Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos. Link to Travel Page

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map
Pecos Gab



Economic Development

Area Papers
West Texas

News Archive
Photo Archive

Smokey Briggs
Jon Fulbright
Peggy McCracken
Rosie Flores
Jennifer Galvan

Other Sites


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Rolling back the Clinton plan to 

waste good rifles and your tax dollars

Let me tell you a story about government stupidity and fiscal irresponsibility.

"Say it ain't so, Smokey," is what you are thinking.

Sadly, it is.

Amazingly enough it reaches back to the Clinton era.

That really surprises me.

Sadly the supposedly conservative Bush administration has done nothing to halt this crime against good sense, national security and our pocket books.

Maybe, if we push him, President Bush will.

It will take some political guts for him to do it because he will be stabbing the anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-man, anti-woman, anti-gun, anti-personal responsibility culture of the liberals in their figurative hearts.

First a little history.

In the late 1930s a rifle was adopted by the Army and the Marine Corps. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be put to general field use by a world power.

That rifle was the U. S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M-1 - known affectionately as the Garand, or simply M-1 by the thousands and thousands of U.S. servicemen that carried them in defense of freedom throughout World War II and Korea.

John C. Garand's rifle was a heck of a rifle. It was accurate, hard hitting, and delivered a volume of fire unequaled by our enemies.

After World War II John Garand continued to work to make the M-1 better.

Eventually, he produced the rifle that became known as the M-14.

It too was a semi-automatic rifle. Instead of the 30.06 it fired the new 7.62 Nato round, known also as the .308 Winchester. And, instead of feeding from an eight-round en-bloc clip, it was fed by a 20-round detachable magazine.

The biggest difference between the M-14 and its predecessor was the provision for automatic fire. The M-14 had a selector lever that allowed the rifle to be used as a machine gun.

While different generations of soldiers will argue the merits of the two rifles long into history the fact remains that both were fantastic rifles.

For the past four decades the Civilian Marksmanship Program has overseen the sale of decommissioned military rifles to civilian shooters.

The logic behind the program is as valid today as the day it was founded - civilians who know how to handle a weapon and who can shoot accurately become effective soldiers far faster than those who do not.

Historians have chronicled the superiority of the American Rifleman in a half-dozen conflicts in the past century - and traced the roots of this superiority to the American populace's general ability with firearms before they reach wartime boot camp.

It is a good program.

Thousands and thousands of M-1 Garand rifles, not to mention older Springfield and Enfield bolt-action rifles have been placed in the hands of civilian shooters through the program.

Buyers must participate in a sanctioned match to purchase a rifle.

America is stronger for it.

Currently, the M-14s in our nations arsenal face a far different fate.

These rifles are slated for the scrap heap - thanks to ex-President Clinton, ex-White House First Madam Hillary, and the liberal elite they represent.

Of course, the cry from the left is that these are evil assault rifles capable of fully automatic fire.

Well, the truth is that while many of the military variants are capable of fully automatic fire, it takes only the slightest of modifications to render the M-14 incapable of automatic operation.

Moreover, civilian, semi-automatic copies of the M-14 have been on the market for decades - most seeing use at Civilian Marksmanship Program and National Rifle Association target matches across the country.

Even if you do not believe that a well-trained citizenry provides for a better national defense (and I question your historical knowledge if you hold to that view) the revenue that the program could generate is significant.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 M-14s sit in dark corners of government arsenals.

The current price of a plain-Jane civilian M-14 is about $1,200.

You do the math.

As it has with the M-1 Garand rifle, the Civilian Marksmanship Program would cover the costs associated with conversion and distribution and still make a good profit.

In a time of unbalanced budgets and with American troops involved in conflict around the world, the combination of helping train civilian marksmen while adding money to the government bank account just makes sense.

What can you do?

Sign a petition for starters.

There is currently a legitimate petition demanding that the government convert the M-14s in the arsenal to semi-automatic-only and offer them for sale to civilian shooters.

The petition can be found on the web at:

Once you have signed the petition electronically forward it to your friends.

It is a good cause.

The liberals will not like it, but hey, they do not like anything that smells slightly of strong men and women acting responsibly and doing their duty for God, family and country.

Men and women who can shoot accurately are more capable of doing just that, than those who cannot.

So help save the M-14 and help ensure that America has the strong citizens she needs in times of need.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesday's. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Redistricting is all about one man, one vote

Texans have increasingly voted for Republican candidates for state and federal offices over the past three decades.

Those decades witnessed the death of the last Southern Democrats, also know as conservative Democrats.

Increasingly the Democrat party has become the party of the far left embracing values that contrast sharply with those held by most Texans.

Despite a heavy Republican tilt in the population, Republican gains in the state legislature and in the U. S. Congress have been slow.

Very slow.

Despite the fact that the Republican candidate carried every statewide election in recent history, and that Republicans outnumber Democrats in Austin, we sent 17 Democrats to Washington in the last election and only 15 Republicans.

Common sense says that something does not add up.

And it does not.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if the shoe was on the other foot the Democrats would be screaming institutional racism, disenfranchisement of women and the poor, and violations of a dozen clauses in the Constitution.

More importantly, they would never let the issue drop, and a Democrat governor in a similar situation to Governor Perry would call a special session to fix the inequities.

This year the Republicans need to stick to their guns the way their Democratic colleagues certainly would - and redistrict Texas to reflect the changing face of our state.

It is only fair.

It is the only way each person's vote will carry the same weight in the next election.

Your View

Special thanks to many locals for a special ceremony

Dear Editor:
I want to take this opportunity to thank our local Girl Scouts and Brownies for the "Retiring of Old Glory Ceremony" this past Saturday at the Girl Scout Hut. It was a beautiful, solemn occasion, yet very educational. One person present commented she was "66 years old and had never seen this done."

I have seen flags burned in protestit breaks my heart and evokes angry emotions towards those who treat the flag in such a manner. However there are no words to describe seeing Old Glory ceremonially cut apart and burned according to flag etiquette. With each field of blue, each stripe cut and burned many names of those who have died so that we might have freedom came to mind.

Thank you Scouts for taking the lead in this matter. A special thank you to the VFW men who tended the fire, and who first made me aware on Pecos Talking last week about the correct way to display and retire our flag. To Jay and Terry Spence and Bruce Abbott thank you for working with our youth. God bless you.

Long may Old Glory wave over the "land of the free and the home of the brave."


Most crimes, wrecks and abuse involve alcohol

Dear Editor:
If we continue to mop up the flooded floor, put up warning signs, etc., but don't turn off the water, can anyone with half a brain believe that makes good sense? But this is exactly the take the "laws" (so-called) have on one of the most prolific drug plagues in the nation: alcohol.

Some figures show that alcohol is involved in approximately 90% of all crime and criminality, from wrecks and family abuse to robbery and murder. But our "laws" say: "don't turn off the supply, we'll just put up some signs (to mop-up some): "no alcohol consumption within 1500 ft. of school, no sales on Sunday, dont' drink while driving (this sign at the drive-in window), no consumption until age 18; (21), etc.

Bah! Keep mopping but don't turn off the flood supply. And, our laws hold up alcohol consumption as something to be longed for by our youth; they hold it up as an adult pleasure; i.e. "you can't enjoy this adult pleasure until you're 18/21.

If you know your Bible, you know this is simply gross injustice perpetrated by the same old "throne of iniquity" (Ps. 94:20) "that frameth iniquity by a law."

God Bless America? Bah! Does anyone with half a brain truly believe God is going to bless such wickedness as this?


Return to top

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
We support Newspapers in Education
Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise