Archive for November, 2013

And I thought New York was bad…

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.

View from the door into the store

View from the door into the store

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.

Emily's book, below plaque of names of fallen soldiers.

Emily’s book, below plaque of names of fallen soldiers.

Been a while…

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.

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