The Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Over For This Year

What would a Gun Responsibility Conference look like?

All rights come with responsibilities. All of them. Abuse a right, use it irresponsibly, and society will diminish that role of that right in society. Libel and slander laws exist because people abuse the right of free speech. Trespassing laws exist because people abuse the right of free assembly, and felony assault is just one way that people abuse the right to keep and bear arms.

But it goes beyond that. People have the right of free assembly and free speech, so they stand on street corners and yell at crowds that they’re going to hell.

Legal? Yes. Effective? Probably not, and people that do so tend to be left out the conversation when the rest of society is talking about matters of faith.

It’s important that we understand that rights which happen in a vacuum aren’t really rights that affect society. You want to change the world? Good. Start with your small corner and take a friend who’s never shot a gun before out to the gun range for a day of shooting. That will probably do more to change people’s minds than a thousand open carry events.

To be clear, there were plenty of people at the Gun Rights Policy Conference who made the case for responsible actions promoting gun rights. A speaker from Kansas, the Hon. Phillip B. Journey in particular made it a point that the fight for the right of self-defense is a long game, not a short one, and that we win when we take people shooting.

Shooting is fun. Sanctimonious self-righteousness is not, and the arc of history tends towards fun.

A Glittering Cavalcade Of Gun Rights Celebrities.

And me.

I’ll be getting up at Zero-Dark-Thirty tomorrow in order to drive up to Tampa for the Second Amendment Foundation’s Gun Rights Policy Conference. Scheduled to appear are people like Florida Governor Rick Scott, gun lawyer extraordinaire Alan Gura, Linda Walker from the NRAand John Lott, who literally wrote the book on this sort of thing.

The conference will be live-streamed on Saturday and Sunday, look for a post with the stream up on Ricochet.com tomorrow.

I’ll be the one not wearing pants.

I Hope You Know That This Will Go Down On Your Permanent Record.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Epistle of St. James, Chapter 3, Verses 3-8, New International Version

 

Thinking more about this post from last week, I am constantly, incessantly and continually amazed at how many of my fellow gun owners live in a fantasy world where what they say in person and online will never, ever, affect what will happen to them if they have to use lethal force to defend their lives.

We wouldn’t hand half the ammunition in our gun over to our opponent before we started a gun fight, so why, then do we hand out ammunition to the prosecution, our opponent in a legal fight, with online statements like “I won’t get in trouble for brandishing, I’ll just shoot them instead” or “They should thank me for shooting that felon, not arrest me”?

And let’s not even START with “Keep honking, I’m reloading!” bumper stickers.

Product Review: Sunjack 14w Charger +1400maH battery

Sunjack 8w + 1400mah battery charger

I was recent sent a Sunjack 14w solar charger with an 8000maH battery for review*. I was looking forward to getting this kit and doing this review because I believe that the modern smartphone is an essential part of starting safe, and a smartphone (and some way to charge it) is an essential part of your “bug out” gear, and I’m pleased to report the charger and battery did not disappoint.

The Sunjack 14w Charger +1400maH battery is a great option for creating power to keep your smartphone up and running without connecting it to the power grid. About the same size as an iPad and weighing about as much as a large paperback book, it differs from cheaper solar chargers in that it charges a battery which then charges your phone.

Charger and battery outdoors

When the SunJack charger first arrived, the battery was half-charged, so I drained completely by recharging my iPhone with it and then plugged it into the charger and left it outdoors for 8 hours. I should note that I live in Florida and it’s the middle of hurricane season, but despite the partly cloudy skies, eight hours was enough to fully charge the battery. The fully-charged battery took two hours to recharge my iPhone 6+ from 10% charge to fully charged. The battery can also be charged up via a wall socket and a (not included) wall charger, and I found it that to be a faster way of recharging it than sticking it out in the sun (albeit one that only works if you have a working wall socket nearby).

chargingIf you’re like me (and I know I am), you rely on a smartphone for so much more than making phone calls. I’ve loaded up mine with useful things like an emergency radio scanner, a ballistics app and an e-book reader, so my phone is pretty much always by my side. I found the SunJack 8w+1400maH battery/charger to work just as expected, and it’s now a “must have” accessory for me if I leave the urban wilderness for something even more untamed. If there’s one thing I’d change about it, I’d ask them to toss in an iPhone Lightning-compatible cable with it along with the micro-USB cable it comes with, because, well, because iPhone, that’s why.

You can pick up the SunJack battery and charger at Amazon or on their website: www.sunjack.com/products/sunjack-14w-8000mah-battery


* Dear FTC, NSA, FDA and TVA: I’m putting in this sentence here because you want me to, but seriously, I say that this was sent to me “for review” right in the first paragraph. Do I have to rub your nose in it, like a puppy that needs to be potty-trained?

Pocket Protection.

There’s some really interesting ideas in this post from 2007 by noted terrorism expert John Robb.

“Cities have long maintained centralized police forces, but gangs can often overwhelm them. Many governments are responding with militarized police: China is building a million-man paramilitary force, for example; and even in the United States, the use of SWAT teams has increased from 3,000 deployments a year in the 1980s to 50,000 a year in 2006. But militarized police may too easily become an army of occupation, and, if corrupt, as they are in Brazil, they may become enemies of the state along with the gangs.

A better solution involves local security forces, either locally recruited or bought on the marketplace (such as Blackwater), which can be powerful bulwarks against small-group terrorism. Such forces may become a vital component in our defense against bioterrorism, too, since they can enforce local containment—and since large centralized services, like the ones we have today, might actually accelerate the propagation of bioweapons. Still, if improperly established, local forces can also become rogue criminal entities, like the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia and the militias in Rio de Janeiro. Governments need to regulate them carefully.”

I agree. A decentralized threat like terrorism or other non-government violent actor demands a decentralized response. Not only does it cost less and allows for more freedom, we know it actually works. The modern smartphone is nothing if not a decentralized and networked communication device, and we have other options for staying safe in an unsafe world that don’t require an often painfully slow response from state-approved “first” responders.

More thoughts on this over at Ricochet.com.

Practice Makes Prefect.

Thinking a bit more about last week’s post, I’ve had a fair amount of firearms training so far (250 or so hours at the moment, with more to come), but I haven’t had homework after a class. I’ve never been handed a structured practice regimen after a class was finished and been told “Ok, here’s some things you can do you improve your skills after I leave town.”

Homework works for college students, so why won’t it work for gun students?

We go to gun school to learn good habits / get rid of bad ones, and yet when gun school is done, there is nothing handed out that would make practice a habit for us.

“Ah-ha!,” you say, “That’s because if you go to gun school, practice should be a habit for you!”

“Should” is not “is”. I don’t practice as much as I should, and I hardly think I’m alone in this. Anything to help get my lazy butt up off the couch and dry-firing or going to the range (especially things that work on an indoor range) will increase the value of returning to gun school after the class is over.

And yes, I get that homework is not fun (as someone who has a thirteen year old who has to be browbeaten to do homework every night, believe me, I understand this,), but achieving and excelling at set goals?

That’s fun, and also rewarding.

Just Another Good Guy With A Gun.

Eight people were injured last night in a stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The stabber was moved to a permanently horizontal resting position by a quick-thinking and appropriately-armed off-duty cop.

St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said the suspect, whom he did not identify, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction.

Oh, did I mention the stabber was asking his victims if they were Muslim or not before he attacked them?

Amish. I blame the Amish for this.

More importantly, this attack was stopped by someone at the right time and right place with the right skills and training to save lives. My more progressive friends will say “Ah ha, but’s he’s a cop!”, to which I say “So? I’m trained better than most cops. I spend weekends at matches that teach me how to make the shot in difficult situations. Cops should HOPE to be as well-trained as I am.”

The average beat cop never has to draw his weapon, which is a good thing indeed, but they also have to deal with dumb stuff like domestic violence calls and stupid people. I am more than willing to let them handle that stuff, as long as I can keep doing my job, which is keep my family and friends safe.

 

Analyzing Your Performance With Video

I had a chance to play around with the Max Michel Shot Coach app this weekend with Jeff Street of Step By Step Gun Training.

I likely. Here’s a demo video made by the Shot Coach app people to show you what it’s like.

For $5, it’s hard to go wrong, especially if you’re in the business of helping others shoot better. While it’s designed for competitive shooting, it works really well with just about any firearms-related activity. The more you know about how to get shots on-target quickly and accurately, the more this app will be of use to you. As for myself, thanks to this app, I found out that while I was lifting my support hand up nice and high when grabbing and clearing my cover garment, I was letting it drop down to waist-level before extending out my pistol, leading to slower first shots.

Whoops.

Check it out for yourself, you may be surprised with how it helps you.

Thanks For Playing, We Have Some Lovely Parting Gifts For You.

I’ve taken a few classes from a few firearms instructors who flew in, taught a two-day class, then flew out of town. This is pretty much the standard for the itenerant teacher these days, and it’s a good way to get a good grounding in the instructor’s style and make it your own.

Or is it?

There is a LOT of information stuffed into a two-day class, and I’ve found, at least for myself, that if I take away two or three items that I can apply to my shooting style, the class, for me, was a success. This implies, however, that I can apply those items to how I shoot, because let’s face it, there is not many opportunities for people go out and practice tactical shooting. Access to outdoor pistol bays and backyard ranges is limited for most people, and so learning how to draw, move and shoot from a tactical firearms instructor means little if the students in the class have limited opportunities to practice what they’ve been taught?

So what’s the solution? Well the obvious one is to build more outdoor ranges, but that’s getting harder and harder to do. Another solution might be for the instructor to come prepared with lessons and practice drills that can maintain the student’s skills, but ones that can be shot in an indoor range that doesn’t allow for movement or drawing from a holster. Claude Werner’s got a bunch of them in his book, maybe you can steal a few and turn them over to your students.

Getting the students to practice lessons that can augment what they’ve learned in class has two advantages for the instructor: It improves the quality of the students that they’re teaching, and it builds brand loyalty: Customers who practice a teacher’s methods tend to want to take more classes from that instructor.

Do you want to teach a class one time, or create students for life?

The choice is yours.