Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The dangers of letting your workmates know that you shoot.

This post is out of a discussion I have had with another gunny in a not-so-gun-friendly state in the US.

Recently, in the US there have been reports of people losing jobs, buying guns and being reported by friends/family to the authorities and then being in a lot of hot water.

I can appreciate not looking for hot water situations!

However it got me to thinking about whether or not it is wise to let your colleagues know that you shoot.

Here in Australia, while we do have quite (very) strict gun laws and it is not the ‘norm’ for people to have anything to do with guns generally, I’ve found that reactions to my hobby are basically positive.

So much so, that during the interview for this job, when I asked if they would consider the position being a part-time one, when asked why, I didn’t hesitate to give the real reason. (Weekends are full due to my training commitments at the club so I would like a day to catch up).

The reaction of the interviewers was quite amusing, but certainly not worrying – oh, and I got the job.

So was this a wise thing to do, or should I not advertise the fact that I shoot?

I haven’t heard of anyone here being reported to the police just because they have firearms or shoot.

I have heard of this happening during separation / divorce proceedings where one party feels particularly aggrieved. I guess that it also happens if people have made direct threats.

I guess there is a risk of people finding out that you have guns, finding out your address and deciding to acquire the guns for themselves.

I know of a friend who has instructed his children not to mention that there are guns in their house at school due to fears about this. I also know that some of my friends are very cautious when transporting the gun from their house to the car to only do it in a way that their neighbours can’t see them.

These friends also ensure that they don’t wear their club shirts other than on the range etc.

I’m not that cautious. I guess part of the reason that I am not is that I want people to know that ‘normal’ people can have guns and can enjoy shooting. (Now, no comments about whether or not I’m ‘normal’ please – you all know what I mean!).

I have also found that by being open about my hobby (both at work and my girls' school) that I have been able to take a number of newbies up to the range, people who probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Some of these have gone on to participate in the sport, others haven’t. However, they have had the chance to see first hand how much fun shooting can be.

What’s your take on the topic? Do you ‘advertise’ that you shoot or have guns, or are you secretive about it? And what is the reason for this?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guess what was in the Letterbox Today?

Remember the sage of the licencing of the two firearms I purchased in November last year? (Last blogged about here on Feb 22nd).

Well the basic story is:
* I purchased the firearms late November;
* Submitted the application for licencing on Dec 7th
* Received a (incorrect) letter advising me that they had been approved on Feb 5th;
* Received a revised letter a week later (after calling them)
* And after calling them again to say that although I had received the letter I still hadn't received the 'addition to my licence' which meant that I could pick the guns up. They then sent out a copy of my licence with the new guns on it on Feb 22nd

Well sitting in my letterbox today was the addition to my licence 'piece of paper' which I should have received at the same time as the letter on Feb 5th!!! I'm certainly glad I didn't sit around waiting for this to come!!!

They reckon the system is getting better - but after seeing this, I'm not sure!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

And That's the Way They See Things

This news article caught my attention.

I thought this comment on the article summed it up nicely - So someone building a $70m hotel-sized house with parking for 17 cars reckons a few tradies eating a meat pie are raping the earth. You couldnt make it up.

The article: Billionaire Oswals declare meat war on the building site

WA'S construction union has hit out at a ban on building workers eating ham sandwiches and meat pies at the Oswals' $70 million Taj-on-Swan mega-mansion.

Tradesmen and labourers working on the Peppermint Grove property have been told by Indian-born billionaire Pankaj Oswal and his socialite wife Radhika, that any food containing meat must not be consumed on the site.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union WA assistant secretary Joe McDonald said the ban was "absolutely wrong".

"She still wants them to build her $70 million mansion, but she's telling them what they're going to eat . . . it's wrong," he said.

"I respect everybody's right to practise their religion, but I totally disagree with anyone forcing it on others.

"That has caused more wars and destruction throughout the world than anything else I know of.

"If people are working on the job and they want to have a ham sandwich or a bacon and egg sandwich, they should have one."

Workers on the site yesterday said there was one small shed at the bottom of the site which they were allowed to eat meat in.

A source close to the Oswals, who did not want to be named, said some workers had continued to eat meat on the site "just to spite them".

Mr Oswal, who is in New York this week helping Mrs Oswal prepare for the launch of her vegetarian fast-food chain, Otarian, defended the meat ban, saying "This is our home".

Mrs Oswal has previously accused the meat industry of "raping the earth".

"Meat eating is creating bad karma and you are also creating a vicious cycle," she said.

"It's destroying us environmentally, economically and socially. I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I've always been a vegetarian so I have always felt strongly about it.

"First, because of religious reasons, but then later because I realised the greater good associated with it."

Once complete, Perth's Taj-on-Swan mansion will be the biggest home in the country, on the most expensive block of land.

The house, which is expected to be finished at the end of 2011, will have a gymnasium the size of a regular Perth house, a beauty salon, an observatory, parking for 17 cars and a swimming pool 10 times bigger than the average back yard.


------------------------------------

Leaving aside the whole "does eating meat do more damage than building obscenely large houses and flying around the globe in private airplanes" question - it is THEIR house, and if they want to insist that the tradies do not eat meat on their premises I think they have every right.

The tradies have the right to refuse to work there too.

Maybe the Oswals can find some vegetarian tradies to do the work for them?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RAIN RAIN RAIN

So after nearly no rain this year (how do you measure 0.2mm?) we finally get some - along with a very fierce storm.

Here’s the headlines and extracts from one news report (http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/traffic-alert-after-storm-hits-scores-of-traffic-lights/story-e6frg12c-1225844121008):

THE damage bill from yesterday's storms could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Premier Colin Barnett.

Mr Barnett told media this morning that yesterday’s storms were the most severe weather conditions that state has had since 1994. He said the full impact of the storm was yet to be unveiled...

… Hailstones the size of golf balls and flooding damaged Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital…

…Meanwhile, Joondalup hospital suffered significant damage as well.
About 20 people were evacuated from an emergency department last night after a partial ceiling collapse.

A landslide near Jacob’s Ladder in Kings Park also caused major damage to two ground floor units in the Adelphi apartment block and two cars but all residents are accounted for…

...MOTORISTS are warned to take care this morning with more than 80 traffic lights out of action after last night's storm and more bad weather to come…

…A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said yesterday's storm was one of the biggest in Perth for many years with wind gusts of more than 120km/h and 35mm of rain falling within about eight hours since 9am (12pm AEDT)…

…Western Power said the storm had cut power to about 150,000 customers, and a significant number of those customers would be without power today…


I live in the hills around Perth. We lost power about 5.30pm last night but it had been restored by the time I woke up this morning. Power to my place is generally flaky anyway so we have a generator and back-up batteries so we weren’t too badly off.

The lightening storm was pretty spectacular and the sunset was magnificent. I took some photos that I will check later and upload if they turned out.

My daughter was supposed to go to a birthday party this afternoon. This has been postponed for a couple of days as the birthday girl's house is flooded!

The below ground carpark at work resembles more of a swimming pool than car park, and one of our other offices lost its roof and telecommunications are out at a few branches.

Lots of staff are reporting significant hail damage to cars - apparently the "hail stones the size of golf balls" aren't an exaggeration.

But we got RAIN … wonderful, RAIN! The Bureau of Meteorology are saying that officially Perth recorded 35mm, some people are reporting as much as 70mm fell at their places overnight.

Oh, and more storms are forecast for today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy Day on the Range

Today was one of our "Have A Go Days". We run these most months to give people who want to know what shooting is all about a bit of a go.

We ask people to book so that we have a bit of an idea of how much ammo we need and a bit of an idea of what we're dealing with.

On Friday I got a call booking six people in, but they wanted to start half an hour after the advertised start time. As this was the only call I had had about the course I agreed.

On Saturday I had another call from another couple about coming along. And then a call back from the guy who booked the six in, changing it to 8.

I mentioned it while chatting to some of the folks in the club house after training yesterday and two people volunteered to come and help us.

So anyway, the Chief Instructor, myself and these two helpers turned up on the range just before 12 to be greeted by three people. Two of these were the couple who had booked the day before, and the other was a guy who had come up for a look around the range a couple of weeks previously and who had been told about the day.

We sent them to the shed to keep out of the sun and to wait for the others. We then set up some targets and got some magazines organised etc.

Then another couple arrived. So now we were up to 5 people and the 8 who had booked still hadn't turned up. At 12.30pm the guy who was organising the 8 turned up with four friends (so 10 people now). I asked him about the others and the next thing I know another five people walk in. Found out that these were his other friends and of the 4 only 5 were shooting, so a total of 14 visitors.

So we made sure that all of them had ear muffs / plugs and safety glasses as well as hats and water - it was pretty hot out there - and after a short safety lecture we headed to the range.

We decided to have three people shooting Glocks from one table, and three people shooting either one of two Tanfoglios or my Springfield. So we had our first six people step forward, we checked their grip and then let them pull the trigger. We then swopped these six around, so those who hadn't shot the Glocks got to shoot them and the Glock shooters got to shoot the other guns. Then the second group of six and then the final two shooters.

Once everyone had shot these 9mm guns, we put them away and got three .38 revolvers out, as well as three .22s. Using the same method they all had a shoot of these guns.

Then these guns were put away and we got four .22 rifles out. We had a Winchester lever action, a 10mag bolt action, a 5mag left handed bolt action and my single shot Stirling.

We had four shooters step forward and shoot all four guns. Then cycled through all of the shooters on these guns.

Rifles were then put away and the shotguns came out - and a .357 rifle. We had an over/under double barrelled shotgun, a semi-automatic one and my Tuffy. The .357 was a lever action.

Everyone shot all of these guns and then there were a few 12ga rounds left and I had about a half dozen .410 rounds, so we offered these to the trainees - for some reason most were quite reluctant to shoot the Tuffy again (until I suggested they shoot it at arms length and then almost everyone wanted a go).

By the time we got through all of the guns it was 3pm. So we cleaned up and said goodbye to our visitors. A few of them asked for the date of the next one as they're looking forward to doing it again.

Friday, March 19, 2010

They're NOT CUTE and Cuddly

One of the things I really, really, REALLY don't like is seeing parents encouraging their kids to go up to Roos and hand feed them and pet them. People seem to forget that they're not domestic animals - actually, anyone who walks up to an unknown dog and starts petting it too is also likely in for a rude awakening one day ... but I digress.

In today's news we have:

Roo fight a knockout for lunchtime legend

EVEN after years playing football, ACT local David Striegl had never got into a fight - until he was knocked out cold by a rogue kangaroo.

Mr Striegl, 25, was running up the city's Mount Ainslie during his lunchbreak yesterday and did not think twice when he spotted one of the resident roos nearby.

The bushland reserve in the nation's capital is popular with joggers and cyclists, and assaults by the marsupials who share the mountain are rare.

Mr Striegl was knocked unconscious and remembers little about the attack.

"I turned around and before I knew it, it took a swipe at my face," he said.

A passing motorist roused the dazed and bloody victim and took him to hospital.

After x-rays and a tetanus shot he was able to go home with only a black eye to show for the encounter.

But he has now become something of legend at his corporate real estate office, where he returned to work the next day to discover he had a new nickname - "Skippy".

"I didn't want to wait til Monday to face the music," he said.

"The main thing they've been asking is whether I got one (punch) back on the roo.

"I can't even say that, because one punch and it put me to the floor.

"All my years of playing football and never a fight, and then I have a fight with a kangaroo."

So will Mr Striegl be running back to the area any time soon and risk a second round?

"Yeah, a few guys from work said they might come with me though," he laughed.

The attack comes a year after a crazed kangaroo crashed through a sleeping family's window at Garran, in Canberra's south, before going on a rampage through their home.

Beat Ettlin, his partner Verity Beman and their nine-year-old daughter Beatrix hid under blankets as the two-metre high animal jumped on top of them and gouged holes and their furniture.

Mr Ettlin eventually wrestled the thrashing animal and dragged it out of the house, saving his family from serious injury.


WILD animals are WILD animals and should always be treated as such.

From http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/roo-fight-a-knockout-for-lunchtime-legend/story-e6frfku0-1225842920645

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oops - Media FAIL

From today's news we have this article.

Car-jacking escapee caught in a tree in Swanbourne

AN escaped carjacking suspect who led police on a seven-hour manhunt has been recaptured after being found hiding in a tree in a suburban backyard in Swanbourne.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, escaped from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands at about 6am, where he was being taken after complaining he was in pain and could not walk...


I've snipped part of the article for brevity's sake ... read the whole thing at http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/car-jacking-escapee-colin-little-on-the-run-in-swanbourne/story-e6frg12c-1225842317979 - there's a picture of "the man" there too.

... Metropolitan police region commander Gary Budge said the man was extremely dangerous and warned residents to lock their doors and to only open them for people they knew or police. He said vehicles should also be locked.

"We are currently doing some house-to-house searches in the area of Central Ave and Saunders Street in Swanbourne to flush out Mr Little where he was last seen," he said.

"He is extremely dangerous and we are asking if anyone sees this man to immediately call police on 131 444 or if they deem the situation to be urgent, on 000."...


... snip ...

He said there was no firm policy on the use of restraint of injured people in custody and it relied on police discretion.

The two constables accompanying the man had been spoken to but Cdr Budge said police were yet to determine if Little was genuinely injured or whether it was a ruse to escape.

"The information we have is that he wasn't restrained but the investigation we are conducting today will confirm all the details in relation to that," he said.

"In this instance it would be unusual that he wasn't restrained in any way because of the charges he was facing...


... snip ...

... Police have surrounded a block of flats on Central Avenue, close to Scotch College where they believe Little could be hiding...

... snip ...

... Little is described as of Aboriginal appearance, of thin build, with a moustache and short black hair with a small rat's tail at the back. He was wearing black tracksuit pants, a black top with a green undershirt, and bare feet.

Police have warned that Little could become violent, and anyone spotting him should avoid contact with him and contact police immediately on 000 or 131 444.

The escapee, of Swan View, was one of two people charged with multiple offences after two violent car-jackings and a two-hour high-speed chase across Perth's suburbs.

He was charged with a string of offences including aggravated armed robbery, three counts of armed robbery, four counts of stealing a motor vehicle, three counts of driving without a licence, three counts of failing to stop when called upon, three counts of attempted armed robbery, aggravated burglary, three counts of reckless driving, and three counts of assaulting police to avoid arrest.

He had been remanded in custody to appear in Joondalup Court today...


Imagine what the report would have been like if he could be named!

Oh, and do you like the article's URL? http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/car-jacking-escapee-colin-little-on-the-run-in-swanbourne/story-e6frg12c-1225842317979, definitely important not to publish the man's name!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Really Should Keep Up With What's Going On

After a busy day helping both girls with their assignments, I thought I would take 5 and quickly check www.news.com.au to see what was happening.

One of the articles under the WA section was the visit of the Queen Mary 2 to Fremantle - TODAY! Apparently it arrived at 6.30am and was due to leave at 5.00pm. The time, when I read the article was 4.20pm!

So we bundled the girls in the car and drove at an appropriate speed down to Fremantle.

She hadn't left when we got there, but the passenger terminal side of Fremantle near the ship was packed. We drove to the north side of Fremantle and had a look near Rouse Head - again packed, no free parking within 5kms.

Just along the beach a bit further is a brewery / cafe, which, surprisingly had some parking spaces left. So we parked there, got a nice table right by the window - were we could see the ship pass by and the girls playing on the beach and sat back to wait. To pass the time we had some nibbles and a beer or two.

The ship was pretty impressive, especially silhouetted against the sunset. We definitely got a good viewing spot!



We stayed until just on night fall (just after 7pm) and the traffic was still moving slowly, but we managed to get home without too much hassle.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kids Having Fun

The girls' school had a Bush Dance on last night. It is an annual fund raising event, however for some reason it has been a couple of years since we went.

Anyway, we bought tickets and went along last night. The event was set up on the school oval and it was nicely done. The band was set up sort of centrally and various stalls were around the edge. There was also a Bouncy Castle for the kids ($5 unlimited play). My youngest wanted to go on the Bouncy Castle, my eldest just wanted to find her friends to hang out with.

The music was playing, all the kids were running around having fun and the adults were eating and talking. I reckon there was about 80% of the school there including all the teachers.

At some point, one of the kids discovered that one of the stall were selling toy guns. There were two styles - an AK47, which made a noise when you pulled the trigger - and a revolver. Well, within minutes heaps of kids had guns. My girls wanted one each - and at $3 I thought they were a reasonable price. So they got one each.

Kids were everywhere, pretending to shoot each other ... creeping around hay bales, sneaking up on each other. Guns were getting shared and swapped and everyone was having fun. One of the little boys bought a Nun dress up costume and was running around in that with the AK47 - it was absolutely hilarious.

My eldest proudly came up to me at once stage to tell me that she think she had managed to 'shoot' all the teachers that were there.

During the four hours were were there, I didn't see a single kid crying about anything, or being left out of a game or whatever. Kids without guns where being lent guns by other kids and everyone was just having fun.

Some of the kids were dancing or playing with other toys instead of the guns but no one was getting upset with anything. It was really nice to see a community having fun.

The event was alcohol and smoke free. Which in someways was a bit sad - it would have been nice to sit back with a beer or a glass of wine and just watch the kids. But on the other hand it was nice to see no silliness and drunken behaviour.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It Stopped Being Fun a Month Ago

Look, it's MID-MARCH, that means AUTUMN (Fall for you Americans) not SUMMER. Seriously the sun can be turned off now - or at least down!

Perth sweats through near-record 28C night

PERTH sweated through one of the hottest nights on record with the temperature dropping to just 28.1C

The 28.1C overnight minimum was the second hottest March night on record since records commenced in 1897.

By 12.58pm the temperature had soared back to 39.1C, a fraction above the forecast 39C maximum.

Perth Airport had recorded a maximum of 40C and Pearce, about 40km east of the city, recorded a top of 40.3C just after 1pm.

Perth Metro's hottest March night was March 2, 1934 with 28.3C. The average minimum temperature for March is 16.4C.

It was also the eighth hottest night on record and the hottest night since the 29C on February 26, 1997.

The hottest place around the Perth Metropolitan area was at Swanbourne with 28.8C which was their hottest March night since records began in 1993.

According to the Weather Channel the high overnight temperature was caused by a blanket of high cloud which moved in from the Indian Ocean trapping the heat after a blistering day.

“Perth hit 38C yesterday afternoon and then high cloud moved in from the Indian Ocean during the evening and blanketed the city through the night,” says Tom Saunders, Meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

“The combination of the cloud and hot north-easterly winds kept the temperature at almost 30C for most of the night.”

Perth Airport still hasn’t recorded any rain since November 2009, while Perth city has only received 0.2mm so far this year, giving Perth its driest summer on record.

How we sweltered through the night

9pm: 29.3C
10pm: 29.9C
11pm: 29.8C
12 midnight: 30.2C
1am: 30C
2am: 29.6C
3am: 28.3C
4am: 28.9C
5am: 28.7C
6am: 28.6C

By 10am the temperature had soared back to 32.5C and by midday it was 36.8C, just short of 100F.


Article from http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/perth-sweats-through-near-record-28c-night/story-e6frg13u-1225840111609, emphasis mine.

I would just like COOLER NIGHTS (cooler days would be good too) AND some RAIN wouldn't go astray either - 0.2mm so far this year ISN'T a good thing!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Personally I Don't Add Salt when Cooking - But I Think this is Going Too Far

In today's news we find this article:

New York city chefs call new salt ban idea 'absurd'

SOME city chefs and restaurant owners are taking aim at a bill introduced in the New York state legislature that, if passed, would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking.

FOX News reported the proposed ban would mean, 'no owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises."

The legislation, which Assemblyman Felix Ortiz introduced March 5, would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation.

"The consumer needs to make their own health choices. Just as doctors and the occasional visit to a hospital can't truly control how a person chooses to maintain their health, neither can chefs nor the occasional visit to a restaurant," said Jeff Nathan, the executive chef and co-owner of Abigael's on Broadway.

"Modifying trans fats and sodium intake needs to be home-based for optimal health. Regulating restaurants will not solve this health issue."

Nathan, who is part of the group My Food My Choice - which calls itself a coalition of chefs, restaurant owners and consumers - called the proposed law "absurd" in a press release issued on its Facebook page.


I'm sure some people feel that they have to put forward crazy legislation just to justify their pay!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You Can Never Tell With People

Saturday, for a nice change wasn't HOT ... it wasn't cold either, but at least I didn't feel like I was standing in a furnace all day (I think the max temp was around 33C).

In the morning we had 9 trainees and full club member joined us for the training course. We also had an extra helper too! This week we did different start positions - sitting, kneeling, prone etc. An old quarry isn't the most comfortable place to do these in, but everyone did well.

Again, I managed to run the group over time ... will really need to keep an eye on that.

However, in the afternoon session where we have 19 people booked in only four turned up! One of these was doing his "safety test", so that left me three trainees. We had a visitor to the club who came to see how things worked, so we ended up letting him shoot too.

Again we did the different start positions and also shooting weak hand / strong hand and practised magazine changes while moving.

It was nice having such a small group, but I'm wondering where the rest of these trainees are!

Next Saturday we have another group starting in the morning, there's currently 5 confirmed for the course and 2 possibles. We actually have another 10 people on the waiting list, but we'll hold off on these for awhile.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Hot Day on the Range And the New Guns

Saturday was a busy day with the training (and hot and windy!).

We had seven trainees (out of 11 registered) for the 9am session. We started this session by field stripping a Glock and a Tanfoglio. I was pretty impressed that most of the trainees managed to take the slide off the Glock on their first try - I couldn't do it until about my third. A couple had problems, but all got there in the end.

We did this session as we've got a number of trainees in this group who are complete newbies to firearms and one of the them had mentioned that she would like to see inside a gun and see how it works.

After we stripped them, answered a multitude of questions and put them back together we moved onto the range to shoot.

Unfortunately, we didn't finish until well after 12!

People start arriving for the afternoon session around 1pm, even though we don't start until 2pm - we like them arriving early as it allows us to get them "dressed" for the shooting.

Only six trainees (of the 19 trainees on our books) turned up, but that was okay. The session went well and finished early enough for me to get my two new toys out.

Yes, I took the Rossi Tuffy and my Stirling up to the range. I didn't do the proper "target" test and pictures (way too hot and I was tired out) but I got to shoot them AND most of the trainees had a go too.

Here's the pics (the shooter is the Club's Chief Instructor):

Rossi Tuffy




Oh, and the Tuffy kicked like a mule - the bruise is fading now but it was pretty bad.

Stirling Model 14


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lights ....

I didn't know, until today, there was such a thing as chandelier art, but there is.

Check these out:





More here.

QOTD ...

Found over at Emigre with a Digital Cluebat ...

Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners

Have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you.

It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling!!!!!