifles
• 75% reduction in perceived noise of standard velocity .22 LR
• Standard CCI .22 LR case
• Excellent accuracy and low velocity (710 feet per second)
• Better performance than an air rifle with similar noise levels
• No hearing protection required
• Great for backyard plinking and youth shooting
• Ideal for legal shooting areas where noise may be a concern

: These cartridges may be used in semi-automatic firearms, however manual cycling of the action may be required.

Well, I've got to tell you, this load is about the same noise level (although I didn't measure it with anything but my own two ears) as the CB longs and shorts. HOWEVER, it functions my Remington 241 rifle and in the long barrel is pretty quiet indeed. It seems accurate enough as well. But, it is the unexpected benefit of fully functioning in the 241 that really got my heart thumping. This is FUN shooting!

Now, a lot of you have to worry more and more about the noise of shooting. Whether it is your wife having a tea with her friends a couple of hundred feet from your short outdoor range or a particularly nosy and intrusive neighbor, whether you need to rid your back yard of some uninvited guests at the bird feeder or just like plinking cans and shooting paper, indoors or out, this ammo is going to please a lot of you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

On sleep...

I was just made aware of a friend who left a job because he couldn't sleep in the day and then work at night. The problem, accumulated lack of sleep, sleep deprivation, exhaustion. This isn't a minor thing. People are injured and die because they aren't able to think when they haven't slept. It can be very serious.

Nana is NOT what we refer to as a "morning person". When she gets up, even as late as 8:00 AM she's a bit groggy until she has her coffee. I think that for years she was on automatic pilot as she drove to school. Kind of scary now. Just as scary as discovering her eyesight was as bad as mine but she was driving without her glasses. Yes, she did that when we first got married. She wouldn't wear her seatbelt either but that changed, too and is a story for another time.

My dad was a sleeper. I think he could sleep anywhere, any time, no matter what was happening. My mother said that he would sleep all through his college classes. What infuriated her was that he would get straight "A"s while she was struggling with the same class. I remember that he would come home from work and sit down in his recliner and go to sleep, sometimes with a finger accidentally propping one eye open, waking just in time to walk the dog before going to bed. But, as soundly as he slept, you did not want to disturb him in that sleep. He might be dreaming or your touch might be the instigator of a wild wave of his arm at full force. He could wack you pretty hard and never feel a thing, or wake up.

Your Great-Aunt Margaret was a sleeper, too. Her thing was, after she got to the point that she didn't try to strip off every time she got into the car, to fall asleep as soon as the car started moving. She CLAIMED that she was simply sitting there with her eyes closed to avoid motion sickness but I don't think that the gentle snoring or the sometimes wild lolling of her head were indicators of any sort of wakefulness.

I don't know about your Uncle Benjamin. I do know that he wasn't comfortable sleeping in his bedroom in the house at Parnassus. Your halmoni (할머니) Via sent him Korean spirit sticks which we were told did the trick and kept the "monsters" at bay. But, in so much as he died when he was only 8, I don't know that he had any lifetime odd sleep habits.

As for me, well, I've had some changes over the years. When I was very young I had some rather vivid nightmares. Some would result in some early waking hallucinations such as the duck (or was it a goose) I once discovered on the end of my bed in Richwood, WV. For a while I had a recurring nightmare of a sort of "pong" game in which the two lines between which the little pong thing goes back and forth got closer and closer together. This was well before the video game of pong was invented and I often wondered if the inventor had a similar dream/nightmare. I also had some what I believe were precognitive dreams. I didn't get it at first, merely having a strong sense of deja-vu but later acted on what I believed was about to happen to my benefit. Unfortunately, as I got older, I remembered less and less of my dreams. Your mom used to have nightmares, too. I don't know now what they were, she often couldn't describe them, but she would wake up terrified.

Fortunately, or not, I think that I've always been able to go to sleep anywhere and anytime, like my dad. This was a benefit to me in the service because I could nap just about anywhere, under just about any conditions. I have slept on top of 35KW diesel generators while they were running, I have slept in the back of bouncing military trucks and I have slept when stress kept others awake.

One thing though, changes that might be bad wake me up. You can run the window AC right next to my head OR not and I'll sleep right through. If off, you can turn on the AC and not bother me. BUT if I expect the AC to be running and it goes off, such as with a power outage, I'll wake right up. The house can be dead quiet or there can be a lot of street noise and I'll sleep right along. But, the sound of running water at the wrong time and I will wake right up. Apparently my subconscious can differentiate between the properly flushed toilet and one that doesn't stop running when it should. I know because I've woken and knew exactly why in such occurrences.

I'm a morning person, too. Wake me up and I'm usually good to go right from the start. This is a tremendous advantage, particularly if you wake up late or are surviving on cat naps. Unfortunately, I think that you have to be born with the ability and not everyone is.

Friday, August 24, 2012

False Advertising

This morning a guy with a beef with his former boss caught the boss going to work and shot him in the head.  He then tried to get away but was spotted, pointed out to police who tried to arrest him.  Apparently he resisted and the result was that the criminal died and several others were wounded.  The media is depicting this as a shooting "rampage".  This is not a rampage.  It was a planned execution with a poorly planned escape route which resulted in the near apprehension and death of the triggerman.  Because this happened near to the Empire State Building during rush hour there was a crowd and several people were hit by somebody's pistol fire, perhaps from the police officers.  Gun control didn't work for New York City, the criminal didn't hesitate to bring his gun into the city, to carry it concealed to the place he used it to MURDER his target.  Does anyone believe that anyone that will MURDER another human being gives a hoot about any other laws?  If so, what sort of mental deficiency are they experiencing?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mayflower Ancestors

We'd been told by several in the family that we were Mayflower descendants (there are something like 2,000,000+ at this time).  However, nobody was certain of the lineage.  I am fairly certain now and I wasn't really surprised to find connections in that our ancestors had been in New England, particularly Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine for a very long time.  It is likely that they would meet and marry some Mayflower descendant along the way.  Your great-aunt Margaret and I are now up to 9 Mayflower ancestors, as are you.  I don't believe there will be more from our line.  They are:

- Isaac Allerton (husband of Mary (Norris) Allerton and father of Mary Allerton)
- Mary (Norris) Allerton
- Mary (Allerton) Cushman
- James Chilton (he is the father of Mary Chilton)
- Mary Chilton
- Mary Allerton (the last surviving Mayflower passenger when she died in 1699)
- William Brewster
- Stephen Hopkins
- Constance Hopkins

These are the passengers on the Mayflower...
John Alden John Carver Richard Gardinar Ellen More Edward Tilley
Isaac Allerton Katherine (White) Carver John Goodman Jasper More Ann (Cooper) Tilley
Mary (Norris) Allerton James Chilton William Holbeck Richard More John Tilley
Bartholomew Allerton Mrs. Chilton John Hooke Mary More Joan (Hurst) Tilley
Remember Allerton Mary Chilton Stephen Hopkins William Mullins Elizabeth Tilley
Mary Allerton Richard Clarke Elizabeth (Fisher) Hopkins Mrs. Alice Mullins Thomas Tinker, wife, and son
John Allerton Francis Cooke Constance Hopkins Priscilla Mullins William Trevore
John Billington John Cooke Giles Hopkins Joseph Mullins John Turner, and two sons
Eleanor Billington Humility Cooper Damaris Hopkins Degory Priest Richard Warren
John Billington John Crackston Oceanus Hopkins Solomon Prower William White
Francis Billington John Crackston John Howland John Rigsdale Mrs. Susanna White
William Bradford Edward Doty John Langmore Alice Rigsdale Resolved White
Dorothy (May) Bradford Francis Eaton William Latham Thomas Rogers Roger Wilder
William Brewster Mrs. Sarah Eaton Edward Leister Joseph Rogers Thomas Williams
Mrs. Mary Brewster Samuel Eaton Edmund Margesson Henry Samson Edward Winslow
Love Brewster Thomas English Christopher Martin George Soule Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow
Wrestling Brewster Moses Fletcher Mary (Prower) Martin Myles Standish Gilbert Winslow
Richard Britteridge Edward Fuller Desire Minter Mrs. Rose Standish
Peter Browne Mrs. Fuller Elias Story "Mr. Ely"
William Button Samuel Fuller Edward Thompson Dorothy, Carver's maidservant
Robert Carter Samuel Fuller

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out to the range..

I went shooting yesterday with the 4" Outdoorsman (pre model 18), Colt Police Positive Target and Browning 1911-22. All ammo used was the Remington Golden bullet. I wanted to see if it shot close enough to the sights to be usable for squirrel hunting. After I get rid of this stuff, I have about 700 rounds remaining, I'm going to go back to the Winchester Power Points. I've ordered another case of that, just in case. Shooting at 7 and 10 yards (on the same target for each pistol), I shot at standard 25 yard pistol target centers. 7 yards is about the closest I can get to a wild squirrel and 10 yards is about average for my handgun squirrel kills.  I used to think that I was quite a bit further but, after actually pacing off the distances, I found that I was getting quite a bit closer than I'd thought.  Here's the results.

The first target is for the Colt.  I had problem seeing the sights on all these guns but this less so than the others.  As I write this I have developing cataracts and wear progressive bifocals.  I hadn't thought that I was having problems, but I did yesterday.  We'll just have to wait and see how this pans out.  As you can see, even this bulk ammo was capable of pretty good accuracy from this revolver but was shooting a bit to the left.  Not a problem to correct as the revolver has a windage adjustable rear sight, but I lacked the proper screwdriver to permit a sight change while I was at the range.  

Then we have the target for the 4" Outdoorsman.  The gun was sold to me as a Model 18 but isn't marked as such.  Thus, it is a pre-18 or Outdoorsman as they were called.  This one has a 4" barrel and has been much worked on.  I was told that it would shoot, and I think it does shoot well.  I was interrupted on the range and so lost track of where I was and switched pistols before I'd shot the allotted 30 rounds.  

Lastly we have the target for the Browning 1911-22.  These are cute little guns.  Little is the operative word here.  They are 85% of the size of a full-sized 1911 but they are also mostly of aluminum and so light as can be.  The sights are also 85% of the original size making them pretty darn tiny.  This pistol seems to me to fit into the "kit gun" category.  It wants to group but properly seeing and aligning the sights seems difficult to me.  I think it could work for squirrel hunting but I need more practice. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

Yesterday wasn't a big sales day, we only did a couple of transfers, but we had a large number of customers through the shop. It was really a big question and answer day.

The most interesting guns available? A Colt New Frontier 7½" barrel .22 LR, no box. A Rossi, El Tigre "trapper" carbine in .357 Magnum. This is the 92 copy with 16¼" barrel and the wildcat medallion inset on the left side of the receiver. There is still an old model Ruger Single Six as well.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Need some training?

Everyone needs training in something.  That's why we start with kindergarten and go to school for at least 13 years (hopefully) and then on to trade school or college.  We really never stop learning.  For those that want to get their concealed handgun permit (as we call it here in Virginia), you need to demonstrate some level of competence and if you don't have your DD214 then you might be one of the majority who need to take a class.  Classes consist of the rules and laws governing concealed carry and might, depending on which class you take, also have some instruction on actually operating the firearm and how to shoot accurately.  We always recommend such classes for anyone who has doubts about their level of knowledge on the subject and the truth is that learning can't hurt anyone.  In our area we have at least two people conducting the classes.  For details you would need to contact them directly. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

President Washington's Farewell Address - 1796

George Washington, General, President, planter, citizen, answered the call of his country many times. He made every effort to live a virtuous life and to "do the right thing". He is a man on whom we might well model ourselves. It seems to me apropos to include his 1796 Farewell "Address" upon his retirement from public life. Oh that politicians and public persons today would be like him. Your great-grandmother Eleanor (my mom) thought him her favorite historical figure. We can only hope.

Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it - It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Geo. Washington.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Archery Wounding Rates

This has always been of interest to me. My wounding rate is zero but given the odds based on anecdotal information, I thought it likely that someday I'd wound and fail to recover (i.e. KILL) a deer. This study seems to support an 18% wounding rate with EITHER compound bow or crossbow (I am a recurve, or traditional bow shooter).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

It was quite an interesting day. Our change to a "Class III dealer" aka a dealer in title II/NFA firearms has upped the interesting factor. We did 7 transfers today, of which 2 were delayed (about average) for 11 firearms. Interesting firearms included an M16A1, not an "AR" but a sure-as-shootin' M16, selector switch and all and in A1 mode. Took me right back. For those interested it is only asking $20,000. This then excited a conversation and a trade of a Group Inc. 9/45/22 Uzi for 3 handguns and some cash. This is another full-auto gun. Hoooooorah! THEN we had a fellow bring in an OLD Belgian made Dixie Gun Works long rifle in .45 caliber looking for the fixin's. I have not seen one in quite a while. This one will require some fine steel wool and oil massages but it should shoot without much trouble at all. We also took in a Levever 12 ga. side by side that seemed in good condition. On top of all that a nice 4" Colt Police Positive Special .38 Special in its long time home, a left handed swivel holster, came to the shop for shipment to heirs out west somewhere. This fine old gun has just a bit of holster wear around the muzzle.

Then, too, we were graced by a visit from Clint and Debbi B_____ from Bedford. Clint dropped off a sizing die and top punch and picked up a Ruger P95 he'd layed away a couple of weeks ago. He also surprised me with a 1955 penny. NEAT! I like such things and I guess he figured that out. Thanks Clint. Unfortunately Clint was a bit out of sorts, he figured his sugar was low, and they had to leave all too soon to eat and get him back to normal.

But that wasn't all! I got to speak to my son today. Again, the conversation was all too short but I'm convinced he's still alive and that suits me fine for now. A great day all around...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Need reloading bench plans?

The National Reloading Association put out these plans many years ago. I have a printed copy from them but found these on-line. What isn't on-line? They are intended for somebody who is standing as he works. One could do a number of things with such a bench other than reloading.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

BUSY day today especially as compared to the past 4-5 weeks.

Had an interesting trapdoor Springfield come in. It seemed to have one date on the action and another on the lock (1884 on the lock), but I couldn't really read the date on the action. Stock had been varnished and that finish was bubbling. Every screw had been mucked up. Older style sights. Had the ramrod. Might have made somebody a fun BP shooter. Older fellow wanted to sell his guns because he can't shoot any more due to surgery removing supporting tissue in his right shoulder.

Finally saw another Ruger SR1911 come in and go out within 2 hours.

Several people came in looking for or ordering or buying AR type rifles. They follow the news and know that another spate of anti-gun ownership laws is coming or will be attempted. Hedging their bets. Once again, the socialists/Democrats (who keep repeating that gun control is a dead issue but keep bringing it up) have sold more guns rather than inhibiting sales.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Today's Silhouette Match

Boy, have I ever been looking forward to today's match. I missed the last one at our club because Nana had to have a vacation that same weekend and then it was cancelled because nobody showed up. While I enjoyed the trip, I think I'd rather have been at the match even if there were only 4 of us to shoot. I really enjoy shooting silhouettes.

Unfortunately I was no good at it today. I'm not sure why. It seemed to me that even when I managed to get a good trigger release with the sight properly placed I wouldn't get a hit. While I had 3 consecutive hits in practice on the ram swinger, I missed all but one of my 10 targets in the match. Instead of a 30-something which is more usual I shot an 8. Yes, eight. 8 of 40. Sad indeed.

On top of that the matches (there was a .22 at 100 yards match first) ran long and I didn't leave the range until 5:30. I think I need to practice. A lot. The next match is 2 September.