Tracked and Targeted

mental_toughness“90% of the sport is mental, and the other half is physical.”

– Yogi Berra

Thinking a little more about this post on the mental game of the shooting sports:

  1. I’m fairly happy that I aimed for middle of the pack in my last major match. Based on my level of training and practice, I thought that a reasonable goal for the match was to place in the middle of the pack in Tac Limited, and doggone it if that wasn’t where I placed.
    What this tells me: I have a reasonable grasp of my ability and what I can do on any given day, which helps me set training and match goals.
  2. I’ve used my scores in the El Presidente drill as a way to track my progress in performing the basic skills of practical/tactical shooting, namely, target recognition, draw, follow-up shot speed, transition speed from target to target and fast reloads. My best score on this drill has plateaued as of late, but what’s interesting is that my bad times are now MUCH better than they were two years.
    What this tells me: I’m still not as fast and accurate as I’d like to be right, but I’m also more consistent and not so prone to bonehead mistakes.

Yes, I stole the title from new favorite political podcast.

Sue me.

Why Carry More Than Just Your Gun?

So you can do more than shoot somebody, that’s why

I’m moving to Alaska from Georgia. Was having dinner with my half brother in Colorado springs, CO. Carrying as usual. Helped an old lady change a flat in the parking lot then as I’m walking to my car I hear someone yelling “help me.” Look down and it’s a younger guy with 2 other people talking to him so I assume he’s drunk and goofing off. Then I hear some slapping noises. Look again and some guy is hitting him with a piece of wire or hose or something about 10 feet long. The guy keeps yelling for help and goes fetal while this guy is nailing him. I’m on top of a hill above them, maybe 10 feet up and 25 feet away. My first instinct was to run down and draw on the guy but I didn’t want to get too close to him so he can hit me with his weapon. Instead, I pulled a flashlight out of my pocket and yelled at him that the police were on their way. As soon as I said that he looked up at me and turned around and ran away. It turned out the 2 guys were arguing over a woman that was with them. End of the story I didn’t draw but used my flashlight to blind a guy instead. I stayed out of range of the guys weapon, but was prepared to draw if he did come towards me up the hill.

Bottom line, having the means to deal with a violent threat but not having to use said means to keep yourself and others safe is a bigger win than if you had to draw a gun and shoot. 

Always carry your gun. And carry other stuff, too. The life you save may not be your own.

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

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.

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. 


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.


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.

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 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.

Pop quiz:

This happened in a WalMart I used to got to on a regular basis, and the CCW holder in question was not charged with a crime. 

The question is, did he screw up, and if so, when? 

If you answered “At 0:13, where he doesn’t say ‘Oops, sorry, my bad, I can wait'”, you are, IMO, correct. Is a place in line something you are willing to shoot someone over? if your answer is anything other than “No”, please, for the love God and everyone around you, don’t carry a gun.