Could the Czar be any happier than to have not one but two highly respected epistolarians offer sweet prose on different topics, each of which deserves a response.
Mrs. Borepatch had a similar experience to the Царица. One thing that I have noticed is that the new ranges that are opened often have more upscale bathrooms – well decorated, granite counters, etc. While I never cared much about that sort of thing, it really made a difference to her.
The fact that you are seeing this sort of thing – as you say cleaner, friendlier places – shows that there’s a customer base that makes it worth a business’ time.
And quite frankly, anything that gets Mrs. Borepatch out to the range with me is a darn fine thing.
First, the Czar apologizes because Mrs. Borepatch is, among other artistic talents, a reviewer of firearms and shooting experiences. The Czar regrets that he should have referenced her in his original essay because she is quite inspiring to shooters of both genders. Or, if you count some of the things around our Castle, all seven genders.
Next, Borepatch is right: ranges are catching on that spending a little bit of money helps bring in more business. Basically, in the 1980s, ranges were no better than gas stations (especially the bathrooms!). Today, most ranges are like car dealership service stations: bright, clean, comfortable, but there is sometimes a business smell about them and there are scuff marks on the walls. More and more, though, newer ranges are like hotels: fine wood trim, nice carpets, very comfortable furniture, and dynamic lighting. As Borepatch says, it does make a difference to novice shooters.
Hope to see Mrs. Borepatch at a range near you.
If that were not enough, Island Dweller offers this:
Even though I have been absorbed of late making changes to the избa to satisfy the wishes of my spouse, I have taken pen to parchment to comment on your screed regarding Congress and the military. In 1942, to initiate the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, Fleet Admiral W. F. Halsey issued what is widely viewed, at least in the Navy, as the most succinct operational order ever written – “Attack Repeat Attack.” In 1959, as a studio guest of Robert Montgomery during the filming of “The Gallant Hours,” he was heard to remark, “It is very easy to order an attack when you don’t have to do the attacking.” Therein lies the issue I wish to address.
The vast majority of members of Congress have never served even a day in the American military, and have no idea of the sweat, toil, dirt, discomfort, petty annoyances and drudgery that make up a great deal of life in the combat arms of the U. S. military. This doesn’t include the emotions and sensations of combat, and the lasting damage it does to every man’s psyche. They do demonstrate abysmal ignorance of the document they are sworn to uphold. They also have a misconceived idea of what the military is meant to do. Combine this with a simplistic or overly idealistic view of what our role should be in the world, plus Constitutional ignorance, and you have the ingredients for foreign adventurism that can cause deep divisions in a country (read “Viet Nam”). At the Executive level, I won’t even add in the “Galtieri factor” – fomenting a crisis or war with a foreign power in order to take the peoples’ minds off serious domestic troubles – which could also, if successful, somehow boost your image with the electorate. Never mind the broken bodies and minds through which this political advantage will have been gained.
My point is that if military service were far more widespread among the male and female populace in this country, there would be much more serious thought given to these “adventures,” and the attacking that lies therein, than currently seems to be given (i.e., potential intervention in Syria). If more members of Congress could remember what it feels like to engage in these activities, there would certainly be a lot more thought given to the career military mindset when addressing them during Congressional testimony, that’s true – but more importantly, maybe because of the memories gained from being on the firing line, or humping a heavy load across broken terrain in bake-oven heat to arrive there, there would be a few more upset stomachs and a lot more lost sleep on Capitol Hill – not to mention worries over serving children – before we commit to some adventure in a foreign land that doesn’t involve the direct and immediate interests of the United States.
It is still a good thing to remember the Constitution and the Government (or rather, “Governmental apparatus”) are separate and distinct entities, and the latter can misfunction and be misused to the detriment of the former.
Indeed, you are correct across the board. But you knew that already. What the Czar will add to your explanation is that the transition away from the military has a very prosaic explanation. Given that more Americans are serving in the military today (2.3 million) than served in the Civil War (Union side), and that the number of Congresspeople has remain fixed, it is theoretically reasonable to wonder why more Congresspeople lack military experience than ever before.
Obviously, a lot has to do with the termination of the draft, but that answer is incomplete. For one thing, based on what we see, most people in the Legislative branch would have received a 4-F rating based on intelligence alone. But the bigger reason, and the more alarming reason, is that most people in Congress went from college straight into law school. They never had a chance to serve.
In fact, the average number of lawyers in Congress appears to be 45 percent (this varies as members come and go). This makes sense if the purpose of Congress was strictly writing laws; unfortunately, it means that lawyers are ridiculously over-represented in Congress. After three-plus years of law school, there isnt time nor interest to serve in the military.
How many members of Congress have military backgrounds? Only 21%, and of those its 2:1 Republican: Democrat.
Of course, it is possible that some members of Congress are lawyers with military experience, but given the demands of law school, the competitive ages of those in law school…well, those numbers are probably single percentage.
Lets face it: the military takes a back seat to the lawyers in Congress.