Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fact: Democrats Tried To Impeach George W. Bush



Democrats are running around rewriting history lately!

But frankly, no matter what they say, or how hard they work to deny it, they did in fact try to impeach President Geoge W. Bush for far far less than what Barack Obama has done while he has been in office.

If Obama were a Republican, he would have probably been impeached and in prison by now. The double-standard sucks!
While there has been calls to impeach President Obama lately, especially calls from prominent Republicans to investigate Barack Hussein Obama for criminal misconduct as president, it is a fact that there has been no official move toward impeachment.

During the presidency of Barack Obama, Republicans in Congress have stated that Obama should be impeached and removed from office. But frankly, there has been no move toward impeachment.

Rationales offered for the Impeachment of President Barack Hussein Obama include the following:

1. Obama disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

2. Obama implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.

3. Obama ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only "insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.

4. Obama allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.

5. Obama extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

6. Obama recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah.

Utah said it would not recognize homosexual marriages performed before the stay.

7. Obama refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.

8. Obama issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.

9. Obama illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste
repository.

10. Obama falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video,10 and then lied about the White House’s involvement.

11. Obama illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.

12. Obama failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.

13. Obama killed four Americans overseas in counter-terrorism operations without judicial process.

14. Obama continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.

15. As for ObamaCare, Obama granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t ObamaCare compliant.

16. Obama delayed the individual mandate for two years.

17. Obama allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with ObamaCare.18 Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.

18. Obama extended the deadline to enroll in ObamaCare, and changing the Law at his pleasure.

19. Obama illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.

20. Obama illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.

21. Obama illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.

22. Obama illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.

23. Obama illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.

24. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).

25. As far as his effects on Economy, Obama ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.

26. Obama implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.

27. Obama treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.

28. Obama terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.

29. Obama had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.

30. Obama has instructed government agencies to attack American small businesses, the manufacturing industry, farms, ranches, and political organizations not friendly to the Liberal agenda.

He has enabled agencies to engage in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as firearm and ammunition sales.

31. As for Executive Nominees and personnel, Obama made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess.

32. Obama has appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.

33. As of January 2012, an incredible total of 36 of the President’s Executive Office Staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.

34. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes -- which Obama does nothing about.

35. As for Free Speech & Privacy, Obama has illegally targeted Conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.

36. Obama circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.

37. Obama got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.

38. Obama had the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.

39. Obama has targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.

40. Obama has secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.

41. Obama had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.

42. Among Obama's other lawless acts, Obama has aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge.

Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”

He has also refused to hand over documents needed for the Department of Justice gun smuggling Operation Fast & Furious which enabled 2,215 assault weapons into the hands of Mexican Drug Cartel members.

These weapons have been linked to the deaths of over 400 Mexican civilians and U.S. Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry.

43. Obama has illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious, and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.

44. Obama has dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.

45. Obama has argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.

46. Obama has sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.

47. Obama has threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.

48. Obama has muzzled the speech of military chaplains.

49. Obama has sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.

50. Obama gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, Georgia, and did not see anything wrong with that.

51. As far as Obama's abuse of power, he released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee, 56, who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.

52. Obama backed the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.

53. Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world” using a government agency in ways that it was not meant to.

54. Obama claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.

55. Obama has signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives,61 and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.

56. Obama gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.

57. He reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in
office.

58. He increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.

59. He extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble and now wants to allow people who are unqualified to purchase home they cannot afford.

60. Obama has proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.

61. Obama has appointed former “safe schools czar” who has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.

62. He nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues69—to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.

63. He reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.

64. He reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).
65. He unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to
$10.10, via executive order -- instead of using the legislative process.

66. He cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to
golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.

67. He adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.
68. He pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.

69. He actively aided in George Zimmerman protests and encouraged violence.

70. He tried to get the DOJ to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.
71. He shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.

72. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.
73. He shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.

74. He spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.

75. He spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.
76. He fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).

77.  He has ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.


78, He released 5 top Al Qaeda Generals from Gitmo to wage war on Americans.
79. He has systematically orchestrated a White House cover-up of the 2012 Benghazi attack,

80. He has failed to do his primary job as president by not defending the borders from illegal immigration.

All this, and no Republican or any other Congressional Representative has ever drawn up a list of articles of impeachment and proposed them to the Judiciary Committee against President Barack Hussein Obama.

No, Republicans have not done what in fact did happen to President George W. Bush --when Democrats made numerous efforts to impeach George W. Bush.


It is a fact of American history that during the presidency of George W. Bush, several Democrat politicians, at the Federal and State levels, sought to either investigate President George W. Bush for impeachable offenses and to bring impeachment charges on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
Democrats did in fact try to impeach President George W. Bush.

Some of the more notable Democrats who called for President Bush's Impeachment were:


Joe Biden, Democrat

In November 2007, Joe Biden, then a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, stated that he would move to impeach if President Bush were to bomb Iran without first gaining congressional approval.

However, no such bombing occurred during the rest of George W. Bush's term so no one knows if Biden would have gone through with his threat.

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat

While recently Nancy Pelosi has said that no Democrat ever called for George W. Bush's Impeachment, she thinks the American people are stupid and just don't remember the actions of Democrats during George W. Bush's two terms.

They were all "Bush Haters!"
In July 2007, Pelosi stated that she "would probably advocate" impeaching Bush.

Cynthia McKinney, Democrat
On December 8, 2006 (the last day of the 109th Congress), then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) submitted a resolution, H. Res. 1106 to impeach Bush.

The bill expired along with the 109th Congress.

David Kucinich, Democrat

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's major point in the Democratic Presidential Debate on October 30, 2007 was that Bush and Cheney should be impeached for the Iraq war.

On November 6, 2007, Kucinich introduced a resolution to impeach Vice President Cheney in the House of Representatives.

On June 9, 2008, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), introduced a resolution, H.Res. 1258, to impeach president George W. Bush, which included 35 counts in the articles of impeachment.

At the end of the evening on June 10, Kucinich offered a motion to refer HRes 1258 to the House Judiciary Committee.

On June 11, 2008, the House voted 251-166 to send the resolution to the Committee.

On July 14, 2008, Kucinich introduced a new impeachment resolution (H.Res. 1345) limited to a single count

John Conyers, Democrat
John Conyers, who had previously advocated the impeachment of George W. Bush, called for an investigation of the President in 2005.

On June 16, 2005 Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) assembled an unofficial meeting to discuss the Downing Street memo and to consider grounds for impeachment.

Conyers filed a resolution on December 18, 2005 to create an investigative committee to consider impeachment.

His resolution gained 38 Democrat co-sponsors before it expired at the end of the 109th Congress.

John Conyers brought up the subject of impeachment on the July 8, 2007 broadcast of This Week with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, stating:

"We're hoping that as the cries for the removal of both Cheney and Bush now reach 46 percent and 58 percent, respectively, for impeachment, that we could begin to become a little bit more cooperative, if not even amicable, in trying to get to the truth of these matters."

He did not reintroduce a similar resolution for the 110th Congress.

Democrats introduced Articles of Impeachment of George W. Bush on June 10, 2008.

They were called Kucinich/Wexler impeachment articles.

The most significant of these efforts occurred on June 10, 2008, when Congressman Dennis Kucinich, along with co-sponsor Robert Wexler, introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Kucinich/Wexler impeachment resolution contained 35 articles covering:

1. The Iraq war

2. The Valerie Plame affair,

3. Bush handling the treat from Iran

4. The treatment of prisoners of war in Iraq

5. Bush authorization of the monitoring the phones of suspected terrorists inside the United States

6. Bush's use of signing statements,

7. Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas

8. Bush winning the 2004 Election

9. Bush's increasing the funding of Medicare

10. Bush's response of Hurricane Katrina before it did damage

11. Bush's supposed responsibility for 9/11 as claimed in an anti-Bush movie by Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore

12. Bush's supposedly being responsible for Global Warming.

No kidding, this was the Democrat rationales for Impeachment. And yes, one can presume by these standards that Obama would be in jail for what he has done since he has truly accomplish crimes rating impeachment and prison.

As for Kucinich and Wexler, sending troops into Iraq in 2003 was the most substantial portion of the articles of impeachment they introduced into Congress.

15 of the 35 articles directly relate to alleged misconduct by Bush in seeking authority for the war, and in the conduct of military action itself.

Five other articles address allegations relating to the war, the "outing" of Valerie Plame as a person who supposedly worked for the CIA, treatment of prisoners in Iraq, and Bush's case against the treat and actions of Iran in Iraq.

The House voted 251 to 166 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee on June 11, where no further action was taken on it.

Since George W. Bush's presidency ended on January 20, 2009, with the completion of his second term in office, that in effect rendered impeachment efforts moot.


Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Justification for invasion

The first 4 impeachment articles charge the president with illegally creating a case for war with Iraq, including charges of a propaganda campaign, falsely representing Iraq as responsible for 9/11, and falsely representing Iraq as an imminent danger to the United States.
Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Legitimacy of invasion

Articles 5–8 and 12 deal with the invasion of Iraq and include charges that funds were misspent before the war, that the war was in violation of HJRes114, that Iraq was invaded without a war declaration, that the war is a violation of the UN Charter, and that the purpose of the war was to control the country's oil supplies.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Conduct of the Iraq war

Articles 9, 10, 11 and 13 deal with conduct of the war, including failing to provide troops with body armor, falsifying US troop deaths and injuries, establishing a permanent military base in Iraq, and creating a supposedly secret task force to develop energy and military policies with respect to Iraq and other countries.

Articles 15 and 16 cover contractors in Iraq and charges that the president misspent money on contractors and provided them with immunity.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Valerie Plame

Article 14 is about the revelation of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Treatment of detainees

Articles 17–20 concern the treatment of detainees, the "kidnapping" and detention of foreign nationals, and the use of torture.

It covered Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Bagram torture and prisoner abuse, United Nations Convention Against Torture, Geneva Conventions, Command responsibility and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Attempt to overthrow the government of Iran

Article 21 claims that the president misled Congress and the American people about threats from Iran, and supported terrorist organizations within Iran, with the goal of overthrowing the Iranian government.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: NSA warrantless surveillance controversy

Articles 24 and 25 charge the president with illegally spying on American citizens suspected of terrorism, directing US telecom companies to create databases of citizens, and violating the fourth amendment of the US Constitution.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Signing statements

Controversy over George W. Bush's use of signing statements was Article 26.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Congressional subpoenas

Article 27 is about failing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

2004 elections[edit]Further information: 2004 United States election voting controversies

Articles 28 and 29 charge the president with tampering with the 2004 elections and violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Medicare

Article 30 states "Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare" -- something that was not taking place.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Hurricane Katrina

Democrats were saying that Bush was responsible for the damage and loss of live during Hurricane Katrina.

This allegations is the assertion that the Federal Government's response before Hurricane Katrina came ashore was not good enough.

Since the Federal Government had no jurisdiction before any damage is done, all safety preparations are left to states and cities.

Of course for those of us who remember the the media bias and the attacks from the left, it didn't matter what was too insane as the "Bush Haters" who tried to tie every natural disaster to George W. Bush -- including climate change, tsunamis, earthquakes, and famine in third world countries.

Article 31 concerns the supposed failure to plan and respond to Hurricane Katrina.

Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: 9/11

Articles 33, 34 and 35 concern 9/11, alleging that the president failed to respond to prior intelligence, obstructed post 9/11 investigations and endangered the health of 9/11 first responders.
Kucinich/Wexler impeachment article: Global warming

Article 32 charged President George W. Bush with "Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change" -- even though all of the data has been disproved.

Other Democrats who called for Bush's Impeachment

Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison was the leading figure behind the resolution to impeach Bush brought to the Minnesota State House of Representatives in May 2006.

Ellison was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2006.

During the campaign and when he was named to the House Judiciary Committee, Ellison repeatedly called for an investigation into a possible impeachment.

In support of his candidacy, he “received a $1,000 contribution from ImpeachPAC”.

Ellison would later note that his "opinions really have not changed over time, but the circumstances" regarding his position in Congress had, and he was a "step before impeachment".

Jerrod Nadler

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called for the committee to explore whether Bush should face impeachment, stemming from his decision to authorize domestic surveillance without court review.

State-level Democratic party actions

On March 21, 2006 the New Mexico Democratic Party, at a convention in Albuquerque, adopted a plank to their platform saying “the Democratic Party of New Mexico supports the impeachment of George Bush and his lawful removal from office.”

On March 24, 2007, the Vermont Democratic State Committee voted to support JRH 15, a state legislative resolution supporting impeachment, calling for its passage as "appropriate action."

On January 2, 2008, Betty Hall (D), an 87-year-old, fourteen-term State Representative, introduced New Hampshire House Resolution 24 in the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The resolution was "petitioning Congress to commence impeachment procedures" against Bush and Cheney for "high crimes and misdemeanors", including domestic spying, illegal detentions, signing statements, electioneering, the breaking of international treaties, and war crimes.

The bill further asserted that "section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice states that an impeachment may be set in motion by the United States House of Representatives by charges transmitted from the legislature of a state".

On February 20, 2008, the bill was ruled "Inexpedient to Legislate" to pass by a 10 to 5 vote within committee, which passed the resolution on to the full House for a vote.

The bill was tabled in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on April 16, 2008.

After three efforts to have the state bill removed from the table were unsuccessful, it died on the table on September 24, 2008.

Information above is taken from multiple sources including Efforts to impeach George W. Bush, Wikipedia, and has been verified as factually correct .

And yes, after doing the research on this article, comparing apples to apples, I came to 3 obvious conclusions:

1) Democrats tried to impeach George W. Bush on a hand full of flimsy issues.
2) There are at least 80 rationales for impeaching Barack Hussein Obama "for high crimes and misdemeanors" as stipulated in the Constitution of the United States.
3) If Barack Hussein Obama was a Republican instead of a Democrat, he would have been impeached by now.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shiloh Brew & Chew Family Restaurant says "Guns are Welcome"


Ashley Izbicki of WBIR, reported on July 18, 2014, that a "Guns are Welcome" sign has gone up at the Shiloh Brew & Chew Family Restaurant in Maryville, Tennessee.

In her report, she wrote:

Gun control is a hot topic across the country, and one East Tennessee restaurant owner is making her opinion very clear by posting a 'Guns are Welcome' sign on the front door of her family-friendly establishment.

"As the owner, I wanted to stand my ground. I have that Constitutional right. If you like it, that's great, if you don't, I'm sorry for you. I can't change who I am," said Sharma Floyd, with Shiloh Brew & Chew.

Floyd said she posted the signs about a month ago after reading a story out of North Carolina.

"They had put up a sign that said 'No Weapons Allowed' and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot," said Ms. Floyd.

"And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn't allow weapons. But I believe it's OK to carry as long as you have a permit."

The restaurant does not sell liquor, and Floyd said she asks anyone who orders a beer if they are carrying.

"If they say 'Yes, I have an ankle strap on', I say 'Sorry, then you can't drink,'" said Ms. Floyd.

"We sell very, very little beer here, but we do offer it. I don't have a liquor license. I won't get a liquor license."

Ms. Floyd said Shiloh Brew & Chew is often confused as a bar or tobacco store instead of a Southern style restaurant.

"Brew is for coffee, chew is for food. So in my mind, my concept all went together. But after I made a $3,000 sign and paid for it, I realized that was not a good marketing idea," laughed Ms. Floyd.

"But the 'Guns are Welcome' signs have helped boost business."

She said while one man said he would not come back to her establishment, more than 20 new customers have come through her doors since she posted the signs on three doors.

"I can honestly say I've gotten way more support than the one person who really gave me a lot of grief over it," said Ms. Floyd.

Friday, all of the customers in Shiloh Brew & Chew, many who are considered regulars, voiced support.

"Everyone needs to take a stand for what they believe Is right.," said Ralph Tucker. "Somebody saying guns are welcome instead of somebody crying about how many people are killed with guns. And it's not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people."

At a nearby table, a group from Cleveland, Ohio, had their take on the signs.

"We laughed, to be honest. It is the perfect expectation of coming to the South. It doesn't bother me, I grew up around guns. But I probably wouldn't go into a restaurant in Cleveland that had that on the door, but I have no problem coming into a restaurant down here that has that on the door."

The owner said while she does not carry a gun, her customers have a constitutional right to bear arms.

Ms. Floyd said she does not own a gun or have a carry permit, but said her customers have a constitutional right to bear arms.

"I have had so many customers take pictures of the sign, ask to meet me in person, and thank me," said Ms. Floyd.

"There have been as many as eight people in here at one time who I know for a fact had guns. And no one would have known it except I know them personally. They're law abiding, god fearing, Christian people. And that's what I stand on. That's what my restaurant is based on. "

As for how I see it, I love it when everday Americans stand up for their Constitutional rights!   And yes, like the other businesses that I profiled in Businesses Encouraging Customers And Employees To Carry Guns, the Shiloh Brew & Chew sounds like the sort of place that I would love to visit if in Tennessee.   I contacted a friend in that area to ask about the restaurant, and he said he's heard only good things.
After finding out that they too are Christians and Patriots who are showing their support for our Constitution, he said he will stop in as soon as he can.   He'd heard the steak house has great food, great service, and comfortable country environment.   "Home Of The Big ol' Steak"

I know if it were closer, I'd be there when I'm feeling in the mood for a great cut of meat -- which is pretty often.

And yes, anyone who knows me knows that I love a big Cowboy Ribeye marbled, juicy, and full of taste.

They also have a "Big ol' Steak Challenge" which includes a minimum of an 80 ounce cut to order ribeye. Yes, 5 lbs!

If you can finish it, you will be immortalized on their Wall of Fame and receive a commemorative t-shirt to testify to your accomplishment -- aka for braggin' rights.

All this, and the folks at Shiloh Brew & Chew support our Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms by wearing your gun there like a responsible American -- instead of having to leave it in your car before going inside as if you were some sort of threat to others.

So for a great steak and old school Southern/Western cooking, head over to Shiloh Brew & Chew in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Maryville Tennessee.
If I were there, I would drop in -- even if it's just to say thanks for supporting and defending our Constitution.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa


Monday, July 28, 2014

U.S. Government to Tax Cow Farts


Cows. Getty.

As with everyone, there has been times, actually more times than I had wished, when I searched my bank book checking account to see where I was going to get the money to pay my bills.

That's the position that most farmers and ranchers are in these days, there just isn't enough money to stay in business and grow a crop or raise livestock.

And no, the Government is no help.

Everytime an American agriculture producer turns around, there is some regulation that is taking money from the needed funds to keep their farm or ranch in business.

It is maddening because it never ends!

And now, well, believe it or not, the Federal Government wants to measure cow farts!

How do you measure a fart? Who knows! But the government wants to do just that.

It was announced resently that the:

Feds want to Tax Cow Flatulence

Now, as insane as it sounds, the Federal Government wants to tax cow flatulence.

No, while I wish it was, this is not a joke.

Flatulence Taxation is just another scheme to raise money by Liberals in Washington DC.

It was reported on April 11th, 2014, that Senate Republicans are warning Americans that President Obama’s new focus on agricultural "methane emissions" could mean a tax on livestock emissions — including cow flatulence.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune and fellow GOP senators sent a letter to Obama urging him not to regulate cow flatulence, livestock emissions, as part of the president’s crusade against Global Warming.

Obama’s "Climate Action Plan" requires that the Dairy Industry would have to reduce methane emissions by 25% by 2020.

The United States Department of Agriculture, the Energy Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are set to put together a "Bio-gas" plan of action supposedly meant to reduce methane emissions -- including cow farts.

Republicans argue that Obama’s methane reduction plan could lead to even more "heavy-handed" over-regulations that would "have detrimental implications on livestock operations across the country"

The EPA is currently barred from regulating methane emissions from livestock production through an "annual appropriations rider" that expires every year.

But Republicans warn that this does not mean the EPA will not try again!

"In 2008, as part of its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act, the EPA deliberated regulating agriculture-related emissions, which would have required farmers to purchase expensive permits," Republicans wrote to the heads of the USDA, DOE and EPA.

"It was estimated that these top-down regulations would have cost medium-sized dairy farms with 75 to 125 cows between $13,000 and $22,000 a year, and medium-sized cattle farms with 200 to 300 cows between $17,000 and $27,000," Republicans added.

"We reject the notion that the EPA should, absent express authorization from Congress, seek to regulate the agriculture sector in this manner."

Though EPA head Gina McCarthy has said there are no plans to regulate cattle emissions, there are still worries the agency could crack down on methane emissions from cow flatulence.

Why the concern? How can anyone think the EPA would do something like this?

Well, it is a fact that the EPA has said that the digestive systems of cows produce methane through a process called “enteric fermentation”.

According to some fictitious figure, the EPA says that cattle emissions alone make up 20% of all of the methane emissions in the United States.

Because Liberals worship at the alter of the EPA, Democrat lawmakers want to place Federal Regulators in place to make cuts to dairy and cattle production through rules targeting livestock feed and herd management methods.

Yes, the Federal Government dictates how cattle and other livestock will be produced in the future.

The individual rancher is losing his rights to raise cattle as he sees fit.

Today, just as in Communist nations, the state, the government believes that they own the livestock production in America.

Like children, Republicans beg Obama and those in his administration in charge of more government oversight -- to please have pity on ranchers and farmers.

"The agriculture community is committed to environmental stewardship, which is evidenced by the 11% reduction in agriculture-related methane emissions since 1990," Republicans wrote.

"It is our hope that the EPA, USDA, and DOE will work with Congress and the agriculture industry to outline voluntary measures that can be taken to reduce emissions without imposing heavy-handed regulations on farms across America."

The Federal Government should be out of the business of telling agriculture producers how to raise their products.

But they refuse to step aside and leave Americans alone to prosper, instead they want more and more control while turning American citizens into servants of the state.

That's just how I see it.

Tom Correa


Saturday, July 26, 2014

U.S. Government attacks New Mexico Ranching Family

New Mexico ranching family tells feds: "Don’t fence us out"

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SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST, N.M. — For more than a century, the Lucero family has grazed livestock in the majestic landscape near Fenton Lake in the Santa Fe National Forest.

They started with sheep and, in the 1920s, switched to cattle.

But that may all come to an end because of an endangered mouse.

“You’re taking a lot of heritage away,” said Mike Lucero, as he looks over the creek that cuts through the meadow. He was accompanied by his brother Manuel and cousin Orlando, who have brought their family’s cattle to this spot since they were children.

Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species. Now, the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the Santa Fe National Forest, is considering erecting a series of 8-foot high fences to protect the mouse’s habitat.

THE MOUSE IN QUESTION: The meadow jumping mouse has recently been listed under the Endangered Species Act.

THE MOUSE IN QUESTION: The meadow jumping mouse has recently been listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The Luceros, members of the San Diego Cattleman’s Association and holders of grazing permits with the federal government, say the fences will lock out their cattle — as well as those of other permit holders — from ever returning to the meadow where the livestock graze for 20 days in the spring and up to 40 days in the fall.

“We’re not insensitive to protecting the mouse,” Orlando Lucero said. “But let’s work on something that keeps everyone’s interests in mind.”

Forest Service officials in Albuquerque say no final decision has been made but, at the same time, they are required by law to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Since the meadow jumping mouse is now listed as endangered, the Forest Service is bound to take steps to protect its habitat.

Grazing was listed as one of the “a primary threats” to the mouse, said Robert Trujillo, the acting director of Wildlife, Fish and Rare Plants for the Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service.

“It’s been our experience that a fence like that to protect that occupied habitat seems to be the best way we can do our affirmative duty and protect that habitat,” Trujillo said.

But the Luceros say putting up a fence is an example of federal government overkill.

“At first, they were talking about a 300-yard fence on eight feet of either side (of the Rio Cebolla, a creek that feeds the meadow),” Manuel Lucero said. “But you look at the (Forest Service) map now and it goes on for three and a half miles – and that’s just for this allotment.”

The place where the government wants to put up fences is a San Antonio Campground which is a popular spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

In fact, the Forest Service proposal could potentially put up fencing over large swaths of the forest, including the San Antonio Campground, a popular destination for families and outdoors enthusiasts in northern New Mexico.

“The San Antonio area, from what I’ve seen, is in the upper portion of that occupied habitat,” Trujillo said. “It possibly could (be affected) but no decision has been made on that.”

“I don’t think the public realizes the San Antonio Campground is being considered,” Mike Lucero said. “If they did, I think there would be a lot upset people.”

The Luceros complain the Forest Service has not done enough to inform the public about the proposed fencing.

“Let’s protect the mouse but we don’t need to take the whole valley,” Orlando Lucero said.

Trujillo said the Forest Service has just started what it calls its “scoping process” to elicit comments. “No decision will be made without gathering input from affected individuals,” he said.

The meadow jumping mouse has plenty of support among environmentalists.

“Saving the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse and the streamside habitat it needs to survive is long overdue,” said Jay Lininger, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity when the mouse received endangered status. “When we protect this tiny animal, we’re also helping people, because we all rely on clean water for survival.”

Trujillo says the mouse is active three to four months out of the year and spends the rest of its time hibernating.

This is the second time in the space of two months that the meadow jumping mouse has raised hackles among people with grazing permits in the state.

Some 275 miles south, in Otero County, the Forest Service reinforced locked gates to keep out cattle from a creek called the Agua Chiquita to protect the mouse’s habitat. The move angered ranchers who tend over herds thirsty from a prolonged drought.

An attorney for Otero County says the state of New Mexico – not the federal government – has the right to access to the water to the creek and a lawsuit may be in the offing.

While the locked gate in the Otero County controversy keeps out only cattle, the Luceros complain 8-foot fencing in the Forest Service proposal in the Santa Fe Forest would keep out just about all forms of wildlife, including elk.

But the difference, Trujillo said, is that “the elk and deer get in there, get water and get out. They don’t tend to lounge around and graze heavily. Cows will sit in there and graze.”

So when will the feds make a decision? Trujillo said it could range anywhere from 30 days to 8 months, depending on how long the assessments take.

“I want to reiterate, we’re committed to working with our permitees and all other stakeholders to really find where that sweet spot is,” Trujillo said.

But the Lucero family is skeptical.

“I think they’re afraid of getting sued” by environmental organizations, Mike Lucero said.

And if the fence is erected, will the Luceros stop ranching?

“Why would we give it up after four generations?” Orlando Lucero said. “We were here before the (Forest Service), back during land grants. We’re not going to go nowhere.”

My hat's off to the Lucero family for fighting this.

They realize the sorry truth of the world we live in today: the Federal Government is not working for us and they are truly not our friend.

And yes. that's just how I see it!

Tom Correa

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Federal Gov't killing thousands of U.S. Farms, including 68-year-old Louisiana Peach Orchard


Acting on behalf of Environmentalist Groups, the Obama Administration has conducted a war on Family Farms and Ranches in the United States.

Now, EPA regulations will kill thousands of farms -- including a 68-year-old Louisiana peach orchard

The peach orchards at Mitcham Farms, near the north Louisiana city of Ruston, have survived winter freezes, droughts and dangerous hail storms, but they evidently will not survive the Environmental Protection Agency and its regulations.

The family-owned business, established in 1946 and featured in tourism magazines, is Louisiana’s largest peach orchard, according to its website, but owner Joe Mitcham expects he’ll close up shop in only a few years.

The federal government’s banning of a chemical in 2005 known as methyl bromide, used to treat diseased peach trees, has really given him no choice, as most of his trees won’t survive without it.

Methyl bromide (MB) is a fumigant that is applied to the soil before planting to provide season-long control of soil-borne pathogens, insects, nematodes and weeds.

Several vegetable, fruit and perennial crops rely on methyl bromide for pest control..

In the United States, tomatoes, strawberries and peppers account for most of the methyl bromide used in soil fumigation (30%, 19% and 14%, respectively).

Other crops that use methyl bromide include almonds, eggplants, grapes, melons, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, sweet potatoes, walnuts and ornamental as well as nursery crops.

Of the 7.1 million pounds of methyl bromide used in California in 2004, strawberry producers applied 3.2 million pounds (45%), primarily for soil fumigation.

The benefits of methyl bromide use are clear; for example, in one study strawberry yields were 94% higher with methyl bromide fumigation than without fumigation.

Many of Mr Mitcham’s trees have already died.

He's just one of many producers across the country affected by the ban, which the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates is costing the agriculture industry in southern states up to $1.5 billion a year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation also has told Congress the restrictions on the chemical will hurt crop production.

The EPA claims using this chemical threatens the earth’s ozone layer.

That's right, the chemical supposedly "threaten" the Ozone!

Will the Federal Government bankrupt family farms with so-called "Food and Environmental Safety" Regulations?

Let's use Mr Mitcham's farm for an example of what is happening across the nation:

Because of Federal Regulations, in place because of Special Interest Groups such as Environmental Extremists, Mr Mitcham has been forced to downsize his business from 60 employees to 20.

Instead of hiring and feeding the world, the Federal Government is putting more people out of work and cutting back on food production in the United States.

Here's the rub!

One aspect of this that really jerks my chain is that the Feds are all for bringing in to the United States more food from Foreign farmers who do not have any sort of regulations as to how they grow their crops.

Most of the agricultural products being brought in use questionable fertilizers and other chemicals, from human waste to products that have been banned here in the United States for decades, yet the Obama Administration is encouraging their import into the United States as a way to give them an economic boost..

No, the Federal Government is not working for us -- and they are truly not our friend.

That's just how I see it!

Tom Correa

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Angelina Jolie "Hates" Obama -- Believes He is Really a "Socialist in Disguise"



A-List actress Angelina Jolie is reportedly not a fan of President Barack Obama, which puts her at odds with most of liberal Hollywood -- including her husband Brad Pitt who is a big Obama supporter.

It's true, the famous Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is not a fan of Barack Obama -- and yes, that's putting it mildly.

The news story is somewhat of a surprise considering that Ms. Jolie is often seen as being on the Liberal side of the political equation.

Although that perception my be mistaken as well since she is a strong 2nd Amendment supporter and gun enthusiast.

She may have more in common with he conservative father, actor Jon Voight, than people think. He has been extremely critical of Obama and Liberal politics as a whole.

Commenting about Jolie’s opinion of the 44th president, an unnamed source cited by US Weekly flatly claims that “she hates him.”

"She hates him," a source close to the actress said in the latest issue of US Weekly magazine.

The inside source added that “She is into education and rehabilitation and thinks Obama is all about welfare and handouts. She thinks Obama is really a socialist in disguise. Angie isn’t a Republican, but she thinks Obama is all smoke and mirrors.”

Fact is, Left-wing activist Noam Chomsky also used the term "smoke and mirrors" to describe the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign.

Ms Jolie and her husband, actor Brad Pitt, apparently don’t agree on their viewpoints of the president who promised "hope and change," who has become as unpopular as his heavily criticized predecessor, George W. Bush.

“They get in nasty arguments all the time about it,” the source said about the couple’s relationship. “She doesn’t respect Brad when it comes to politics, but, in the end, this won’t tear them apart.”

The couple will star together in a new film called By the Sea, which will be directed by Jolie.

This will be first joint venture by the Hollywood power couple since 2005′s Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

For others in Hollywood, this could be a Career-Killer!

In general, Ms. Jolie has not made public statements about her political views.

In Hollywood, taking a view contrary to Liberal Hollywood can be a career-killer for others who are far less established in the industry -- or hold to a Conservative or Libertarian philosophy.

Angelina Jolie has been a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador since 2001.

Many of Hollywood’s movers and shakers give millions of dollars to the Democrats, and Obama and other politicians regularly travel to southern California for big-ticket fundraisers.

While the Liberal-left is fairly quiet, Obama has taken a lot of heat from Conservatives for pursuing his business-as-usual Campaign style of governing.

Obama has made it clear that he is more concerned about fundraising with wealthy Celebrities and Liberal billionaires than dealing with international crises such as the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine, ISIS and the fall of Iraq, the Israeli ground war in Gaza, or domestic problems such as a U.S. economy the has actually shrank for the first time in 58 years, over-regulation which is stifling the job creation, and of course the Illegal Alien crisis on our Southern border.

Obama has also declined invitations by Texas Governor Rick Perry to actually visit the Rio Grande Valley border area for himself to get a first-hand look at the Illegal Alien crisis.

Instead of visiting the crisis area, he was only visiting Texas for fundraising events.

It is very apparent that Obama is more interested in spending time in the dining room rather than the situation room taking care of problems and doing what a President is supposed to be doing.

While the border crisis is left to Texas State Governor Rick Perry to deal with, the president spends his time attending fundraisers and golfing.

The president has attended 339 fundraising events, and has also played 176 rounds of golf since he took office.

If this is what the Democrats consider good governing, protecting and defending America, they are very screwed up.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Monday, July 21, 2014

James Garner - An American Legend - The Original Maverick



Today we pause to take note of the passing of an American Legend, a Western Icon, veteran actor James Garner passed away of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, July 19th, 2014. He was 86 years of age.

He was born James Scott Bumgarner, some references say Baumgarner, in Norman, Oklahoma, on April 7th, 1928.

His paternal grandfather had participated in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 and was later shot to death by the son of a widow with whom he’d been having an affair.

His maternal grandfather was a full-blooded Cherokee. James Garner would later name his film production company Cherokee Productions in honor of his Cherokee ancestry.

His first home was the back of a small store that his father, Weldon, known as Bill, ran in the nearby town of Denver.

His mother, Mildred, died when he was 4 years of age. Then when he was 7, the store burned down and his father left to find work in California leaving James and his two older brothers to be raised by relatives.

No, having your father go off to find work was not at all unusual during the Great Depression

When his father remarried, the family reunited, but James’s stepmother was abusive and he left home at age 14.

He said in his memoir, after a violent episode at home, he finally had enough of being beaten and left for good.

From that experience, James Garner developed a lifelong sympathy for the underdog.

"I cannot stand to see little people picked on by big people," he said. "If a director starts abusing people, I'll just jump in."

Making his way back to Oklahoma. He worked in Oklahoma, Texas, and later Los Angeles where his father finally settled.

On his own after the age of 14, he drifted from job to job working as a telephone installer, oilfield roughneck, chauffeur, dishwasher, janitor, lifeguard, grocery clerk, salesman and, even a gas station attendant.

One job he had was as a male model for a swimsuit company. While that was his first on-camera job, in a Jantzen swimsuit ad, it was something he later regretted saying, "Ever since I did that darn ad, I've hated having my picture taken." 

While pumping gas in Los Angeles, he befriended a young man named Paul Gregory, who was working nearby as a "soda jerk."  Gregory wanted to be a talent agent, and later he would play a big part in Mr Garner's future.

After briefly attending Hollywood High School, he returned to Norman where he played football and basketball, to finish.

In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, he was drafted. And yes, he served in the Army in Korea where he was wounded in action twice. He received two Purple Hearts.

"I wasn't a hero," he said modestly. "I just got in the way a lot."

After leaving the Army, like many veterans he did whatever it took to make an honest dollar. And yes, even with bad knees from Korea, he ended up working as a carpet layer in Los Angeles for a business run by his father.

One afternoon that would all change. It was luck that got him into acting, he claimed later.

The story goes that he was driving on La Cienega Boulevard and saw a sign which read Paul Gregory & Associates.

Just then a car pulled out of a space in front of the building. On a whim, Mr. Garner, pulled in to see if that was indeed his friend from back home.

Mr. Gregory, was by then an agent and a theatrical producer, hired him for a non-speaking part in his production of Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, which starred Henry Fonda, John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan.

It opened in Santa Barbara and toured the country before going to Broadway, where it opened in January 1954 and ran for 415 performances.

Mr. Garner said he learned to act from running lines with the stars and watching them perform, especially Henry Fonda.

"I swiped practically all my acting style from him," he once said.

Mr. Garner claimed to have stage fright and no desire to act in the theater, yet he later played Lieutenant Maryk (the John Hodiak role) in a touring company of the play that starred Charles Laughton, but afterward would almost never appear onstage again.

Still, it was the serendipitous stop on La Cienega that changed his life. One that he himself admitted to.

"The only reason I’m an actor is that a lady pulled out of a parking space in front of a producer’s office," he wrote in his biography The Garner Files.

Mr. Garner’s first actual Hollywood break came when he met Richard L. Bare, a director of the television western Cheyenne, who cast him in a small part.

According to Mr. Garner, he was considered for the lead role in Cheyenne but that role went to Clint Walker because the casting director couldn't reach him in time. Instead of the lead, he wound up playing an Army officer in the Cheyenne pilot.

That and other bit roles led to a contract with Warner Bros., which featured him in several movies -- including Sayonara (1957) starring Marlon Brando, which would be the first film where he would be known as "Garner" instead of "Bumgarner."

His first lead role was in a great movie called Darby’s Rangers (1958) as the World War II hero William Darby. It was a part he was given after Charlton Heston walked off the set in a dispute with the studio over money.

At about the same time, Warner Bros. cast him as Bret Maverick -- the role that made him a star.

Since Warner Bros. made Mr. Garner a contract player, which led to his starring as the shy Western hero on Maverick, he was a bargain at $500 a week.  

It was also about that time that James Garner married TV actress Lois Clarke, who now survives him. According to him they met in 1956 at a presidential campaign rally for Adlai Stevenson. According to The Garner Files, Mrs. Garner said they had actually met at a party earlier.  

He leaves behind wife Louis Clarke, who married just 14 days after meeting in 1956.

He said of their whirlwind romance, during an interview on the Charlie Rose show in 2002: "We went to dinner every night for 14 nights. I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me."

As for his long marriage, he once said, "Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist".


Whether Warner Bros knew it or not, with the 1950s TV Western Maverick, James Garner would become a star, a legend, an American success story. 

Maverick ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and stars James Garner as the lead character Bret Maverick.

James Garner's Bret Maverick character is the epitome of a poker-playing drifter always seeking out high-stakes games and rarely remaining in one place for long.

As a professional gambler in the Old West -- a time when gambling was looked upon as a true profession -- he showed us that he was could do drama and action and comedy while also having a low-key sharp wit as an unconventional Western hero.

His quick-witted avoidance of conflict offered a refreshing new take on the American hero, contrasting with the blunt toughness of some of the others in 1950s television Westerns.

Yes, Maverick inverted the usual cowboy hero characteristics familiar to television and movie viewers of the time.

While the fiction The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp staring Hugh O'Brien opened with the music declaring "Wyatt Earp brave, courageous, and bold," Bret Maverick was vocally reluctant to risk his life -- though he typically ended up being courageous in spite of himself.

James Garner's character was an affable gambler and drifter who'd rather talk his way out of a problem than shoot his way out.

The difference between Bret Maverick and most TV anti-heroes is that they are at heart self-serving and egocentric, that description did not fit any Maverick characters.

His character was not above flimflamming an adversary, but only those who deserved it. Otherwise he was honest almost to a fault, in at least one case insisting on repaying a questionable large debt.

The show was part of the Warner Bros. array of television Westerns, which included Cheyenne staring Clint Walker, Colt .45 staring Wayde Preston, Lawman staring John Russell, Bronco staring Ty Hardin Bronco, The Alaskans staring Roger Moore, and Sugarfoot staring Will Hutchins.

Eight episodes into the first season, because of production demands, he was joined by Jack Kelly as his brother Bart.

James Garner as Bret Maverick, and Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick
From that point on, James Garner and Jack Kelly alternated leads from week to week -- sometimes teaming up for the occasional two-brother episode.

Mavericks were poker players from Texas who traveled all over the Old West and on Mississippi riverboats, constantly getting into and out of life-threatening trouble of one sort or another, usually involving money, women, or both.

They would typically find themselves weighing a financial windfall against a moral dilemma. More often than not, their consciences trumped their wallets since both Mavericks were intensely ethical.

it was almost impossible for anyone to beat them in any sort of a fistfight, that was reportedly kept in the scripts at the insistence of the studio.

As with all Westerns, there were lonely isolated forts, ranch houses, the isolated homestead, the saloon, the jail, the livery stable, the small-town main street, small frontier towns that are forming at the edges of civilization, Indian villages, the hanging tree, Stetsons, spurs, saddles, lassos, Colt .45's, bandannas, buckskins, canteens, stagecoaches, long-horned cattle, cattle drives, prostitutes with a heart of gold, town drunks, badmen, gunmen, sharpshooters, and villains, but neither Bret nor Bart Maverick had a favorite horse or were fast guns. 

Truth of the matter, they professed their slowness with a gun. It's true. In the series, none of the Mavericks were particularly fast draws with a pistol.

Bret's brother Bart (played by Jack Kelly) commented in one episode, "My brother Bret can outdraw me any day of the week, and he's known as the Second Slowest Gun in the West."

While his character didn’t much care for horses or guns, all of the Mavericks was motivated by something much less grand than law and order: money.

And yes, while James Garner set that standard, we cheered for him because he was on the right side of moral issues. And yes, his character had a natural affinity for the little guy being pushed by the bully.

"If you look at Maverick and Rockford, they’re pretty much the same guy," Mr. Garner wrote. "One is a gambler and the other a detective, but their attitudes are identical."

Critics have repeatedly referred to Bret Maverick as arguably the first TV anti-hero, and have praised James Garner's charisma and subtly comedic facial expressions.

The show is generally credited with launching James Garner's career, although he had already appeared in several movies, including Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend with Randolph Scott, and had filmed an important supporting role in Sayonara with Marlon Brando, which wasn't released until December 1957.

The peak year for television Westerns was 1959, with 26 such shows airing during prime-time. But even though that was the case, it should be noted that Maverick was the most prominent of ABC's Sunday night of western dramas.

In fact, Maverick was so popular that it often beat The Ed Sullivan Show in the television ratings.

It didn't surprise Mr Garner. Fact is that the networks were full up with steely-eyed, hard-as-nails gunmen, all traditional Western heroes.

Bret Maverick provided a breath of fresh air. With his sardonic tone and his eagerness to talk his way out of a squabble rather than pull out his six-shooter, Maverick seemed to scoff at the genre's 1950s stereotype Western hero.

Mr. Garner left the series, after the third season due to a legal dispute.

In a Maverick-like move, Mr. Garner left the series in 1960 after winning a breach-of-contract suit against Warner Brothers over its refusal to pay him during a writers’ strike. 

Will Hutchins, Peter Brown, Jack Kelly, Ty Hardin, James Garner, Wayde Preston, and John Russell
 His first film after leaving Maverick established him as a movie star. It was the film The Children's Hour which co-starred Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.

He followed it with a successful comedy with Kim Novak, Boys Night Out, and then established his box-office appeal with the 1963 blockbuster hit war drama The Great Escape, and then followed that with two smash comedies with Doris Day -- The Thrill of It All and Move Over Darling.

His favorite film was the cynical 1964 war drama The Americanization of Emily which co-starred Julie Andrews.

Throughout his film career, Mr Garner demonstrated his versatility in comedies, The Art of Love, A Man Could Get Killed, in suspense films such as 36 Hours, They Only Kill Their Masters, Marlowe, and in Westerns such as Duel at Diablo, Hour of the Gun, Skin Game, Support Your Local Gunfighter.

Unlike most film stars, Mr Garner made repeated returns to television.

A decade after Maverick, there was no better display of Mr Garner's everyman demeanor than the NBC series The Rockford Files which aired from 1974 to 1980.


He played an L.A. private eye and wrongly jailed ex-con who seemed to rarely get paid, or even get thanks, for the cases he took, while helplessly getting drawn into trouble to help someone who was neither a client nor maybe even a friend.

He lived in a trailer with an answering machine that, in the show's opening titles, always took a message that had nothing to do with a paying job, but more often was a complaining call from a cranky creditor.

Through it all, Jim Rockford, however down on his luck, persevered hopefully. He wore the veneer of a cynic, but led with his heart. And yes, he put that all that on screen for us to admire.

He even scored in commercials. During the late 1970s, he was paired with actress Mariette Hartley in a popular series of ads for Polaroid cameras.

And yes, their on-screen banter felt so authentic to some viewers that many mistakenly believed they were husband and wife.

The show he often cited as his favorite was Nichols (1971-72) and even though he reprised his Maverick role for television in the show Bret Maverick (1981-82), both were short-lived. The Rockford Files proved a solid hit, bringing him an Emmy.

As the star of TV's The Rockford Files, he had a special ability to instantly connect with audiences. And yes, women admired his good looks and the way he held himself -- while men saw him as a regular guy.

It's said that like actor Steve McQueen who did many of his own stunts behind the wheel, James Garner was perhaps the best stunt driver in California.

Rockford Files creator Stephen J. Cannell didn’t want Garner to do his own car stunts in fear of the main actor’s safety.

Soon Cannell came to realize that the professional stunt drivers weren’t nearly as good as Garner himself, and Cannell agreed to let Garner drive.

In an interview, James Garner talked about the reasons he liked Rockford’s Pontiac Firebird Espirit saying, "It had the the right wheel base, the perfect engine power; driving it was the most fun I had as an actor.”

Mr. Garner was so good at one particular driving maneuver that it was named in his honor.

The trick involved driving a car backward at high speed, then spinning it 180°, and continuing forward without changing the direction of travel.

Today, stunt drivers call that move a “Rockford” because no one did better than James Garner. It was just one of many ways he was an American original.

It should be noted that Mr. Garner was often injured on the job. For example during the Rockford years, he had several knee operations and back trouble.

Among his notable TV movies: Barbarians at the Gate, Breathing Lessons, The Promise, My Name Is Bill W., The Streets of LaredoOne Special Night, and Decoration Day.

In the 1980s and 1990s, when most stars his age were considered over the hill, James Garner's career remained strong.

His only Oscar nomination came for the film Murphy's Romance (1985), a comedy-romance in which he co-starred with Sally Field.

Murphy's Romance is one of my personal favorites so much so that I named a horse after his character in the film. Yes, that's how my Quarter Horse Murphy got his name.

In Murphy’s Romance, he played a small-town druggist who woos the new-in-town divorced mom played by Sally Field.

In this film he demonstrates the attributes that are pure Americanism as he displays a mixture of self-reliance, strength, wisdom, benevolence, charm, and lack of sympathy for fools.

He co-starred in the film Maverick (1994), a big-screen return to the TV series, starring Mel Gibson in Mr. Garner's old title role. His character of Marshal Zane Cooper/ Pappy Maverick was outstanding.

His film My Fellow Americans (1996), was a comic adventure in which he and Jack Lemmon played feuding former presidents who find themselves framed by the sitting president and end up together on the lam.

Well into his 70s, he remained active in both TV and film.

In 2002, he was Sandra Bullock's father in the film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

The following year, he joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules ... For Dating My Teenage Daughter, playing the grandfather on the sitcom.  He stepped in to help the show after star John Ritter, who played the father, died during the show's second season.

In the romantic film The Notebook (2004), James Garner was perfect.


The Notebook's stars were Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love during the early 1940s. But for me, James Garner and Gena Rowlands stole the show.

Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man portrayed by James Garner (Noah) who is reading a story to his wife. She is a fellow nursing home resident played by Gena Rowlands (Allie).

Allie is suffering from dementia and cannot remember any of the events being read to her. The man who is reading to her, is her husband, but Allie cannot recognize him
In the present, Allie briefly becomes lucid. She remembers that the story being read is the story of how they met. When the story ends, she remembers her past.

When she had found out about her illness, she herself wrote their story in the notebook with instructions for Noah to "read this to me, and I'll come back to you."

As Allie soon relapses, losing her memories of Noah. She panics, not understanding who he is, and has to be sedated. He himself is hospitalized with what seems to be another heart attack.

When he is released from the hospital, Noah visits Allie to find her lucid again.

Allie questions Noah about what will happen to them when she loses her memory completely and he reassures her that he will never leave her.

She asks him if he thinks their love for each other is strong enough to "take them away together?"

He tells her that their love could do anything. After telling each other that they love one another, they both go to sleep in Allie's bed.  The next morning a nurse finds that they have died peacefully together.

Yes, it is one of the best movies that James Garner had ever been made.

As for politics, James Garner was a strong Democrat Party supporter, so much so that since 1982 he had given at least $29,000 to Federal campaigns, of which over $24,000 has been to Democrat Party candidates.

On August 28, 1963, Mr Garner was one of several Hollywood celebrities, both Democrat and Republican, to join Martin Luther King Jr. in the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

James Garner and Marlon Brando in the crowd of supporters of Dr. Martine Luther King Jr.

In his autobiography, Mr. Garner recalled sitting in the third row listening to King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

And yes, believe it or not, prior to the entry of ex-San Francisco Mayor, presently U.S. Senator,  Dianne Feinstein, there was an effort by Democrat Party leaders, led by state Senator Herschel Rosenthal, to persuade James Garner to seek the 1990 Democrat nomination for Governor of California.

Although he defended actors who express their political views, in his book he is critical of those who run for office.

"Too many actors have run for office," he writes. "There's one difference between me and them: I know I'm not qualified."

And just for the record, while he was no fan of Ronald Reagan, he did like Barack Obama when he ran in 2008.

According to his biography, The Garner Files, he disdained the pretentiousness of the acting profession.

"I'm a Methodist but not as an actor," he wrote in The Garner Files. "I'm from the Spencer Tracy school: Be on time, know your words, hit your marks, and tell the truth. I don’t have any theories about acting, and I don’t think about how to do it, except that an actor shouldn’t take himself too seriously, and shouldn’t try to make acting something it isn’t. Acting is just common sense. It isn’t hard if you put yourself aside and just do what the writer wrote."

Nor did he sit still for the dog-eat-dog business side of Hollywood.

In the early 1980s, he again sued his employer,at the time Universal, which he accused of cheating him out of his share of profits on The Rockford Files.

Universal settled the case in 1989, reportedly paying him more than $14 million.

Truly sounding like a child of the Great Depression, and telling us more about how his performances may have reflected his feelings about his profession, in 1984 he told The New York Times, "I was never enamored of the business, never even wanted to be an actor, really. It’s always been a means to an end, which is to make a living."

When Mr. Garner received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award in 2005, he modestly said, "I'm not at all sure how I got here."

But in his 2011 memoir, The Garner Files, he provided some amusing and enlightening clues, including his habit of bluntly expressing his opinion and his practice for decking people who said something nasty to his face -- including an obnoxious fan.

And when he suspected his studio of cheating him on residual payments -- a not-unheard-of condition in Hollywood -- Mr. Garner spoke out loudly and fought back with lawsuits.

"They all deserved it," he declared in his book.

And yes, Americans admire people who refuses to be cheated.


Mr. Garner enjoyed a 50-year career in TV and movies, with a wide range of comedic, drama, and Western roles.

He starred in several television series over more than five decades, which included such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s Western series Maverick and Jim Rockford in the 1970s detective drama The Rockford Files.

Mr. Garner starred in more than 50 films including The Great Escape (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Hour of the Gun (1967), Support Your Local Sheriff (1969), Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), Murphy's Romance (1985) for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and The Notebook (2004).

Reports today talked about how few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety. They spoke about his way of widening his eyes while the corner of his mouth sagged ever so slightly. And yes, he had a way of swallowing once to further make his point.

His demeanor was one that was understood and identified with every member of the audience.

The persona he perfected was never less than manly, good with his dukes and charming to the ladies, but his heroics were kept human-scale thanks to his gift for the comic turn.

He always remained one of the people.

In the late 1990s, the Garners built a 12,000-square-foot house on a 400-acre ranch north of Santa Barbara, California.

"My wife and I felt ... we'd just watch the sunset from the front porch," Mr. Garner said in 2000. "But then the phone started ringing with all these wonderful offers, and we decided, `Heck, let's stay in the business for a while."'

It should be noted that James Garner was a huge supporter of the University of Oklahoma, often returning to Norman for school functions.

When he attended Oklahoma Sooners football games, he frequently could be seen on the sidelines or in the press box. Mr. Garner received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at OU in 1995.

In 2003, to endow the James Garner Chair in the School of Drama, he donated $500,000, half of a pledged $1 million, for the first endowed position at the drama school.

His love for Norman, Oklahoma, was returned on April 21st, 2006, when a 10-foot-tall bronze statue of Mr. Garner as Bret Maverick was unveiled with Mr. Garner present at the ceremony.


As a last note, back in the early 1980s while working as Security Supervisor at Candlestick Park for the San Francisco 49er football team, I met Mr. Garner at a game.

Mr. Garner was a big fan of the Raiders, particularly when they played in Los Angeles between 1982 and 1994, and he regularly attended games and mixed with the players.

On that day, the Raiders were playing the 49ers in a pre-season game in San Francisco and Mr. Garner was there in the players parking area when I met him.

I escorted him to a VIP booth, and I'll always remember how friendly he was. After the game, I returned to meet him and take him to his car.

After hearing about his death today, I thought about meeting him back then almost 30 years ago and how nice he was.

He was a Hollywood legend, and yet he was a real gentleman. A very personable nice man who told me to call him by his first name.

I thought about how he gave so much in the form of great entertainment to us. And yes, I thought about how much America has lost.

Mr. Garner, who smoked for most of his life, even after open-heart surgery in 1988, had suffered a stroke in 2008.

My prayers and condolences are with his wife and the rest of their family.

He will be missed.

Respectfully,
Tom Correa


Friday, July 18, 2014

Youth Shooting Sports Taking Off -- Even In Blue States



Rio Ferguson, 10, shoots a Smith and Wesson 626 .22-caliber revolver at a target at Marlborough Fish and Gun Club.
Rio Ferguson, 10, shoots a Smith and Wesson 626 .22-caliber revolver at a target at Marlborough Fish and Gun Club.


Gun Controversy Lost On New Shooting Stars

Story by Sally Jacobs

While adults take sides on the propriety and safety of firearms, competitive marksmanship is a growing draw for children and teens who find satisfaction in the discipline a bull’s-eye requires.

Northborough, Massachusetts  — The present resting under the Christmas tree for 10-year-old Rio Ferguson last year was a mystery. 

Carefully wrapped in cream-colored paper adorned with black-and-gold game animals, the rectangular box could have contained any number of toys or games.

But when Rio and his mother played their traditional holiday game of guessing what was inside the holiday gifts, he got it right: “It’s a gun! A real gun!”


“Right,” replied his mother. “What kind?”

It wasn’t until the boy ripped the package open on Christmas morning that he learned his parents had bought him an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle, rather than the AK-47 that he is also fond of. He was thrilled.

“It’s got really cool sights,” Rio exclaimed recently.

It was not Rio’s first gun. He got that months earlier, on his 10th birthday: a trim, black M&P 15-22 rifle.

Then, in April, his parents gave him a third gun for his 11th birthday, a 20-gauge shotgun.

He now has a gun fund and has earned $170 doing extra chores. Although there are certain things his mother will not let him buy with his money — rap with violent lyrics or certain videos, for example — guns are not on the list. “If guns are his passion, that is fine with me,” his mother, Diane Houston, says.

Rio inherited his love of firearms from his parents, both of whom were raised in Wyoming in families for whom guns and hunting were a big part of life. 

They have versed their son in firearm safety since he first fashioned a toy gun out of PVC pipe as a toddler.

Recently, he participated in a local junior target shooting program, one of several “shooting sports” that has become increasingly popular among young people.

At a time when America’s debate about gun control is at a fever pitch, young people are learning to use firearms in ever greater numbers.

Participation in the nationwide 4-H Shooting Sports Program, which includes archery, hunting, pistol, rifle, and other firearms, has nearly tripled since 2009 and last year drew 336,558 program participants nationally.

The actual number of youths involved is doubtless somewhat different than that, as some sign up for more than one offering and not all states report, but the trend is clear.

Also, after a long decline, participation in hunting in the US increased by 9 percent between 2006 and 2011, and one of the main reasons appears to be an array of youth recruitment and retention programs sponsored by local clubs and national youth organizations, according to a recent study funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Throughout the region, junior shooting programs with names such as “The Projectiles” and “The Hot Shots” are generally open to children age 10 and up.

 The ranges are packed with boys and, increasingly, girls.

Shooting appeals to young people for unexpected reasons; the sport is unlike the standard competitive fare offered at most of their schools, they say, and measures their individual skill in ways that team play does not.

An NRA Marksman Qualification Course certificate hangs on the bulletin board in Rio Ferguson’s bedroom.
An NRA Marksman Qualification Course certificate hangs on the bulletin board in Rio Ferguson’s bedroom.

Many parents of young shooters like it, too.

Not only do the demands of target practice improve their children’s focus, they say, but the programs demand a high level of personal responsibility.

There are no-exceptions safety rules on the range. And youths are routinely asked at some clubs to bring in their report cards — good grades can be a condition of participation.

As with many things that have to do with guns, the topic engenders passionate feelings on both sides.

Critics argue that children should not be using firearms in any situation: As with alcohol or motor vehicles, they say their use should be limited to those of mature age.

“The fact is, children don’t have the developmental skills to hold highly developed military weapons,” says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington.

But promoters maintain that junior shooting teaches the same life skills instilled by other sports, particularly self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.

Teaching children how to use guns, they add, will reduce the likelihood of accidents.

“Kids that learn to shoot learn to respect firearms,” says Jon Green, director of education and training for the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, or GOAL, which has helped to provide training for coaches and instructors. “So, let’s get these kids on the rifle line and out from the TV playing crazy violent video games.”

Young people who shoot, some of whom nurse Olympic dreams, know this debate all too well; more than a few of them have already experienced some backlash firsthand.

When a news account of a Fairhaven teenager who is a nationally ranked competitor was posted on a bulletin board in her school, her family says an administrator cut out the photo of her holding her rifle.

A high school senior in Foxborough was prohibited by school authorities from using a photo of himself shooting a .22-caliber rifle in a competition on his yearbook page, his father says.

Irked that their sport is misunderstood, some of the junior shooters have taken to wearing a T-shirt that says, “I compete in an Olympic sport, but I can’t talk about it in school.”

Even Riois wary of talking much about his favorite pastime. His father recently told the mother of one of his close friends that they had guns in their house, all of them locked up. The friend has never come to visit. 

Asked how many of his other friends he has told, Rio raised his thumb and forefinger and made the shape of a zero.

“I just don’t talk about it,” he says with a shrug. “Kids might tell their parents. Or they might decide they don’t want to be my friend.” Shooting early and often.

Mike King chatted with his daughter Morgan as she put her arrows away after shooting in their backyard in Epping, N.H.
Mike King chatted with his daughter Morgan as she put her arrows away after shooting in their backyard in Epping, N.H.
It is a bitter cold morning at the Chester Rod & Gun Club in New Hampshire, and a dozen teenagers are sitting around a table learning the parts of a .22 rifle as the adjacent indoor range crackles with gunfire.

While half the youths have shot before, they are all required to attend a safety program before participating in the 4-H Junior Rifle and Archery League. But both they and the adults in charge want to get on with it.

“We try to get the kids to shoot in the first half hour, otherwise you lose them,” explains Larry Barker, a specialist in youth development with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, who oversees the state’s 4-H shooting sports program. “If you can let them pull a trigger in a few minutes, they’re satisfied and they come back.”

And come back they do. Youths have been flocking to the small gray club building in such numbers in recent years that program coordinator Mike King has stopped advertising.

This year, about 60 youths, ranging in age from 10 to 18, attended, one of the largest groups ever.

In the past, children ages 8 or 9 and even younger were allowed to take part if they were judged sufficiently mature, but with so many youths now attending, King says he can no longer take such young ones.

Some shooting coaches attribute the recent surge in participation in youth shooting and archery in part to the immense popularity of “The Hunger Games,” a book series published beginning in 2008 and the subsequent film adaptations.

King, 65, a Vietnam veteran and an amiable HVAC repairman from Epping, N.H., also sees it as a form of anti-Obama backlash, a kind of rallying around the Second Amendment.

But lately, he has come to see it as something that is more driven by the young people themselves.

“Overall, there’s just more interest in shooting,” King says. “With all the hype on TV about guns, I think kids have gotten intrigued and want to find out what this is all about.”

Under the gaze of trained instructors, the youths at the Chester gun club shoot .22 bolt action rifles at paper targets from sitting or standing positions.

After four sessions and some instructional videos, they can graduate to a lever or pump action gun.

Those 12 and older who have demonstrated they can handle a rifle can also move to pistol shooting as long as they are accompanied by a coach.

Although boys are in the majority in many shooting programs, girls are widely considered the better students, many coaches say.

Because they generally have had less experience with either toy or real guns, they tend to listen more closely to instructions. And, King adds, “they tend to be more focused.”

For 10-year-old Noelle, a fifth-grader with shoulder-length blond hair, the repetitive motion of shooting and reloading her gun is “very calming,” she says.

 Noelle, whose parents — wary of public reaction — asked that they be identified only by their middle names, joined the Chester program when she was eight years old, following in the footsteps of her older brother and sister.

On a recent morning, she pulled on a set of ear protectors, aimed her grandfather’s Winchester 52E International Match rifle at the target 50 feet away, and pulled the trigger.

Her goal was to get three shots in each of five targets the size of a quarter. She came close.

“It’s fun,” she says, laying down her gun. “It feels like really good because you are achieving something over and over.”

Neither of her parents is big on the sport: Her father occasionally shoots trap to keep his son company.

Her mother, Joanne, shot as a child at the urging of her father, a competitive target shooter. But having seen her brothers do a few “stupid things” with guns, she says, “I swore we would never have a gun in the house. It seemed unsafe, and there was no need.”

Joanne and her husband discouraged their son from playing with guns, but somehow the toys showed up in their house, and he took to them with a passion.

 When Joseph was 14 years old, Joanne’s father packed up his Winchester and sent it to his grandson as a gift. Joanne somewhat reluctantly began to explore training options for him.

“Once the gun was in my house, the more information the children had, the better it was,” Joanne sighs. “Not knowing seemed more unsafe than getting some instruction.”

Noelle has many other interests. She plays the flute and drums, performs in her school’s dramatic productions, and excels in math.

Although none of her school friends shoots, she intends to continue with the sport in coming years. Guns, she adds, “are perfectly fine for kids. They are safe if you use them properly.”

Noelle’s parents clearly agree, but they have cautioned their children not to discuss their pastime with others.
“One of the rules is you can’t put the shooting out there on the table,” Joanne says. “You can do it, but you can’t talk about it.”

“The kids,” she explains, “are learning a new sport, and they are learning it the right way. But shooting is such a hot topic, I don’t want to invite unnecessary problems.”

Manufacturers, on the other hand, appear to have found in children such as Rio and Noelle an expanded market for their advertising.

Although firearms small in size and caliber have long been around, manufacturers have lately introduced models with vivid colors and catchy names specifically designed to appeal to youths.

This year, Henry Repeating Arms introduced the “Muddy Girl,” a lightweight “beginner’s .22” sporting a vivid pink, purple, and black pattern for girls ages 7 to 10, a female version of their stock minibolt rifle.

Keystone Sporting Arms, LLC in Pennsylvania has long sold .22-caliber rifles for children called the Crickett and the Chipmunk. Keystone, which referred phone calls to its lawyer, says on its website that it is “the leading rifle supplier in the youth market.”
Rio Ferguson, (left), and his father, Jay (right), both enjoy guns. “I just like to shoot,” Rio says. “I just like holding that beautiful creation in my hands.” Rio also plays tennis, practices his yo-yo, and fishes.
Rio Ferguson, (left), and his father, Jay (right), both enjoy guns. “I just like to shoot,” Rio says. “I just like holding that beautiful creation in my hands.” Rio also plays tennis, practices his yo-yo, and fishes.
Manufacturers have found a welcoming forum in a magazine designed for young shooters called Junior Shooters, which launched in 2007. Free of charge, its online version bristles with advertisements for guns and ammunition.

Not that many of the magazine’s young readers can buy them. Under federal law, licensed dealers are prohibited from selling handguns to anyone under 21 and long guns to anyone under 18.

Federal law does not establish a minimum age for possession of long guns, although several states and a few local governments have established their own age requirements.

In Massachusetts, no one under 18 can purchase a rifle or shotgun and no one under 21 can purchase a handgun.

Youths between ages 15 and 18, however, can apply for a Firearms Identification Card, or FID, with the permission of a parent or a guardian, which enables them to possess a rifle or shotgun.

The marketing of child-friendly guns in playful colors troubles some activists on both sides of the gun control issue.

Sugarmann, of the Violence Policy Center, charges that gun manufacturers, “following the trail blazed by tobacco, have focused on children as the next generation.”

Jay Ferguson, Rio’s father, also objects to childish marketing strategies.

"I think guns are fairly serious business," says Ferguson, who works in computer software research and development and is an NRA-certified instructor. "When you make guns to appeal to a kid’s sense of toy-ness, you are blurring the lines."

Seasoned shooters, the Fergusons have 11 guns in their house stored in four safes; they include a couple of rifles, several shotguns, Rio’s AR-15, and five pistols. 

Jay Ferguson says he always keeps a pistol on his hip, even in the house: “Absolutely. It’s about safety for myself and my family.”

Like his father, Rio is passionate about his guns. “I just like to shoot,” Rio exclaims. “I just like holding that beautiful creation in my hands.”

In addition to shooting, Rio plays tennis, practices his yo-yo, and fishes. But of all his activities, target shooting is the one that his mother feels has been most effective in imparting valuable skills, which she describes as “situational awareness” and patience. 

"Shooting," Diane Houston says, “is like swimming. It’s more a skill than a sport, something that it’s very important to know how to do.’’

It is a skill that Rio holds dear. When asked on a recent homework assignment to write about something he believed in strongly, Rio chose the Second Amendment.

Like Rio, many youths who shoot are accustomed to having guns around their home. When Tyler Lefebvre and his brothers sit down to breakfast in the morning, for example, they’re careful not to push their chairs too far back.

If they do, they might knock over the blue and silver air rifle poised next to the kitchen table and aimed, unloaded, into the living room.

Tyler Lefebvre, 17, a member of the Taunton Marksmanship Unit, practiced shooting with an air rifle in the living room of his home in Uxbridge, Mass.
Tyler Lefebvre, 17, a member of the Taunton Marksmanship Unit, practiced shooting with an air rifle in the living room of his home in Uxbridge, Mass.

Tyler, 17, is a skilled target shooter. A member of the Taunton Marksmanship Unit, one of a handful of advanced level junior shooting programs in the state, he was recently ranked 145th among junior men in air rifle, according to USA Shooting, which promotes shooting sports in the US.

He practices five days a week, at least one of them on the air rifle in the kitchen, which is attached to a computer program that traces Tyler’s aim and movement for training purposes.

Just two years ago, Tyler spent his afternoons after school in Uxbridge playing lacrosse.

But as he realized that he was skilled at shooting, and that the sport offered both junior Olympic competition and scholarship possibilities to some of the 200 colleges and universities that the National Shooting Sports Foundation says offer shooting sports programs, he laid down his lacrosse stick.

“I stopped lacrosse because shooting was more important,” says Tyler, who just completed his junior year at Nipmuc Regional High School. “I love the sport. I love that it is unique. It’s my alone time. Just me. I’ve become a perfectionist.”

At Tyler’s level, the sport requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Members of the TMU, about 10 teenage boys and girls, not only keep up a demanding practice schedule but are required to keep a journal in which they record each time they shoot.

They note their mental state, what they last ate before shooting, and the results of their session, all with the aim of improving.

Kevin Winters, head coach of the junior program at the Taunton Rifle and Pistol Club that includes the TMU, advises them not to consume caffeine or sugar before they shoot. A good shot, he points out, occurs in the lull between heartbeats.

The team’s motto is, “TMU. It’s a way of thinking.”

“Shooting is very cerebral,” Winters says. “A lot of times, the kids don’t even know they’ve pulled the trigger.”

Tyler, who measures just over six feet tall, learned to shoot with his brothers under the tutelage of his father, a disabled firefighter-medic. He went on to shoot a .22 at Boy Scout summer camp a few years ago.

Neither of Tyler’s parents was sure that their son, who had struggled with focus difficulties for years, would be able to maintain the concentration the sport requires. Tyler has both ADHD and dyslexia; school and organizational skills, like just sitting still, were a constant challenge.

But somewhere along the way, things shifted. Part of it was Tyler’s increased maturity and part of it was the focus he developed through shooting, his parents say.

Tyler now stands for up to two hours during practice and competition supported by the rigid shooting suit — thigh-length jacket and pants, generally made of a stiff blend of leather and synthetic material — that is de rigueur in the sport.

“That Tyler can stand still for that long is beyond comprehension,” says Tyler’s mother, Bonnie Lefebvre. “With shooting, it’s improved his grades, his desire to go to school, his overall organization. I’m all for it.”

One thing that Tyler has learned though shooting is that identifying goals can help him make progress.

So when he set his sights on the National Junior Olympics some time ago he wrote himself a note saying, “I will shoot a qualifying score for the junior olympics.” He taped the card next to the front door where he would see it every day.

Tyler didn’t make it last year. But this year, he did.

In April, he ranked 64th in men’s air rifle at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in Colorado Springs. The handwritten card is still taped to the doorway where it has been for close to two years.

His father hopes he’ll take it to college, along with his guns.

-- end article.

Sally Jacobs can be reached at sally.jacobs@globe.com.

Editor's Note:

Friends, I love finding articles like the one above because it illustrates something that the mainstream media does not want Americans to hear about -- the good aspects of youth shooting sports.

And yes, this article is from the Boston Globe!

Imagine that!

As for editing of the story, the only addition to this article made by me was to add "
Northborough, Massachusetts" in the beginning so that my readers would know where this community is located.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did.
Tom Correa
Editor
American Cowboy Chronicles