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What I’ve learned about me by reading through my sent emails.

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Categories: Article, Goofing Off, Observations, Philosophy, Politics, Veterans, Tags: , , , , , ,

Being the center of someone’s universe isn’t as hard as it sounds.

I was looking through my sent emails the other day trying to find something I’d recommended to a friend so I could pass the same recommendation on to another one and wound up spending half a day just perusing some of the things I say. I have found that there’s a slight case to be made for the argument that I’m grumpy.

    • Having a set of testicles doesn’t make you a man any more than standing in a library makes you intelligent.
    • Sitting on your ass and bitching about the rottenness of the world is fairly pointless. First of all it violates my Third Law, to wit: the right to bitch is reserved for those willing to make a difference. Besides, a world that has kitties to nom your toes while you type has a lot of hope left if you’re not too blinded by perspective to see it.
    • First you whine about my chili, and now you want some, fine you can suck out any that’s left in my beard. Ingrate!
    • Lefty? Righty? Blow Me! I’m neither left nor right wing, neither Republican nor Democrat because I have room for more than one thought in my head at a time.

“The unusual thing about soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen is that they look back to the worst times and can pick out the good from them. That’s why old GIs always seem to find each other, they need to share their stories with somebody else that knows how to laugh and cry at the same time.

    • Doubts about Darwin? Actually I think Darwin pretty much has the right idea, but every time I have to click spam for a message about Viagra on a website I sponsor that has lesbian right in the title I’m plagued by a small, lingering doubt.
    • “I DON’T UNDERSTAND BROADS.” Well Sparky, I think they understand you.
    • I appreciate the Honor Harrington series of books for three reasons. First because its basically Horatio Hornblower in space, Forrester was such a good writer that he even made being in the navy sound appealing. Secondly, its good science fiction with lots of nerdy tech mixed with well-developed characters. Third, is has a female lead and I really get tired of the testosterone-laden tomes centered around men. By and large the people that think women have no place in combat haven’t served with women, and I really recommend these books to them, it’ll start to drag them into the modern century.
    • Nobody ever wins a fight, even if you come out of it unmarked you’re still an idiot for having gone to blows in the first place. This from an expert, I’ve been an idiot several times, I just have the self-awareness to admit it.
    • Speaking as someone who’d been a ‘beneficiary’ of government healthcare since 1984, and is now disabled, I’m saying that its neither a great nor terrible thing, just that your mileage may vary. By the way, never make the mistake of saying it’s free, they deduct my monthly payment right out of my retirement and disability every month. Somebody is paying, always. You don’t think that the pharmaceutical industry pumped $100 million into backing the current Healthcare plan because they thought it was the right thing to do, do you? That’s spending roughly $2.50 a person for a whole new client base that can afford their stuff now.
    • It’s only my perspective? Of course its perspective, if we all saw things the same way we’d only have one political party. Wait, we have two but since they both vote for how the money flows there is a case that their perspective binds them together.
    • I have no philosophical problems with the concept of a God, I just don’t want to listen to people preach at me for or against the existence of one.
    • Some think it was callous, but when the doctor told me that “today is probably the best you’ll feel for the rest of your life,” I didn’t take that as grim news, it was her way of telling me what was ahead and that I’d better prepare myself for it.
    • Water is good for you? Water has killed more people than wars. Parasites and diseases, breeding ground for mosquitoes, drowning, hell it’ll even make a car rust. You need water to live but I like mine boiled and sanitized with either coffee or tea, or barley and hops.
    • “The Air Force sleeps in hard billets where their sheets are changed for them every day?” Are you a USAF recruiter? I’ve slept in cots no wider than my shoulders with the same sheets I stuffed into my A-bag for months at a time, sometimes I even got to wash them. By the way, I shared those tents, not hard billets, with 20-30 other guys, it was the dainty waft of dirty socks and guys that snored like woodchippers.
    • Opinion is thinking a politician is an idiot, annoying is your long email telling me why.
    • All I need to do to restore my faith in the world is sit on my back porch on a chilly fall morning with a cup of hot coffee and listen to the birds thank me for filling the feeders.
    • I’ll give you the same advice I’ve given to my daughter and every female friend I have. “There are two kinds of men in the world, married men and pigs, and half of the married men are pigs; and, until proven otherwise they all have Gynosyphiherpeles.”
Even when they're gone you still have the good times

Even when they’re gone you still have the good times

  • There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my dog, and the world would be a better place if people took the time to make a dog part of their family, especially those that leave them chained in the back yard their whole lives. There’s a difference between having a dog, and having a dog in the family, even if the family is just a person and their dog. Want to know what complete love and adoration is? Come home to your Fido after a long shitty day and return to your natural place as the center of someone’s universe. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a kitten purring in my ear like an untimed chainsaw and so I’m off to be the center of another universe.

© 2010, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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I get to Combine Journalism and Fantasy, Good Times!

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Categories: Article, Tags: , , , , , , ,

An Article I wrote for Newsvine, you can also read it here too.

I’m not sure why, but people don’t really think about fantasy and science fiction when they hear Idaho mentioned. By stereotype we all wear western clothes, pack a handgun and talk like we’re out of a western, so basically if everybody thinks we act like the folks in Firefly what’s the big surprise that we do indeed appreciate fantasy and sci-fi? Which brings us to Fandemonium 2009, the annual Idaho Con.

Those that know me are fully aware that I’m a major fan of fantasy, I read it, write it, listen to it and watch it all I can. I do appreciate science fiction, don’t get me wrong, but as much as I appreciate writers like Asimov, Heinlein and Bova they don’t quite measure up to my deep admiration for the writing of Tolkien, Eddings, and Burroughs. So the thought of there not only being a Con in Idaho, but the fact that this was the first year that I heard of it really makes me want to kick myself in the butt!

Cons are a really difficult thing to set up, I actually had the opportunity to sit down with the people that put it all together and it’s a daunting process. You have to convince guests to show up and then you have to get people to come when you finally finish busting your hump to get it all set. One thing that people don’t think about is that it’s all done by volunteers, and volunteers lose their enthusiasm quickly if their hard work comes to naught.

Tomorrow I start a 3-day marathon, roughly 9am to midnight covering the events of Fandemonium, yes folks I get to put on my journalist’s hat and play with audio, video, pictures and of course written articles for one of my websites. Its been a few years since I’ve sat down and done actual interviews so I’m going to try and stretch those muscles again, but mostly I’ll probably observe and write about what goes on around me, that’s more my style.

I used to go to Cons a lot when I was younger, but it’s been a long draught since my last one, and that was completely by accident. I was weather diverted into Oklahoma City after 3 days of hard, hot work fixing a KC-135R tanker and I rode up in an elevator, still dirty and funky because when we were done getting the plane flyable, we flew. So, I’m in an elevator between a Klingon and a wizard, complete with a pointy hat, and they are looking at me like I’m the odd man out.

Part of the fun of doing this for me will be covering events with my daughter. As I’ve often said I have a face for radio and a voice for print, so having her as a partner brings the face and voice that won’t scare people away. But, if anyone is from the northwest and within driving distance of Boise drop by and say “Hi” tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday (Aug 7th-9th 2009) and see what’s going on. And no, I won’t be wearing a Conan costume to the age 18+ Cosplay. I don’t think my karma could take the ding otherwise.

Writing about events that interest you is what I consider the heard of citizen journalism, try and spread the word about those things that interest you and indirectly help those interests take off and grow, and sometimes it calls for a little sacrifice. While most are looking for a way to squeeze a dollar out of the net I’ll be laying out about $200 to cover an event in miscellaneous ways, for one thing I turned down the free press pass, I’d rather the Con generate a few bucks more to make next year a little bigger.

© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Great Misconception: Treason Under US Law

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This was originally a Newsvine article, you can find it here as well.

There are whole libraries filled with the laws of this country but only one crime that was of such importance that it was specifically placed into the United States Constitution, the crime is treason and the reason for this prominence wasn’t because the founder intended it be used, but rather to constrain its use under the most rigid checks. Treason was a charge that could be levied in other countries for the simple matter of offending a king or potentate. Call the queen fat and your head was on a pole after somebody ripped out your insides while you watched. Not only could a person be called traitor, but their unborn grandchildren would carry the stigma of blood guilt as well.

The founding fathers wanted it to be a complete and unmitigated pain in the backside to make a charge of treason, so they codified it in Article III Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

  • Governor Thomas Dorr, convicted of treason against the state of Rhode Island for leading the Dorr Rebellion against the state of Rhode Island in 1844, he was released in 1845, his civil rights were restored in 1851 and the verdict ultimately annulled 1854.
  • John Brown, convicted of and hung for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1859 following his raid on Harper’s Ferry as an act of armed insurrection, intending to create a slave revolution in the south.
  • Aaron Dwight Stevens, took part in John Brown’s raid and was also convicted of and executed for treason in 1859.
  • Robert Henry Best, convicted of treason as an American broadcaster of Nazi propaganda during World War II. He was convicted in 1948 of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Iva Toguri D’Aquino, was tried and convicted of treason after WWII as “Tokyo Rose,” a famous or infamous propaganda broadcaster, she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford when it came to light that she was convicted after a thoroughly tainted investigation and trial by a kangaroo court.
  • Mildred Gillars was also tried and convicted of treason after WWII as “Axis Sally” and served 12 years of a 10-30 year sentence.
  • Martin James Monti, a United States Army Air Force pilot convicted of treason for stealing P-38 fighter and defecting to german and joining the Waffen SS, he served a 25-year sentence.
  • Tomoya Kawakita, held dual US and Japanese citizenship, he was charged and convicted of torturing American POWs and sentenced to death, President Eisenhower commuted this sentence to life imprisonment and Kennedy ordered hi released to Japan and barred his return.

That’s the whole list. The entire list of those convicted of treason, eight in all, six for treason against the United States (one executed), two for treason against a state, Rhode Island and Virginia (one executed), the exact number of trials conducted for treason is harder to pin down, the closes I’ve been able to find is 40 prosecutions for treason in United States History, with a very few prosecutions covering more than one defendant. The number of convictions would have probably been higher but George Washington pardoned all convicted in the Whiskey Rebellion Trial and Andrew Johnson issued a blanket pardon to all of those indicted (including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee) before they could be brought to trial.

It’s a daunting things to attempt to try one of treason in the US, Benedict Arnold was never tried. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Jonathon Pollard John Walker and family, all convicted, but of espionage not treason. John Walker Lindh was convicted of conspiracy to murder US nationals, again, not treason. There has only been one person charged for treason since 1952, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, charged in 1996 for his part in making al-Qaeda propaganda, stay tuned, this is still in the legal mill somewhere.

Congress, as directed by the Constitution, passed United States Code at 18 U.S.C. § 2381: “whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Notice how tightly that’s written?

There is a high bar for charging a person with treason, and higher bar to convict (roughly 80% of prosecutions failed so far), and a really high bar to actually hold a person for their full sentence. This is the way it should be, historically treason charges have been tossed around far too lightly, to the point where people really don’t seem to have any idea of what it is under US law. Roughly 40 trials and only 8 convictions since the constitution was ratified and the last trial in 1952, and that’s as it should be, lest we fall into the cesspool of the history of the “Old World” where the charge was used with complete negligence, often on royal whim.

© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Free to All: The Wild and Wonderful World of Words

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Categories: Article, Observations, Philosophy, Tags: , , , , , , ,

Freedom of speech, to speak as we will without fear of consequences or repercussions, the strange thing I suppose is that this is considered revolutionary, it seems to be a natural thing, but when you really look at it how free is free when it comes to words? Obviously there has to be some sort of limits, like how should you greet your friend Jack that you meet unexpectedly on a plane? Do you say “Hi Jack” or might that cause more trouble than its worth for a simple greeting? George Carlin once noted it was unwise to yell movie in a crowded fire house, but I suspect he was being facetious.

Words and meanings and implied meanings and inferred meanings and did that mean what I think it did or am I being too sensitive? Can a politician do something immoral if what they did was only immoral from say a religious point of view? After all, there is separation of church and state, so is there a secular view of morality or perhaps there is a better word. One person’s tax is another’s thievery, one intoxicant is legal but another isn’t. Then again there is the argument that “man created alcohol and God created pot, who do you trust?” But I don’t see adherents of this philosophy smoking a bowl of poison ivy during their coffee break.

I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it, but just about the time someone says that they jump on somebody else for saying something they disagree with, which really seems to dash the whole sentiment aside because you have to wonder if that’s what they meant in the first place. Did I really say all of that in one sentence? Irrelevant! Or is it, because is what each individual person considers relevant the metric that we gauge relevancy by? Or does relevancy vary by the setting we find ourselves in?

Truth is a funny word, we can tell the truth, swear to tell the truth, but is truth a word with a fixed meaning, or is it in the realm of the philosophers? What is accepted as truth today might be found false tomorrow, so does that place truth and moral on a special plane of meaning? If you ask two people what color the car was than ran over old man Smithers and one says green and the other says blue does that mean one of them is lying? How can two people under oath give two completely different colors and neither of them be lying? So then we have qualifiers, lawyer words, “to the best of my recollection,” and “as near as I can recall.”

You can give your word, speak your piece and still have somebody tell you to take it back, not how is that supposed to work? Probably the same way that two people can look at the same event and take exactly opposite meanings from it. A law is passed and one says good and another says bad, because now we’re right back to the whole moral, truth, good and bad thing again that really seems to trip everyone up at some time or another. Look at the way someone can put a little jiggle on something that somebody has said and give it a whole new meaning. “I needed my tired rotated,” she said. “I’d like to rotate her tires,” he winked knowingly. The poor lady was worried about tire wear and suddenly its been hijacked by a double entendre.

If there is a single entendre I think that would only confuse things irreparably at this point. Its like one event can have completely different meanings, a house burning down is a sad thing, unless its your house then its tragic. There is no problem with unemployment if you are employed, and a difficult pregnancy is no trouble at all if you aren’t pregnant, because even a embryo is one of two things, if its wanted it’s a baby and if it isn’t then its an embryo, in much the same way that a strident person becomes a jerk when they’re not on your side.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and behind every successful man is… well that sort of depends on where they are at the time. A Corvette in the driveway of a neighbor is male menopause, but a Corvette in your driveway is a reward for living a good life, but if beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes to the bone its no sweat because beauty is in the eye of the beer hold after all. Some men will tell you that women get old and men get distinguished, apparently these men know of a tribe that venerates ear hair, if you find out where it is let me know I might qualify to be a bishop among them.

“Lets do it on the beach,” is a proposition and a preposition.

Even time can play against us, you can be so tired that you sleep till noon, or you can be so lazy that you don’t wake up till noon. It’s the same time, the same bed, but a whole new spin. And speaking of spin did you know the special relationship between fertilizer and filibuster? One is bullshit in congress, the other is bullshit in the garden, and speaking of consistency, how exactly does one react when in the heat of passion an Atheist calls out to God? I can tell you that asking about it right then is a bad idea.

They say that there is no such thing as an Atheist in a fox hole, but to be honest I never thought to ask on those occasions I found myself in a fox hole. I have run into a preacher in a barber shop though, which made me wonder just how seriously to take that Samson story. So if you part your hair, and a fool and his money are soon parted, does that mean that the barber groomed the person and their wallet, or just took a little off the top of both?

And we have enough trouble with language without using confusing expressions. I’ve used a brick outhouse, and didn’t find anything about the structure that I’d consider beneficial to the female form, although after losing a flashlight down one I know what they mean by its getting deep.

Its like the story of the two hobos, they are wandering the tracks and its cold, but they see an outhouse and rush to avail themselves of the facilities. A shout of dismay brought one to help the other. “What’s wrong?” the first said. “I dropped my money down the hole, have you got any money?” the second replied. “I have a five dollar bill is all,” the first said sadly, showing it to him. The second snatched the bill and tossed it down the hold and started undressing. “Why did you do that?” moaned the first. “Because I ain’t climbing down there for just a dollar.”

There is no truly profound point to all of this, its an exercise in free speech you might say, and you’d be free to say it. Not every word we utter is fit to be passed along to the ages, some I utter aren’t fit to be spoken within a country mile of a human being. Say what you will and let the world think what it may, but no yelling fire in theaters unless there is one, and don’t shout a greeting to Jack at the airport. Oxymoron is one of my favorite words, it fits many expressions quite well, but the best just might be common sense.

© 2007 – 2014, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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9-11 from My Perspective

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Categories: Article, Memoirs, Veterans, Tags:

tbirdThere’s a lot of memories wrapped up in seeing 11 Sep on anything, it actually reminded me to change the way my computer shows the date, I kept it set for military format, DD/MM/YYYY, instead of the normal (to most of you) way of MM/DD/YYYY. And when I changed it I started thinking about that day, and the events and feelings around it.

In the summer of 2001 I found out I had 2 hernias. Inguinal Hernias to be technical. The unpleasant part of the term inguinal is where a loop of intestine can wind up, the link above has a diagram, if you want to know, go peek, I won’t spoil it for you.

So I had them both fixed in August, it involves a few small holes, it would be Endoscopic Surgery so recovery would be faster, but I would still be out of work until the last week in September. They gave me an orientation for the surgery, which was actually funny because we used similar, but much more expensive and better quality scopes to inspect jet engines, and I’d been using them for 17 years at this point. The surgery went fine, Kevlar mesh and a few surgical staples, and I went home that day. Recovery was a little more interesting that they or especially I would have liked, to put it delicately my boys were several sizes larger than they should have been, it was a few days after before I could pull my sweatpants up over the surgical area.

I was feeling pretty normal on the 10th when I went to bed, I wasn’t moving too fast but I was doing stairs just fine and as long as I didn’t get stupid and try and lift things I would be fine. It did look like I had two belly buttons, one of the scars had built up strangely and every now and then when I stretched I could feel a tug and a pop and the second bellybutton would be a little shallower. Don’t cringe, I had to feel it, what do you have to fuss about?

The morning of the 11th, a Tuesday I was being lazy and sleeping in when my wife got back from taking the girl to school, she was calling my name as she came up the stairs and turned on the TV. The second plane hit while we watched.

Oh shit.

At the foot of my bed is a big wooden chest I made when I was about 14, I had my MoBags (mobility bags) in it. Two of them and everything I would need to be out of town for a minimum of 120 days. We checked everything and packed it all together, she gave me a fast and very short haircut, then I shaved off about a month’s growth showered and called in. I asked where they needed me and told them I’d be in for the swing shift, 4 pm till midnight. We ran a few errands and then loaded everything into my car, because I was on a half-hour notice now to appear and leave.

This is when you hurry up and make sure you have everything, power of attorney for the wife, my will was up-to-date, I had cash, my government travel card, I was current on my training, the M16, and all my gear was packed. By career field I was a jet engine mechanic, but because of my rank I was working as an expediter, which meant I had 24 people from 6 different career fields that I dispatched to jobs from a big ‘bread truck,’ and I knew I was going to be busy as hell.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I got to work and all aircraft were generated and ready to do, we were standing by for any orders because my squadron was ‘in the bucket,’ meaning that we were the rapid deployment force for the bomber fleet. I was assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron, we maintained and flew the B-1B Lancer, the history of the squadron went back to 1917 and when you looked at our guidon it had so many campaign streamers it looked like a pom-pom attached to a spear, if you dug a little you could see the actual pennant. One of the key historical accomplishments about the 34th was that most of the aircraft and pilots for the Doolittle Raid on Japan were from the 34th, if you look here you’ll even see some of the pilots wearing the patch on their flight jackets.

April of 1942, four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 16 B-25’s that had been shoe-horned onto the flight deck of the USS Hornet and flew a one-way mission to attack Japan. Of the 80 men that took off, 3 men were killed during the mission, 8 were captured (4 of them executed in custody), 5 were interned in the USSR, and all 16 aircraft were lost. Most of the crew’s made it to China, where the local population spirited them away, there are some estimates that the Japanese Imperial Army killed as many as 250,000 Chinese civilians trying to find them.

The actual damage inflicted by the raid was slight, but the psychological effect to Japanese and American morale was electrifying, it would be a few months later, June of 1942 before the Japanese advance would be stopped at Midway, and the long campaign to Japan itself would be four more hard years away, but in April of 1942 the Japanese were invincible, the US navy was shattered and severely outnumbered. The Doolittle Raid would prove to both sides that the Japanese weren’t invincible, and it proved to the Japanese that the Home Islands were vulnerable, and forced them to change their deployments to protect them at the expense of weakening other places.

But on the night of the 11th the guys that I supervised dragged their bags in and we checked everyone had everything, and then we started the waiting game. All up and down the halls were pictures of the history of the squadron, including shots of bombers flying off of an aircraft carrier. Down the hall and across from the commander’s office was the ship’s bell from the USS Hornet. It was three months shy of being 60 years since Pearl Harbor, and a few of us old timers walked up and down the halls and let the history soak in a little.

Technically I wasn’t deployable, I was actually still on convalescent leave, but I felt plenty recovered and I wasn’t going to stay behind. I’m not sure exactly what I said the first time I was told I couldn’t go, but I’m told it was loud and profane and I didn’t repeat a single cuss-word in the entire tirade, and since I was talking to an officer I did put a ‘sir’ on the end of it. Long story short I did go, and I watched as the bombers left, loaded with bombs and afterburners glowing bright and the thunder of the engines shook the ground beneath my feet. I was standing beside the truck listening to the radios, one playing music, the other a 2-way maintenance radio.

When the first jet broke ground AC/DC’s song Thunder was playing, and the 34th was called the Thunderbirds. If that’s not an omen of good luck I don’t know what is. We wound up forward deploying on Christmas Eve, from one location to another much closer to Afghanistan, and even that day we launched aircraft at one location and recovered them at the other. One hundred and twenty days of continuous operations and we took everyone home that we left the states with, a few dings and bruises, and we were all tired of living in tents, but we all went home safe.

To me that’s more important as the amount of bombs that we dropped. I’ve gone to too many funerals in my time, in some cases there was no coffin for the family to give some sense of finality. Its hard enough to accept the loss, but a picture on a empty coffin covered with a flag is not consolation. There were many that didn’t have that sense of finality when the towers fell. Its like you never get the chance to truly say goodbye.

© 2007 – 2015, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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Is the AA-12 Fully Automatic Shotgun on a Soldier’s Wish List?

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aa12

I mentioned elsewhere that I wanted to get my hands on the Auto Assault-12 (AA-12) full auto shotgun, and that is only getting worse as I run into reviews of the weapon. Looking past the fact that it’s a fully automatic shotgun, and that isn’t easy, lets look at a few specs.

WeightApproximately 10.5 lbs. (unloaded)
Weight w/ loaded 8 round magazine – Approximately 11.25 lbs.
Weight w/ loaded 20 round magazine – Approximately 13 lbs.
Length of Barrel 18 inches
Caliber/Gage 12 gage, 2 3/4 inch only
Barrel BoreCylinder Bore
Chamber Length 3/4 inch standard
Operation Full Automatic and Single Shot
Type of Action Full Automatic & Single Shot
Feed Detachable Drum and Box Magazines
Ammunition Capacity 8 round box,
20 round drum mag
and talk of a 32 round drum mag.
Type of Firing Mechanism Open Bolt
Type of Stock Pistol Grip
Rate of Fire Approximately 5 rounds per second
300 rounds per minute

The more compact variant, the AA-12 CQB has a 13″ barrel and weighs approximately 10 lbs empty. The AA-12 is based on the experimental Atchison Assault 12 of the ’70s and has been updated, modernized and improved in about every way imaginable. As opposed to most military shotguns this is not a sports model with militarizing touches such as the Benelli M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun, which is getting bad reviews from the Southwest Asian Theater (AKA the Gulf).

According to Jerry Baber, chief engineer on the AA-12 (AA-12) project, its operating mechanism is self cleaning and self-lubricating, so the weapon doesn’t require lubrication and operates reliably, totally dry. That in itself is an incredible advancement. Baber has a CQB version that he has fired at least 8-9,000 rounds through without cleaning or lubrication. The weapon uses the carbon generated by firing rounds through it to lubricate the moving parts. Now I really want to play with one.

Now lets talk ammunition for a minute, imagine if you will the marriage of the FRAG-12 with the AA-12. The FRAG-12 comes in 3 flavors: High Explosive (HE), High Explosive Fragmenting Antipersonnel (HEFA) and High Explosive Armor-Piercing (HEAP) all developed by the Experimental Cartridge Company, Ltd. and Action Manufacturing Inc.

All flavors are comprised of a standard 3-inch 12-gauge cartridge case and propellant, but the load is a fin-stabilized 19mm projectile, which arms 3 meters from the muzzle, detonating on impact. The HE is designed to punch a 1″ diameter hole through ¼” inch cold rolled steel plate and the HEAP round can penetrate ½” steel armor plate, both out to 200 meters.

The possibilities are endless, especially when you consider it can fire conventional shotgun rounds as well, 00 and 000 buckshot, breeching rounds, flechette, and slugs. Ok, I hear you, you could fire all of those rounds through a regular shotgun. Not at 300 rounds per minute! Now picture a squad with a standard mix of carbines and SAWs, with a pair of these babies to supplement, especially in a MOUT environment.

MOUT nothing, just let me play with it on a regular range with targets, some behind barricades, or, be still my heart, let me see what it’ll do to an old car. Now we’re talking!

The AA-12 has been raved about by everything from the TV show Future Weapons to Soldier of Fortune magazine, and that was mainly with conventional ammo. It looks like a good way to round out the load out for an infantry squad, and has a lot of potential for Special Forces and SEAL Teams as well. The face of warfare is always changing, and this can’t help but make a positive impact.

Please let me play with one.

© 2007 – 2014, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.