Yesterday was a hot one in central Alabama, and Ol' Backwoods' guns were hot, too.
Being that it was Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to honor those who fought for our freedom by tuning up the arsenal of freedom: the unorganized militia of the whole people, and my part in it, as a proficient marksman.
(An aside: I hate to say it, but those who have fought in wars since Vietnam have not, I believe, directly protected the freedom of the American people. Now, I honor those who served, and respect the sacrifice of those who died in action, but the collection piss-ant Arab dictators and terrorists that Americans have fought since 1990 were not in any way a direct threat to our freedom. By contrast, the threats our guys fought in WWII (Axis powers) and the various "police actions" of the Cold War (the Soviet Union and China and their proxies) had the potential, under the right circumstances, to overthrow the governments (note the plural) of the United States, and enslave its population. That's a real threat to freedom. bin Laden, by contrast, was only a catalyst for the loss of our freedom perpetrated by the tyrannical counter-reaction of our own federal, state, and local governments.)
For about the first hour, I had the entire range to myself.
Since nobody else was around, I practiced drawing pistols from my holsters, shooting from behind simulated cover (the bench), reloading behind cover, bringing the pistols sights back to bear from behind cover, etc. My 7-yard headshots went pretty wide with my little Kel-Tec pocket gun, though I certainly was able to drive center-mass shots home. I did somewhat better with my Glock 22, running it with the compensated .40 caliber barrel rather than my usual practice with the Lone Wolf Distributors 9mm conversion barrel, just to change things up, and to run the gun in the actual configuration I would find it in during a real-life defensive encounter.
I put the steel target I've previously described here out at 100 yards, and shot my AR-15 supported on the bench (every shot a hit) and unsupported sitting, using the hasty sling method taught in Project Appleseed (need more practice). I LOVE shooting steel targets. It's that INSTANT auditory and visual feedback that allows you to immediately evaluate your performance on every shot. Plus, it's just a lot of fun.
While I was taking a break to hydrate, a young couple I'd shot with previously, Rod and Ashley (not their real names), came over. After we talked a bit, Rod brought out a homemade steel target like mine, and I was pleased and happy when he told me I'd inspired him to build it. Rod started plinking with his beautiful Saiga AK-47, surely the closest embodiment of the weapon to what Mikhail Kalashnikov had envisioned. After a bit, Ashley started shooting Rod's 5.56 short-barrel rifle. Rod told me it had taken over six months for ATF to approve his tax stamp.
Isn't that just nonsense? The difference between a 16" AR-15 and Rod's 12" SBR is losing a 4" piece of steel, $200 and six months, all in exchange for a tax stamp, and FEDERAL registration? There probably has not been a more stupid law in the history of the republic than the 1934 National Firearms Act, and its evil little sisters, the 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1986 Hughes Amendment. These tyrannical laws, clearly against the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent, have provided pretext for the federal government to murder and imprison hundreds if not thousands of Americans.
But I digress.
Back to the topic.
Go out and put some flowers on the graves of your honored dead this weekend. Say a prayer or two of thanks for those who gave all to secure or preserve freedom.
But also, I recommend you do as I did: honor their memory by maintaining proficiency in firearms, and keeping the arsenal of freedom well-oiled and finely tuned. And stay vigilant, my friends. You never know when the unorganized militia of the United States will have to take arms to oppose tyranny.