Patchwork Man

Ok, I’m moved. I have a garage again. And I have space to dry-fire with movement.

I need to get up and do all of that, and more. Therefore, that’s what I’ll do right now instead of writing.

Bye.

P.S. I cleaned up the blogroll a bit and added some podcasts. If you’d like to be added to the list, let me know, especially if you’re a blogger in The Gunshine State.

You’re Next.

toronto-sniper

If you think that the anti-gun forces out there will leave you alone because you don’t own a pistol or a revolver or a semi-automatic firearm of any kind, think again. Apparently, a lever gun with a scope is now a “high-powered sniper’s rifle”, at least in the minds of the (feverently anti-gun) Toronto police force.

Detective Sergeant Tam Bui is asking the public to come forward with any tips regarding the murder of Clinton Yow Foo of Toronto on Oct. 1. The 37-year-old was shot once just before midnight with a lever action Browning BLR short magnum (sic) rifle, which the police have recovered. Bui described the weapon as “high-powered” and said it was outfitted with a Bushnell legend scope and a unique bipod mounted on the front.

No word on the actual caliber involved, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s .300WSM. And since when is a Caldwell bipod fitted onto a sling swivel a “unique” feature? This gun is as plain-jane as they come, yet the anti-gunners are able to make it sound like it was once owned by Gunny Havelock. 180 metres is about 200 yards, so this wasn’t an impossible shot by any means… heck, my Savage bolt gun is ZEROED at 200 yards, and at that distance, it’s adjust just adjust left or right for wind as needed and away you go.

If you own a firearm or want to own a firearm, you are not an innocent bystander, because no matter how innocuous or how suitable for “sporting purposes” your gun may be, the anti-gunners are ready, willing and able to make it seem like it (and you) are capable of committing homicide at a moment’s notice.

A Useful Concealed Carry Trauma Kit.

I have been struggling mightily to come up with a way to carry a trauma kit (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) on a day in, day out basis. I have my one in my car, one if I’m not in my car, and one at work., which all very well and good, but the fact remains that all those kits are NEAR me, not WITH me. That distance can make a difference in how quickly and effectively I can render aid to someone when their life is on the line, especially if that someone is me. What I needed was a concealed carry trauma kit that had enough gear to be useful but was small enough to fit in with my other carry gear.

We use the phrase “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away” quite a lot in the concealed carry community, but somehow, we don’t stop and think that paramedics are also minutes away (and usually arrive after the police do). We wouldn’t consider ourselves ready for a gunfight if our gun was in the car, why then would we consider ourselves to be ready to deal with the effects of a gunfight if our trauma kit is in the car?

I’ve tried to carry a Cleer EDC Kit, and while it’s terrific, it still is just a little too big to conceal under an untucked t-shirt, and the Patrol Officer’s “Pocket Trauma Kit” is not made for civilian pockets.

However, whilst perusing the aisles of my local Big Blue Box Store, I spotted a “Quick Seal” wound care kit that looked tiny enough to carry every day.

And it is.
concealed carry gunshot wound kit

As you can see in the photo, I ditched everything in the store-bought kit except two small containers of Celox, two gauze pads and an antiseptic pad. I teamed those items up with nitrile gloves and a SWAT-T tourniquet, and stuffed everything into a MOLLE-compatible iPhone 6+ case, and it works quite well. I think I’ll add a short strip of peel away duct tape to help keep things in-place if needed, but other than that, I’m happy with how this kit is set up.

concealed carry trauma kit

Concealable trauma kitThat’s my extra mag for my Shield on the right, in its belt pouch for a size comparison. Crunching down everything this small did involve some trade-offs. There’s not a lot of blood-clotting agent and bandages in this kit, and the SWAT-T tourniquet isn’t perhaps the best solution out there, but it beats jetting out arterial blood at 60 beats a minute. Also, because the tourniquet is essentially just a big rubber band, it folds flat. This means that when teamed up with the soft nylon iPhone case, it wraps around my waist when I carry it, rather than remaining stiff and inflexible and noticeable. This is important because when it comes to concealed carry, thinness is the most important attribute a gadget can have. As you can see in the photo, while the kit is not 100% invisible under an untucked t-shirt, it’s unnoticeable from the front or side, what you can see from the rear looks like the cell phone case it really is, and not like a concealed carry trauma kit.

Would I carry this kit if I were headed out to Khandahar tomorrow? No, I’d carry an IFAK, and probably more than one. Will this new kit help save lives more than not having it on me will? Yes, and that’s reason enough for me to carry it every day.

We Also Walk Dogs.

What if retail gun stores stopped being about guns and started being about lifestyle? What would they look like? They’d sell guns, and DIY home alarm kits. They’d have a range, and a dojo and a service that (for a small fee) will walk through a customer’s home and make recommendations on home security. They’d sell first aid kits and car emergency kits and flashlights and have classes on pistol shooting, prepping on a budget, preventing credit card fraud and how to stay safe on vacation.

They’d cover all the bases, not just the gun base. Gun Culture 1.0 stores sell camo clothing and tents and decoys and barbecues and other items only tangentially related to pulling the trigger. Why should a Gun Culture 2.0 store be just about guns?

* And this time, it’s a science fiction reference in the title, not a music reference.

Apple Stores, Gateway Stores

Former_Gateway_Country_Store

Remember Gateway computers? Remember when Gateway decided to open up retail stores to show off their computers, digital cameras, plasma TVs and MP3 players?

They failed, and they failed spectacularly and quickly. Soon after Gateway stores crashed and burned, Apple computer decided to open up their own brand of retail stores, and the computer industry was skeptical of their chances of success, to put it mildly.

Apple succeeded where Gateway did not. They’re still going strong, and the presence of an Apple store may be the reason why some malls fail and some don’t.

Why? Well, I can’t put it better than this:

Many retail experts and analysts failed to predict the massive success of the Apple Store when it first opened in 2001 because they made the mistake of confusing numbers with feelings. Numbers don’t have feelings; people do. And people drive a great customer experience.

When you walked into a Gateway Store, you were shown a bunch of Gateway computers and gadgets, but had to figure out for yourself what purpose those gadgets were for. The purpose of a Gateway store wasn’t to sell a lifestyle based around Gateway products, it was to sell Gateway products and you had to figure out a reason why you’d use one. Their stores was product-centered, and they died quickly, along with Gateway itself.

Apple store

Compare this to Apple Stores. When they first launched, they had five sections: Home, Office, Music, Movies and a “Genius Bar” where you got tech support for your Mac. In each area, there was a selection of Apple computers and other 3rd party devices which fit in with each section (this is before Apple made MP3 players, phones, set-top boxes, watches, etc.). They had a kid’s area which had a few iMacs with kids games on them. Apple Stores weren’t focused on selling product, they were selling a digital lifestyle based around the Mac.

And now they’re the #1 company in the world.

How many gun companies are selling product, and how many are selling lifestyle? Who is the Apple of guns, and who will be Gateway? Gun Culture 2.0 is, well, a CULTURE, and cultures have lifestyles.

Hairstyles and Attitudes – How Are They Connected?

Jim Sheperd had some great points about SIG hiring a marketing guy from Harley-Davidson in The Shooting Wire last week.

It’s absolutely incorrect to presume that everyone who considers themselves a “shooter” has given shooting sports- especially practical disciplines- a try. My fellow fantasy campers were fairly shooters. But more than one shooter had never drawn a gun from a holster.

That was eye-opening for me. And it pointed out the fact that “shooter” is a label that covers a lot of territory. Territory that we as an industry, might be treating as “flyover country” to use a political description.

That’s a pretty compelling reason for bringing in fresh eyes when we talk about outreach to consumers. It’s very compelling when you learn that many of those fresh eyes say the industry is falling well short of the mark at “in-reach” – you know, encouraging people who are already gun owners to get more involved.

Sig Sauer has made some significant additions to its marketing team. Those additions include veterans from inside the industry along with a new VP of Marketing who’s never been in the shooting industry.

But he’s certainly been in an affinity market. Sean Salter headed the “Global Retail Marketing Environment” for Harley Davidson. Yes, that Harley Davidson. The company that has an unfailingly faithful and dedicated group of die-hard users, despite the fact their bikes aren’t the biggest, fastest, most reliable or even most pleasant bikes to ride.

Harley owners are brand loyalists of in the extreme – and the company that figures out how to create those kinds of “brand evangelists” in the gun industry will certainly become a force going forward. Especially if those evangelists are recruited through what I call “industry inreach” rather than new shooter “outreach”.’

Speaking as someone who has a long history with actual evangelism (versus brand evangelism) the trick to meeting people where they are is finding people who look and act like people you’re talking to, not the people doing the talking. Tier One Tactical Operators with bulletproof neckbeards look great in training videos and on the range, but they’re not who you want to talk to people who aren’t “shooters”. Yes, those hardcore BTDT types are great if you want to sell to the tactical market and you might even catch the attention of some gamers as well, but it’s like sending a tattooed, bearded full patch biker to a Kiwanis Club meeting in Rapid City and hope those guys will sell middle-class white collar workers on the idea of buying a Harley.

Good luck with that.

And yes, the title is a Timbuk3 reference.