2012, in review

It is that time of the year again… Just like all the previous posts like this one, I am using Google Analytics data, with the same warning that its numbers do not match the numbers generated by other statistics engines. Likewise, we will compare numbers against last year.

Absolute Unique Visitors: 94,843 (35% increase)

Visits: 174,805 (9% increase)

Peak Daily Visitors: 1,549 (23JAN12) (27% decrease)

Average Daily Visitors: 478.92 (9% increase)

Pageviews: 244,249 (not tracked previously)

Total Posts: 512 (46% decrease)

And speaking of discrepancies, StatCounter shows 203,477 unique visitors, 273,178 visits/pageloads (they do not appear to differentiate), a peak of 1,964 on the same day, and an average of 746 visits a day. On the other hand, WordPress’ stat engine shows 280,000 pageviews total and a peak of 2,187 views on 23JAN.

Top Referring Sites:

1. Say Uncle (no change)
2. Weer’d World (+1)
3. Gun Blog Black List (+7)
4. Sharp as a Marble (+1)
5. Days of our Trailers (-1)
6. PJ Media (new)
7. Gun Free Zone (new)
8. The Gun Wire (new)
9. Everyday, No Days Off (no change)
10. Alphecca (new)

Top Keywords:

1. walls of the city (no change)
2. gunsamerica (new)
3. 9mm luger (no change)
4. little bear holsters (new)
5. lucy lawless (new)
6. renee wyatt divorce (new)
7. the truth about guns (new)
8. spartacus (-2)
9. firefly alignment chart (+1)
10. linoge (-8)

Top Posts:

1. the truth about the truth about guns and robert farago
2. cz-75 magazines in a baby eagle / jericho 941 – a review
3. a criminal perspective
4. gunsmoke lied. twice.
5. graphics matter, year the fourth
6. exile machine’s hammerhead ar-15 rifle grip
7. you are your own first responder
8. gun control demotivator
9. the inconsistency of gun control
10. and this is why you wear eye protection at the range

All said, it was a somewhat quiet yet for "walls of the city"; apparently my posting dropped by almost half, but, conversely, my readership picked up between 10 and 35%, depending on which statistic you think "counts". I guess this means I put more value in my individual posts, or just that I have larger archives for more people to go digging through.

Speaking of archives, three of my top-ten posts are not from this year, and two are from 2010. Interesting.

The two big traffic bumps this year occurred when Instapundit linked to my post about how Florida concealed carriers are more law-abiding than Mayors Against Illegal Guns members and when I exposed the fetid pile of waste that lurks beneath the surface of The Truth About Guns. I am not entirely sure what, exactly, that says about what you folks like to read, but I suppose it says something.

And as for the search terms people use to find this site… well, I have nothing positive to say.

knoxville chick-fil-a respects your rights

I meant to put up this post over the weekend, but life conspired against me, and then Say Uncle linked to my last post, and here we are. However, the short-and-sweet of it is this:

The Knoxville / Turkey Creek Chick-Fil-A has NOT posted itself as a “gun-free zone” / victim-disarmament zone.

I drove by the store yesterday, and neither of its two entrances were posted with anything even approximating a “gunbuster” sticker, “no guns allowed” sign, or anything of the sort. Better yet, it does not look like they are going to post, per a conversation Liston Matthews had with the store manager.

Given the franchisee agreement CFA reportedly requires of their managers, and given that CFA’s stated position is that they will respect whatever laws allowing or banning open/concealed carry there are in whatever state their stores are located in, I cannot say as though I am greatly surprised by this turn of events.

So, considering that CFA was not turned into a victim-disarmament zone due to one manager’s overreaction to the peaceful and lawful open carrying of a private firearm, how about all of the knee-jerk open-carry-haters in the audience just go ahead, sit down, and take some deep breaths, lest you burst a blood-vessel, eh? If nothing else, this situation worked out to be a net positive, since this manager is now more than aware of how many of his customers are interested in patronizing his business while simultaneously exercising their rights, and further aware of corporate’s policies towards his store and their working relationship.

quote of the day – markofafreeman

To steal a page from Say Uncle‘s schtick, I do this to entertain me, not you. Except in the case of sponsored or review posts, everything you see written here was pounded out by me simply because I (1) found it interesting, (b) had some opinions on the matter myself, and (iii) wanted to share those opinions with the world – such things as "exposure" and "traffic" and "CPM" and "SEO" and all the rest of that buzzwordy bull-dren is quite secondary to me simply sitting down and writing something out. In the cases of sponsored posts, I only wrote those back when I thought I could actually, possibly make some money weblogging (turns out I was wrong), and in the case of the review posts, I only review things I personally find interesting or potentially useful.

Seeing a pattern yet?

To be certain, I wholeheartedly enjoy the conversations and discussions we have had here, and some part of me would, indeed, miss them, but I would probably just keep on chugging, one monkey at one keyboard, seeing what he can make of the world.

So given that this site is scant more than my own personal sounding board, and given that I do, in fact, pay for the hosting necessary to keep it online (thus this site is, in truth and in fact, my own personal property) you can imagine my general reaction to some self-absorbed nitwit with delusions of standing telling me – or any weblogger – what I should and should not be posting about.

quoteofthedaymarkofafreeman

Thankfully, there was one single, solitary glimmer of silver hiding in the narcissism-laden cloud of this nitwit’s behavior, in the form of the below response by markofafreeman; I am not going to link back to the source of this quote*, so I will instead simply copy-paste it in its entirety – hopefully mark will not mind:

So someone who posted the infamous, inflammatory video of Pincus and “shoots-in-the-direction-of-photographer” Yeager now wants the discussion of open carry to stop.

I’m one of those horrible people who carry not just for practical/self defense reason. *Every* single time anyone buys, shoots, sells, carries a gun, he is making a political statement. Regardless of whether or not it is intended.

And guess what. In the 2+ years I’ve been doing this, I never once gotten a negative reaction. Unless you count the one waitress who asked if I was cop and got concerned when I said no. She asked why I carry a gun, then, and I just said, “because I can.” And the world didn’t end. We actually wound up having an educational (for her) conversation about it and she was fine with it in the end (or at least, neutral). One more person (from NYC, originally!) a little more desensitized to non-LEOs carrying guns. Mission accomplished.

I will no more stop talking about Open Carry — including beating down the arguments of those who think it is “ass-clownery” to do it for any non-practical reason — than will gun bloggers stop talking about guns.

Knitebane said it best, before you posted this, Caleb, when he said, “And if the guy next to you is carrying something else in a different way shut up and mind your own business.”

When we see comments like the one below from John, that sounds one hell of a lot like our enemies at the Brady Campaign, VPC, CSGV, et al, don’t expect us to sit down and take it.

You want those of us who don’t just support the legal right to carry openly, but also exercise it as we see fit and want to see more people doing it to ratchet it down a notch? How about this. You guys first. I’ve seen none on the open carry side of this particular argument attack those who don’t open carry for not carrying openly. The attacks on the mode of carry have been one way.

Don’t insult us by calling it butthurt. It matters when, like below, we are accused of “abusing” our right by those who are purportedly on our side. How the hell can anyone say they are pro-freedom and make the statements below? Stop looking at the other guy’s gun and mind your own d*** business.

John on June 5, 2012 at 11:16 says

Carrying open for ANY OTHER reason is an abuse of our right, serves to incite those who oppose gun rights, & worst of all is analogous to flexing your muscles as a show of political intimidation, or behavior modification visa vi “seeking to normalize the public to open carry”. Let me be clear about this, intimidating those who are not threating your life, or the lives of those around you is a BAD thing. IMO, it is for those reasons that CA lost it’s rights to open carry plain & simple.

(Bolding added.)

Just so.

Look, blog about whatever the hell you want to blog about. If you like kittens, blog about those. If you like cars, blog about those. If you like tech, blog about that. If you like guns, blog about those. Blog about whatever you want, and I guarandamntee you there are at least a handful of folks out there who share your likes and would be interested to read another person’s take on them (kind of like a Rule 34 for weblogging… Note: do not Google that term at work.), but for all that is Good and Holy in this Universe, do not let anyone tell you what you "should" and "should not" be weblogging about.

Your site is your property (within the bounds of whatever Terms of Use you agreed to with your hoster or blogging platform) to do with as you please, so knock yourself out. Take whatever suggestions you feel like absorbing and learning from, but, in the end, if people do not like what you have to say, they will eventually stop reading it… and other people will pick up in their places. The internet is not a zero-sum game, and unless you are trying to make money off those people, you do not need to treat it as one.

To bring this now-rambling post back around to something related to guns, I am somewhat amused at someone who says something approximating, "we do not need to discuss open carry, and those of you who do so are extremists"; folks like that are only one ideological step away from folks who say something approximating, "we do not need 30-round magazines / assault weapons / high-powered sniper rifles / concealed carry, and those of you who do own/do those things are extremists". Sure, I get kind of bored with the eternal 9mm vs. .45 debates, but the science is far from settled, and damned if I am going to tell people they should not find new ways of examining it. I always have the option of just not reading; would that more people remembered that.

Mark brings up an extraordinarily valid point above – so long as people like Andy write their bigoted screeds against open carry, someone needs to point out to the world that those intolerant viewpoints are exactly that, otherwise we rapidly encounter the "a lie left unchallenged becomes accepted as truth" problem. Remember – we pro-rights activists are primarily winning the "gun control" war because of the advent of the internet; that all-pervasive method of spreading facts and reality has become the silver bullet with which we are striking down decades of misinformation propagated by anti-rights cultists and perpetuated by a willing media. However, that only happened because people were willing to write the posts addressing that misinformation campaign.

The situation has now changed to the point where most of the historical lies of "gun control" extremists have been beaten into oblivion, but now we are facing new threat axes from within our own supposed ranks; this is, as Joe points out, unfortunate, but it is also not a fight of my choosing – it is being thrust upon us by those who would dictate to us how we should carry (just like others would dictate to us what we should write).

I may not have started the fight, but I will be damned if I do not defend what is mine.

So, yes, I appreciate that my time could be "better spent" doing something else; the same could be said of my playing video games, or running a laser pointer around the floor for the cats, or making my own walking stick (a project I really need to get back to), or various other entertaining things I do with my life. But that is just it – it is my life, and while I certainly do not mind people offering up suggestions of things I could be doing with it (’cause, at this point, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up), I cannot say as though I am terribly amused with people telling me what to do or not do. I am not in the military any more. You do not have that privilege.

And just in case anyone completely missed the point of this post, I wrote it because f*ck you.

(* – I effectively never visit the source of this quote; I only happened to stumble across it this one time because I blindly followed a link before doing my customary hover-over-and-check-where-it-goes pause. That will show me, I suppose.)

i win

sayuncle2012gunblogoftheyear

‘Cause, y’know, I am just that awesome. Oh, and so is Miguel.

(For those not keeping score at home, this is solely and exclusively to ridicule the hilarious notion of "Smoke & Thunder" naming "The Truth About Guns" the "#1 Best Gun Blog of 2012". As the man says, this will be a daily feature, so you, too, could have a Major Award of your very own. Something tells me it is not Italian, though…)

say uncle / ctc and soldiers’ angels

Alright, folks, we are coming into the home stretch. You officially have less than two weeks to get any final donations in to the Soldiers’ Angels Fundraiser and Giveaway before it shuts down and the prizes are distributed to the winners. Better yet, we are within easy striking distance of $2000 raised for Soldiers’ Angels, and, speaking personally, I would very much like to see that ticker roll over… so get out there, donate to a worthy cause, and see if you can win some awesome prizes.

And speaking of prizes, I am sure you all remember how Crimson Trace promised a Glock Gen 4 Lasergrip for the fundraiser, and how I took the time to unbox it for you. Now, what would you say if I now had two Glock Generation 4 Crimson Trace LaserGrips for Models 19 and 23? Well, that would be the God’s Honest Truth. No, really, two of them, as separate prizes, courtesy of everyone’s favorite Uncle.

So, really, you have scant little to lose by donating to Soldiers’ Angels – in the very worst case, you might win something you cannot immediately use, which means you should either go get the device that lets you use your prize (oh, what a horrid fate), or you sell it off to someone who can use it, and recoup the costs of your donation… and then some! In the best case… well, you could have a pretty handy new toy for far less than its manufacturers suggested retail price. And, no matter what happens, you will have supported a very deserving organization in their ongoing efforts to ensure all of our active-duty military members are cared for and looked after. I will be darned if I can see much of a downside in any of that.

almost like clockwork

I suppose I should be thankful that some things in this world will remain constant, no matter how much everything else around us changes.

It would appear as though wanna-be gunblogger and certified attention whore Robert Farago is still being a dick, and a rather ineffective one at that.

Color me surprised.

Someone who stoops to arbitrarily deleting comments and then lying about the content of those comments, misappropriating and misrepresenting others’ hard work, engaging in pointless smear campaigns against massively successful pro-rights advocates, and fabricating controversies just to bolster his traffic numbers is not exactly going to pause at pointlessly stabbing another weblogger in the back for the gos-se and giggles of it, much less engaging in such ludicrously childish tactics as attempting to make fun of someone for their beard.

As I said before, "Apparently neither Farago’s maturity nor whatever passed for his personal integrity made it off the kindergarten playground."

I brought up an interesting (to me) point over at Weer’d’s that I wanted to echo here and see what my readers thought – Say Uncle is widely regarded as the premier firearm-related weblog out there (with good reason… w00t for #23!), but I will be damned if I can see much overlap, if any, between the commenters there and the commenters at Farago’s hole. Granted, I spend very little time at the latter site, but the same could be said when one compares the clientele at View from the Porch and Sharp as a Marble to those at "The Truth About Guns". What does this mean? No idea. But I have to wonder about the discrepancy.

what are you doing here?

My idea of “fun” this weekend consists of mowing my lawn…  ohyayohyay, could I please!? 

On the other hand, Mike W., Say Uncle, Jay G., Weer’d Beard, Breda, Cemetery, and countless other pro-rights webloggers are in Pittsburgh enjoying the NRA Annual Meetings and laughing at the pathetic turn out of the anti-rights cultists and how the “gun control” supporters flagrantly disregard the law and endanger people’s lives

And, on the gripping hand, Joe Huffman, David, Chris Byrne, Barron Barnett, and countless other-other pro-rights webloggers are in Idaho blowing the crap out of unsuspecting explosives

Trust me – there are a lot better things to read out there than what I am not writing here.