Archive for January, 2013

I know the name of my blog is “Backyard Shooter” and I normally write about things related to gun rights and shooting in general.  Lately though, just as our Second Amendment rights have come under fire, the rights of those of us who play video games have also taken a hit.  It seems there are those in the pro-gun crowd that would start taking away rights that gamers have while calling those after their rights “gun grabbers” and “socialists”.

Senator Lamar Alexander, you can’t attack another group of people just because your own group is looking bad.  Video games are protected under the First Amendment as freedom of speech.  Just as pro-gun activists slam the anti-gun crowd for trying to destroy the Constitution, I have to call them out for doing the exact same thing.  What’s good for one is good for the other.

If you care about your rights as a gamer, or your rights as a citizen of The United States of America, please click here to help the Video Game Voters Network spread the word to lawmakers that we, as gamers and U.S. citizens, refuse to let our rights be infringed.

This is the message they want to be seen by our lawmakers:

I am writing today to respectfully encourage you not to allow video games to become a scapegoat in the ongoing national debate over violence in the United States. As a voter, constituent, and avid video game player, I am concerned with the efforts of some to paint my choice of entertainment as the cause of recent tragic events.

I would like to share some key facts about video games and those who play them. The average video game player is 30 years old and the average game purchaser is 35 years old. In addition, women 18 and older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent), and 29 percent of game players are over the age of 50.

I believe that parents, not politicians, are in the best position to determine entertainment choices for their families and, according to the Federal Trade Commission, parents are involved in the purchase and rental of their children’s games over 89 percent of the time. Also, according to the Entertainment Software Association, 91 percent of parents monitor the content of the games their children play. It is very important to help parents and caregivers ensure that the computer and video games children play are appropriate and parent approved. However, the video game rating system is already doing a great job by providing parents with detailed video game content descriptors and parental controls available on all video game consoles.

In addition, through partnerships with retailers across the nation, the video game industry has the highest level of retail enforcement of any entertainment form. Instead of blaming video games – which numerous studies have shown do not incite violence, but instead help to advance technology and society – we should be discussing new solutions that strike at the heart of the real problems we face. I completely stand with the American people who are rightfully demanding action in response to recent tragedies. What these events require is serious debate and serious solutions, and blaming video games and gamers is neither.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

We are more than just consumers.  We are members of a worldwide group.  Just as gun owners feel a camaraderie with other gun owners, we feel the same sense of belonging with members of the gaming community.   Stand up for your rights because this is starting to look ugly for the entire country and I’m afraid every part of the Constitution is going to come under attack.  It is unacceptable to persecute a group of people in order to prevent your own from suffering.

We are a nation of once-free people.  Now we’re a country of people who can’t responsibly make decisions for themselves.  Our founding fathers are writhing in their graves right now as they watch what a mess we’ve made of this great country.  It’s time we stop looking for blame and start trying really hard to find a solution.

I am an avid gamer and firearms enthusiast.  I will defend the rights of all people in this great country to the best of my ability.  Will you do the same?

Just to keep things light, here’s a humorous image

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Today’s “Tip of the Day” over on Zombease.com was to always have an alternative route when traveling during a disaster.  When your life is in danger and you’re trying to survive, becoming trapped or lost could easily be a death sentence.  Having an alternative route every time you travel is key to avoiding such a situation.  This is something I believe in and try to be aware of every time I leave the house.

There are only two roads that lead to my house, and one is highly susceptible to flooding.  Knowing how to get from the flood point and back to the other road that leads to my house is an important thing.  It’s even more important if you live in an urban area where roads could become extremely congested, making travel extremely difficult if not impossible.  Most of us know what it’s like to be trapped in traffic backups on the freeway;  in a disaster or apocalypse type scenario, having an alternative route out of the city or back to your home is something everyone should consider.

“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street.  Thinking opens new avenues.”  – Cullen Hightower

I included the quote by Cullen Hightower to illustrate another point.  Very rarely are we ever completely trapped.  Even if you may not know right off the top of your head where all the exits are, taking time to pause and think can reveal a lot more than you think.

The next time you go to town, plan ahead and think about how you could get to your destination if your current path suddenly became blocked.  Try to avoid roads that have very few adjoining roads.  You can also practice the same when on foot.  As you walk down the street or through the mall, look for the exits.  Look for alleys along the street that don’t end with dead ends.  Look for roof access ladders.  Manholes.  Anything that could potentially be used to evade an attacker or to reach your destination when other routes are blocked.  Basically, just be observant.

As you practice the skill of observing your surroundings, it will eventually become second nature.  Much like blinking or breathing, when you walk down the street you’ll start noticing things subconsiously that just might end up saving your life one day.  And that’s something worth working on in my opinion.  Let me know what you think and how you’ve used such skills in the past.

Sloan, Gun Runners, Quarry Junction

Just received an email notification that Natchez Shooting Supplies has some SKS magazines in stock again.  I love my SKS and would buy more magazines if I didn’t already have two 30 round metal magazines and the factory 10 rounder.  Just wanted to help those who might not be as fortunate.

Click here to see their offers!

I haven’t been looking as hard this week as previous weeks, but I checked everything this evening and it seems like there a lot more options than my last update.  This is probably the biggest list I’ve had since I started doing these.

If you like these updates, let me know.  Leave a comment or just click like.  Helps motivate me to do them more often.  And be sure to subscribe so that these updates can come straight to your inbox!

Here’s what was available as of 7:15pm on January 30th, 2013:

.223/5.56
Ammo.net – .223 – 1000 round cases of Federal Premium 55 grain FMJ
Ammo.net – 5.56 – Several different options
Ammo For Sale – Two options of 5.56
ARMSLIST – Lots of individuals selling ammo
Bulk Ammo – Federal Premium .223 and several options 5.56
Cheaper Than Dirt – Several different options available
Lucky Gunner – Spear Gold .223 and two options of 5.56
Midway USA – Barnes Vor-TX .223
Powder Valley – Hornady and Nosler have a few options

7.62×39
Ammo.net – WPA Military Classic
ARMSLIST – Lots of individuals selling ammo
SCDS – Several options, Canada only
Cheaper Than Dirt – PMC and Brown Bear
Dag Ammo – Tula 122 and 123 grain rounds in bulk
Lucky Gunner – WPA Military Classic

22lr
ARMSLIST – Lots of individuals selling ammo
Cheaper Than Dirt – Eley and Aguila ammo
J & G Sales – Lots of Eley
Midway USA – Just some shot shells
Natchez Shooting Supplies – Just some shot shells

Go get it while you can!  I’m sure it’ll go fast!

***  UPDATE – 9:43pm 1/30/13  ***
I added ARMSLIST to each category after Gary’s comment.  I hadn’t known about it before but I’ll definitely be spending some time over there now.

We’re all well aware that prices have jumped considerably over the past few months.  It’s affecting all gun owners and firearm enthusiasts.  But it didn’t really hit me how much the prices had changed until I bought a box of Tula Ammo yesterday.

Before the school shooting in Newtown Connecticut, Tula .223 ammo was really cheap.  I bought it pretty regularly throughout most of 2011 and 2012 at $0.25 a round.  In bulk I saw it selling for about $0.20 a round.  But with ammo so plentiful at the time, I only bought it as I needed it . . . sure regret that now.

The box I just bought, with price tag

The box I just bought, with price tag

Box of ammo with receipt showing price

Box of ammo with receipt showing price

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the shooting, Tula sold for $4.95 a box at Walmart and around $5.25 a box at the local shops.  I didn’t mind buying at the additional cost since it helped local business.  Now however, Walmart has absolutely no .223 ammo whatsoever.  And local shops are selling what little Tula they have for $10 a box!  That’s just under a 100% increase in price!  And the jump occurred in less than a 2 month period.

.223 ammo isn’t the only kind to suffer either.  Almost all calibers have experienced extreme increases.  Since I have two 22lr pistols and a conversion kit for my AR15, I went through quite a bit of that ammo from August to December. Probably several thousand rounds.

Before the shooting, Blazer ammo was $0.04 a round.  You could find it for that price almost anywhere.  After the shooting, the price doubled to $0.08 a round.  Fiocchi ammo experienced the same price jump of 100%.  Not a huge jump, and still affordable.  But there’s not a 22lr cartridge for sale in my county at this point.

Ammunition isn’t the only thing that has shot sky high either.  Before the shooting and weapon ban talks, there was a plethora of magazines available.  After the shooting it’s almost impossible to find a magazine in stores locally.  And online is just as bad.  The magazines that can be found have more than doubled in price.

Before the scare, I could buy 30 round AR mags locally for $15.95 a piece.  One of my local shops usually kept like 20 of each color in stock.  That’s certainly not the case anymore.  The only mags I have found locally in recent weeks were two 30 round mags for $20 each.  Since then I have only seen 20 round magazines, and those were selling for over $25 each.

Right now, at online gun trading sites as well as local gun shows, 30 round AR15 magazines are selling for between $30 and $60 a piece.  That’s a considerably higher jump than ammo experienced.  Right now a lot of online retailers have magazines back-ordered until after June.

I know some of this is supply and demand, but I think a lot of it is price gauging by people who are just exploiting peoples’ fears.  I really hope this all passes soon because the way it is right now, I don’t even want to go shooting because I don’t know that I’ll be able to replace my ammo any time soon.  And a gun is no good without ammo . . .

For more examples of how prices have changed, check out my post from the past weekend when I went to a local gun show.  I include prices I saw for rifles and ammo of all kinds.  Leave a comment below and let me know how much the prices have jumped in your local market.

I have never really thought of using a handgun as a blunt force weapon; Michael Janich, a writer for Personal & Home Defense Magazine, clearly has however.  In the article “Blunt Force Alternatives” he discusses methods you can use to subdue an attacker without necessarily firing your weapon.  While not the purpose of carrying a firearm, some situations as he points out, just don’t present many opportunities to safely get a shot off before being attacked.

Blunt Force Alternatives

One line from the article really explains the entire topic:  “Punching someone in the head with a pound or more of solid metal definitely qualifies as stopping power and in some cases may produce a more immediate effect than a gunshot.”

Michael’s list of “pistol-hitting basics” include the following:

  • 1)  Muzzle Discipline – Always keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction.  Aggressive handling of your firearm may cause you to squeeze the trigger accidently.  “If you can’t hit in a way that ensures the muzzle stays pointed in a safe direction throughout the entire path of the strike, don’t hit.”
  • 2)  Don’t Damage Your Gun – Strike your attacker with a part of your weapon that wont be damaged easily, such as the muzzle or frame.  You should be able to strike your attacker “without adversely affecting the mechanical function of your gun.”
  • 3)  Trigger-Finger Discipline – Going along with number 1, Michael says that during a struggle, “you will naturally want to grip the gun convulsively and the chances of inadvertently squeezing the trigger are high.”  He recommends wrapping all four fingers around the grip under the trigger guard, safely away from the trigger.

In the rest of the article he goes on to explain various stances to take up for defense but I didn’t really learn a whole lot from reading about what he described.  What I did pick up on though was his description of how to better punch with a handgun.  Rather than swinging your arm like a traditional punch, he explains that you should think of it more like “poking” the attacker.  It helps control the muzzle’s direction as well as keeping all the weight directly behind the point of impact.

I may not have considered using a pistol as a blunt force weapon before, but I certainly will now.  Perhaps I can even incorporate some pistol/hand combat into my training.  After all, learning new skills and maintaining them is key to achieving complete proficiency with your firearms.

My boss showed us all a video today at work.  We’re not a super productive bunch as you can probably guess, but I decided I should pass this along.  Its not a new video (it was uploaded almost 2 years ago) but its definitely worth a watch if you care about your Second Amendment rights at all.  It happened in Australia and it can happen here:

I’m not sure how much of it is just propaganda, but there are certainly a lot of facts in there and we should pay attention.  Our political figures often point to what other countries have done to show the direction they wish us to go as well.  But banning guns isn’t the answer in the United States, even if other countries may have experienced positive results.

Our founding fathers created the Constitution to protect our rights.  To protect us from a tyrannical government from which we declared our independence.  To start restricting those rights goes completely against what they intended.  It goes against what our country represents to the rest of the world:  Freedom.