Monday, March 30, 2009

When the gunfire sounds, it is just me

This is Fram’s custom-built .45 caliber, 1911-style, semi-automatic pistol. This was made for competitive shooting in pistol matches, and has seen a fair amount of activity in that arena.

It was not exactly summer, but it still was hot ....

Bang, bang.

I never have been able to understand why anyone is afraid of firearms other than because they have a tendency to watch too much television news or live in areas which are exposed to a great deal of random, violent crime.

Sorry, I don't mean to be nasty, but taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens will not reduce crime, only increase it. Taking guns away from the citizenry will only enlarge the chance of abuse by government. Pity the people who do not grasp that. To risk over use of an old cliché, freedom is not free.

Enough politicizing. Today, I cleared my mind of dust and cobwebs. I fired a few guns indoors and outdoors. Firing a rifle or a handgun gives me renewed self-confidence, a sense of freedom, a knowledge that no man has more power than I do (unless, of course, he is flying at 3,000 feet with a heat-seeking missile), a feeling of actually possessing what might be the most important of all personal rights -- the ability to protect one's self, and others.

There is not much that can surpass the sound of gunfire to me, the feel of a pistol kick in the hand, the smell of cordite, the sight of a dead-on shot. Nothing mean about it, nothing sinister about it, nothing evil about it. It is you, only you, knowing you can fire straight and true if you ever have to do it. Maybe having had neighbors murdered makes it easier for me than it might for some to others comprehend that, but, no matter.

Today, I ran a combat course at a private range with a custom-made, 1911, semi-automatic, .45 caliber pistol that cost a tidy sum. This event is pretty much like you might see in the movies. Moving as fast as you are able, firing at both stationary and moving targets, not shooting "good” guys, scoring the best hits. How did I do? Well, I am not Dirty Harry Calahan, but I did ok, especially considering it has been a couple of years since last doing this type of thing.

Before that, I had popped off 60 rounds at stationary targets with my favorite concealed-carry 1911. It is a Colt Gold Cup, and is pure beauty to shoot. I tried three others I own, as well: A Browning 9 mm that I keep trying to fully master, but never can; a Colt Mustang that is like magic in my hand. Some people say that it is too small for a self-defense weapon (.380 caliber / 9 mm Kurtz), but I think those who say that would change their minds if they could see me shoot with it; and, finally, my Fabrique Nationale that I bought last Thanksgiving, but had not fired yet. It’s .25 caliber / 6.35 mm).

Allow me to interrupt for a moment with one of my favorite quotes when I happen to think of it. This line is in a letter from firearms expert Geoffrey Boothroyd to Ian Fleming:

"I like everything about your James Bond character except his deplorable taste in weapons, a .25 caliber Beretta is utterly useless as well as being a lady's gun ... and not a very nice lady at that."

Firearms experts, especially those appearing on television news programs, usually are like political experts; lots of technical data and education, but little real world experience. Such is life, and who cares about them? Listen to the pros, which does not mean a person is required to follow their advice. Do not waste your time at all listening to television analysts about firearms.

Finally, I borrowed a Ruger Mini-14 (rifle) and played with it for 40 rounds so I might experience a bit of rifle time. I traded away my Mini-14, which was my one-time "truck rifle," some years back. Sometimes I think of buying another. The only thing I missed out on today was firing a revolver. My preference is for semi-autos, and those who shoot must also clean when the fun is done. With five pistols already in the lineup, plus a rifle, I opted out of taking a revolver.

It all added up to a good , fine time on a pretty nice March day for Minnesota. Lots of fun. No matter what anyone thinks or where anyone else is opinion-wise about firearms, I am more in tune with myself after today. More relaxed. More at peace. More comfortable with the world. More aware of me. More like the Viking who a thousand years ago said, "I believe in the strength of my own right arm." (As long as I am free to hold a .45 auto in the hand of that arm.) Isn't self-confidence and personal freedom what we all want for ourselves?

Music Note: Content (again and again) to listen to a classic rock station on the radio .... and very happy I am because ....
Currently playing: "With or Without You" by U2 ....


BIG SKY CHEF said...

Thanks for the friend follow Fram. Great writing as usual...something I fail miserably at. I own 2 weapons, my Tarus 38 spec and my Trusty 30-30.

If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns...It's our right and I'd rather have the option.


Fram said...

Hi there, Tom ....

Glad to see you here. I almost moved to Phoenix once, but otherwise have never traveled Arizona. I'm hoping to learn more about it from you.

I buy guns like some young ladies buy shoes. Just can't help myself.

If you ever have choppers in a parking lot again, yell for me and we'll see if we can't hitch a ride. Fun.

Magdalena said...

Oh My God!!! This is the gun!!! I Have to run, but I will be back to read what's going on about it :-) Bye, bye Fram :-)

Fram said...

Magdalena ....

You have me laughing myself silly.

Fram is a warrior, who wishes to be a poet-prince as well. Like Krishna.

Warriors are needed in this world; I hope you can understand that; if not, I understand you.

A Cuban In London said...

I used to go shooting in a nearby camp when I was little. When I say that to my kids they freak out. I also underwent military training when I was in school. All Cuban students had (have) to go through it.

Saying that, my position in relation to firearms is: if you have one, that means that you're ready to use it. And I would not trust anyone, and I mean anyone, to make a sane decision on my behalf when they are carrying arms. An argument over a parking space can easily end up in someone being shot. Because there's a lot of pent-up anger around, people are angry. And people snap. But instead of slapping someone across his/her face, they will reach for whatever is a faster punishment: a gun.

I just wanted to make my feelings clear about the whole firearms farrago because in GB carrying one is illegal, and may that remain in the long term.

U2 has been my musical companion since I discovered 'The Joshua Tree' album in the late 80s. They'll make a special appearance on my blog very soon, in my 'Killer Opening Songs' section.

Many thanks for such an honest post.

Greetings from London.

Fram said...

And, my thanks for the honesty in your comment, Cuban.

But, to be contrary, your position is not supported by the numbers. Yes, statistics lie, but .... Whether one believes it or not, in Minnesota, in the four or five years since concealed carry was authorized, there has only been one incident where a permit holder has been arrested for a crime, and it did not involve a firearm.

In neighboring South Dakota, one-third of the adult population has a permit, and there has been only a single felony incident involving a holder in more than two decades.

I have had a concealed carry permit forever, and my "crimes" involve only two driving tickets in 20 years, one for speeding and one for careless driving (mostly speeding). The things you speak of are myth, coming from those who would disarm anyone and everyone. Cowboys do not receive permits.

Never-the-less, to each his own.

Sometime, when the moment is right, I will tell you about my Cuba experience. (Military, as you might guess.)

I really appreciate your visits and your viewpoint. I would enjoy talking with you sometime over (a lot of) drinks, especially about firearms, but not so much music. I do not stand a chance there.

A Cuban In London said...

Read the reply and accept your opinion. Then, again, I do not live in the US, but in the UK. One day, yes, one day we could sit down and shoot the breeze (no pun intended, oh, what the hell, yes, pun intended! :-D). The alcohol is on you, my friend, I have been teetotal since '97 and never looked back. I will bring my gourd and 'mate tea', though. I can always top up with the hot water in my flask. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Fram :) Nice post today...very manly-man LOL :)
"Flying at 3,000 feet with a heat-seeking missile" that statement really struck me. I've never really thought about how that must feel to the person flying in the plane - what an awesome responsibility.
The thing about guns is if they were illegal then the only people that would have them would be the criminals...they'll always find a way to get them. That's more scary to me than responsible citizens having firearms.
Have A Happy Day!

Chocobo said...

I have never been anti-gun because I have always known guns and been around them and my parents had the good sense to teach me to respect them. Man I'm jealous of your day though.

As for the handgun question, a Rueger 22 caliber is great plenty of firepower if you can aim.

Piper .. said...

Hey Fram, I agree that taking away arms from 'normal' citizens isnt going to solve anything. But in India, not everybody can walk down to a shop and purchase a weapon just like that. The laws are far more liberal here I believe. That is the dangerous part.
But ironically, if we were to compare the crime rates/disabuse of weapons in the two countries, I guess India will by far outnumber the US!! Must look this up sometime..
While in the army, I did train with a FN GP35(semi automatic pistol). But what we had to carry at all times was an INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifle. I hear these have been replaced with Heckler & Koch MP5 now. But I never really owned a weapon ever. All that I still do carry with me whenever I go back home is a pepper spray. That should work just fine as well, I`m guessing :):)

You and I do have some similarities in our choice of music. Some atleast :)

Natalie said...

I wish to hold in my hands one of your “pure beauties”- I have never held a real pistol in my hand, but was quite good with rifle shooting, 98% if you care to know.

If you know how to spell “avtomat kalashnikova”, you should also know what “Voroshilovski strelok” means!!!!

Fram said...

Yes, the difference in our backgrounds probably explains the difference in our viewpoints about firearms, CiL.

Just to keep us on a level playing field, I will drink coffee at our meeting. It sounds like you dropped liquor the way I dropped cigarettes. I smoked the last cigarette from the last pack in the last carton I had at 2:00 one afternoon, and that was that. December 10, 1997. I was at three-plus packs a day at the time.

Thanks, for your return visit.

Fram said...

I do not know how much of your work involves criminal cases, Kelly, but I am certain you see and hear enough to realize how often guns get the blame rather than the people who misuse them.

My experience has given me access to strange incidents involving firearms and, in most instances, the guns had been stolen or otherwise obtained illegally.

Thanks, for coming today.

Fram said...

I think you would have had fun with me on Sunday, Chocobo.

Shooting targets is especially fun my way. After loosening up, I like to play Sonny Crockett and do things like make a running dive and see how many rounds I can get off before I hit the ground. Of course, you need a private range to pull stunts like that.

Thank you, for your presence.

Fram said...

Gunner girls to the left of me, gunner girls to the right of me, to paraphrase AC/DC. You're very remarkable, Piper, and very versatile in your skills.

I have three of the FNs (Brownings) like what you trained with, and one of them was among the handguns I fired on Sunday. This is a pistol I can never quite master (hit well with). The HK MP5 is another I have used, but I was unaware of the INSAS. It demonstrates how little I know about your homeland.

Thanks, for coming around today.

Fram said...

No, Natalie, I had to look it up, and now have learned something new. I would imagine your badge is solid gold.

On the other hand, I have been a fan of the Kalashnikova for many years, and favor it to many standard U.S. weapons. Did the inventor really die a penniless old man? That would be a shame.

I have seen young ladies small in stature who can handle a 1911 very well, but they must use both hands to hold it. Actually, I would picture you with a Colt Mustang.

Rising from my Ashes said...

I am out of here:) I'll meet you outside Natalies later. Hope she will drop two ropes. But please don't bring that thing - the one up there in that photo. I dont like the look of it. :)

Fram said...

You haven't heard the news yet, Dapo? I decided to leave the climbing to you. I've hired a chopper and I'm rappelling down to the roof.

If you insist, I'll leave my baby at home, but only because we're both gentlemen who share an exquisite taste in young ladies.

Katy said...

"With or without you" is a great U2 song, from the days before they became rather too overblown for my personal taste. One of the first albums I bought was "Under a Blood Red Sky". It was on cassette tape. I'm not certain that they've ever surpassed "New Year's Day" but, as with the question of firearms and my private views on that subject, I'm sure many would disagree :-)

Fram said...

U2 is not what it used to be, but who among us is?

Hi there, Katy. Is there any wonder why we broke away from England? Guns, we must have our guns.

It's not at all unusual to be finding 1911s that went over to England as "lend lease" during World War II now returning here and on the market for collectors. And Webleys are easy to find. Sherlock and Watson must be crying in their graves.

Thanks, for coming to visit me.

Magdalena said...

Oh, I understand it well. I hope you don't have to use it to often :-) There is a beautiful sunny spring day today in Poland, what makes me almost flying so I wish you all the best and I'm going for a long, long walk! Warmest! :-)

The Fabulous Diva said...

I just saw the picture of your .45 cal (sigh) I think I'm in love. ;)

Now I've Got to seriously consider it to add to my collection.

And you're right Fram, Good troopers will place what they've gone through in the right place.

Thank you. Must go, am at work today. ***Hugs***

Fram said...

Glad you are having beautiful weather, Magdalena. Beautiful girls should always have bright sunlight to walk beneath.

It is mostly clouds, with snow in the air for me, but sunny days cannot be far behind. Thank you, for your visit.

Fram said...

It is great to see you out and about, Diva. Work will add time and distance for you from last week. I hope you're experiencing spring-like weather.

There is something indescribably neat about John Browning's 1911 design, I think. It was adopted by the U.S. military for its power, its simplicity and its reliability, and would be my selection if I should be forced to choose only one handgun to own.

Rachael Cassidy said...

Many, many comments on this one friend-Fram. I grew up with guns in my hands and so believe I share your views on them. There is nothing like the satisfaction of laying open an overripe pumpkin or gallon jug full of blood-red water! My youngest, who you have met thru my blog, is also a shooter. You will likely see pictures of him on my flickr stream.
And I must agree with one of the other commenters (commentors?)- nuttin' quite like a man who is comfortable shooting!!! Ahhh the smell of gunpowder and lead...:)

Something special ....