Leaders who lead by example

Consider, for a moment, this picture of Jordan’s King Abdullah and Ed Head on the line at Gunsite.

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King Abdullah has vowed to personally bomb the ever-lovin’ crap of out of ISIS in retaliation for ISIS brutally executing of one of Jordan’s combat pilots.

Kinda nice to see a world leader who a) recognizes evil for what it is and b) is will to lead from the front (literally, in his case) and not from behind.

Which got me thinking: Rather than do some stupid, stupid photo op to show voters they’re concerned about gun rights, what if our prospective leaders did a couple of days at Gunsite or the Sig Academy or somewhere similar as part of the campaign trail? It’d show us proles that a) we matter and b) they’re learn that in today’s world, “gun owner” isn’t a synonym for “hunter”.

Reload.

Brian EnosSo I’m at the point where I think that the stuff that’s in Brian Enos’ book will make sense to me and actually help improve my shooting. I’ve started to read it at least three times before, but let’s face it, it’s a hard read and it’s pretty much useless unless you’re at a level where the head game of practical shooting matters more than trigger press.

Hence the name “Beyond Fundamentals”.

The problem is, I’ve lost track of my copy during the two wholesale cross-country moves last year, and it’s going to be at least another eight months until we even begin to sort out our stuff.

Looks like I need to buy another copy of it. Sigh. I hate re-buying books.

When guns are outlawed…

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… you know the rest.

The Telegraph is shocked, SHOCKED to find out that people who want to commit mass murder are also willing to break a few laws about who can own guns and rocket launchers and the like.

Last week it was confirmed by Belgian police that the weapons used in the Paris attacks had been purchased in Brussels and Charleroi by Coulibaly, who had travelled to the country expressly to buy the Kalashnikovs, Skorpion, Tokarev and rocket launcher.

Why, it’s almost as if criminals are, by definition, law-breakers, or something.

Belgium has some pretty tough gun laws: You need a permit to own a gun, any gun, and “semi-automatic assault rifles” are banned, yet somehow, the Islamic terrorists who committed mass murder at Charlie Hebdo managed to get their hands on full-auto AK’s and Scorpion machine pistols and even an RPG-7 variant.

And in a break with how things are done in the U.S., it wasn’t Belgium’s equivalent of the BATFE who gave them their weapons.

Why I am not a “sheepdog”

I hate that term, if I’m honest, because it implies that I care about the flock.

I don’t.

I don’t give a… flock about protecting society. I’m armed because I want to protect myself and family from the crap of this world, and if that means a portion of society gets protected in the process, good. If not, well, that’s a question that God and I will have to settle out at a later date.

I can have this attitude because there are actual sheepdogs out there, people who are paid to protect society as a whole, and we lost a good one last week.

Flagstaff police said 24-year-old Tyler Jacob Stewart was following up on a domestic violence investigation from earlier in the day and went to a home on West Clay Avenue around 1:30 p.m.

Police said a man came out of the house and began shooting, hitting the officer in the face. They said the suspect shot at the officer multiple times.

When additional officers arrived, they found the suspect dead of a gunshot wound and the officer wounded.

Stewart was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition where he later died.

Police said the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Robert W. Smith of Prescott, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A coward’s death for a cowardly man. RIP Officer Stewart.

A Year To Remember

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Wow, what a year.

Right off the bat, I want to thank everyone who stopped by the blog. There are millions of things to read out there on the internet, and I’m always humbled that people consider what I blather on about here to be worth their time.

It’s been quite a year. Being on TV. Hosting an *incredible* SHOT show party. Writing some more stuff for Shooting Illustrated. Training with Paul CarlsonTraining with Rob Pincus. Getting hired to market a gun store. Getting hired to market an even cooler gun range. Shooting rather well (for me) in a 3 Gun match. Shooting at the home of the Bianchi Cup. Shooting my first-ever precision rifle match. Shooting over 60% in a classifier. Starting a dry-fire regime to not suck as much.

Gun wise, things were quiet. I won a lower at Superstition which I turned into a dedicated precision AR (it’s that gun that leads this post), and I bought another lower and a Sig brace from my last employer that will probably turn into a 9mm AR pistol.

Meeting Bob Owens and Katie Pavlich and Chris Cheng and so many, many more cool people. Seeing this amazingly beautiful country. Seeing snow fall once more, and then having the brains to leave it behind for warmer climes. Spending Christmas afternoon on the beach. Worshipping and singing in the choir in a small-town Baptist church of 100 people and a huge mega-church of 1000. It’s been a year like no other, and thanks once again for sharing it with me.

Now, on to 2016!

File Under Zen, Moment Of.

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I’ve done more thinking about shooting and where I want to grow as a shooter/competitor in the last three weeks than I have done the previous three years. The interwebz are full of people talking about how to become a GM, but there is precious little about how to become B Class or IDPA Expert.

The fact is, if you cure your trigger jerk and stay awake during a stage, you can make C Class. However, B Class and above requires effort, both physical and mental, and that means a) discipline and b) awareness. When I lived in Arizona, I never was able to see where I actually was in the grand scheme of practical shooting because on any given day, I’d be shooting with Rob Leatham or Kelly Neal or Sara Dunivin or Angus Hobdell or another other top-ranked shooter.

It’s hard to get a grasp of your own abilities (or lack thereof) in such a rarified environment: You don’t know how good you really are because even when you shoot your very best, you’re on the tail end of the match results. C Class is supposed to contain the top 40% to 60% of the shooters in USPSA, but it doesn’t feel like that if you’re competing with the top 10% (or better) all the time.

Three things, however, have re-ignited my passion for improving my skill at the shooting sports.

  1. Having the chance to step back and become the local hot shot at the top of the leaderboard for any given match has given me the chance to put what I’ve learned in context with the sport as a whole. Being C Class in a world where almost everyone is A Class or above means you suck. Being C Class in a world of D Class (or worse) shooters means you’re the top gun.
    This can have a marvelous effect on your self-image. :D
  2. On a related note, taking a breather in the action has given me time to think about where I am and where I want to be, and more importantly, what I need to do get there.
  3. I’ve been playing around with a Sig Sauer light/laser combo on my P07 (more on that later). Having a laser on my dry-fire gun has significantly increased my passion for dry-fire practice, as it gives direct 1-1 feedback on how my muzzle is moving (or not) during the trigger pull.

When I first started this blog, it was called “The Quest for C Class” because that’s what my shooting goal was at the time. I’ve made that goal (and then some), but the quest continues.

Stay tuned.

Update: As I said on Facebook, one thing that popped up right way while doing dry-fire with a laser is how the gun moves during one-handed shooting. I’m finding that if I add a little more bend to my elbow and curl my thumb down a bit more compared to where they are with a conventional, thumbs-foreward grip, the gun moves MUCH less during the trigger pull, making for faster and more accurate shots.