Common sense is neither.

The anti-gun crowd is ready and will to deny the right of self-defense to adults on college campuses throughout Arizona. 

“Common sense”? They want common sense? Ok, you got it. 

  • Is it “common sense” that adults over the age of 21 are denied the fundamental right of self-defense on publicly-owned areas like college campuses? 
  • Is it “common sense” that a 21 year old who can fight and die for our country in the military cannot protect himself and others in a college classroom? 
  • Is it “common sense” to believe that a posted “No Guns” sign is a an effective deterrent to keeping guns off college campuses? If this is the case, the DPS doesn’t need radar guns, because no one ever should break the posted speed limit.
  • Is it “common sense” to believe that a seven minute response time to an active shooter on campus is prefereable to the two seconds it takes an armed citizen to draw and stop an attacker? 

Common sense gun laws are quite easy to define. There’s so easy, it was done over two hundred years ago.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

We just need to live up to these words, and we’ll have the common sense gun laws we’re looking for. 

Via KFYI’s Jim Sharpe.

More …

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

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.

More …

Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Course Review, Day Four

Day One is here

Day Two is here

Day Three is here

Day Four

Picking up from where I dozed off yesterday, after lunch on Wednesday  it was more drills:  Controlled pairs into center-mass from 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 yards, and headshots / failure to stop drills from 5 and 7 yards, all repeated at least three times. The capper of this was their “ragged hole” drill: Five shots from the holster at five yards into a 1 inch square. Didn’t quite make it there myself, but I did pretty well.

And before I forget, here’s a pic from yesterday. This is the “Monsters Inc.” range, for practicing tactical movement.

Front Sight Doors

More on that, and their “tactical” teaching in general in Friday’s wrap-up.

Today started off with more drills: Controlled pairs into center-mass from 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 yards, and headshots / failure to stop drills from 5 and 7 yards.

And then it was time for the head-to-head matchup. The course of fire was pretty easy: Headshot at a hostage-taker target at 10 yards, then one shot each at two torso-size plates at 15 yards.

Head to head

I did ok on this: I got into the third round, but my first shot on the next round went into the “hostage” target” and that meant it was over for me.

After lunch, it was more drills, and then the final test. I never did know the time we had for each shot, but it wasn’t short. C-Class shooter that I am, with my dead-stock CZ P07 and a Supertuck, I was able to ace the shooting part of the test, dropping only two shots out of 25 out of center mass / center-head.

The malfunction drills are where I blew it, though. Not THAT big of a surprise considering this was the part of the class where I had the least experience. I’m sure if I shot a 1911, I’d have more practice with them.

I kid. I jest. Mostly. 🙂

And that was that. I ended up at the “Graduate” level, one of 17 of our class of 32 who did so, which was apparently quite good, We had one person hit “Distinguished Graduate”, and I was kinda bummed it wasn’t me (durn my competitive nature!).

And the sunset on the last day wasn’t bad either. Here’s the view from “Sniper’s Point”.

Snipers Point

Final thoughts, and an answer to the big question (Was it worth it?) tomorrow.

Put it away and don’t play with it.

Blue Sheep Dog has a link to a great article from the FBI (PDF link) on recognizing armed assailants that is really useful for we armed civilians. An interesting takeaway:

The authors discovered that none of the offenders they interviewed, in 15 years of research, ever used a holster to carry their firearms. This means that a lot of the behavioral traits will be more obvious if you are looking for them. Think about it: if you are not carrying your gun in a holster, and it is moving around as you walk, aren’t you going to constantly be touching it to 1) make sure it doesn’t move too far out of place, and 2) you didn’t drop it?

Let Plaxico Buress serve as a warning to all of us.

Put it away and don't play with it.

Blue Sheep Dog has a link to a great article from the FBI (PDF link) on recognizing armed assailants that is really useful for we armed civilians. An interesting takeaway:

The authors discovered that none of the offenders they interviewed, in 15 years of research, ever used a holster to carry their firearms. This means that a lot of the behavioral traits will be more obvious if you are looking for them. Think about it: if you are not carrying your gun in a holster, and it is moving around as you walk, aren’t you going to constantly be touching it to 1) make sure it doesn’t move too far out of place, and 2) you didn’t drop it?

Let Plaxico Buress serve as a warning to all of us.

Threats analysis

I’ve been thinking more about the comment I left in a post last week.

There are, as I see it, two kinds of violent encounters: Predatorial and Adversarial. 

The “sudden encounter” is a predator attack, be it mugger, rapist or Rottweiler. Those types of encounter require you to be on your game rightthisveryinstant and respond to the attack with enough force to end things.

The Adversarial attack is road rage or the loudmouth in bar itchin’ for a fight or the jealous spouse of a co-worker or the fight between friends that gets out of hand. Those happen on pretty well-defined patterns, and if they get out of hand, they get out of hand in predictable paths that can be countered (or better yet, de-escalated) in predictable ways. 

And as things are now, we spend a LOT of time preparing and training for the Predatorial attack: The mugger, the home invasion, the sexual assault. It’s not that these kinds of attacks aren’t real, it’s that for us law-abiding folk, they are just not that common. 

Predators tend to prey on the weak, and if you’ve taken the steps needed to secure your family at and away from home, you are not easy pickin’s no more. When such an attack happens, there’s little you can do to de-escalate the action, in fact, trying to de-escalate it will probably get you killed dead. Such an attack requires the immediate and swift application of force sufficient to end the threat. Anything less just ain’t enough.

Which leaves adversarial encounters. These differ in that we can and should control the level of force needed to end things. “A soft answer turneth away wrath” ain’t in the Bible because it sounds nice, it’s in there ’cause it works. 

Adversarial encounters can get out of hand quickly if no one choses to de-escalate. Ask any cop who’s had to arrest someone for a barfight or the murder of a friend and he’ll tell you the number one thing they’ll hear from the poor soul who’s now cuffed on the curb is “Why didn’t he just back down?”. 

I turn that around and ask “Why didn’t YOU just back down?”

Is an insult, a bad lane change or a loud remark worth twenty years of your life and the loss of your firearms freedoms? Is it worth not seeing your kids grow up or your friends? Is it worth a black mark on your record that will follow you wherever you go? 

We spend hours on the range and in the dojo preparing for the predator’s attack. How much time do we spend learning the difference between backing down and giving up? 

 

Defence By The Numbers Part II

Ok, so we know what type of violent enocunters are most likely to happen around us. What about the “Black Swan” moments, or expecting the unexpected? 

Aye, there’s the rub. 

Three examples.

One: Many years ago (too many, if I’m honest…) a group of friends from my church’s college group were camping out on the Mogollon Rim, about to fall asleep, when another campsite erupted wild drunken hoots, hollers and gunfire, with what I assumed at the time were shotgun blasts into the air. 

There were twelve of us, seven college-age men and 5 girls (in a seperate tent. This was a church outing, after all…), and the best defensive weapon we had was a hatchet. If those drunks decided they wanted to “party” with the girls, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it. 

Two: My wife grew up on an acreage in the forests of northeastern Arizona, surround by her Dad’s extended family. One night, the black sheep of said family decided to invite Arizona’s most notorious motorcycle gang up to his property for the night. Her Dad spent the entire evening on their front porch with his shotgun in his lap, watching over his family as gang members loudly partied less than a 200 yards away from his house. The gang left in the morning and didn’t come back, but it made for a tense, sleepless night for her family. 

Three: Right after my wife and I were married, a cousin of hers took what I considered to be an unhealthy amount of interest in her whereabouts and well-being. Said cousin was 6’5″, 220lbs with a prior conviction for manslaughter for killing an undercover cop during a drug bust. He has since done the world a favour and killed himself, but it did make for a few tense months in our lives as I wasn’t sure how to handle someone like that if he came to our home with evil on his mind. 

What do all three of those examples have in common? 

1. There was a threat of imminent lethal force. 
2. The nature of the threat is outside the daily routine. 
3. Non-lethal force would not be an effective deterrent. 

We don’t carry because we expect trouble, we carry because trouble happens when we least expect it. If a shootout can start up outside of a quiet suburban shopping mall, it can start anywhere. 

The Source Code

This is why I’ve chosen to defend my life and my family. Things like this

Mesa Police say a 1-year-old boy died after getting shot in the head Monday morning in a possible home invasion.

The shooting happened at an apartment complex near Main Street and Horne around 7 a.m., according to Mesa Police.

Mesa Fire official Forrest Smith said crews transported the child in extremely critical condition to a nearby trauma center where he later died.

Mesa police Sgt. Ed Wessing said two unknown suspects are on the loose and may be responsible for the shooting.

Wessing said five children, between the ages of 1 and 8, were at the home at the time and were being watched by their grandmother.

The grandmother was doing laundry and had the door open when the suspects showed up, Wessing said.

Some type of confrontation took place and the boy was then shot, he said.

I know those apartments: A college classmate of mine used to live in them, and while they’re  not the best neighborhood in the Phoenix area, they’re not the worst. My thoughts and prayers are with this child’s family, and my hope is for swift and sure judgement on his murderers.

I have two wonderful sons in elementary school and an amazing wife. We live in a nice, quiet suburb and avoid getting into dumb places at dumb times where dumb things might happen. 

But I can’t really avoid driving down Main Street in Mesa altogether. Or ignore the west side of Phoenix for the rest of my life. Or live inside my house all day long and never go out for the best tacos in the east valley ever again. 

So what can I do? Carry the means to protect myself from armed OR unarmed assailants. Learn how to use them, then learn some more. Enjoy my life, but keep my eyes open. Stay safe. Have fun. 

Front Sight

Well, I drank the koolaid. I bought a mid-week four day defensive handgun training certificate from Frontsight last week for $69. I figure between using frequent flyer miles to pay for the hotel and gas, meals and ammo, the whole thing will cost about $300, which is about the price of a two-day NRA Personal Protection class. 

Can’t hurt, I guess. At the least, I’ll get a week in Vegas out of it. Let’s see if Front Sight’s training is better than their web design or internet marketing acumen. 

I figure they have nowhere to go but up.