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.

If this, then that doesn’t work.

Great bar fight

Found on Reddit: A great story about how a night out shooting darts spun out of control.

It was me, my sister and some of her friends. My sister and her friends were playing darts in the bar, I was joking with some other guys. A group of either four or five women and a male made their way from the otherside of the bar and immediately started pushing around my sister’s friend who we’re going to call Amanda.

Amanda didn’t want any part of that and ran over to me, to hide behind me. I had no idea what was going on. The aggressive male was hurling threats at everyone, the bar owner was telling him to leave, Amanda was telling them to leave her alone, she had no beef with anyone. Before I could fully figure out what was going on, the aggressive females started throwing punches at Amanda.

I tried to separate the girls when the aggressive male began to hurl threats at me. I just ignored it. It didn’t take long for s*** to get ugly after that. I saw out of the corner of my eye, my sister getting pulled by the hair into the aggressive group, they were viciously beating on her head. At that moment, I redirected my attention to my sister.

Without even thinking I started yelling at the aggressive girls to let my sister go and punched one of them. The male, the ringleader, then began to move in my direction hurling death threats at me. This was no longer just a stupid little scuffle, this turned into an extremely dangerous situation. I as far as I could tell, I was the only male trying to stop the fight. The aggressive girls were no match for me, but they were seriously going to town on my sister. The male on the other hand was about the same size as me and I had no idea if he had any weapons or not.

At this time I felt the best course of action for me was to step back from the crowd, draw my weapon and aim for the ringleader. Maybe y’all might disagree, maybe not. Hindsight is 20/20 and in retrospect no one got seriously injured. But in this moment, I had no way of predicting the flow of the fight. I felt that both my sister and I were in grave danger.

But I couldn’t protect us like I should have been able to. Because in Texas, a bar with a red liquor license is a mandatory gun free zone. I had made the decision earlier to leave my gun in the car.

Fortunately, everything ended well for the good guys, but yeah, this is pretty close to a no-win scenario as you can get. Sometimes, you can do everything right (including abiding by your state’s laws regarding CCW) and still get into a world of hurt. 

The Carbine In Context

su_16_bench_sm

My AR-15′s and the SU-16C aren’t my “go-to” weapon. It’s not even my secondary weapon, (that’s the Mossberg I have in my safe room), the rifle is my third choice: It’s gun that I would use if I need something more than my CCW gun if I’m outside the house. I’ve taken a really good defensive carbine training class, but I need some defensive shotgun training, as (God forbid), that would be my secondary weapon I’d go to not my AR-15.

Oh, and I need a good class in first aid/trauma. That too. 

Default Settings.

Once people figure out that you’re a “gun person”, the question will inevitably arise, “Hey, so I was thinking about getting a gun for self-protection: What do you recommend?”

When I got gear questions when I was a photographer, I knew what they were looking for was a quick fix to taking better pictures. The real fix was shooting a lot more film and analyzing their mistakes, but every once in a while I’d talk to someone who knew what they were doing and had reached the limits of what their camera could do. At this point I’d usually recommend a Nikon FM, a 35mm f2 and Tri-X. Because old school. 

So what do I recommend for a pistol? Shockingly, not a CZ. I really love my CZ75 and my P07, but the fact is a double-action trigger is a hard thing to master, and the time and bandwidth needed to reach a level of comfort with such a trigger is better-spent elsewhere for a beginning shooter. Don’t get me wrong, I think double-action triggers are just peachy, it’s just not a place I’d start with a beginning shooter. 

When people ask about a self-defense gun for beginners, unless they talk about a need for concealability or easy shooting, I usually end up recommend the Smith and Wesson M&P series for first-time shooters.

mandp9

Shocker, I know. 

Ok, why? 

  • I’ve gained a new appreciation for the M&P after owning and shooting my Shield
  • It’s easy to find accessories for
  • It’s an easier transition to other pistols than the Glock
  • It’s striker-fired so there’s only one trigger pull to learn
  • It’s easy to shoot
  • 9mm is (theoretically) common to find

Ok, so was my thinking out of line? What would you recommend?

Home Is Where The Lockdown Is

fire_escape

Schools have fire drills.
You have fire drills.
Schools have lockdown drills.

You have… what? 

As part of his first year in Cub Scouts, my first son and I created a home fire drill plan for our house. We sketched out our house and figured out how we were going to get out quickly and safely in case of fire, and then we turned around and created a home invasion response plan focused around our family going to our safe room inside the home rather than leaving the house.

And out of the entire troop, we were the only ones to do do. Our scout troop is smack dab in the middle of a very conservative and gun-friendly area of a conservative and gun-friendly state (which has had more than it’s share of home invasions), and we were the only ones to face the reality that violence was/is a greater possibility than a house fire.

Having a fire drill plan for your home is a great idea, and it’s an accepted part of society that every family should have one. I’ll never know why, then it’s considered “paranoid” to have a plan and the means to deal with physical violence, something that is far more likely to occur.

The Safest Way to Store Your Gun In Your Home Is…

… the safest and easiest and quickest way to store your gun outside your home. 

On your person. Duh. 

When I mention in an online forum that I yes, I carry a pistol on me when I’m at home, people who are otherwise ok with concealed carry will ask “Why would you carry at home? Are you that paranoid?!” 

Well, no. And yes. Yes, I am aware of the face that whether it’s inside or outside the home, a cop WILL NOT be around when I need one, so why would I think that rules that keep me safe outside of the home (namely, having a gun ON me, not sorta near me) would NOT protect me when I’m inside the home? If, God forbid, I’m faced with a home invasion, it’s going to happen with the speed and surprise of a mugging and not be telegraphed in advance. Therefore, I carry at home, and when I go to sleep, I look up my guns in a quick-access gun safe. Having a gun on or in the nightstand might be faster, but for me, with my family, that’s a option I’m not prepared to go with right now. Yes, on the day (or night) that I need it, it would be faster, but on every other day of my life, it’s a risk I’m not willing to take.

Customer-Focused Firearms Training

Not For CCW

As a semi-professional firearms student, I think Todd’s on to something here

“When one of these non-shooters, whether he’s a MLB star or Joe Sixpack, comes to class and clearly demonstrates no desire to train regularly I don’t bother talking about sights or how to press a trigger. We talk about safety… a lot. Then we hit the range for some simple drills to get used to the gun making loud unpleasant noises. I want the student to get comfortable with a gun going off in the hand, and then build his confidence in an ability to point the gun toward a humanoid target and hit it in the chest (or thereabouts) with some degree of rapidity.” 

Honestly, my first take on this was “Why, that’s just silly, a firearms teacher needs to instill the fundamentals of marksmanship in a student in order to start them off right!”

But then I realized that the training model that worked in the past might not work today. How much of what we “know” about pistol training is based on bullseye shooting and PPC matches? How much of it is based on what we “know” about Weaver stance and The Modern Technique? 

And how much of that is relative to someone who just got their concealed carry permit and wants to feel competent with their handgun of choice? 

Note: I said “feel competent”, not “be competent”. If a trainer insists on teaching his/her students something that is difficult for beginning students to accomplish, like rapid sighted fire, that trainer is setting his students up for failure. He’s also extinguishing the desire for further training because his student will see something that looks simple (shoot accurately AND quickly) and not be able to accomplish it. 

Both the NRA trainers I’ve worked with and the Combat Focus Shooting classes I’ve attended do just that, but from opposite ends of the spectrum. Combat Focus Shooting is all about the act of putting hits on a target that work in defensive situations want teaches safety in that context, while an NRA class teaches safety, safety and more safety and then works in trigger press and gun handling. One compliments the other, and I’d recommend both to new shooters looking for a way to feel confident about carrying a gun.