Some Quick Thoughts On Open Carry

rp_open_carry_bg-349x5001.jpgYou don’t realize how much you miss open carry until you don’t have it. The “brandishing” laws in Florida are actually pretty good, but still, I’d much prefer to not worry at all about showing my gun inadvertently.

I carried openly on occasion in Arizona because A) I could B) it was quasi-normal to do so there. When I went to 2nd Amendment rallies at the state capitol in downtown Phoenix, I carried discretely, because the derp was mighty strong at those events (M4gery with “flare launcher”, anyone?) and such things don’t make OC “normal”. I’m not open carrying to make an in-your-face statement because I am not an in-your-face kind of guy. I’m Canadian, so my default is going to be “nice” (unless someone cross-checks me into the boards, at which point all bets are off and the gloves get dropped).

I digress.

What makes OC “normal” is making it a normal part of your life and acting normally when doing so. The key to this is, of course, defining “normal”, and the fact is, most people don’t have wardrobes that consist of nothing but Kryptec and MOLON LABE t-shirts. If you want to make open carry a usual thing, you can’t be unusual while open-carrying.

It’s no big deal. It’s just your gun.

Your Viewpoint Determines Your Vision

Stephen King asks three questions which provide us with an interesting peek into the mind of an anti-gun activist, (via Kathy Jackson).

“I guess the question is, how paranoid do you want to be? How many guns does it take to make you feel safe? And how do you simultaneously keep them loaded and close at hand, but still out of reach of your inquisitive children or grandchildren?”

Let’s address those three questions individually.

“How paranoid do you want to be?”
This question assumes that deciding to be your own first responder is a paranoid act, as if having a fire extinguisher means you’re convinced there’s an arsonist on the loose or having a first aid kit means you’re surrounded by clumsy oafs who constantly injure themselves.

Actually, as I have two young sons, that last sentence is, in truth, correct …

I digress.

It’s not a question of being paranoid, because paranoia is by definition based on unreasonable fears, and wanting to defend your loved ones from harm is an entirely reasonable desire that inhabits the entire animal kingdom. Every critter in the forest defends what’s important to them, why should mankind be any different?

It’s important to note here that acknowledging the existence of tigers in the forest does not detract from the beauty of the forest itself. I don’t consider my life as an armed individual to be any less rewarding or fulfilling than my unarmed life. If anything, I feel more empowered because I know for certain I can effectively deal with whatever life can throw at me.

It’s not paranoia that drives me, Mr. King, it’s empowerment.

How many guns does it take to make you feel safe?
That one’s easy: How many guns? However many it takes to stop a threat to myself or my loved ones. The actual number of guns involved will vary from time to time and from person to person. For me, that number is four: A gun on my person, a gun near me when I’m outside of the house that is more powerful than the gun on my person, a gun near me in the home, and a gun in my home that is more powerful than the other home gun.

YMMV.

How do you simultaneously keep them loaded and close at hand, but still out of reach of your inquisitive children or grandchildren?
There are two ways I accomplish the first part of that question. The first way is to keep a gun on my person wherever and whenever I can, including when I’m relaxing around the house. If the safest and quickest way to store a gun when I’m outside the house is on my person, it makes sense that the safest and easiest way to store a gun inside the house is also on my person.

Duh.

Secondly, I am a BIG proponent of the easy-access gun safe for home defense pistols. We did a simple test over at Teamgunblogger that showed that getting a gun out of a safe was just as easy and just as fast as finding one in your sock drawer, so I’m pretty confident in both the security of my guns and the security of my house.

To answer the second part of that question, I deal with the inquisitive nature of children in my life by reducing the allure of guns. If guns are commonplace and a part of your everyday life, they aren’t as a unusual or seen as the “forbidden fruit”. My kids know (and practice) the guidelines laid down in the NRA’s “Eddie The Eagle” program, and I whole-hearted recommend it as a starting point for teaching gun safety to children.

Mr. King’s questions are valid and right, from his point of view. It’s a point of view that is not shared by millions and millions of other people, but it is nevertheless a point of view that is commonplace and, in some ways, informative, because it shows the underlying fears that anti-gun activists have. They KNOW the world is “unsafe”, they just can’t put their finger on “why”, so they blame the instruments of violence rather than the instigators of violence. It’s a beguiling intellectual shortcut to solving the problem of violence, but it’s a shortcut that leads to a dead-end: Even if you reduce the instruments of violence down to man’s most basic tools, the knife and blunt instrument, the violence still remains.

The problem isn’t what’s in a man’s hand, the problem is in his heart. Banning or restricting what  man can use to defend lives will never, ever change his heart.

Match Report, Louland Pistol Match, March 19

I decided to try something different this time. Rather than shoot the match USPSA-style with my tuned CZ-75 and gamer rig, I shot it with my P-07 and my carry rig.

I had zero expectations about this match: The only reason I was shooting it was to get used to my carry rig again and to flex my IDPA muscles a bit. To be honest, I could have shot it better, but overall, I’m ok with my results as they reflect where I am as a shooter right now. I’ve not been dry-firing as much as of late, and it shows.

Ok, not that bad for a dead-stock gun. Memo to self: Next time, listen to the stage briefing, that way the RO doesn’t need to coach you halfway through your run.

Running on past promises

The rollout of the Glock 43 has highlighted something interesting in the gun world, the ongoing legend of Glock reliability.

First, a word about brand loyalty (or as some call it, being a fanboy).

I’m an unabashed Apple Fanboy. I don’t just drink the Apple Koolaid, I snort the raw powder (it’s faster that way). In 1988, the user interface of the Mac operating was a wonder to behold: Nothing else existed like that UI at the time, and it was another five years before Windows even approached the same ease of use with Windows 3.1.1. Today, though, to be honest, while the iOS interface is good, I’m really intrigued by the Windows Phone UI more than I am iOS.

In other words, over the last 35+ years, through innovation and experimentation, the other brands in the marketplace have caught up (and maybe even surpassed) the brand leader. Even more recently, Dell Computers absolutely dominated the market by creating a supply chain that allowed them to build premium computers for a discount price. However, once the other manufacturers out there figured out how to build a similar supply chain, Dell’s market advantage withered away, and they became just another computer manufacturer.

In 1988, the reliability of the Glock was a wonder to behold, it truly was earth-shattering/ground-breaking/insert metaphor here. But just like the Mac/Windows race, maybe it’s time to look at things with fresh eyes. Have the other companies out there figured out how to build a gun that is just as reliable as a Glock? I dunno.

Is it still true in 2015 that Glocks are head-and-shoulders reliable above everyone else, or has everybody and their dog caught up with Glock in the past 35+ years? That’s an entire generation of gun owners who have grown up with the Glock: Can truly say that NONE of those people have figured out a way to surpass the Glock on reliablity, or do we want to switch the dogma of the 1911 for the dogma of the Glock?

Now here’s where some might say “Ah-ha, you’re a known CZ fanboy!” and well, yes, I am. I also know the limits of CZ’s. I wouldn’t recommend one as a daily carry gun because they’re heavier and wider than similar guns. I still carry my P07 (it’s on my hip as I type this), but it’s not my “go-to” recommendation for most gun owners. Now, do CZ’s make a great competition gun? Oh yeah. Would I recommend my beloved Macs to someone setting up an enterprise-level retail environment? Oh no. I know the limitations of my manias of choice, and live within them.

Bottom line is, if your gun passes a 2000 round challenge, carry it with confidence. Anything else is just arguing Coke vs. Pepsi.

The Volcano Gun

220px-Joe_Versus_The_VolcanoThink of this as the opposite of the “If you had to choose only one gun to live with on a desert island” type of post. If you had to rid the world of only one gun by throwing every single one of them into a volcano to appease the angry volcano gods, what gun would it be?

I would gladly and gleefully rid the entire world of every  single Desert Eagle in existence.

I hate those guns. I don’t like them. I don’t like the people who buy them and then make ridiculous videos of their girlfriends hurting themselves while trying to shoot them. I don’t like them because they’re ugly, jam-omatics, and they come in colors and styles that make Saddam Hussein’s gold-plated AK look like the quintessence of restrained, tasteful design.

I hate Deagles.

For the good of humanity, I’d sacrifice every single one of them into a volcano, but I’m worried that the volcano gods would reject such an inferior offering and kill us all out of spite. If the volcano gods did such things, my backup plan is to offer them every single Mosin Nagant ever made, except for a few to keep as props if they ever want to do a re-make of “Enemy At The Gates“.

Now I know there are some people who will read this and say “MOLON LABE, BEATCHES!!!! NO GUNS DESTROYED EVER, cause, um, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!!!”, but look, every once in a while, we need to cull the herd. As an example, the lads on Top Gear are unequalled in their passion for cars, but even they know what to do with a stinker like the Morris Marina.

Tough love, baby, tough love.

Ok, so what other gun(s) needs to get tossed into Mauna Loa to save the planet and appease the gun gods?

What’s the next big thing?

So where are firearms (specifically pistols) going next? Let’s take a trip into the future.

It’s 2025, and the Army, fed up with a dwindling supply of parts for the M9A4E8 pistol, issues an RFP for a new service sidearm. The new sidearm must include the following items:

All of these technologies exist today, just like striker-fired actions and polymer guns existed before the Glock 17, and just like semi-automatic service rifles were around before the Garand. The trick was, in both cases, to build a gun that was useful to the military, usable on the field and reasonably economical to purchase in large numbers. The FG-42 didn’t change the work, the AK-47 did.

Seem crazy? Would you have said, back in 1996, that in ten years AR’s would be a cheap commodity that FLEW off the shelves in large numbers? Would you have said in 2005 that over the next ten years, a pocket .380 auto from Ruger would be one of the best-selling guns in the US?

There’s a change coming. The only questions are who, how and when, not if.