12 October 2018


Let's not forget the sailors who died on the USS Cole 18 years ago, and let's not forget that the fifth century scum who did it are still out there.

On October 12, 2000, USS Cole, under the command of Commander Kirk Lippold, set in to Aden Harbor for a routine fuel stop. Cole completed mooring at 0930. Refueling started at 1030. Around 1118 local time, a small craft approached the port side of the destroyer, and an explosion occurred, putting a 40-by-60-foot gash in the ship's port side. The attack was the deadliest against a U.S. Naval vessel since the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark (FFG-31) on May 17, 1987.

Those who died were:

Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Costelow
Mess Management Specialist Lakina Francis
Information Systems Technician Tim Guana
Signalman Seaman Recruit Cherone Gunn
Seaman James McDaniels
Engineman 2nd Class Mark Nieto
Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class Ronald Owens
Seaman Recruit Lakiba Parker
Engineman Fireman Joshua Parlett
Fireman Apprentice Patrick Roy
Electronics Warfare Technician Kevin Rux
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ron Santiago
Operations Special 2nd Class Timothy Sanders
Fireman Gary Swenchonis Jr
Ensign Andrew Triplett
Seaman Apprentice Craig Wibberly

Fair seas to all.

03 October 2018

OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT – OCTOBER 3, 1993 – 25th Anniversary

Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. 
— Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the start of the raid — Operation Gothic Serpent — in Mogadishu, Somalia, in which 19 American soldiers were killed in the contacts immortalized in the Mark Bowden’s book, and the Ridley Scott movie made from it, Black Hawk Down

(Above image is a 1993 photo of B Co, 3 Bn. Rangers in Somalia.)

Although often thought of as a 75th Ranger ops (B Company, 3rd Bn.), Special Forces (1st SFOD-D), Navy SEALs (DEVGRU), Air Force Pararescuemen and Combat Controllers (24th Special Tactics Squadron) and 160th Special Operations Regiment (Night Stalkers) pilots were all involved in the battle, and the rescue element that extricated the Rangers, et al., was composed of US 10th Mountain Division troopers, as well as armor elements of Pakistani and Malaysian military.

Lost in the memory of the day was the fact that the object of the raid — capturing some criminals — was successful and that somewhere between 700 and 1500 Somalia street fighters were killed during the attack. Seventy-three Amercians were wounded in the attack and rescue/wrap up. 

The two Blackhawk helicopters taken down were hit by RPGs. Whether they were locals or al Qaida imports is debatable. 

Lest we forget:
SFC Randy Shughart, a Delta Sniper killed defending the crew of Super Six 4, the Medal of Honor.
MSgt. Gary Gordon, a Delta Sniper killed defending the crew of Super Six 4, the Medal of Honor.
MSgt. Tim “Griz” Martin, Delta soldier killed on the Lost Convoy, Delta Force.
SFC Earl Fillmore, Delta soldier killed moving to the first crash site, Delta Force.
SSgt. Daniel Busch, crashed on Super Six 1 and was killed defending the downed crew, the Silver Star, Delta Force.
CWO Clifton Wolcott, pilot of Super Six 1 and died in crash, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and the Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
CWO Donovan Briley, copilot of Super Six 1 and died in crash, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
CWO Raymond Frank, copilot of Super Six 4, Silver Star, Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
SSgt. William Cleveland, a crew chief on Super Six 4, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Field, a crew chief on Super Six 4, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device, Night Stalkers.
Sgt. Casey Joyce, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Spc. James Cavaco, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Cpl. Jamie Smith, who bled to death with the pinned-down force around crash site one, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Dominick Pilla, who was killed on the convoy rescuing Pfc. Todd Blackburn, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
PFC Richard Kowalewski, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz, who was killed on the Lost Convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sgt. Cornell Houston, who was killed fighting on the rescue convoy, the Bronze Star with Valor Device, De Fleury medal, 10th Mountain Division.
PFC James Martin, who was killed on the rescue convoy, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division.
Sgt. Matt Rierson, who was killed on Oct. 6 by a mortar which landed just outside the hangar, Delta Force.
Pvt. Mat Aznan Awang (posthumously promoted to Cpl) driver of a Malaysian Condor APC hit by a RPG on Oct. 3rd.

My prayers — such as they are — for their families. 

17 September 2018


For you paratroopers out there, September 15 marked the 74th anniversary of the launch of Operation Market Garden ... the largest airborne operation ever ...as in EVER.

Even though it failed to "end the war" it was a gallant effort nonetheless with troopers from all the allied commands. 

The movie ain't bad, but the book is great. They both go by the title A Bridge Too Far. The movie starred "everybody" on both sides of the pond, and the book was written by Cornelius Ryan.

You might also want to check It Never Snows in September, by Robert Kershaw (a look at Market Garden from the German side), or Arnhem, by Major-General R. E. Urquhart (yes, THAT Urquhart).

(Photo is off US Paratroopers dropping on Holland ... courtesy of the US Government)

28 March 2018


Being that I understand the heart of the Second Amendment — to keep the people of the United States able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government — I’m coming down on bumpstocks this way:

There ain’t NO fucking reason in the world why you need one. Or why they should be legal.

Hear me out.

If the shit hits the fan — i.e., we “have” to protect ourselves against government troops — chances are most of us are going to die. I say that from a POV of having survived a considerable amount of combat in which large groups of my bad guys endeavored to kill small groups of my good guys.

We (the good guys) happened to be successful — by and large — in not dying and killing remarkably larger amounts of bad guys, than they killed us. But that’s mostly because we were able to do to them what they always tried to do to our guys.

That said.

I have whatever arms I have. They are sufficient IMO.

I’m pretty sure — even at this advanced age — that there’s an awfully good chance I’ll be able to appropriate a gun from a dead guy who was formerly trying to make me a dead guy.

Now … when I was doing this sort of shit for a living, some of us liked to — in some cases, had to — use the same type weaponry that belong to our enemies. We usually obtained these weapons by killing the guy who formerly owned the weapon.

The hard part in a lot of cases was keeping enough quality ammo for the weapon to carry it back into combat. Communist block ammunition was notoriously shitty, and the last thing you needed was bullets that didn’t work. Even if their guns always did (we're talking AK-47s here).

So. You’ve stockpiled enough .223 to keep you to doomsday. However … auto sucks, and bumpstocks suck because they make semis auto. And you will run out of .223 faster than shit on full auto or bumpstock auto.

With the exception of an on-point contact — in which you dump a full mag to stay alive — automatic weaponry sucks and isn’t effective. Regardless of what you’ve seen in the movies.

Not trying to brag, but I’ve been in some shitstorms of 20-feet-away, 20- or 25-to-one firefights and never used anything other than semi-auto. Apparently, we (me and three other guys) were successful, because I’m actually writing this horseshit.

So. You don’t need a bumpstock or a full auto weapon. And, if you’re actually good at what you do, you’ll be able to get one.

What you need is to do is stay in shape (said this fat, old guy), know your weapon, and be ready to kill a living human being. Not everyone can, and not everyone will (mainly because it’s one of the most terrible things you’ll ever have to live with. If it isn’t, then you’re a sociopath and you REALLY shouldn’t own a bumpstock or a full-auto weapon).

That’s my opinion. And I've sure as shit been there, done that.

HERE's  a link to what I consider one of the best videos on bumpstocks ... and why YOU don't need one. 


Defensive Gun Use Is More Than
 Shooting Bad Guys

It's hard to say exactly, but it's certainly more than many media outlets are reporting.

By James Agresti

In a New York Times column entitled “How to Reduce Shootings,” Nicholas Kristof writes, “It is true that guns are occasionally used to stop violence. But contrary to what the National Rifle Association suggests, this is rare. One study by the Violence Policy Center found that in 2012 there were 259 justifiable homicides by a private citizen using a firearm.”

That statement grossly misleads by pretending that firearms only stop violence when they are used to kill criminals. As explained by the National Academies of Sciences in a 300+ page analysis of firearms studies, “Effective defensive gun use need not ever lead the perpetrator to be wounded or killed. Rather, to assess the benefits of self-defense, one needs to measure crime and injury averted. The particular outcome of an offender is of little relevance.”

Likewise, a 1995 paper in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology states, “This is also too serious a matter to base conclusions on silly statistics comparing the number of lives taken with guns with the number of criminals killed by victims. Killing a criminal is not a benefit to the victim, but rather a nightmare to be suffered for years afterward.”

Crime Prevention

The purpose of having a gun for defense is not to kill criminals but to prevent them from killing or harming others. Accordingly, the same 1995 paper found that “only 8 percent” of people who use a gun for defense “report wounding an adversary.” Given the study’s sample size, this 8 percent figure has a margin of sampling error of ± 4 percentage points with 95 percent confidence. The authors conclude that “the rather modest 8.3 percent wounding rate we found is probably too high” and that defensive gun uses “are less serious or dramatic in their consequences than our data suggest.”

A range of credible data suggests that civilians use guns to stop violence more than 100,000 times per year.

In other words, people who use a gun for defense rarely harm (much less kill) criminals. This is because criminals often back off when they discover their targets are armed. A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons across the U.S. found that 40 percent of them had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun.”

Contrary to Kristof’s deceitful claim, a range of credible data suggests that civilians use guns to stop violence more than 100,000 times per year.

For instance, the above-cited 1995 paper was based on a survey of 4,977 households, which found that at least 0.5 percent of households over the previous five years had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population using standard scientific methods, this amounts to at least 162,000 saved lives per year, excluding all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”

Since this data is from the 1990s and is based on people’s subjective views of what would have happened if they did not use a gun, it should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the same survey found that the number of people who used a gun for self-defense was about six times greater than the number who said that using the gun “almost certainly” saved a life. This amounts to at least 1,029,615 defensive gun uses per year, including those in which lives were saved and those of lesser consequence.

Facing the Facts

Notably, anti-gun criminologist Marvin E. Wolfgang praised this study, which was conducted by pro-gun researchers Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. In the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Wolfgang wrote:

“I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country.”

“Nonetheless, the methodological soundness of the current Kleck and Gertz study is clear. I cannot further debate it.”

“The Kleck and Gertz study impresses me for the caution the authors exercise and the elaborate nuances they examine methodologically. I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology.”

Other credible studies provide evidence that defensive gun uses are much more common than Kristof leads his readers to believe.

Anti-gun researcher David McDowall and others conducted a major survey of defensive gun use that was published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology in 2000. The authors did not take their survey results to their logical conclusions by using the common practice of weighting them to determine what the results would be for a nationally representative survey. But when one does this, the results imply that U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 990,000 times per year. This figure accounts only for “clear” cases of defensive gun use and is based upon a weighting calculation designed to minimize defensive gun uses.

Similarly, a 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.

In 2013, President Obama ordered the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.” In response, the CDC asked the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council to “convene a committee of experts to develop a potential research agenda focusing on the public health aspects of firearm-related violence...” This committee studied the issue of defensive gun use and reported:

“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed…”

“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million…”

“[S]ome scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey,” but this “estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.”

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies…”

In sum, the difference between credible defensive gun use data and Kristof’s deceitful “259” figure is enormous. By misleading his readers to believe that firearms are rarely used for defense, he and his editors at the Times could dissuade people who may otherwise save lives from ever getting the firearms that enable them to do so.

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