Living In A Post-Irmageddon World

Six years ago, I wrote about how watching the .gov screw up the response to Katrina made me realize that they were not going to be there for me if something bad happened to my family.

And they weren’t.

Who WAS there were people like my neighbor Chad, who ran outside at the height of the storm to clean a blocked drain that was threatening to flood our street.

There was Mike’s Weather Page, which provided hurricane models that were far more accurate that what the NOAA was feeding us.

There was the science teacher in my Sunday School class who worked with the NOAA for years, and told us WAY ahead of time that Irma was something to be concerned about. There were faith-based organizations who were FAR more able and nimble than the .gov was.

There were the meteorologists at the various local TV stations who were present when Wilma went through here and knew how to talk to us hurricane rookies.

Race Bannon Mike Pence showed up in our town and walked around and Ben Nelson shook some hands and Air Force One came and went, but they didn’t have to hunt for gas to fuel their cars and they don’t have to worry if the grocery store will have fresh milk tomorrow. FEMA has promised help, but it will be a while until it arrives, but in the meantime, churches ARE helping, and they’re helping right now.

It wasn’t Antifa who drove down my street at 12AM making sure everything was alright when all the lights were out, and it wasn’t the Republican National Committee either. It was the men and women of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, but I wasn’t counting on them to be there if someone decided to kick in my door during a gap in coverage.

I was, however, counting on the Mossberg 500* in my safe room and the 9mm Shield on my hip.

If and when the .gov does help in the recovery of Hurricane Irma, that’s nice, but to quote Band Of Brothers,  “How do I feel about being rescued by Patton? Well I’d feel pretty peachy, except for one thing, we didn’t ******* need to be rescued by Patton.”

We didn’t need to be rescued by the .gov. We rescued ourselves.


* Yes, I know, I wrote on how I was ditching the scattergun in the safe room in favor of an AR in .300BLK. I’m not going to make the switch, though, until my can gets out of ATF jail.

You Don’t Need Something Like That. Until You Do.

Tam talks about how much fun it is to go to a tactical carbine course.

I know people who take butt-tons of carbine classes because, face it, running and gunning with an AR or AK, especially on targets in the 7-to-50 yard range, is fun as hell.

Which is not to say that there wasn’t a ton of value in what I spent last week doing, because any time you get a chance to have to think on your feet while armed and move safely around other armed people and make decisions with a gun in your hand is time well-spent. Working tactics in the house is a different animal altogether from doing marksmanship stuff on the square range.

That got me thinking.

I’ve bagged on such courses in the past, and I still think that they should not be a priority for the average citizen who owns guns. If you have never taken a post-CCW pistol class and have no idea how to set a tourniquet, a carbine class shouldn’t be your first choice.

But let’s stop and think for a second. My neighbor across the street from me is a recently retired 82nd Airborne veteran, and another neighbor the next street over is a former LA County Sheriff.

A carbine class, especially a low-light carbine class that would teach me how to act in conjunction with my neighbors who once got paid to shoot people in the face for a living, suddenly seemed to be a very good idea as I was sitting on my front porch during the darkness of a post-Irma curfew on Monday night, as did some sort of body armor and chest rig. I have a IIIA soft plate, so it might not be a bad idea to get another and also something to hold them close to my body.

Nobody needs such things. Until they do. And given that Category 3 hurricanes are not an uncommon event here in SW Florida, it might behove me to learn how to use an AR-15 more better, and use learn how to use it in conjunction with my friends who know how to use them as well.

Lessons From Garland.

Garland Attack

“When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with a pistol will be a dead man!”

Ramon Rojo 

“The hell you say.”

Garland Texas Police Officer Greg Stevens 

Stevens immediately drew his Glock 21 pistol and engaged Simpson with four to five rounds as Simpson fired at him and Joiner with the rifle.

As Stevens fired, he slowly advanced on the suspects from 15 yards away, pressing the attack on the pair as he fired “rhythmically,” obtaining a “decent sight picture” for each round. Stevens was conscious of the fact he had to make his hits count, and his deliberation was rewarded with the sight of Simpson falling to the ground and dropping his rifle.

Switching to the next threat, Stevens pivoted to the left and fired at the driver, Nadir Soofi, who also wore soft armor and LBE, and had a backpack and a pistol. As Soofi rounded the back of the car with his rifle raised in the firing position, his left side was exposed to Stevens, who drew careful aim and shot Soofi in the elbow, above the elbow, the side of the chest and the shoulder, as he continued to advance and fire at a controlled pace.

Read the whole thing: It’s an absolutely rivetng after-action report, full of lessons for all of us.

One thing I will note is how “situational awareness” played a part in Officer Stevens’ success. He knew that because of the detail he was on, there was an increased chance of an attack, so he was in a more-alert state than if he was processing paperwork in his patrol car. As such, when a car rolled up with out-of-state plates and blocked an entry to the venue he was watching, he was on high alert, knowing that the potential for trouble was even more greater now. When the balloon eventually did go up, he didn’t hesitate: There was no ramp-up time to combat mode because he had already crossed those bridges way before two guys with AK’s popped out of the car.

There are those who say that situational awareness is of marginal use in a self-defense situation, that when lightning strikes, you should learn how to react quickly, and not worry about what happened beforehand.

I say that lightning only strikes after the thunderclouds have rolled in, and if you’re paying attention, you can see (and hear) those clouds coming in from miles away.

Kinda Want.

I’m interested.

The EXO ONE (X01) is a patent-pending multi-caliber exoskeleton for the Sig Sauer® P320 Fire Control Unit (FCU) and adjacent firearm components including barrel, slide assembly, and magazine release. This transformation happens in moments without tools and is fully reversible.

FCU != Florida Central University

I’m a sucker for Personal Defense Weapons, and this looks like an interesting application of the modularity that makes the P320 so cool into the PDW market space.

Colt got left behind the minute the M4 lower made it out into the open market, and maybe this will serve as a wakeup call to SIG that when it comes to the P320, they are in the fire control unit business, not necessarily the pistol business.

The First Step Is The One That Counts.

I noticed something interesting during my too-brief time behind the gun counter: Elderly people would shy away from even mid-sized guns like the Glock 19 and LC9, and immediately assume that smaller guns like the SIG P238 and Ruger LCP would be easier for them to handle. The feeling in their minds was that smaller guns = smaller recoil, which is, of course, not the case.

Not by a long shot.

The other thing I noticed was their reaction to failing to perform the (apparently) simple task of cycling the slide.

Think about it: What’s the first thing that any (competent) gun store clerk does when pulling a gun out of the case? They drop the mag (if there is one) and cycle the action to prove that the gun is unloaded (Rule 1!) and then hand it to the customer. We do it so often, it’s like breathing to us, and we make it look like it’s a super-easy task to perform.

But what if, for reasons of age and/or upper body strength, it’s not a super-easy task to perform? All of a sudden, a basic task that signals the start of using a gun is an impossible thing to perform, which creates doubts in the person’s mind… if I can’t do THAT, what else can I not do?

Yes, this seems silly to those of us who shoot a lot and can cycle a slide in our sleep, but I assure you, it’s really, and it sold a LOT of P238’s, a small gun that is (relatively) easy to shoot and very easy to cycle.

iPhone Guns, iPad Guns.

Thinking more about yesterday’s post, I upgrade my phone almost every two years like clockwork, because I rely on it to run my life. From photos to movie-watching to games to writing, it’s pretty much my go-to device when I’m not at work. Why? Well, to borrow from Stephen Miller, in today’s world, if you can’t do it on your phone, it doesn’t matter.

But my iPad? My iPad is for media consumption and games, not work. It’s, oh, five years old, at least, and beat to crap.

How many consumers have an iPad of guns, and how many have iPhones? How many people have something that they use only on occasion and never carry with them them, versus something that’s an essential part of their lives?

How do we convince people that their iPad needs to become an iPhone?

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 837 – 937

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

No photos of the target today, because my phone decided to lock up in the 95° Florida heat. It’s a shame because I concentrated on shooting for groups this time out, and the LCP][ responded with 2″ five-shot groups from 7 yards. Not bad for a little gun with essentially no sights and a very short sight radius.

I finished up the session with 30 or so rounds shot from retention, right up against the target then shooting while backing up as fast as I can, kinda like what Craig Douglas is doing here.

Kinda.

Because I tend to shoot on indoor ranges or at matches, where shooting from retention is rarely mandated, I actually have very little experience with it. Yes, that’s a training scar, and yes, I’m trying to do something about it.

Other than that, the little LCP][ just soldiered on. I was struck again just how easy it is to shoot strong hand only: There really is little for the support hand to do on the gun, and because it’s lightweight with a decent trigger, it really doesn’t need a support hand to get a quick round off and onto the target. I did have one Failure To Feed on round 36 out of 100 while shooting PMC Bronze.

Rounds Fired : 100
70 Rounds PMC Bronze
30 Rounds Winchester FMJ White Box

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 937.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject on rounds 400 and 489, one failure to feed round 873.