What’s Wrong With This Picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Consider this news report from a local TV station

Police: Man shot multiple times after answering door of Phoenix home 

PHOENIX – An investigation is underway Friday morning after a man was shot multiple times when answering the door of a Phoenix home.

The shooting occurred around midnight in the area of 18th Street and Bell Road. Police at the scene said someone went up to a house and knocked on the door. A man in his 20s, who was reportedly inside the home with his family, answered the door.

Police said the suspect shot the man two to three times in the arm and stomach before fleeing the scene.

1. Midnight? You answered the door at MIDNIGHT? Are you NUTS? 
2. And assuming there is a persuasive reason to open the door, opening a door at midnight without the means to defend yourself is also crazy. 
3. For those of you unfamiliar with the Phoenix area, 18th St. and Bell ain’t the worst part of town, but it’s not the best. 

The moral of the story? Don’t do stupid things in the middle of the night, even in your own home.

That Was Easy

That was easy

Went to the local Staples last night to pick up some Cat 5 (What, doesn’t EVERYONE shop for networking cables in the late evening?) and noticed a shiny new “No Firearms Allowed” decal on the front door.

Well, that’s it for me and Staples. Fry’s Electronics doesn’t allow firearms, either, so it’s time to get nice and friendly with the people at Office Depot.

Get Out Of Dodge

Get out of Dodge

Gabe Suarez sure has a chest-thumping, meat-eating manly-man way of taking on an aggressive mob

“If you have a pistol, please make sure it is a modern high capacity weapon with a couple of spare magazines in your belt. The Suarez International company gun, a Glock 17 with three magazines, yields a sum total of 52 rounds. Figure three rounds per man, and you can reduce an angry mob of panga swinging killers into a fleeing group of bloodied bad guys. Draw it and yell, “Get The F*** Back!” If they do, run away. If they do not, shoot the first man in the face. The rest will take care of itself.” 

Umn, err, “The rest will take care of itself” isn’t exactly a plan, is it? 

I carry a spare magazine for my CCW gun, but not because I expect the zombie hoards to pop up in my local Circle K or because I expect a hockey riot to break out in my local mall. Rather, I carry a spare mag because 90% of all problems with a semi-auto come down to feeding rounds into the chamber, and having another mag to go to in case something burps gives me a little more confidence in what I carry. 

And as for what to do when a mob shows up, I prefer to learn from people who went through the worst of the 1992 L.A. riots

Don’t Mess With My Wife

Don’t mess with my wife

Mission accomplished

That's gonna leave a mark.

That’s her results with my CZ75 and P07 from 15-25 feet. And it gets better with the S&W K-22 revolver her Dad gave to us when he passed away. 

pop pop pop

I’ll leave any more training she might need to the experts

A few observations from this outing… 

  1. I wasn’t the only one. In the lane next to us was a young man teaching his girlfriend to shoot and there was another couple a few lanes over as well (and my wife out-shot ’em both 😀 ). 
  2. An hour or two of dry-fire practice beforehand REALLY paid off on the range. 
  3. .22 revolvers ROCK as a gun for first-time shooters. My wife learned a smooth, sustained trigger pull by starting out with the K-22 and the recoil and noise was non-existent. 

What’s the secret for teaching your spouse to shoot? Patience, encouragement, reasonable expectations and a willingness to do something they like (but you don’t) in return.

I’ve been wanting to get her out to the range for months now, and I think I was able to do this outing because I started showing interest in her activities, so she started showing interest in mine. I wasn’t expecting my wife to turn into Debbie Keehart overnight, but I did want her to know how to safely operate the gun(s) we have for home defence, and in return, I’m going to the new Harry Potter movie with her next month. If and when we go shooting again, I’d like her to try out some rental guns: She had issues hitting the mag release button and slide lock lever on both my CZ’s, some maybe there’s something out there more suited to her hands. The big takeaway from today was her safety habits were/are first-rate, and that makes a trainer ‘s job so much easier.

Time Out Of Mind

Time out of mind

Caleb talks about the mental game of practical shooting. 

The question then becomes, how do you train yourself to stay focused? The thing is though that what works for me to “stay in the game” may not work for someone else. Everyone is set up differently mentally, and you need to find out what works for you to keep your head in the game.

I confess that this is my next hurdle to cross. I’ve reached the point where I can deliver the shot, now I need to do it on command, every time. 

The problem is, staying “in the zone” for a 2-4 hour match can be quite a challenge. I want to talk to my friends, relax and have a good time while shooting and not turn into a hyper-competitive jerk, but I still want to shoot well. 

One trick I’ve found to stay in the zone (and don’t use often enough) is pre-visualization: I “see” my sights on the target during the walkthrough, and I keep in that virtual sight picture in my mind as a I reset and tape targets. When I walk up to a target to tape it up, I imagine my front sights on the A Zone. When I walk up to a popper, I imagine what it would look like falling down after being shot from my end of the gun. I “see” these results in my mind, over and over again as I reset the stage for the shooters in front of me in the hopes I can re-create the results for real when it’s my turn to shoot. 

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I do know I tend to do better when I practice this routine diligently. 

And yes, the title is yet another musical reference.

General Knowledge

General knowledge

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” 

– Robert A. Heinlein 

Robb’s post about what guns he wants and my post about the beginning armory got me a-thinkin’. What tasks should a garden-variety gun nut firearms enthusiast be capable of accomplishing? I’m not talking about winning Top Shot, I’m talking about being a well-rounded shooter. What should you know, what should you know how to do?

My suggestions: 

A firearms enthusiast should be able to… 

Know the basic operation and use of:
A muzzle-loading black powder rifle
A single action revolver
A double action revolver
A magazine-fed single/double action semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed striker-fired semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed semiautomatic rifle
A bolt-action rifle
A tube-fed lever-action rifle or shotgun
A tube-fed pump-action shotgun or rifle
A tube-fed semiautomatic shotgun
An over/under or side by side shotgun 

Be capable of:
– Field-stripping and cleaning any firearm they own
– Know the basic operation for any firearm they own
– Diagnose common issues with ammunition or operation that might prevent any gun they own from working properly and be able to deal with them correctly

Know how to (but not always accomplish):
– Draw a pistol smoothly and quickly from a holster (maybe from concealment, maybe not) 
– Hit center-mass of a man-sized target at least 7 yards away
– Hit a clay pigeon in-flight 
– Hit a man-sized target with a modern rifle 300 yards away 

Know (and ALWAYS accomplish successfully)
The Four Rules of Gun Safety 

What tasks or skills did I leave out? What should I remove?

Self Defense Insurance Comparison

Self Defense Insurance Comparison

Update: I have a newer, more comprehensive comparison over here. And hey, if you’re new to the site, feel free to stick around and/or give me a Like on Facebook.

There’s now three self-defense insurance plans out there for CCW carriers (and others) who want to win the court battle that comes after the gun battle. We spend hours on the range and thousands of dollars on guns, ammo, gear and training to prepare to defend our lives, but don’t spend a nickel on preparing to defend ourselves in court. Once my current bout of funemployment is over, I will be taking advantage of one of these offers, and it’s something I’d recommend for every civilian who carries a firearm.

Armed Citizen Legal Defense Fund

The purpose of the Network’s Legal Defense Fund is to provide legal defense support to Network members, when these lawfully armed citizens face prosecution or civil lawsuit after exercising their right to self defense. The Network does not offer an insurance program or a prepaid legal fee service, but rather a number of benefits are made available to members. If a member is involved in a self defense incident, a fee deposit is paid to the member’s attorney by the Network to get the legal defense immediately underway, with representation during questioning, and arranging for an independent investigation of the incident. If the incident results in felony charges the fee deposit is $10,000; if the member faces misdemeanor charges, a $5,000 fee deposit is sent to his or her attorney.

Network members, by virtue of their membership, are entitled to case review by one of the Network experts and have access to contact information for Network-affiliated attorneys and expert witnesses. For this service, there is no charge beyond the Network membership fee. Beyond that, distribution of monetary grants to help with legal fees is at the discretion of the Network’s Advisory Board, comprised of Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Jim Fleming, Tom Givens, Dennis Tueller and Network officers, Marty Hayes and Vincent Shuck, as ex officio members.

NRA Self-Defense Insurance

Update: NRA Self-Defense Insurance is now provided through NRA Carry Guard.

Our Self-Defense Insurance protects National Rifle Association members who need extra protection not found in most homeowners’ policies.

The coverage is a rider to the Excess Personal Liability coverage, and provides civil defense and liability and criminal defense reimbursement if you are involved in an act of self-defense.

What’s Covered:

• Provides coverage up to the limit selected for criminal and civil defense costs.
• Cost of civil suit defense is provided in addition to the limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage.
• Criminal Defense Reimbursement is provided for alleged criminal actions involving self-defense when you are acquitted of such criminal charges or the charges are dropped.

US Concealed Carry Association Legal Defense Foundation

The Self-Defense SHIELD consists of an insurance policy owned by the USCCA that designates the members as beneficiaries. No individual ungerwriting is required. As a Silver PLUS, Gold PLUS or Platinum PLUS member you automatically receve these insurance benfits. The USCCA owns and pays for the policy while you get the benefits.

Criminal Defense Grant
This layer of the Self-Defense SHIELD can help you pay for your criminal defense lawyer if you’re charged with a crime.

Court-Related Expenses
Our final layer of the USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD allows active members to apply for an additional grant for any other court-related expenses.

Policy Comparison


Criminal Court Costs Civil Court Costs Expert Witneseses Addt’l Grants Cost /Year
USCCA Silver $25,000.00 $50,000.00 Y $25,000.00 $127.00
USCCA Gold $50,000.00 $100,000.00 Y $50,000.00 $197.00
USCCA Platinum $75,000.00 $300,000.00 Y $75,000.00 $297.00
NRA Self-Defense Insurance One * $50,000.00 * $100,000.00 * N N $165.00
NRA Self-Defense Insurance Two * $50,000.00 * $250,000.00 * N N $254.00
Armed Citizen Legal Defense Fund $5000/$10,000 Y ** Y Y *** $85.00

* Total coverage is split between civil and criminal cases, with a $50,000.00 sub-limit on criminal court cases

** From the comments: “In your comparison grid you incorrectly state that the Network extends no assistance forcivil court costs. That is not correct. While The Network is not an insurance scheme, and thus does not have coverage limits, our commitment to our members who have had to defend themselves against criminal attack is to assist in their legal defense — be that a criminal trial or civil litigation — to the extent that our advisory board deems appropriate.”
The post has been updated to reflect this new information

Also from the comments: “The NRA-endorsed insurance programs require that you be an NRA membership. Average price is about $25 per year. The ACLDN membership requires no other membership costs. The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD memberships at the Plus levels also include membership in the USCCA at the listed level which costs $37, $67, or $97 for Silver, Gold, and Platinum respectively.

In addition, the spreadsheet only marks the NRA coverages as having the criminal limit being included in the civil limits. The SHIELD program does the same thing. The listed limits are per occurrence, including all coverage – civil and criminal. The criminal limits are the portion of the total which may be used for criminal defense.”

The table also misstates the USCCA coverage for expert witnesses. The summary of benefits states the coverage includes “reasonable and necessary costs and expenses incurred in connection with the investigation and/or defense of any criminal charge or criminal proceeding caused by the use of a firearm”. After checking with the insurance company, Tim Schmidt confirms that this is the correct interpretation. The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD program does indeed include coverage for expert witness testimony, private investigators, laboratories, and any other related expenses that would be needed to prepare and present the necessary defense.”

*** Grant amounts are unspecified

All descriptions of the policies were taken verbatim from each organization’s website.