Batten the hatches.

There is a very good chance that the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will want to ban something or stop the sale of something else because of this incident:

An active shooter has been reported at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, according to multiple local media outlets.

Video from the scene appeared to show a WDBU media crew being attacked in the midst of a live report. The station confirmed the shooting involved one of its crews, and two people are dead.

May God comfort the family and friends of the innocent victims of this crazy person, and may justice be swift and sure for their killer.

Go Fast

Off-topic, but seeing how a) it’s the weekend and b) cars are very popular with us gunblogging types, let’s talk hot hatches for a second.

Ford is coming out with the Focus RS, and it looks to be a doozy. Honda is coming out with a new Civic Type R and Volkswagen has a Golf R which will do 0-60 in about 5 (!) seconds.

And Chevy has, umn, errrr.

I like Chevys. My first car was a Chevelle, and for a long time, I drove a Cavalier RS that  was one of my favorite cars. Even though they took the government money, I want them to succeed, because I’d miss them if they were gone.

Chevy has all the parts in place to create a car that would dominate the hot hatch market: Thanks to the technology behind the cars of F1 and Le Mans, the days of the performance hybrid are upon us. Right now, however, all that technical know-how is either locked up in the lofty realms of hypercars or wasted on lackluster mishmashes like the CR-Z.

What if Chevy took the tech of the Volt, turned it up to 12 (skipping 11),  added it to something like the Vauxhall Corsa VXR and called it the Nomad SS?

You’d get the nostalgia market with the name, the middle-aged suburban road warrior market with the hatchback and the mileage, and the young tuners with the cool tech and capability for hacking and upgrading. Plus, ever since the demise of Pontiac, there is NOTHING in the entire lineup of GM vehicles in this niche, so you’d only be taking sales from your competitors, not your other car lines. Chevy knows how to build a hot hatch: They built one back in the 70’s (before most of today’s tuners were even born), did it again during 90’s and they can do it again.

Ok, Chevy, it’s a win-win-win-win situation. Go for it.

Musical Interlude

If you asked me to have one and only one alt-rock album from the 80’s, it’d take me a long, long time to decide between R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant, The Smiths Meat Is Murder, The ‘Mats Let It Be, Pixies’ Doolittle, Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade and New Order’s Low-Life.

In the end, though, the staying power and influence of New Order just can’t be denied. Enjoy.

Yes, I know, there is a strong argument to be made here that Low-Life is more dance rock than it is alt-rock, but I will not entertain such things.

Yeah, I know, no gun content. But I listen to tunes while reloading and cleaning guns, so it counts.

Pistols are Catholic. AR-15’s are Protestant.*

At my shop, we have a wall pretty much 100% dedicated to AR-15’s …

The Cool Wall

… and a yards-long display case dedicated to 1911’s.

IMG_4422

One is the most popular model of rifle in America today, and the other is a very popular design of pistol that has served this country for decades.

The thing is, though, I can pretty much mix and match components out of all the guns on the AR wall. Spike’s lower with a CMMG upper with a Troy hand guard? No problem!

Try doing something similar with a 1911, without the services of a gunsmith and CNC milling machine. And God help you if you want to mix and mingle parts from polymer guns from different manufacturers.

How come if I want to buy a pistol I must make a commitment to a single cause, to a single manufacturer, but if I want to buy an AR, the sky is the limit? Why must I worship at the One True Church of CZ for a pistol, when my AR gets to pick and chose from a rich banquet of theology and/or gun parts?

Sig is showing us that no, your gun does NOT have to be a closed system. Want to change calibers or frame sizes? Go right ahead. Maybe someday, we’ll be having S&W slides on a Ruger frame. Until then, the heretics will get burned, and Glock devotees can worship at the feet of Gaston in peace, knowing that their faith is unquestioned.

For now.

* Quite the catchy headline, no? Blame Umberto Eco for it.

The police are the “only ones” qualified to carry a gun…

Number of guns I’ve left in a public restroom this year: Zero.
Number of guns the D.C. Capitol Police have left in a public restroom this year: Three (so far).

When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places.

A 7- or 8-year-old child visiting the Capitol with his parents found the next loaded Glock lost by a dignitary protection officer, according to the source. A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite on March 24.

A third Glock was found the night of April 16 by a janitor cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters building on D Street NE. The weapon was left in plain sight, sparking additional concern about the department charged with protecting one of the world’s most important and frequently visited complexes.

This country is in the very best of hands.

Here is your future, unarmed America

Let’s count it down, shall we?

Failed attempts at gun control? Check.
Increasing crime rates? Check.
Violent, ruthless street gangs? Check.
Politicization and corruption of law enforcement? Check.

I have seen your future, California, and it looks a lot like Caracas.

Interview With A Professional Kidnapper

Gonzalez began by explaining “the market.” He targeted Venezuela’s middle classes, rather than the rich. Going after the rich invited additional police scrutiny or, worse heavily armed private guards driving armoured vehicles. For the same reasons and because they seldom had Venezuelan bank accounts that could be quickly emptied, it did not make economic sense to kidnap foreigners.

Before deciding whether to kidnap someone, gang members followed their movements closely for about a month to understand how and where they lived, worked and played. This was not only to figure out the best time and place to grab them, but also to find out whether their kin were likely to be able to cough up a ransom of 100,000 to 200,000 bolivars (about US$300 to US$600 on the black market, US$16,000 to $32,000 at the official exchange rate).

And before you think, “Well, that’s just Venezuela. What are the chances this could happen close to the U.S.?”…

… have you seen what is (still) going on in Mexico City?

In Mexico, with its history of drug-war violence and corrupt police, kidnapping is an old story. In the past, the crime tended to target the rich. Now it has become more egalitarian. Victims these days are often shopkeepers, taxi drivers, service employees, parking attendants and taco vendors who often work in cash or in Mexico’s “informal” economy. Targets also tend to be young — students, with parents willing to pay ransoms, are commonly targeted.

How long before MS13, La eMe, etc, figure out there’s as much money to be made from kidnapping middle class citizenry as there is from smuggling in people and/or drugs into the U.S.?

The only two things that are holding back this nightmare scenario from happening that I can see are the (mostly) honest police forces in the U.S. and the presence of a well-armed middle class.

When those two things go away, what hope is there for the citizenry?

Being your own first responder by arming yourself is a very good thing indeed, but it’s even better if it is also backed up by the fair and firm rule of law. When the rule of law becomes politicized, the criminals will realize that politics is the way to power.

Update: A little cheerful reading for you on a Tuesday morning – When the Music Stops. I’d like to believe that such a scenario is unlikely (even improbable), but given the reality of today’s political situation, I can’t.

The Guns And problem

Is gunblogging dead?

No.

Is gunblogging changing?

Yes.

At SHOT this year, I hung out in The Bourbon Room with Jay, Tom, Paul and Bob on Monday night. Tales were told, sour mash was consumed, camaraderie ensued.

And all of us started out in the gunblogging/new media world, and now we’re shakers/movers of some kind or another in the larger firearms world.

And we’re not alone. Just like the media world as a whole, gunbloggers are moving away from just new media and into other endeavors. Just that mean gunblogging is dead? No. Does that mean that blogging now needs to compete with all the other new media channels out there? Yes.

There’s also the “guns and” problem. I’ve managed to keep politics and other stuff out of this blog, at the expense of the main political blog (although to be fair, that blog started to wither away since my co-blogger became rich and famous), but the majority of other “gunblogs” out there are guns and politics and food and music and etsy crochet projects.

Ok, not that last one. Yet.

I’m actually ok with this, because it puts guns in context of your life. It’s no big deal, it’s just your gun. Gunblogging reflects this trend, then, that guns are (and should be) a means, not the end.

Today’s Writing Assignment, Class…

… is to re-write the following paragraph to describe an experience that is fun, exciting and reflects a positive outlook on the world around you. To make things easier for you, I’ve bolded all the positive words and italicized all the negative one.


 

AGAINST ALL ODDS: A class that takes defensive handgun skills beyond the basics and into the practical. During this action-packed weekend, you’ll learn to defend yourself even if you’re knocked off your feet and even if someone tries to take your gun away from you. You’ll also learn secrets of drawing the gun in difficult circumstances, such as when you’re curled up in a tight space or lying flat on your back.


 

Based on that pitch, what is the product that the consumer is buying? Is it competence, independence, self reliance, or an hours-long wrestling match culminating in a nasty and scary trip inside a criminal’s mind?

Now first off, let me apologize profusely to Kathy Jackson, the trainer whose class that is, because she “gets it” and is a first-rate, top-notch A-Number-One trainer who I’d take a class with anytime, anywhere. And also, I know *I* write pretty similar things, because that’s how I also see the world.

But.

That’s pretty typical of how firearms training classes are described, because the people who are doing the description write the classes for themselves and people like them. I’m guilty as hell as well (I *swear* I am not picking on you, Kathy! ;) ), because we all write from our experience, and our experience (and situational awareness) tells us the world is a nasty place, because, well, it is. So what then? Is the customer is supposed to throw money at the trainer to get the negativity to stop? Not that great of a marketing pitch, IMO.

Most people don’t think like firearms trainers think, or else concealed carry rates would be at 90%, not less than 10%. So when firearms trainers try to market any advanced practical training, right off the bat, we’re marketing to a small percentage of a small percentage of the population. We (and I count myself is as well, as I’m marketing the training classes for the range as I type this) are a niche market of a niche market.

So the question is, do you market to the niche of a niche, or to the other 90%? If it’s to the niche, expect results that match your audience size. If it’s to the other 90%, why use niche language and a niche mindset?

Something to think about.