The Change is Made

When people who have guns stop thinking “Ok, I have a gun, I’m safe” to “Ok, I have a gun, what do I need to do or learn in order to be safe?”

One assumes that the object itself is the journey, the other assumes that mastering the use of the object is the journey.

Fads come and go. Firearms companies and retailers have got to improve their ability to convince people to make the switch from seeing guns as a talisman of self-protection and start seeing how firearms fit into their lifestyle, otherwise all those guns purchased over the last eight years are going to wind up as a the ballistic equivalent of a pet rock.

Time to move on, CZ.

First off, congrats on this accomplishment. You trounced the likes of Glock and Smith&Wesson, and that’s a good thing.

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Secondly, you’ve done a couple of the things that I suggested over a year ago, namely supporting the P07 with more stuff and rolling out new product via new media, with some spectacularly good results.

Well done.

But now it’s time to realize that the only thing driving the gun market these days is concealed carry. Can you PLEASE build an SA/DA gun that is lightweight, skinny that holds 10 rounds or so? There is literally nothing like that on the market right now (I said skinny and lightweight, Rami, please sit down), so you would have the market to yourself.

A year at the ready.

I was in St. Louis the night of the Ferguson riots. Thankfully, nothing happened, and if something did happen, I was more ready than most people to deal with bad things because I had my usual (at the time) daily carry with me: An S&W Shield, a spare mag, a Streamlight Microstream and a Boker knife. In addition to this, I was testing out a lightweight man-purse messenger bag as a way to carry all the little stuff I need to deal with life’s daily ups and downs. I’ve had that same bag with me for the past year, and it accompanies me every time I leave the house. I doesn’t always carry it with when I leave the car, but it is close by if (God forbid) I need it. To be clear, this is not intended to be a 72 hour kit or bug out bag: All this little bag does is allow me to live 24 hours outside of the house in an urban/suburban setting if a disaster or social disruption happens that prevents me from going home. If the power goes out for 24 hours or a flood washes out the bridges on my usual commute, I want to be able to deal with having to not being home for 24 hours, no matter where I am or what I am doing. The contents of the bag are built around sheltering in-place, be it my car, my office or a hotel room, so there’s not a lot of wilderness survival gear in the bag. Another big reason for this bag is to have the things near me that I need in order to deal with the effects of a violent force for or against me. I firmly believe that if you carry a firearm, you should be ready and able to deal with the effects of using that firearm. front

The bag is not hard to carry around, although I don’t traipse thru the shopping mall with it on my shoulder. In the water bottle pouch is, well, a water bottle, and in the outside MOLLE pockets, I have pens, a flashlight and a larger knife is tucked into the back. I’ve used a trick I learned as a photo assistant and wrapped six or so feet of duct tape around a Sharpie pen so I always have tape on-hand. outside_pockets

The water bottle has come in handy to deal with nasty-tasting municipal water from drinking fountains, and below it in the pouch I’ve stuffed a plastic grocery bag to use as a trash bag, etc. The top pocket has all the gear for my iPhone: I rely on that sucker for more than just making phone calls, so keeping my phone up and running is a big deal for me. I’ve used this extra battery for a year now, and it will recharge my phone enough to use for another 24 hours, which is just what I need it to do. top_pockets I’ve used every one of these items over the last year (I think I’m on my 12th snack bar or so). Most useful: The little microfiber lens cleaning cloth from RSR Distributing, which gets used to clean my spectacles at least once a day. The front pocket is also loaded up with useful stuff which has also seen a fair about of use over the past year: front_pocket Fortunately, I haven’t had to use the rain poncho yet, but everything else here has seen some action over the last twelve months. In particular, the lighter has been used far more often than I would have imagined: There is no substitute for an open flame, and people don’t carry matches or a lighter like they used to in days of old. One thing I am adding to the front pocket is a two-pack of disposable toothbrushes, because the darn things are so handy. As for the last-ditch emergency supplies in the bottom pouch, I’m VERY pleased to say I haven’t needed any of this: kc_emergency I’m ditching the compass and knife sharpener for a micro-fiber camp towel: It rains a LOT here in Florida, and dry and safe is better than damp and safe. I’m also tossing in a pair of cheap rubber earplugs, because I always seem to never have ear pro around when I need it. As far as the inside pockets go, I have a fair amount of stuff tucked away inside the pack, but I still have room for a full-size iPad and my ancient Nikon D70 in the inside pouch, so I can toss in the little knickknacks I pick up during the day. interior I *love* that Bluetooth keyboard. It’s not as easy to use as a laptop, but I can stick it and my phone into the pockets of a pair of cargo shorts and write anywhere, anytime (in fact, a significant portion of this post was written on that keyboard, paired to my iPhone 6+). The umbrella and Ballistol are new additions that don’t take up much room yet have proven to come in handy these past few months, and I’ve added enough spare cash to get me a cheap hotel room if I absolutely need to stay overnight somewhere. I’m pleased to report that aside from a couple of bandaids and some Advil, I’ve not had to use any of the gear in my first aid pouch. I’m adding a pair of nitrile gloves to the mix, something that I overlooked when I put the kit together. kc_first_aid-2 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What good is it going to do you if you stop the threat with a perfect Mozambique drill on the bad guy when/if the need arises, only to find out he/she managed to squeeze of a round and now your loved one(s) are bleeding out in front of your eyes? Carry your tourniquets, people. It’s a lighter burden than regret. contents

That’s a fair amount of kit to haul around in a small bag, but it’s not heavy and carries easily. All in all, I’m pleased with the contents and the container of my murse messenger bag, and I’ll continue to have it near me if (God forbid) I have another Ferguson moment. Update: I wrote this post a week and queued it up for delivery a day and a half ago . Since that time, it looks like I might get a chance to put some of this stuff to the test

Batten the hatches.

There is a very good chance that the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will want to ban something or stop the sale of something else because of this incident:

An active shooter has been reported at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, according to multiple local media outlets.

Video from the scene appeared to show a WDBU media crew being attacked in the midst of a live report. The station confirmed the shooting involved one of its crews, and two people are dead.

May God comfort the family and friends of the innocent victims of this crazy person, and may justice be swift and sure for their killer.

The body goes where the brain leads

The American Warrior Show is rapidly turning into one of my favorite podcasts. Mike’s stuff tends a little bit more to the tactical side of the equation than where I currently reside, but his interview with Rob Leatham is absolutely a “must listen” to anyone who wants to shoot a pistol fast and accurately, and Mike follows that up with an interview with Joel Jameson on conditioning and exercise for fighting versus other sports.

Money quote:

“If you’re talking about the average person who is just trying to prepare for a combat situation, they don’t need 15 hours a week of fitness training for that. They need a lot more skills training and tactical training as opposed to getting the fitness side of things because a lot of that stuff is the brain becoming accustomed to the environment you’re in. You work out, you do intervals and then you get on the mat and roll for 3 minutes and you feel like you’re out of shape. A lot of that is because your brain is not used to the environment and doesn’t know how to handle the stressful situation.”

There’s a lot of truth there. I used to be WIPED after a four stage match, but know it’s no big deal, but know I find I’m more relaxed and more focused after I shoot a stage.

And yeah, I gotta get to the gym and get in some sort of shape that isn’t round and pear-shaped.

The premise is wrong, therefore, the conclusions are wrong.

For the record, I like The Gunmart blog. I’ve linked to them in the past, and I’ll continue to link to them in the future.

However, this question completely misses the point of open carry:

“The exit question here is, Is open carry really a deterrent?”

No, of course not. Open carry is no more of a deterrent to crime than having a cop cruise around a neighborhood once a week. Good policing requires the police to be involved in their community, and good gun ownership requires gun owners to be good citizens first, gun owners second.

The point of open carry is that it turns the bearing of arms a normal thing, period full stop. If you want good gun laws, get good people carrying guns out into the public eye. Do you think that fact that Arizona has had the best gun laws in the country for two years running might, just might, have something to do with the fact that open carry has been legal in the state since before it was even a state?

Me too.

Open carry is not a deterrent to crime, because if you’re in a neighborhood where you need to open-carry to stop a criminal, buddy, are you ever in the wrong neighborhood. Rather, open carry is a way to show normal people (not criminals) that guns are not bad, because nice people carry guns. If you act badly with carrying a gun, expect people to think that guns are bad, because the people who have them are arrogant pr!cks and might do something bad with a gun.

The Unorganized Militia Strikes Again.

The more we learn about this latest outbreak of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome in France, the worse it gets for the authorities, and more for having a dispersed response to a dispersed threat.

“Train staff on board the high speed train which was the scene of a suspected Islamic extremist attack yesterday have been accused of barricading themselves in their staffroom and locking the door, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.”

Which, fortunately, they did, thanks to some off-duty U.S. servicemen.

US airman Spencer Stone, who on board the train during the attack, spotted the 26-year-old Moroccan acting suspiciously and heard him trying to load his weapon in the toilet.

He was travelling with Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was on leave and travelling through Europe at the time after returning from a tour in Afghanistan.

With the help of their friend Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, and fellow passenger British IT consultant Chris Norman, they managed to wrestle the attacker to the ground, stopping what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.

A U.S. airman spotted someone acting suspiciously and heard him load up an AK in the bathroom, then clobbered him as him tried to shoot up a train.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is the very definition of how situational awareness should work. Kudos to Airman Spencer and all involved, and may the train staff who ran and hid be ridiculed for the cowards they are.

Between this incident and the incident in Philly, conditioning and weapons retention training have now zoomed to the top of training priorities.

It’s just a training issue.

There’s nothing wrong with the design of the Serpa, according to Blackhawk! fanboys. It is weapons retention perfection, they say.

Uh-huh.

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Ain’t never seen a leather holster do that.

Welcome everyone from Active Self Protection and elsewhere around the ‘net. The beer’s in the fridge, chips are on the table. Don’t drink the single-malt, that’s mine for after you guys have left. ;) I’d love it if you stuck around and read some other stuff, or you can Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Fear and Loathing in the Magic Kingdom

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Oh noes, there was a dude with a gun at Disneyland!

A man with a loaded pistol was arrested outside the main entrance to Disneyland last month after another park visitor reported seeing something suspicious, Anaheim police revealed Tuesday.

Just before 9 p.m. on July 9, officers assigned to the resort property received a radio call from Disneyland security regarding a report of a man with a gun, according to police spokesman Eric Trapp.

Plain clothes detectives went to investigate and located a man with a handgun in the esplanade area of the resort, Trapp said. The esplanade is the open area that divides the entrances to Disneyland and California Adventure once patrons pass through security.

I was at Disneyland in late 2013, and I’m surprised that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often there. The security at the park is pretty much a bag search at the entrance, cameras everywhere and cops milling about inconspicuously. They do a great job of not harshing the mellow of The Happiest Place on Earth™, but the fact is, it’s dead-simple to get a knife or a concealed pistol onto the grounds of Disneyland on your person. In fact, I may or may not have had a multi-tool and a folding knife on me in the park during my last trip. Yes, it’s the happiest place on earth, but, I am not going there without something to help get me out if it all goes to hell.

Bag searches and cameras help prevent mass-casualty events like the Boston and Bangkok bombings, and Disneyland’s zero-tolerance rule towards boisterous behavior cuts down on the riots and fistfights, but unless Disney wants to re-create the TSA at the entrance of each park, stuff like this is going to happen.

Although I will admit, I’d LOVE to see how the Haus of Maus might put a happy face on a full-body x-ray scan and cavity search. I digress.

I’m ok with a bag search at places like Disneyland because they’re prime targets for our enemies, and a bag search would limit the ways they might do us harm. Rather than go with metal-detectors and x-rays, though, I’d prefer Disney to allow concealed carry on the grounds and let those who can safely defend themselves do so inside their parks. Clamping down on security and turning their parks into “The Happiest Prison Grounds on Earth” won’t work. To borrow a line from a movie now owned by Disney, “The more you tighten your grip, the more people will slip through your fingers.”