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Hey gang. It's 3:30am. I'm still awake. It's been a long day getting set up for OP: Lion Claws X - Evolution Real World at the former George Air Force Base military housing complexes. The Area of Operation is absolutely insane!!! So insane, that I politely forced my good friend Dave into taking some video for us to show those of you who couldn't make it out here for the weekend. In case you can't tell from the video, I'm very glad I've recently had a tetanus shot. There are nails and broken glass all over the place, not to mention holes in the second story flooring and uncovered sewer drain/manholes (no jokes, please) throughout the field. Treacherous would be putting it lightly. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the footage.


While numbers have not been confirmed, the event is expecting over 500 players, as I'm sure I've mentioned in prior posts.

My only complaint at the moment is the 30+ mph high desert winds we're currently dealing with. It kind makes dealing with a pop-up tent a bit difficult. Hopefully it dies down for game play, otherwise we're all just going to have to stand right next to each other to actually shoot one another. It's pretty bad, but I'm still stoked to be here. Please send positive thoughts in the direction of our AO so that we can enjoy this rare opportunity to play at an exclusive location.

I'll try to keep you updated here on the blog as the weekend progresses.

6mm Hearts.

SCOPE MOUNT ALIGNMENT FOR ACCURIZING YOUR
AIRSOFT M14 DMR
Airsoft Guns, SB 798, Senator Kevin de Leon, California Neon Airsoft Guns, California Airsoft,No on SB 798, Brian Holt, Echo1 USA, California Airsoft Legislation, Airsoft Gun Control,SB 798 Tax Effects, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

Hey all y'all Airsoft M14 Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) owners.  Betcha didn't expect me to say, "y'all" did ya?  Well I'm glad I could catch you off guard.  Today's "Airsoft blog speak" is in regards to performing a procedure that will not only increase the chances of hitting a target with your Airsoft designated marksman rifle, but it also increases the chances of being able to see what you're aiming at through your scope.  Turns out, that last part is pretty important, not just for accuracy, but for safety.  Some people might think safety is lame.  Those are usually the people who end up on the "Darwin Awards."  I suggest you not be one of those award recipients.  Safety is actually pretty legit.  But let's focus more on the accuracy aspect here, because that's not only legit, but more exciting.

So it's one thing to be able to "sight in" or "zero in" your scope using the windage and elevation dials that most optics come with these days.  However, you're only able to adjust either of those things to a very small degree.  They are definitely what I would consider to be a fine-tuning adjustment. If your scope mount is so far off that you can't even see the flight path of your BBs through your glass, no amount of fine-tuning will do you any good.  You won't be getting those crosshairs or reticle on target anytime soon.  As far as appearances go, you might have the absolute SEXIEST, most intimidating Airsoft gun on the field, striking fear in the hearts of even the most experienced dudes out there, but when it comes down to game time and you have target acquired at 80 yards, YOU SIR or MADAME (As Jay-Z once said, "Ladies is pimps, too"), are essentially, combat ineffective without that scope mount lined up and optic reticle zeroed in.  Do not brush yo' shoulders off.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect a "mirrion dorrars," etc.

How copy?

Alright.  So, this particular part of dialing in your long-range Airsoft interdiction tool is only relevant to M14s, or other rifles that don't have an integrated rail on top of their receiver, requiring a scope mount base to be installed.
Airsoft Guns, SB 798, Senator Kevin de Leon, California Neon Airsoft Guns, California Airsoft,No on SB 798, Brian Holt, Echo1 USA, California Airsoft Legislation, Airsoft Gun Control,SB 798 Tax Effects, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

When installing your M14 scope mount base, simply tightening all the bolts included with the mount does not qualify you as "ready to go."  These things are not true "plug-&-play" items, as I've said. 

So how does one go about effectively aligning the mount accurately enough to allow one to fine-tune, or "zero in," his or her scope, using the windage & elevation dials located on the top and side of the scope itself?

Excellent question, my dearest Airsoft blog reader. 

Here is my quick and dirty method.

DISCLAIMER:  There is more than one way to skin this cat (Figuratively speaking.  Relax, PETA).  The following method is merely the method that I've used and found to be "close enough" for most Airsoft purposes. 

To align your scope mount base using my method, you'll need:

(A) A piece of thin string (the smaller diameter the better), a few inches longer than twice the distance from your Airsoft rifle's rear sight post and front sight post.
(B) An alligator clip, close pin, or tiny clamp of some sort
(C) A Ruler, Digital Calipers with millimeter increments, or the ability to accurately "eyeball" distance & alignment.
(D) The ability to look at my pictures and replicate my not-so-perfect illustrations.

As a reference point for aligning the M14 scope mount base, below, you will see that I took the string (A) and tied it around the front and rear sight posts, and secured the loose ends behind the rear sight with a little alligator clip, keeping the string tight.  I didn't want to tie a knot because the string was so thin, that I didn't want to horse around with trying to undo a tiny knot when I was done.  As you can see below, I didn't just tie the string to each end of the post because, at the time, I thought setting it up like I have below would net me a more accurately aligned setup.  But I suppose in hind sight, you could tie a knot around the front post, and one around the rear sight and still achieve effective results if you took care in making sure your knots didn't interfere with aligning your string properly.

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Airsoft M14 DMR - Scope Mount Out of Alignment
Airsoft Guns, Aligning m14 scope mount, Airsoft upgrades, Airsoft M14 DMR, Airsoft accuracy upgrades,Airsoft AEG, Airsoft scope, airsoft optics, airsoft reticle, airsoft red dot sight,Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
Airsoft M14 DMR - Scope Mount Aligned

So, you should be able to tell that in the "Before" shot on the left, the scope mount base was all out of whack, not in line with my yellow reference string. I then took my digital calipers and measure the distance from the end point on the back of the rail to the reference string, as well as on the front of the rail and adjusted accordingly until I had relatively equal distances, respective to the counterpart, which told me that my scope mount was aligned pretty well and was now ready to have its three bolts tightened to secure the mount in place.  This can be a tricky process because there is potential to move the mount out of place from where you had it, while tightening the bolts.  I simply kept one hand on the mount at all times, and tightening each bolt with my other hand, making sure not to crank on the bolts so much that it moves the mount.

And that's pretty much it, for this portion of the process.  This procedure can be adapted for any number of different M14s, provided they are made well enough and, therefore, allow the user to attach a scope mount base.  The following are M14 options that I either know for certain, or can guess will high probability, have the option of adding a scope mount. This is not an all-inclusive list, so don't freak out if your favorite M14 is not listed. 


WE M14 GBBR
(Have you seen my WE M14 Gas Blowback Rifle Review?)

WE M14 GBB Review, M14 Gas Blowback Rifle, Designated Marksman Rifle, M14 Scope Mount, Airsoft Optics, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Classic Army M14 EBR

Echo1 M14 AEG, M14 DMR, Mounting a scope, Aligning a scope, airsoft optics
Echo1 M14

G&G M14 GR14 AEG, Designated Marksman Rifle, M14 Scope Mount, Sighting in a scope, rifle scope alignment, pyramyd airsoft blog, airsoft obsessed,
G&G GR14

The next step is to attach your scope and zero-it in, which we will get to in due time.  This is multi-faceted, so I'll try and tackle as much of this entire process as I can to give you a complete picture of what is involved in setting up an accurate Airsoft designated marksman rifle.

Lastly, who's going to Operation: Lion Claws X this weekend?  I know there are 500+ other players that signed up.  I'm stoked.  I've been busy getting all my Airsoft guns and gear squared away, along with the goodies the Pyramyd crew & I will be giving away at our booth. 
operation lion claws x, Pyramyd Air booth, airsoft game, airsoft event, M14 DMR, HK416, PWS Diablo,
I'm bringing a plethora of guns, including, but not limited to my M14 DMR, VFC HK416, VFC M4CR, SOCOM Gear PWS Diablo, and, clearly, enough mid cap magazines to dump a lot of BBs on the OPFOR, who in this case, is Alpha Company (tan).  We'll be running on Bravo Company (Woodland). 

If you're going, and you're reading this, and you're not Dave, Mike or Ben, stop by the Pyramyd Air booth, sign up for the Pyramyd Airsoft email updates and be entered to win a $100 gift card from PyramydAir.com.

We're also giving out some pretty serious coupon codes to get you that fatty discount on Airsoft stuff that you've always dreamed of.

So come hang out with me and my boys at the Pyramyd Air booth.  It's cool if you only show up to get free swag. But I will warn you, we know how to have a good time, so you may end up wanting to stay and hang out for fear of missing out on something cool.  Or not.  But now you're curious either way now, aren't you? 

Airsoft. 

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Airsoft Guns, SB 798, Senator Kevin de Leon, California Neon Airsoft Guns, California Airsoft,No on SB 798, Brian Holt, Echo1 USA, California Airsoft Legislation, Airsoft Gun Control,SB 798 Tax Effects, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
California Senator Kevin de Leon, Author of SB 798
Photo: Wikimedia
As I pointed out in one of my recent Airsoft blogs on the SB 798 mess, law enforcement officers are still going to have to treat everything that looks like a gun as if it were real, regardless of its external color.  

Asking law enforcement officers to stop treating anything that looks like a real gun as if it were definitely real simply because it's painted a different color would be like having Osama Bin Laden (if he were still alive) & his al-Qaeda cohorts get haircuts and then go all Michael Jackson, bleach their skin to look less like mass-murdering terrorists.  They're still the same soulless dirtballs they were before, but now they just have whiter skin.  The color of a gun does not equal public safety or increased safety for our public safety officers.  They have a hard enough job as it is. 

Here's just one example of someone's local news story covering real guns that are brightly colored; pink, of course, being the predominant choice.

"Men and guns, the two have been paired for ages. But not so much anymore. Ladies, it's your turn to lock and load.

The National Rifle Association says more women are buying guns for sport and self defense, a trend seen at Second Amendment Sports in northwest Bakersfield.

"Crime rates go up and everybody gets a little more nervous, everybody wants to start buying firearms and ladies are no different," said Second Amendment Sports General Manager Keith Johnson.

And gun makers are taking notice, creating everything from revolvers called the "Pink Lady" and "Lavender Lady" to pink tasers, glasses and hearing protection.

The store said ladies guns are so popular, especially in pink, that they have a hard time keeping them in stock.

"It just warms my heart when I see pink," Jennifer McKenna, gun owner, said. "I say, oh it's a girl gun and it makes me giggle on the inside."

"I'm definitely more empowered. Oddly enough, it's made me a friendlier person and I'm not scared to engage someone who is approaching me," McKenna said.

So move over gentleman, there's a new sharpshooter in town and she's packing pink."
http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/Women-buying-guns-in-growing-numbers/w6tALBlk30mO6etr_JRjNg.cspx


I think this topic is pretty much settled.

Let's move on to the fiscal aspects of what Senator Kevin de Leon is proposing for our financially crippled state with SB 798.

Hundreds, if not thousands of companies are directly or indirectly tied to the Airsoft industry in California. The whole appeal of the responsible, law-abiding Airsoft majority is that these guns look & feel like the real thing.  So much so that more and more LE/Mil agencies are using them as training weapons. Requiring Airsoft guns to be painted entirely in bright colors would kill that appeal. If you kill the appeal, our industry won't heal. In accounting, we'd call that a going concern for the Airsoft industry.  If SB 798 wipes out our industry, the government is going to have something of its own wiped out: tax revenue.  You know, the stuff that funds things like public infrastructure and our education system, which has been taking a thorough beating for quite some time now?  Here's how...

Jag Precision & Spartan Imports both import Airsoft guns into the country through their California-based warehouses.  They're kind of super important to the national Airsoft industry, not just California's. They supply wholesale products not just to the California retailers that generate tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in sales from those imported products (very conservative guess), but they also supply many retailers across the rest of the United States.  Shutting these importers down and others like them will not only cost California millions of dollars of income tax revenue, but lest we not forget our friends at the CA State Board of Equalization who collect sales & use tax revenue on those same millions of dollars that the Franchise Tax Board gets a piece of as well.  Oh yea, all the other states in the country where Airsoft retailers reside & rely upon these wholesalers to supply them with Airsoft products will have less to sell and, therefore, less revenue for taxation. This would bring down not only state tax revenues collected, but also negatively affect federal income taxes as well. 

- Payroll Tax Revenues Lost. That's what happens when you shut down an industry that employes thousands of people who earn salaries or wages.

Let's recap what our financially crippled state and federal government have to lose if Senator de Leon's SB 798 passes, from a tax perspective.

- Federal Income Tax (FIT) on profits generated from business operations gone. I can't imagine the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) being pleased with this.

- State Income Tax (SIT) on profits generated from business operations also gone. The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) probably won't look too kindly on this. Or how about this?
- The $800 Minimum Fee for most California Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), C-Corporations, as well as with Sub-Chapter "S" Corporations operating within the state would be gone as well.

- Sales & Use Taxes from the millions of dollars in sales revenue generated from Calfornia-based Airsoft retailers, manufacturers plus other overlapping industries like military/law enforcement apparel manufacturers, suppliers & retailers. Expect a call from the CA Board of Equalization (BOE), Mr. de Leon.

- Personal Income Taxes reported on the Form 1040 for Federal and Form CA540 for California will be reduced. There is some overlapping in this area with the business income I mentioned above, but it depends on the entity.  Normally, reduced income taxes would be a plus for the taxpayer, however, you have to consider WHY their taxes were reduced: they lost their source of income.  Thus, no bueno not only for the taxpayers, but also for the Federal and State level tax agencies. 

- FICA Taxes (Social Security & Medicare taxes) gone.

- Self-Employment Taxes for those businesses operating as sole proprietorships & therefore don't pay into FICA.

Attention, Employment Development Department (EDD), Senator de Leon doesn't want you to collect tax revenue from the following sources:
A) California Unemployment Insurance (UI). I think we have plenty of people unemployed at the moment, many of whom are receiving these benefits. It makes it difficult to clear those checks though if Senator de Leon's bill eliminates an industry-wide workforce who pays into that fund.

B) Employment Training Tax (ETT), which are employer contributions, will no longer be contributed to the state.

C) State Disability Insurance (SDI) revenues would be disabled.
I'm probably missing one or two others as well, but I think you can get a pretty good picture from what I've painted for you thus far.

Individually speaking, many of these taxes have very low percentages, so the dollar amounts per category may not be anything material to the overall picture.  However, when you combine them all together, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume the summation of the various tax revenues potentially lost would be a much more noticeable number when it's actually gone.  Will these losses take the state into a substantially deeper deficit?  No.  But things are already so bad, it doesn't seem like the government is in a real great position to justify throwing away good money.  Leave that to the rappers, Governor Brown. 

I'd also like to point out that when companies go out of business, they no longer need accountants like me to manage their financials. This means reduced accounting fees, which is obviously not a positive aspect either.  Less money in my pocket means less money I can turn right around and spend on more Airsoft guns & gear.

So you see, everybody will lose here.  Losing should be a crime, not Airsoft.  I could go on and on about the negatively enormous ripple effect this bill could have in the fiscal realm, but I'm tired and I can't imagine anyone actually reading this far into perhaps one of my most boring blogs to date. 

Not to overshadow the issue of protecting human life here, but I just can't see how this bill will prevent or even reduce that problems it's trying to address. It's going to happen anyway because there are uninvolved parents out there who don't educate their children on some of life's important issues. That's why this bill won't work and part of the reason, coupled with the tax issues I just mentioned, why SB 798 will do more harm than good.

Stay diligent about contacting your state assembly members, especially the democrats who are going to be more likely to vote yes, in favor of passing SB 798.  Here is a link to the California Assembly Member Directory.  You can set a filter to only show the Democratic members, located at the top of the screen.  California Assembly Member Directory.

But before you do, watch this video from the Rapid Fire Review guys:


For more info about SB 798, check out Pyramyd Air's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PyramydAirCom

Airsoft Will Prevail (but only with your help).

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Navy SEAL Team 6 + HK416 = Osama Bin Laden: 1957 - 2011
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VFC HK416 CQB Airsoft AEG Assault Rifle with Night Vision Optic piggy-backed to a TSD JBU Aimpoint-style Dot Sight, integrated rail system with UTG Deluxe Ergonomic Fore-grip and Mock Suppressor for Precision Inner Barrel Extension.

I've been reading reports around the web recently while engaging in one my many Attention Deficit Disorder lapses where I spend several oblivious hours not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. During one of these recent lapses, I stumbled upon some reports on various firearm blogs, namely, thefirearmblog, along with a number of news websites, reporting that their sources "on the inside" confirmed that the U.S. Navy SEALs who were tasked with the mission of kicking down Osama Bin Laden's door and double-tapping him in the face with "77gr of justice" used the "Germanly efficient," HK416 assault rifle from firearms giant, Heckler & Koch.
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Me thinks Heckler & Koch might want to write SEAL Team 6, aka DEVGRU, a thank you letter from the bottom of their German hearts.  One of the world's most elite special operations team, who likely have access to all kinds of awesome and super secretly cool guns that Average Toms like you and I don't even know about, chose to rely upon the HK416 as their weapon of choice to accomplish the mission of capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden, who, if you haven't heard, was like the world's most wanted terrorist/fugitive/villain/bad guy person or something. Can you think of any better promotional material for H&K than that?!?!?  Seriously.

Possible future slogans you might see from H&K may include (assuming my check for the royalties clears the bank):
- "HK416: When you absolutely, positively HAVE to shoot Osama Bin Laden in the face."

- "Our assault rifle killed the world's most wanted terrorist today.  How was your day?"

- "HK416: The Final Solution to the Osama Bin Laden Question."

- "Our products bring us closer to world peace, one dead terrorist mastermind at a time."

Not to reign on the parade of the HK416 in all it's Deutsch glory, but technically it took an American Navy SEAL to operate that marvel of modern warfare.  The gun was merely the tool with which a righteous death was administered to the orchestrator of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.  The HK416 didn't just drop into that Pakistani compound under the cover of darkness in some sort of super awesome stealth MH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and fire two rounds of 5.56mm ammunition into the left side of Bin Laden's face all by itself. 

Chances are, I'll probably be writing up more about these SEALs and the weapons they may or may not use when out and about in clandestine locations, doing clandestine things.   But we'll see how you play your cards.  Unlike a few certain enablers I know, I don't like to reward bad behavior.  So watch your mouth, eat your vegetables, respect old people (even the racist ones) and maybe I'll drop some more delectable material on this blog for your reading and/or viewing pleasure.  This is, of course, assuming you like what you're reading and/or viewing here.  I mean, why else would you be here?  Who reads and/or views stuff that they don't like voluntarily?  Makes no sense.  Know what I mean?  Ooops.  Tangent.  Sorry, friends.  I meant to just end the blog now.  Ok.  Good talk.  See you out there*.


*By "there," I mean Lion Claws X: Evolution Real World during Memorial Day Weekend in the abandoned neighborhoods of the former George Air Force base in a crappy part of Southern California known as the High Desert, which is near an even crappier part of Southern California known as the Inland Empire, which is where I live.  Which is unfortunate for me.  But going back to LCX, inspired by the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, I'm bringing an elite team of my best friends, who also happen to be large, friendly and ruggedly handsome.  Oh yeah, they're also absolutely top notch Airsoft players as well.  We're running with the Woodland side and we'll be hanging out at the Pyramyd Air tent when we're not destroying the hopes and dreams of the OPFOR on during gameplay.  While at said Pyramyd Air tent, we'll be handing out free stuff.  Free stuff that does not suck, like large bottles of BBs, bags, stickers & possibly other stuff that I'm not at liberty to tell you about at the moment.  Perhaps most notably, we will be hosting a raffle, separate from the main event raffle where all you need to enter an email address where you'd like to receive Airsoft-related email announcements from Pyramyd Air.  Pretty simple.  So if you happen to be one of the 600 players attending this epic event, feel free to stop by, say hello and tell me how much you like my blog here.  Doing that will likely earn you a hug from me (non-homoerotic) and an extra entry or two into the raffle, giving you an unfair advantage, which is my favorite type of advantage. 

Oops again.  Tangents and I get along a little too well sometimes.

Airsoft. Speaking of which, have you contacted the California Assembly Members and Governor Jerry Brown to let them know that Senate Bill (SB) 798 needs to go the way of Osama Bin Laden in that its existence as a living thing needs to cease?  In more professional and appropriate words, please do your part to save Airsoft by letting the California government officials know not only that you oppose SB 798, but also why you oppose it.

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CA SB 798: 
Don't Give Up.  
I Don't Hear the Fat Lady Singing Yet.
ca sb 798, senator kevin de leon, bright colored airsoft guns, airsoft guns, MadBull Noveske Barrel, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Tom Harris
Yo, homies. These are dark days. Not even my VFC M4CR AEG with Silver MadBull Noveske CQB Outer Barrel can cheer me up right now. The more I think about the ramifications of this dreadful California Senate Bill (SB) 798 seemingly slapped together by CA Senator Kevin De Leon, the more my mental state becomes a 6mm Soup Sandwich. Alliteration FTW.

But we have not lost the battle yet.

If you're not alarmed, irritated, flustered, mildly concerned or otherwise aware of the situation, then you need to start paying attention if you support any the following categories, in no particular order of importance:
- Airsoft -
- Law Enforcement -
- Not increasing California's financial deficit -
- Freedom -
- Rational thought -

To be Frank (instead of Tom), I can't say I've been able to scour the entire "interwebz" to look at every single mention of Senator De Leon's dirty work, but from what I have looked at, I haven't seen anybody cover the actual process that we're dealing with and at which stage of that process we have currently reached with the passing of SB 798 on the floor of the Senate Committee on Public Safety as of 05/09/11. So I thought I'd hop on over to www.leginfo.ca.gov, copy their wording on the California Legislative Process, and paste it here for the three of you that read my blog to see where we're at. 

I don't know about you, but I horsed around during the majority of my AP Government class in high school and I flat-out did not show up for most of my college-level govt courses because I was too busy studying the art of leisure on my parents' hard-earned dime. So this wasn't even a refresher for me. It was a straight up introduction to how a bill becomes law. And yes, I know there are those animated videos with Barry White's dad singing a song about it, but I don't have the time nor the inclination to deal with that junk.

Here is the entire California Legislative Process in all it's entirety, borrowed from http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bil2lawx.html (I'll give it back if they want).  I've added a few notes IN ITALICS.  Time to get your "learn" on...
________________________________________________________________________________
OVERVIEW OF LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
The process of government by which bills are considered and laws enacted is commonly referred to as the Legislative Process.

The California State Legislature is made up of two houses: the Senate and the Assembly

There are 40 Senators and 80 Assembly Members representing the people of the State of California.

The Legislature has a legislative calendar containing important dates of activities during its two-year session.

1. Idea (In the case of SB 798, a terrible one)

All legislation begins as an idea or concept. Ideas and concepts can come from a variety of sources. The process begins when a Senator or Assembly Member decides to author a bill.

2. The Author
- I won't mention his name here, but let's just say he's on the NRA's "Naughty List."

A Legislator sends the idea for the bill to the Legislative Counsel where it is drafted into the actual bill. The draft of the bill is returned to the Legislator for introduction. If the author is a Senator, the bill is introduced in the Senate. If the author is an Assembly Member, the bill is introduced in the Assembly.

3. First Reading/Introduction
A bill is introduced or read the first time when the bill number, the name of the author, and the descriptive title of the bill is read on the floor of the house. The bill is then sent to the Office of State Printing. No bill may be acted upon until 30 days has passed from the date of its introduction.

4. Committee Hearings
- For example, the Senate Committee on Public Safety we're dealing with, which has approved the bill by 5 to 2 vote

The bill then goes to the Rules Committee of the house of origin where it is assigned to the appropriate policy committee for its first hearing. Bills are assigned to policy committees according to subject area of the bill. For example, a Senate bill dealing with health care facilities would first be assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for policy review. Bills that require the expenditure of funds must also be heard in the fiscal committees: Senate Appropriations or Assembly Appropriations. Each house has a number of policy committees and a fiscal committee. Each committee is made up of a specified number of Senators or Assembly Members.

During the committee hearing the author presents the bill to the committee and testimony can be heard in support of or opposition to the bill. The committee then votes by passing the bill, passing the bill as amended, or defeating the bill. Bills can be amended several times.
Letters of support or OPPOSITION are important and should be mailed to the author and committee members before the bill is scheduled to be heard in committee.  
It takes a majority vote of the full committee membership for a bill to be passed by the committee.

Each house maintains a schedule of legislative committee hearings. Prior to a bill's hearing, a bill analysis is prepared that explains current law, what the bill is intended to do, and some background information.

(This is where Senator De Leon used Wikipedia & no other source to substantiate his "expertise" in this area).

Typically the analysis also lists organizations that support or oppose the bill.

5.  Second and Third Reading
- These readings just occurred a few days ago, each time resulting in a 5 to 2 vote in favor of passing this bill.

Bills passed by committees are read a second time on the floor in the house of origin and then assigned to third reading. Bill analyses are also prepared prior to third reading. When a bill is read the third time it is explained by the author, discussed by the Members and voted on by a roll call vote. Bills that require an appropriation or that take effect immediately, generally require 27 votes in the Senate and 54 votes in the Assembly to be passed. Other bills generally require 21 votes in the Senate and 41 votes in the Assembly. If a bill is defeated, the Member may seek reconsideration and another vote.

6.  Repeat Process in other House
Once the bill has been approved by the house of origin it proceeds to the other house where the procedure is repeated.
- Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as of today (05/12/11), I believe we are at this stage, unfortunately.
(http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_798_bill_20110509_history.html)

This bill should not have gotten this far, but like a simpleton, I put too much faith in humanity. Lesson learned.  However, while I still know fairly little about this process, after some additional research, I'm starting to feel like I know enough to be dangerous.  Dangerous like Maverick in his F-14 Tomcat Fighter Jet.



7.  Resolution of Differences

If a bill is amended in the second house, it must go back to the house of origin for concurrence, which is agreement on the amendments. If agreement cannot be reached, the bill is referred to a two house conference committee to resolve differences. Three members of the committee are from the Senate and three are from the Assembly. If a compromise is reached, the bill is returned to both houses for a vote.

8.  Governor (Jerry Brown, Democrat)
- Even though he's a Democrat, which doesn't automatically prove, but certainly increases the chances that he doesn't like guns, we ALL need to write California Governor, Jerry Brown letters, flooding his office with our voices of POLITE, but strong opposition. It's essential that we provide concrete examples (which aren't hard to find) of why this bill not only creates an increased risk for law enforcement and the general public, but also will almost certainly cost our economically challenged state millions in lost tax revenue. 

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VFC M4CR Airsoft AEG lower receiver with a safety warning that this is "not a toy" (because it isn't).

While I'm no attorney, I AM a descendant of at least five, possibly six generations of attorneys that I'm aware of, so that's pretty much as good as gold in my book.  You can't argue with DNA.   Therefore, it's my understanding is that if the law says it's a toy, then it has to comply with certain aesthetic criteria. My thought is that we need to attack the notion that Airsoft guns are "toys" as our primary objective. If we can convince either the California State Assembly house majority and/or Governor Brown that they're anything BUT a toy, it would seem logical that one of them would stop this bill in its tracks and the existing laws would remain in effect, leaving the status quo unchanged (for the time being).  Airsoft guns would, therefore, NOT be required to be painted bright colors or made of transparent material like a "toy" gun is required to be, avoiding the deceptive appearance of being lame. Airsoft, as a whole, would be saved and I'm guessing world peace would soon follow, but I can't be 100% certain on that. Just a guess.

If both houses approve a bill, it then goes to the Governor. The Governor has three choices. The Governor can sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without his or her signature, or veto it. A governor's veto can be overridden by a two thirds vote in both houses. Most bills go into effect on the first day of January of the next year. Urgency measures take effect immediately after they are signed or allowed to become law without signature.

8.  California Law, aka the Death of Airsoft as we know it.  
Are you going to just stand by, not write in to our state officials and let SB 798 get to this point?  If so, slap yourself.  This is Airsoft!!! (Which is like as awesome as Sparta) 


Bills that are passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor are assigned a chapter number by the Secretary of State. These Chaptered Bills (also referred to as Statutes of the year they were enacted) then become part of the California Codes. The California Codes are a comprehensive collection of laws grouped by subject matter.

The California Constitution sets forth the fundamental laws by which the State of California is governed. All amendments to the Constitution come about as a result of constitutional amendments presented to the people for their approval.
___________________________________________________________________________

And there you have it: hot knowledge dropped. 


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My understanding is that it's not too late to make a difference. But it's going to take ACTUAL, high-quality effort.  What I mean by that is that...


EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US NEEDS TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR (1ST) AND COPIES OF THAT LETTER TO THE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS,
not just call in their offices.

Calling certainly helps, but if you had to choose one or the other, you should send the letter.  It's easier for the Senate offices to track and verify legitimate responses to the bill if you write in, or something like that. This is just what I've been told by my sources who are working on this issue much more closely than I, but it makes enough sense to me.

You'll notice that I blew the crap out of one particular sentence regarding letters of opposition being important. Those were the words written by the author(s) of www.leginfo.ca.gov, whom I'd like to think know EXACTLY what the crap they're talking about. So "anonymous Leginfo writer" says we should write letters, huh? Well then we need to write some freakin' letters! 


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Click for a LARGER view
Since I can't claim to be doing any real ground-breaking work here, I'll admit there are numerous groups of people who have already got the ball rolling to fight this mess. There is even a pre-drafted letter that you can use as your template to write in to your Senator's office. This would be an excellent option for those of you without the ability or confidence to formulate a proper sentence. In all likelihood, I'm probably a good candidate for this template myself. However, I like to live on the edge, so I'm in the process of drafting my own letter. I'll post here for all the world to see when I'm done.

I should not have to say this next part, but you KNOW there's always someone who needs to hear it.  If you do decide to use the letter to the left, make sure you just don't print it out and send it in as is.  You need to fill in the name of the specific Assemblyman/woman you're addressing.  You'll also want to sign your name at the bottom and probably including your zip code for good measure.  

If you're looking for addresses of any and all Assembly members, I have reason to believe the "Assembly Member Roster" is what you seek, as listed on the CA State Assembly website.  Here is the link: California Assembly Member Roster.  You'll need each member's mailing address, which you can get by clicking on their names.  The link takes you to their individual website and based on the sample I took of the entire population (that's an auditor's phrase), each member's website should have the mailing address of their respective office on the home page.   

There's also a CA SB 798 Petition circulating all over Facebook, thanks to the "spammingly" awesome efforts of Brian Holt, of Echo1 fame.  Feel free to sign that in case that becomes an influential tool in our battle. 

I'll leave you now, with this question to ponder:

What kind of toy requires you to wear eye protection to avoid serious injury (you know, like BLINDNESS?!?!?), yet is somehow meant for children to play with, per Webster's definition of a "toy"?

For more info about SB 798, check out Pyramyd Air's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PyramydAirCom

CA SB 798 - THE DEATH OF AIRSOFT?

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Image: Dave Bakholdin Photography; HDR Processing: Tom Harris
Rather than focus on something positive today, like Osama Bin Laden's recent departure from existence courtesy of a 5.56mm double-tap TO THE FACE!!! or heck, maybe even something Airsoft-related like a G&G F2000 Review, I have to take another route.  Instead, I unfortunately feel obligated to address the fact that Airsoft is under attack.  California Senator Kevin De Leon has decided to spoil any celebration of death with his own selfish need for the spotlight.  He has decided that he'd like to try and "one-up" the heroic SEAL Team 6 with a little bit of "feel good" legislation for the bleeding hearts out there because back in December 2010, a 13-year-old Los Angeles juvenile delinquent playing with an Airsoft gun in public didn't feel like complying with the demands of an armed, LA Police Department officer.  While I'm usually the last person to get involved in big boy politics because I typically have no business doing so, I can't just sit back like a little sheep while a small group of uninformed wolves try and shape the future of our Airsoft world for their own personal gain.  I'm a lion & that's not how I roll.

If you're not familiar with the legislation that I'm referring to, do a Google search for "California SB 798" and read up on it before continuing here.  I won't post it directly to the blog because I don't want that cheap, legislative smut downgrading all the hard work I've produced here.  Open a new browser tab to do your search though, 'cause you won't want to leave the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog just yet.  I'm anticipating the ability to produce at least one more entertaining and slightly off-color remark before this blog's end.

From the time I started writing this blog until the time I published it, things went south in a hurry.  Apparently, there were 26 people voting in favor of this bill in its third & final reading in front of the Senate Committee on Public Safety who don't have the ability to assess reality and see the potential dangers this bill is going to pose for our public safety officers. And in true U.S. political fashion, these are the people who ultimately hold enough decision-making power to F.S.S.U. in a very bad way for the responsible Airsoft players like you (my favorite reader) and me. 

I can't say I have all the facts here, but I do have some harsh words and a blog to plaster them all over, so I'm gonna go with that approach (1st Amendment FTFW). 

I didn't know everything when I was 13 (nor do I now), but there were a few things that were pretty clear to me at that age.  I will list a few of the more prominent things I knew at that age...

-  I was starting to grow hair in places where there was no hair before,
-  When it comes to defending yourself against bullies, violence is, most often, the best answer to "silence."  (Sorry to all you free love hippies, but it's been proven all too often to refute with me)
-  Perhaps most relevant to my discussion here today, I definitely knew that...

It's a deadly stupid thing to point a gun (real or fake) at an police officer in the dark of night or the light of day. 

Even before I was old enough to comprehend the sweet, soothing qualities of Airsoft, my parents taught me at an early age not to point anything that looks like a gun at a police officer.  I also knew that all it takes is one person, or a small sample (unrepresentative of the total population), to ruin it for everyone, as we are seeing unfold before our eyes.  So I guess I can't be too shocked by the emergence of this bill. I've been concerned about this sort of incident occurring in the past and am surprised that in all the years I've been playing Airsoft, this situation hasn't reared its hideous head sooner.

Aside from the thought of having my Airsoft guns look like the neon or transparent fecal matter that gets excreted from the Big 5 & Wal-Mart bargain bins, I think I'm even more concerned for the law enforcement officers who stand to be affected by this situation in the worst way.  If you really think about what CA Senate Bill 798 is proposing to do, it's likely to have the exact opposite effect.  Coloring the exterior of one's Airsoft gun in bright colors will not be doing our peace officers any favors.  The idea behind this is a noble one, no doubt, but it leaves many questions on the table.  For example, is Senator De Leon's line of thinking that just because a law enforcement officer (LEO) sees a neon-colored gun, he or she is to assume it's not a real firearm and therefore NOT draw down on the person brandishing it and treat it as if it were real?  If that's the case, then consider this scenario:  under Senator De Leon's line of thought, the officer sees a person who has a neon-colored gun and then assumes it's not real.  So he doesn't draw his firearm or if he does, simply doesn't utilize his/her training on how to react as if it were real, only to have the suspect raise the allegedly fake gun (because it's neon colored on the outside per the proposed guidelines of SB 798) and fire off enough real bullets (because it's actually a real gun that the suspect simply painted to look like a toy) to seriously injure or kill any nearby humans, including the LEOs.  While that may not be the most well-written illustration of the serious problem this legislation will create, I think you can at least get a faint idea of the potential disasters we could easily be dealing with here.

Do we really our public safety officers to play a little game I like to call...
"Which gun will kill me and which will just sting a lil' bit?"
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G&G Armament Airsoft Guns
Real Firearm with Pink Hello Kitty finish

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Image: http://www.digitalsundries.com/Blog/index.html

Check and mate, Senator De Leon. Coloring Airsoft guns to look like toys STILL makes them look like real guns.  Duracoat firearm finishes come in "Hello Kitty pink," too. This bill is a waste of taxpayer money, as Science has now shown.

Regardless of the color of the gun, law enforcement officers are still going to need to treat each and every object that looks like a firearm as if it were real.  
So what's the point of SB 798 then?  Riddle me that. 

I think the root is this issue is the fact that De Leon's Bill is trying to classify items that are not toys...as TOYS!  A toy is defined by Webster as "something a child plays with."  Airsoft guns are not allowed to be sold in the U.S. to anyone under the age of 18 without parental consent.  That's usually a pretty good indication that the item was not meant for use by anyone under the legal age of being considered an adult (children usually fall under this age demographic).  Airsoft guns are more like "equipment" or good-looking "training tools."  They fit into several areas of use, the primary being for use in military simulation events, or war games.  Supporters of De Leon's anti-Clarity-of-Thought Bill would likely argue that because these guns are being used in a game, that it makes them toys.  But they're pretty much the same guns, or at least very similar to, the models that government agencies use as "training weapons" to allow for government personnel to train with.  Airsoft Manufacturer, Systema, is well-known in the industry for their elite P.T.W. Airsoft rifles.  Well, guess what P.T.W. stands for, Mr. De Leon.  I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with "Professional Training Weapon."   Just like those awful movies that are so cheesy, yet still make it all the way to production and released into the public, CA SB 798 is so bad, it begs the question, "What group of individuals could put forth the large effort it takes to produce something like this, and not, at any point in time during that long process, question whether any of it truly makes any sense?"  There wasn't ONE person involved in drafting this bill that said, "Hey, maybe this won't work because reality won't let it"?!  Sweet.  *fart noise*

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Airsoft guns should be treated just like they were a real firearm because they are dangerous if handled improperly and can cause serious injury.  The same basic safety principles for firearms are pretty much all applicable to Airsoft guns as well.  If they get tossed into the toy category, it would seem pretty logical that any effort to maintain the general public mindset that Airsoft guns can be dangerous if not handled with care will be thwarted and, therefore, lead to more injuries & mishaps because new and/or uneducated users are treating them like toys (which aren't supposed to be dangerous), rather than training weapons or tools.  Dumb.  Just plain dumb.

It's alarmingly remarkable how little thought apparently needs to go into drafting up these bills that are going to affect not only the people in California, but likely people in other states that choose to follow our states atrocious example of gun control.  As long as you quote Wikipedia, it's cool, right?

Here's a novel thought, how about we just enforce the laws & promote responsible practices that are already in place?  Haterz gonna hate, and along those lines, law-breakers are going to "law-break" stuff.  So why punish the rest of us?  This is just S.S.D.D., I know, but apparently some people up at the top, don't seem to get the picture. 
- LEOs should simply continue to treat all guns, whether they be real, Airsoft or toys, as real guns.  Regardless of whether this law passes or not, they're going to have to do that anyway to keep from getting shot up by a neon-pink Hello Kitty assault rifle chambered with real bullets.
- Responsible users of Airsoft guns should continue to treat them as if they were real firearms and, while they're at it, NOT play with them in public.
- In addition, keep your Airsoft guns in cases with orange tips in place when transporting to and from your house.  This is actually a good example of a Federal law that makes sense.

I suppose that rather than pissing and moaning about the ridiculous circumstances of this legislation, I should provide those of you who haven't seen the seemingly endless array of Facebook updates in your news feed with some information on what you can do about this situation.


Here's what Brian Holt, of Echo1, did:
Notice how he was polite and didn't sound like an uneducated idiot?  No?  Then don't call or otherwise contact anyone about this matter.  You'll make the rest of us look bad.  If you write a letter, have someone else proof read your work for spelling errors, basic grammar compliance and any other glaring mistakes that would lead an educated member of our state's political system to extrapolate your bad example across the entire industry, painting us as of a bunch of kids who should be spending more time studying how to be a better communicator rather than playing with "dangerous toys."

If you are capable of behaving yourself and representing our industry, please feel free to contact your local Senator's office as possible to let them know that you oppose California Senate Bill 798, introduced by Democratic Senator Kevin De Leon. You can find your district by going here: http://senate.ca.gov/senatedistricts

 
It would be important to note that you do not have to be a California resident to voice your opinion and I would encourage anyone residing outside our state borders to get involved as well.  Especially if your state has a tendency to follow in California's footsteps on matters like this.  

As if Charlton Heston were smiling down upon Airsoft with at least one large-caliber weapon in his hands, according to a news update on their website, even the NRA has stepped thrown their hat in the ring and went on record to oppose this bill.  That's how you know the bill is lame, not just for law-abiding California enthusiasts, but for Airsoft players everywhere.

Thinking outside the box, another option is to simply move out of California to a state that doesn't suck.  Someplace like Aspen, CO, where the beer flows like wine (name the movie). 

I won't sugarcoat this thing to make it seem like there's nothing to worry about, because there's plenty to worry about (haven't you seen Snakes on a Plane?).

However, AIRSOFT SHALL PREVAIL.  It always does.  But just in case it doesn't this time, it might be advisable to mentally prepare yourself to be engaging the OPFOR with a "toy" gun capable of firing in excess of 500 fps with a .20g BB in bright yellow, pink, blue, green, red or white so that Senator De Leon can further his career without putting any real thought to the people he's going to be affecting.  If that doesn't sound like a raging good time to you, perhaps brushing up on your communication skills, contacting your local district Senator's office and letting them know you oppose the bill might be the way to go.  Watch Brian Holt's video posted above for a good example on how to do this.

If you truly love Airsoft, you'll make an effort to save her (posting on Facebook in broken English doesn't count as doing anything to help).

For more info about SB 798, check out Pyramyd Air's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PyramydAirCom

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