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“I didn’t say we should learn politics,” said Pogo. “We’re lovable cartoon characters. Politics is the kiss of death. I said we should learn parlor tricks.”–from “Pogo the Possum,” the first comic strip with balls. By Walt Kelly.

Two quick political notes, and then back to guns. I take great joy in the current round of town meetings. But I’m puzzled that no one has pointed out the following: We are told that it is radio and TV commentators and bloggers who have set the badger loose, but unless there was already a great, basic distrust of, and dislike of, government and its works abroad in the land, Rush Limbaugh would be just a fat guy with a microphone. Sooner or later, something was going to tap into this current, and it happened to be health care.

Memo to the Secretary of State. Madam Secretary: Pay more attention to who does your translating. And avoid men with harpoons.

Thank you. I got to shoot with Bill Dermody, who handles PR for Savage, and picked up the following:

Savage, he pointed out, is now making a considerable number of expensive rifles, particularly target and tactical guns that break the $1,000 mark. The competition guns are doing very well against custom firearms that cost a lot more, and people are perfectly willing to pay serious money for a brand that once meant only ‘cheap”.

Savage’s version of a fancy gun, said Dermody, is not a rifle that has a lot of money put into it so it will look nice; it’s a rifle that has had a lot of money put into it so it will shoot accurately. And with those words he set into my gnarled hands a Model 12 Series Long Range Precision Varminter in .223. It has a price tag of over $1,200, and is about what you would get if you went to a sophisticated gun builder and asked for a state-of-the-art varmint rifle. I think this may just be the first factory rifle I’ve used that will crack the ½-minute barrier. I will let you know.

I also got to shoot a brand-new Savage that will be introduced at the 2010 SHOT Show. It’s a specialized long-range big-game rifle in 6.5×284, and the one I tried grouped like a sumbitch. I would tell you more, but then Savage would have to kill me–provided the Death Boards don’t euthanize me first.