With a nod to Old NFO, I start this post with a deep, resigned sigh.
Internet gun commandos. Entertaining or irritating?
Cast Boolits. There, I actually post and contribute, trade PMs (private messages), buy stuff, contribute financially to the forum's well-being, and have actually met some of the members and had lunch/dinner with them, etc. I'm a member of a boating forum BoaterEd, but read only and haven't posted in several years. Also a member of an aviation forum, but have never posted--read only. Anything I want to know, the "search" function is my friend. There are a few gun forums I'll stumble upon courtesy of a google search, but I've only joined one which was the Pennsylvania gun folks place, and I've made a few remarks there but not lately.
Cast Boolits is my home.
I'm a gun guy. A one hundred percent Texas pro-Second Amendment "get out of my damned face with your commie stinking gun-control bullshit" bonafide gun guy.
Some folks used to be fond of saying, "If you don't like Hank Williams, you can kiss my ass." I'm fond of saying, "If you don't like me having guns, you can kiss my ass."
I've carried a gun in defense of my country and fired it. I've carried a gun in defense of my fellow man by way of law enforcement and fired it. I've carried a gun in defense of myself and family by way of a concealed handgun license and have fired it. I believe in defense of country, defense of fellow citizen, and defense of self and family.
If this bothers anyone, I refer you back to the Hank Williams line.
I also reload my own ammo, which I refer to as handloading when it comes to my match-grade ammo. And I also cast my own boolits--known as bullets to the unwashed among us.
So Cast Boolits is a great place for bonafide gun guys like me.
Some of us kind of resented being thought of as "old farts," so we did a poll and found out, damnit, that most of us ARE old farts.
So, when some youngster with self-inflicted delusions of grandeur when it comes to his "shooting abilities" shows up out of the blue, ostensibly to impress us with his knowledge, skill and experience, we can be kind of a tough crowd to impress.
Someone once called them "mall ninjas" in honor of some comic book character who went by the name of "Gecko45." I thought it was all a joke until someone e-mailed me the link to the legend that is now Gecko45.
Holy mother of mariachi midgets. That was the funniest stuff I have ever read in my life!
I'm thinking that this Gecko fella is over the top on purpose. . . kind of a satirical toss at some of the internet gun commandos who aren't quite as over the top, but instead are far worse because of something else:
They believe what they write about themselves.
I remember one rainy day a few weeks ago. . . I'm at home, watching it rain and eating a bowl of my homemade chili and surfing the net. One link leads to another which leads to another. I call it the "Lost In You Tube" syndrome. Anyhow, I end up on some obscure gun forum about modified "tactical shotguns and cloned H&Ks."
You can find anything on the internet.
Some guy named "Frog" was one of the room monitors and he was scolding some new member for making fun of a guy who had dressed up in his airsoft combat costume, but was holding his actual pimped out shotgun in one picture, and his pimped out something gun in another picture.
It was then that I finally understood the term "internet commando" and "mall ninja."
I read the discussion, did a little digging (it was still raining outside, after all, and I had plenty of chili left) and found out this clown referred to himself as an "educational tactical security specialist."
Further digging revealed he was an unarmed school security employee in Houston, Texas. In fairness, he WAS hoping to move up in the security company and be transferred to one of the shopping malls they had under contract.
Oh. My. God.
One of the people in the discussion with this mister Frog fella actually asked the Houston school-crossing (unarmed) guard if he was, or was related to, the legendary Gecko45. No, the fellow replied, but he admitted to having a "great deal of respect" for Gecko45.
Even more frightening was the legions of DEFENDERS this clown had defending the two or three guys deriding him for looking like a cross between Idi Amin, Colonel Khadaffi and Rambo all dressed in SEAL Delta Force nomex basic black.
Read that again: Other guys were defending him for his delusions!
Oh. My. God.
So all of this comes crashing back to me when I stumbled across another post by some kid from somewhere in the lower South bragging about how "all his friends are impressed with how great he shoots" and how he "shoots his initials in the target" and that they all call him "Sniper, because he's that good."
He argues a bit with a few folks, then goes on to state that "nobody wants him shooting at them" because he's that good.
What a warrior, eh?
I was in the Air Force many years ago. We delivered Death and Bad Things to people and places we didn't like very much. The Death and Bad Things often went by the name of U.S. Navy SEALs and Green Berets and U.S. Army Rangers and Recon Marines. Pretty nice guys as long as you saluted the same flag. Stone cold professionals. And if they happened to have a difficulty or two in getting away from whatever appointment we dropped them off at, we had these fellas called Pararescuemen, or PJs, that made Superman, Bruce Lee and John Wayne all take two respectful steps back. The PJs didn't give two shits in Cheyenne where you were at or how many people were around that didn't like you--if you needed getting out, they got you out.
Now those are warriors. Real warriors. Hell, I salute ANYONE who gut-checked it up, left home and strapped on a pair of combat boots. Hey, you sacrificed. You served. You did your part.
But these internet warriors. . .
When I read about these guys on the internet shooting their initials in a target or being called "sniper" by their friends or telling us about how many "$100 bills" they've won on shooting bets, I smile.
Then I go re-read the Legend of Gecko45 and figure somewhere, this guy must've been the world's greatest sexual performer because he certainly spawned a helluva lot of offspring.