Army Marksmanship Training Makes Another Acknowledgement of the Real World
Just received word that our Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) training will be making another change to better reflect the realities of the modern battlefield. We're getting rid of what the Army calls the foxhole supported position, where the soldier stands in a foxhole, with his elbows supported on the ground and the rifle resting on sandbags. This position is currently used for grouping, zeroing, and the first portion of daylight qualification.
This was useful when we were training to fight the Red Army in central Europe. Our troops were training to fight on the defense, and would be expected to be firing from foxholes often. That's not the case anymore. Our troops are shooting from just about every position except that one.
So, the foxhole supported will be replaced, in training and qualification, by the prone supported position, i.e. prone on the ground, with the front of the rifle resting on sandbags. Kneeling position, unsupported, will also be taught.
Democrats Against Election Integrity
Via Spoons (to whom I apoligize for the temporarily missing link, because I can't get to his site at work), I found this FoxNews bit:
Democratic lawmakers in Georgia and Indiana walked off the job this week to protest a bill that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls, saying the proposal represents a return to the days of Jim Crow. Republicans argue that the bill would restore voter confidence and eliminate fraud without burdening voters, most of whom already have photo IDs. But Indiana Democrat Gregory Porter says is designed to "break the spirit of the homeless. It's to break the spirit of the have-nots."
Apparently, to the party that brought us Governor-Select Gregoire and the King County election fiasco, requiring a voter at a polling station to verify his or her identity is the equivalent of poll taxes, voter tests, and indimidation of voters through physical violence and/or the threat thereof. Oh, and nevermind that race has nothing to do with this.
And "break the spirit of the homeless. It's to break the spirit of the have-nots." Um, this is American. Most of the poor in this country have drivers licenses, or at least some form of ID, usually issued by the DMV. Last I checked, it was kind of tough to get a job, or at least, a legal one, without one. And there's nothing stopping the homeless from getting an ID of their very own, either.
The Democrats like to say that they want every vote to count. Apparently this includes potentially fraudulent ones, as well. To me, even requiring voters to show ID doesn't go far enough. Here's what I'd do, if I were in charge, in addition to requiring ID:
-Require proof of citizenship when registering to vote. This means showing either a birth certificate showing you were born in the United States, or naturalization papers if you earned your citizenship that way. Your local Registrar of Voters would be required to check voter names to eliminate those with felony convictions from the rolls.
-Make it harder to get an absentee ballot. This would mean requiring some sort of proof that a voter cannot physically make it to his assigned polling place, and such proof must be provided to the Registrar of Voters/Election Office far enough in advance so that the voter can receive the ballot and mail in back in time. If you're using an absentee ballot because actually going to a specified place, within a specified time frame, is too inconveinient for you, in my mind, you don't deserve to vote. Voting is a serious responsibility. If a little inconvienience is enough to stop you from voting, you're not taking that responsibility seriously enough. I say this as someone who has voted absentee since 1997-my assignment to Ft Lewis this summer will be taking me home, and I look forward to casting my vote in person for the first time in many years.
Mail-in ballots are also pretty much the easiest way to commit vote fraud, since there is no way to prove that the legally registered voter is actually the person who filled out the ballot. This is another reason why their use should be reduced not expanded, like Oregon has done, and Washington is looking at doing.
The Blue Star Flag Goes Up on April 18th
My wife has (finally) received her orders. She will fly to Camp Roberts, CA, on 17 April, and on 18 April Mrs. HL will be mobilized as Sergeant L, civil affairs specialist. Expected arrival at the big Two-Way Livefire Range (Iraq) should be end of May to the first half of June.
For those of you who wondered why I didn't volunteer for an assignment to CENTCOM, this is why. We've known this was coming for a few months now, but I wasn't going to say anything until she actually got the orders.
Who Our True Allies Are
Kevin at Smallest Minority links to this WaTimes Op-Ed by the Ambassador from Albania.
I agree with Kevin's choice for the money quote:
The difference between the United States and the Islamic terrorists is this: The terrorists export death. The Americans export freedom.
Albania was, last time I checked, the poorest country in Europe. During the Cold War, Albania was ruled by a Maoist dictator, Envir Hoxha (sp?), whose paranoia was on a level with the Kims of North Korea.
I spent three months in 1999 at Tirana-Rinas airport in 1999 during Operation Noble Anvil, the Kosovo bombing campaign, and saw some of the results of this paranoia firsthand. The entire airfield was covered with rows on mushroom shaped one man pillboxes, all facing the exact same direction, like concrete soldiers on some giant parade field. They were useless militarily, but I guess they made Mr Hoxha feel good.
I'm sure Albania hasn't become Peoria since I left. They've still got problems with cross-border smuggling into Kosovo and Macedonia. I'm sure they still have problems with drug smuggling-one of their army units got into a running gunbattle with drug runners right outside our perimeter while I was there. And I'm sure they still have a bunch of blood fueds running among the various clans in the country. Plenty of things, in other words, to keep their troops occupied. But they have seen fit to send 120 of their best troops to Iraq, to help bring liberty and democracy to that country.
France, are you paying attention? We know who our true friends are. And you're not on the list.
What They Said
Gunner at No Quarters links to this post at Eternity Road, which asks the question:
Why? Why should the State, which institution has more bloodshed to its credit in a single century than private parties have amassed down all the ages of Man, have the power to decree some men and some weapons licit while others are not? How can the State, which ceaselessly strives to increase its power over the individual, justify forbidding the individual to arm himself against both State excesses and private predations? And how can anyone who understands the immense danger the State poses to human well-being bless its usurpation of this all-important privilege?
Gunner further notes that while while several studies, intended, we're sure, to prove that gun control actually accomplishes something, anything, worthwhile, have thus far failed to show any gun control law that has had a positive effect on crime, that no studies have been done to see if there is any negative effects.
Of course, a quick look at the crime rates in DC, Chicago, and NYC is about all you need.
Sorry, but my Inner Smart Ass Can't Resist
Me & my AK-47.
Fairly decent, factual article in from the Pittsburg Tribune-Gazette about what exactly a person has to do to buy a Kalishniklone in Pennsylvania. The writer has an agenda, that it's too easy, but refrains from the usual spoutings of the Brady Campaign lines about how evil "assault weapons" are. But buried within the article was this thoroughly ridiculous paragraph:
Even this one, a semiautomatic rifle developed for Soviets tank crews to kill from a mile away. Joe Dominick, Allegheny County’s chief deputy coroner, said shots from an AK-47 inflict trauma all over the body. The bullet can blow through several body parts, cutting through a hand to the torso through the other hand. And rarely is an AK-47 fired just once.
It's just so crazy that I have to take it apart. Let's do this one sentence at a time:
Even this one, a semiautomatic rifle developed for Soviets tank crews to kill from a mile away.
Well, the AK was designed by a Soviet tank mechanic, and she may have been looking at a folding stock version, which were made for tank crews and paratroops, though she doesn't say so. But "kill from a mile away?" Not even the mutant offspring of the second comings of Annie Oakley and Carlos Hathcock is going to reliably hit anything smaller than, say, Manhattan, from a mile away with an AK.
Joe Dominick, Allegheny County’s chief deputy coroner, said shots from an AK-47 inflict trauma all over the body.
So can a .22LR. It's called hitting the target all over their body.
The bullet can blow through several body parts, cutting through a hand to the torso through the other hand.
OK, so what? Your grandfather's .30-06 deer rifle will do all that and still have enough left over to kill the guy standing on the other side of the target. And you can get semi-auto .30-06s from the government, even.
And rarely is an AK-47 fired just once.
Newsflash: unless you're a sniper or a hunter, almost nobody fires any firearm just once. Whether it's an Olympic target shooter putting holes in paper, or a cop putting holes in a Bryco wielding gang-banger, any gun will almost always be fired more than once.
OK, I've got it out of my system. You can all go about your day.
Life Without Coffee Sucks
I have an appointment (quite overdue, actually) for a physical exam. Required because I'm 30. And yes, I think that means I get to meet Dr. Jellyfingers. But that's not the point of this post.
They told me to avoid coffee, or anything with caffeince, so they can get an accurate reading on my blood pressure. So no coffee for me since Sunday afternoon.
I'll admit it. I'm a caffeine junky. One of the things I love about Ft Lewis is the part of the year where the weather is cool enough to drink coffee is much longer.
Come to think of it, maybe lack of caffeine is why I've had a headache since last night.
Ma Deuce's Diary, 28 March 2005
Princeton soldier involved in Iraqi firefight