I was a bit worn out after the RBC, so I only stayed for one day of the regular Appleseed event on the weekend. I haven’t yet consistently reproduced my Rifleman score, but it’s just going to be some amount of practice to get better at it.
As I said at the start of the RBC, these boot camps are somewhat geared toward those who wish to become instructors. I haven’t made a decision on that, but I was glad to get an inside look into some of the philosophy of Project Appleseed.
One of the main criticisms I’ve heard of Appleseed is the focus on the use of the sling. One thing that few consider that should anything “happen” in this country, there’s a good chance that many of us will be using equipment that are battlefield pickups. There’s probably a better than 75/25 chance of these rifles having slings. On the other hand, a scope might not be standard equipment on a number of them.
One criticism about the sling, however, is probably valid. It’s not that it’s not covered, it’s just that there is not a lot of emphasis on it. They cover three ways of using the sling in the standing position. There’s the loop, the hasty, and the hasty-hasty. If you are transitioning from standing to prone, or standing to sitting, the loop sling is probably the easiest, since it’s the same in all three positions. However, it can take time to set the sling up for the loop. But in a situation where you must take a quick shot, the hasty makes the most sense. So, though the most critical type of situation you could be in is the need to sling up quickly and take a shot, it’s not the easiest to train for that when you are transitioning. I used the loop sling because that’s easiest for transition, especially when you have the quick-release swivels, but what I should have done is practiced more with the hasty sling. Because in stressful situations, we typically fall back to our training.
In addition to the shooting and the shooting instruction, there is also the American heritage that they cover, however briefly, since it is only a week, and only two days for the regular Appleseed shoots. These are rather stark, but inspiring stories of the American Revolution that you might not have been taught in the public schools. I know that I wasn’t, at least. They make a good springboard to do more research yourself. A good start might be David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride.
They also tell some Dangerous Old Men stories (though it’s not limited to men, but also includes women). One of those events is the difference made by one of General Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen, Timothy Murphy, who (I think after two ranging shots) took an amazing 300 yard shot that felled British General Simon Fraser, affecting the morale of the regulars under his command, having a significant impact on the outcome of the war.
This and a few other stories were told to drive home the point that, yes, sometimes one person can make a difference. You will never know whether what you do will or will not have that kind of effect. It is for that reason, that we should all, if we value our beleaguered republic, do everything we can to preserve it.
Bringing this right home to my back yard is something I’ve kept quiet about (at least here on this blog) up to this point.
A little over year ago, the Johnston County, NC Board of Commissioners tried to do something about those dastardly gun owners shooting on their own property by banning spitballs. The end result of the Orwellian named Good Neighbor Firearms Ordinance was a convoluted, stupidly worded, and unenforceable attempt to solve a non-problem. Or at least a problem that should have been bounced back to the individuals complaining to take civil action, and submit themselves to some discovery that probably would have revealed little evidence that there was any problem other than that they were scared of gunfire due to not being sufficiently accustomed to American traditions. We’ll never know, now, since they decided to badger complicit statists in the Sheriff’s office and on the Board of Commissioners to impose their hoplophobic wills on the entire county.
Well, a few months ago, the Board started making noises (pardon the pun) that they wanted to make some changes, again. This time, they were going to throw out every single protection for people shooting safely on their own property that we had negotiated a year and a half ago. Despite their protestations, they tried to sneak this one by, hoping that gun owners wouldn’t take notice. They almost succeeded. Well, what they passed is still sufficiently vague that it could snag people shooting safely on their own property, but we got the attention of the Board, that’s for sure.
I said they almost succeeded. But why didn’t they get everything they wanted? It was little bit of luck, but also the actions of one man, a friend of mine, Fran, who contacted me when he saw this article in the local paper indicating that the Board had already taken a non-binding (due to one absence) vote on a noise ordinance that would have effectively banned shooting, despite the dishonest lecturing from county attorney David Mills during the Board meeting last night.
When Fran called me, I was a bit discouraged and wondered if it even mattered if we registered our opposition to this ordinance due to the Board’s distinct lack of respect for the citizens of Johnston County. Alan Mims, the chairman, has made it clear that he doesn’t put any stock in those who cut and paste messages from GNRC alerts and send them. As if simply registering our opposition is not enough. And yet he had the gall to claim that there was a silent majority who were for the Good Neighbor Firearms Ordinance in the last kerfuffle.
I chatted with Knitebane about this and he did some digging. After gathering as much info as he could, he contacted Paul Valone of GRNC and from there it was like a brush fire. Valone was on fire and determined that we needed to stop this or it would spread to other counties like a cancer. This nimbys needed to be stopped. Between Knitebane and two others from GRNC, they did their fact checking and crafted the alert that went out. Eventually, the NRA-ILA picked up the story. There was even a Facebook page that led to a petition that garnered 1,700 signatures which was presented to the Board.
At the meeting last night, Alan Mims, Devan Barbour, and county attorney David Mills repeatedly tried to tell us this wasn’t about guns, but only about unreasonable noise. In other words, they were pissing down our backs and telling us it was raining. They lied. Every damn-yankee immigrant to Johnston County, NC (of which I is one, but an assimilated one) who hates guns would complain about guns being unreasonably loud because, dammit, neighbors shouldn’t be shootin’ guns, cuz it scares them. Every single American* I’ve spoken with about this does not have a problem with gunfire precisely because it is core to the very definition of American Liberty.
Another thing on attorney David Mills. He’s a &^#(@)! (Sorry, had to edit that out due to a mixed reading audience ;-)). How dare he presume to explain to us plebes that this would not infringe on our rights, due to a few extremely limited situations where shooting would not be considered a violation. After all, as he said at least twice, he’s trained to analyze these legal matters. What arrogance for him to assume that a few limited situations are all the right to keep and bear arms encompasses. Do any of these so-called pro-gun politicians ever consider that you’d be an idiot to make it harder for people to engage in target practice? Mims tried to imply that 3000 rounds over the course of a few months was excessive. Most who understand the RKBA would say that that’s some slow shootin’, there. And, no, I am not kidding about that. Why would you not want people to practice good marksmanship? This isn’t just about recreation. This is about continuously keeping up our marksmanship skills. One of the number one priorities of the Appleseed Project, by the way.
As Bubba notes, this story is not over. In his post he lays out one of the biggest problems is the Sheriff’s office. Sheriff Bizzell is one of those butheads. “I’m am all for the second amendment, BUT…,” and you can fill in the blank. Always an exception, the elist knows what’s best for you. He refuses to sign off on NFA forms, which are required by the ATF for the acquisition of machine guns, suppressors, and a few other items restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934. So many other things are required by law to have mufflers, but, yet, our government(s) make in damn near impossible to shoot without making noise.
If our Sheriff, the Commissioners, and their subversive attorney were really not anti-gun, a) the Sheriff would sign off on anyone eligible to get suppressors, and lobby the NC Sheriff’s Association to, in turn, lobby our state legislators and our US Representatives and Senators to make it easier for anyone to get them and b) the Commissioners would either change the venue of their meetings to a place where we can carry our guns, or repeal the ordinance that prohibits carry in county buildings. But they’re nimbys. I.e.: fakers. The gig is up, though, and we’ve got their number. Devan Barbour is up for re-election and he’s the one who proposed striking the section specifically mentioning firearms. Gee, I wonder why.
All three who spoke, Alan Mims, David Mills, and Devan Barbour had very distinct tremors in their voices. As you can sorta see from Bubba’s pictures, there were probably three hundred of us overflowing the meeting room. Between that, the national attention, the petition, the email, the phone calls, the GRNC and NRA involvement, I think we scared them. As well they should be scared. The more, the better. That’s one indication of a properly functioning government:
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson
Government officials do not fear the people, enough. If we are to agree with Mr. Jefferson, that needs to change.
The Johnston County, NC Board of Commissioners is now on notice. We will be watching you. There is a plan afoot to keep much closer tabs on any tyranny you may try to impose on us in the future. And watch out in 2014. A sea change is what you might see. We’re all-in for some house cleaning.
So if wasn’t for my friend Fran contacting me, and then me chatting with Knitebane, Knitebane involving GRNC, and the NRA-ILA chiming in, and Dustin Holloman starting the petition, this might have been snuck by unnoticed. One man likely started this brush fire. Thanks, Fran!
Stay Dangerous, My Friends
*By American, I, of course, mean what I describe at the end of this post.
Update: Fixed a few spelling errors. Sorry, Knitebane. 😉
Update 2: Wow, not 17,000 signatures. That would have been awesome. Still 1,700 is pretty dang good. Corrected.