Friday, March 21, 2008



If you have to go out into the desert and shoot shotguns for four or five days, do so. It will cleanse the soul and align the eye with the heart for the time when killing is at hand.

But I would not recommend going on the day of your wedding anniversary.


I have recently returned from just such a trip. Men in desert tan and O.D. green and digicam and black with their various shotgun set ups standing on line and letting loose double ought buck and one ounce slugs and Federal Tactical Flight Control and Winchester Super X. 

Select slug drills from the 35 and the 50 yard line.
Close contact drills from the 3 yard line.
Head shots on hostage-taker targets in 1.5 seconds from the 7 yard line.
Malfunction clearance drills.



Shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting. Faster and faster and more accurate and more accurate still. 


A measure of contentment.


I derive a certain satisfaction from knowing that I am a lethal being. There are more lethal beings on this planet (my little brother being a case in point), but I can hold my own against a hefty portion of them. It is in the hands and the eye and the back and legs, but it is also and more importantly in the dark heart.

It takes a killing heart to get done what needs doing in this world.


What I also love is moving from the world of skill at arms to the world of art. 

What is one without the other? 

Where is the glory of god to be found?

In the act of creation and the act of destruction.


Because you will be destroyed, you can destroy.

Because you have been created, you may create.


What I know is that my wife is the dead center of my world. Yes I am a man and what comes with that. Yes I am a cop and what comes with that. Yes I am a son-of-a-bitch and what comes with that.

But I know what matters in this life.

And above all it is her.

It is her.


My little brother says to me on the last day of the desert shotgun class:

"My goddamn hands feel like I've been crushing gravel with them."

When I got home, I had to spend an hour cleaning all of the blood off my gun. From my own little bitch fingers. 

There is a lot of sharp edges on these guns.


I shoot the Benelli M1 Super 90. It is a semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun. I have put eight rounds of 00 buck downrange in less than four seconds. It is like having a portable shitstorm in your hands.

Seriously, you don't stand a chance.


I shot a "Distinguished Graduate" on this course. Two of the guys I was with shot the whole thing "clean". Perfect. Not a round dropped. Not a flaw. 

I missed that by one round.


There are some serious operators out there.


I know that I buy into a certain kind of bullshit about what it means to be a man. What it means to hold your mud and to carry your weight and to do what needs doing.

I know that.


But still.



Blogger ButtonHole said...

Your guns/art juxtaposition reminded me of this poem, Henry Reed's "Naming of Parts"; perhaps you know it?

6:00 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Because you acknowledge your dark heart, your light heart can carry you into heaven, your idea of heaven, your wife. I am glad to know you, sir.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

ps. Jesus, Blindman took my breath away.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

psps. I am an abuser of the ps I know. Will you e-mail me? I have a new computer and have lost most of my contact information.

9:08 AM  
Blogger beth coyote said...

Wow. Mu dad once left me with my sibs while he went 'down the road'. He gave me a luger to keep me company. I was 9. Guns R us in those days...

9:00 PM  
Blogger dennis said...

Dennis likes this blog.

8:32 AM  
Blogger LKD said...

Dude, have you seen No Country for Old Men yet?

If not, do. Do, do, do.

I'm quite certain it will speak to you.

I watched it the other night.

That film got so far under my skin that I couldn't sleep.

I still feel restless a few days later. Not quite right.

Do, dude.

Do. Do. Do.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you heard of what has become known as -- The Stanford prison experiment?.. where fearing an escalation of abuse, the study was called off early by the man who had orchestrated it, psychologist Philip Zumbardo?

Then there's a new book out.. by Jennifer Zeng called "witnessing history.. the autobiography tells how the camps officials pritended to care about the health of the prisones so much that they gave them thorough exams etc... which she later learned to be blood and tissue types samples collected to set up a large live-organ bank.

4:42 PM  
Blogger cnc said...

HAHAHAAA!! BRILLIANT BRILLIANT!!! I talked to Keith about the DG's and the cleans!! I looooove it! CONGRATS!!

For Christmas I got a Benelli Montefeltro 20ga... mostly for sporting clays (the 870 with the composite/speed stock was killing me). Alas, I miss having a "mean" looking sg when I'm out with all the rich MF's shooting Benelli's... but now (sigh) there I am with my Montefeltro, and I know the wisdom of a semi auto sg and the beauty of a 20ga when all I need to kill are orange bits of pottery.

Glad you posted... if you have friends that need certs to a class in the desert, let me know. I've got "friends" ! :D

Namaste back atcha,

5:43 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

scott, i need you to e-mail me because my old computer died and i lost your e-mail. mine is the same. it is important that you do so, info concerning cd.


8:06 PM  
Blogger LKD said...

Dude, I miss you as much as I miss my brother.

And I miss my brother a lot.

A lot a lot a lot.

4:43 PM  
Blogger james said...

i'm remiss, as usual, but i have thought of something a whole lot, and that's the magnificent cover you did for cadaver dogs. really scary, and really you, and really ms loudon her own self.

10:32 AM  

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