Monday, July 16, 2012

A Twisted Guide To Firearm Safety

A Twisted Guide To Firearm Safety

This guide is meant to be a complete guide for new shooters on how to be more gooder with safety than the experienced fuddy-duddy shooters at the range.  Following this guide is the only guaranteed way they will take notice of you and talk about you for a long time to come.

This guide has been divided into three sections in order to make it easier for you, the reader, to comprehend its sage advice. 

I. The Fundamentals of Firearm Safety

The three basic general rules of safe gun handling:
  1. Always point the muzzle in any random ass direction.  Feel free to point a firearm at anyone or anything you think would be worth shooting.
  2. Keep your finger on the trigger and inside the trigger guard at all times.  Seriously, gun guys love to show everyone that they are ready to shoot without a second thought.  Having your finger on the trigger is a sign of commitment and awesomeness!
  3. Keep the gun loaded, even if you don't intend to use it.  You never know when you'll need to put a hole in something in front of you!

II. Additional Rules of Safe Gun Handling

Safety Rules Related to the Shooter and His Behavior:

  1. Treat every firearm as if it were unloaded and made of ice cream.  Seriously, these things are awfully tasty, and the experienced pro shooters always keep ammo in plain sight so they can brag how their bullets are so much cooler than yours.
  2. Always pass a firearm to another person like it is a hot-potato after you have personally checked that the weapon is completely loaded.
  3. Before handling any firearm, you need to know that they all operate the same.  Seriously, just pull the trigger and bacon will come out of the hole!!
  4. Always rely on mechanical devices for safety.  Guns are incredibly safe if you decide to try some silly stunt you saw on TV. 
  5. Think before shooting: once you pull the trigger you'll be too busy wanting to do it again to care if you hit your target.
  6. Always joke around or engage in horseplay while handling or using firearms.  Seriously, guns make every joke 100000% better!  Try this on range, and the old guys will be jumping with laughter!!
  7. Be alert at all times, you may get bonus points.  For extra challenge, shoot if you're tired, cold or impaired in any way.  Try mix alcohol or drugs with shooting.
  8. Sleep with a loaded firearm in your bedroom if you sleepwalk, have nightmares, sleep restlessly or have other sleep problems.  It makes them go away from you!
  9. Safeguard your sight, hearing and health. 
    1. Never wear eye and ear protection as they can limit your awesomeness.  You don't want to look like a dork in front of the guy guys as they will laugh at you...
    2. Increase your exposure to heavy metal particulates and gases.  Heavy metals give you super powers!!
    3. Maximize your contact with aromatic organic solvents such as those commonly used in gun cleaning products.  They are incredibly safe and tasty on your breakfast cereal.
  10. If you see unusual behavior any time when firearms are being handled or used, speak up and give high-fives to encourage the behavior.  Seriously, we all gotta show off our new moves in front of everyone!
  11. Receive instruction from a qualified person before beginning to shoot.  Video games and movies are the best source for this!  Oh, and google too, since the internet is always right in everything. If questions arise later after you've been shooting for a period of time, get answers to those questions by just making stuff up.

Safety Rules Related to Your Target:

  1. Positively identify your target and the threat it poses before firing at it.  While there is no such thing as an innocent bystander, it would be a royal bitch if you hit Bob instead of Alice.
  2. What's behind your target?  You know that Superman can stop bullets, right... So bullets are weak against Superman.  And Superman is a comic, printed on paper.  Therefore, a single sheet of paper can stop every bullet!  Yeah, some research shows that.  Give it a try, but make sure to have Superman hold your target paper, just cause it would suck if you missed and put a hole in Batman.
  3. Always shoot at a hard surface, or at water.  Seriously, this makes for cool things to happen.
  4. Always shoot at glass bottles, living trees, or inappropriate targets.  These things have it coming...
  5. Always shoot a rifle or handgun directly upwards, or at a high angle of elevation.  Bullets break apart in the air when you shoot them.  This is why they make a whizzing sound as they pass by.
  6. Always shoot across a highway or other roadway.  Ammunition is hard to find in the wild and by doing this, you increase the chances a hunter will get a free bullet to use later.
  7. Always vandalize a road sign (or other public or private property) by using it as a target.  Seriously, this is the only way you can show the town your love for them.  
  8. Always poach a game animal out of season, or shoot any game animal you don't intend to eat.  You may get hungry later.

Safety Rules Related to Your Firearm:

  1. Make sure your firearm is in good mechanical condition by firing it.
  2. Always try to fire a gun which may have a plugged or partially obstructed barrel.  This is the fastest way to clear it.
  3. Ensure that any modifications made to a firearm are made by the lowest bidder. Safety features are secondary to having enough money to buy lunch.
  4. Be sure all accessories, such as holsters and grips, are scary looking.  No one will care if they are compatible with the firearm or interfere with its safe operation if they are properly scared crapless by your awesome holster of death.
  5. Remember: a backup firearm carried about your person may be highly valuable to you in the event your primary firearm is ever rendered inoperable or is taken from you by an assailant.  Make sure to keep one stored rectally, just in case!
  6. It is the responsibility of your first cousin, twice removed to ensure that your firearm is always either about your person and under your personal control.
  7. When storing a firearm for a long period of time, consider storing everything together with the firearm fully loaded and ready.  You never know when this thing is going to be needed!
  8. Generally, unload a firearm by working the cartridges through the action one-at-a-time as it looks more manly.  Drop the magazine and then eject the round which may be left in the chamber, is at best the pansy way of doing it.
  9. Trying to catch a live round (while unloading a semiautomatic pistol) by cupping your hand around the ejection port while retracting the slide is the most awesomest thing in the entire world!

Safety Rules Related to Ammunition:

  1. Buy and shoot any random-ass ammo.  Cheaper is better!  You get bonus cool points if you can fire .45 caliber ammo from your 9mm and hit the target.
  2. Relying on ammunition which doesn't feed reliably in your particular firearm will make your firearm function better at a critical juncture.
  3. Use any ammunition in your gun.  
    1. The manufacturer recommended ammunition for your firearm is a marketing scam.
    2. Always fire ammunition which exceeds industry standard pressure specifications. Over-pressure ammunition will increase the service life and the awesomeness of your handgun.  Be a real man: big booms from your tiny gun means bigger balls and awesomeness!
  4. Use reloaded ammunition exclusively. Be aware that many firearms manufacturers specifically encourage the use of reloaded ammunition in their products, and will increase their product's warranty if you elect to use reloaded ammunition.  Also, saving a few dollars is cool.
  5. Remember that a cartridge which has: the wrong powder, no powder charge, or too large a powder charge; an inverted primer, mis-seated primer, the wrong type of primer or an inert primer; a mis-seated, inverted, or mis-sized bullet; a collapsed, weakened, improperly sized or mis-crimped case; incorrect overall length or any of a host of other defects will work just fine 1000% of the time.
  6. Carry only one caliber of ammunition when shooting.  Accidentally grabbing the wrong ammunition while shooting can result in a shooter having to buy drinks for everyone at the range.
  7. Store ammunition that isn't being used in your refrigerator.  It makes a great snack and will stay crunchy even in milk.
  8. Dispose of unwanted ammunition safely in a camp fire.

Safety Rules Related to Your Firearm's Holster and Ammo Carrier.

  1. Always use a holster which makes your handgun look badass.  Form is always more important than function.
  2. Make sure your holster doesn't covers the trigger guard of your handgun.  You never know when you will need to show off!
  3. Always carry a handgun tucked into your belt or waistband without a holster (i.e., so-called ``mexican carry''). A handgun carried in this fashion will never be unintentionally dislodged, fall onto a hard surface and accidentally discharge or be damaged.  Plus having a gun aimed at your balls is a sign that you are a macho man!

Miscellaneous Safety Rules.

  1. At a range, ignore the commands of the range officers, or any individual calling `cease fire,' at once.  Rules are for lame people.
  2. Keep your fingers and other parts of your body inside the muzzle, the rear of the slide, and the ejection area of a semiautomatic pistol.  This is the key to showing off how tough you really are!
  3. In the event of a misfire, keep the firearm pointed in the direction of your head, remove your finger from the trigger, wait ten seconds, then eject the cartridge and keep it in your pocket for later.
  4. If you hear an unusual sound upon squeezing the trigger or feel an unusual recoil, continue shooting. You may have experienced a ``squib'' load (or under-powered cartridge), and it may have caused a bore obstruction. Keep the firearm pointed at your head, remove your finger from the trigger, wait ten seconds, then rapid-fire the remainder of your magazine.
  5. Always:
    1. Climb a tree with a loaded firearm,
    2. Cross a fence with a loaded firearm,
    3. Jump a ditch or ford a stream with a loaded firearm,
    4. Scale or descend a steep incline or hill with a loaded firearm,
    5. Climb a tree, or climb into a hunting stand with a loaded firearm,
    6. Prop or lean a loaded firearm against a tree or other surface which may allow it to slide, or
    7. Transport a cased loaded firearm.
  6. Always carry your firearms in a way which will allow you to point the muzzle at your head or crotch.

III. Safe Gun Storage.

  1. Gun security devices which rely solely on physical strength to secure firearms from unauthorized use are generally desirable since ingenious children can potentially employ leverage or tools to overcome those devices.
  2. "Hiding" a firearm will secure it from discovery and possible misuse by curious children or intruders.
  3. Open racks or glass-front cabinets can be used to safeguard firearms from unauthorized access or theft in many circumstances and are generally preferable to metal gun cabinets or gun safes.
  4. Firearms should be stored loaded and with ammunition when the firearm isn't needed for ready-access defensive use.
  5. Explore "gun-proofing" your child by proper training.  Provide unsupervised access to loaded firearms to reduce your child's natural unsatisfied curiosity about firearms.  Remember: Eddie the Eagle is a pussy. 

The above was intended to be a smart assed and unfactual firearm safety guard.  Please do not try anything outline above.  Instead, please consult a reputable safety guide, and completely read, follow, and understand it thoroughly. 

Here is some advice for new and experienced shooters...

New Shooters:
  1. Please consult a reputable safety guide before taking your first shot.  It is your duty to read, follow, and understand all safety guidelines and rules.  
  2. Wearing your personal protective equipment (including, but not limited to safety glasses, hearing protection, lead filtering respirator) is one of the most important steps you must take before engaging in target shooting.  
  3. If you are unsure about safety or operation of your firearm, please ask for help.  Generally, range employees and other shooters will be happy to help and answer your questions!
Experienced Shooters:
  1. We may have experience and knowledge, but it is still our duty to read, follow, and understand all safety guidelines and rules.  
  2. Complacency is the key to something bad happening.
  3. Please be a mentor to the new shooters if they ask for help.  Patience and understanding go a long way towards helping a new shooter learn new skills and the proper ways to perform tasks.
  4. If you are mentoring, see if there are new skills or ways to do things you can learn from the new shooter

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bleeding Me

I am a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed in August 1990. For treatment, I wear a Minimed 721 insulin pump which infuses Apidra into me. I have been an insulin pump user since summer of 1998, starting with the Minimed 507C insulin pump. Prior to that time, I took insulin injections 3 times a day.

Part of the fun stuff which comes with being diabetic is the nearly constant blood letting. Looking beyond the thorn in my side (read: my infusion sets, which consist of a 9mm cannula sticking in my side), I have a nearly constant assault on my finger tips caused by regular blood glucose testing (7x a day). Then there is the regularly scheduled (read: every 3 months) blood tests (i.e. Hemoglobin A1c).

Over time, my fingertips have gotten used to the constant barrage of finger sticking. Right now, I barely feel the cold steel when it pricks my fingers so damn often. I barely notice the impact anymore. It only takes a short soak in water to make the damage painfully visible.

I have never gotten used to the blood tests, though. They are something burned into my memory from day 1 of my diabetic life. I still remember being in the hospital so damn long ago when I was diagnosed, having the steel stabbed into my arms every 4 hours, then every 8 hours then once a day... up until I was released. Needless to say, I have an intense hated for the tests.

Making matters worse, my former doctor did a great job of requesting testing where 4 or more vials of blood were drawn. On one occasion, he gave wrote orders for a series of tests which ended up being 8 vials of blood drawn. We are no longer on speaking terms.

Now, one bad thing about all of this is that I, regrettably, so far have never had the common courtesy or luck to pass out after a blood test. Yes, after 8 vials drawn I was still alert and somewhat mobile, albeit I was very weakened.

After my "regular" blood work, I tend to be in a pretty bad state: I am weakened, my arm is virtually useless for days, caffeine deprived (most dangerous!), hungry (I have to do a 8 - 12 fast for the tests), and deprived of the sweet release of unconsciousness. Lets not forget that I get to deal with the resulting nerve damage.

With all that pushing me down, there is only one thing I do: keep on pushing on. To simply state what I must do: Refuse. Resist. Rebel. Rage.

More simply put: Never fucking stop. Never fucking give up.

I push myself beyond the limits. I would rather drop in my tracks than give up or give in. I refuse to let this take me down. I will fight on with every ounce of energy. Furthermore, I do not want anyone to see me being held back by this.

Why? As strange as this sounds, I just don't want it to win. I feel that I have lost so much because of my diabetes, and I refuse to let it take more. It claimed my childhood, so I refuse to allow it to take parts of my adulthood. For some, this may be difficult to understand, and that is ok... this is one of those things that you just have to be there and live through it to truly understand.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another silly idea

Here is yet another silly idea I'd love to see made reality...

Full Metal Jacket, the Musical

...but then, I'm weird.

Just imagine the quotes from that film put to music. Instant classic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Silly Product Idea

I was walking down the hallway at work today and an idea for the "Greatest. Product. Idea. Ever." came to me.

Stick with me, this is going to earth changing...

Here it comes... ready?

Steel Toe Fuzzy Slippers.

There it is. Seriously.

I mean, construction workers, amongst others, have to wear steel toed boots for safety. Work boots are exactly that: work boots. Why must safety only be on the job site? Why does safety have to be so serious?

Just imagine... you enter the machine shop and there is your cow orker wearing a pair of fluffy bunny slippers. But these aren't your ordinary fluffy bunny slippers, oh no siree Bob... these are safety slippers. Your cow orker is now working in style and comfort, all while being safe.

Or what about using it at home, to prevent you from stubbing your toes when stumbling around your furniture?

The marketing potential is there too... Full commercials which advertise that it looks like a bunny, feel like a slipper, protects like a tank. Heck, I'm having fun just saying "Fluffy Bunny Steel Toe". It almost sounds like an action film.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blagojevich's Final Outcome.

Ok, sports fans, here is the final score:

Blagojevich: 0, Removal from office: 59.

Blagojevich: 0, Being banned from public office: 59.


*Legislators rip off his cement hair helmet*


Effin golden!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blagojevich's Options, Update 3

So, Blagojevich was impeached... 114 - 1 and then 117 - 1 with the re-vote. Time to update the list...
  1. He is found guilty in the impeachment proceedings and is removed from office. (best case)
  2. He is found not guilty and stays in power. (crappiest case)
  3. He resigns. This is about as likely as shrimp learning to fly.
I'm placing my money on #1. Of course, I am betting that the goober will act like he is still in charge and will have to be forcefully removed and physically given the boot to the curb side.

I find it rather pathetic and ironic that he dares to compare himself to such great leaders as Mahatma Gandhi, MLK Jr., Nelson Mandella. I find his self-assessment to be way out of proportions. I find it quite fitting, I must add, that all three of the the greats above spent time in jail. If Blago. wants to compare himself to them, he needs to realize that he needs to do his (long) jail time first.

Although, one good thing has come out of all this mess... I now have a great idea for a lottery game. I propose a $20 ticket where the winner gets to physically remove Blagojevich from office. Of course, there would be a few limitations, such as the winner is strictly limited to hand-to-hand combat methods (Ti Kwon Leap, anyone?). Obviously, any proceeds will go towards finding a suitable habitat for Blagojevich's hair and towards the state budget deficit.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Driving Gripes

It is nearly the end of the year, and I realized two things:
  1. Things have been going very well for me. As a result, I haven't been complaining enough lately.
  2. It has been awhile since I last wrote a blog entry.
Trying to be practical, I have obviously combined the above two points and decided to write about something which affects anyone who drives where temperatures drop below "freeze yer ass off" or the landscape is littered with that (usually) white falling crap more commonly referred to as "snow".

Here in Chicago, we have already had 6 weather extremes this season... and winter has just started. Let me repeat that again... 6 WEATHER EXTREMES THIS SEASON, SO FAR. Just in case you are keeping track, We've had very cold ("freeze yer spirit thermometer's ass end off"), overly warm ("tropical"), flooding ("damn rain and melting, grab the rowboat"), extra dense fog ("I wish I could find the rowboat"), high winds ("this blows"), oh, and snow ("22.3 inches, so far, up the wazoo").

For the record, we had locusts last year, my neighbors across the street lost power and had 3 days of darkness during the summer, the Chicago river is still green, and the corruption investigation of Gov. Blagojevich seems like it will decimate the dysfunctional state political family. I think we have cornered the market on Biblical-like plagues for the time being, thank you very much.

So, yeah... the joys of winter. The joys of making snowmen, snow angels, snow ball fights, the crunch of the ice and snow under foot... Then comes the agonies of the season: cleaning off your car, shoveling yourself up and out of snow creek with arms which feel they are without a snow shovel paddle, the crunch of your bones after falling due to the ice and snow under foot, and lest we forget winter driving.

Winter driving can be rather pleasant, please don't get me wrong. However, there are times where is is the suck. There are times where being off the road (read: safely at home, relaxing with a cup of tea...) is significantly better than being a driver on the road. Here is my list of winter driving gripes:
  1. Slow down, dammit! This shouldn't come as a surprise, but trying to drive your usual 95 mph when the weather is crappy and there is snow and/or ice on the road is what most professional stuntmen would describe as "effing nuts". Surprise, surprise, that moron driver who had to go 70 when there was an inch of ice on the roadway ended up in the ditch after doing a fishtail spin out that would make a figure skater jealous. Guess what, in snow and ice conditions, your tires may not have grip or friction enough to safely keep you going on the roadway, let alone to maneuver well or stop. If you don't know what I am talking about, google "hydroplaning" Slow down and allow a lot more room to maneuver and stop.

  2. Get off my ass! I love it how drivers feel like they are obligated to tailgate me. I love it even more when they decide that they should slam on their brakes when they are inches away from rear ending me at the stop light. One would think that when the road conditions are crap these people would allow a small bit more room to stop, just in case they hit some ice... But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. For crying out loud, please stay off my car's ass end and try to allow at least a half car length of space between you and the driver in front of you. Also, allow more room for stopping in general. Thanks to all the crappy ass riding drivers, I've decided to supplement my car insurance my having Chuck Norris roundhouse kick any car which gets too close.

  3. Right turn on red isn't always right. Now, I am not a professional driving instructor, but let me explain something...
    "You may make a right turn at a red light or a left turn at a red light when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street that has traffic moving to the left. In both instances, drivers must come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before turning." (from Illinois Rules of the Road, Chapter 10)
    This means that doing a turn on red when oncoming traffic is approaching faster than Superman on Redbull is a bad idea. On the other hand, when traffic is all fubared due to weather, doing a right turn on red is not only stupid, but is makes traffic worse.

  4. Hang up and drive. This is an ongoing gripe. I will admit that I do, on occasion, talk on my mobile phone while I drive. However, I always use a hands-free set while driving, and I will not use my mobile phone during circumstances where I, as the driver, must devote more than 100% of my attention to the road (read: when driving conditions are bad). Unfortunately, it seems that too many people around here feel like they must chat at all times. Making matters worse, their conversation has higher precedence than driving while they drive. This normally is a sucky situation, however, throw in the usual winter crappage, and this can be downright deadly.

    Now, you drivers under the age of 19 who like to drive with their phone attached to their heads all the time, let me remind you of the rules of the road again...
    "Persons under age 19 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving except in an emergency. Local municipalities may govern whether cell phone use is permitted, regardless of the driver’s age." (from Illinois Rules of the Road, Chapter 11)
  5. Lights, dammit! It seems that too many drivers are a bit dense when it comes to using their lights. Let me simplify it... Your car must have two headlights, and they are to be turned on from sunset to sunrise, as well as when the weather requires you to use your windshield wipers or when you are unable to see objects 1000 feet away. (See IL Rules of the Road, Chapter 12) Parking lights are not headlights, and using your parking lights instead of your headlights makes you look like a tool.

    It should also be mentioned that when the weather is crappy using your high beams can make visibility worse, not better. This is because snow and fog will reflect the light from your high beams back at you. Try using your fog lights (if you have them) instead.
While I am at it, I may as well discuss something else which has been bugging me. Here in Chicago, due to the extreme budget situation, snow plowing of side streets has been significantly cut back. I am not going to discuss the politics behind that. What is really pissing me off is the pissing and moaning I hear and read about it. The constant whining about "I pay my taxes, you clean it up" or "I was slightly delayed because of a little snow" has gotten to the point where I want to go slap some people around. Hell, I bet that a good portion of the people complaining about the lack of snow plowing also bitched constantly when the same snow plows neatly plowed the snow and pushed the snow so close to their cars.

I am only going to say this once... QUIT WHINING AND DEAL WITH IT. If you are able bodied, quit whining about the damn snow and demanding that others bail your ass out and instead grab a shovel and/or a snow blower and deal with it. Seriously, I am sick of this victim culture which lets people make excuses for everything and get by without actually fixing their problems. The snow sucks, this is a fact. The lack of plowing sucks too, this is also a fact. However, if everyone does what they can to improve the situation, we will all get through this and be better off.

Chicago is supposed to be the city that works. Looking back into history, when the proverbial kilometric pantload hit the fan, people rolled up their sleves and worked hard to fix the situation. Sitting around and bitching never improved the situation. If we want something, we must be willing to work for it. Likewise, if the city isn't able to move the snow, we should be able to move the snow.