06 April, 2006

No one bothers the astronomer with a .44

…at least, not more than once…

don’t get me wrong, given the opportunity, I’m a coward – but read Hienlein’s definition before ye judge me

One of my life long interests has been astronomy, initially specifically optical / photographic and then as technology advanced attempting realtime and compressed time video sequences of Halley’s comet and others since, and on to other wavelengths/energies above and below the narrow amount that we discern with our eyeballs. This interest has brought me to some ‘interesting’ places (isolated hilltops accessible only by 4x4, chain saw, winch and determination - funny thing, the same attributes are required for some aspects of my ‘day - job’) there are some other tools that should be considered for such work

First and foremost - a Leatherman or other ‘multi tool’ - then a flashlight (I carry at least three, and two have red lenses - don’t you? – why not?)

As I reside in one of the few counties in CA that is perhaps too permissive with CCW permits (Carry Concealed Weapon) its (IMNSHO) far too easy to obtain a one - I have had one from a former position in Santa Clara in the late ‘70’s when it was somewhat more difficult to obtain - with justification and qualification (company I worked for then did surveillance and access control systems for, um, well, ‘interesting’ places - including those where deadly force is authorized, and, as I was often a ‘first responder’ – “…hey, the video camera just went dead…” - -‘nuf said)

I will admit however, since my Bien tui rod and gun club daze, having been shot at in anger, I’ve become a tad, um, ‘careful’ - ‘paranoid’ implies delusions that ‘they’ are out to get you, having been the target of someone who what doing his best to kill me changed my POV somewhat.

I’ve packed (when possible) for the last 30 years or so - legal or not (I’d much rather be the one explaining why there is this dead body laying there than ‘be’ the body…) current ‘best friend’ is a model 36 Glock.45 caliber ACP (for Automatic Colt, Pistol – refers t the round it chambers), a ‘compact’ (relative term when attempting to carry concealed if you are of slight stature and have any fashion sense, one of which eludes me) but it should settle any arguments with some alacrity.

If you make the decision to carry, there are a few details you need to come to grips with;

First and foremost, a pistol (or a rifle) is not a magic wand (notice, I did not say ‘gun’ - having endured peer refereed remedial rifle drill I will never make that mistake again), it will not make anyone you wave it at do as you wish, it has but one purpose, to propel a metal slug via a chemical reaction, which usually results in a void where the slug passes through.

If you present, your next action is to fire at the center of mass at the target(s) presented to you.

In truth (to date) I had to present once since ‘those’ daze, I was the last one out, late at night in a very industrial area in San Jose, there were these two guys in a secluded area of the parking lot involved in some activity that involved a small blow torch in close proximity to their faces, who for some reason objected to my presence, when one approached me and presented a switch blade, I responded (rather awkwardly as ‘Gaston’ was in my backpack, dropping, unzipping and presenting was a bit of acrobatics that I don’t recommend under those conditions), however in this instance they decided it was their turn to be cowards – or, “…don’t’ bring a knife to a gun fight” – oh, Gaston has one of those nifty laser sights – way cool…

A few other bits to note (us gun nutz are sticklers for proper nomenclature), unless you are shooting a M1 or a few other (rather esoteric and historic) firearms, you don’t have a ‘clip’ - you have (with most semi auto pistols) a ‘detachable box magazine’

Where I live (when not ‘elsewhere’) rural NorCal, as such, it’s 28 miles in a straight line out my back door to the nearest ‘anything’ – road, house, ranch, whatever, we’re on the edge of ‘civilization’ as such is in NorCal, we’ve had large kitty sightings and I found one paw print between our house and our uphill neighbors (The Judge and The Nurse practitioner) – it was over 4” across and there were no other prints for 15’ feet in either direction, kitty was booking through…

And the odd bear (Hey Hon, bring out the Ruger….(44 Mag.))

The saddest thing is the deer (mostly fawns) that get hit by idiot drivers who then drive off and leave the crippled deer on the road, Gaston has helped more than a few.

1 comment:

  1. .45 huh? Good choice. Mine personal favorite handgun for carry is a Kimber of the same caliber. There's something to be said for sheer stopping power.

    Most days, my shooting is confined to shotguns, since I spend a rather large proportion of my spare time competing and practicing in trap, but I keep the handgun around just in case I might need it one day (which I hope, more than anything, I'll never need).

    I’d much rather be the one explaining why there is this dead body laying there than ‘be’ the body...

    One of the best lines I've ever heard for carrying a sidearm is this: "You don't shoot to kill... you shoot to stay alive".