Thursday, July 25, 2013

Which is best: shooting skeet, trap, or sporting clays?

Al Hague teaching me how to shoot trap. Time to move on from just plinking!So I went shooting this weekend at Seattle Skeet and Trap (SST) with Western Shooting Journal’s regular columnist Al Hague. Al and SST board member Dave Dalton, both top shooters, provided me with expert assistance, teaching me trap and sporting clays  (I’ve shot skeet in the past). It was a blast trying out Al’s Benelli 12-gauge shotgun. I learned something very interesting, and surprising, about the three sports and will be writing up an article about it for the September issue of Western Shooting Journal. I have firmly made my mind up about which of the three I prefer and you’ll have to pick up that issue to see where I come down! My article will also include some advice for women and folks with bad eyes like myself. And if you don’t already, be sure to read Al’s monthly column about shotguns and these three sports. They’re really, really good, or he would not be a regular monthly reader for us. His articles are what piqued my interest in this kind of shooting.

Al with his new Zoli shotgun sporting clays, as Dave releases the targets.
Al with his new Zoli shotgun at a sporting clays station, as Dave releases the targets.
My husband Brian was a natural, having grown up with shotguns in the Boy Scouts.
A sporting clays team that was ahead of us. Tom Curtis shooting a Blazer, father and daughter team Fred and Rachel Heistuman, and Todd Watson with a Beretta 391. Both Tom and Fred are officers in the fire department.

Found this cool Magna-Arm gun magnet to park my gun in various places

Rach-magnaarmI came across this awesome neat little gadget that you MUST have.  I admit I’m a sucker for cool stuff, especially technology and technology related to guns.  The Magna-Arm gun magnet is small and a cinch to install (2 screws – although in the photo to the right I didn’t even bother using the screws; the magnet is powerful enough and also sticks to the metal in the table) Magna-Arms suggests it can be used behind a headboard or nightstand, inside a closet, or in a deer stand or duck boat. Use two for shotguns and rifles. Here I am with my Ruger .38 Special showing how it can easily be hidden under a table (well, if there is a tablecloth or sleeves coming down!) Click here for more photos of where you might put the magnet.  Only $20 – buy it here. And don't forget to stop by Western Shooting Journal regularly for the best updates on guns!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Detroit: The Left’s Model for Success

Fifty years of Democrats running the city of Detroit led to it filing for bankruptcy last week. Unsustainable demands from its 48 unions gradually drove out private industry, as government became the largest employer. Its shrinking tax base can no longer support the massive pension debt obligations and still provide a minimum level of city services. Nearly half of the city’s debt is to underfunded pension plans and retirees.
Mitt Romney presciently warned in 2008 that if the government bailed out the automakers, it would ultimately destroy Detroit. “Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.” Obama and the Democrats in Congress didn’t listen and chose to bail out GM and Chrysler.
Detroit reached its zenith in the 1950s. It was the fourth-largest U.S. city and had one of the country’s highest per capita incomes. A manufacturing capital, the city provided 75 percent of the production for World War II. GM CEO Dan Akerson laments,"If you go back to the early '60s, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America. If you were an engineer, you wanted to be in Detroit."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Napolitano Leaving DHS Under Cloud of Suspicion

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano suddenly announced last week that she was resigning her position at the embattled agency in order to take a $750,000-a-year job as president of the University of California system. This will more than triple her salary, which was $200,000 at DHS.

The timing of her resignation is highly unusual for a member of the president’s cabinet. Most cabinet members who leave after a president’s first term don’t wait an extra six months into the second term. Many believe she abruptly left DHS because of some sordid dealings that are about to be discovered. Her tenure at DHS has been characterized by back-to-back lawsuits and multiple controversies regarding the agencies DHS oversees, which include the TSA, ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and FEMA.

Napolitano was known in Arizona for her backroom deals and ruthless targeting of conservatives, a pattern she continued as DHS chief. In 2009, she issued a DHS report entitled, "Rightwing [sic] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” In it, conservatives who prefer local government over federal government, Christians who believe in the “end times,” and single-issue groups, such as groups that oppose abortion and illegal immigration, are singled out and compared to dangerous insurgents, who have “the potential to turn violent.” People concerned about the Second Amendment have “the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.” Conservatives are compared to dangerous extremists like the late Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Oklahoma IRS building. It is claimed in the memo that these types of conservatives have formed their political views because they are racist against blacks and Obama. At the end, readers are urged to report these kinds of people to DHS.

Read the rest of the article at Townhall

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Conservative attorney may be recent target of administration

by Chris Wager

Conservative attorney may the latest but not the last victim of a corrupt liberal administration. Attacking on all levels, in order to secure the destruction of careers, lives, and country.

This article is the follow up to the July 2012 piece, “Op-Ed: Maricopa County, AZ Seat to Unprecedented Judicial Corruption,” Where it was reported in 2008 that Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas filed charges of corruption and racketeering in an attempt to bring several key people in Maricopa County government to justice.

What happened next is the pinnacle example of the damage that can be done when the power of the justice system is put in the wrong hands. Wheedled to destroy the life of one young, ambitious attorney. Rachel at the beginning of her career held limited resources and favors to fight back, making her a target. It is believed by this reporter that Rachel’s outspoken conservative activism is what drew the most attention to her. It was obvious during her questioning, as you will read later. It was her activism the questioners’ were most concerned with. It is also believed by this reporter, given the familiarity of the questioners with her writing, that they could possibly have been aware of her many articles and blog posts years before conducting the investigation. They were waiting for the opportune time. Given those who would orchestrate the attacks on her later.

Read the rest of the article at Digital Journal

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Sudden Decline of Marco Rubio

A month ago, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was considered by many to be the GOP front runner for president in 2016. Now, even if he secures the nomination, Republicans may very likely support him only half-heartedly like they did moderate Republican Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, a sure recipe for losing the presidential election. On June 27th, the “Gang of Eight,” composed of Rubio and other senators supporting the relaxation of immigration laws, forced through an immigration reform bill so radical even Jeb Bush has criticized it. Fewer than one-third of Senate Republicans voted for it. S. 744 would award legal status and a path to citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants. The Gang of Eight is composed of four liberal Democrat Senators and four Republican Senators, including McCain and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), liberal Republicans known for siding with the Democrats on immigration. 

Rubio isn’t just pushing for moderate immigration reform, such as that envisioned by Clint Bolick and Jeb Bush in their new book Immigration Wars. Their plan for dealing with illegal immigration does not include a path to citizenship, and cuts down on chain migration, which currently accounts for two-thirds of all legal immigration. Rubio’s bill goes much further, signing onto the most radical Democrat proposals.

S. 744 gives employers financial incentives to hire illegal immigrants who have been granted amnesty - over Americans. Employers with over 50 employees are required to offer health insurance, otherwise they’re subjected to fines of $3000 per employee. Newly legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies on the Obamacare exchange for 13 years, so employers could avoid fines and offering healthcare if they hired them instead of Americans. Five senators were asked by the Weekly Standard if they were aware of this provision in the 1,200 page bill, and they said they had no idea. 

Read the rest of the article at Townhall

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So You Want to be a Freelance Writer...

I'm the editor of a fairly large print magazine about guns, Western Shooting Journal, and about once every couple of weeks, the same scenario plays itself out. A potential writer will contact me about submitting an article to the magazine. They will ask about compensation, and I will explain that we offer relatively moderate compensation. The potential writer will respond and say they are "insulted" and give me a laundry list of why they are an outstanding writer and how much they are used to being paid for articles. I sigh, and try to explain that the writing business isn't what it used to be anymore, but it doesn't seem to matter, they disappear in a huff with some choice words.
The reality is times have changed.Print media is gradually being replaced by the Internet. This has had two effects. First, it has made it more difficult for print publications to stay in business. This is evidenced by the steady trudge of newspapers and magazines  going out of business. So there is less money to spend int their budgets. Secondly, the Internet allows more people the ability to easily submit their writing to publications. Years ago, it was much more difficult to find writers to write on specific topics. Now, anyone can go post a request on craigslist, or many of a number of sites requesting a writing project. The pay for many of these projects is appalling, and is no doubt driven even lower by international competition - you're competing against third world writers who are fine with earning pennies per article. It's the law of supply and demand, and the free market at work. The value of writing has decreased as technology has advanced. Contrast it to all the factory and farm labor jobs that have disappeared as computers and farm equipment technology advanced. 
I suspect that many of the top newspapers and magazines in the country don't pay freelance writers anything, and in fact may even charge writers to publish their articles. Writing is a lot like entertainment - there is a reason why the vast majority of actors wait tables in addition to acting. You are getting a benefit by writing for a publication that you don't get from, say, washing dishes or copy editing. You are getting fame, a reputation as an expert in that field, the ability to make key contacts, possible radio interviews, etc. I suspect most major newspapers and magazines survive mostly off of the work of unpaid freelance writers; there are few 40-hour week employees left.
I've been regularly freelance writing since 1997, and I've never been able to make even close to enough money to live on from it. I've developed a fairly established reputation in the conservative political world, but money doesn't accompany it. There are too many other good conservative writers out there who are willing to write for free - or even pay for the privilege.
I am always amused when someone - usually someone I barely know - will contact me and ask to become a writer for the publications I write for. I grin, thinking it's taken me 16 years to get where I'm at now, slaving away through many working weekends foregoing leisure and rest, building up my writing reputation and reportoire. One of my editors told me he scans the top conservative publications and finds the top writers - who usually then provide him their articles for free - you cannot even submit your articles to him. 
So unless you have writers' blood flowing through your veins (or you have an "in" at some publication or a lot of money), don't expect to make much money as a writer. If you want to slug away and give it a shot, here are the most valuable tips I've learned from the process: Start out at a smaller publication and work your way up. If you want to write about conservative politics, submit your articles to my website or similarly sized conservative websites (please note - this particular site prefers more intellectual writing, like the style of the late William F. Buckley, Jr., so we may not be for everyone). We don't pay writers for articles here, but the exposure isn't bad and some of my writers have moved on to much larger publications. I also recommend writing a book. It's amazing how fast I've seen writers' careers accelerate once they've gotten a book under their belt. Even if it's just a bunch of your columns.
So good luck aspiring writers, and the next time someone offers you a modest amount of money for an article - be glad they're not asking you to pay them to run your article.

Monday, July 1, 2013

1st Ever AZ Firearms Industry Directory Released

More than $1B/yr., jobs and tax base


TrainMeAZ, LLC
4848 E. Cactus #505-440 • Scottsdale, AZ 85254
1-800-707-4020 Orders • 602-996-4020 In Arizona • 602-494-0679 Fax

Only $20 +S&H

The first ever Arizona Firearms Industry Directory has been compiled and released by, a statewide firearms trade association. It identifies 313 manufacturers and ancillary businesses in the firearms industry in the state, and estimates its direct economic output, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority, at just over $1 billion a year. If economic impact is taken into account, the figure is more than double that, representing jobs, tax base, tourism and commerce.
This unique First Edition will become a collector’s item, as well as an invaluable tool for helping the industry connect to itself, and aiding in sales, business and cultural goals. An easy-reading 8.5 x 11-inch guide, each firm’s listing includes complete name, address and phone numbers, and fax numbers where available. Most entries have websites and many include email addresses. Every company is described briefly and categorized for easy identification. Readers are encouraged to provide updates and additions for a planned second edition.
TrainMeAZ first gained national prominence when its public bus-stop gun-safety ads were censored by the city of Phoenix. A free-speech lawsuit over the matter is being pressed by the The Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, joined by the ACLU as an amicus. For details go to the News Room at
Directory Contents: About TrainMeAZ, LLC • TrainMeAZ Goals • What makes Arizona “The gun-friendliest state” • Breakdown of the economic output of the arms and ammunition industry in Arizona, 2012 • Why firearms companies should consider moving to Arizona • Directory of 313 Arizona firearms manufacturers, retailers, ranges and ancillary firms with addresses, contact information and descriptions • The Aerospace and Defense Factor • The Game and Fish Connection • Contributing Sponsors with contact information • Letters of support from Governor Jan Brewer, State Representative John Kavanagh, Former State Attorney General Bob Corbin, CATO Institute Chairman Bob Levy • “Where to Shoot” GUN MAP Rate Card.

Only $20 +S&H
TrainMeAZ is a non-partisan, joint educational effort of the firearms training and Second Amendment community in Arizona. The state’s unique Constitutional Carry Law (SB1108, A.R.S. §13-3102, effective on July 29, 2010), served as the spark to initiate the program. Interested parties from around the state joined forces to promote gun-safety training, the shooting sports, self-defense awareness, the general health of the industry as a whole and exercise of the fundamental constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes. The goal is to advance a deep appreciation of the valuable role firearms play in a peaceful society, on a statewide scale.