Measure by measure, drop by drop

“I have never, ever met a gun owner who actually believed that more guns would make people safer on the whole. What they do believe, particularly those with military backgrounds, is that their corner of the world is safer if they themselves have a gun.”

- Jeb Golinkin

Well, Jeb, I believe that society would be safer on the whole if more people were responsible gun owners, and a lot of my friends and colleagues believe that as well.

More responsibly armed “civilians” = fewer victims. Fewer victims = less crime. Less crime = safer society.

A rock is not split in two by the actions of a single drop of water: It is split in two when the water becomes irresistible.

Home-focused firearms safety

It might just be the quasi-dead nature of the Naples demographic or the fact that Republicans here tend to be be more mainstream oriented than Tea party sympathizers, but I am seeing a LOT more interest in home defensive firearms and CCW guns than I am in AR-15’s.

Given that there are so many new firearms owners out there that are concerned about home invasion, when was the last time you saw an NRA Personal Protection In The Home or similar class that had people a) bring along their home handgun safe of choice to class and practice opening and drawing from said safe and b) had people draw out a layout of the home and plan a safe room response based on their unique home design?

Maybe a little more time on how to make a safe room and a little less time worrying about HSLD techniques like AIWB would pay off for today’s firearms trainers.

If we want guns to become part of our lifestyle, they need to be part of OUR lifestyle, not the lifestyle of a Delta SEAL Recon operator.

Adjusting your outlook

Now that I’ve had a few months to get used to living in urban Florida, I’ve made a changes to my go-bag and bug-in kit.

First off, I ditched the extra hydration bladder and added a machete. Water is NOT an issue here in swamps as it is in Arizona, but dense vegetation is an issue, however.

Secondly, after talking with co-workers who have lived here since childhood, when a hurricane hits, the electric power will be unavailable for upwards of a month. As our family currently lives in an apartment, our gear and planning need to adjust to that new reality.

Cooking-wise, I don’t have access to my gas grill, so instead I purchased a pair of Sterno stoves and a boatload of extra fuel. A generator is also out of the question, so I went with an inverter instead. The little four-banger in my Honda drinks gas in small sips and we don’t have any major electrical needs beyond our phones, so we should be good for weeks.

Food wise, we have a month’s worth of Wise Food Storage products. We were able to buy one “four week” package each month by skipping one fast food meal a week, and now we’re eating healthier and are set for emergency supplies for a week.

With regards to dealing with the cleanup, I don’t have space for a chainsaw, but I do have space for an axe and a shovel. Prepping isn’t about having all the cool toys, prepping is being able to ride out events with as little disruption as possible.

“It’s just a training issue”.

… so there was a dust up earlier this week between a very famous firearms trainer / expert whose credentials are beyond reproach and a bunch of other famous firearms trainers over the topic of carrying a firearms in an inside-the-waistband appendix holster.

Sigh.

Is it more dangerous to carry up front near your appendix? Of course it is.

We know by experience what happens if you have a negligent discharge with a gun carried in an outside the waistband holster: You get a hole in your leg (and possibly your foot) and your video gets posted on YouTube for everyone to mock.

Have a negligent discharge with a gun near your appendix, though, and there’s a lot more things at risk than just your ego. Is that risk real? Yes. Can it be mitigated with training? Yes. Is it worth the effort?

*thoughtful pause*

For me, no. I just don’t think the benefits outweigh the risks. Other people who I respect have looked at that same equation and reached a different conclusion, and that’s fine. We’re dealing with opinion here, and we aren’t going to have mathematical proof that one way is better than another.

If one trainer wants to ban AIWB in classes, cool, don’t train with him. If another trainer insists that everyone should switch to AIWB, cool, don’t train with him (or her) either. The path to personal safety is broad and has many gates. Leave the “straight and narrow” talk for the preacher on Sunday morning.

A Month of Consistency

rp_open_carry_bg-349x5001.jpgI’ve been carrying a full-size CZ75 and a spare mag pretty much non-stop for a month now, and I can truly and honestly say they’re as as easy to carry as my subcompact Shield.

The difference? An OWB holster and a good gun belt. I prefer IWB for concealment, but having the gun on the outside of your trousers is a lot easier to live with. My gun belt of choice these days is a Bianchi Fancy Stitched belt in tan, a belt that I use, if I’m honest about it, because it works well AND looks good.
Again with the concerns about an object’s form versus its function.

I am such a poseur.

Securing the sanctuary.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” 

– Matthew 5:43-45, NIV

If nothing else, the horror in Charleston last week should prompt churches into realizing that loving your enemies and relying on God to protect you is a great idea, but relying on God and 124 grain hollowpoints is a better idea. I don’t hate my enemies, but I won’t let them destroy me, either.

If you’re a church leader, and your church does not have a disaster plan, MAKE ONE, for God’s (literal) sake. That plan should cover fire, armed intruders and whatever natural disasters are common to your region: A church in Saskatchewan probably shouldn’t worry about a hurricane, but a blizzard that traps in a congregation overnight is a very real possibility in such climes.

Have a plan. Have a backup plan, and have the means to put those plans into action.

Stuff happens, and the Gospel of Matthew tells us it happens on the righteous and unrighteous in equal amounts. Pray about it, and then deal with it.

A World of Pain

knightTemplar

I carry a gun in church, and I’ve done so for as long as I could legally carry a gun on my person.

I’ve always understood that churches are a target for the those who wish to do harm to a great number of people at one time, just like people at a movie theater are a target, or a school, or a mall.

Motive, means, and opportunity, and churches represent a big opportunity for people who wish to commit such horrors.

My heart bleeds for my brothers in Christ in South Carolina. I pray for their safety, and for the safety of believers all around the world.

And I also carry a gun in church.

WWEKD?

What Would Elmer Keith Do?

I had an interesting discussion with a range officer at work last week: If Elmer Keith and the training legends of the past were alive today, what would they recommend as far as handguns?

One school of thought is that they’d recommend a lot of the same things they recommended back in the day. .44 Magnum. Wheelguns. Wadcutters. More of the same.

Me? I say different.

Let’s digress into the world of photography and talk about St. Ansel of Adams. The question arose awhile back on what ol’ AA would do in today’s world of digital images and photoshop, and I contend that rather than messing around with 8×10 view cameras and spending hours in the darkroom, he’d be diligently working on turning digital photography into a process-driven art, just like he did with chemically-based photography. The Camera, The Negative and The Print were not about the tools themselves, they were about integrating those three items into a process that could deliver consistent, repeatable results.

Now pause for a moment and look at the landscape of defensive firearms and firearms training right after WWII. The 1911 was not a consistently reliable platform yet and bullet design… well, bullet design sucked. Given those two realities, it’s only natural that yesterday’s trainers gravitated to big-bore revolvers, because that’s what worked at that time.

But those times are not our times. Semi-automatics work well now, and high-speed cameras and computer modeling have revolutionized the way bullets are made. Modern pistols work well, modern ammunition stops the threat, and modern materials means you don’t have to lug around an ingot of lead on your hip when you walk out the door.

Bottom line is, if you’re going to have icons, make an icon out of the process, not the person.

 

Function, meet form. Form, function.

Thinking a little more about this post, (thanks for the FB mention, Grant!), having look/feel be part of gun-buying decision is not a bad thing at all, because it means that gun culture is treating guns as part of our everyday life.

An example.

I’ve been car-shopping for a while now, and I’ve settled on either a Honda Civic SI, a Ford Focus ST or a Volkswagen GTI. Why? Because all three are sporty, fun to drive and have four doors so I can stuff the kids in the back seat.

Please note that practicality was in third place.

If I were doing this as a purely rational decision, I’d be looking at a small minivan or a Honda Fit or something that Consumer Reports would recommend as being safe, boring, reliable and gets good gas mileage.

Like my current Honda Civic hybrid, the car that I want to replace.

So I’m willing to compromise a decision on a mechanical device that I’ve entrusted with the safety of myself and my family and let things like looks, performance and how it makes me feel cloud my judgement.

Man, am I a bad person or what?