Dad’s Cans

Note: I did not write this. I read it and felt the need to pass it along.

Dad's Cans

Dad’s Cans

I’ve carried them from my childhood home to my college dorm room, to the duplex I rented after graduation, to my first home and my second and now my third. They don’t take up much space.

We parked by the side of a dirt road and scrounged up two cans from the ditch. Daddy shot first: His blast obliterated the Pepsi can, leaving the top and bottom barely connected by a metal strip that would fail, despite my years of efforts to keep it together. I went next. It was the first time I’d ever pulled a trigger, and I almost missed the Budweiser can: Three pellet holes pocked the bottom half. We left the woods—but not without the targets.

That was the only shot I would ever share with my father, our only time afield with a gun. He died a few months later, unexpectedly. He never got the chance to buy me a gun. Instead, I carry our cans from place to place—for 41 years now—like the-embers from a fire. —T. Edward Nickens

Photograph by Dan Saelinger

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What If We Encouraged ‘Victims’ To Shoot Back?

This article was written by Fred Weinberg and originally published on Western Journalism.


Here is a scenario which should be food for thought in light of ISIS attacks in Paris and various nutcase shootings here in the United States.

What if some towlheaded representative of the religion of death stands up at a high school football playoff game with his weapon of choice—usually a Kalashnikov AK-47—and starts shooting? Only instead of the mass carnage they expect to wreak, one or two members of the crowd calmly reached into their waistband holsters, drew their Glock 26 semi automatic pistols and used two of their 10 rounds to double tap the shooter, aiming for center body mass? Or maybe their Kimber or their Sig Sauer?

In short, what would happen if one could reliably expect some of the “victims” to shoot back?

What if we stopped our government’s (at nearly all levels) obsession with gun control and started to encourage people to arm themselves, carry those weapons everywhere and use them in situations where it was called for?

Why do we automatically assume that we cannot trust law abiding Americans with their own defense?

Where is it written that we must depend on armed police to defend us in every situation?

Do you have any idea what might really happen if we removed every legal impediment to carrying a concealed weapon and, instead, encouraged it?

My guess is that we would have far fewer mass shootings because even terrorists don’t want to get their butts shot off.

Criminals and terrorists almost always go for the path of least resistance.

If there’s a better than even money chance that when you go into an arena and start shooting, someone who has some level of skill will shoot back, they might rethink their MO. At the very least, fewer people will get mowed down because when people shoot back, they will shorten the carnage.

Instead of being horrified by people who carry weapons, what if we should encourage it and assist in the training of those people?

I know that you have heard this before, but it is true: Criminals and terrorists really don’t care about gun laws. Only law abiding people do.

Did a single person shoot back in Paris?

Of course not. There is no right to bear arms for the French; and to own a gun, you need a hunting or sporting license which needs to be repeatedly renewed and requires a psychological evaluation. Kind of like the way Michael Bloomberg would like the United States to be.

As a result, when seconds counted, the police were only minutes away. And well over 120 law abiding citizens of France were shot dead. By people who knew they would face little or no opposition.

It all gets down to a matter of trust.

I actually trust my fellow citizens to do the right thing.

Our government and the French government do not. They both think that if nobody has guns, there will be no gun violence.

How’s that working out for us?

What if, here in the United States, we simply changed our attitude? What if we accepted the obvious fact that what we are doing is simply not working?

What if we eliminated all legal impediments to concealed weapons and allowed citizens to defend themselves and each other?

Would gun violence increase or decrease?

I’m betting that the more guns there are, the less violence there will be.

And I’d like to know from the Brady campaign just how many more people have to die before they will discover the flaw in their thinking?

Skinning a Deer with an Air Compressor

Many hunting enthusiasts relish everything about the hunt: the strategy, patience and ultimate reward of achieving success. Skinning, however, usually isn’t at the top of hunters’ lists as the hobby’s more enjoyable activities. It can get messy and be time-consuming. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy cost-effective solution that made one of hunting’s more unenviable tasks a lot easier? Good news: there is.

What even some savvy hunters don’t know is that an air compressor can be their new go-to tool for skinning deer. Although it may sound odd, skinning a deer with an air compressor is simple and quick, requiring a mere five steps. Here’s how to get started:

1. Hang your deer by its antlers or back legs, securing the deer so that the air compressor’s force doesn’t tip it over or cause a mess. The back legs are probably the safer bet, as antlers could potentially be slippery from weather or erosion.

2. Cut a small hole using a knife in the deer’s thigh, just big enough to fit the air compressor’s nozzle. Then, insert the air compressor into this hole. If you messed up a bit and made the hole too big, no worries; just put a cloth around the nozzle to make it super tight.

3. When you turn on the compressor once the nozzle is in the hole, the compressor pumps air under the deer’s skin and effectively separates it from the sought-after meat. This savvy trick can save a substantial amount of meat compared to traditional skinning methods.

4. After the third step, feel around the deer’s skin for loose parts or “air bubbles”. If some parts remain stuck, just cut another hole and repeat steps two and three as needed. Deer vary in size and athletic shape so the number of times you do it over may vary, but it should be clear when it’s ready to proceed to skinning the deer.

5. Now you’re ready to skin the deer. Cut the skin along the back legs using a knife, with the remainder being already loose from the compressor, allowing one to pull and peel the skin downward. If some spots are stuck, just use your knife.

There you have it: a perfectly skinned deer with no unused meat. Using an air compressor to skin a deer is fast, easy and mostly mess-free. It’s a strategy that any hunter can consider.

How to Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor

How to Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor

ARDEC Developing New Method To Give Added Power, Range To Artillery

If, in the words of Napoleon, “God fights on the side with the best artillery,” Picatinny Arsenal engineers are improving artillery to the point that there should be no doubt as to which side should be favored.

The research team seeks to extend the range, power and versatility of artillery by using an “electrically-responsive” method to control energetic materials such as artillery propellants.

“Electrically-responsive” means that the materials are controlled by electricity. “Energetic materials” are items such as explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics.

“If you can control the burn rate and energy output of a propellant with electric voltage, this opens a whole new capability,” explained David Thompson, a chemical engineer and member of the research team.

“Right now, we’re considering it (electrically-responsive energetics) for rocket propellants found in extended range artillery rounds.”

Thompson and his fellow researchers work at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal. ARDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

The Army uses artillery rounds that have two different types of motors for their extended range propellants.

“One is called the base bleed motor, which gets some extended range over a normal round and burns right out of gun,” said Thompson. “The other is a rocket assist motor, which doesn’t burn until it gets the top of its flight, before it boosts and increases the velocity of the projectile.

“With electric voltage, you could use one motor that does both,” Thompson added. “You could create a low-voltage, right out of the gun, and get that base-bleed effect, and then hit it with a high voltage and get the rocket-assist effect, ultimately increasing the range over that which either motor can provide on its own.”

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