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.

Information Is Life

I’ve attended some training classes that poo-poo the idea of “situational awareness” as if it were some kind of sooper-sekrit ninja skill that will keep you safe in any circumstance. Then they tell you what you REALLY need is the skills they teach in their class, the one that you’re paying for..

Look, I get the idea that firearms are what you use after every single thing has not worked, but still, the more information you have about what’s around you, the more you’re able to not have to use your firearms skills.

Does situational awareness work every time? No. Nothing does. Not even a Glock.

Does situational awareness keep you from having to use your Glock (or your S&W, or Sig, or Ruger…) Yep.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Awhile ago, I talked about the sharing economy and how it mimics current attitudes towards guns.

Ever since the glory days of BBS’s (kids, ask your parents about those), we’ve been deciding what personal info we will and will not share with peers and strangers online, so moving into sharing our possessions is the next logical step.

What happens when people decide to band together and volunteer to protect each other? Was the Zimmerman trial about “stand your ground”, or was it about the concept of an armed neighborhood watch? What if a company decided to “loan” trained, bonded and insured CCW holders out as personal security?

The “sharing economy” allows ordinary people to turn their consumption goods into capital goods. A strong climate of CCW and personal self-defense allows people to protect their lives with “sporting goods”. Both CCW and Über are about taking control of our lives from the central powers and moving it down the chain of command into our own hands.

Freedom is freedom, no matter where it comes from.

A positive spin on firearms training

I was noodling things a bit last week after attending a class on Florida self-defense law put on by Donald Day and Step By Step Gun Training. The class emphasized (as all good classes like this do) that retreat and de-escalizing is almost ALWAYS preferable to armed confrontation.

I realized that we when give up our “right” to be upset at the actions of others, we gain the ability to save our lives and the lives of our loved ones. 

And that’s a pretty big thing indeed.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Tracking Point went out of business

Because the same WiFi connection they use on their rifles to foist off video onto an iPad can be used to seriously mess with the aiming system of their wiz-bang rifle.

The married hacker couple have developed a set of techniques that could allow an attacker to compromise the rifle via its Wi-Fi connection and exploit vulnerabilities in its software. Their tricks can change variables in the scope’s calculations that make the rifle inexplicably miss its target, permanently disable the scope’s computer, or even prevent the gun from firing. In a demonstration for WIRED (shown in the video above), the researchers were able to dial in their changes to the scope’s targeting system so precisely that they could cause a bullet to hit a bullseye of the hacker’s choosing rather than the one chosen by the shooter.

That’s… not good, and further proof that anything that can be used to push data out can be used as a way to force data in. Security and safety should extend to your gadgets and gear, not just your firearms.

Lessons from Chattanooga

We may poo-poo the idea of “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” tragedies like the jihad in Tennessee, but I’d rather learn from these incidents than pretend they don’t exist or hope and pray they don’t happen to me or my loved ones.

Number One:
The shooter in this latest incident was a Kuwaiti who didn’t exactly come from an impoverished background.

Terrorist house

Lesson to be learned here: Just because you live in a “nice” neighborhood doesn’t mean you’re safe from jihad. Naples, where I live, is nothing if not wall-to-wall “nice” neighborhoods, and we’re DARN close to Cuba as well. If you think you’re safe because you’re not in the military, you’re dead wrong. Jihadis have shot up schools, shopping malls, churches, airports and hotels; they’re going to have issues shooting up your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Number Two:
Carry as much firepower as you can, all the time. I’m carrying my CZ P07 off-work as of 5pm on Thursday, rather than the Shield I’ve been carrying. 9 rounds of ammo is good. 16 rounds is better, and another 16 in a spare mag on my belt, (with an AR in the trunk), is even more better. If you can’t carry at work, have a flashlight, a first aid kit and an escape plan.

Number Three: 
Carry more than a gun. I’ve got my tactical man-purse with me pretty much all the time now, and it has the things I need to deal with a day’s worth of what life might throw at me. If that’s too much for you, carry the four things you should have besides your gun and some means of mitigating the effects of a gunshot wound to yourself or others, and know how to use your gear.

To be honest, I’d much prefer to not worry about such things. It’s sad that we must consider terrorism on our home soil as a very real thing, but the consequences of not considering it are even sadder.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

There are two possible responses to a dispersed threat such as “lone wolf” terrorism: Increasing security and reducing civil rights to the point where it is indistinguishable from tyranny, or a dispersed response that empowers individuals to not be victims.

Thoughts and prayers for the people of Chattanooga and all the Marines out there.

If only there were some compact and effective way for trained personnel to deter such attacks. Maybe something like this would stop the next tragedy before it happens.

Until our armed forces are allowed to be, you know, ARMED, they are targets, not soldiers.

 

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.