License to Chill

One thing that the anti-civil rights crowd gets consistently wrong is the idea that carrying a gun means you (and not the gun) are a hair-trigger, looking for an excuse to draw your weapon and lay waste to all those foolish enough to cross your path. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I’d suggest they’re projecting their lack of emotional stability onto everyone around them. Every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME that gun control gets loosened and freedom is regained, the streets are predicted to run red with violence, usually with a reference to the OK Corral and/or the Wild West. 

But every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME, that doesn’t happen. Why? Because people realize that with the increased empowerment of becoming your own first responder, there comes an increased responsibility for your actions. 

Your goal, if you carry a gun, is to become a peacemaker without ego

Full spectrum training

One of the complaints I had about training at FrontSight was their monoculture of experience: Practically everyone I trained with cited their experience at FrontSight as the qualifications to be a firearms trainer

Not a big fan of such things, because practicing and training only one “style” pretty much insures you won’t know how to handle the inherit chaos of a violent lethal threat. 

I’ve got some more reasons why you want to spread out your firearms training over a bunch of different trainers and systems over at the Osage County Guns Blog.

Free Gun

Remember when I said “Free Guns” were one of the things I wanted to do at my new job? 

I wasn’t kidding. 

We’re giving away a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380.

Yep, free. Now, you don’t HAVE to link back to the contest or join our email list in order to win, but I’d appreciate you doing that because a) it would make me look good to my boss, and b) that means I can do more of this kind of stuff in the future. 

Good luck! 

Something I need to work on in the near future

cast-magoo

… is shooting without my glasses. 

No, no, not protective eyewear, I mean my prescription frames. I’ve worn glasses most of my life, and every time I got in a fight in my childhood years (and my not-childhood-years, if I’m honest…), the glasses came zooming off. 

Might that happen in a gunfight? You betcha.

I’m certain that training will kick in and all that would happen is the land beyond the front sight would be even more blurry than it normally is, but still, knowing that I can deliver the shot without glasses would be a comforting thing.

Revisiting Heinlein

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” – RAH

We all know the first part of that quote by heart, but the last part never seems to get mentioned, and as a result, stuff like this happens

Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box. The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences. While we respect the rights of all of our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.

Please. Stop. Helping. All that needs to happen for all our side to lose all the gains we’ve made over the past decade is for more things like this to happen and more and more restaurants restrict the right of citizens to protect themselves on their property.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte 

“Yep.” – Michael Bloomberg

There is a time and a place to OC a rifle, and that time and place is at a 2nd Amendment rally, NOT in a fast food restaurant in Texas. And let’s stop for a minute to consider the whole idea of open-carrying a rifle and think about what a rifle is compared to a pistol. Based on what I learned in my combat focus carbine class, a rifle is primarily an offensive weapon. If you’re using one to defend your life, you’re in a position where you’ve had time to GET to your rifle and are facing a known threat that cannot be dealt with by your pistol. This is why soldiers carry rifles, not pistols and why cops have them in the trunks of their patrol cars. 

Pause for a second and consider that last point. I see cops at at public events like baseball games all the time, and they’re not carrying M4′s or MP5′s, they’re carrying their normal gear. I’ve been to events where the cops were carrying M4′s, and that extra security made me extra nervous. Imagine how nervous it makes people who see other citizens carrying M4′s without the stamp of societal approval (i.e. a badge) on them? If you MUST open carry a rifle, carry a 10/22, stay off of private property and let the cops know first what you’re doing. You’ll make the exact same point and not tick anyone off. 

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative ain’t just a song, you know.

There is a reason why the JW’s and Mormons who knock your door are dressed nicely and are exceedingly polite: Those organizations have learned that they get more converts to their side acting that way than if they show up on a street corner dressed  to offend. Think about it: Have you ever seen a street preacher gain a convert with his antics?  Me neither.

Memo to my fellow OC’ers: Stop acting like street preachers, and start acting like missionaries.

Stop The Stopping Power Talk.

 pistol_stopping_power

The best, most concise, most complete takedown of the idea of “pistol stopping power” I’ve ever read, from a surgeon and tactical medical instructor.

“Which ammunition has the best stopping power? I can’t answer that question. What I can say is that you should look for ammunition that reliably lives up to its claims of penetration and expansion but don’t believe that these two factors alone are related to stopping power.

The ultimate stopping power rests with your training with your weapon system. Accurate hits in any reasonable caliber will “stop” a person if that person has experienced enough brain or spinal cord damage to interrupt regular neurologic impulses from reaching vital areas of the body or the person has hemorrhaged enough blood to lower his or her blood pressure where the brain no longer is able to function well. You can also stop a person if a major bone shatters after a bullet injures it, but does that stop the fight?” 

Read the whole thing.

A Mostly Personal, Partly Tactical Defense of Open Carry

rp_open_carry_bg-349x500.jpgTake a minute to read this story that popped up for the weekend on open carry. No really, go ahead, I’ll wait. It’s pretty good, and based on Chris’s experience, he’s not wrong. 

But what he’s experienced isn’t the whole of the open-carry experience.

I’ve started to open-carry on the weekends when I can and I encourage others to do so whenever and wherever they can as well. I don’t think there’s much daylight in between Chris’s position and mine on this, and I think his suggestions against open carry are valid concerns. 

But. 

Without a long history of open carry laws in our state and people who safely do so, Arizona would not be a “Constitutional Carry” state right now. As I’ve said before, out here, open carry is No Big Deal, so my perspective on the issue might be different from someone living in a state where it IS a big deal. 

Personality, as Jules Winnfield once said, goes a long way, and as a policeman, Chris knows this. A scary cop makes cops seems scary, but a polite, friendly cop makes people trust the cops.

This is even more true with open carry, because someone with a gun on their hip who isn’t a policeman doesn’t have the innate trust factor that a badge provides a cop. If you carry openly (and you want to do so in the future), you must (and I can’t say this strongly enough) must GREATLY exceed the standards of politeness, courtesy and friendliness of your community. This is where Starbucks Appreciation Day got it wrong: No one likes their property to be used for activists of any stripe without their permission, and that’s why Starbucks Appreciation Day backfired on us.

Well that, and lousy coffee. 

With regards to weapon retention and open carry, I agree that it’s MUCH easier to take away a gun you know about than one you don’t know about.

Duh.

I’m not 100% satisfied with my open carry holster of choice, but I need more training on that so I can make a more-informed choice of holster for open carry and find one that looks good and keeps my gun where it should be until I need it before I buy another holster.

When it comes to any tactical disadvantages/advantages of open carry, I’ve never considered open carry to be an effective warning to Bad Guys, because if I’m somewhere that open carry CAN scare away a bad guy, I am in the wrong place. It’s the cop’s job to walk the streets chasing away crime, not mine.

With regards to this paragraph, 

“Watch videos of convenience store robberies; you rarely see a robber watching his back, or securing customers. Most robbers quickly scan their surroundings for cops or other immediate threats, go to the counter, produce the gun, get what they want and run. If I’m regular Joe in the background, I can draw and make my move when I have the element of surprise.” 

If the bad guy sees a cop or other threat like an open-carrier, what do they do? Turn around and walk out. Problem solved. If the robber sees me but doesn’t see the gun (a very likely occurrence), he’s going to be just as surprised by my reaction when open carrying as if I was carrying concealed. Open carry neither improves or detracts from my safety in such situations compared to concealed carry, and I’ve always considered the deterring effect of carrying openly to be greatly overblown.

As I said in the outset, open carry is normal and accepted in Arizona, but without people who regularly carry sans concealment, it wouldn’t be. If we ourselves make carrying a gun openly A Big Deal, it will be A Big Deal to others. If we make it as natural as wearing pants, it’s no big deal for others. If we want to have a choice about how we choose to defend ourselves, we need open carry to become as boring and no-stress in the rest of the country as it is here in Arizona. However, that won’t happen without polite people openly carrying a firearm in a low-key, polite and casual manner. I really like having a choice as to how I carry my gun, and I want others to have that choice as well, because having choices is what freedom is all about.