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Thread: Side story on the recent gun spree

  1. #61
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Fuchs:

    That is not such a bad analysis. I would add that one of the reasons for the popularity of the AR-15 in the US is that it is fun to shoot. People take it to the range and enjoy shooting it. One of the reasons they discovered that it is fun to shoot was the 'assault weapons ban' of the mid-1990s. As soon as it was suspected that limits of some kind would be placed on ARs, they flew off the shelves, just as they are doing now. People who had a mild interest in owning and shooting the weapon bought it because they figured it was then or never. The same thing is happening now I am sure. So the irony of trying to limit that type of weapon is that it increased the sales initially and then the quality of the product insured that sales would continue to grow. If they had never put limitations on it, many of those people's mild interest would have remained a mild interest instead of being transformed into a purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There also seems to be a rural-urban divide, with rural people having good reasons to not trust the timely reaction of government security officials in case of emergency and having good practical uses for firearms (hunting, self-protection against animals). Urban people meanwhile have emergency services ~ 5 minutes away (or could at least), not going hunting much but experiencing a lot of firearm-empowered crime (on their TV screen).
    The rural-urban divide is more than that. It is a very large cultural divide also. The divide that you missed is the divide between the South and the rural states and the Northeast, the West Coast and the states dominated by huge cities like Illinois.

    People in the country, I believe, who have weapons for self defense are mostly concerned about defending themselves against humans. Dangerous animals just aren't that widely distributed in the US.

    Very good point about people being frightened by what they see on TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I wonder why the U.S. got the crime and firearms thing so wrong. I've yet to hear about rural Frenchmen placing much emphasis on having semi-auto spitzer bullet carbines (and they're got some really lonely places!).
    Quite the same goes for Canada; they don't happen to have such a huge conflict either as far as I know.
    You know Fuchs, you were doing so good but then the supercilious Euroweenie escaped. Myself, I wonder how Europe got the government, political, economic thing so wrong, since most all of the Americans have ancestors who came from Europe because life there really sucked.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  2. #62
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    You know Fuchs, you were doing so good but then the supercilious Euroweenie escaped. Myself, I wonder how Europe got the government, political, economic thing so wrong, since most all of the Americans have ancestors who came from Europe because life there really sucked.
    Kind of, but we also kind of evolved
    Canadians, Australians and Kiwis are not known for the same problems as Americans from the U.S..

    So I DO wonder what went wrong and why. Out of curiosity.
    As far as I am concerned, my life would not change if there was a gun rampage in a school in the U.S. every day. I have curiosity, though. News from foreign countries feeds my appetite for learning just as does history.

    So what did go wrong?

  3. #63
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    I think this will be my last post on this thread, which has been quite an interesting journey:

    1) After looking up the UK laws concerning guns and knifes I know now that I could risk up to 4 years in prison and a fine of 5000 pounds if I carry my Swiss Huntsmen knife in public with no good enough reason. Length over 3 inches and a lockable blade too. Sounds rather harsh for my taste, just like in case of the mere possession of handguns in the UK.

    (At 18 we stayed with our schoolclass in Berlin for a couple of days and I even entered the Bundestag with Swiss Army kife in the rucksack. IIRC the officer/guard asked us to pass through the metal detector and I said before that I had an Army knife and if I could leave it there. Until I saw the sign I actually forgot about it. Asked why I need one I said well, to cut salami and so forth. Somehow sometimes you think that, well, you are just a harmless guy and not look upon you from the other side.

    Of course I got it back )

    2) The gun laws are quite a legal maze around the world, within entities like the EU and Italy. For example in some areas of Italy boar hunting is mostly done with 12' slugs, increasingly often with semi-automatic shotguns. This goes especially for driven hunts in the macchia. That makes perfect sense considering the distances, the lack of complicated game ID and the fact that many are well used to the gun by birding. In my region slugs are completely banned for hunting and we are considered as hunters in an 'alpine environment' a species apart.

    Homicides comitted with hunting/ long firearms are indeed very rare. Handguns are clearly the weapon of choice and no doubt the organized crime makes it's impact felt also in this statistic. If we discount the dead connected to it suddendly knifes and tools are used almost as often as guns.* (The mafia makes up for roughly half of the body count!). It does sadly not surprise me that a southern region like Campania leads even in absolute numbers.

    *Meno omicidi di Mafia, ma cresce l’allarme criminalità comune. Con 128 vittime (155 nel 2007) il 2008 è l´anno in cui la criminalità organizzata ha fatto meno vittime negli ultimi 30. Ma è allarme criminalità comune, che ha ucciso 135 volte. Dal 2000 al 2008 l´aumento è stato del 25,7%. Un terzo delle vittime della criminalità comune (45 casi) è stato ucciso nel corso di una rapina o di un furto. I pensionati sono le principali vittime (17 omicidi), seguiti da operai e braccianti (14).

    Arma da fuoco fa più vittime. Il 53,2% delle vittime (317) é stata uccisa con un´arma da fuoco; seguono le armi da taglio (142 casi) e quelle improprie (55). Il killer è un uomo nove volte su dieci; la vittima un maschio in tre casi su quattro.

    Most from this link.

    P.S: My grand-grandfather who worked in US gold mines was according to my paternal grandma entrusted by his comrades with their single revolver, sleeping with it under the pillow while sharing the whole room with his fellow countrymen. He was the biggest of the bunch and said to be quite fearless. On day he was attacked by a robber which clearly misjudged his man as he was choked and handed over to a police officer. Of course I don't know if the weapon was illegal and carried on that occasion. Certainly America was considered to be a violent country at that time. Back in Europe in the nick of time for the great war he was thrown into the meatgrinder and was picked more dead the alive from a wagon headed to the pits. All healed more or less apart from a leg. After seeing him in this state his mamma remarked in the typical dry humour of that area: "at least you will remain now at home" ...
    Last edited by Firn; 01-11-2013 at 08:16 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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  4. #64
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Fuchs:

    That is not such a bad analysis. I would add that one of the reasons for the popularity of the AR-15 in the US is that it is fun to shoot.
    Colt Firearms used to have an advertising slogan that said "The Gun You Grew Up With" that was and is pretty true. Look at how many people were exposed to the M-16 because of the draft in the 60's and early 70's, then when the civilian version became available this same large market was already well trained with how to shoot and maintain it, it was a natural purchase selection.

  5. #65
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Kind of, but we also kind of evolved
    Well I should hope so. You Euros started out pretty low what with two world wars and two of the most murderous political systems/regimes in history...and that's only in the 20th century.

    There now that we've traded cheap shots...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    So what did go wrong?
    Nothing went wrong. Things have been going right, over the long term.

    http://thepublicintellectual.org/wp-...Stylized-2.png

    http://thepublicintellectual.org/201...-crime-puzzle/

    So American murder rates have been decreasing over the years as have European rates. The article above states that the drop in violent crime in the US was not as fast or consistent as it was in Europe after 1850. One of the reasons for that should be obvious, in 1850 and for a long time after there was still a frontier in the US. There wasn't in Europe.

    As for the short term problem, the most important thing in my view is the utter collapse of the black family in the US since in the second half of the 20th century. That has gone very wrong. "Between 1950 and 1996, the percentage of Black families headed by married couples declined from 78 percent to 34 percent." "Between 1950 and 1980, the proportion of Black households headed by never-married Black women increased from 3.87 to 69.77 per 1,000." ( http://www.americanvalues.org/html/consequences.htm This is a press release. You'll have to read the report to find the quotes I cited. My computer won't let me link directly.) Being a product of a single mother family is the best single predictor for social pathology.

    That has resulted in these stats for 2011. There were 12,664 murder victims. Of those victims 5,825 were white, 6,329 were black and 510 were other or unknown race. ( http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr...e-data-table-1 ) Blacks make up about 12% of the US population.

    So that is what has gone wrong in the recent past, the collapse of the black family has resulted in a murder rate in the black community that is wildly disproportionate with the rest of the US.
    Last edited by carl; 01-11-2013 at 11:40 PM.
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  6. #66
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    And since a lot of this discussion centers around AR-15s, which are rifles, here is a table that show the number of murders by weapon type.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr...ables/table-20

    It is notable because the number of murders committed with sharp objects, hands and feet and other objects considerably outnumber those committed with rifles of all types.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  7. #67
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    in 1850 and for a long time after there was still a frontier in the US. There wasn't in Europe.
    Depends on whether one counts the whole of Russia in such statistics.


    So that is what has gone wrong in the recent past, the collapse of the black family has resulted in a murder rate in the black community that is wildly disproportionate with the rest of the US.
    Others (who rather don't work in 'values'-centric organisations) tend to point a lot at drugs, or the 'war' on the same.
    One could also point at a crisis of the middle class or at urbanisation, albeit neither is really unique to the US.

  8. #68
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Depends on whether one counts the whole of Russia in such statistics.
    Good point about Russia...but I talked about Europe and I don't believe much of Eurpean Russia would have been considered a frontier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Others (who rather don't work in 'values'-centric organisations) tend to point a lot at drugs, or the 'war' on the same.
    One could also point at a crisis of the middle class or at urbanisation, albeit neither is really unique to the US.
    They may do that, but that leads to the question of what leads to the proclivity to drug use and criminal behavior? In the US, the best predictor for both is families headed by un-wed mothers.

    No you can't point to the crisis of the middle class (whatever that is) because the middle class doesn't commit many murders, the underclass does. And the US has been pretty urbanized for a long time.

    Besides you asked what went wrong. I gave you my opinion in response.
    Last edited by carl; 01-12-2013 at 12:17 AM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Bill Bratton adds

    Bill Bratton, the once famous Police Commissioner in New York and Los Angeles, is the only US veteran police leader often cited in the UK media, partly due to his influence on UK police leaders.

    On the 18th the WSJ published an article based on speaking to him: 'William Bratton: The Real Cures for Gun Violence':http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...614388346.html

    Mr. Bratton predicts that "the most successful focus is going to be on the licensing and background checks. Because that's the heart of the problem—who gets access to the guns?...Clearly a large number of people who shouldn't have firearms actually apply through the process and obtain firearms." He also argues that Congress ought to confirm a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the first time since 2006.

    But the gun reform that truly gets Mr. Bratton fired up is one you don't hear much about these days. It is what he calls "certainty of punishment," or stricter gun-crime sentences.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Failures in Law Enforcement

    Mr. Bratton (inadvertently ?) disclosed, in his comments on ammo "clips" (his usage), what he really wants:

    He says he'd support "anything that reduces the number of rounds in a clip." In an attack like the one in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Bratton says, the faster a deranged killer can shoot, the more damage he can do—and the less time is allowed for the police to arrive. "Oftentimes it is in the changing of a clip that the opportunity presents itself for stopping. What's the right number—seven, 10, 15? Who knows? The right number is no bullets in the clip, but that's not going to happen."
    No bullets mean an inoperable firearm; which equals a firearms ban - e.g. (sort of like) Australia, or where New York (state and city) may well be headed.

    However, he did bring up two points which I believe are worth discussing; that is, he and I have at least a common framework in them.

    One was a very brief comment (allegation) of prevalent failed background checks:

    "Clearly a large number of people who shouldn't have firearms actually apply through the process and obtain firearms."
    That assertion is unsupported in the WSJ article. I'd like to know the "large number"; but more so, the reasons why felons (etc.) are slipping through the bureaucratic process. If Bratton speaks factually, this is then one area where substantial improvements can be made - without passing a passle of new laws.

    His other point (finding my agreement) was the current failure to prosecute crimes of illegal possession and illegal use under existing gun laws:

    But the gun reform that truly gets Mr. Bratton fired up is one you don't hear much about these days. It is what he calls "certainty of punishment," or stricter gun-crime sentences.

    "People are out on the streets who should be in jail. Jail is appropriate for anyone who uses a gun in the commission of an act of violence. Some cities have a deplorable lack of attention to this issue," he says, citing Philadelphia.

    In Chicago, where the murder rate rose 16% last year, "to try to put someone in jail for gun-related activity you really have to go the extra mile," he says. "If there's one crime for which there has to be a certainty of punishment, it is gun violence." He ticks off other places where help is needed: "Oakland, Chicago, D.C., Baltimore—all have gangs whose members have no capacity for caring about life and respect for life. Someone like that? Put 'em in jail. Get 'em off the streets. Keep people safe."
    Again, new laws are not required, but prosecutions under existing laws are.

    Unfortunately, gun prosecutions are uneven and generally down-trending. These stories (one 2011, one 2013) are exceptions which seem to prove the trend. Kan. ranks 3rd nationally in gun prosecutions - U.S. Attorney: Turn over the armed felons to us (AP, Roxana Hageman, January 11, 2013):

    WICHITA — The U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas has filed so many firearms cases that the state ranked third last year among the 93 judicial districts nationwide in the numbers of gun prosecutions, Justice Department figures show.

    Only Puerto Rico and the Western District of Texas had more federal gun prosecutions than Kansas in the fiscal year ending September 2012.

    Kansas was first in the nation in gun prosecutions in 2011, but fell to third place in 2012 despite prosecutors filing even more cases.

    U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom credits the growing number of gun prosecutions in the state to his office urging local law enforcement agencies to refer to federal prosecutors cases of convicted felons who are unlawfully in possession of firearms — even when they do not have enough evidence to pursue other state charges.

    Grissom told the Wichita Pachyderm Club on Friday that he told the local agencies, “If they are felons and you can pull them over and they are armed, give them to us and we will cut them out of your community. You can have a huge impact on the crime rate.”

    Federal prosecutors in Kansas filed gun-related charges against 447 people last year, up nearly 85 percent from the average of the four previous years. Firearms prosecutions nationwide remained relatively flat during that time, with 11,728 defendants charged last year.
    and Federal firearms prosecutions decline in U.S., but surge in Mobile; why? (Brendan Kirby, Press-Register, Monday, May 16, 2011):

    MOBILE, Alabama -- Federal firearms prosecutions, on a steady decline nationwide in recent times, hit a decade-long low in January. Not in Mobile, though, where U.S. prosecutors brought more guns cases in 6 months than they did the entire previous fiscal year.

    For 4 of those months, the judicial district that includes 13 southwest Alabama counties had the nation’s highest per capita rate of firearms prosecutions.

    To prosecutors and law enforcement leaders, the data shows that federal-local cooperation is taking dangerous criminals off the streets. To some defense lawyers, it demonstrates an overreach by a justice system that’s trying to burnish its reputation.

    U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown said, “I think it sends a clear message: If you are a felon and you have a gun, law enforcement will investigate you and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will prosecute you.”


    The down trend extended through FY 2010. Based on the SU TRAC database, FY 2011 continued the downtrend, but FY 2012 appeared to show an upswing.

    FY 2011
    Decline in Federal Prosecutions from ATF-Led Investigations

    (24 Oct 2011) During the first ten months of FY 2011, federal prosecutions credited to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have fallen almost 7 percent from the previous fiscal year. This continues a downward slide that began six years ago, according to TRAC's analysis of timely Justice Department data.

    So far this fiscal year, the number of ATF-led investigations that resulted in prosecution have totaled 7,282. If the same pace continues for the remaining two months, criminal filings should reach 8,738. This would be 18 percent fewer than the peak in FY 2005 of 10,715 ATF prosecutions during the Bush Administration.
    FY 2012
    ATF Prosecutions Turning Around in FY 2012

    (31 Jul 2012) The latest available data from the Justice Department show that, during the first eight months of FY 2012, the number of prosecutions for weapons and other offenses referred by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has staged a turnaround. While these prosecutions have fallen steadily after reaching a peak in FY 2005, the latest government figures show an upward trend, with 6,258 new matters filed so far during FY 2012. If this pace continues, FY 2012 will see 9,387 ATF prosecutions, an increase of 5.9 percent over FY 2011.

    With 142 ATF prosecutions per million population, the Southern District of Alabama led the nation on a per-capita basis, with more than four times the national average. The Eastern District of North Carolina saw 242 ATF prosecutions, more than any other judicial district, followed by Kansas with 232.
    The US attorneys in Mr Bratton's targets (Philadelphia, Oakland, Chicago, D.C., Baltimore) may argue they have more important things to do.

    The bottom line is that even a gun-banner (Mr Bratton) and a very retired small time target shooter (JMM99) can find points of agreement.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-24-2013 at 02:04 AM.

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    It's worth pointing out that "enforcing existing laws" means more than simply getting law enforcement off its ass. The ATF--the primary federal organ for dealing with illegal firearms--has been without permanent leadership for six years due to, bluntly, the NRA's meddling. You've got the USA's office in Reno actually refusing to prosecute ATF cases. ATF funding has been cut and cut and cut, again at the behest of gun lobbyists. There is a roadblock to enforcing existing gun laws, and that roadblock is the NRA.

  12. #72
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    Sorry...but there's no single roadblock (be it the "evil" NRA or the "evil" ATF) to enforcing firearms laws. Cook County Illinois has a track record of either early release or pleading down cases involving firearms (Second City Cop has much on this). JMM points this out quite well above.
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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    The trend is certainly interesting and a bit surprising. As we have seen according to the stats felons with (hand)guns are responsible for a high percentage of the gun violence, especially murders in big cities. So a seemingly relative simple tool in the fight against it would be a strict enforcement of the laws concerning felons and their most dangerous tools.

    BTW: As I understood Mr.Bratton he was talking that in the case of a deranged killer no bullets in a clip would be the best option as it makes it more cumbersome to kill many persons. I can fully agree with that scenario.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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  14. #74
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    The trend is certainly interesting and a bit surprising. As we have seen according to the stats felons with (hand)guns are responsible for a high percentage of the gun violence, especially murders in big cities. So a seemingly relative simple tool in the fight against it would be a strict enforcement of the laws concerning felons and their most dangerous tools.
    I was part of the ATF-ICE(Isolate The Criminal Element) program under the higher DOJ funding program Project Safe Neighborhoods and yes it works exactly as advertised so naturally the politicians pulled the funding which caused crime rates to go back up. The Original ATF-ICE program was based upon the ATF/NRA model called Project "Exile" which focused on removing violent felons with firearms and it was hugely successfully and most people have never heard of it. This is nothing but a progressive political agenda it has nothing to do with stopping gun violence or they would fully and permanently fund programs that work. Backround on Project Exile program http://judiciary.house.gov/legacy/earlatt.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Exile
    Last edited by slapout9; 01-24-2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Backround stuff

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    Default Naw, Firn

    machts nicht, even if this is what Mr Bratton "meant":

    from Firn
    BTW: As I understood Mr.Bratton he was talking that in the case of a deranged killer no bullets in a clip would be the best option as it makes it more cumbersome to kill many persons. I can fully agree with that scenario.
    Bratton's point of regulation here is "clip" capacity. That regulation has to apply to everyone - to the deranged killer and to JMM target shooter (a 5-round or 10-round "clip" being used by him in every offhand sporting rifle competition). Thus, a 0-round "clip" is necessarily Bratton's regulation point.

    They don't make "deranged killer clips" (0 rounds) and "target shooter clips" (5 or 10-rounds).

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-24-2013 at 09:36 PM.

  16. #76
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Could we speak at least here of "magazines" instead of "clips", please !??

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    Default I can speak of magazines all day;

    but former police chief Bratton spoke in terms of "clips" - his usage, not mine.

    And being eminently fair and balanced to those on the opposite side from me, I felt it only fair and balanced to continue his usage.

    Regards

    Mike

  18. #78
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    machts nicht, even if this is what Mr Bratton "meant":

    Bratton's point of regulation here is "clip" capacity. That regulation has to apply to everyone - to the deranged killer and to JMM target shooter (a 5-round or 10-round "clip" being used by him in every offhand sporting rifle competition). Thus, a 0-round "clip" is necessarily Bratton's regulation point.

    They don't make "deranged killer clips" (0 rounds) and "target shooter clips" (5 or 10-rounds).

    Regards

    Mike
    Di niente and macht nix indeed, dear Mike. I think in this case the interpretation is in the mind of the beholder and we have to agree to disagree.

    Regards

    Firn, who is quite happy with his 5-rounds target shooter/hunting clips. They help the standing shooting stance by letting the palm rest lower, a bit Biathlon-like and are not as much in the way of the 10-round version when shooting from a rest.

    P.S: A quick glance to youtube shows that even Biathletes are using clips. They are everywhere. In any case she overall explains the challenges quite well. The only biathlon though I'm competing in is our regional 'hunters' competition.
    Last edited by Firn; 01-25-2013 at 07:47 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  19. #79
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    Default After 35 years, I find the cause of my shortcomings...

    in using my Remington 541-S, which accepts either a 5-thingee whatchacallit:



    or a 10-thingee whatchacallit:



    I simply failed to use the 5-thingee whatchacallit as a palm rest.

    I won't do a Brent Musburger ... ; I won't do a Brent ...; I will not do a Brent ....

    But, Annalies Cook can say "clips" and "bullets" all that her blessed little heart desires.

    Regards

    Mike

    PS: Pics are accurate depictions of the model, but not pics of my rifle.
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-25-2013 at 10:56 PM.

  20. #80
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    5 thingee and 10 thingee whatchamacallits. Don't you guys ever say anything about Alabama again.

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