Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pink Pistols in Deutsche Welle

Last week I was contacted by Carla Bleiker, who introduced herself as a journalist for Deutsche Welle ("German Wave"), Germany's international broadcaster. 

She then said "I am writing a story about the situation regarding gun rights and gun control under President Joe Biden. I'd like to interview someone at Pink Pistols about this. Questions include:

  • What expectations do you have for President Biden in terms of gun rights and LGBTQ rights? 
  • In how far do you think he'll attempt to tighten gun control laws? How successful do you think such an attempt would be? 
  • In how far are you concerned about Second Amendment freedoms under President Biden?
  • What do you think about the current gun rights situation in the US? Is there anything you would like to change?"

The article has a neutral stance, which is good press for us as far as I'm concerned. However, like with all interviews, more was left on the cutting room floor than was included in the article. 

For those curious, here is my reply:

What expectations do you have for President Biden in terms of gun rights and LGBTQ rights? 
There are two ways to interpret this question; however, given that your later questions only dealt with firearms, I feel it safe to assume you mean "the intersection of gun rights and LGBTQ rights" and not "What are your expectations for President Biden regarding LGBTQ rights as well as gun rights."

I have stated multiple times that firearms rights are queer rights, and that gun control makes it more difficult for queer people to defend themselves. My argument is thus:

· I have the right to live.
· There are people who wish to end my life because I am queer.
· Guns allow me to defend my queer life.
∴ Therefore, guns preserve queer lives.

· Guns cannot preserve queer lives if queer people cannot carry them.
· Gun rights means that all law-abiding citizens can carry guns for self-defense.
· By carrying a gun, I can defend my queer life.
∴ Therefore, gun rights are pro-queer.

· The right to self-defense -- gun rights -- are human rights.
· Loving whomever I want -- my sexuality -- is a human right.
· Living as I wish -- my gender identity -- is a human right.
∴ Therefore, gun rights are queer rights and both are human rights.
In how far do you think he'll attempt to tighten gun control laws? How successful do you think such an attempt would be? In how far are you concerned about Second Amendment freedoms under President Biden?

I honestly don't know how far he'll go. On one hand, both Biden and Harris have been very open about liking all these proposed legislations, and those opinions are largely shared by the Democrats in Congress, nor did the Republicans put up much of a fight when Trump spoke in favor of gun control.

But another talking point is that we are in the middle of the biggest gun rush in the history of this country. In March 2020, gun purchases began spiking at a rate of one million or more additional purchases each month, and that trend has continued unabated through January this year. It is statistically impossible for all of these new gun owners to be all old white straight Republican men.  Even Michael Bloomberg, who is quite literally the face of American Gun Control, realized this when his anti-gun organ The Trace published an article titled You Just Panic-Bought a Gun. Here’s How to Handle It Safely.
Bloomberg's position has always been abstinence-only when it comes to firearm education, and like an abstinence-only parent who discovers that his child is having premarital sex, his choices became “Ignore the situation and hope it goes away” and “Accept reality and seek advice from a professional.” As ignoring the situation almost always leads to unfortunate consequences like unplanned teenage pregnancies or negligent discharges which result in injury or death, Bloomberg decided to take the mature course of action and seek the advice of experts. For nearly two decades, he has told us that no one needs a gun; now, despite his best efforts, his anti-gun magazine is acknowledging the awkward truth that people want guns to protect themselves and their families in a crisis where the police may be late to arrive.
Therefore, given that a substantial part -- perhaps even a majority -- of Biden's base is now buying guns, and the guns being sold are the exact guns that Biden and Harris have spoken out on banning or restricting, the question must be asked "Just how willing will Democrats be to embrace gun control when they know that not only will it go against a portion of their base, but it may very well end up taking guns away from people who recently purchased these firearms, likely at a significant markup due to increased demand and reduced supply because of Covid-19, to protect their family?"
Please recall that the primary job of every politician is to ensure their re-election. Also, please consider my theory that gun owners are likely to become gun voters: Once you have bought a firearm (which are not cheap), you become resistant to laws that threaten to take it away from you, especially those laws which use the word "confiscation" (and the government would have to confiscate them; given the number of firearms in our country, paying anywhere near market value for them would bankrupt the government before our citizens ran out of guns to be "bought back"). Furthermore, once you know how to operate a firearm and know what it can and cannot do, much of the hysteria and word-salad arguments of gun prohibitionists is revealed for the nonsense that it is.
So in conclusion, on the one hand I think it would be very dangerous for Democrats' re-election chances to seriously push gun control right now (honestly, the economy and Covid-19 are bigger and more important problems right now). On the other hand, please understand that I said "right now"; I firmly believe that if somebody threatens you, it's in your best interest to believe them, and given the track records of all involved it's only a matter of time before gun control becomes a leading concern. I just don't think it will happen until after the pandemic has passed, our economy has recovered, and civil unrest in major cities has died down. 

What do you think about the current gun rights situation in the US? Is there anything you would like to change?
I'm afraid that this will have to be the subject of another email, as my response would be at least as long (if not longer) than what I have already written, and we are dangerously close to your deadline. 
For those curious about the last line: I received the email fairly late at night, with a request for a response by 10:30 am the following day; I emailed her that morning at 9:54 am. 

Overall, I think that the article is a balanced (if 1,000 foot) look at American 2A politics for a foreign audience. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 141: Some Good News for the Second Amendment

                   

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer'd have good news on the Second Amendment front!
    • We discuss Utah going Constitutional carry;
    • Second Amendment Sanctuaries and their legality;
    • Infighting within Bloomberg's shell group March for Our Lives;
    • And we cover a defensive shooting where a young boy protects his Grandmother from  a home invasion.
  • David brings us his take on the best woods for rifle stocks;
  • and the ACP House Dick talks a bit about the financial aspects of running a private investigation firm.




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Show Notes

Monday, February 15, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 140: The Text of Those Bills

                  

In This Episode
  • Erin is stuck in interstate traffic, so Weer'd recruits two men to do the job of one woman;
  • Weer'd, Oddball, and David review the text of several anti-gun bills and discuss their ramifications;
  • and Weer'd sits down with Lara Smith of the Liberal Gun Club to discuss how best to lobby your elected representatives to side with the Second Amendment.




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Show Notes

Main Topic:

Lara Smith:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 139: Soon May the Tendieman Come

                 

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer'd forgo a Main Topic for some amazing segments!
  • Xander talks about the merits of being excellent, and not judging new gun owners for the guns they have;
  • Speaking of cheap guns,  Oddball recently bought an Altor and he shares his thoughts on this minimalist pistol;
  • and finally, there's been a lot of talk about the short sale of Gamestop stocks. Oddball, Weer'd, and Matt were discussing it before an ACP Film Track, and the result was too good -- and too timely! -- for a Blooper Reel.




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Thursday, February 4, 2021

V5 Ghouls: Fatal Addiction

 Back in December I reviewed the V5 Companion, and when I talked about the section on ghouls as player characters I said that while I could understand why the writers didn't go into more depth, I might do so later.

It is now later, so please enjoy these expanded rules on ghouls (Google Document). Perhaps at some point I will combine these with the V5 rules and the V20 fluff into a single document, but right now I'm not willing to put in that much effort for such limited return. 

Please note that this is optimized for my Unknown Armies-style Stress Gauges for V5 system. If you aren't using that system then you'll need to find some way to measure addiction. 

Julius Jones, the ghoul of the vampire Maximillian in
  A Vampire in Broolyn

I really like how this turned out, because it presents an interesting dilemma for the players: Just how powerful, and how addicted, do you  want the people who know where you sleep? Who might even guard you as you sleep? On the one hand, you can get some pretty powerful soldiers fairly quickly, but you also run the risk of them becoming screamingly addicted and drinking your blood while you're helpless. Yes, they're blood bound to you... but does that matter when they're in the grip of a hunger frenzy?

So, just how hungry do you want your eaters of the dead to be? 


Monday, February 1, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 138: The Sick, Lame, and Lazy Round Table

                

In This Episode
No one had any segments ready and several contributors weren't feeling well, and so Weer'd, Oddball, Steve, and David got together to have a round table of 2nd Amendment news and miscellaneous discussion.

We talked about:

  • The COVID Vaccine and the changes to the lockdowns;
  • a new Kansas law that would recognize all carry permits (despite Kansas being a Constitutional Carry state);
  • Anti-Gunners that are targeting State Preemption;
  • Bloomberg targeting "gun influencers" on YouTube;
  • and why should you worry about gun control in a world of 3D Printers.




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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Pink Pistol Patches

One of the reasons I wrote that "Why I Prefer Queer to LGBTQ" essay last week is because people are always asking my thoughts on the subject and I got tired of having to type the answer each time. 

The other reason is because I wanted to have a ready-made explanation handy for when I introduced this patch: 


You see, the original Pink Pistols motto was "Armed Gays Don't Get Bashed", and I felt it was time to update that because not all of our constituency is gay. However, I didn't want to go the LGBTQ+ route because, as I explained last week, that way lies madness. So after much discussion with other people it was decided that "Queers" would cause the least offense (although it's already caused more than a little) and would be a nice umbrella term. 

The patches themselves are 3.5" diameter and come with a velcro backing. They cost $10 per patch and shipping is free (unless you order some ungodly amount or want them shipped off-continent). 

When you order, please ensure that your shipping address is included! I've had some orders sent to me via PayPal and Venmo that didn't have an address telling me where to ship them. 
And yes, there are still some Operation Blazing Sword patches available if you'd like one of those too. 



Monday, January 25, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 137: Erin is Reminded of a Davey Crockett Quote...

               

...specifically, "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas."

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss the NRA's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, its impending move to Texas, and what this all means for the future of gun rights groups;
  • Xander brings us his Independent Thoughts on the care and feeding of our rights;
  • David talks about the term "Bubba" and what it really means pertaining to firearms;
  • and finally, Weer'd asks Logan Metesh of High Caliber History about how one goes about field stripping an old and unusual gun.




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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Why I Prefer 'Queer' to 'LGBTQ'

I like the word queer and I give you all permission to say it. Yes, even the straight folks.

I want you all to say queer because saying LGBTQ is awkward. I can do it smoothly because I've practiced, but a lot of people have trouble with it because it's literally a mouthful of consonants. It's difficult to work into a sentence, especially if you trip over it when speaking. 

I also like queer because the current hotness dictates that LGBTQ is not inclusive enough and that we must add more letters. The last time I checked, and this could have changed, is LGBTTQQIIAP2S+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Ally, Asexual, Pansexual, Two Spirit, and the plus is for "everything else we might have missed." As you can expect, this just rolls off the tongue in casual conversation. [/sarcasm]


I don't like this term. I don't like it because it's unpronounceable, I don't like it because it's awkward, and I don't like it because people won't use it. We are a culture who has literally said "It's too much effort to say I am so we're going to say I'm instead," so what makes you think anyone is going to take the time to spell out an acronym of 12 or more letters?

In order to be welcomed and accepted and included and listened to, we need to make it easier, not harder to talk about us. I want people to be able to talk about me and people like me, because the moment they stop talking about us is the moment our voices are no longer heard, and silence = death. 


And so I want to encourage you and everyone else to use the word queer for the following reasons:
  • It's an actual word. We already know what it means and we already know how to say it. 
  • It's a single syllable, making it very easy to say. 
  • It's a nice umbrella term. Q already exists in LGBTQ, and it already means "an umbrella term to be more inclusive of the many identities and variations that make up the LGBTQ+ community." Why do we need anything more?
My problem with using all of those letters instead of the collective "queer" is that in an attempt to be inclusionary, we further exclude people. LGBTTQQIAAP2S+ has 14 characters, but I can already see some gaps. 
  • What about people who feel like they have no gender? We should add another A to that list for Agender. 
  • What about those whose gender identities change on a regular basis? We need another G for Genderfluid. 
  • What about Demisexuals and Demiromantics? We should add two more Ds to the list. 
Just off the top of my head, we're up to LGGBTTQQIAAAP2SDD+, and I can guarantee you that's not the end of it. I call this inclusionary exclusion because the more letters that get added, the more people will say "Everyone else has their own letter, I need one too!" and we end up fighting over labels and who goes into which labeled box. We end up divided, with each faction willing to tear down the others instead of working as a group to uplift us all. 

No. I say We Are All Queer, because unity is more important than labels. 

Now, I understand the people of a certain generation have a problem saying queer because in their time it was an insult, a word of hate. I sympathize with that, and I'm not going to force people to use it. But I also feel quite strongly that it's the duty of certain minorities to reclaim hurtful words and make them words of power. 

As an example, I am a transwoman and I adore the word tranny. It's hilarious to me, although I couldn't tell you why; it just is. More importantly, though, that word has no power over me because I think it's funny. It's as powerless as a child taunting a straight man by saying "You like kissing girls!"  Well yes, little boy, he certainly does and there's nothing wrong with that, and perhaps one day you'll like kissing girls too. 

I acknowledge that just because the word isn't hurtful to me doesn't mean it's not hurtful to others, so I am certainly not going to call another transgender person tranny because it might hurt them and I don't want that. When I use it to describe myself, however, I rob it of its hurtful power over me and perhaps over over people as well, because those who would use it to harm may hear me say it about myself and think, "If she's using that term, then it must not be an insult anymore" and they lose that arrow from their quiver.

That's why I use queer, and I encourage everyone to use it. I say that you can say it. If anyone gives you problems, send them to me and I'll set them straight... or set them queer, as the case may be. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Neat Christmas Presents

 I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing here regularly, even if it's just stuff like this. 

Somewhere along the line I got in my head the nasty notion that if I don't do "real writing" here then it doesn't "count". What it doesn't count for or against is unclear, and that's beside the point that I started this blog to encourage myself to write more and become better at it, and if I wait until my stuff is "good enough" then I may never write here again. So, here's some written crap you may or may not enjoy!

I have neat friends who send me neat things for Christmas. This year I got two gifts which I think my faithful readers will appreciate. 

The first is a really cute set of rum cups that come in their own little box! Thank you, Oddball!






Another friend send me this, and it speaks for itself:


The actual gift was a gift card underneath the herring. Still, I give him many points for a funny joke!

As for the herring itself? Well, despite looking like the fourth week of Lilith Fair...


...it wasn't that bad. 

Mind you, it wasn't great, either; it tasted a lot like tuna in a mild ketchup. 

Finally, I'd like to thank all the lovely people who pitched in and helped me get a new-to-me computer on Cyber Monday. My old one was slowing down by the day and wouldn't have lasted until my birthday, so I asked some people if they would donate so I could by a replacement. They did, and I'm happy to report that I'm very pleased with how it performs!

Here are the specs:
  • HP Z220 Workstation
  • Intel Quad Core i7 3.4GHz processor
  • 16 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB SSD HD
  • Windows 10 Pro
What's more, the same model (but with a SATA HDD) is now selling for $80 more than what I paid in November! So thank you for helping me save money as well!

All right, that's all for now. Let's see if I have the gas to keep this up for a week.. and then a week after that...

Monday, January 18, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 136: I Don't Know If These Black-Eyed Peas Are Working....

              

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer'd briefly discuss the events on the capital, then talk more about some proposed gun laws in the wake thereof and what you can do to stop them;
  • David gives a recap of his message to the new gun owners as they enter the fold;
  • Oddball got a chance to handle the new Kel-Tec P50 and gives us his thoughts on the new "outer space gun"!
  • and Weer'd sits down with Logan Metesh of High Caliber History to talk about the day-to-day duties of a museum curator in a museum full of guns.




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Show Notes

Main Topic:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Oddball’s Corner Pocket:

Logan Metesh Interview

Monday, January 11, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 135: Black-Eyed Peas for Good Luck

             

In This Episode
  • We welcome in the New Year and give you a Southern recipe for good luck: Black-Eyed Pea Dip!
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss some revelations into the management of Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun lobby Everytown For Gun Safety;
  • and then Weer'd fisks an episode of Designated Survivor, where they extol the virtues of gun control without providing anything but the flimsiest of strawmen in opposition.




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Monday, January 4, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 134: 2020 Goes Out With a Bang

            

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer’d analyze the ATF's withdrawal of its notice to classify rifle-caliber pistols with arm braces as short-barreled rifles;
  • Oddball gives us a report on the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, and its impact on telecommunications;
  • and finally. Weer'd fisks Kamala Harris in an interview with Shannon Watts.




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Friday, January 1, 2021

Palette Family Black-Eyed Pea Dip

I don't know about you, but I have been eating as much black-eyed pea dip as is humanly possible, because I want as much good luck as possible this year. 

Since apparently some of my dear readers are uncultured heathens who have never heard of such a thing, please feel free to use my family recipe. 

Palette Family Black-Eyed Pea Dip

2 c. Ranch Style black-eyed peas, drained
3 Jalapeno peppers
1/4 medium onion 
1 can green chilis (4 oz.)
1 clove garlic

1/4 lb. Old English cheese (Kraft glass jar)
1 stick butter

Put first 5 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Heat mixture in a chafing dish or microwave. Add last 2 ingredients & stir until melted. 


I prefer to eat mine with multigrain Tostito Scoops, but this also tastes great spread on warm cornbread. 

The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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