Don’t Know Much About History

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height,
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hunting Deer with an AR-15?

I own a Colt AR-15 Sporter chambered in the unusual caliber (for an AR) of 7.62X39mm. I use it for hunting deer in wooded terrain. Because of the taper of the cartridge case, a magazine that would normally hold 20 rounds of 5.56mm NATO ammunition will only hold 5 rounds of 7.62x39mm. Other than being semi-automatic and having lower ammunition capacity, it’s the functional equivalent of a typical .30/30 lever action rifle.

ColtSporter-1When I first moved to Maryland in the early ’90s, I had hunting privileges in an overgrown orchard next to a 6,000 acre no-hunting environmental area and a 200 acre corn/soybean field. The woods were dense enough that the longest shot possible was less than 100 yards, so a .270 Win. or .30/06 was overkill. I used a .45/70 rifle for the first few years but decided that something like a .30/30 would make more sense. I went to a gun show looking for a deal on a Marlin 336 lever action rifle and stumbled on a dealer who had a Colt AR-15 in 7.62×39 mm that he wanted to sell cheap. The price was right, and I bought it. It’s been a nice woods gun, performing well with Winchester 123 gr. soft points. I’ve had even better results using the now-out-of-print Hornady Zombiemax and the Hornady 123 gr. Black ammo.

So, yes, you can hunt deer with an AR-15. I’ve been using mine for woodland hunting for almost 30 years.

A Civil Rights Case Appealed to the Supreme Court

Maryland has a patently unconstitutional ban of certain firearms. A panel of the Fourth Circuit struck down the Maryland ban, but a en banc decision reversed the panel, so the law is still on the books.

A petition for a writ of certiorari has been filed with the Supreme Court.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the best techniques to use against Team Kimberlin in court has been to let them make my case for me. Doing so resulted in what Bill Schmalfeldt called My “Dirty” Win in the hearing to extend the peace order against him. I wrote about it eight years ago today.

* * * * *

I’m told that Bill Schmalfeldt has been whining about my “dirty victory” in court yesterday.

It’s true that my lawyer had a secret strategy that she used against him, and it worked: She let him talk.

Schmalfeldt repeated arguments that previously had been shot down. He asked irrelevant questions. He ranted. He yelled. He pounded the table. He convinced the judge that he intended to continue to disobey the peace order. In short, he made my case for me.

Bill Schmalfeldt can think that was a dirty trick if he wishes. I call it good lawyering.

Now, if Schmalfeldt will simply obey the peace order, I will have no reason to take any particular notice of him. We’ll see how that goes.

* * * * *

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain once wrote that the easiest way to discredit Bill Schmalfeldt is to quote Bill Schmalfeldt. Sometimes, it’s even easier to simply let him keep talking.

The Left’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Monday was a bit of a rocky start with the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments about challenges to the Texas law that allows citizens to bring lawsuits against persons who perform abortions. Based on the justices’ questions, the case isn’t a slam dunk for either side. A win for the Left isn’t a gimme.

Tuesday was election day. The Democrats lost bigly in Virginia, and were reduced to referring to the first black woman to win state-wide office as a “white supremacist.” They lost a special election in Texas in a heavily Latino legislative district. Most stunning, they barely able to keep the vote within the margin of theft in New Jersey.

Wednesday, oral arguments in the challenge to the New York handgun permitting system were heard by the Supreme Court. Most commentators are projecting a 6 to 3 decision vindicating the petitioners’ Second Amendment rights. (I’m betting on 5 to 4.)

Thursday, the first actual arrest was made in the Russia Collusion Hoax case. The supporting indictment filed by Special Prosecutor John Durham paints a picture of collusion by the Clinton campaign with Russians.

Friday, was the day that Nancy Pelosi was going give Joe Xiden a win by passing his more-than-a-trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill. She failed to do so, and also failed to move the legislation for the Build Back Better scam either.

And that’s just some of what went right this week.

UPDATE—Well, well, well … Mrs. Pelosi did move some legislation. She did get the Senate’s version of the infrastructure bill through 228 to 206 (7 not voting). 13 Republicans voted for the bill: Katko, Bacon, Van Drew, Young, Upton, Kinzinger, Gonzalez, Fitzpatrick, Reed, Gabarino, Malliotakis, McKinley, and Smith of New Jersey. Pelosi couldn’t have pulled this off without that Republican support. It will be interesting to see how many of these congresscritters are reelected.

An Interesting Question

During the oral argument in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen this morning, Chief Justice Roberts asked the Solicitor General of New York, “Well how many muggings take place in the forest?”

He asked the question as part of an exchange with the Solicitor General in which she was trying to justify the suppression of Second Amendment rights in populated areas.

Gun Non-Violence

I served in the Army. During my time as a soldier, I engaged in violence, and much of it involved the use of firearms. In the decades since I left the Army, I’ve been involved in several tense situations which could have escalated to violence but did not. In each case, the threat was terminated when the other party or parties realized that I was armed, and that the cost/benefit ratio of engaging with me was less favorable than had been expected. My having a gun resulted in non-violent ends to those encounters.

Not every bad guy will weigh the odds the same way, sometimes deterrence will fail, and force will have to be met with force, but so far, deterrence has worked for me.

Being armed isn’t for everyone, but it has its advantages for those willing to undertake the responsibility.

OK, You’re Crazy

Found on The Twitterz—

If you think it’s easier to buy a gun than to vote, you’re so detached from Reality that you qualify as crazy.

The last time I voted, I didn’t have to complete an ATF Form 4473 under penalty of perjury, nor did I have to submit to an FBI background check in order to receive my ballot.

And I have family members in Chicago who don’t even have to be alive to vote.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Sheila Jackson Lee really said this—

I’ve held an AR-15 in my hand, I wish I had it. It is as heavy as 10 boxes that you might be moving and the bullet that is utilized, a .50-caliber, these kinds of bullets need to be licensed and do not need to be on the street.

I just weighed my AR-15. With the sling and a loaded magazine it weighs just under 9 pounds. Rep. Lee must have been moving empty boxes.

Although my rifle is chambered for 7.62×39 mm ammunition, most AR-15s are chambered for 5.56 mm NATO rounds. Only a handful use any kind of .50 ammo, and most of those are chambered for .50 Beowulf, a cartridge roughly equivalent to the old black powder .45/70 used by the Army during the last decades of the 19th-century.

UPDATE—Lee’s proposed legislation would ban weapons greater than .50 calibre. Guess what, Gentle Reader. They are already restricted under federal law as destructive devices. However, the law allows the ATF to exempt weapons and ammunition for “sporting purposes” which is why 28, 20, 16, 12, and 10 gauge shotguns are still legal. Is Lee seeking to ban the double-barrel shotguns that Joe Xiden recommends for personal defense in the home?

A Second Amendment Victory

The ATF has backed down in the face of overwhelming negative public comment and substantial Congressional pressure and is withdrawing its proposed “guidance” relating to pistols equipped with arm braces. The ATF posted the following:

Upon further consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, ATF is withdrawing, pending further Department of Justice review, the notice and request for comments entitled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’,” that was published on December 18, 2020. 85 FR 82516. As explained in the notice, the proposed guidance was not a regulation. The notice informed and invited comment from the industry and public on a proposed guidance prior to issuing a final guidance document.

The withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement.

Over 48,000 public comments had been received in less than a week, and over 90 Representatives and Senators (including Cocaine Mitch) had contacted the ATF questioning the legal basis for the guidance.

Given the substantial number of new gun owners over the past year, it will be interesting to see how much political capital the Xiden administration is willing to spend on suppression of Second Amendment rights.

Looks Like Self Defense To Me

Massad Ayoob has a post up about the video evidence surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse’s use of a rifle to defend himself in Kenosha. The photo at the top of the post clearly shows the assailant who Rittenhouse shot in the arm pointing a pistol at the young man’s head. A few milliseconds difference in timing would have put a bullet though the teenager’s head instead of the bad guy’s arm.

Biden Voters v. Trump Voters

Various sites around the Interwebz are using the term “Biden voters” to describe the thugs engaging in BLM and Antifa rioting. I have another post about why I think this is not a strictly accurate term.

OTOH, there seem to be a large number of folks in the country who have been mugged by reality, but when they tried to call the cops, they found that they were on their own. Nearly 5,000,000 of them have now become gun owners, and lots of them are in swing states. Almost a quarter of a million in Pennsylvania, for instance. That’s resulted a significant increase in the percentage of households with firearms. With that in mind, consider these maps.As a first guess, let’s assume that the 80/20 rule applies and that roughly 4,000,000 new voters are now associated with map on the right. That would tend to sustain Trump’s majorities in the rust belt states, and it would tend to flip Minnesota and Virginia to Trump. It could also produce a shift in the popular vote that would wipe out the 2016 gap.

Don’t get cocky or go off half-cocked.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Well, only one tiger. Glenn Reynolds has a link to a report that the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is leading the search for a tiger that was spotted by a deputy sheriff in Knox County. The professor adds, “Tiger shows up at my house, he’s a rug.”

One of the neighborhoods where I lived in California had a problem with mountain lions. They were usually dispatched by a deputy using a 12 ga shotgun firing slugs. Mountain lions were also a problem where I used to hike in the Cleveland National Forest. I never hit the trail there without a suitably powerful handgun. I prefer to remain at the top of the food chain.

The post at Instapundit got me thinking about what I might have in my locker suitable for converting a tiger into a rug. 12 ga or even 20 ga slugs would probably do the job, but I think I would reach for my .45/70 lever action rifle. It will stop a large bear, so it should be adequate for a tiger, and I’m more confident with my ability to take a fast precision shot with it than with a shotgun