Rebuttal And Update

Rebuttal and update

To the half-dozen or so people who came to my blog this month via the keywords “Open carry is stupid“: 

No, it’s not. 

Look, just because I don’t open carry myself (in a state that’s had legal open carry since Padre Kino wandered through Sonora) doesn’t mean I think open carry is dumb. 

I support the right of others to do it, I just don’t do it myself. And the post title was a joke, much like most anti-rights activtists. 


Oleg’s post on the RMR-30 had me rabbit-trailing for more info on .22Magnum as a defensive round. The verdict? Not bad

“Winchester 40gr JHP (part #X22MH), impacted at unknown velocity, penetrated to 13.5″ (corrected) and expanded to 0.311″ average diameter. Recovered weight was 29.1gr.”

Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark.

That makes me want that little RMR-30 even more. Team it up with a lightweight low-power optical or red-dot scope, and you’ve got a perfect little bug-out gun that’s super-easy to carry around.

Want.

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The Only Ones In The Room Qualified To Protect Us… Aren’t.

The only ones in the room qualified to protect us… aren’t.

Ah yes, Chicago. Where guns are almost impossible to own, but somehow the criminals seem to have them

Chicago, where the G-8 summit is coming to town, and the police are utterly unprepared to deal with the violence that’s sure to follow.

 “I have no idea when I’m going to get any specific training, so I’ve gone ahead and ordered some books from Amazon on riots. This isn’t good.” 

With the police so ridiculously unprepared for a major social disruption, it’s a good thing the residents of Illinois are allowed to protect themselves in public. 

Oh wait, they’re not

Sucks to be you, Chicago.

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Common Sense Is Neither.

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.

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Rubberneckin’

Rubberneckin’

First thing in the morning
Last thing at night
I look, stare, everywhere
And I see everything in sight

Elvis Presley 

One of the more useful things I learned from my time at Front Sight last month was in the “Color Code of Mental Awareness” lecture (the one where they DIDN’T mention Jeff Cooper). Our instructor mentioned that if you’re a “people watcher” by nature, you’re well on your way to having good situational awareness and staying in Condition Yellow most of the time. 

I like this approach to mental awareness because it’s so non-threatening to new shooters. Yes, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” sounds all tacticool and oh-rah, but that’s probably the last thing a young woman in a defensive handgun class needs to hear. She doesn’t want to become GI Jane, she wants to be safe and free from fear and the minute she sees wall-to-wall 5.11 gear and hears things like that, her fear level doesn’t decrease, it increases.

Not the desired outcome. 

Finding the points of commonality between leading a life of personal self-protection and our current lives has to be a priority for any successful “gun-culture 2.0”- centric training course. People aren’t looking to become Dirty Harrys or Harriets overnight, they want to keep safe in an uncertain world. Adding to that uncertainty with unfamiliar phrases and methods will make you as an instructor feel more tacticool, but it won’t help your students.

 

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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Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Course Review, Day Four

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.

Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Course Review, Day One

Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Course Review, Day One

Preamble: Even though I am an NRA Instructor and CCW permit holder, Front Sight requires a signed character witness from a friend who’s known you for five or more years to be FAXED into them. Yes, faxed. Did I go to sleep and wake up in 1992 or something? So I did that, and called them about a month ago, wanting to know if they got it.

“We don’t do that anymore”, said the rather brusque customer “service” rep on the phone. “Just log on the website with your member number and you’ll see everything there.”

I semi-patiently explained to him that I was not a member, this was my first class, and I wanted to know the status of my application. He seemed taken aback that a mere applicant would be wasting his time in this way, and told me to fax it in again.

Apparently, scanners and email attachments freak out some people.

Once that was cleared up, I stayed the weekend after SHOT in Vegas and drove out to Front Sight, arriving at their gate at 6 bloody 30 in the bloody am after an hour and 15 minute drive from my hotel in Vegas.

First up was confirming my reservation (which was easily done, in marked contrast to my previous engagement), and a “Safety Inspection” where my pistol was checked for function and placed in my holster by the RSO: I never touched the durn thing. For someone who’s used to the rigorous safe area rules and “Unload and show clear” environment of practical pistol, the safety procedures at Front Sight, while thorough, are tripping me up. More on that later.

A word on my equipment for the week. As this is a defensive handgun course, I’m shooting it my CZ P07 in (for now) a BladeTech OWB holster and BladeTech mag pouches. I’ll switch to my SuperTuck once the concealed carry part starts on Wednesday.

Then it was into the main classroom for our paperwork and welcome speech. This place is BIG, and it easily held the 200 or so people with me today.

Front Sight Classroom

After an hour or so in here, it was out to the range. There are 5 pistol ranges near the classroom, and pictures of them will come later as the weather today SUCKED. It was cold, windy, and rainy and most of us were chilled to the bone after a few short minutes outside.

Our instructors were pleasant, outgoing and helpful, but you could tell their training experience was mainly with Front Sight and not other schools. Look, I don’t care if you’re a Front Sight Super Dooper Deluxe Member or not: I want to know how long you’ve been training students and what your firearms teaching background is, and as far as I can tell, only 2 of the five instructors had any instructor training outside of Front Sight, and that was with the NRA.

Now, about those safety rules. Any competitive shooter will tell you the commands of USPSA/IDPA:

Make ready! (Load your pistol and get it in to the designated start position)
Standby! (Here we go, folks!)
And, at the end of a course of fire, “If you are finished, unload and show clear. If clear, hammer, holster, range is clear!”

These are not Front Sight’s commands. Instead, they do,

“Make ready for firing!”, which is…
Unholster the pistol
Present to low ready
Press check (with their own rules on how to do that)
Magwell check
Load magazine
Charge pistol
Press check (again)
Mag check (again)

And at the end of a string, do much the same.

I’m certain it’s safe, it’s just tripping me up a bit because I’m expecting totally different commands.

The drills started out simple, with basic grip and stance work. If you come in here knowing modern isosceles or Chapman or some other stance, forget it, as they WILL force you to shoot Weaver. Is that a bad thing? Not really. It may mess up my usual isosceles for a few weeks, but I’m finding the Waver to be beneficial to learn.

The first rounds were sent downrange about 3 hours into the range time, with an emphasis on controlled pairs using the three Front Sight “secrets” of good marksmanship, which are:

Sight Alignment
Sight Picture
Trigger Squeeze

If those are secrets, I’d hate to see what they consider to be common knowledge…

During lunch there was a video playing about the history of Front Sight and Dr. Piazza’s philosophy of armed citizenry. Nothing outrageous, about par for the course for any corporate video.

After lunch there was a lecture on the combat mindset and the situational awareness colour code. You’d think with a topic like that, they’d mention Col. Jeff Cooper, the originator of both those concepts.

Wrong.

And that, so far, has been my major beef with Front Sight. It’s as if firearms training didn’t exist before the berms went up in Pahrump. No mention of Gunsite. No mention of who created the Weaver stance (and why), no mention of any other training facilities at all other than Front Sight. I get the need not to cross the streams and promote other schools, but Front Sight is built on the Colonel’s legacy: Without him, there’d be nothing to teach at Front Sight, nor any reason for Front Sight to exist at all.

Now, as far as the teaching itself goes, so far, it’s been pretty basic, just work on presentation, controlled pairs and “getting off the X”. One thing that has surprised me is the quality of the shooting. With my background in competition and training, I came to Front Sight expecting to be The Smartest Kid In The Class, but so far, I’d say I was in top third or so. There are 3 law enforcement officers, 2 women, and 3 total newbie in my class of 32. Ages are anywheres from the mid to late 20’s on up to senior citizens.

I’ll have more pics and reports tomorrow. Right now, I gotta get some rest, it’s a long drive from Vegas to Pahrump.