Where Is Your 2nd Amendment God Now?

Where Is Your 2nd Amendment God Now?

I come down on the “pro life” side of the abortion issue*. I realize that is a shocking revelation to you all, knowing that a) I lean conservative and b) I’ve been pretty open about my faith here. However, I hope you’ll overcome your surprise and bear with me here for a sec.. this isn’t going to be a post on the merits/problems of abortion, it’s a post on how the two sides talk (or rather, don’t talk) to each other.

One thing that annoys me is how we Christians prepare ourselves to talk about this issue: We load up on Bible verses which defend our point of view and then are shocked, SHOCKED that they’re not a persuasive argument in the debate with people on the other side of this issue from us who don’t believe in God. Bible verses supporting the pro-life side work GREAT with us evangelicals, but they’re not that useful when debating abortion with an atheist.

Similarly, we gun owners can say “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!” and wrap ourselves around the Constitution, but if we’re debating gun rights with someone who thinks the Constitution is an outdated, antiquated document that has little to no importance to today’s world, those arguments are pretty much useless.

We need to develop good arguments for gun ownership that are based on the principles of the Second Amendment, but don’t quote it directly. People are scared, and they’re scared of what guns can do in the wrong hands. This is a very real and very healthy fear… heck, I have that same fear. Rather than relying on some politician to pass a law that will make the scary things go away (good luck with that…), I chose to do something about it by doing what it takes to not be a victim of violence.

Everyone wants to FEEL safe, the question is, what are you willing to do in order to BE safe? Not someone else’s doing, not a legislator, not gun owners, not the NRA… you. You are, and always will be, your own first responder.

Deal with it.


* Don’t even bother arguing abortion in the comments: I’ll delete your comment right away, because that’s how I roll.

What Would Billy Graham Shoot?

What Would Billy Graham Shoot?

As threatened yesterday, I have a few thoughts on this rather provocative article from Bitter Sebastian over at Snowflakes In Hell PA Gun Blog.

I spent some time overseas as a missionary, and even though Christians are given a direct commandment to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”, very few of us get off our @sses and do something about it.

Is it tough being a grassroots organizer for the NRA? Yep. It’s tough being a missionary, too. Very few people who serve in the field see ANY fruits from their labor, but yet we still go.

Why? Because while there’s a very slim chance we’ll see any success if we go to the mission field, there is a 100% chance we will have no success if we DON’T go.

There’s a step that’s missing there: Getting the grassroots to write their local congresscritter is good, but taking someone shooting is better, because that is how we win. To the best of my knowledge, the NRA has never put out any materials on how to get your friends and neighbors out the range, and that has to change. We need more than just advocates for political action, we need advocates for everything about the shooting sports, from hunting to plinking to whatever. Getting more people into shooting will, by its very nature, get more people into political advocacy for guns.

Where do “Come to Jesus” moments happen? In church. Where do anti-guns find out how much fun it is to shoot? On the range. The NRA (and the NSSF too) need to do a better job encouraging their members to go shooting with a friend, because once people go shooting and find out that guns are fun, we win.

Simple as that.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition.

Links. It’s what you do instead of content.

10 Reasons Why You Want To Shoot Practical Pistol.

.22 Rifles Are A Lot Deadlier Than You Think.

Get Back To The Grass Roots (more on this tomorrow).

Top Firearms Experts (and me) Talk About What Americans Don’t Know About Gun Control

I kinda like this idea… it says right on the 4473 that improperly filling it out is bad juju, so why not let the cops know someone’s trying to skirt the law?

Get Back Into The Fight

Get Back Into The Fight

It’s no coincidence that Americans attitudes of guns changed for the better while Top Shot, Duck Dynasty and other gun-related shows were on the air. Those programs showed gun ownership as safe, fun and above all, normal.

Gun owners know how to fight and occasionally win political battles. Where we suck and are losing is fighting cultural battles, and no, putting on yet another country music show is NOT going to move the needle in our favor. We need to find allies to our cause, not create an echo chamber. The NRA is useful for keeping the faithful inline and celebrating gun culture, but because of the negative press it’s getting right now, it is a toxic brand outside of the world of gun owners.

There’s a few easy wins we can pick up here: The tagline of this blog is “Guns are the new Harley Davidson,” so reaching out to motorcycle riders and tying the freedom of the open road to the empowerment of safe gun ownership is an obvious win. Another quick win that seems obvious to me is using the trust icon of the military to promote competitive shooting to video game players, which would be a win-win for the military’s recruiting efforts and practical shooting.

Duh.

What To Look For In A Good Pocket Holster.

What To Look For In A Good Pocket Holster.

I wrote a brief overview of some of the more-common pocket holsters out there for Shooting Illustrated last year, and I was kinda surprised by what I was sent by the holster makers out there. Some of them were very good, and some of them, quite frankly, sucked.

I didn’t add it to the article, but I did a quick test of all ten holsters to see how effective they were at three things:

  1. Retaining the gun in the holster.
  2. Allowing me to grab the gun on the draw
  3. Releasing the pistol from the holster when drawing the gun

I set up a two-part test to test the holsters I wrote about.

  1. I put my unloaded pocket pistol (in this case, my Ruger LCP2) in the holster, and turned it upside down, applying as little pressure to the holster as possible. This tested the grippiness of the holster itself, and if the gun dropped out of the holster, it failed.
  2. I placed the unloaded gun in the holster, put in the pocket of my cargo shorts, set up a target three yards away and set my shot timer for three seconds. I know from a previous test that this was more than enough time to draw the gun and get a shot off, so that determined the test criteria.
    I ran this test five times for each holster, and if the holster prevented me from drawing the gun in that amount of time, or worst still, came out of my pocket with the holster still attached to the gun on any one of the five draws, it failed.

Out of the ten holsters I wrote about, only six passed this test. They were:

The ones that failed this test and the reasons they failed were:

  • The Crossbreed Pocket Holster (Couldn’t grab gun).
  • Uncle Mike’s Inside The Pocket Holster (Didn’t retain gun).
  • Blackhawk Tecgrip (Didn’t retain the gun AND came out with gun on the draw).
  • Bianchi Pocket Piece (Came out with gun on the draw)

I’m almost willing to give the Bianchi holster a pass, because as a leather holster, it can mold itself into a shape that’s a little amiable to releasing the gun when needed. However, the Kramer Leather* holster released the gun when needed from the very start, so let’s leave the Bianchi on the “fail” list for now.

To demonstrate what makes a good pocket holster, let’s look at two of the holsters that didn’t make the cut.

The Crossbreed Pocket Holster is kydex/leather hybrid, just like almost everything that Crossbreed makes, and while that big leather backer completely disguises the shape of your gun in your pocket, it also makes it almost impossible to get a good grip on your pistol during the draw. Considering that the whole point of carrying a gun is knowing that you’ll have to use it at some (unfortunate) moment in your life and you’ll also need to use it rightthisverysecond, having a holster that by design doesn’t allow you draw quickly is not a good idea.

That Blackhawk! pocket holster… where to begin. First off, it’s way too deep: The muzzle of my LCP2 doesn’t come close to the bottom of the holster, and there’s no molding on it whatsoever, so there is no retention whatsoever. In addition to this, the only thing that’s keeping your gun in your pants pocket is the grippiness of the material on the outside of the holster, and if that doesn’t do it’s job, your holster is coming out of your pocket with the gun wrapped inside of it.

This has a negative effect on your draw speed.

What happens with this holster is that because it’s not fitted to your gun, your gun flops around in your pocket, and if you need to draw your gun it’s either someplace other than inside the holster, leading to longer draw times as you play a very, very dangerous game of pocket pool fishing around for your heater, or it comes out of your pocket along with the gun, leaving you pointing something at looks like a small coin purse at your assailant.

In short, a good pocket holster keeps your gun securely inside your pocket, allows you to get a good grip on your gun before the draw, and stays inside your pocket when you draw your gun. Anything less is unacceptable.


* HOLY COW do the Kramer and Bianchi holsters look good. It’s almost a shame to hide them away in a pocket.

Allies And Morals.

Allies and Morals.

Two interesting articles popped up on my radar over the weekend, both of which demand more than just a cursory link. First is the look at the full-spectrum tactics of the anti-gun left, over at Ace of Spaces.

The way spectrum of allies analysis works is: you categorize people and groups by where they stand in relation to you and your target on whatever issue you’re working on

Active opponents are against you, and fighting you.
Passive opponents are against you, but they’re not fighting you.
Neutrals are neither against or for you.
Passive allies are with you, but they’re not fighting for you.
Active allies are with you and are fighting for you.

The point of spectrum of allies analysis is figuring out who you can move one notch. Who can you move toward you? Who can you move away from your enemy? And how do you make sure you don’t push people away from you?

Active allies: engage them.
Passive allies: make them active.
Neutrals: inform or educate them to make them passive allies.
Passive opponents: make them move to neutral by worrying their position may cost them — BUT CAREFULLY, so they don’t become active opponents.

Quite frankly, gun owners suck at this sort of thing. We’re pretty good at identifying allies and opponents in the political arena, but our attempts to do this in the culture war is limited to Colion Noir and a concert at the NRA Convention and that’s about it.

This has to change. We need to learn how to win a culture war, not  just win an election

Secondly is this article by a self-confessed left wing gun nut (courtesy of David Yamane), which lays out the difference between gun owners and the gun control crowd clearer than anyone else I’ve seen before.

“Folks in the anti-gun camp tend to believe, with Martin Luther King Jr., that, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’. The other camp sees history as cyclical, with no real long-term trajectory. We take it as self-evident that there is nothing new under the sun; human nature doesn’t change; and humans keep re-learning the same painful lessons as species. Ultimately, then, the private ownership of weapons of war is an issue that pits each side against its own hopes for the future. The anti-gun crowd finds itself arguing for the unassailable tactical superiority of the present neoliberal order, and the pro-gun crowd finds itself making the awful case that horrific deaths in the present are necessary to prevent a dystopian future that it fervently hopes will never come to pass.”

I have two sons. I want them to live a world that’s better than the one I lived in, but I also want them to live confident, secure lives. The neoliberal blue state model is collapsing, and one thing that always happens when cultures are in transition is that law and order breaks down, and people need to defend what’s near and dear to them by themselves, rather than wait for the .gov’s cavalry to arrive. It happened to the farmers in Gaul when Rome collapsed, it happened to the farmers in Bulgaria when the Holy Roman Empire collapsed, and it will happen here very soon as we find alternatives to our current progressive taxation/entitlement system of government.

And make no mistake: Progressivism is on it’s way out. But just because an animal is mortally wounded doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous.

Can We Win?

Can We Win?

We are in uncharted territory here: Fake media aside, the tide IS turning on guns, but the recent ginned-up outrage over the slaughter in Parkland (and the shameless use of children to push gun control) has knocked us back a bit.

We don’t know how to win the war on guns, and I’m not sure we CAN know how to win, because the whole purpose of Gun Culture 2.0 is to prepare for something really bad happening to us.

We have a defensive mindset instilled in us from our first CCW class. We think in terms of protecting what is our most dear to us. No wonder, then, that we think of gun politics in defensive terms.

How do we flip that into a message of hope?

We are, quite literally looking to evangelize people and change their way of living. Speaking in terms of saving souls, yes, it’s good that people “come to Jesus” to prevent something bad (namely, hell) from happening to them, but any pastor will tell you that sort of conversion has little effect in changing someone’s life over the long term. The change sticks when the convert sees the positive aspects that come from their conversion experience.

Can we talk about that and still show people that just owning a gun isn’t enough, that they also need training and more practice? Gun Culture 1.0 did exactly that with things like the Boone and Crockett Club and modern conservationism, and that helped create <Sam Elliot Voice> a storied tradition of hunting, passed on from generation to generation </Sam Elliot Voice> and a positive view of hunting that has lasted for decades.

Is there a Gun Culture 2.0 version of such things? Can that even exist?

So, We’re Back On Defense Again

So, We’re Back On Defense Again

Or are we? Some curated tweets from last week’s CNN show trial town hall about the Parkland murders. What was supposed to be a rally for gun control might turn out to motivate gun owners like very few things have before…

I would note that Guy Benson is a terrific advocate for conservative causes, but he is NOT a gun guy, and his response is something I am seeing again and again from folks on the right who are not into guns.

That clip of the audience cheering for a semi auto ban will motivate gun owners like nothing we’ve seen since 1994. If the NRA doesn’t use it in every ad they run in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and maybe Pennsylvania, they deserve to lose. We are talking SEMIAUTOS here, not “assault weapons” or scary AR-15’s. Things like the 10/22’s you use to plink cans and the Remington 1100 you use to blast geese from the sky would be covered by this ban.

Think that’ll motivate hunters to get out and vote?

And just how are we used to have a “conversation about guns” with someone who makes stuff up as they go along? It’d be like having a “conversation about football” with someone who insists on calling the ball a puck and swears that football is played in a rink.

Once you not only otherize your political opponents but also claim everything they do or say is actually violence, of COURSE you have to respond with actual violence. What choice do you have but to use violence against “violence”?

We are witnessing what happens when an entire generation (or more) has grown up with a Disneyland state of mind, and now they’re throwing the mother of all hissy fits.

And finally this, from the inestimable Frank J. Fleming.

Flash Site Pictures, Tuesday Edition.

Flash Site Pictures, Tuesday Edition.

A quick roundup of stuff on the web.

  • Smith & Wesson has a new pistol out, the M&P380 Shield EZ. Apart from the word salad of a name, it looks like a really good little gun for people who want a gun to “feel safe” but aren’t going to get much training beyond a CCW class.
    Which doesn’t mean that a heavier, flat-shooting .380 is a bad option for a defensive pistol: It’ll do the job. Are the better options? Yes. Are those options worth the effort for 80% of the gun owners out there? Probably not. Really looking forward to seeing how S&W rolls out this gun, because how they marketed the Shield rollout was terrific.
  • My first article for the Beretta Blog is up, on what to look for in a firearms trainer.
  • And I’ve got an article on setting up a safe room inside your house over at NRA Family.
  • David Yamane was on Ballistic Radio, and it’s a great interview. Listen to it here.
  • Step By Step Gun Training is bringing John Farnam to Naples for a vehicle defense class. We spend hours and hours inside our cars each week, and carjacking is very real thing. Therefore, it’d be good to know what to do if you’re attacked inside your car because the rules change when the workspace shrinks.