Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
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
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
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
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
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: http://www.petitiononline.com/M14CMP03/petition.html
Once you have signed the petition electronically forward it to your
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:
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.
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
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
Special thanks to many locals for a special ceremony
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
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
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
Most crimes, wrecks and abuse involve alcohol
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?
W. M. KENNEDY
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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
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