Monday, May 31, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 155: A Whole Lotta News


In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss a bunch of news stories:
    • Leo Prinsloo, the driver of South African dashcam fame, gives his account of the harrowing attack on his transport vehicle;
    • Texas gets Constitutional Carry;
    • March For Our Lives activists cry some more as the media has topped giving them attention;
    • the Congressional hearing for anti-gun lobbyist David Chipman as ATF Director has been scheduled;
    • and we review an attempted spree killing that was stopped by a good man with a gun.
  • Next, Xander brings us his Independent thoughts on the Mark McCloskey campaign video;
  • and finally, Weer'd interviews Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons and Headstamp Publishing about his latest book, Pistols of the Warlords.

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Show Notes

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Press Release: We Oppose David Chipman's Nomination as ATF Director in the Strongest Possible Terms



Chipman Appointment: “Like a Homophobe Investigating Hate Crimes”

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (May 29, 2021): Operation Blazing Sword / Pink Pistols opposes the nomination of David Chipman as Director for the ATF in the strongest terms possible, and for the following

  1. After Mr. Chipman retired from service with the ATF, he was employed as a lobbyist for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Giffords Anti-Gun Lobby group; all organizations whose main goal is to restrict civilian ownership of firearms.
  2. During this same period he was also working for Shot Spotter, a commercial entity which sells a system that purports to detect gunshots by their sound so that police can be dispatched directly to the site. The city of San Diego, which purchased the system, found that Shot Spotter had a greater false positive rate than advertised, indicating that more gunshots were detected than were actual events. This created a false perception that gun crime is more prevalent than it truly is, increasing public fear of guns.
  3. Mr. Chipman wants to ban the AR-15 rifle, one of the most popular and numerous firearms in the country and therefore the very definition of “in common use” and therefore protected under the Second Amendment as per District of Columbia v. Heller.
  4. Mr. Chipman lumps AR-15 rifles into the catch-all category of “assault weapons” which he defines as “any semiautomatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22”.
  5. Mr. Chipman further supports President Biden's plan to regulate all such “assault weapons” via the National Firearms Act, a decision which if implemented will result in millions of Americans being deprived of their property without due process and making citizen ownership of any semiautomatic defensive rifle impossible for many.
  6. Mr. Chipman has made false claims about .50 caliber rifles being found in the ruins of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX after the 1993 raid. Neither FBI nor Texas Department of Public Safety records of what was found in the wreckage of the compound support Chipman’s claims.
  7. Finally, no fewer than one-third of America’s State Attorneys General oppose Mr. Chipman’s nomination for the same reasons outlined above: that he cannot be trusted to faithfully and objectively fulfill his oath of office, specifically to “faithfully discharge the duties of the office.”

We oppose David Chipman’s nomination as ATF Director with the same vigor as we would if a known homophobe were nominated to oversee hate crime investigation, and for exactly the same reasons.

The ATF's purpose is not to punish firearm owners, but the appointment of David Chipman as its Director will have that effect. Chipman is a lobbyist, bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg, and he will use his position to interpret firearm regulations in the manner most favorable to these modern-day Redcoats, and quite possibly enrich himself in the process, all while increasing new laws and new regulations which will be used to harass innocent citizens.

Please contact both of your Senators via telephone, written letter or email, and explain why they must not approve Chipman’s nomination. Click here to find your Senators’ names; choose your state in the drop down menu and their Washington, D.C., office phone numbers will be shown.


Operation Blazing Sword, Inc. is a grass-roots 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping queer people become responsible firearm owners through volunteer education.

Pink Pistols, a division of Operation Blazing Sword, is dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the gender and sexual minority community.


Media Contact:   
Erin Palette

Friday, May 28, 2021

Soviet Military Liaison Mission Recognition Card

I've been going through my dad's things -- no, he didn't die, but as I mentioned previously he's been in the local rest home for a month getting physical & occupational therapy, and during that time mom & I have been cleaning up the hoarded piles of crap in his room as we attempt to make heads or tails of our finances -- and I came upon this really nifty bit of Cold War memorabilia. 

The fold goes along the middle, so left is actually the back and right is the front.

The interior of the card.

I remember my parents first showing this to me when we moved to West Germany and telling me "If you see a car with license plates that look like this, tell us." I suppose it's a good thing I didn't see a car with those plates, but I remember being disappointed that I never could.

The card is made of medium-weight cardstock, 5" long by 3.5" high, and is folded vertically to that it can fit inside a wallet's credit card pocket. 

I have no idea if this has any intrinsic value (likely not), but it's an interesting curiosity of a bygone era and it's in very good condition.  I would be happy to pass it along to a museum or a collector of Cold War items. 

(Not technically about Berlin, but tagging it with Berlin Trilogy because where else am I going to put Cold War stuff?)

Monday, May 24, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 154: A 9-0 Supreme Court Decision? In Favor of Gun Rights???


In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer’d discuss the latest Supreme Court case involving gun rights, and yes it went 9-0 in our favor!
  • Both the ATF ruling on receiver definition and David Chipman's confirmation hearing as ATF director has yet to materialize.  Is the Biden Administration even prioritizing gun control?
  • A question was asked: How could Bill Maher could be fully vaccinated, yet test positive for COVID-19? Weer'd talks about what PCR is and how this might be possible.
  • Xander gives us his Independent Thoughts on food prep and impulse buying.
  • David talks about Pistol Caliber Carbines.
  • Finally, Matt from Geeks, Gadgets and Guns gives us some survival tips for the open road.

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Show Notes

Monday, May 17, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 153: The ATF Plays Calvinball


In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer'd discuss both an amazingly tone-deaf statement by a politician before exploring the new ATF Memo about re-defining what constitutes a legal firearm;
  • Xander lists his Independent Thoughts on the importance of friendship when it comes to prepping;
  • David talks about some misconceptions common to new or uninitiated shooters pertaining to firearms;
  • finally, Weer'd interviews Tom Kubiniec of SecureIt Tactical about how he came to be the CEO of a gun safe company when he started as a professional guitar player.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Monday, May 10, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 152: The Worst Victims to Select


In This Episode
  • Erin talks about Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols joining the Second Amendment Foundation in an Amicus Brief for New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett;
  • Weer'd explores a Newsweek article lamenting that Gun Control has lost the support or 18-30 year olds;
  • Then Erin & Weer'd discuss a few videos where would-be thieves make poor choices in the victim selection process.
  • Next, Xander brings us his Independent thoughts on events where warnings of great tragedy weren't heeded;
  • and finally, Weer'd interviews Tom Kubiniec of Secure it Tactical on what makes a good gun safe.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Catching my Breath

This post was written yesterday afternoon.

It's 1 pm and the house is blessedly quiet. This is me, breathing a sigh of relief. 

Let me explain what's transpired over the past few days. Buckle up, it'll be a long one. 

Around 2:30 am Monday morning, I was leaving the bathroom after finishing my getting ready for bed routine when I heard my father calling for help from his bedroom. This is not terribly unusual, as he is 85 and falls a lot due to Parkinson's. He also sleeps alone because back in the 1990s mom moved to a separate bedroom because he had several obnoxious sleep habits including untreated sleep apnea and snoring that sounded like trucks downshifting on the highway, so she moved out in order to get some rest. 

So we have an old man who falls a lot and who lacks the strength to get up by himself, sleeping alone in a bedroom on the other side of the house. Yes, it's stupid, but that's apparently what he wants, even though it often results in him spending hours alone on the floor. 

So by sheer luck I hear him calling for help. I open the door and he's on his knees in front of the nightstand, naked from the waist down, complaining that he fell around 11:30 that evening and can't get up. Having been to this rodeo before and being unable to deadlift a 5'10", 165 pound sack of potatoes into a standing position and then hold him upright until he can get his bearings -- and yes, sack of potatoes is correct, he either lacks the strength to help me or refuses to help, I'm not sure which -- I tell him I'm calling 911. 

I call and give the usual information: 85 year old man with Parkinson's, 165 pounds, has fallen and cannot get up, please send burly EMTs to pick him up and assess injuries. The 911 operator asks if anything else is wrong, so I ask him, and he launches into a litany of complaints including "My bones hurt" and "I can't feel my legs". Not wanting to play telephone, and wanting 911 to hear how he sounds (somewhat incoherent, lots of gargle-mumbling), I hand him the phone and make preparations for EMTs: I get dressed, get my mask ready, close the dog gate, turn on the outside lights and unlock the door. 

The EMTs walk in and one of them asks "Have we been here before?" The other one says "Yes, twice." (The first time was the time he fell and I couldn't pick him up, so I called 911; the second time was in the early morning when he was sitting at the table and told mom to call 911 because "I feel like I'm dying." [He wasn't dying. In fact, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him. Best guess is that he forgot to take one of his meds.]

So these EMTs know him and know the situation. They pick him up and get him dressed, and he says he wants to go to the ER. I tell the EMTs that's fine, but he has a doctor's appointment at 9 am and it involves fasting for bloodwork, so please don't let him eat anything or drink anything except water. The senior medic senses my utter exhaustion and exasperation and he has a quiet talk with me while his partner talks to my father. 

Senior EMT has gone through this before with his father, and has seen it a bunch of times, and lets me know that he's not judging me at all. He also lets me know that he's perfectly willing to take dad to the ER, but it's likely they'll just discharge him a few hours later and I'd have to come get him. In Senior EMT's opinion, if this were his first time at our house he'd take my father, but now that he knows the score he tells us it's probably better just to follow-up with the doctor in the morning because right now dad is clothed, back on the bed, and resting. I agree that's probably the best course of action. EMT gives me some telephone numbers, including that of a community support person to help with social issues and a non-emergency dispatch number for "invalid transport" -- in other words, call this number and the fire dept will come over to get dad out of bed and into the car for a trip to the hospital. 

OK. All well and good. They leave, I visually confirm dad is asleep on his bed (light on, natch) and close the bedroom door before locking up the house and going to sleep myself. It is now sometime after 3 am. 

We are now at the halfway point in this story. 

When I wake up 8 hours later, I see a note from mom. She tells me that when she woke up at 5 am, she saw the light on in his room but assumed he either slept that way all night or was awake but staying away from the kitchen to avoid eating. By 6:15, however, he still wasn't up and that was the agreed-upon "If I'm not up by then please wake me" time. She goes into his room and finds him on the floor of his bathroom, again naked from the waist down. According to him he went to use the toilet at 3 am -- so I guess immediately after the EMTs left? -- got into the bathroom, fell, and couldn't get up. He complained that he couldn't feel his legs and was afraid he was paralyzed, so mom calls the EMTs -- same guys, same shift, this is now visit #4 -- and they take him to the ER. 

[He wasn't paralyzed. He could still feel his legs when then pinched him. He's just weak and probably had one or both legs go numb due to how he was lying on the ground.]

I learn all this when mom comes home for lunch. I also learn that they were doing a bunch of tests on him to figure out what's gong on, because suddenly going from "one fall about once a week, usually able to get up from it" to "two falls in a four hour span, unable to recover from either" is a big step and they want to determine cause for this rapid decline. 

That was Monday. It's now Wednesday. They still haven't figured out what happened, but they're keeping in the hospital for a while longer. They -- the various physical therapists and social workers -- are also saying that when the hospital releases him he will be sent to the local retirement home for 2 weeks so that he can receive physical therapy in the hopes that he won't fall so often and, if he does, he can maybe get back up. 

This is me breathing a sigh of relief. The problem isn't solved, but mom and I get TWO WHOLE WEEKS of not dealing with the stress and pressure of dealing with a cranky, demanding old man with dementia. The house is calm, the stress levels are falling, and we are making progress in getting him into a VA home. While there is no guarantee that we can get him into the VA before the two weeks is up -- it's a Federal facility, after all, which means it runs at the speed of Government Bureaucracy and just having the paperwork finished doesn't mean he gets in, just that he goes to the head of the waiting list -- this is still a glorious 2 week staycation that mom and I desperately needed. 

Call me an awful person if you must; that just tells me that you've never dealt with an elderly parent with dementia.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 151: CRY SOME MORE!


In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about an editorial written by yet another gun prohibitionist in deep despair, and then discuss the leaked ATF Document which shows just how ridiculous the current administration's attack on 80% kits is becoming.
  • Also, the US Supreme Court will again hear a Second Amendment case!
  • Weer'd Brings us a fisk wherein the Brady Campaign encourages a minor to commit multiple felonies;
  • Xander celebrates his one-year anniversary on the show with some reflections on guns and the 2A Community;
  • and finally, David gives through instructions on how to inspect a used revolver for purchase.

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Show Notes

Main Topic:

Weer’d Audio Fisk:

Independent Thoughts with Xander:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

The Fine Print

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

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