Big Blue: New Pricing

I’ve just reduced the price of my novel Kaiju vs. Lovecraftian Horror novel, Big BlueYou might want to check it out.

Jovan Crncevic leads a cult worshiping the old one Dread Shev’kha.  They have taken Amber White and her daughter Bobbi prisoner and are holding them in a farmhouse where they have slaughtered the occupants.  Another prisoner, Barry Coehlho, remains bound in the bus which the cultists used in their masquerade as a group of Catholic monks offering aid in the aftermath of a series of massive tsunamis.

Crncevic had given Amber and Bobbi one of the upstairs bedrooms in the house. Unlike some of the other rooms, no blood stained this room. One door opened to the upstairs hallway, another to a small bathroom. A large picture window provided a view of a barn and the fields beyond it.

Bobbi lay curled on the large canopy bed, along with the Victorian dresser and other furnishings, a holdover from a bygone day.

Thinking that maybe once dark fell she could tear the sheets into a rope and escape with Bobbi, Amber looked out the window. One of Crncevic’s men leaned against the wall of the house. She could not tell which from this angle.

She closed her eyes and bowed her head. “Please, dear Lord, watch over Bobbi and me. And if it is your will, spare us from whatever those evil men mean to do with us. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

In times past, prayer had always calmed her and given her strength when she faced challenges but this time…this time fear continued to knot her throat.

She looked over at Bobbi, no longer even crying, just curled on the bed. Her face streaked with the dried tracks of tears.

She swallowed in a vain attempt to clear the knot in her throat then turned to the door to the hallway. If she could do nothing for herself perhaps…at least…she opened the door.

Simon sat in a high-backed wooden chair next to the door. Simon looked at her and shook his head, clear warning that she was not to leave the room.

Amber swallowed again. “Your master said he might have a use for Barry, Mr. Coelho. Do him no good if he dies of thirst, or heatstroke. At least let me take him some water.”

Simon stood. He placed his right hand on the doorknob.

“Wait here.” He pulled the door closed.

Amber stepped back from the door and waited. Shortly, the door opened and Crncevic entered the room.

“So you want to take water to the other one?” Crncevic smiled. “Very well. Take some. Take him some food even. Flee if you like.”

He pointed at the bed. “But your brat stays here.”

Amber shook her head. “I won’t go anywhere. Just…can a little kindness hurt?”

“Of course.” Crncevic stepped back through the doorway. He swept his arm open indicating she was free to leave the room.

Amber sidled past him, then almost tripped down the stairs. The bodies, at least, were gone. Only spatters of blood marked the locations of the slaughter Crncevic’s men had wrought.

In the kitchen she found a pot of soup on the stove, still warm from where it had simmered. Someone had turned off the oven, leaving the half-cooked chicken within. A pan of biscuits, still raw and apparently waiting their turn in the oven sat on a sideboard. A colander of greens sat in the sink to be washed.

Feeling guilty for disturbing other people’s, even dead people’s belongings, she rummaged in the cupboards until she found plastic bowls and glasses. Another cabinet turned up a serving tray. Someone had removed all the knives from the silverware drawer and the knife block next to the cutting board was empty.

In the refrigerator she found a pitcher of lemonade. She placed the pitcher and a glass on the tray, filled the bowl from the pot and set that on the tray as well. She picked up the tray and backed out the kitchen door onto the rear porch of the house.

Someone had brought the bus up the gravel drive so she did not have far to walk. In the gathering gloom of twilight, she carefully climbed the steps into the bus. Inside she saw movement as Coelho, still tied to his seat, lifted his head.

“Sorry I can’t rise to greet you.”

Amber set the tray on the seat across the aisle from Coelho.

“I am so very sorry that I got you into this.”

“Not your fault,” Coelho said. “I invited myself along.”

“Maybe…” Amber looked over her shoulder. Nobody had followed her. “Maybe I can…”

She leaned close, leaning down to examine the knots that tied Coehlho’s hands to the grab rail on the back of the seat.

“You’re not going to get those untied.” Coelho tugged on one. “They used a lighter to melt the knots. Don’t suppose you have a knife?” He chuckled.

“‘Fraid not,” Amber said.

“Is it too much to hope that you weren’t planning to eat your dinner in front of me?”

“Oh! I’m sorry.” Amber picked up the glass and filled it from the pitcher. “Here.”

She held the glass to Coelho’s lips and he drank greedily, some of the lemonade slopping down the front of his shirt.

When he drained the glass, Amber picked up the bowl and began spooning soup into Coelho’s mouth. As she fed him, tears welled up then spilled down her cheeks.

“God has abandoned us,” she whispered.

Coelho bit down hard on the spoon for a moment. When he opened his mouth, Amber removed the spoon and started to scoop up some more soup. Coelho turned his head to look her in the eyes.

“Don’t give up faith,” he said. “I don’t know much, but I know one thing. God will not abandon you. He will not abandon your little girl. So you keep faith and you trust in the Lord.”

Amber forced a smile and nodded. She returned to feeding Coelho.

Soon, the bowl was empty. Amber gave him another glass of the lemonade then rose to return to the house.

Fear still filled her, terror unlike anything she had known in her life. And yet, somehow, she found strength as well, strength to cope.

God would not abandon them. She knew He would not.


No one prevented Amber from leaving the room, or indeed the house. One of Crncevic’s men always followed her at a distance when she left the house but even that was unnecessary. Crncevic knew he held a leash that Amber could not break.

Bobbi remained in their rooms at all times, forbidden from even setting foot outside.

Amber climbed the steps of the bus, a tray containing a modest breakfast in her hands.

The smell assaulted her nose. She closed her eyes and cursed herself for a fool.

Coelho looked up from his seat. “I’m sorry.”

Amber set the tray down on one of the seats.

“No, I’m sorry. I should have thought.” She shrugged. “There’s not much I can do except see about cleaning you up.”

“Really, you don’t have to…”

Amber shook her head. “I changed Bobbi’s diapers. I’m sure I can handle this.” She thought for a moment. “Can you hold on for a bit?”

Coelho laughed dryly. “Do I have a choice?”

“I’ll be right back.”

Amber ducked back into the house and up to the room she shared with Bobbi.

“Mommy?” Bobbi looked up from the bed.

“Yes, baby?”

“No, Mommy. I can wait.”

Amber sat on the bed and gathered Bobbi in her arms. “Remember what I told you, sweetie?”

Bobbi nodded. “Even when things look bad, God is still with us.”

Amber kissed the top of Bobbi’s head. “And when things are bad?”

“Look for who you can help?”

“That’s right. And I’ve got to go help Mr. Coelho. Okay?”

Bobbi nodded.

Feeling guilty but trusting that the ghosts of the farmhouse’s owners would understand, she dug through the drawers in the dresser. The farmer had been large, maybe something of his would fit Coelho well enough. She found a pair of sweatpants in a lurid purple and held them up. They looked like they might fit.

Sweatpants folded and tucked under her arm, she returned to the kitchen. Crncevic looked at her from the table as she selected a large pot and filled it with warm water. He shrugged. She dropped a dishrag in the pot and grabbed the bottle of dish soap and several more dishrags from one of the drawers. Burdened by her selections, she backed out of the door and returned to the bus.

Her nose wrinkled as she knelt next to Coelho.

“I am so sorry,” he said.

“It’s okay,” Amber said. “Nothing you could do about it. Let’s just get you cleaned up.”

She bent and untied his shoes. She pulled off the left shoe, then the right.

Coelho sighed. “Oh, my.”

Amber looked up.

The corner of Coelho’s mouth twitched.

“When you’re stuck sitting so long,” Coelho said, “your feet swell. I never knew simply taking your shoes off could feel so good.”

“Well, let’s see what else we can do.” Amber reached up. She hesitated a moment, her hands held halfway to Coehlho’s waist. She set her jaw and continued, tugging the hem of Coehlho’s shirt out of the way before unfastening his belt.

Soon, she had his soiled pants and underpants off. A quick glance up showed Coelho’s face burning scarlet but she kept her own blush down by sheer willpower.

She selected one of the clean dishrags and used it to wipe up as much of the mess as she could. Already the skin of Coelho’s thighs was red and inflamed from sitting in waste. As gently as she could, she wiped the area with a wet cloth. She took a third rag, wet it, then applied a small amount of dish soap to it. She kneaded the rag to work the soap through it.

“I’m afraid this is probably going to sting.”

“Did I ever tell you what a wimp I am?” Coelho said with a smile.

“Well, you’re just going to have to be a big boy and put up with it, aren’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Still working gently, Amber scrubbed Coelho’s skin where the waste had soaked in. Coelho hissed as the cloth rubbed sores on his legs. Blood welled from tiny pockmarks.

Finally, Amber selected one more cloth, soaked it in the water, and used it to rinse the soap from Coelho. She set the dirty cloths and pot of water aside then picked up the sweatpants.

“Purple pants?” Coelho chuckled. “If I was going to get angry and turn big and green, I think it would have happened already.”

Amber smiled at the sally. “Let’s just get you dressed.”

Coelho lifted first his right leg, then his left, to allow Amber to work the pants onto his legs, then pressed his feet against the floor to raise his hips so she could pull the pants up to his waist.

“That feels much better,” Coelho said.

“I’m glad,” Amber said. “I’ll try to get out more often to help you relieve yourself. For now, let’s just get you fed.”

She tossed the dirty rags out the door of the bus. Using the one final rag, she scrubbed her own hands until nearly raw before dumping the water into the gravel. She then brought the tray of food from the front seat back to where Coelho sat tied and began to feed him.

When you’re scared, she told herself, look for who you can help.

$2.99 in Kindle Store, Free to read in Kindle Store, $19.99 in Paperback

When an accidentally detonated nuke from a stolen submarine releases something never before seen, Sea Hawk pilot Lieutenant Steve Pomerantz is sent to investigate. He finds a blue-green monster ten times the size of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex and seemingly impervious to every weapon in mankind’s arsenal.

Earthquakes in the South Pacific, at a location dubbed as the most remote spot on Earth, raise tsunamis all along the West Coast. Air Force Captain Jamal White, pilot of a C-130 Hercules is pulled off of search and rescue duties to ferry two scientists to investigate. What they find is a new continent arisen from the deep. And on that continent something stirs, bringing terror and madness in its wake.

Two monsters, one from the frozen North Atlantic, one from the remote South Pacific, on a collision course with the survival of mankind hanging in the balance.

Blast from the past: Heinlein’s Juveniles

Elsewhere the suggestion was made that Heinlein’s Juveniles were not, in some way, valid, or maybe relevant is a better word, any more because, “children aren’t like that any more.”

I don’t know about that.  My daughter, age 9 [Ed: As of the original writing of this], loves them [Ed:  Currenly, her tastes have gone other directions, often a lot darker than Heinlein was wont to get].  It started when I read them to her in installments a year or so ago as “bedtime stories”.  She kept saying “More!” and I kept having to insist “No, it’s time for you to go to sleep, sweetie.” This year, she has a school reading assignment where she gets to pick a book, read it (10 pages at a time for the assignment), and write something about what she read.  She picked Have Space Suit Will Travel. (Finished that and went to Piper’s “Little Fuzzy” but that’s another story.  She wants the other Heinlein juveniles but I only have the one in dead tree at the moment.  The rest are in e-format only.)

I don’t think it’s so much “Kids are different today” as it was more OK then to write about exceptional kids, ideals to aspire to rather than the mush of “everyday life.”

And, as it happens, “Have Space Suit, Will Travel” remains my all-time favorite book–not just science fiction, not just juvenile, not even just Heinlein, but book.

To emphasize, even when I was growing up, the kids in Heinlein’s Juveniles (or in the Tom Swift Junior books which were among my first introduction to science fiction) weren’t what I was.  They were what I wanted to be.  And I wanted to be that because they showed me something better, something worthy of being.

Maybe I’d never acquire a space suit of my own, but man if I did, I certainly hoped that I’d be as hot as Kip at getting it working and maybe, just maybe, that would get me into space.

There were no “junior” let alone “senior” prizes for rocketry back then* but even so I tried to be like the kids in Rocket Ship Galileo because, well, they were kids doing things worth doing.

And there was no “Space Patrol” to join, and chances were I’d never be able to make the cut if there were, but oh, how I wished there was so I could at least try.

And so on.  These people did things, made things happen, and sometimes . . . saved the world.

*As it happened, years later there was a prize, something that probably would have been one of the “senior prizes” in the world of Rocket Ship Galileo, the Ansari X Prize.  And, as fate would have it, it would appear that I actually helped make that happen.

The Hordes of Chanakra

I’ve been working on a new “blurb” for The Hordes of Chanakra.  The “blurb” is a brief text description that tells you what kind of book it is.  The idea is to get the book’s target audience excited about the idea of reading it.  It’s the kind of thing that would be found on the back cover of a print book and on the book’s online listing.

So, far, here’s what I’ve come up with:

When even the gods are at a loss, all they can offer is a spark of hope.

Kreg lived an ordinary life as a computer consultant–safe, secure…dull.  He was content, with his hobbies and a passion for history.

Thrice weekly judo classes and weekends at the archery range imagining he was at Agincourt or Crecy let him at least pretend to excitement in his life.

When Kreg saw a rape in progress he tried to be the hero and was struck from behind.  He woke in a world he had never imagined, a world of blood and pain, a world that seemed mired in the Middle Ages.  Trapped and despairing he met and befriended the rough swordsmistress Kaila and her wizardly father.  With new friends came new foes, a horde that poured from the small nation next door in seemingly endless numbers that threatened everything his new friends cared about.

Now, Kreg was in a race against time to find the source of this horde, and to stop it before everything he had come to care about ended in fire and death.

$4.99 in Kindle Store, Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, $14.99 in Paperback

Product shill

From The Hordes of Chanakra (Price just dropped to $2.99):

Kreg, having been torn from the world he knew and dropped in a strange land he does not comprehend accompanies his newfound friends the Swordmistress Kaila, and her wizardly father Shillond to the common room of their inn, seeking dinner.

Smoke hung heavily in the crowded room.  In one corner, men threw knives at a target stuffed with straw.  A shout rose in another corner as a rotund man won an arm wrestling match against a somewhat slighter opponent.  The loser groaned and money changed hands as the winners of bets collected.  Beside the large fireplace a minstrel wailed a ballad, badly off-key.  About half the patrons of the tavern wore rain-soaked clothes and water ran in tiny rivulets down their faces.  The sound of the rain was more muted here than in the rooms above.

Kaila led Kreg and Shillond to the only unoccupied table in the room.  The crowd swirled around them but always left a gap before them, more, Kreg suspected, in deference to the way Kreg and Kaila towered over them than from any notion of courtesy.

“These places always like this?” Kreg sidestepped a stumbling drunk and sat.

“Aye.” Kaila said then looked over her shoulder. “‘Twould please me mightily an’ yon bard be silent.  I am near of a mind to clout him aside the head an’ he continue.”

Shillond sighed as he sat. “The people carouse, I think, to forget that their city is dying.”

A barmaid dodged a groping hand and arrived at their table. “May I help you, Lords and Lady?”

“Roast venison and a tankard of ale!” Kaila slapped her palm on the table, causing its legs to bounce off the floor.

“Whatever is by the board and a flask of wine,” Shillond said.

“Aye, Lord.” She turned to Kreg. “And you, my lord?”

“Uh.” Kreg hesitated for a moment, uncertain what to say, and then decided to follow Kaila’s lead in choice of food. He did not know what Shillond’s “by the board” meant. “Roast venison, I guess.  Uh, what do you have to drink?”

He looked at his companions for assistance.  Kaila bit back a laugh.  Shillond raised his eyebrows, the twinkle in his eyes brightening, but he offered no advice.

“Why, sir.” The barmaid sounded as confused as Kreg felt. “We are as well stocked as any tavern in the city.”

Kreg groaned.  He sighed and tried again. “I am a stranger here.  Could you be more specific?”

The barmaid’s face lit with understanding. “Oh?  Does the Lord wish companionship?  For three rabeni, and one for the innkeep, I could….”

Kreg raised his hands in warding. “No, no.  That’s fine.”

Kaila could no longer restrain her laughter although she tried.  Tears rolled down her cheeks as she half-choked with the effort.

“Well, my Lord.” The barmaid frowned for a moment. “I am sure you would find me more pleasant than this boy thing.” A flip of her hand dismissed Kaila. “Send her, it, on its way and let me be your companion instead.”

Kaila’s laughter vanished.

Shillond broke in. “My friend will have wine.”

A fresh look of understanding crossed the barmaid’s face. “Oh?  Is that the way of it?  My pardon, Lord, if I intruded.  I shall see to your food and drinks.”

$2.99 in Kindle Store, Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, $14.99 in Paperback

Pulled into an alternate world mired in the Middle Ages, Kreg finds allies in Kaila, a rough swordmistress, and her wizardly father. He’s also found their foes – an unending horde pouring forth from the small nation next door.

Now, he’s in a race against time to find the true source of these seemingly numberless forces, before everything he cares about ends in fire and death!

Battle of Tours

On this date, in AD732, Charles Martel led the Franks against Muslim invaders near the city of Tours and turned back the tide of Islamic advance at the Battle of Tours (sometimes called the Battle of Poitiers).

In the preceding 110 years, Islam, thanks to the diligent efforts of polite young men in white shirts and ties on bicycles going out two-by-two, had spread from its origins in the Arabian peninsula through south-central Asia and across the north of Africa, and up into the Iberian peninsula.

Did I say polite young men in white shirts and ties on bicycles going out two-by-two?  Just kidding.  That’s Mormons.  The Muslims did it by going out conquering and to conquer, slaughtering everyone who would not submit, in a tide of blood across all their conquered lands.

It seemed that Muhammed and his successors did not understand that “Jihad” meant internal struggle over oneself and that “Islam” meant “peace” and the meaning of “submission” was ones own submission to Allah.  They apparently thought “Jihad” meant real war against unbelievers, using real swords and spears, leaving real dead and mutilated bodies in its wake and the “submission” was forcing those not in Islam to submit to it.  But what did they know?  They only founded the religion or followed in the footsteps of the founder.

Muslims of the Umayyad dynasty, chiefly Berbers, invaded the Iberian peninsula (really, it was a military invasion, not a lot of missionaries on bicycles.  Besides, the bicycle hadn’t been invented yet).  Within a decade they had essentially conquered the Iberian peninsula and were expanding across the Pyrenees into what would eventually be part of southern France.

In the spring of 732, these Umayyad Muslims defeated Duke Odo at the Battle of the River Garonne, thus setting the stage for what was to come.

Odo, surviving the battle, asked the Franks for help.  Charles Martel, “Mayor of the Palace” (Ruler in all but name but it would wait for his son, Pepin the Short, for his line to officially claim the throne) would only promise aid in return for Odo submitting to Frankish authority.

While this was going on, the Umayyads, in apparent unconcern about possible Frankish might, advanced toward the Loire river.  Lax in scouting and unconcerned, they did not note the power massing to oppose them.

The Umayyads were mostly cavalry.  Charles, according to accounts, was mostly infantry, but heavily armed and armored infantry.  One of the Frank’s main weapons was the Francisca, a heavy-headed, short-handled throwing axe.  The Byzantine historian Procopius (c. 500–565) described the axes and their use thus:

…each man carried a sword and shield and an axe. Now the iron head of this weapon was thick and exceedingly sharp on both sides while the wooden handle was very short. And they are accustomed always to throw these axes at one signal in the first charge and thus shatter the shields of the enemy and kill the men.

And at the time of Charles Martel, the axes were still in common use.  It would be some time yet before the Frankish forces converted to being primarily cavalry under the successors to Charles Martel.

When the Umayad’s reached the Franks and their allies, they faced off with skirmishes while waiting for their full force to arrive.

Finally, the forces were all ready and the day of battle arrived.  Abd-al-Raḥmân, the leader of the Umayyad forces, trusted to the strength of his cavalry and had them charge repeatedly at the Frankish infantry lines.  The incredibly disciplined infantry stood its ground staunchly despite (according to Arab sources) Umayyad cavalry breaking into their formation several times.

A charge of Umayyad broke through, attempting to reach Charles reasoning, probably correctly, that if they could kill Charles the Frankish army would break.  However Charles’ liege men surrounded him and held off the attack.

While the battle still raged, rumors went through the Umayyad forces that Frankish scouts were threatening the Umayyad baggage train and threatening to carry off the loot they’d already gathered in their march northward.  Arab reports indeed claim that this was the case (in a second day of battle where Frankish reports say it only lasted one day).

This, apparently was too much for many of the Umayyads.  Fight them on the field of battle.  Throw axes at them.  Stab at them with spears and slash at them with swords.  All good.  But threaten their loot?  No way.

However, they didn’t appear to make clear to their compatriots what exactly they were doing and why.  The others saw them heading back the way they’d come and thought they were in retreat.  And “if he’s retreating, maybe I should be too” is a thought soldiers have shared many a time throughout history.  The result was the Umayyad’s went into full-fledged retreat.  Abd-al-Raḥmân tried to stop the retreat and, as a result, was surrounded and killed.

The next day, Charles, fearing the possibility of an ambush, kept his troops in formation in their relatively secure position.  He did, however, send out extensive reconnaissance which discovered that the Umayyad’s had abandoned not only the field of battle but their own camp so fast that they’d left their tents behind, heading back to Iberia as fast as their horses and wagons could carry them taking what loot they could carry with them.

Had to protect that loot.

The Umayyad’s retreated south back over the Pyrenees and that remained the end of Muslim advance into Europe.  Further attempts into the European heartland were made but they came to nought in the end.  Charles Martel and his forces had broken the back of the Muslim conquest of Europe for many centuries to come.

How Charles Martel would weep to see Europe inviting in a new generation of invaders with open arms.

Why gun control cannot work

Anytime any violent tragedy happens in the US the usual suspects immediately shriek for more gun control.  The problem is that it cannot solve the violence problem and those shrieking the loudest know this.

Senator Feinstein admitted as much in an interview recently:

CBS “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked Feinstein if Congress could pass any law that would have stopped Stephen Paddock’s rampage.

“No, he passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions,” said Feinstein, who noted Paddock didn’t display any of the signs one might look for in a potential shooter like a criminal record or mental illness.

Yet she’s more than willing to use the event to promote her own citizen disarmament agenda.  As Nancy Pelosi said when asked if legislation on bump stocks would lead to further restrictions down the road “So what?  I certainly hope so.”

They want the restrictions even if they won’t work for the stated purpose.  What unstated purpose are they, then trying to accomplish?

Of course they won’t work.  Whenever anyone compares US violent crime (specifically homicide) rates with other countries they always say “Western nations” or “Developed Nations”, not realizing that such a limitation is a blatant admission that factors other than gun control are of far greater import to such rates.  When asked why such a limitation, it’s said “to keep it an apples and oranges comparison”. So factors other than gun control are so much more important that they completely change the kind under discussion?  Um.  Um.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Or ask someone for a before/after comparison, to find an example of a place that

  1. Had a high violent crime rate
  2. Passed strict gun control
  3. Had violent crime rates subsequently precipitously drop
  4. And stay down, showing a lasting effect, rather than a short-term readjustment to a new circumstance.

The closest anyone has come is Australia.  An acquaintance of mine lives in Australia and he pointed it out.  The total numbers of violent crimes actually went up in Australia, but because population also went up, the net rate (violent crimes per 100,000 population) declined slightly.  However if you look at the trends over time, you see that the decline was simply the continuation of a trend that started well before the prohibition and confiscation of semi-automatic weapons.  The ban had no effect on violent crime.

Part of the problem of relying on gun control is non-compliance.

  • Connecticut passed strict “assault weapon” registration in the wake of Sandy Hook.  About 50,000 of the estimated 370,000 rifles covered by the legislation were registered by the deadline.
  • More non-compliance with New York’s “SAFE” act. Only about 44,000 of the estimated 1 million covered weapons were registered.
  • In Washington State, over 5000 gun owners gathered to engage in a massive civil disobedience event to basically swap guns back and forth in violation of Washington’s then new law requiring all transfers to undergo a Federal background check.
  • Common joke among gun owners: Guns?  I don’t have any.  I lost them all in a tragic boating accident.

Even beyond the non-compliance issue is that guns are simply too easy to smuggle, too easy to make.  Australian police are reporting that about 10% of the guns they seize from criminals are homemade, including submachine guns. (Look, if you know anything about how guns work, you’d realize that an open bolt submachine gun is one of the easiest repeating arms to make.)  Want to know how to make your own gun using commonly available materials?  Check out any number of videos on Youtube or get the army training manual TM 31-210.  It’s available online.  I have it in PDF.

Smuggling.  Drug smugglers bring thousands of tons of drugs into the US every year.  Now, if every one of the homicides committed with a firearm were done with a separate gun (I’ll deal with that here in a moment) and every one had to be smuggled in, that would only be about seven tons, trivial in comparison.  And guns are wood, steel, and plastic, a lot easier to hide from sniffing dogs than complex chemicals with unique scents.

And that assumption up above about every gun only being used once?  That turns out not to be the case.  Back in the late 80’s one of the news services, NBC, I believe, did a special on guns where they “traced” a single gun as it was trafficked across several states and dozens of crimes before eventually being confiscated by police.  Their intent was to show how horrible even a single gun is.  What they actually showed is how few guns are needed to actually provide for criminal “needs”.

None of that even considers how you’re going to get rid of the existing more (some think a lot more) than three hundred million guns already in private hands in the US.

The simple truth is, you can’t.  Furthermore Americans, and particularly American gun owners, wont’s stand for it.  See the non-compliance examples up above.  While some might, a large fraction of gun owners simply will not give up their guns willingly.  We’re not Great Britain.  We’re not Australia.  Neither of those countries have the history of resistance to government and passion for individual liberty that’s bred into Americans despite the efforts of some forces to stamp it out.  Cultures, when placed under stress, tend to revert to their founding myths (see “Revitalization Movements” in cultural anthropology).  Our founding myths include such things as “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give my Liberty or give me death” and “Stand your ground.  Don’t fire unless fired upon.  But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here” (in response to an attempt by the government to confiscate arms, I might add).

That leaves force, sending armed men (armed with guns) to collect up the guns.  Only, you don’t know where they are.  That’s one of the reason gun owners have been so resistant to anything like universal registration.  And if you do, well:

Gun owners in this country outnumber police by 100 to one.

They outnumber the military by close to that.

They outnumber military, reserves, and guard combined by about 30 to one.

They outnumber the combined militaries and government paramilitary organizations of the entire world by more than 2 to one.

Barring a “cultural change” that gets most of those people willingly giving up their guns, there is simply no way it can be done. None.  And the tide turned on that cultural change in the late 80’s.  More States are allowing more people to carry guns in more places than ever before.  More people are carrying than ever before.  The percentages of people carrying are higher than any time since the “wild west”.  And along with that, violent crime rates have fallen, dramatically, from their high water mark in the early 90’s.  While there have been a few, admittedly horrific, high-profile incidents, the simple truth is that the average American over the last few years has been safer from violent crime than most people’s living memory and hovering near 100 year lows.

Gun control cannot work.  Fortunately, it’s not necessary.


Kind of getting burned out on the recent political posts, so here’s another snippet from a work in progress:

I woke to a high keening sound.  This time I had no trouble recognizing the siren of an ambulance.  I was strapped to a hard surface.  Backboard.  A thick cervical collar immobilized my neck.  Something squeezed my legs and lower abdomen, an even pressure that ran from my ankles to just above my hips.  A mask covered my mouth and nose, with air, no…oxygen, blowing against my lips.  An IV fed into my left arm and another into my neck under the cervical collar.  I’d lost a lot of blood.

The bouncing of the ambulance told me that we were moving fast.

“Well.  You’re back with us.”

A young man leaned over me.  The nametag on his blue shirt said “Grant”.  A patch on the shoulder carried the logo of what I presumed was an ambulance company.

“We got to you in good time,” the man continued. “You’re going to be all right.”

His words were meant as comfort but I did not need them.  Since I was not already dead, I would recover.  The word for what I am is Dhampyre, the child of a vampire and a human.  Or in my case of two vampires.  My kind is rare.  The male in a pairing has to be fresh from a heavy feeding in order to be fertile.  And when a male vampire impregnates a human female the woman rarely quickens, and even more rarely carries to term.  A vampire female can only carry to term if infused daily with enough blood to leave a string of corpses in their wake.  Fail even once and the uterus goes dormant causing a miscarriage.

I am stronger than a normal human, faster, more durable, and I heal better.

“Can you tell me where you’re hurt?” Grant asked.

I drew a deep breath, or started to.  The pain in my side reminded me of the rib.  So I started there.

“Rib.  Right side.  Broken I think.” My voice sounded weak, even considering the mask. “Right arm.  Stabbed.  Twice.” I could not tell him that a vampire had bit me. “Right hand.  Broken finger.  Heard it…pop.  Something…left ankle.  Broken?  And…lost a lot of blood.”

“Well.” Grant looked at the wiggly trace on a screen.  Heart monitor.  My heart. “We got most of that.  Hang in there, we’ll be at the hospital soon.”

“Guy I…landed on?”

Grant’s expression sobered. “Other team got him.  I can’t say more than that.”

I squeezed my eyes tight.  People get hurt in my line of work.  Innocents.  But what should have been a simple takedown of one vampire became an ambush by four with two, maybe three depending on whether the one I hit in my fall survived, dead.

The ride was short but it provided plenty of time for me to imagine what I might have done differently what might have left those three people alive.  The options started with letting the vampires have me and went downhill from there.

We arrived at the hospital and I gritted my teeth at the jostling, however slight it was, as the crew unloaded me from the ambulance.  Once inside the ambulance crew handed me off to the emergency room staff and then went off to do whatever ambulance crews do between runs.  Paperwork would be my guess.  That’s the bane of everyone’s existence.

The paperwork on my mission was going to be a nightmare.  A fight with a vampire in full view of multiple witnesses.  A body with a stake in it and two inch fangs in its mouth.  Two bodies if they check the roof and considering how I’d come through that awning, they would.

This was going to be a hard one to keep quiet.

There was a jump in time.  It seemed I was still drifting in and out.  I must have lost more blood than I thought.

While waiting for someone to take me for additional examination and treatment I ran a more detailed personal inventory.  I could not move my head to look so the inventory had to be by feel.  The EMTs had apparently cut my shirt off.  Strapped to the backboard I should be able to feel my holster against my back.  I didn’t.  That meant the police probably had it which meant they were looking for my gun.

Yet another reason they would end up on the roof.  They would have two vampire bodies to play with.  And once somebody had the idea of pulling one of my stakes out?  Wouldn’t that be fun.

Life just got better and better.


The doctors and staff in the emergency room were attentive and efficient, I’ll give them that.  They had me in the examining room in minutes and connected to various monitors.  A nurse drew blood that the fluid they drew was thin, watery liquid, more the stuff from their bags than my own blood was purely my imagination.

I overheard a doctor at the door telling someone I could not answer questions yet.  Good.  The longer I could put that off, the better.  I did not know how Indiana would treat my killing the vampire.  After all, the vampire had already killed two people before I staked it.

Some places that would be a clear cut case of defense of self and others.  You’d get a “thank you” and be on your way.  In others, any killing was prosecuted and you had to prove self-defense in court.

Considering what’s necessary to kill a vampire I really try to avoid having kills come to police attention at all.  Look, despite what you see in the movies, a stake through the heart does not kill a vampire.  It immobilizes it.  Remove the stake and the vampire comes back.  How fast depends on how powerful the vampire is.  To kill it you have to either burn the body completely to ash.  I’ve heard of cases of a few charred bone fragments regenerating.  Or you have to remove the head and stuff the mouth with either garlic or communion wafers, then bury head and body separately.

The doctor was asking me something but my head was still not working quite right.  I tried to shake my head but the cervical collar prevented my head from moving.

The doctor repeated himself. “You’ve lost a lot of blood.  We need your consent for a transfusion.”

I wiggled my fingers. “Can’ sigh’ ‘nyth’ng.”

“Verbal consent will do for now.”

“Yeah. ‘kay.  Do ‘t.”

The doctor gave rapid fire instructions.  I felt another needle go into my arm and saw a bag of dark red liquid hung above me to the side of my bed.  I suppressed a giggle.  This time I got to be the vampire.

The doctor leaned over me again. “We want to take you down for an MRI of your head and neck and of your arm.  Okay?”


The doctor grinned. “Once we get you out of that collar and off this backboard, we can get you to sign some papers.”

This time I let out the giggle.

“‘lways the pap’rw’rk, eh, doc.”

“Always.” He patted my shoulder. “You hang in there.  We’ll get you through this.”

I managed to twist my left hand enough to make a thumbs up gesture.

The doctor gave additional instructions to the attending nurse then swept out of the room, presumably to go deal with other patients.  Perhaps he’d have to deal with the poor sucker I’d landed on.

Yes, that bothered me.  I really hate it when innocents get hurt.  I hate it more when they get hurt because of me.

And on that thought I let unconsciousness take hold of me again.

What is “stupid”?

Stupid is:

Telling people that they are the cause of all the problems in the country, that they are evil racist, misogynists, supremacists, that you want them gone, that you want them killed, oh, and by the way, please give up your guns.

Telling people that they are a “basket of deplorables” and, oh, won’t you please vote for me next time?

Saying that the police are violent racists who kill innocent black people just because they’re black and this is why only the police should have guns.

Claiming that we can get people to do less of something, like smoking or drinking, by making it more expensive but that increasing the cost of hiring people (by mandating benefits or pay rates) won’t have any effect on employment.

Giving money to people, that you took from people in the first place, causes the economy to grow.

The government is evil and corrupt.  Let’s have more of it.

A person planning to kill a bunch of people will change his mind on seeing a sign saying “gun free zone”.

The first amendment protects our right to riot but does not protect your right to, you know, speak when you’re saying something we don’t like.

The Parties switched in the 60’s (although I can’t name three national level politicians in each direction who changed sides) but we’re still going to claim credit for Kennedy, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry Truman and anyone else we care to.

I’m going to make this political accusation against you for causing a tragedy and don’t you dare politicize it be responding.

A woman should have complete control over her body, unless she wants to smoke.

A woman should have complete control over her body, let’s ban large sugary drinks.

No fat shaming!  We will force kids in school to eat what we consider a healthy diet, whether it’s appropriate to them or not.

Blocking traffic is legitimate peaceful protest, unless it’s in front of an abortion clinic

Judging a person by race, color, or gender are wrong and those evil white males are the cause of all the problems in society.


Who are the violent ones again?

For years, anti-gun folk have been saying that those of us who support RKBA should be killed or suffer other acts of extreme violence.

Recently, we had this from Nancy Sinatra:


I sent a reply of “Thank you, Nancy, for demonstrating why I’m keeping my guns.” (I know we’re not on a first-name basis, but I’m not inclined to be polite with someone who wants me dead.) I don’t know whether she deleted the tweet or blocked me, but I couldn’t find it when I went back later.  However, thanks to the many people capturing screenshots, the Internet is forever. (What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet–something to remember.)

Later, backpedaling, said said “not all NRA members, just the murderous ones”.  Uh huh.  You didn’t mean “murderous” to be a descriptor for all NRA members, but to indicate a subset.  And you can believe as much of that as you want.

She’s far from the only one making that kind of statement.  Not necessarily about guns, but about people who disagree with them politically.  Some recent.   Some older:



This woman, unwilling to do it herself, is hoping for terrorists to do it for her:


Oh, they tried that.  The result was two dead terrorists.


Making a false report, as this person advocates, is a crime, but anything in order to get a law abiding gun owner killed, right?

Hope this person received a visit from the Secret Service:


Pity they grayed out the User ID.  This person should be made famous:

This is just a tiny sampling.  Folk I know personally, who support individual liberty and RKBA get death threats all the time.  And never mind the cheering regarding the Scalise shooting.

And yes, I know, you get some on the other side too.  But right you, you folk are showing me exactly why I’m keeping my guns.

I’m a peaceable man at heart, but if you think I’m going to disarm when so many people want me dead for the simple crime of disagreeing with them on matters of politics and philosophy, let alone for believing I have the right to defend me and mine and have the effective means to do so, then you’ve got another thing coming.