Folks who know me, and who have followed Dragon Leatherworks from its infancy, know that I tend to not mince words, and at times I can be rather…blunt.
I started as a holster maker in upstate NY with a total investment of $500, some leather-working tools, and a converted 10′ x 12′ outdoor shed. Un-insulated outdoor shed. Winters in upstate NY can get mighty cold. But I was on a mission…after getting my carry permit in NY, and finding no comfortable, easy way to carry my handgun, I decided to make holsters not only for myself, but for those folks who wanted an alternative to the mass-produced stuff.
I also thought, when I lived there, that getting a carry permit in NY was a pain in the ass, and bordered on un-Constitutional.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
I just finished Emily Millers book, “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery Publishing). To quote a line from a very popular short-lived TV show “There’s all sort of twists and cul-de-sacs. It’s wild.” Emily, much like myself in upstate NY, was on a mission.
That was what I took away from this book. How can ANYONE exercise their Second Amendment RIGHTS when a city like D.C. erects so many barriers in order to thwart gun-ownership? And that was Emily’s same reaction when she started the process to be able to get a handgun as a D.C. resident, to simply have it in her home as a method of self-defense. I applaud her for her tenacity because she was on a mission, and refused to be kow-towed into just giving up and slinking away like a good little peasant when her “betters” that occupied positions of self-inflated authority did everything in their power to make it as difficult, costly, and time-consuming as possible to get a gun in the district. They erected said barriers in the hopes that by making sure that if just one more law-abiding citizen was disarmed, that would be the tipping point where the D.C. Utopia would finally emerge, and “gun violence” would simply go away.
Emily wrote her book after documenting her rather convoluted journey through the muck and mire that is the D.C. regulations and codes, finding herself reading one procedure that references another, then another, then circling back to the first one, where there was no seemingly clear step-by-step procedure laid out for what you need to do, when to do it, how to do it, and how much it would cost. After her wildly popular multi-weekly editorial gained interest from the gun-rights community, she compiled her articles into various chapters, interspersed with other chapters of opinion, commentary, and stories of folks who were caught up in D.C’s Draconian and Byzantine amalgamation of laws that were put into place to “keep the District safe” but did nothing more (and to this day STILL do nothing more) than punish the unwary, and the law abiding.
Being a recent escapee from the “utopia” that is New York State (never regretting it for one moment), and having experienced poorly written laws that do nothing but disarm the law-abiding, I was immediately drawn in by her story and her experiences. And I know that had I been a D.C. resident trying to get a gun and having to deal with the people she had to deal with, I would have been MUCH more snarky, MUCH more of a wiseass, and downright condescending and belittling.
I would have definitely NOT been a good ambassador for pro-gunnies. That is why I’m not a journalist either. I don’t have the temperament for it.
Which is why I cannot stress enough the wonderful job that Emily did in her book, the level-headedness and calm she exhibited whilst navigating the nightmare that is the D.C. Firearm Licensing adventure, and also why I cannot thank her enough, with humbleness and humility, for being exactly the kind of public-facing ambassador we need in our fight to protect our Second Amendment rights, so as to win converts to the cause.
Folks…do yourselves a favor, get the book. You won’t be disappointed. Give it as a Christmas gift. Or Chanukah gift, or Kwanza, or whatever your particular flavor of diety-worship might be.
And to drive home the fact that I’m not blowing smoke out my ass here, I’ve gone and given her book a place of VERY high honor in my store, so that folk who come in to sit, have coffee, and just relax, can peruse the pages of her book while hanging out in my gun store.
You see…in my store, I have what I call the Patriots Corner.
That corner where the Army flag, POW flag, and Old Glory hang, is a special place. That American Flag was loaned/donated to the store by a friend who is a retired Army Captain. He started his military career as an enlisted man, then went to OCS. Served in Iraq, then retired with 20+ years. When I opened my store this past summer (August 2013) he felt that it needed something…and he had just the thing.
That flag flew for fallen men in Iraq, who were all local to East Tennessee (generally, the greater Knoxville Metro area). Next to the flag, on the wall, is a plaque with the names of the men for whom this very flag flew at half-mast, in Iraq.
Emily’s book has a place of honor in the store, because that is how highly I think of her tenacity, and her patriotism. It rests on a shelf just below the plaque of names of the fallen, next to the flag that flew in Iraq for these men.
She earned that place.
Things have been busy. Still at the day job, still making holsters and gunbelts. Also got into doing custom leather props for TV Shows and Movies (another post will follow with the particulars of what we’ve done in the past, with hints of what we’ve done for future movie releases…) along with having a brick-and-mortar store up and going.
But the thing I want to write about today, is that I’ve had the honor of being contacted by the publishing company for Emily Miller, who wrote “Emily Gets Her Gun”, and being asked to do a book review.
I’m about 3/4 of the way through it (my schedule leaves precious little time for reading, but I gave my word and made a commitment, and will keep it) and should be posting a review of the book over the Thanksgiving holiday.
I’ve also been contacted by a publisher asking to review the latest book by none other than “Gunnie” himself, R. Lee Ermey. That review will post in December.
Also, with a bit of luck, I’ll be able to get back to posting at least weekly, if not daily, here on the blog with things that are of interest to me, and what I feel would also be of interest to my customers and readers.
OK…according to Liberal Logic, the following is our course of action…
After Newtown, the push was on to ban guns, because if guns were outlawed, Newtown wouldn’t have happened.
So, after the Boston Bombing, we need to ban kitchen appliances. Because, if pressure cookers were banned, then the bombing wouldn’t have happened.
At the very least, we need to have background checks on pressure cookers, and maybe a Federal Registry on all the persons who buy a pressure cooker.
We also need to close the Yardsale Loophole, because anyone can simply go to a yard sale, and pick up one of these very dangerous pressure cookers for around two dollars, and in doing so bypass the pressure cooker background check.
Seriously…we all know that pressure cookers are old and antiquated, and NOBODY uses them anymore except for hillbillies, preppers, and people bitterly clinging to their old notions of self-reliance and cooking in their own kitchen.
Hell…no-one needs kitchens anymore either. We should ban kitchens. There are plenty of restaurants out there, with decent folk trying to make a living, who will cook for you.
As in, California’s Hollyweird Elite are DREAMING.
OK…so who remembers the Lee Majors movie, circa 1981, called *The Last Chase*? Here’s the IMDB synopsis…
“It is the future. Evil fascists have forced everyone to recycle and drive electric cars, and have oppressed all those poor people who want to drive Ferraris and smoke cigarettes. Hero Lee Majors, an ex-racing car driver, decides to make a statement by pulling out his old race car and driving cross-country at 150 mph (he siphons gas from old gas station pumps). Taking along a young computer hacker, he drives for the Holy Land the Free State of California! Of course, the Powers That Be try to eliminate him by hiring Burgess Meredith to shoot him down with a fighter jet, which, too, are virtually extinct.”
Riiiiigth….let me see if I have this bit of Hollywood fantasy correct. Back in 1981, Hollywood screenwriters thought that the REST of the country would become a dictatorial, fascist state requiring everyone to recycle, drive electric cars, take public transportation, etc., with the only bastion of freedom being California, which has broken away (I *wish* the San Andreas would split wide open, but I digress) and is the only place left where there is NO fascist goobermint, where people DON’T have to recycle, where people CAN still drive gasoline-burning cars, and public transportation is prohibited because it is seen as the first step towards a Big Brother tyrannical State.
What we have, 32 years after the movie, is the exact opposite…California is THE MOST FASCIST state in the Union (NY, NJ, MA, and CT all vying for second place), fruit-n-nutters run the place into deeper and deeper deficits, freedoms are being trampled (re: Californias recent gun control proposals) and now that the largest shale oil deposit has been discovered under California, projected to hold nearly 60% of ALL the shale oil in the Continental USA, the tree-huggers (read: environmentalists) are all lining up to oppose tapping into it.
Never mind that this could literally, inside of 5 years, wipe out California’s debt, produce hundreds of thousands of jobs, and become California’s modern Gold Rush…nah, they’d rather wallow in their debt and crime, and force their totalitarian vision onto the peons, because the goobermint there knows whats *best*.
We had the drawing yesterday to the winner of the Viper Holster, in conjunction with the donations for the blogger and Mistress of Snark, Tam Keel, who writes the blog View From The Porch.
And the winner is Chris M. of Idaho! Congratulations Chris!
Again…I want to thank all of you who entered and donated. It was a huge help for Tam, and she is supremely humbled by the generous outpouring.
I’ve seen the recent spate of *Secession Petitions* being submitted to whitehouse.gov….will reserve comment, except to say you don’t *ask* for secession…you simply do it after stocking up on food, water, and ammunition.
What has been more interesting is reading the reactions from the more liberal/progressive folks I know, which is just as knee-jerk a reaction as is the whole secession
petition thing…to wit, that without the Blue States footing the bill with tax dollars, the Red States would wither way because the Red states get *more* in Fed money pumped back compared to how much those states pay out (regarding Federal taxes). And the overarching theme of these rants is basically *You wanna leave? FINE! See how you like it when we keep all our money!!!*
Uh-huh. Let’s look at why the Red States are getting those subsidies, shall we?
1) Red is the Heartland. eg: its America’s Bread Basket. Those subsidies keep the cost of food artificially LOW for you Blue Staters, because you’ve done gone and paved over your useable land, so instead of having the ability to feed yourselves, the Red States have to grow the food for you. Do you really want to pay the true and actual cost at retail of bringing that food to market? No, of course you don’t.
2) Red is the Black Gold: oil is plentiful in the Red States, as is shale oil and natural gas. Keeping that price artificially low so you can *afford* the things made from petrochem is part of the whole subsidy scheme.
3) Red is Beef: admit it…your noses wouldn’t be able to stand the smell of the cattle farm or pig farm in close proximity to your cities.
4) Red is Wood: without trees for lumber and pulp, you have no houses and paper. Cost of brining *that* to market? Subsidized, baby!
The list goes on, but that’s just the tip. Taking a *let them eat cake* attitude about the Heartland is cutting your nose off to spite your face. Sure, the Blue States would have all the money, but you can’t eat the money, you can’t heat the home with the money (well, you could burn it, but that’s very inefficient) you can’t stuff it under the hood of your car and expect it to fuel the engine, etc.
So for all the blog postings where people think they are being clever by pointing out that the Red States receive subsidies, stop and think of exactly how artificially low your prices are for the goods that those subsidies pay for.
Then ask yourself if you *really want* to pay the true and actual cost of what those goods could command in a truly free and unregulated open market.
All it takes is a donation of $5.56 (5.56 being the NATO round for the M16) towards a bloggers impending medical bills.
Whats a Viper? This is a Viper:
This is FOR THE HOLSTER ONLY! I ain’t parting with the gun, folks.
So I’ve enlisted their help to get the word out of my giveaway.
A blogger by the name of Tam, who writes the uber-popular and *Man do I wish I had her kind of website traffic* blog called View From the Porch is facing some impending medical bills.
In this season where the weather turns cold, bills get a bit higher, and money gets a bit tighter, it would be nice to help out a fellow human being that could use a little bit of a leg up.
So click here and go on over to her site, hit up her tipjar for $5.56. When you make the donation, you’ll get an e-mail confirmation. Forward that e-mail confirmation of payment over to email@example.com with “DONATION TO TAM” in the subject line, and I’ll I’ll put your name in a hat and draw it on Sunday, Dec. 02, 2012.
If you are the lucky name picked, I’ll make you the holster to be delivered by X-Mas. A list of guns that I can fit the Viper for is on the right sidebar on this webpage.
The donation MUST BE FOR A TOTAL OF $5.56 IN ONE PAYMENT, not two or three that add up to $5.56. I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT UNLESS IT IS DONE AS ONE PAYMENT.
You can donate in multiples of $5.56, and I’ll put you in as many times as the multiple calls for. You want your name twice in the hat? Donate $11.12. Three times? $16.68. And so on.
Lets help out. Tis the Season.
Thank you, and God Bless.
Don’t want a Viper Holster? Click here and donate for a set of custom grips!
I’m going to ask my fellow Veterans that go to one of the many places offering free lunch ad/or dinner to Vets this Sunday to do the right thing, and PAY for the meal.
We have enough people in society today with their hands out looking for *free* stuff (free healthcare, free abortion, free phones, freefreefree….)
These businesses are just that…BUSINESSES! They aren’t in business to lose money…they are in business to MAKE money, provide jobs, etc.
So when you go to Texas Roadhouse, or Applebys, or any of the other places offering free meals to Vets, show your support for the American Way of Free Enterprise and Unfettered Capitalism by doing the following:
1) ask the manager what the value of the meal would be if it were a listed menu item, with the excuse tht you want to properly compute the required tip for your server.
2) do the math and figure the tip at the standard 20%
3) add the meal and tip together, round up to the nearest dollar, and hand it to the waitress in cash, and tell him/her that you’re paying it forward.
THAT, my brother and sister Veterans, is what an American does. We served and we defended American values. Americans aren’t selfish, regardless of what certain media outlets want you to believe. Americans on the whole are the most generous and kindest people on the planet.
You are an American. Act like an American.
(Feel free to copy/paste/share/repost as you see fit. I’m sure there are alot of single moms out there doing the waitress gig that would be very appreciative of a nice bump for an afternoons work. Who knows, it could be the difference between a so-so X-mas for this mom’s kid, or a really special X-Mas. )
First one was the killing of a US ambassador on Sovereign soil.
Today we learn that Iran fired on a Drone in International Airspace….
Another news story buried by a Complicit media.