Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Cause of death statistics – Hint, guns not in top 10

The statistics below and to the right are occasionally compiled. I carried one such list on a card in my wallet for a decade. The numbers ebb and flow year-to-year, but their position on the causes of death list rarely move much. There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms. The U.S. population is 324,000,000. Thus: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. -80% are through criminal activity, gang and drug-trade related This is one cost of “our” war on non-prescription drugs. -60% of those deaths are by suicide A similar per-capita rate to non-gun-owning countries. -8% are by police. -3% are accidental discharge deaths. Look at how those deaths distribute across the nation: […]

scope this out

Rifle scopes have come a long ways from the early telescopes. I had no idea until I saw this video just how far combat optics have come, and what things scope producers have thought to put into their tools. If you are considering a rifle scope to use as defense against human targets, this sure looks like a good choice. It likely is just fine in hunting applications as well. Though some aspects may need rethinking, the fundamental crosshairs at various ranges would still be great.

blah-blah-blah-gun control-blah-blah-blah

In the middle of all the noise from totalitarian government employees and lamestream media is the latest effort at restricting gun ownership. They never lose sight of their goal to have exclusive rights to lethal force. This argument has been won repeatedly by logic and data, but will never go away as long as there are people who lust for power, and never-ending increases in their power. They are hollow-shelled bullies. Bullies understand force. Nothing else. When met with anything remotely approaching equal force, they are cowards. We must never let them catch us napping. Amidst all the gun control yammering are three essays worth reading. I will give you excerpts and links to them. ——————————- Looking at the “gun […]

Why Did it Have to be … Guns?

by L. Neil Smith Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote. People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center. Make no mistake: all politicians—even those […]

ten meter air

My best year of DCM, CMP and NRA-High-Power competition followed a winter where I had an international-style ten-meter air rifle on loan and a ten meter air gun range in my basement. Here in our riverside paradise, I once again have a ten-meter air-gun range. In the years since my first international-level air gun experience, I also acquired one each adequately accurate rifle and pistol to shoot on it. Sadly, I have not used them much at all recently. A couple of days ago, I celebrated a long overdue clear sally port floor and clean workbench by shooting both my air rifle and air pistol. As you can see from my notes on the target, I last shot at the […]


I endured the expensive and long process currently required to gain permission from our rulers to own a sound suppressor for my rifle. Over 9 months and $1,000 for a hundred dollar part that enables your neighbors to go about their business without noise pollution should you choose to sight in or practice with a firearm. Darn near a year for some faceless apparatchik to affix a rubber stamp and signature to my papers. Precious few of us bother. Therefore one person’s shooting is an entire neighborhood’s disturbing the peace. I repurposed a .223 AR-15 rifle into a 300 AAC Blackout, mounted the scope without proper tools, or any experience for that matter, and got help mounting “the can”. […]

analog calculators

In this age of converting everything to digital, bits, bytes and button pushing, my recent trip to a beginners’ long-range shooting school (see my first 1K) brought the power of slide rules back into my world. I am also [re-]discovering the beautiful metric system of measurements. The normal, average, mundane, commonplace answer to everything today is “I have a computer that does that”. Substitute “smart phone”, calculator or other electronic alternative to knowing how to actually do stuff and you have the answer to 99.9% of the computational questions asked today. I am not going to conjure up ways in which that dependence on electronics could fail us. Needless to say there are times, places and circumstances where it could. […]

Paper Poppers

I don’t usually shoot this well… I don’t think I do, anyway. This one felt good. Hmmm … so did the rest of the stages I shot Sunday. Maybe I’m improving??? I parked “HITS” in my head and proceeded to do almost exactly that. Running on the assumption that I got hits enabled me to complete it quickly. It certainly helped that I made up my mind to shoot EACH ONE ONCE on the metal targets… that is, to go slow enough to GET HITS reliably… while pushing myself just a bit. I also was prepared to find someone standing after my first pass. Being prepared to ‘improv’, made him fall quickly in succession. My videographer may have been […]