Thursday, June 27, 2013

Notes from the gun shop...

I had two days in the shop this week. One of the employees was out on vacation. We weren't particularly busy but some interesting things have transited the shop...

A Webley MK VI revolver with issue holster and cleaning rod but shaved for the .45 ACP in moon clips or the .45 AR. I think it locks up a bit loose but somebody has already layed it away.

A Remington #1 in .38 rimfire. The rifle is in very good or better condition and the bore is really pretty darn good. If one could get .38 rimfire ammo that would be tempting indeed.

There is a pretty decent Luger with issue holster, both in excellent condition. That one hasn't found a home yet.

Somebody brought in both a Remington Model 58 (already gone) and a Smith and Wesson Model 36 2", NICKEL which is also in really good condition but sans box.

There are TWO Mauser .22 sporting rifles. These mimic the M98 Mauser with the extractor and safety and have the issue type rear and front sight but are set up in sporting stocks. I almost bit on one of these.

A Winchester Model 47 of which more later as this one came home with me...

.22 LR, .22 WRMF and .17 HMR ammo are in short supply. Apparently we're not even able to get match ammo. We have some we are holding back for gun buyers. Who wants a gun without ammo? Not every shop is approaching the situation this way.

Powder is hard to find. The 50 pounds we got 3 weeks ago is long gone. Primers we have, at least most types. Bullets are also in short supply. When ammo was short people started or returned to reloading and quickly cleared the shelves of powders and bullets for handgun ammo. This situation isn't improving.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Traitors or Patriots?

One 29-year old Booz Allen Hamilton employee, Edward Snowden, is reportedly the person who "blew the whistle" on the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM project. Said project is reportedly gathering phone/e-mail/internet information on every American citizen. There are of course 2 sides to the discussion about his act(s).

One side says he's a hero for dropping a dime on the tyrannical federal government abuse of power and the other says he's a traitorous terrorist operative. Meanwhile the executive branch is attempting to deflect criticism by supporting the demonization of Snowden while saying that inadvertently captured data on citizens was destroyed.

Frankly, I think there's some level of disinformation being promulgated by all parties to this. Here's what I think the "facts" are as best as we can (or may ever) know right now.

A man named Edward Snowden is/was an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton. Implied in that admission is that he did have access to the information he claimed to have. We have long known that the government is indeed looking at as many communications (via any media) with overseas terrorists as they possibly can. We have also been told that the government has, of course, the ability to do the same with in-country communications.

Now for the implications...

Let's get real. There are some "truisms" that apply. If it can be done it will be done. What is legal isn't necessarily right/moral/ethical/constitutional. What can go wrong will go wrong. For these reasons I believe that the NSA is indeed capturing all possible data on all communications inside and outside the country. Aside from the problem of data storage it is probably easier to apply filters when searching the content than it is to apply filters to capturing content. Like a looter they are just grabbing all they can and sort it out as the opportunity presents or circumstance demands.

Given the number of people with access it is likely that somebody is abusing this capability in some way. Maybe it is as "innocent" as some employee checking out a spouse to make sure they aren't having an affair. Maybe it is some employee having a voyeuristic peek at some citizen(s) life. Just maybe it is the government actually gone fishing on 309 million Americans.

That last is the thing that the government is not supposed to do. It is but one step in subjugation of a people. Other countries have tried it before but technology (or the lack of technology) made such efforts come up a bit short. This is the reason many people feel a bit nervous about this.

So is Mr. Snowden (and others like him) a patriot or a traitor? We may never know. Certainly the government has to treat him as a traitor. He apparently knows that, after all he ran away to China. That's just fine. But we will likely never know the reason he has done what he has done and that is what we must know to define him as a patriot, somebody who puts country (all fellow citizens) first.

PS - it is now the 14th of June and we have learned that Snowden hasn't just dropped a dime on the domestic collection of data but apparently had/has information on our legitimate spying on the People's Republic of China (PRC). Further, he is apparently using that information to give him some leeway in his use of Hong Kong as a safe haven. To my mind what he has done is attempt, for some reason best known by himself and perhaps by his PRC handler, to use the domestic spying info to make him seem like a hero when he is nothing more than a turncoat spy who happened to also reveal the abuse of US citizens by their own government. No hero. Traitor. Benedict Arnold redux.

PPS- now the 22nd of June and it was announced that Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. The complaint is sealed. This is to be expected.

Thursday, June 06, 2013


About to land Omaha Beach...
June 6, 1944.  D-Day.  The "invasion" of "fortress" Europe (the French refer to it as the embarkation).  Among the units embarking was the 116th Infantry Regiment attached to the 1st Infantry Division.  I had thought that among the men landing that day was PFC Gano Haines "Sonny" Jewell who was assigned in mid-July to the aid station of the 2nd Battalion 116th Infantry.  2 months later PFC Jewell would be dead but on this day in 1944 he was apparently in or enroute to England awaiting assignment as a replacement in one of the combat units and to begin the long and difficult job of freeing Europe.

Sonny was my Dad's first cousin and the only child of Harold and Julia (Parslow) Jewell. They were particularly close and I believe that Sonny's death was at least partially influential in Dad's decision to enlist as soon as he was able. I remember Dad talking about Sonny and some of their "adventures". He also talked about following his mother and aunt when they went to pick up Sonny's body. Even 40 years later there was real sadness in Dad's voice.

I wish I had a photo of Sonny.  I've only seen a couple and only one of him in uniform.  About 1985 a former NCOIC of the 116th Medical Detachment, Winston Morris, came into my office and showed me a copy of his photograph of Sonny taken the day before his death.  He was going to send me a copy but for one reason or another that never happened.

As a representative of all those men who risked all on that day, we honor our cousin Sonny.
The Otsego Farmer
Friday, September 1, 1944


Friends of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Jewell of Schenectady, formerly of this place, will regret to learn that their only son, Gano, is reported missing in action in France. Mrs. Henry Hesch and Mrs. Fred Ottaway are spending several days with their sister and brother, Mr. and Mrs. Jewell.

The Otsego Farmer
Friday, October 27, 1944

Mrs. Webbs Nephew Is Killed In Action

Pfc. Gano H. Jewell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold G. Jewell of No. 13 Cromer Avenue, Schenectady, previously reported missing in action, was killed August 4th while serving as a field medical man in France the War department informed the parents. He was a nephew of Mrs. Kenneth Webb of Whig Corners, Mrs. Fred Ottaway of Westville, and Kenneth Jewell of Milford.
A graduate; of Nott Terrace High school. Private Jewell enlisted in the army reserve in November, 1942, and was called in active duty in July, 1943, while a Sophomore at Union College. Following his basic training at Camp Grant, Illinois, he was graduated from Technician and advanced Technician courses at O'Reilly General hospital, Springfield, Mo.
After serving a short time at Fitzsimmons General Hospital, Denver; Col., he was stationed at Camp Reynolds, Pa , before going overseas in May, 1944.

The Otsego Farmer
Friday, April 22, 1949



The body of Pfc. Gano Jewell of the Army Medical Corps, who made the Supreme Sacrifice in France on August, 1944 was brought to Westville cemetery for burial, Saturday afternoon.
Funeral services were held in the Union College chapel in Schenectady. Pfc. Jewell was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Jewell of Schenectady and a nephew of Ernest Jewell, Kenneth Jewell, Mrs. Fred Ottaway and Mrs. Henry Hesch, all of this place.

I originally posted this on 6 Jun 2011...  

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Printing guns...

Much is being made of the concept of using computers and plastic-3D printers to "print" firearms.  Some see it as a bane on society while others see it as a great liberating concept, both for the same reason(s), i.e. that anyone can produce a firearm at any time so long as they have a printers.  Something like the Star Trek replicators in concept, the printing of firearms is advancing quite rapidly.  In as much as many modern firearms are mostly made of some sort of polymer anyway, there is little or no stigma attached to such a firearm.  To put it another way, plastic guns made one way work, why not plastic guns made another way?  Printing of guns might me that way, at least for the some gun smith.

Sor far as it goes now, it isn't illegal for an American to fabricate a firearm so long as it meets the other criteria as mentioned in the linked article.  Handguns must have a rifled barrel to avoid being an National Firearms Act (NFA) regulated firearm and they must have some metal in them to avoid being an undetectable firearm.  However, the real attraction of printing firearms comes from the ability to "stick to the man", i.e. the government, a concept that many currently active progressive/liberal politicians have supported from the time of Richard Nixon.  Unfortunately for them, they are "the man" now and they are all too well aware of that.  They don't like it one bit and they intend to make it illegal.

It might be interesting to watch this show.  Unfortunately for the banners, history doesn't support the idea of successful bans.  If you don't believe me, just look at all the marijuana these same folks smoked since the 1960s.  If people want something, they'll get that something and use it as they please and eventually it will become the norm and permitted.  This is happening with pot in Colorado, California and Washington, it is happening with homosexual "unions" and I'm sure it will happen with any number of things before I die.