Why AR-15s? Buckley Jeppson’s post.

Buckley Jeppson gun store challenge

Today I went to my local gun store (US Guns, 9063 SW Barbur Blvd.) to ask about AR-15 guns. I didn’t go in to berate, but to try to understand why a store would sell such weapons. The two young guys in the store were understandably jittery but tried to answer my questions.

ME: I’m trying to learn more about the AR-15 and why an ordinary citizen would want one. I already know that the AR does not stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle” but for ArmaLite, the company that developed it.

CLERK at US Guns: Most people use them to shoot cans and stuff.

ME: You’d have to be a very bad shot to need that kind of gun to shoot cans. I did just fine with my BB gun and my dad’s 30-06 deer hunting rifle. I didn’t need 45 rounds per minute.

CLERK #2: They are good for shooting coyotes and ground hogs because those little suckers really move fast.

ME: It seems that the AR rifles are nearly all you have here, except for the hand guns.

CLERK: Yes, they are our most popular.

ME: But surely everyone isn’t buying them to hunt coyotes, ground hogs, and tin cans.

CLERK #2: They are good for wild pigs in Texas. They’re a real problem in some parts there.

ME: But we don’t have wild pigs in Portland. Why do people in Portland buy these types of guns?

CLERK: Well, some are for protecting their families and property.

ME: Protecting them from whom?

CLERK: I don’t know, that’s just what they say.

ME: Have you ever had someone you love killed by a gun, and I don’t mean while hunting rabbits?


ME: I have. You are young, and the older you get the more likely you are to lose a loved one. Whether you think they are killed by a gun or a person you will discover they are dead. What would happen if you stopped selling AR rifles?

BOTH CLERKS: We’d be out of business.

ME: So it’s about the money.

CLERK: Yeah.

ME: I ask you to reconsider and to stop selling these guns. Thank you.

And I left. But wait, there’s more:

Part II
As I headed to my car I was approached by a guy who was in the store and followed me out.

GUY: They are lying. They sell the guns to people to protect themselves when “they” come?

ME: Who is “they,” zombies?

GUY: Yeah, that and all the others who might try to steal your food after an earthquake or take your guns or imprison your family members.

ME: Is that something that really concerns you?

GUY: Yeah, with the way the country has been going the last 7 years. . .
ME: You mean since we got a black president?

GUY: Well, not just that but look at all the Muslims and immigrants streaming across the border to get us. I have six ARs, and plenty of ammunition.

ME: But you can only shoot one gun at a time.

GUY: But I bet I feel lots safer than you do.

ME: No, I’m not afraid of hoards of zombies, Blacks, Mexicans, or Muslims coming after me and my family. I’m more afraid of going out dancing, or to church, or the movies, or school.

GUY: Nah, those are pretty safe places.

I drove away proud that I hadn’t screamed at anyone, but just asked questions, hoping I would learn something. I did, and it made me cry a bit as I drove home.

I thought of my friend John, a husband and father, who was depressed about school and couldn’t buy beer in Utah because it was Sunday, so he bought a gun and shot himself.

I thought of my daughter, who wanted to clean the carpets but was turned away because she was wasn’t old enough to rent a Rug Doctor. But she was old enough to have bought a gun if she wanted.

There is something very wrong here and the only way it will get fixed is if we all get off our butts and do something about it. Everyone start by finding your neighborhood gun store and go in and ask questions. Challenge them a bit to think about it and to come clean with the real reasons for these guns. It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It has to do with the money they make from paranoid people, made even more paranoid by the NRA. We all have a gun story. Tell them your story and ask them to stop selling AR guns. They probably won’t, but you will have made them think about it.

Buckley Jeppson  June 15 at 10:18am · Portland, OR, United States  on Facebook

Sweetheart Grips

sweetheart gripsFascinating!  I have never seen these before. WWII soldiers and airmen in the field were fabricating clear, see-through grips out of scrapped plexiglass they found from wrecked aircraft windows. The left side grip was typically left unadorned so the soldier could easily tell how many rounds remained in the magazine and the other side often housed a photo of of their wife or girlfriend back home.  They came to be know as ‘Sweetheart Grips’.

I found this account of someone who seen one of these pistols recently, which I thought was very cool, and bonus, the story shows that even thieving arseholes can have a conscience!

“I had a great opportunity to have a young officer’s sidearm to display at a museum I worked at, for a special WW2 display.  He and his wife arrived a few minutes before me and were seated at a table in the archives. I sat down across from the silver haired couple in their early 80’s. He took the .45 out and slid it across to me. I noticed the clear grips. On one side was an American flag. He told me how he had made the grips from the plexiglass from a downed German fighter. I flipped it over and right there under the grip was a picture of a naked woman. I looked at it, I looked at him, and looked at his wife and she said, “Yes it’s me.” “I would prefer you put that side down while it’s on display.”
Yes ma’am.

Unfortunately, the story took a sour turn when someone stole the .45 during a museum Christmas party. I was distraught; I had to tell a man who fought his way across Europe and during the Battle of the Bulge (that his pistol had been stolen).  I asked the community newspaper to do a story on the officer and his exploits in WWII. The day the paper printed a whole front page article, a phone rang at that veteran’s home. The caller begged forgiveness. He stated that he had seen it in the museum display and had always wanted a .45 and he just took it. He asked that the veteran go out and get the package on his front porch. Inside was the .45 in perfect condition. The veteran told the voice on the phone that he forgave him.”

(via Denzil R. Heaney on FB)

If you do a Google image search for ‘sweetheart grips’ you can find many examples of this cool little war time tradition.

I’m in London Still…

Had a bit of a late start this morning.  The workmen outside my window mightn’t want to let me sleep in, but they can not force me to leave my bed before I am ready to face the day!  😉 

For a day that started out without much on the agenda, I somehow seemed to alter that considerably and did my fair share of wandering around aimlessly – well, not aimlessly per se… just wandering.  And often in the wrong direction!  I’ve not been here for many years and occasionally seem to lose my bearings entirely, most evidenced by today getting out a Tube station and not once, but twice!, turning the wrong way and attempting to follow my predetermined directions.  Took me forever to find the Beretta Gallery – which in all fairness if they had on their website as being on the Corner of St James and Jereym Streets, I might have found much more quickly… hell not even a copper standing around Picadilly could point me in the right direction.

Anyway, as you see – The Beretta Gallery was my first stop for the morning.  I had decided I’d try my luck at finding some screws for my 87 Target, seeing they are terrible pain in the arse to purchase at home, and an extremely tedious and BYO sort of pain in the arse if you decide to import them.  It took me a while to find the place (looking at the wrong street named St James, because of course everything over that way has St James written on it!).



  The one on the right please! 






 What a cool shop though.  Three stories of very British shooting accoutrement – everything the fashionable hunter could be needing this season from fabulous argyle socks and blazers, to lovely engraved shotguns, thermos flasks, collapsable shot glasses and the obigatory cufflinks, tie pins and mugs shaped like shotgun shells.   The lady serving at the main counter sent me up to the third floor when I mentioned I was after a part for my Beretta – I should have been more specific.

Upon gaining entrance to the Gun Room, I asked about the weight screw to my Beretta 87 and he looked at me blankly and said “Is that a pistol, madam?”, to which I replied in the affimrative that it was indeed a sports target pistol, and he stated “I am sorry madam, we do not have any pistols in England.”  *blank stare from me*  “What?  None at all?”  And so ensued a discussion about how there are no competitive pistol target shooters in the entire country and that in order to shoot pistols, one had to go to Jersey where they are a law unto themselvse and pistols are available under very strict conditions.  THE POLICE HERE STILL DON’T CARRY!  I forgot about that – thought things might have changed with the times, but rather glad to find they haven’t.

Anyway had a good look around, had a lovely chat with most of the staff here, they were all delightfullly helpful, and lusted after a shotgun that I had seen at the Brisbane Shot Show last weekend (seriously? was it only last weekend?) and then head off out to play a bit of tourist around Picadilly and Trafalga Square – some things do never change, nothing looked different here.

After a late, quick and very ordinary bento box lunch (dammit but if Japan hasn’t destroyed sushi for me forever!), I head back towards Leicester Square to meet up with KPeth for our afternoon’s entertainment – Tim Minchin’s interpretation of Matilda which has been running at the Cambridge Theatre for about three years now.  I had wanted to see it in New York last year, but knew after dragging Mr K to an opera at the MET, I’d be pushing my luck.  It was a delighful show – I would highly recommend fans of the book, the movie, Tim Minchin fans and teachers and parents all go see it… yes, I know that is a sweepingn demographic, but there is a lot of appeal in this incredibly creative interpretation of the story.  The lovely little girl playing Matilda was delightful, she was confident and sung beautiful and had such an expressive range for someone so young.  And the Trunchpool was FANTASTIC…. just brilliant, so much Tim Minchin in this character and the actor’s portrayal of it.  I am gald to see it is currently auditioning and is going to have a run in Australia, people at home are going to fall in love with it.

After such a delightful show KPeth and I popped across the street to a quaint little pub called the Crown to kill a bit of time before our respective dinner dates.  Had a pint of cider and discussed our impending travels to Norway, Iceland and back to Canada.  Absolutely can’t wait to set sail – with a bit of luck, we will see the Northern Lights too, which would just be the icing on the cake.

After that I made my way to Cosmoba – a fabulous Italian restaurant recommend by Stephola in the Russell Square/Holbourn area – via a wrong turn out of the tube station yet again!  I am all turned around at the moment, twice today I have stuck off walking about a kilometer and a half in the wrong direction only to disheartenedly discover I should have gone right instead of left on coming out of the Tube!  It’s very strange not having been here for so long – many things look so familiar and yet entirely different at the same time… so I think I am on the right track and then discovering – err… not so much.  🙂    Cosmoba was quite a lovely little Italian place and I had a delightful meal with the MusicMan.  We discussed politics, travel, food, relationships, you name it – it feels like we’ve been friends for years… a very odd and yet lovely feeling.  After dinner we stopped by the Princess Louise for a pint – chosen by the MusicMan for it’s fabulous historical cred as a gin palace and it’s amazing decorative arts interior.  Such an amazing little pub.  I forgot to take some photos so had to find some as it is difficult to desribe.  The establishment is a labyrinth of etched glass and dark timber with high solid bars and tempting beverages on tap, the design motifs scattered throughout the decor keep the eye busy, and there are pommegranates, acorns, oak leaves, and greek inspirted cornice and roses and ribbons and so much to look at… it’s busy and a little overwhelming, but somehow cosy and wonderful – I think I have just found my favourite London drinking establishment.  

 After such a lovely night out, it was just a quick walk back to Covent Garden whereupon I collaposed in an exhausted heap – so much for an easy day of wandering about.  🙂 

It’s cold this morning.

Getting ready to head to Japan… have packed Mr K and the Not So Small Child’s suitcases.  Haven’t even started on mine.  It’s bloody cold here this morning – well, for Brisbane anyway.  You know… all things being relative.


Have a list of stuff that needs doing today, including buying Mum a new camera battery, tidying away a bunch of stuff around here, getting keys and things to the Tall Guy who is pretty much house sitting for us… and making a stop at the police station!  As you do.

Because once again, QPS Weapons Licensing have useless bloody systems in place that caused a fuck up, on yet another application. Seems if you have a Cat A/B Minor’s licence and you want to apply for a Minor’s Cat H Licence, you don’t need to apply for a whole new license the way adults do… you just need to apply for a Change of Conditions.  Stupid thing is, when you apply for a Cat H Minor’s licence online, there is nothing to tell you that you don’t need to go through the whole process.

Actually there is nothing to tell you what Minor’s should be doing at all.  You click to the Minor’s application section and there is no where to select Cat H.  So you go back to the main page, and start jumping through the hoops to lodge a Cat H application, until you go to enter the applicants age.  At which point it flicks you to an application for a Minor’s License because they’re under 18.  Ok, new application Minor’s Licence it is.  The system then asks you if the applicant is an existing A/B Licence holder and you tick ‘yes’ and enter their A/B Licence number… at which point it should stop you and tell you that Minor’s don’t need to lodge a whole new application.  But it doesn’t.  Instead it let’s you go through ALL the hoops, even allowing you to select in a Minor’s Licence Application – “NEW CAT H APPLICATION”, even though you have provided their A/B licence number.  And then it prompts you to add all the supporting documentation (photo ID, club membership, pistol club letter of support, Cat H safety course certificate, copy of your A/B licence, letter of permission from parent/guardian, confirmation of address etc) and charges you $160 for the privilege.

The stupid thing is, Minors that already posses their A/B licence only need to lodge a Change of Conditions form which only costs, $8.80.  They don’t have to lodge a whole new application for a Cat H the way adult applicants do. You’d think the system would be smart enough, that when it asks you the applicants age, and if they’re an existing licence holder, and when you enter that the applicant is a Minor and does already hold a licence, that it would just come up with a message saying “MINORS NEED A CHANGE OF CONDITIONS FORM, NOT A WHOLE NEW APPLICATION” instead of leading you down the garden path.

Apparently not.  So… leaving for Japan, and off to the cop shop this morning.  :/

Weapons Licensing Branch have exceeded lowest of expectations.

Well, where do I start?   As anyone who has read this blog knows, I am physically not very strong, and I recently (yeah right, back in late February!) put in a Category C application to  QPS Weapons Licensing Branch to be able to acquire a Category C licence which would allow me to purchase a suitable shotgun for clay target shooting – ie: a pump action semi-automatic shotgun or similar.  The application process requires that submitters also provide evidence from their medical practitioners stating their ‘genuine’ for requiring a Category C shotgun, as this type of firearm is not in general circulation in the shooting community.  The legislation explicitly stipulates that a person who is NOT a Category C licensed shooter, is not even allowed to be in possession of a Cat C shotgun – which means, even with my Cat A/B and H licenses, I am not legally allowed to even borrow a Cat C shotgun to even see if acquiring one is going to suit my purposes!  So many restrictions… le sigh.

Anyway, I had a young woman named Ms Ashleigh Ditzforbrains from Weapons Licensing call me and tell me that my application was received and that ‘everything was in order, you just need to provide your Firearms Safety Course Section Category C and it should be processed – no problems’.  OK.  So I traipse off to get a Cat C Safety Course certification (same damn safety course I did for my A/B license, and my H license and sat through again not so long ago with the Small Child so he could get his A/B Minors license… with some minor variations for Cat C)… some $200 later which I forward to be added to my application and happily go off overseas to the US for five weeks in early March, anticipating that my license would be processed in due course – which everyone knows with WLB is like, fucking forever because their processing times and wait times are notorious screwed up.

Get back from the US, wait some months still and then get a letter stipulating that my medical evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that I lacked the ‘strength and dexterity’ to be eligible for a Category C license!  Are you fucking kidding me!?  That Ms Ashleigh IneptitudeIsUs woman told me everything was in order and sent me off to do an expensive safety course to complete the application?!?  So why was my application being rejected? Naturally, I contact WLB and ask them WTF?  I get told by a Team Leader this time, Ms Morag SomeoneOrOther, that my medical evidence did not state the words ‘strength and dexterity’ so it was deemed insufficient and that I was able to gain more medical advice and avail myself of the QCAT appeal system within 28 days of determination if I wished to appeal the decision, but that there was nothing they could do with the case, once the decision was finalised on their end – which is complete and utter bullshit btw… I’ve worked in Govt and know enough about public service processes to know that cases can be reopened or renumbered to allow for further processing but OK, if  they want me to engage in a spurious administrative appeal, then that is what I would do.  I was also given assurances by Ms Morag Whatserdoover that with additional medical information she felt there would be no problem having the decision reversed. (Oh, and the decision was made on 11th August, but delivered to me by registered mail on 19th August so I had a truncated timetable to get an appeal lodged – thanks arseholes!)

So I went back to the quack, got another letter that stated the exact nature of my physical condition and limitations and ensured it was correctly worded, saying I lacked the ‘strength and dexterity’ to operate traditional break action shotguns and went to lodge a QCAT appeal – at which point I discovered it was going to cost $295.00 just to lodge an appeal!!!  OMFG.  Naturally, one would want to avoid this type of ridiculous lodgement fee, so I contacted Weapons Licensing, yet again, and sent them my new and improved medical evidence (containing the correct wording), and spoke with Morag Thingamebob again and basically went ‘WTF?  Why do I have to go through this expensive process when you have 1) assured me that the problem lay primarily with the wording of my medical evidence and 2) you’ve told me the decision would be reversed, no problem!  It should be difficult to obtain a Category C license, but it should not be this administratively fucking hard!

It was at this time that Ms Morag Bitchface (nee Dooverlackey) decided to change tack – she sent me an email saying that based on the new evidence I had supplied, she and her Authorizing Officer, Snr Sgt Tom Cavanagh, felt that if I pursued my line of enquiry, that it may be deemed that I was not a ‘fit and proper person’ under section 19 of the Weapons Licensing Act to possess Category A/B licenses and I may be called upon to show cause as to why I should be allowed to keep my current licenses.

FUCK OFF YOU INEPT CUNTS!  I don’t wan’t to spend $295.00 on a pointless administrative appeal and respectfully request that my case be reopened or alternatively I be allowed to reapply with the new information and that is what I get?  A THREAT to take away my current license?  THAT’S IT!  Within moments, I have decided that I am GOING TO FUCK YOU BASTARDS WITH A MOTHERFUCKING RAKE!

Unfortunately for Morag Cuntrag (nee Bitchface), this exchange happened on a Friday afternoon, so that basically left me free to spent most of my Sunday writing a letter of complaint against Ms Ashleigh DitzForBrains, Ms Morag Cuntrag and Snr Sgt Tom Cavanagh and send it to – The Honourable Jack Dempsey, Minister for Police,  Mr Ian Stewart, Commissioner for Police, The Chief Operating Officer of Weapons Licensing Branch, and the Manger, Weapons Licensing Branch, and and for good measure – the Anti-Discrimination Officer of Queensland.  And a five page diatribe outlining this six months of unnecessary administrative bullshit was in all their in-boxes by first thing 15th September, ready to make their Monday mornings as delightful as possible.

And then the weirdest thing happened… deathly silence.  Now, any of you who have ever written strongly worded letters to government officials that explain instances of gross ineptitude, break downs in administrative process, threats against an individual of the public (presumably the consumer in this situation) and intimidation and/or spurious threats by a member of QPS including a Senior Sergeant who should bloody well know better, knows… ordinarily know these things get jumped on immediately and someone way on up in the food chain usually calls within 24 hours or less.  But that didn’t happen.  Deathly silence ensued… Weird.

It was not until the following Friday that I had a phone call from the Operations Manager of Weapons Licensing, while I was in the car coming back from the Gold Coast.  Mr K was thankfully driving at the time and could tell within moments that the call was not going to go so well for the guy on the other end of the phone.  The long and the short of that call was that Mr Operations Manager was extremely apologetic that I felt that my current licenses were being threatened but that it was the obligation of the Authorizing Officer under Section 19 of the Weapons Act 1990 to ensure that holders of A/B licenses were fit and proper persons to hold said licenses – to which I replied, that yes, I understood this obligation and duty of care of the authorizing officers, however “under Section 19(2) of that same Act, the Authorizing Officer has the capacity, authorization and ability to request further information pertaining to any Category C application, and that Snr Sgt Tom Cavanagh chose at the time of processing the original application NOT to request further supporting evidence, but instead dismissed the application and thereby turned the matter into an extraneous and spurious appeal for the attention of the expensive QCAT system costing the myself and the tax payer unnecessary time and expense”, or words to that effect.  At which point Mr Operations Manager back peddled a little bit with backing up the authorizing officer and decided to inform me that I was obviously a fit and proper person in his opinion, and that my A/B licenses were not under threat and he had decided I could reapply with an entirely new Cat C application with the new medical evidence – strangely enough, exactly what I had respectfully requested in the first place… a suggestion that was summarily dismissed and a threat to take away my current licenses issued by the power tripping arseholes of Ms Cuntrag and Snr Sgt Cavanagh!  Grrr…!  What I had requested was NOT impossible and obviously not even unreasonable!  Fucking retards working at WLB.

So that was some time in late August by now… the new application was lodged on September 4th.  And NOW for the fun bit.  🙂  Oh yes, the drama continues…!  On Monday this week being the 27th of October, I get a call from the original Ms Ashleigh DitzForBrains letting me know that my application can’t be processed as I have not supplied the $8.00 Change of Conditions fee that should have accompanied (both) the original applications.  Me (deadpan):  “You’re kidding, right?  I lodged this application twice at Morningside, and Carina Police Stations, and on both occasions, none of the receiving officers requested any lodgement fee.”

No, apparently she was not.  And then Dizty Ashleigh asks me what type of shotgun I am planning on acquiring upon gaining this license?  I told her, “I have no idea.  In accordance with the legislation I have not been in possession of, or even borrowed any Category C shotguns, and as such have not yet made that determination.”  She then informs me that with this license I am only able to purchase a “break action shotgun that takes no more than 2 rounds at a time”.  NO SHIT, she actually said that.  I took a deep breather and told her, very calmly, that she has just described a traditional shotgun which is able to be purchased by any A/B licensee in the entire state of Queensland, and that a Category C shotgun is one which is a semi-automatic shotgun, either pump action or other action operated, and may hold a capacity of up to five rounds in accordance with the legislation… and she insists that you can only get a break action shotgun that takes two rounds with a Category C license!  (You know – I looked this stupid woman up when I was writing my ministerial and I know that I am dealing with an absolutely bottom feeding administrative droogey – she’s an A02 glorified reception with the title of WLB Processing Officer – but she should know the very basic differences of weapons types in accordance with the Act that dictates every single action relating to her entire job! But she obviously has no idea what the fuck she is doing).  Eventually she asks me to hold while she ‘checks with Someone Else’, to which I respond, ‘Please do.’  :/

In due course ‘Someone Else’ gets on the phone and tells me that I am indeed correct, but that the $8.00 fee does need to be paid.  I acquiesce graciously to his ridiculously overdue but seemingly reasonable request for a modest processing fee, and helpfully suggest that they consider updating their website to reflect this requirement, especially seeing that neither the Morningside nor Carina Police Stations, where the original applications were lodged, knew anything about any processing fee for a Change of Conditions application…!

Anyway, I have now paid the $8.00 fee and scanned and emailed the receipt off to WLB marked attention to ‘Someone Else’, the nice guy who seemed to know some shit from Shinola, and now… we wait.  AGAIN!!!

Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

This is how I imagine Ms DiztForBrains gets on at work…