Boring Work, Varmint Rifles, and Recycling BBs

What a weekend–finished tile demolition project, bought some soy milk, and took care of several administrative tasks.

There was some fun in there too. We went up on the mountain to a birthday party which, as all good birthday parties do, involved a few pops, pulled pork, a discussion on the merits of golf carts as local transportation, and the firing of several rounds from a “varmint rifle”.

It became clear to me that I’m an even worse shot now than I was when I shot often. At one time I was a pretty decent shot. Never great, but decent. Of course, I’m turning this into justification for an air rifle purchase in this month’s budget. I figure the cost of that along with the price of a few thousand BBs is much cheaper than the amount of ammunition it would take for me to ever be able to hit the broad side of a barn again.

By the way…did anyone else run their own BB recycling program as a kid? If I remember, a piece of plywood behind your aluminum can targets did a pretty good job of knocking them down, after they’d been slowed by the can of course. I don’t think we were smart enough to put some sort of catch tray at the bottom of the plywood. We probably spent more time picking up BBs off the ground and shaking them out of cans than we did shooting. Once we moved on to shooting bumblebees under the pear tree it became too treacherous to try and collect “reloads”.

Sorry for the autobiographical pause…just thinking that marksmanship skills are something that should be maintained throughout one’s lifetime. You never know when you will have to take down a squirrel or rabbit for dinner.

Hold On…Let Me Get My Gun!

The Missus and I an ongoing disagreement. Disagreement is probably too strong of a world. It’s more like a difference of opinion–when is the right time for a child to have a gun, shoot a gun, be around guns, etc?

We both have a healthy respect for what they can do, but hers is more like a fear. She sees them as weapons, but I see them as tools. I think this difference of perspective comes mostly from the fact that she’s never been around guns, but I’ve been around them my whole life. In my mind, this experience gives me a much more educated opinion.

It came up again when we were watching Superbad and saw the scene where the kid is fascinated with holding and shooting a gun. To me, a 16 year old who’s full of adrenaline over the prospect of holding a gun is a much scarier proposition than an 8 year old who thinks it’s no big deal.

She asked once when I first shot a gun. I honestly don’t even remember when that was. To me that’s like asking when you first used a screwdriver. But I do remember being drilled constantly by my dad on the rules of gun safety. Those rules went for any gun at our house. When I hear people now talk about having BB gun wars as kids, I can’t help but imagine what would have happened to us if we’d done that. Honestly, punishment would have been the least of our worries–we could both actually shoot. There’s no way I’d want my brother drawing a bead on me.

10,000 Reasons Not To Have More Money

I came upon this story by way of Reason. I’m no fan of the ACLU, mostly because they are very selective about which civil liberties they choose to defend, but I have to be cheering for them in this case, where a truck driver was forced to turn over $23,700 for no other reason than he had an amount of cash greater than $10,000. No drugs, no drug paraphernalia, no probable cause.

DEA agents told Prieto he would receive a notice of federal proceedings to permanently forfeit the money within 30 days and that to get it back, he’d have to prove it was his and did not come from illegal drug sales.

Wasn’t the whole issue of search and seizure addressed a while back? At least that’s what I remember from my learnin’ in public schools.

The lawsuit said Prieto does not like banks and customarily carries his savings as cash.

That’s great and all, but the fact is, he doesn’t have to explain it. According to the Houston Chronicle article, he was actually nice enough to tell the police that he had the money and give them permission to search his vehicle. He could just as easily refused to allow them to search without any probable cause. That’s what I would do.

“The government took Mr. Prieto’s money as surely as if he had been robbed on a street corner at night,” Simonson said. “In fact, being robbed might have been better. At least then the police would have treated him as the victim of a crime instead of as a perpetrator.”

The scary part is, I’ve transported over $10k in cash (obtained legally, btw) on at least two occasions. Good thing I didn’t have a break light out. I’ll definitely be watching my back if my dreams of winning a big poker tournament ever come to fruition. It would suck to have it confiscated before I was able to pay the outrageous taxes on my winnings.