After riding all summer, this time of year provides a great respite from the Southern heat of Tennessee. It can get so hot here that the asphalt turns gooey and the heat goes right through your boots. Additionally, sitting in traffic with a Big-Twin engine between your legs can give you a bad case of money-butt – which your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker can assure you does not feel good!

The Foothills Parkway may be beautiful – but leaves on the road are dangerous!

While riding is more comfortable this time of year, there are certain intrinsic dangers which go along with cooler weather – namely deer and wet leaves. The danger of large wildlife is easily understood, but those of you who don’t ride probably have never thought of wet leaves as being dangerous. Let me tell you, when you are hammering through a big sweeping curve and hit a patch of wet leaves, it feels like you are riding over a plank suspended by marbles. Most of the time you will not lose traction, but other times you will feel the rear wheel start to slide or spin. Trust me, it is not fun.

Deer Are Everywhere!

I have been very fortunate to have ridden several 100 thousand miles, through all seasons, never colliding with a deer. That does not mean there have not been some very close calls. While deer will damage a cager’s car, they can easily kill you if you are on two wheels with your knees in the breeze. If you see a big doe crossing the road this time of year, there is a very good chance it is being followed closely by a buck – one who is feeling quite amorous about the deer of the fairer sex you just saw crossing your path.

Bucks are in search of does this time of year!

When you encounter deer on the road while riding, you must avoid taking evasive action while at speed – which for most people is an instinctive reflex when a dangerous situation arises and they are behind the wheel. Steady braking is the key – even if you are in a sweeping curve. If you can slow your scooter down, you can then take more evasive action to either swerve around the deer – or just stop. To do so at full speed you will either end up in the ditch or the other lane – neither of which will be a pleasant experience!

If you talk to a grizzled old biker like me, over an ice cold beer, you may well hear them tell you to nail the throttle and hit the deer head on. While in theory, this might make sense, lowering your closing speed is the better choice. The reason these old grizzled bikers say this is because hitting the deer head on provides you a much better likelihood of staying upright. A glancing blow inevitably will cause you to go down – and most likely not in your lane. The additional danger this poses is getting hit by oncoming traffic or going off the road into trees, a field (if you’re lucky) or possibly a guardrail.

Unfortunately, you may have little opportunity to do anything. It may well happen so quickly that there is no chance for you to avoid the critter. Many people I have talked to never saw the deer and woke up flat on their back in the road!

Riding Through the Deer Gauntlet

So you may wonder why I titled this post “Lost Mojo or Due Caution?” It is because I ride every season. Living in this part of Tennessee a biker who is not bothered by the cold can ride literally year round. I say that I ride 50+ weeks per year, and unless the winter is especially bad, that is a true statement.

Over the past four years, I have had a very close friend go down in the mountains of northern Georgia when a deer jumped from an elevated grape vineyard and ran right between him and his windshield. If it had not been for the deer’s fur on his bike, no one would have known it was a deer that caused him to go down. He was quite bruised and had several broken ribs – and a beautiful Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail totaled. Last year, I had another friend total a brand new BMW when he hit a deer. He was only a few miles from home and had less than 200 miles on his bike. He ended up with a bruised spleen, major contusions and a concussion. One month later, he hit another deer on his Indian Scout. Both bikes ended up being totaled. About three weeks ago, another close biker brother, and blogger, hit a 12 point buck while running about 60 MPH down a two lane highway. The bikes behind him saw the big boy jump the fence right in front of him, and the instantaneous crash. Hank was downshifting and braking, but he was unable to avoid the deer. As Hank told it, “As I tried to avoid him, the last thing I remember was that ‘crunch’ of the front of my bike making contact. It’s a sound I will NEVER forget….I don’t remember much of anything after that.” Hank’s bike slid approximately 200 feet without him on it. While he had several broken ribs and a severe laceration on his head, we are fortunate that Hank is okay and lived to ride another day. And did I say his one year Harley-Davidson Ultra was totaled? It seems to be a common theme.

This leads me to the subject of this post. Us die hard bikers mean it when we say, “Live to ride, ride to live.” But this time of year, I sometimes feel like I have lost my touch – or mojo. I slow my entry speed into those tight sweeping corners – in case those wet leaves are just beyond my field of vision – or those three doe are crossing the road trailed by that big monster buck. However, slowing my entry speed does not mean I’m not seriously rolling into the throttle once I am in the curve and have a clear view through the sweeper. Just saying!

Today, I rode approximately 100 miles with my buddies, Jay and Craig. The route was through some serious boonies. While on this ride, we only saw one small deer in a field adjacent to our path of travel – most likely because of the 35 MPH wind gusts. Because I do some of my best thinking while riding, I pondered whether my slower entry speeds into these tight curves was because I was losing my “mojo.” It is not. It is because I am more cautious. I am constantly scanning the fields, woodlots and tree lines for moving deer.

Dress for the Slide – Not the Ride

Even on warmer days, during the fall and early winter, I always wear leather chaps, my heavy Fox Creek Leather jacket and gauntlet style gloves. If it is warm, I wear my unlined leather gloves. If it is cold, I wear my lined leather gauntlets. This is due to an abundance of caution. While I will wear a tank top and jeans during the summer, I always dress for the slide when the rut is on and the big bucks are looking for their next “hookup” with that cute doe. This gear will protect you from the nearly inevitable slide if you cannot avoid that starry eyed suitor chasing after his lady!

So if you are like Grey Beard, and out riding during this special time of year, it is okay to be cautious. In fact it is prudent. Scan the sides of the road for movement – especially where tree lines intersect your line of travel or woodlots are alongside harvested fields. Most importantly, slow your entry speeds into those ever enjoyable sweeping curves. You never know what may be lurking just out of your sight until you hear what Hank calls that “CRUNCH!”

Keep the shiny side up, brothers and sisters!

Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Good afternoon fellow biker Patriots! I trust you had a great Thanksgiving. If you are like me, you avoided anything to do with shopping today – which just happens to be Black Friday. But if you did happen to go shopping, with all the crazy people trying to get their gifts, you had an above average chance of running into someone who has lost their damn mind and could pose a threat to you. If that were to happen, it would be a good idea to understand force multiplication.

I read an interesting statistic the other day. Over 16 million citizens have a concealed carry permit. Over ½ of these permit holders are women. I was a bit surprised that there were more women permit holders than men. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been. If you look at the overall United States population, there are slightly more women than men. I find it interesting that when I go to my local gun shop these days, there are a lot of women shopping for guns. It wasn’t always this way. When I first started building my gun collection, I very seldom saw the fairer sex in gun stores. There is a reason for this – force multiplication. Women are taking their personal defense seriously and they recognize that an attack will probably come from the opposite sex and that men are typically larger and stronger than they are. There are of course exceptions to this general rule.

Force Multiplication can be obtained with a gun, knife, pepper spray or baton

What is Force Multiplication?

The United States Department of Defense defines force multiplication as, “A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of a successful mission accomplishment.”

These same factors hold true for an individual in a self-defense scenario. I would define it a bit differently than the DoD: “the use of a tool to multiply force and successfully fend off an attack by a more capable, determined assailant.” A simple lever is a force multiplier as it can move a heavy object with less force than required without the lever. In self-defense, the force multiplier could be many different items: pepper spray, a personal defense taser, knife, baton or a pistol.

What many women have come to recognize is that the pistol is the most effective of all these tools. It levels the playing field in most any scenario and gives her a fighting chance against a determined attacker. And of course, force multiplication is just as important for a man who takes the defense of himself, friends and family seriously.

This whole concept is important to me as I have been having a discussion with a close female family member who is in her 20s and considering getting her handgun carry permit. She lives on her own and is often alone when driving to and from work and school. But we are approaching this cautiously and we have agreed that she needs training, a pistol she is comfortable with and will have to practice a lot before she can start carrying. (Not to mention going through HCP training.)

As a certified range safety officer (RSO), I encourage anyone who is concerned with their personal safety to consider a handgun. Seek out recommendations from knowledgeable people before you decide on which gun to purchase. Go to the gun range and rent as many as possible before you make a decision on which gun is best for you. Do not get caught up in the “larger is better caliber” debate. While I can easily handle my .357 SIG chambered pistols, and often carry .45 ACP pistols, they are not for everyone. These heavy calibers produce a large blast when shooting and have a stout recoil. A well placed first shot, and the ability to quickly, and accurately, place follow up shots, is more important than the size and speed of the projectile. If you are more comfortable shooting a .380 semi-auto, or a 9mm, that is what you should be carry. If you are not able to quickly clear a malfunction in a semi-automatic pistol, a 38 special revolver may be your better choice as you can continue to pull the trigger without worrying about a failure-to-eject of failure-to-feed making your pistol inoperable. Lastly, keep in mind the size of the handgun you are considering. Full sized models inherently absorb recoil better than small guns. But if you are of smaller stature, concealing a larger framed gun in a waist holster will be more difficult.

In Closing

Do not be overly concerned about the caliber of your carry pistol. Try plenty of different gun makes, models and calibers. If you are a lady, determine whether you want to carry on your waist, ankle or in a concealment purse. Try different handguns out in these rigs to find the one which works best for you. And most importantly, remember that the most appropriate force multiplier is not always going to be a handgun. The tool you use in any given self-defense situation has to be proportional to the force your attacker is using against you. For this reason, carry less lethal force multiplier defensive tools too. Watch the for an upcoming article on proportionality.

μολὼν λαβέ,
The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

As your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker sits here in his pajamas on Thanksgiving Day, he realizes just how much he has to be thankful for.

Number 1 is God, and his Son, Jesus Christ. We are all so blessed. He blesses us each and every day. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross has ensured that everyone of us will have everlasting life and that our sins will be forgiven.

Secondly, I am thankful for my family. I am blessed that I have my biological family, but I am even more blessed to have my extended biker family. If you are not a biker, you probably don’t understand how dozens of fellow biker brothers and sisters can be part of your family, but they definitely are. These family members will drop everything they are doing if you are broke down on the side of the road – coming to your aid. They will be there to celebrate the good times with you or will be there to lean on when you are experiencing a terrible setback.

Lastly, I am beyond thankful for being a citizen of the greatest country in the world. Americans are given freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and freedom to choose our religion. There is no other country in the world that has enshrined our rights in their constitution – and so appropriately in our Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to our constitution. God Bless the USA, God Bless our elected legislators and God Bless our president, Donald J. Trump. May God guide all of these elected officials in their endeavors to do our will.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twatter

Greetings fellow bikers! If you are like me, you feel a bit cheated this fall. Autumn is my favorite time of the year to ride. After riding all summer, fall usually provides a welcome relief from the heat with beautiful colors and mild temperatures. But this year, after having perhaps the hottest September and early October in history, we dropped into a deep freeze more like January than November. Fall literally lasted less than a week! But that will not keep your Grey Beard Biker from riding. It will just require full leathers, heated grips and heated seats.

Currently, we are living in a relatively quiet time with regards to threats against our Second Amendment rights – rights which we know are given by God – not the government. Because I used to shoot pistols competitively, I started reloading my own ammunition about ten years ago. This actually helped reduce the cost of shooting (which is very expensive when you shoot 7,500-10,000 rounds per year) and provided more consistent ammunition than store bought ammo. It also insured that when Obama and the Democrats in congress threatened punitive gun laws and restrictions after Sandy Hook, causing ammunition shortages, I had plenty of ammunition to continue shooting regularly.

Reloading Considerations

There are many things to keep in mind when you are considering reloading ammunition. The number one consideration is the cost. With ammo costs down, and plenty on the shelves of your local gun store, big box retailer and sporting goods stores, cost will be a major consideration. If you are going to start hand loading your own ammo, you will have to shoot a lot to get a return on your investment – think in terms of 10s of thousands of rounds. If you are going to reload rifle cartridges and handgun ammo, it will be easier to recover the costs of your equipment as rifle ammunition can be very expensive. Also, if you only shoot 9mm or .380 ACP, the time it will take to get a return on your investment is going to be VERY long.

The type of press you purchase will also be something to consider. If you are only going to reload rifle ammunition, you do not need a progressive reloading press. You can easily get by with a single stage press. With this type of press, you will de-cap the spent primers and install new primers outside the press. This is done with a hand primer tool. You also measure your powder outside the press. While you can reload handgun ammunition with a single stage press, it is VERY time consuming. A major benefit for a single stage press is cost: it is much less expensive to get started with the basic equipment to reload.

Hornady Lock-n-Load progressive reloading press

Grey Beard recommends a progressive press if you are going to reload a lot of ammunition. There are many very good presses on the market today. I use a Hornady Lock-n-Load press which has five separate stations. These stations are:

  1. Brass sizing and de-capping
  2. Brass flaring
  3. Case activated powder drop
  4. Bullet seating
  5. Brass crimping (not always used)

While you do not necessarily use all of these stages for every caliber cartridge, it is nice that you can do so. It literally creates an assembly line. Besides Hornady, other very good progressive presses are manufactured by RCBS, Redding, Lee, Dillon Precision and Lyman.

Another consideration will be how many calibers you reload. For each caliber you plan on reloading, you will need a die set and shell plate. I reload over two dozen calibers of rifle and pistol ammunition, so I have made a significant investment in just the dies and shell plates.

Lastly, you will need to consider where you will set up your reloading equipment. I have mine set up on an eight-foot workbench and I wish I had double the space. The area needs to be clean and well lit. You will also need plenty of storage as your reloading equipment and supplies take up a lot of space. I store brass in plastic containers on my table. I have an eight-drawer rolling tool box for my dies, shell plates, new brass, bullets, primers and other tools I use. My finished ammunition is stored in 50 or 100 count plastic cases in a locked storage cabinet. This is also where I store all of my powder – which numbers at least 30 different types.

RCBS Matchmaster Powder Dispenser

The Investment

Minimum Initial Investment for Progressive Reloading

Progressive reloading press$450
Dies (for each caliber)$50
Shell plates (for each caliber)$35
Loading manual (for reloading recipes)$30
Dial caliper (to measure overall cartridge length)$40
Electronic powder scale$40
Brass sonic cleaner$125
Case trimmer (if reloading rifle ammo)$90
Miscellaneous tools$100
Supplies (powder, primers, bullets)$175
Approximate Total Cost$1,135


Based on your initial investment, reloading may not be something which provides you a return on investment. Having shot at least 45,000 rounds over the past 10 years, I have recovered the cost of my investment many times over. But cost should not be the only thing you consider before reloading. If you enjoy working with your hands, you may get a lot of enjoyment sitting at your press rolling your own ammo. It is something your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker enjoys immensely.

Check out Grey Beard Biker’s YouTube video on reloading:

The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

As you may have noticed, I have been quiet on my blog lately. There are many reasons your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has been mostly silent – and it certainly has not been because he hasn’t had anything to say. Primarily, it’s because he is beyond disgusted. Our country is suffering through a crisis right now – one which has nothing to do with our president, Donald J. Trump. It has everything to do with the way the Leftists are moving to impeach him.

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced a House Resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry of our president. This has come after several weeks of closed door testimony presented only to Democrat caucus members. This is not RIGHT!

Republicans Push Back

Last week, members of the House Republican caucus pushed back, storming the hearing room during the closed-door testimony. My U.S. Representative, Mark Green, M.D. (R-TN), had this to say about Speaker Pelosi, “Speaker Pelosi has tyrannically commandeered the House of Representatives. As if she thinks the Founders wanted a government of Pelosi, by Pelosi, for Pelosi…”

The citizens of the United States definitely deserve better. If a partisan group of politicians attempt to impeach a duly elected president, there should be complete transparency during the entire process. It should not be a one-sided hyper-partisan affair taking place behind closed hardwood doors. I applaud all the legislators who took a stand against this political witch hunt, especially Representative Mark Green!

To provide an illustration of Pelosi’s secret impeachment actions, one need look no farther than a Tweet from U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA):

Yes, that’s right, 75% of the U.S. Representatives have been excluded from these hearings. That leaves 230 million Americans’ voices silenced during these anarchical proceedings occurring in the “People’s House.” This is truly unique to American politics – and not in a good way.

When can a president be impeached?

Our Constitution is very explicit regarding the impeachment and removal from office of the president. Article II, Section 4 states, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

If it is believed that the president has committed an act of treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” This is where we are at today with Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry. This procedure is essentially the convening of a legislative grand jury.

If the House of Representatives votes to impeach, they are formally indicting the president of these high crimes or misdemeanors. At this point, the matter is turned over to the Senate for trial. This proceeding is covered by Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

If the senate convicts the president, Article I, Section 3, Clause 8 states, “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

So, from all of this, we have learned that the president can be impeached for treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors. Treason and bribery are fairly well understood. But what are “high crimes or misdemeanors?” According to Dennis J. Owens, who attempted to define its meaning after President Richard M. Nixon resigned, the phrase is derived from British Parliamentary proceedings. Owens quoted Supreme Court associate justice Joseph Story, who served from 1811-1845, “[Impeachment was] “a proceeding purely of a political nature. It is not so much designed to punish an offender as to secure the state against gross official misdemeanors.”

Furthermore, Owens went on to explain that high crimes consist of felonies and misdemeanors are a class of crimes which are more minor in nature. This would lead one to believe that impeachment is a very partisan affair which the House of Representatives can initiate for any number of purely political motives. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers were very intelligent men and required that the Senate hold an actual trial, with 2/3 of its members voting to convict and the chief justice presiding over the proceedings to ensure it is held in a non-partisan, equitable way.

Grey Beard Biker’s Conclusion

The leftist Democrats have been threatening the impeachment of Donald Trump since he was president elect. The Mueller Report was supposed to provide proof of his crimes, which would lead to an easy impeachment and conviction by the Senate. The impetus for the Mueller affair was Trump colluding with the Russians – which has largely been discredited with Attorney General Bill Barr going so far as to appoint a U.S. attorney to determine if the FISA warrants were improperly obtained by the FBI. Over the past week Fox News has reported that this probe is now criminal in nature, with former FBI officials (Comey, McCabe, etc.) possibly under grand jury scrutiny. Additional officials could also face criminal prosecution including James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence) and John Brennan (former CIA Director) – both of which have consistently been anti-Trump.

The newest accusation, by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), which was the impetus for the impeachment inquiry, is that Trump threatened to hold up military aid to Ukraine if they did not investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. (Official transcripts of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president do not reflect anything which would approach impeachable high crimes or misdemeanors.) The younger Biden had a business relationship with the Ukranian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. Their dealings, while Biden was vice president, would provide Hunter Biden with lucrative payments for sitting on the company’s board. Ironically enough, the very thing which Schiff has accused President Trump of doing – a quid pro quo – is exactly what then VP Biden did with Ukraine:

The saddest, and most maddening thing, regarding the impeachment inquiry, is that Schiff, who is heading up the impeachment investigation, had knowledge of the whistleblower’s complaint before it was even filed. It was reported by The Federalist Papers earlier this month that Schiff’s staff had met with the CIA whistleblower days before he filed his complaint. This whole thing is fraught with potential coercion between Schiff and the unnamed individual behind the complaint – a complaint the White House had blocked lawmakers from seeing.

Inevitably, the drama will continue as the House of Representatives move towards the impeachment of President Trump. Over the coming weeks, they will likely vote to impeach along partisan lines. This is a dangerous development for Speaker Pelosi who is caught in between the Socialist Left portion of her caucus and the more moderate Democratic lawmakers who are urging caution – many of whom witnessed how the impeachment of President Clinton hurt the Republicans during the following election.

Unless there is some extremely compelling proof of “high crimes or misdemeanors,” the Senate will not vote to convict President Trump. This will help the Republicans take back the house and increase their majority in the senate in 2020. Additionally, this will ensure what Speaker Pelosi fears the most – the reelection of Donald J. Trump in 2020.

The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

This past weekend, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker, Miss Tracy and several of our friends rode up to Saint Louis to attend Wrenchfest STL – 2019. It was an amazing experience. Wrenchfest is held at Shady Jack’s Saloon – which is a real cool biker bar.

Shady Jack’s Saloon – St. Louis, Missouri

Located on Broadway, in downtown St. Louis, Shady Jack’s is built in what used to be a burned down warehouse. After many years of rehabilitating the building, Jack opened at this location in 2005. We were able to meet Shady Jack, and besides being a colorful old biker, he is also a very cool guy. In addition to hosting Throttle America’s Wrenchfest STL, Shady Jack’s Saloon also hosts an annual Rat Run featuring old rat rods.

Wrenchfest STL – 2019

Wrenchfest is all about the old rat rods, hotrods and bikes. We arrived at Shady Jack’s Saloon at 10:45 AM, for the 11 AM start time. Jack’s staff provided us an excellent set of parking spots, for our bikes, right at their entrance. Talk about great service! The bar was open and they were serving food and, fortunately for Grey Beard, they were also serving awesome Bloody Marys.

Needless to say, we were able to see plenty of sights at Wrenchfest STL. The day’s events are capped off with the old rat rods doing burnouts at the rear entrance to Shady Jack’s. This is something which we were not able to stay for, but we will next year. If you find yourself in St. Louis in late September next year, make sure to plan to attend Wrenchfest!

The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Photo Gallery

Clowns scare old Grey Beard!!
My Miss Tracy
With Shady Jack
The whole Gang! So damn Deplorable!

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

As you are well aware, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker respects all of those who serve our great country. It takes a very special patriot to sign their name, in blood, with the U.S. Military. This contract can become “due and payable,” with that soldier’s life, at any time or place. A soldier’s loyalty to our great country is one of tradition, passed on from generation to generation, since we fought the British Crown in the Revolutionary War. And while this Grey Beard respects all soldiers, active and retired, he has a very special place in his heart for those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor – the highest military award our country bestows on its heroes.

A regular feature of The Grey Beard Biker is the Profile of Courage. This is dedicated to a soldier who has shown bravery, above the call and duty. Today’s Profile of Courage post is about Sergeant 1st Class, Paul Ray Smith. Smith was the first soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for service in the Iraq War.

Sgt. 1st Class, Paul Ray Smith – Profile of Courage

Unit: Company B, 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd I.D.
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Date of Birth: September 24, 1969
Date of Death: April 4, 2003
Place of Death: Baghdad Airport, Baghdad, Iraq
Final Resting Place: Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Army – Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Citation:

Sgt. 1st Class – Paul Ray Smith Headstone
Arlington National Cemetery

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of Marne,” and the United States Army.

Thank you Sergeant 1st Class Smith! Your bravery, intrepidity and devotion to country are an inspiration to the people of this great country. May you rest forever more along peaceful shores with the a warm sun at your back. You have done your duty, to the highest level, and this Grey Beard Biker salutes you, sir!

Grey Beard Biker

These days are quite divisive. They never fail to make your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker take pause – and inventory – of the things which are important to us. Specifically, the 1st and 2nd amendments. Freedom of Speech and the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” are central to the founding and long-term health of the United States. Today, the liberal Mainstream Media (MSM) and many leftist congresspeople would like to take action to restrict both amendments.

First, let’s look at some of the assaults on the 1st Amendment – specifically its clauses which provides us Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Assembly. We see blatant disregard for this from the MSM and liberal politicians.

  1. The left is constantly trying to restrict Freedom of Speech. It is done by squashing conservative speech on social platforms where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are throttling conservative free speech. They restrict who can see our posts and even our search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. They do not want our message getting out.
  2. Today’s press is highly aligned with liberal and socialist ideologies. When breaking news which does not fit their narrative takes place, you will hardly see a mention of it in print or any major network (NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN Et. Al.) – a good example of which is the recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. None of the supposed “unbiased media” mentioned that the shooter was a YUGE supporter of Elizabeth Warren.
  3. Freedom of Assembly is being trampled on constantly by politicians, hate groups (Antifa) and social justice groups like the Women’s March. These groups will counter protest against non-violent assembly of conservatives at every turn. Antifa, specifically, will resort to violence against groups they do not agree with, as witnessed recently in Portland, Oregon.
  4. Liberal legislators continually attack Trump, and his supporters, as being Racist Xenophobes, to try and extinguish our message. This is pure hatred and is used to suppress our voices.

Red Flag Laws Are Harmful to the Second Amendment

The latest feel good “commonsense” gun reform, being proposed regularly, appears to be so-called Red Flag Laws. These are also known as (AKA): Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). They are being positioned as a regulation which the majority of law-abiding gun owners support. This is pure hogwash. Once you understand more about these ridiculous laws, no law-abiding gun owner – especially those who partake in Concealed Carry – would ever support these laws.

Several states have passed ERPOs including Vermont, Washington, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Hawaii and Florida. What’s most surprising about this list is that several of these states have been considered very Pro-2A:  Nevada, Indiana and Florida. Florida enacted their Red Flag Law in the wake of the Parkland Shooting.

Red Flag Laws = No Due Process

So, what specifically do most of these Red Flag Laws attempt to do? In the event that someone you know considers you a danger to yourself, or others, they can go to a court and seek an ERPO against you. If the judge grants the motion for the ERPO, law enforcement will come to your home, unannounced, and remove all of your guns. This may seem “commonsense,” but it is anything but. The biggest issue with these laws is what talk radio host, Dana Loesch (Dana Radio) calls, “inverted due process.” These ERPOs are granted Ex Parte. This means that you are not able to be there to represent yourself. Hell, you won’t even know it’s going on until they come for your guns. If you were aware this was taking place you would have the opportunity to hire an attorney and defend yourself against what is nothing more than an illegal seizure of your personal property. Making matters worse, in some states, is that an ex-spouse/lover, neighbor, acquaintance or even someone who barely knows you can make such a claim – not just someone very close to you. This is a total perversion of another one of our Bill of Rights: Amendment IV, regarding unreasonable searches and seizures.

The last pitfall of these laws is that in most cases, besides being “guilty until proven innocent,” you have very limited recourse to repossess your improperly seized property (guns). Most of the states with these laws require you wait a specified amount of time to petition the court to remove the ERPO. Plus, there is a cost to do so, as you will probably have to hire an attorney to represent what should be an inalienable right – the right to keep and bear arms – a right which the 2nd Amendment says, “shall not be infringed.” Obviously, the leftists do not care about this amendment.

Act today. Contact your state, local and Federal legislators and let them know you do not want them to support Red Flag Laws!

Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter