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September 2019

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Good day from your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker! We are rapidly approaching my favorite time of year – autumn. This time of year, the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and the leaves will soon be shining in their full splendor. With the heat we have had this summer, it will be pleasant to ride in a sweatshirt, chaps and my leather jacket. One benefit of riding while bundled up is that it is much easier to conceal your pistol. The caveat being that it is also much more difficult and time consuming to get access to said pistol. But I am getting ahead of myself. Because your bearded biker loves you, he would like to share a true story with his faithful blog readers.

Dress for the Slide – Not the Ride

About three weeks ago, we got tangled up with another bike and went down. It was by no means a bad accident. I was leading a group of three bikes and slowed down quickly to turn into a business parking lot. We were doing everything a biker is supposed to do – including riding staggered. The bike staggered behind me came up between me and the parking lot, and I did not see him. I literally turned into his bike when pulling into the parking lot.

It was an accident – pure and simple. And I shared a big chunk of the blame as I should have been watching my mirrors more closely or simply went past the business and turned around. Accidents do happen. The other bike did not go down and sustained very minor damage. Our bike did go down and suffered approximately $9,300 damage – all of which was cosmetic (stupid CVOs). You know what they say, “You have either gone down – or you will go down eventually.” There has never been a truer statement – unless of course your motorcycle is only used as a garage ornament.

The bike is a machine. It can be replaced. In fact, it already has been. We bought a 2020 FLHTKSE CVO Limited. She is a real beauty.

Grey Beard Biker’s 2020 FLHTKSE CVO Limited

Besides bruising my pride, we both had some fairly minor injuries. Tracy had a small amount of road rash, a sore back and a sprained ankle. I broke my right index finger (which is still sore) and had road rash on my right elbow shoulder and back. But by far, the most painful injury for me was my right hip. It had a very nice contusion from landing on my pistol. The pistol and holster both got a small amount of road rash too, but totally cosmetic.

Having concealed carried for the past eight years or so, I almost always ride with a handgun strapped to my belt. It is second nature for me to do so. Hell, sometimes I carry a pistol on my side when I am in the house, because I forget it’s on my side. This is something a biker must consider when he is riding on his/her scooter. Many of my friends always take their pistol off their body and put it in a saddlebag or the top box. Doing so, makes it less accessible, but might save you a lot of pain if you go down – especially at a speed higher than that which you would use to turn into a parking lot. I am a bit undecided on this. As mentioned in my opening paragraph, it is getting to be the time of year when I can bundle up over my pistol. This would certainly help reduce the shock of having your pistol slam into your side in the unlikely event of going down. But, around here, you wear a heavy biker jacket less that a ¼ of the year. For now, I will probably continue to carry my pistol like I always have – in my belt holster.

Thoughts on Safety Gear

Dress for the slide, not the ride. This is very true. On the day we had our accident, I was in a tank top, blue jeans and of course, my helmet. Even at the slow speed we were traveling, we both had some serious road rash. If we had been wearing our vented riding jackets, we might have walked away without a scratch. If I had been wearing my riding gloves, I might not have dislocated and broken my finger. Maybe. If we had been moving along at highway speed, our road rash would have been exponentially worse. Those vented riding jackets – especially if they include riding armor – would have helped a whole lot! You should really consider your safety gear and dress for the slide.

The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker is as horrified about the recent mass shootings as any other red-blooded American. It seems as if every few days we have another tragedy caused by a sicko with a gun. Yesterday, a lone gunman killed seven and wounded another 22 innocent people in Odessa and Midland, Texas – including two law enforcement officers (LEOs). This latest shooting in Texas taking place just more than three weeks after the El Paso shooting left 22 dead and another 24 injured.

Unfortunately, the liberal media and politicians wasted no time using a tragedy to promote their narrative that guns kill and need to be restricted by “common-sense” gun reform. Here are a few of their most recent pronouncements from the gun grabbers on the Left:

From the Politicians

From the Media

Common Responses from the Left

There is a common theme perpetuated in many of these Twitter posts. Stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun manufacturers and if you are Beto O’Rourke, “This is fucked up!” The media is expounding how Texas laws just taking effect have loosened gun regulations and Congress just “needs to act.” But is there anything any liberal is expounding which would prevent one of these mass shootings? In the humble opinion of Grey Beard, the answer is a resounding NO! Not one of the politicians, talking heads or opinion writers has proposed one idea which would do anything to prevent the next mass shooting.

Commonalities in Mass Shootings

Reflecting back on recent mass shootings, there are commonalities.

  1. Warning signs witnessed by people that knew the shooter
  2. Manifestos or social media posts which should have tipped authorities off
  3. The shooters were loners or had been scorned or bullied
  4. Mental health issues

While these four bullet points certainly are not all inclusive, each of these mass murderers most likely exhibited one of these things. Maybe more.

What Is Being Proposed

The list of things being proposed by the politicians filling the Twitter and Facebook timelines are worn out and very tired:

  1. Stand up to the NRA
  2. Pass Universal Background Checks
  3. Pass more Red Flag Laws
  4. Require guns and gun owners be federally or state licensed
  5. Enact an Assault Weapons Ban
  6. Enact bans on high capacity magazines
  7. Enact bans on semi-automatic weapons
  8. Confiscate assault weapons

Let Grey Beard dissect these. First, the NRA does not support, defend or otherwise turn a blind eye to mass shooters – or for that matter, any criminal. Nor do the manufacturers of firearms. Universal Background Checks will not close any “loophole” which exists – because there are no loopholes. These background checks require gun registration in order to know if a gun is being transferred between private citizens – which will never happen. Federal and state licensing of guns and gun owners is nothing more than a feel-good proposition which would only serve to create another bureaucracy which can’t get out of its own way. High capacity magazine, assault weapon and semi-automatic bans could be enacted, but without confiscation what good would a ban do? And confiscation will Never. Ever. Happen.

I have purposely saved the Red Flag Law bullet point for last. While they may seem “commonsense,” these laws are an assault on the Bill of Rights – specifically illegal search and seizures of property and due process. To learn more about this, please read my previous post on these laws: Red Flag Laws – What You Need to Know.

Grey Beard Biker Knows What Will Work

Being that I am the Grey Beard Biker, and he is very wise with regards to firearms, here are the list of things which will help prevent the next mass shooting.

  1. End the non-stop stream of 24 hour news on these events. Never name the suspected gunman. Many of these people are incredibly narcissistic and want to become famous – even if it’s for being a mass murderer. It is at least refreshing that the Midland shooter was not named for over 24 hours and you can count on me never giving the assknozzle any publicity.
  2. If a friend, family member or fellow student is threatening to kill or maim people call the police. This is common sense. We do not need Red Flag Laws to make this an effective tool to stop the next killer.
  3. Enforce all existing Federal and state gun laws – especially those dealing with obtaining and purchasing a firearm. ATF Form 4473 provides severe criminal penalties for someone trying to purchase a firearm illegally. You are an illegal purchaser if you are: purchasing the gun for anyone but yourself (straw purchase), felon or under an indictment for a felony, fugitive from justice, unlawful drug user, mentally defective, were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Lying on Form 4473 can carry a five year prison sentence.
  4. Require every state to provide the FBI with all voluntary and involuntary mental health commitments on a timely basis. These records are what allows the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to deny gun purchases to those with a background of mental illness. Mental health issues are the very root of mass shootings. These shootings are not crimes of passion. They are perpetrated by mentally ill individuals that should not be allowed to own firearms. Unfortunately several states submit few, if any, mental health records: Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska. Others report sporadically. This will inevitably be the cause of another tragedy.

Our current FBI/NICS system is a very good system. It has its flaws, but with proper state reporting, it will be vastly improved. But none of these improvements to NICS will help if the Department of Justice does not prosecute violators immediately – and to the fullest extent of the law. A September 2016 DOJ Inspector General report showed that from 2008 through 2015 only 254 violations of Form 4473 were even considered for prosecution by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. These are people trying to buy firearms illegally. The actual prosecution rate revealed by the IG Report was 0.04%. This is beyond abysmal. Get these people off the street and prosecute them!

Together, we can help prevent these saddening mass shootings.

Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on Twitter