Friday, July 26, 2013

G.P.S. Medium Range Bag by G Outdoors

Life has been a blur during the last couple of weeks.  In fact, the gals and I have been so busy we've started to have some conflicting shooting schedules and activities, so anticipating this busy schedule... my main gal decided it was time for us to get another range bag. So prior to her second three-day trip to Tactical Defense Institute this summer, this time without me, we went looking for a second range bag.

Our ol' work-horse range bag has been doing well for over fifteen years now. It's just a soft-sided tool bag we had picked up at Lowe's Home Improvement back in the 1990s. Not really designed as a range bag, it did have the features we were looking for at the time.

It's kind of amazing how far shooting supplies and accessories have come in design over the last twenty years. A range bag twenty years ago usually had one main compartment and maybe a couple of side compartments in the usual Henry Ford color choice of any color you want as long as it's black.

So when we went looking for a new range bag fifteen or so years ago, we ended up getting a soft-sided tool bag that had a lot of smaller compartments, pockets, and pouches to store gear in addition to the large compartment for ammo, guns, first-aid, and other stuff.

We also wanted a color beside black because on a bright, sunny day with either tinted shooting glasses or just your pupils closing down, it's hard to find things in the bottom of an all black case.

Recently, we picked up a G.P.S. Medium Range Bag which seems purpose-built by a shooter for a day of shooting at the range. We had been looking online at various range bags for a while, but it was a recent trip to the local Walmart the resulted in us... well, my gal... finding us a new range bag... and for the low, low price of just twenty-five bucks in the sporting goods department.

I wasn't really familiar with G Outdoors products before, but they are an American company based in California and this range bag is very well designed with compartments for just about everything most shooters will need.

The inside of the large, main compartment is medium gray so it is easy to see those hard-to-find items in the bottom. Each of the zippers has a bright red zipper-pull and a hole large enough you could use a small luggage lock to secure the compartment from children if necessary.

G Outdoors has developed a series of visual icons they call the Visual I.D. Storage System to identify compartments and they're contents. It's well thought out, although we don't typically carry binoculars like some folks, that compartment is just put to use for other items.

There are plenty of sewn-in elastic straps for everything from cleaning rods to lubricant. There are even elastic straps on top of the bag by the carry handles with Velcro-closures to secure rolled up targets. Plenty of pockets for pistol magazines and zippered inside pockets that are semi-transparent so you can easily see what is inside.

They include a re-configurable side compartment complete with a plastic organizer container, although we wish the plastic container wasn't divided into quite as many little compartments or "cells", but I guess it would be great if you take along a lot of extra screws or small pins and gun parts.

There are even marked compartments for your hearing protection and staple gun along with reinforced I mean Lift Ports to pick up the bag when filled with all that ammo you plan to dispose of at the range.

This seems like a very well-thought-out product and while not every shooter will use every compartment or pouch as indicated by the visual I.D. system, we think many folks will find it very handy. I did a web search and these bags are selling for sixty to eighty bucks online, so I'm not sure if the twenty-five dollars on-the-nose price at Walmart was the regular price or a discounted or closeout price, but it did contribute to our spur-of-the-moment purchase.

We haven't retired the old range bag, we're just getting to the point that two bags work better when my gal and I go our separate ways... to shoot, that is. This bag seems to initially be holding up pretty well after three days at TDI and several trips to the range with twenty-plus pounds of gear and ammo stuffed in it. If you're looking for a new range bag, you might check out the... G.P.S. Medium Range Bag by G Outdoors.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eddie Eagle flies at the County Fair...

Our county fair is under way this week and in a county with a mostly rural population... as far as things to do locally... the county fair ranks right up there with corn festivals and Friday night football games.  Our 4H Shooting Sports kids had their judging prior to fair as guns can't even be brought onto the fair grounds, let alone shooting at targets in this liability conscious, politically in-corrected society.  Just imagine, a few decades ago you'd find a .22 shooting gallery at most county fairs with pump-action rifles firing .22 shorts.

After my daughter attended the NRA's Youth Education Summit last summer, she and I discussed offering the NRA's Eddie Eagle program for the the 4H Cloverbuds with kids ranging in age from five to seven years. As an NRA appointed training counselor and certified instructor, I believe whole-heartily in the NRA's quality education programs for their targeted audiences and the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety program would work perfectly at the fair grounds, just like it does when I teach it in local schools, as no actual firearms are involved.

We set up in one of the barns and had a dozen kids attend. I was fortunate to have the help of my daughter, our county fair's Shooting Sports Queen this year, along with Molly, the County Junior Fair Queen, and Emma, one of the Junior Fair Board members. The kids had a great time watching the NRA's Eddie Eagle animated cartoon on the projector screen, and the my pretty help lead the youngin's in the "Stop! Don't Touch! Leave the Area! Tell an Adult!" dance just like on the cartoon.

We gave all the kids Eddie Eagle workbooks and crayons to color with, stickers to remind them of the the safety rules for children their age, and aluminum "challenge coins" with the Eddie Eagle mantra imprinted on them. The parents seemed fairly pleased and we gave every parent an NRA Gun Safety brochure, so we may have to look at offering this again at next year's county fair.

You don't have to be an NRA Certified Instructor to offer the Eddie Eagle program.  Materials can be purchased through the NRA for minimal cost, which is really nothing if it prevents just one child from being injured or worse.  I don't believe that keeping kids in the dark and unexposed to the truth helps, but providing them with good training and instruction that is age appropriate can save a life.

From our experience today, things seem to go pretty well when... Eddie Eagle flies at the County Fair...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Freedom is never free...

There have been many great folks... patriots... men and women... who have risked and given their all so that we might enjoy the liberties and freedom afforded us by our creator.  Take a few minutes, read their words, and remember what our forefathers stood for... and if we're worthy to stand with them, were they here today.

Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. 
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

God Bless the United States of America!  ...and remember... Freedom is never free...