Sunday, August 25, 2019

Why Do I Own An AR-15?

The media adores the term "assault rifle" or "assault weapon". Now, if I assault you, then by default the weapon I used is an assault weapon. Cain killed Abel with a rock, making a large stone the first assault weapon. Last I checked, no one was advocating rock control.
Jealousy is a bitch.  
 Historically the term "assault rifle" is generally traced back to the German Sturmgewehr-44 /Stg44  in the latter part of World War Two. Up until then their standard infantry rifle was a bolt-action rifle with an internal 5-round magazine. This was the Mauser Kar-98, fielded in 1935 and derived from an original design from 1898.  Starting in 1943, some units received a new semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr-43 (or G-43) with a 10-round detachable box magazine. It was based on an almost identical weapon, the Gewehr 41/G41, field-tested two years earlier. The word Sturmgewehr literally meant "storm rifle" in a rifle to storm, or assault, a fortification. According to one account, the name was chosen personally by Adolf Hitler for propaganda reasons. It used a 30-round detachable box magazine and could fire fully automatic, and as a special-purpose weapon it was issued to Waffen-SS and other elite units. It was later the design basis for the Soviet AK-47 family of rifles.
Mauser Kar-98
Walther G-43

Haenel Stg-44

Herein lies the rub. Civilian models of military-style weapons, by law, are semi-automatic. They are incapable of firing the entire magazine off in a continual burst like the original assault rifles. A semi-automatic weapon requires you to squeeze the trigger each time you wish a round to be fired. The only "automatic" part of the operation is that the expended brass cartridge is automatically extracted & ejected as the next round is fed into the chamber from the magazine. It is not a machine gun. The US military's M-4 carbine, the latest permutation of the M-16 family that traces its lineage to the original AR-15, does not fire full auto except for a special variant used by Special Operations forces. Instead, the weapon has the S-1-3 trigger group, which means you have the options of Safe, Semi-Auto, and 3-round burst only. Back when I was a soldier, I carried an M-16A1 that was able to fire full auto, and even they were being phased out in favor of the A2 with a burst feature instead. This was in 1988.

The selector on an M-16A1, with full auto as a choice.

The selector on the M-16A2, which does not allow full auto, but has a 3-round burst selection.
My AR-15, with only two choices, Safe and Fire, with Fire being semi-auto only.

But, the media thinks anything with a detachable box magazine is an assault rifle. Uninformed talking head politicians on the Left who want to outlaw large-capacity magazines fail to realize that it's even easier to conceal three ten-round rifle magazines than to conceal a larger 30-round magazine, and anyone with a bare modicum of experience with a weapon can drop an empty magazine & insert a fresh one in under five seconds. Experienced shooters can do it in about three.

The media also likes to mistakenly refer to something they call an automatic pistol. Again, this is because they are either A) stupid, B) manipulating the masses, or C) both.  A pistol is either a revolver with a cylinder that holds on average 6 cartridges, you know, cowboy style six-shooters....or it is a magazine-fed semi-auto that (say it with me now, kids) fires a round each time the trigger is squeezed and it extracts & ejects the spent casing & a new one is loaded from the magazine. Depending on caliber, they will carry an average of 7 to 18 rounds. My preferred carry piece carries 8 in the magazine and I can have a ninth round in the chamber. I have others that carry a variety of loadouts.

By the by, I have been safely handling, operating, and carrying weapons of various types from pistols to rifles to shotguns to belt-fed machineguns to grenade launchers (though mostly rifles and handguns) for well over 30 years. I also have a 100% success rate at never injuring anyone with any firearm I have had in my possession, either for duty or for pleasure shooting. Not every gun owner is a homicidal maniac, despite what the media would have you believe.

On an almost daily basis I see people on social media bemoaning the fact that here in the good old US of A, one may own an AR-15 rifle. Note that I did not refer to it as an “assault rifle”, the way it is erroneously labeled by both the left-wing media and uneducated douchenozzles who know nothing about firearms yet are dead-set against you owning one, because they’re scary and other people did bad things with them.  This is because the AR-15 IS NOT AN ASSAULT RIFLE. SEE MY DEFINITION ABOVE.  The average everyday American citizen may not possess a fully automatic firearm and thusly, THEY DO NOT OWN ASSAULT RIFLES. Automatic weapons have been illegal since 1934 unless you have a Federal Firearms license for it that is EXCEPTIONALLY hard to obtain, and a Special Occupational Taxpayer certification.  And yet the media gets this shit wrong on the daily. 
You wanna see some crazy shit? Read on.

Y’know, a Ruger Mini-14 fires the same rounds as an AR-15. You can even use a 30-round magazine in it. But no one ever calls a Mini-14 an Assault Rifle, because it doesn’t look scary.
The Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. Often used to hunt coyotes and varmints on ranches. Fires the same rounds as an AR-15 that Liberals say isn't for hunting.

The media dearly loves their charts, because most American sheeple are so attention-deficient that unless it has pretty graphics no one will pay attention. So they add charts that are almost always PATENTLY WRONG, and the sheeple graze and take it as The Gospel and continue to perpetuate the wrongness by sharing it and quoting it. See this perfect example of ABSOLUTE WRONGNESS below, in a chart that from no less than the BBC that accompanied a recent article full of bullshit in the UK Daily Mail. It has “approximate rates of fire” on selected weapons. HOWEVER, let me make some corrections, or as you Leftists love to say, FACT CHECKING.

Revolver: Ruger LCR—So…which version of Ruger’s Lightweight Compact Revolver was tested? It comes in six calibers and depending on which caliber, it will hold 5, 6, or 8 rounds. If you carry extra rounds in a speedloader and are practiced, yeah, you can probably fire off 20 rounds in one minutes but don’t count on it. By the way, that’s not an LCR in the silhouette; it’s likely a Smith & Wesson Model 36.

Semi-Automatic Pistol: Colt Model 70—50 rounds a minute is a pretty fair rate for a semi-auto pistol with spare mags. But there isn’t a Colt Model 70. They must be thinking Series 70, the new reproduction of Colt’s venerable 1911A1. The silhouette is Sig Sauer P226 however.

Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle: AK-47—Um, there’s no such thing as a semi-automatic assault rifle which, by definition, is a fully automatic weapon. I’ll grant that 120 rounds in a minute is possible, but not likely. That’s 2 rounds a second, and you’ll need to reload.  And just because a weapon CAN, in some situations, fire at extremely fast rates, it is not something a trained and experienced shooter would do to their weapon because it causes a lot of strain and stress on the metal parts. At least the silhouette is right for an AK-series weapon.

NOTE: I’m changing the order of the last two weapons.
Fully Automatic Rifle: M-16 –Well, 950 rounds a minute is unsustainable due to reloading constraints. This pig isn’t belt-fed with a 950-round belt. They haven’t made a full-auto M-16 variant since the 80s. 

Modified Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle/ AR-15: 1,200 rounds per minute…
Please, dear people at the BBC, define just what the fuck these modifications are that allow a semi-automatic civilian rifle to fire even faster than a fully automatic military battle rifle? I don’t know of any combination of parts right now that would give an AR a 1200 rounds per minute cyclic rate.

So no, I’m certainly not trusting the veracity of firearms knowledge of a nation that is under severe gun control. How’s that knife crime problem these days, old chap?

The media seldom gets ANYTHING right when it comes to firearms nomenclature.

Oh, by the way, Liberal America, let me clear up another idiot misunderstanding of yours. The AR in AR-15 does not mean Assault Rifle. It is Armalite Rifle, Model 15. Originally made by the Armalite Company, designed by Eugene Stoner. 

Another common media misconception is the number of gun violence deaths in America each year. 
The media likes to play loosey goosey with facts and numbers. We don’t exactly have 40,000 deaths each year from gun violence; we have 40,000 deaths by gun. A full 60% of those deaths are suicides, while 36% are homicides. 

Beginning in 2008, the FBI used a narrow definition of mass shootings. They limited mass shootings to incidents where an individual – or in rare circumstances, more than one – “kills four or more people in a single incident (not including the shooter), typically in a single location.”

In 2013, the FBI changed its definition, moving away from “mass shootings” toward identifying an “active shooter” as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” This change means the agency now includes incidents in which fewer than four people die, but in which several are injured, like the 2014 Mother’s Day shooting in New Orleans where 20 were wounded.

This change in definition impacted directly the number of cases included in studies and affected the comparability of studies conducted before and after 2013 and aids the media in getting shit wrong when they even bother to research shootings instead of just parroting the DNC’s anti-gun made-up statistics. Even more troubling, some researchers on mass shooting have incorporated in their studies several types of multiple homicides that cannot be defined as mass shooting: for instance, familicide (a form of domestic violence) and gang murders. In the case of familicide, victims are exclusively family members and not random bystanders. Gang murders are usually crime for profit or a punishment for rival gangs or a member of the gang who is an informer. Such homicides don’t belong in the analysis of mass shootings.

Consider the mass shooting that took place in Platte, S.D., on September 17, 2015 that left six people dead. It was, by death toll, one of the eight deadliest shootings of 2015. Why, then, did few people hear about it? Because the victims were the wife and four children of Scott Westerhuis, who murdered them, then committed suicide. This was a tragedy, indeed, but not a mass shooting in the way the media prefers to sensationalize things.

Likewise, the mass shooting that caused the most injuries that year was the gunfight that took place between two biker gangs in Waco, Texas, in May. That was a heinous crime, with 9 deaths and another 18 wounded. 

So, yeah, I don’t trust mass shooting statistics. 

The question that always, without fail, accompanies this tantrum of boo-hoo  from the Anti Gun Crowd is, “Why does anyone need an AR-15?”

Well….why does anyone need anything? In most cases it’s simply WANT much more so than NEED.
A buddy of mine owns a Dodge Charger SRT with a 470 horsepower V-8 that can go 175 miles per hour. Why does he need that? After all, the speed limit here in South Carolina on the open highway is a mere 70 miles per hour. Who needs a car that can go two and half times the limit? Heaven forbid if he traded up to the SRT Hellcat version; that monster has a 707 horsepower powerplant to propel you at 204 miles per hour, nearly three times faster than one is allowed to go by law. Surely, he is a monster for owning such a weapon of murderous potential? After all, cars kill many thousands more per year than guns do. However, no one is protesting in the streets for the police to go garage to garage to confiscate Dodge Chargers. No one is calling for his car to be taken away for arbitrary red flags.
In the wrong hands, this is pretty damned dangerous.

Cirrhosis is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 1.2% of all US deaths and kills 3 times more people annually than guns, but alcohol is still legal. Throw in drunk driving related deaths while you’re at it. No one is pushing for booze bans; that failed once before.

Over 480,000 people die each year from smoking-related causes but smoking is still legal.

Over 85,000 people a year die from diabetes, almost six times as many as homicide by gun. While the Left has tried to ban sugar, it still hasn’t happened.

So, do I need an AR-15? Probably not. However, it is my right as an American citizen to own firearms, and I choose to own an AR-15 platform sporting rifle. Specifically, I own a DPMS/Panther Arms MOE Warrior. Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS) started in 1985 as a precision machine shop for manufacturing M-203, M-14 and M-16 parts for U.S. military contracts. DPMS later began producing AR-15 style rifles of their own. I chose a reputable manufacturer with a background in the AR platform. I wanted a quality weapon, well-made here in the States.

The MOE stands for Magpul Original Equipment. Magpul Industries Corporation is an American designer and manufacturer of high-tech polymer and composite firearms accessories. They make the grip, handguards, magazines, and 6-position stock for my rifle.

Why does Steve need a six-position stock? He must be trying to conceal it beneath his trench coat to shoot up malls!!!!
Um, no. The adjustable stock allows me to get the optimum comfortable cheek-to-stock weld necessary for accurate target shooting. Think of it like power seats and tilt steering in your car. 

You have a laser scope for precision murder and a front grippy thingie to make killing easier, right?
No, stupid. I do not have a scope, or any sort of electronic sighting aids. I aim and fire the old-fashioned way, on iron sights similar to what I learned on.  I rely solely on my own skills with target shooting on iron sights. I do, however, have a pop-up rear sight that folds down to avoid damage. My old M-16 had the rear sight built into the carrying handle on the upper receiver.  And as I never carried a weapon with a foregrip, I didn’t feel the need to have one on my own personal weapon.

I find target shooting very relaxing. It’s kind of a Zen thing, really. You clear your mind of  distractions. You block out everything extraneous around you, while still being aware of your surroundings for safety purposes, and concentrate your focus on the target, be it a paper target, a metal plate target, or a rubber Hot Box target.

What’s a Hot Box?
Google it, chummy. I can’t do all your homework for you.

Why do you need 30-round magazines like a mass murderer, Steve?
Honestly, because I’m lazy. I hate having to stop and reload once I’m sighted in and “in the groove” so to speak. I only load 27 rounds in a 30-round mag, because a trained shooter doesn’t load any magazine to full capacity. Why? Because constant full compression of the magazine spring can cause it to prematurely weaken and that can cause a feed jam. No Bueno, amigo. You also don’t store loaded magazines for extended periods, to keep the spring tension proper. So, I load 27 and that gives me 27 tries to hit my target before I need to break my firing position, drop the empty, reload, and re-engage. I have MAGPUL PMAG polymer magazines as well as standard military-issue steel magazines.

For the record, I’m not a fan of those big 100-round drum magazines. Those springs are under so much tension that they are prone to jam. In fact that fuckstick who shot up the theater in Aurora, Colorado had a drum mag that jammed, a jam that likely saved some lives. I might trust the MAGPUL PMAG D-60, which is a 60-round drum, only because they are an extremely reliable company with a stellar reputation for quality. I’m not ready to drop $129.00 on a magazine however, not just yet.

Extra weight, unwieldy and prone to jam. Nope, I'll skip thanks.

But Steve, why an AR-15?
Look…I carried an M-16A1 for 4 years active duty as a Military Policeman. I trained extensively with that weapon, as well as the M-1911A1 and M-9 pistols, the M-203 grenade launcher, and the M-60 machine gun. I am a graduate of the US Army’s Unit Armorer’s Course, which gave me a higher level of training on the inner workings, maintenance, and repair of not only the aforementioned weapons but also two types of .50 caliber machineguns (the M-2 and M-85), the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and the M-240 series of machineguns. Hell, I’ve even fired AK-47-series weapons a bit too. I have about 34 years’ experience with firearms. I have a background in law enforcement and have passed multiple background checks; EACH TIME I have purchased a firearm in fact, and I have owned several.

As I am intimately familiar with the AR platform, wouldn’t it make sense to own a firearm that I am exceedingly comfortable with, can disassemble and reassemble with my eyes closed, can maintain and repair, and know the capabilities fully thereof? 

A weapon by itself is just a tool, a piece of machinery, a collection of parts…it is the user that kills.
For reals, people. Over 900 people were killed after drinking tainted Kool Aid in Jonestown in 1978. No one's ever tried to ban Kool Aid, because Kool Aid didn't kill those people; a man killed them; a guy who led their socialist cult who had them drink it after lacing it with cyanide. It was actually grape Flavor-Aid to be precise, and it was merely the delivery system. Guns were the delivery system that were central to the killings in places like Newtown, Vegas, Orlando, Dayton, or El Paso but it was a deranged human who killed those people.

Owning an AR-15 doesn’t make one deranged, or an instant candidate for being a mass-killer. No more so than owning a fast car makes one a street racing menace to the roadways, or having a drink makes one an alcoholic prone to drunk driving, or eating a Krispy Kreme glazed donut makes you an instant Type 2 diabetic. Personal responsibility goes a long way.

You’re just a stooge for the NRA!
Nope. I’m not a member. I do just fine without them asking me for money all the time to fund their political lobbying. No offense to those who are members; I’m just not much of a joiner these days.
I know my experiences don’t speak for every AR owner. I can really only speak for myself and my own reasons for why I own what I own. Thankfully I live in a nation with a Constitution that I swore an oath at age 18 to defend and uphold against all enemies, foreign AND domestic, a Constitution that states quite clearly that my right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon, and that I live in a state with a love of firearms and shooters’ rights. I know some of you are less fortunate in that regard.

So, I guess that leaves us with the biggest and best reason that I own an AR-15…

Now get off my lawn.

Other Times I have written about gun control issues:

Sunday, July 28, 2019

My own Conservative Journey

How did I come to be a Conservative?

This post is sort of a re-write of an article I originally wrote in February of 2013. To be honest, I hadn't realized till I sat down at my keyboard that it had been six and a half years ago. It sorta felt like yesterday. I've updated the article and made it current; I even corrected a couple mistakes. If you wish to read the original, go here.

But what brought this to fruition? Why did I resurrect a six year old article?

Lately the Net has been full of stories of a mass exodus of people defecting from the Democrat party to ride the Trump Train. There's even a new term, #Blexit, for the massive wave of black voters exiting the party to go Conservative. Just yesterday I heard the term Lexit, applied to Latino voters doing the same thing.

And a couple weeks ago a guy I follow on Twitter tipped me to a guy he was following, a guy in Cincinnati named Scott Ford, who's been causing quite a stir in media circles. A lifelong Democrat, Scott has decided to finally walk away from a party that no longer represents his interests and beliefs, a party of deceit and lies, a party that marginalizes and discriminates while saying it's the Right who does these things. A party of socialism, lunacy, and anti-American values. Reading Scott's posts about how this nation, and his city, are again prospering under the Trump administration and how warmly he's been received by his new legions of followers and friends has been great. He's a super-nice dude, and if you want to follow his Twitter feed, it's ScottFordTVGuy.

So in reading about his journey from Left to Right, it made me think about my own story, and how I probably should have ended up a Liberal but thankfully stayed true to be roots.

Read on below........


There are times when I look back at my previous 50 years and marvel at how I became the fervent Small Government, Pro-Constitution, Fiscal Conservative that I am as a middle-aged adult. Sometimes I wonder if it was an evolution, while at other times I'm convinced it was a pre-ordained path I was set upon at birth and that I was always a Conservative at heart. Sometimes I think I became a Conservative because of my upbringing, and sometimes I think it was in spite of it. Regardless, it's been a long, strange trip and while a Conservative I may be, and a staunch one at that (few can truly question my veracity) I don't exactly fit the mold most associate with being the prototypical archetype.

I'm an American citizen, but my people haven't always been. On my mom's side, I'm first-generation. She was born in Canada and emigrated here as a kid. I helped my mother study for her citizenship test in 1993. My grandfather was given his first job in America by a Czech couple who had survived a concentration camp. It's how I picked up a lot of Yiddish words as a kid. On my father's side, I'm second-generation. His father was conceived in Poland and born over here, the last of 12 kids and the  first American in the family. During WW2 he married a girl from Wales and brought her back to the States when the war was over.

I come from a lineage that appreciated being American and following the American dream. I also come from a very, very long line of military people. It's in our blood; it's what we do. On both sides, we're born with a strong sense of duty to serve. My mom's family service goes back to the Crusades. Two of her brothers served in Vietnam without being US citizens. Like I said, it's what we do.

Now, I did say that I became a Conservative in spite of things. By this I mostly mean my education. Public schools have long been the Indoctrination Centers for the Liberal Left. From kindergarten through my first 6 weeks of high school, I was a victim/hostage of the Prince George's County public schools in suburban Maryland, long a deep blue bastion of the Left and currently the focus of a nasty squabble over whether Baltimore is a Third World Shithole. (IT IS) I had some good teachers but the classes were often severely overcrowded. The schools were more like free lunch and daycare for poorer kids than it was a place to get educated. By junior high, circa '82/'83, my classes were 45 kids deep and with a 43 minute class period, so it was less than a minute per kid for the teacher to spend. Good luck if a kid needed some extra help. No wonder some kids fell through the cracks.

I can't recall any overt political indoctrination in my younger years but they really hammered Black History Month on us every year, maybe because I was a bit of a minority (to put it mildly) and in the mid-70's we really weren't that far past the civil rights fights around the time of my birth in 1969. Teachers encouraged us to watch the mini-series "Roots". I could be wrong, but this may have been the beginnings of the Liberal Left wave of White Guilt to make us all feel like evil racists. For certain we never learned about any of the historical black Americans I've written about; instead it was always the Harriet Tubmans and George Washington Carvers and the MLK's. No military figures because the military is evil. Just safe, peaceful academics and freedom fighters against The Man in general and The White Man in particular.

When I hit high school, things took a dramatic turn. I left the DC suburbs and found myself in a small school in coastal Maine an hour north of Liberal Boston. The classes were much smaller; anything more than 20 kids was crowded. The teachers were able to spend more time with the students and I feel my education, such as it was, became much better than what I was getting in Maryland. But, and there's always a but, Maine is full of escaped hippies and tree huggers and transplanted New Yawkas and Masshole Liberals who now outnumber the old-school New England Conservatives easily a hundred-fold. Many Republicans in Maine are Progressive RINO types. (See Susan Collins as a prime example).  My freshman civics teacher moonlighted as a Democrat in the state House of Representatives so my perspective on government may have been sabotaged without my even realizing it. I took history classes from a transplanted NY liberal who disdained the military and let me and my circle of friends (who were fervently pro-military) know it.

Yeah, this was a weird crossroads time for me. Looking back, I was the quintessential confused teenager trying to find myself. I was, as I said, fervently pro-military. I mean, seriously like to the point where I had a subscription to Soldier of Fortune magazine for awhile and I had a litany of tee-shirts that made my teachers cringe. Great shirts like "Kill a Commie For Mommy", and "Kill 'Em All; Let God Sort 'Em Out". Nowadays I'd be thrown out of school as a potential mass shooter based solely on my shirt choices. After watching the original "Red Dawn" at the movies with my posse, I was convinced the Russian hordes were set to invade Maine and the only hope America had was me and mine.


My high school guidance counselor (let's call him Phil) acted as if he got some sort of bonus or kickback for every kid who went to college after graduation and was exceedingly butthurt if you didn't say you were going to college. Sat me down my senior year and asked, "So, what are Steve's plans for after graduation?" Officious condescending prick. Did the same to all of us, and my buddy Chris (who was about to enlist in the Marines) said ""I dunno, he's right across the table from you. Why don't you ask him?".

Phil had no use for us once we told him we weren't planning on college and that we were enlisting. Seems he'd been drafted and spent a miserable time in Korea and despised the military and everything to do with it. He only grudgingly and with great resistance allowed military recruiters in to talk to students. He had zero use for me and my friends.

Yeah, I was the strange sort of kid who read The Hunt For Red October as a hardback in '85 at age 16  before most submarine officers did. The kid who went to the library to read Jane's Defense Weekly and would regularly check out Norman Polmar's "Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet" to memorize entire sections of data on our military. The kid who called CNN once to talk to Norman Friedman about submarines when he was a guest one afternoon and was told by the world's foremost naval analyst that the theory behind my question was a great idea. The kid who would read the annual reports of the Soviet threat and could identify pretty much every tank and aircraft used by NATO and Warsaw Pact forces alike.

Sounds like Reagan's perfect ideal American boy, no?

But at the same time I was a bit conflicted. Like I said, I was finding myself. And in doing so, I found myself drawn to the fringes of the punk music scene and the second British Invasion of New Wave bands. Sometimes it was hard to play the anti-establishment tunes of the Dead Kennedys as they railed against suit-wearing stodgy stuffy Republicans while thumb-tacking a poster of a flight of A-10 tank-busters on my bedroom wall. Most music scenes are decidedly Liberal.Many of my fellow die-hard fans of those 80s bands are still extreme Leftists today. I was reading liberal music rags like Rolling Stone.  I would find myself wearing the combat boots and leather jacket (but not the Mohawk or the safety pin in my ear) and feeling rebellious. I wasn't entirely sure what the hell I was rebelling against, but I was doing it.

Then I joined the Army. It was inevitable, really. And not just as a regular soldier; I was a Military Policeman.
Yours truly in MP School. I still have that boonie hat 31 years later.

I rode a fine line when I was in the Army. Off duty I still listened to the music and dressed in moody black clothes and hung out with Liberal civilians in artsy cafes and clubs, but on duty I was the spit and polish Army cop. I'd get off of patrol duty and high-tail it to the local Alternative Night at a club with my bin of import CDs and 12" remix singles to provide the DJ with fresh tunes. Little did the patrons realize that the dude handing records to the DJ and tearing up the dance floor was The Man.

SIDE NOTE: At least two of the bands that I still listen to from my youth, Depeche Mode and Erasure, covered political themes in their last albums that came out a bit after Trump was elected. Both alluded to being worried that progress made was being lost and that the world was basically headed to hell in a handbasket. I found it funny and somewhat hypocritical that Two of the guys from Depeche Mode live in America instead of home in England and their tour promoting an album that contained the song "Where's the Revolution?" made approximately $200 MILLION but America is oh-so-bad....

I voted in my first Presidential election while stationed in Germany. I voted for Bush 41. Looking back I wish I had been four years older to have voted for Reagan. That would have been a proud moment. C'est la vie.

After the Army I learned what being disgruntled and disenfranchised felt like. It took me 10 months to land a job after the Army, despite being told my status as a veteran gave me preferential hiring status and that my Army skills were invaluable in the civilian workforce. I was beginning to wonder about these stodgy old Republicans in their grey suits and question whether they were actually looking out for my best interests.

Right about this time, the Left really started to use early social media and TV to grab younger voters and lure them in to the fold. The Left used MTV and liberal musicians (Rock the Vote) to appeal to younger, low-information voters who tend to vote based on how young and hip a candidate is. They pushed for states to adopt Motor Voter Bills, where you registered to vote at the DMV when getting a license (as if it was some sort of Herculean effort and miracle to get registered. It ain't that hard, people. It takes effort and desire, though, and that is something most younger Americans lack these days.) While I can look back and applaud the effort to get younger folks interested in politics, registering to vote and actually voting, all they would do is push liberal agendas and liberal candidates. And it worked. Young people came out in droves to vote for Bill Clinton. He was young, he was hip, he played the sax on Arsenio Hall. Bush 41 simply said "Read my lips, no new taxes", and then raised taxes, due in part because Congress was controlled by the Left and that's what Leftists do. But you couldn't tell young people that. Today in 2019, Democrat candidates are promising free shit to everyone, debt and loan forgiveness, amnesty, anything under the sun, to draw in the naive and ignorant young voters.

Slick. Hip. Cool. Serial adulterer.

I didn't vote in the 1992 election, to be honest. I abstained. I was 23, unemployed, I was pissed off, I felt that after giving my first few years of adulthood to Uncle Sam that I needed a break. Looking back, it was stupid and petulant of me in retrospect.

In late 1993 I went back to Maine for college, and regretted it quickly. The University of Maine, like the state it represents, is riddled and rife with hippies, tree huggers, and other various and sundry Liberal ilk. While the Criminal Justice program I was in seemed to have its head screwed on right, the rest of the faculty seemed your average garden variety granola-munching socialists. I got bored with the BS for a BS and dropped out, on the Dean's List with a 3.67 GPA. Read about it here.

Along came the 1996 election, and I simply didn't trust Bill Clinton. I was 27, recently married, and  now had responsibilities, things like bills and payments. And that, my dear readers, is one of the things that grows you up and makes you lean RIGHT and not LEFT: it's easy to bang the liberal drum and rail against those evil banks and corporations when you're a college student leeching off mom and dad, or some welfare maven sucking the governmental teat, all woe is me and downtrodden. But once you grow up and have responsibilities and bills to pay, you begin to realize how shallow and corrupt and vile the Left is and you start hungering for fiscal responsibility in your leaders, a strong national defense to keep offshore scumbags at bay, your right to a firearm to keep local scumbags at bay, lower taxes and fewer regulations so you can keep what you earn and live a free life as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Problem is, the GOP kept propping up stodgy old guys in suits who seemed unrelatable and out of touch.

Yes, I supported Ross the Boss
Bob Dole had all the personality of a dead fish all through the election of 1996. Conversely, Slick Willie was all, well, Slick Willie. He felt your pain, and did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I mean, he was the young hip Prez, why would he lie? I supported the Crazy Guy, Ross Perot, as a protest. I liked the guy.  We got more Slick Willie as a result, and after the election, Bob Dole hit the late night shows (hosted by Liberals) and he was personable, funny, engaging; in other words the exact opposite of what he had shown us during the campaign. If had he shown even half that much personality and affability BEFORE the election I'd have been right there with him all the way.

But yeah, the older I've gotten, the more Conservative I've become. In spite of being surrounded by Libs all trying to seduce me to the Dark Side.

The Liberal Lapdog Media likes to portray the Typical Conservative as either a rich, doddering old man in a suit counting his billions schemed off the backs of the proletarian masses, or as a crazed gun-toting redneck garbed in camo and a NASCAR hat, burning crosses and misquoting Bible verses as they run over illegal aliens and other minorities in a giant pickup. The media only fans those flames higher now under Trump.
 Conservative Stereotype A

Conservative Stereotype B
Yes, there are rich Conservatives in bespoke suits and yes there are Conservatives who live just down the road from me who fit more than just a couple of the criteria on the latter list.

Where do I fit in? What convenient little box can the Left try to put me in? Am I the rich guy playing golf and getting his lawn manicured by struggling brown people? Or am I the Bud Light-swilling racist misogynist looking for gays to beat up and drag behind my F-350?

Neither. I'm a pretty normal, average Joe.

I'm a blue-collar guy. I work for the Department of the Navy in logistics. (I shan't divulge further). I'm not rich by any means. I'm a college dropout. A damned intelligent college dropout if I dare say.

I'm not a religious guy whatsoever. On a generous day, I'm an agnostic at best. However, I have no real problem with those who practice their faith. This nation was founded on religious freedom as one of its basic tenets. I simply choose not to practice.

Pickup truck with a gun rack?  Land Rover Evoque? Not me; I drive a screamin' green Hyundai Kona and the wife drives a Nissan.

I have 11 tattoos and  had 2 earrings till I finally outgrew the notion. Didn't get my first tat till I was 36. Instead of golf, I play Pokemon Go on my phone.

Yes, I have tattoos for a band. A Liberal band, even.

And I have my belief system as a tattoo

Gun nut? I like guns, am very comfortable with guns, and I enjoy shooting. Do I own a closet full of shotguns and sniper rifles? Nope.We have a couple of handguns for personal defense and yes, an AR-15 for recreational target shooting. Would I shoot an intruder threatening my home and family? You bet your ass, and with zero hesitation. Think you're gonna come take my guns, Donkey Party? Good luck. I may lose in the end but they'll find me in a pile of expended brass surrounded by those who failed in their task before me.

Most conservatives are against same-sex marriage. Not me. I'm cool with it. You're different from me in your sexuality? Fine. You found love? Awesome. You wanna commit and get married and take a penalty on your taxes like me? Excellent. You want to be able to extend familial survivor benefits and what not to your spouse? Cool. That in no way affects or threatens my marriage or me in any way. Some people are gay and we as a human race really need to get the fuck over it.

As a side project, I am a licensed wedding officiant. In that capacity, I have performed several same-sex marriages.

For the most part I am fervently anti-drug. Hell, I used to put people in military prisons over drugs. I've mellowed out a bit somewhat about legalizing marijuana though. Many Conservatives are even against medical marijuana and CBD oil. Not me; bring it on if it helps. But don't expect me to condone Starbucks offering clean places for junkies to shoot up and drop off needles.

Death penalty? DO IT.

Conservatives, by and large, wave a big huge giant flag against abortion. It's a super-tricky issue. I'm not in favor of it as a rule, especially not as a form of contraception by irresponsible types and not if we gotta fund it for free for those same irresponsible types. It's your problem; why should I pay for it? The complication is that it is constitutionally legal. If you ban it, it will just go underground and occur in secret filthy labs set up in self-storage lockers and folks are gonna die. (And by folks I don't just mean the fetus; I also mean that those getting it done will invariably become casualties as they would in any lurid, secret, underground, illegal, unlicensed surgical deal). If you really feel the need to ban it, amend the Constitution that you claim to defend, uphold, and support. That's the process we set up when we founded this country. Personally, I'm against it after the first few weeks whatsoever, unless continuing the pregnancy will cause harm and irreparable damage. Some say that life begins at conception and others say at birth. Some say that if you're going to say that a pre-fetal zygote is a living human why can't you claim it on your taxes and give it a Social Security Number till it's born?  For the record, I have no children of my own, so some would also say that I shouldn't even comment on the subject at all. But since when do I follow the rules?

The more I get to know my fellow Conservatives (not Establishment Republicans) the more I think I'm probably actually more mainstream than I thought. We tend quite often  to fall into that gray area middle ground. We work, and we work hard. We want lower taxes and we want government to stay the hell out of every bit of minutiae in running our lives. We're sick of welfare leeches and sick of paying through the nose for gas and food. We're sick of illegals pouring through our borders and getting free shit. We're sick of our rights being eroded away and being replaced by bullshit regulations. We're sick of the Left usurping the Constitution. We're sick of being labeled as racists, Nazis, and fascists by people who ACTUALLY ARE THOSE THINGS. We're sick of the Establishment GOP handing us RINO squishes and jellybacks as candidates, of giving us progresssive old rich white dudes as candidates, of giving us UNELECTABLE candidates who won't fight back or even fight at all. We're sick of bending over and taking it in the ass from the Left on every issue because our alleged leadership just caves in on every issue. This is how Donald J. Trump got elected.

Okay, rant over.What say you?