We’re Just Not That Into You

We’re just not that into you

It’s been three months since I bid adíos to one of the more controversial gun blogs out there. I used to rely on that site for ideas for posts in order to feed the free ice cream machine, but you know what? 

I don’t miss it. 

The blogosphere is an economy of surplus, and when good, nay, great alternatives are available for the same marginal costs, people can afford to be choosy. 

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What Armed Self-Defense REALLY Looks Like

What Armed Self-Defense REALLY looks like

An absolutely fascinating read, courtesy of Jay G.

Here’s my analysis of what armed self-defense for the Private Citizen, not LEO, looks like. You decide what suits your needs best to solve this type of problem.
Private citizens reload in approximately 1/2 of one percent of shooting incidents (3/482).
If the defender fires any shots, most likely it will be 2 rounds.
The shooting distance in the vast majority of cases was slightly in excess of arm’s length.

Some other takeaways from this study:

The firearm was carried on the body of the defender in only 20% of incidents. In 80% of cases, the firearm was obtained from a place of storage, frequently in another room.

The majority of incidents (52%) took place in the home. Next most common locale (32%) was in a business. Incidents took place in public places in 9% of reports and 7% occurred in or around vehicles. The most common initial crimes were armed robbery (32%), home invasion (30%), and burglary (18%).

Multiple conspirators were involved in 36% of the incidents. However, there are no apparent cases of drivers or lookouts acting as reinforcements for the criminal actor(s) once shooting starts. Immediate flight is the most common response for drivers and lookouts at the sound of gunfire.

So criminals are cowards who prefer to break into houses or businesses where people have all their stuff rather than attack them on the street.

Makes sense to me.

Product Reviews: Uncle Mike’s Instructor’s Belt And GunVault BreechVault

Product Reviews: Uncle Mike’s Instructor’s Belt and GunVault BreechVault

I used some leftover Amazon.com credit (thank you everyone, for clicking on the links and buying stuff) to fill in a couple of gaps in my personal protection inventory.

First up, a better way to secure my home defence shotgun.

Even though it’s my safe room gun, I put a lock on this gun because I have two small boys in my house and they get in to EVERYTHING. I had been used the cable lock that came with my 930SPX, but it was a) awkward and b) really hard to open.

Breechvault

Enter the BreechVault. The price was certainly right at under $20, and it came with adapter to make it work with WInchester, Remington and Mossberg shotguns. Or so they said.

Does it fit my 500 Persuader? Sorta.

The lock fit into easily into the breech of my scattergun, but when it came time to close the lock, it took a LOT of force to close it all the way and withdraw the key. Worse yet, it took a lot of force to open the lock, which would NOT be a good thing in an emergency situation. Fortunately, 10 minutes with some wet/dry sandpaper solved this problem, and the lock is now easy to open but still secures the action, making the gun completely inoperative.

Breechvault

No, that will not be the final resting place of that key.

Final Grade: C+. It gains points for flexibility and utility, loses points to requiring modification to fit my Mossberg.

Next, the Uncle Mike’s Instructor Belt.

Shameful confession: I’ve never owned an actual gun belt. I’ve been using either a Dickie’s work belt I bought from WalMart for everyday use and the inside belt from my CR Speed Belt set for competition and training.

Enough was enough, I said to myself. Self, I said, it’s time to get something like a REAL gun belt.

Uncle Mike's Belt

Depending on how much I ate for lunch that day, my natural belt size falls between 32 and 34 inches, and I find It’s hard to get a notched belt to fit properly. One of the things I like about my CR speed belt is because it fastens using Velcro hook and loop fasteners, it’s infinitely adjustable. The same is true for the Uncle Mike’s belt, and I like that a lot.

However, the belt size descriptions on Amazon.com are a little off. I comfortably carry my CZ P07 in an IWB holster in size 36 pants, so I figured I needed the “medium” sized belt for waist sizes 32-36.

Nope.

Once I returned that belt for the “large” 38-42″ belt, it worked just fine with my setup. Caveat Emptor.

The belt itself is great. I’ve worn it for the past two days and it’s more comfortable than the CR Speed belt and much more adjustable than a leather work belt.

Final Grade: A solid B+. Once you find the correct size, it’s a great belt.

 

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The Brainpower Behind The Firepower

The brainpower behind the firepower

When John Lott, the author of “More Guns, Less Crime” teams up with Gary Mauser, you know the results are going to be good

“To repeat, during these seven years, there were only 62 cases — nine a year — where it was even conceivable that registration made a difference. But apparently, the registry was not important even in those cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.” 

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Activism From The Grounds Up

Activism from the grounds up

I’d call Starbucks Appreciation Day a resounding success. 

Fans

Can we now please put to rest the silly idea that gunblogs can only tear something down, not build something up? 

Update: I think Linoge nails it: The point of the buycott wasn’t to force Starbucks to post “Guns welcome here” signs in all their stores, the point was to reward them for not giving in to the fear-mongering of the hoplophobes of the world.

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How The Game Is Played, Fourth In A Series Of… Um, I Dunno How Many.

How the game is played, Fourth in a Series of… um, I dunno how many.

Why do viral videos count for some much when it comes to social media? 

This is why

According to new research commissioned by Unruly Media, viewers are far more likely to recall a brand name and engage with an ad’s message if a branded video has been recommended to them by a peer. The survey, conducted by Decipher Research to measure the effectiveness of social video advertising, found that social video recommendations had a direct impact on traditional brand metrics and ad enjoyment.

The new research found:

  • Brand recall and brand association rose 7 percent among viewers who had peers recommend the videos versus viewers who found it by browsing;

  • 73 percent of respondents who viewed a peer-recommended video recalled the brand when prompted versus 68 percent of viewers who had browsed to the video directly;

  • There was a 14 percent increase in the number of people who enjoyed the video following a recommendation versus those who had discovered it by browsing;

  • People who enjoyed a video were 97 percent more likely to purchase the product featured in the video.

The study, which surveyed online video viewers, aged 18-34, across four social video campaigns from top fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands Guinness, Coca-Cola, Unilever’s Cornetto and Energizer Batteries from July to November 2011, sought to determine the impact of peer recommendations.

Quick, think of the last online video produced by a gun company that went viral. 

*crickets* 

The old rules of “bring a dozen gun writers from the major magazines to a shooting school, have them fondle pre-production versions of our new guns and embargo what they write about it until the guns are released for sale” sorta works for now. Sorta.

However, some gun company is going to figure out that there’s a better (and cheaper) way to do it, and that gun company is going to rule the place where gun nuts rule

How The Game Is Played, Part The Third

How the game is played, Part the Third

When I was in college learning how to be a (photo) shooter, I used to joke that “kids and dogs = the perfect photo for B1”. Of course, this was back when newspapers had budgets for feature stories and the space to run their photos big. 

Getting a good soft news photo is as much an art form as snapping a shot of the game-winning basket or that perfect spot news photo, and the same elements that make a good feature photo make a good viral video. 

Kids and dogs. Humor. Cultural memes. Portability. Oh, and cute kids acting all growed up helps too.

How The Game Is Played, Part Deux

How the game is played, Part Deux

To review from Part One, a good viral video should have… 

Uniqueness
Portability
Humor
Cats
Video games

So how come this video took off last year? 

Uniqueness: Oh yeah.
Portability: The video went viral, the audio from the commercial did not. Part of that is because we humans respond more to sight than we do sound, part of it is because of the “sweater full of mischief” seen in the video, but part of it is because there’s no good platform for viral audio right now. You want audio? Get a podcast. 
Humor. Oh freakin’ yes. Funny as all get out. Hilarious. Stunningly hilarious. Brilliantly hilarious. And it’s even better because it takes the same emotions we apply to warm fuzzy animals and applies to cold plastic and steel. I’m in awe. The guy or gal who did this needs to sign with Sattchi&Saatchi or Deutsch LA, and quick. 
Visuals: See comments under portability. 
Cats: No. 
Video games: No, but it does use a pre-existing meme, the tear-jerker pet adoption ad, which is essentially what video-game related memes do.This ad takes a pre-exisitng cultural icon and give it a new twist. This is why the zombie meme sorta works for the firearms industry: They take a pre-existing item on our cultural radar and tag along for the ride. Unfortunately, no one is doing that in a humorous way yet, and believe it or not, zombies and humor mix VERY well

Bottom line, if the gun companies want their stuff to go viral, it’s time to put down the tactical gear and pick up the clown nose. Guns (when used safely) are fun. Shooting stuff is fun. Gun owners are funny

Gun advertising? Not fun at all. And the sooner gun companies realize this, the more money they’ll make off the internet.