AR15s – Buy them. Buy them now.

From this thread at TheFalFiles: AR Pistol? Tempted by PSA Pricing

I saw this comment below in response to the quoted question and had to put it on the blog. This gentleman hits the nail on the head. AR’s have never been cheaper, and most likely, will never be more expensive then after Trump leaves office.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaman View Post

I’ve recently become curious about AR pistols or short barrel rifles. I’ve never shot one nor do i particularly have a use for one.

Anyone care to explain why I should scratch this itch? Or am I better to just ignore this particular temptation?

When has “having a use for one” ever been a prerequisite? Why should you scratch this itch, you ask?

AR’s right now, from PSA anyway (and you can get them cheaper, a little, if you’re willing to do chicom stuff) are selling for pretty much what they were in the mid/late 1980’s. Maybe 1990, but whatever. From the time when minimum wage was $3.35 an hour and it would have cost you two and a half weeks worth of pay to get one. These ARE the good old days of ARdom. PSA’s offerings are the $89 Imbel kits of today. TAPCO $1 aluminum metric mags. Century $.05 cent a round delivered Indian x51 with a free CETME bayonet. Burns Brothers $129 M39’s. $59 Albanian SKS’s from AIM. $150 Ballestar Rigaud’s from whoever the hell sold them. Get what I’m saying here?

Buy one. Buy one today. Don’t wait, don’t cry later because you didn’t and now you can’t. If you have a good FFL that does multiple transfers for one fee, buy a few lowers at once when they’re $30 a pop and split the cost of the transfer. Other places usually have better deals on the receivers when you factor in shipping. Buy a $259 or $269 kit when PSA runs their deals, and they almost always have a sub $300 pistol kit on their daily deal. Put it together, no special tools required as long as you have some sort of $3 punch and the back side of a drill bit to help hold a detent or two in place. Order a $22 red dot from Amazon. Put a couple drops of oil on the bolt and along the charging handle slot and go turn some money into noise at the local range.

If you hate it, you can sell it and be out almost nothing for your effort. If you like it, and I bet you will, you can get a better dot/optic after you read some reviews/think about what you’re willing to spend on something you don’t really have a use for. My guess, actually my hope, is the only real use you’ll ever have for it is to put high speed holes in paper or pop cans or balloons or film canisters filled with flour or punkins/watermelons, or ping steel plates. But that’s use enough for me, even if one usually does ride around with me just in case.

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That post is fantastically written.

At MINIMUM you should be snapping up lower receivers to build future AR’s off. Anderson Lowers are extremely nice and going for $40 a pop pretty much everywhere. I built the Wife’s AR Pistol off one and it was superb. $200 bucks will get you five of them.

But don’t forget the magazines. PSA(Palmetto State Armory) has a lot of deals on Magpul PMAGS which are also fantastic and set the bar for gun magazines. A lot of times you can buy an optic or ammo and get ten magazines for next to nothing. The last Vortex Optic I bought was a Strikefire II, it came with ten magazines for less than $200 bucks.  Since the Optic usually goes for $180, I got ten mags for $2 each. That’s a steal when they go for $12 normally. Oh, and that was with free shipping.

Praise Jesus and Pew Pew!

Happy 4th of July! (The holiest of freedom’s holidays)

As a kid, our tradition was to go to the range today.

Because what better way to celebrate our independence day than by shooting guns?

Just like those upstart colonial farmers did when they picked up their rifles and went to work. And by ‘went to work’ I mean defeated the greatest military force in the world.

Because they were. At the time, the British owned so much real estate that the sun never set on their empire. In the previous 100 year’s they’d smoke checked the Spanish and French. They ruled the high seas. They had vast resources and funds at their disposal.

Until April 19th, 1775… when the main body of the Massachusetts militia led by Captain John Parker intercepted British troops in Lexington on the way to confiscate colonial weaponry and uttered the famous words, “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

And thus, the bloodied birth of the greatest nation to ever exist began.

And it IS the greatest nation. The entirety of the history of human civilization has been one of misery, suffering, oppression, slavery, tyranny, dictatorship. The many governed by the powerful and ruthless few . Kind of what these collectivists (communists/socialists/’ists’) want for us now.

So you wanna be a Communist in America, eh Comrade?

Then a group of selfless men banded together, with the intent on creating something that had never been tried before. The many governing themselves. A Republic.

NOT a Democracy. Any politician who says the word Democracy doesn’t deserve to be in office..

Quick lesson.

Both a Democracy and a Republic elect people to represent and protect their interests. However, in a Democracy, the majority rules. The 51 govern the 49 without constraint or cares for the 49 wishes. So, whenever a politician says we have a Democracy, what they are saying is that those with power rule those without. The minority has no rights. In a Republic, laws are made under the constraints of a constitution which protects the rights of the minority. As in, the power of the majority is limited. Certain rights are deemed ‘”inalienable” and thus cannot be touched by anyone, regardless of whom is in power.

When America was created, there were literally no words in existent for ‘ruled by the people’. The terms Democracy and Republic did not exist.

That’s how rebellious our countries founders were.

And they paid a heavy price.

Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, they paid a steep price. But not a single one backed down.

Five were captured, tortured, and executed

Twelve had their homes ransacked and torched.

Two lost sons in battle.

Two others had their sons captured and imprisoned.

Nine fought and died.

More than a few died penniless after having spent their entire wealth/career/business helping the war efforts.

They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. And upheld that pledge throughout 8 years of war.

So, we owe it to our founding fathers, and the tens of thousands of subjects who rebelled, to have a great day today.

John Adam’s even says so!

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

And please remember, if you leave apple pie for Captain America tonight he will leave presents under your flag!

(Conversationally, if you leave bullets out for the Punisher, he will leave bodies in the trunk of your car. Semper Fi, buddy.)

Also.

Today, there are two speeches worth recalling. The first, is President Thomas Whitemore, 1996. The second, is Patrick Henry’s ‘Give me Liberty’ speech, 1775. 221 years apart… both epic in their own right.

President Thomas Whitemore:

“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

(That’s from the movie Independence Day. 😛 )

Patrick Henry: (This is my favorite speech of all time and I bolded the end because it’s so awesome.)

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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Happy Treason Day ungrateful colonials!

“The Wife in the Arena”

Sometimes I dig around my writing files and find strange stuff that makes me realize how weird I am.

Example: Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech from 1910.. turned into ‘Wife in the Arena’… I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume I typed this for my awesome wife on our Anniversary and then did something more normal instead like a ‘My wife rocks’ post on Facebook with a cutesy wedding picture.

Enjoy.

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the single friend who points out how the married woman stumbles, or where the single woman could have done better.

The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by sweat and blood and smears of yellow baby poop; who strives valiantly; who errs, who burns dinner and shrinks her husband’s shirts again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to please the husband and care for her family; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themselves in the worthy cause of femininity; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while loving greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who live alone with numerous cats, drinking wine from boxes, and sobbing silently into their pints of ice cream while watching romantic comedies.”

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Anyways. My wife is pretty awesome… and I’m grateful I was picked over all the other better looking dudes out there.

(There’s something to be said for the big, ugly guy with charisma and a self deprecating sense of humor.)

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“You can’t make money writing!” Oh pffftttt….

This is a garbage myth and I’m sick of hearing it.

I visited Scribophile (A writers website) today for the first time in months and skimmed the forums. Everyone kept repeating it as thought it were truth, and it ain’t.

Look. If you want to write stuff no one will ever read, be my guest. Have fun with that. Enjoy the ‘art’. But don’t go spreading the lie of unsuccessfulness to people with hopes and dreams of being a full time writer. Because who are you to tell them they can’t succeed? And how do you know that they can’t?

Is there a limit to entertainment?

Can there only be X number of successful actors? Writers? Bears riding tricycles?

No.

Are there only X number of successful books allowed to be published? Is there a limit? Is it ten thousand? What about readers? Is there a limit to your readers? Are they all taken by other authors?

No.

(And if you said yes, you’re a self-defeating fool.)

Math time – Rowling’s sold over 500 million books. There are over 7.3 BILLION people on the planet, so only 6.6% of them have read one of hers and she lives in a castle made of gold bricks.

And those readers – Are they never going to buy anyone else’s book? Did they just read hers and say, “No thanks. I’ll never do that again!” Or are they waiting on something else that piques their interest? They can be YOUR readers also.

More math – There are 250 people born every minute. Which means every minute, regardless of the age group that you write for, there are 250 people aging into it. 250 new potential readers. 250 potential buyers who will give you money in return for being entertained for a few hours.

“But they speak foreign languages!” So? Harry Potter has been changed into dozens of languages. “But they are scattered over the world!” So? Harry Potter has been read around the globe.

“But…but….but…” But nothing. 1 in 15 people have read her books.

So what’s your excuse?

“It’s not lucrative enough!” “You can’t make money!” “You’ll starve!” “She basically hit the writing lottery!”

Oh stahhhpppp.

There are enough successful people making a living at writing that you’re just being a whiner.

People who say things like that should be honest.

THEY can’t make money writing because THEY are holding themselves back. THEY are choosing to not work harder, not study the craft, not learn grammar, not practice writing descriptions and dialogue or whatever their weak areas may be. (Or, judging by most people who use Scribophile, THEY waste vast amounts of time dinkin’ around internet forums discussing writing instead of actually writing.)

Personally, I’m not shattering folks dreams.

You want to be a writer? Go be one. Send me a copy if it’s good.

But to be a writer, you’ve got to WRITE. Not bitch about it. Not whine about the ‘art’ of it and how people ‘just don’t get it’. And your constant complaints about how difficult it is to break in to publishing won’t make you more successful.

You’ve got to beat that keyboard like it owes you money.

You’ve got to put the effort in. The more you put in, the more you will get out. I like the gym. I go a lot. I can bench 315 pounds. I didn’t get there by going to the gym occasionally. I didn’t get there by not learning about weight lifting. I didn’t get there by not suffering through the tedious reps over and over and over and over. I wanted muscles so I had to lift constantly to get them.

As for you, you’ve got to WRITE. You’ve got to hound publishers. You’ve got to hone your craft. You’ve got to eek out bits of time in your busy day to do it. Doing it ‘when you feel like it’ ain’t gonna cut the cake. You’ve got to force it into existence, you’ve got to find the time, you’ve got to sacrifice sleep or going out or watching cats chase laser pointers on YouTube for hours.

Sure.

Some people write crap and make it big right off the bat.  Others write beautifully and never do. Why? I dunno. Too many reasons. Sometimes it’s their fault, sometimes it’s not.

But you can choose to either resign yourself to being one of the failures, or you can work harder at it and make some money. People who repeat stupid mantra’s like ‘you’re gonna fail because everyone fails’ are worthless and you should avoid them before you catch their sad little ‘woe is us’ cooties.

People need to stop telling others they can’t do it just because they think that THEY CAN’T.

It can be done. It may take you longer than others, or you might shoot to success on your first try. (That’s what I’m aiming for…) But regardless, it can be done if you keep trying. And telling people that they’re doomed to fail is one of the surest ways of impeding their success.

Stop being a pessimistic blight on the writing world.

Tell someone they can make it for a change.

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As for me? I’ve an excel spreadsheet with the agents I’ve contacted, the publishers, dates, comments, responses, etc. I’m keeping tabs on everything.

I’ve studied the daylights out of publishing. I’ve read about the financing, the royalties, the advances, the chances, the difficulties, the expected rejections, etc.

I KNOW that I’m going to be rejected constantly, every great book has. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve already been passed on by two agents but also passed the first hurdle for two publishers. Personally, I was thrilled to be passed by agents, because it meant I was finally reaching into the ‘lead time’ of people getting to my unsolicited work. And I track that as well. If I email a query to an agent, I write down their stated ‘lead time’ to hear back from them. So it’s just now reaching the four-six week mark since I started seeking publishing. Now I’m going to start getting responses. (Still looking for you BAEN… even though you’ve a 9-12 month lead time! Eeek!)

How are things looking? I dunno. Okay, I reckon. I’m plugging along and making it a point to spend a couple days a week sending in submissions and queries and researching new potential agents/publishers.

I’ve firm faith that I’ll be published. Because my writing doesn’t suck, and I’m going to be relentless about it because I want it that bad.

Take note of that last line.

Instead of telling each other ‘You can’t make it! No one can!’, it should be, “Want it bad enough and you will!”

Remember 250 potential readers are born every minute.

Praise Jesus and write-write-write.

California and the irrational fear of cosmetically dangerous weapons!

Ironically, this felony arrest for having an evil pistol grip and an even ‘eviler’ flash hider took place on the eve of Memorial Day. The very holiday where we take time to celebrate and reflect on the sacrifices of over 1.5 million Americans who died defending the rights and freedoms that you can be arrested for enjoying in California.

StocktonPD2ndamendment

Bravo coppers…

Your citizens will now sleep safe, knowing that while you’re confiscating scary weapons with non-lethal features, their children only have to worry about wading through ankle deep mounds of human feces, lines of homeless tent cities, and discarded needles to get to their plastic straw free school zones in your fine, upstanding state.

By the way, I got curious as to what CA’s Law Enforcement Code of Ethics is. It seems pretty standard, but obviously meaningless for those who are sworn to uphold it. .

Code of Ethics

AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

Well….

You’re doing a terrible job at fulfilling your oath, but a terrific job at supporting the tyranny of your elected officials.

Congratulations, you fearsome law dogs.

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On the subject of my book. I’ve been contacted by a small publisher. It was rather ego-flattering, except after digging in a bit more into the books they’d published I was pretty let down.

The reviews for their books appeared good, at first. Then I noticed they were 5 star reviews from the exact same four people, and the other reviews were either sketchy, or brutal in bashing the story and editing.

So, on we go down the long path to publishing.

My current plans are to give traditional publishing a solid year in hopes of getting on somewhere good. (Looking at YOU Baen!) In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing the sequel, and outlining the next few books… as well as passing my current novel around to anyone interested. The more feedback the merrier, and I didn’t write this just to keep it all to myself.

(If you’re interested, here’s the link to the first four ‘chunks’: RAWR! Pew! Pew! Pew!)

Anyways.

Freedom ain’t free. And California will probably never be.