No Brakes.

No Brakes.

One more post on reacting to the calls to ratchet up the violence against conservatives in general and Republicans in specific. Listen for a minute to Jordan Peterson talk about cultural tripwires.

On the right, I think we’ve identified markers for people who’ve gone too far in their ideology, and it looks to me that on the right, the marker we’ve identified is racial superiority… Here’s the issue: We know that things can go too far on the right, and we know that things can go too far on the left. We know what the markers are for going too far on the right, but we don’t know where the markers are for going too far on the left.

We can have a debate on the validity of Dr. Peterson’s work as a whole a later date, but he is spot-on here.

Now, pick up what he just talked about, that the progressive left has no concept of knowing when things have gone too far, and put it down on top of the current progressive urge for violence. I know when I’ve gone too far, when I’ve let my emotions have the wheel, and I do my absolute level best to eliminate those moments from my life, because I know the consequences can be quite literally mortal.

We in the applied violence community understand the need for restraint when it comes to violence and to use it only in “The Gravest Extreme.” This is because we realize that there is huge potential for negative outcomes if violence is used to settle a dispute, and we want to avoid that potential at pretty much all costs.

That concept does not exist right now in the AntiFa movement. To them, the only possible negative outcome is that they will fail, and their idea of what fascism is like will take root in the U.S. Everything else, every courtesy of polite society and restraint against violence must be cast aside in order to prevent that outcome from happening.

The idea that you can be too violent is totally alien to progressives, because if you are literally fighting Hitler and his fascists, why would you want to fight such a horror with anything less than ever fiber of your being? This is fascism we’re fighting, they say, of course it’s a fight to the finish, and we’ll use every means at our disposal to win.

Plan accordingly.

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

I had a pastor who once said that if you’re being a jerk while talking about God, you’re not being persecuted or treated like a martyr for your faith, you’re being treated that way because you’re acting like a jerk. It’s not your message that is setting things off, it’s how you’re saying it.

So when do we say when, and stand our (moral) ground in this culture war with the NeoJacobins?

  1. When You Are 100% Certain You Didn’t Start Things
    You and your mates carrying on at normal conversational levels for the environment you’re in is one thing. Talking about guns while dropping F-Bombs in the presence of children and drowning out the conversations around you is something else. I don’t care if you’re talking about a subject I really like; if you’re doing it while being a jerk,  you deserve everything you’re about to get.
  2. When It’s About Something Bigger Than You
    If the argument starts with SJW’s getting in your face because what you are saying, it’s about something more than you. If it starts because of how you’re saying it, it’s about you. In that case, it’s yes on one, and no on two.
  3. When You Have Other Options 
    Do you how to block a punch? Know how to wrassle someone to the ground without much fuss and bother? Do you carry pepper spray, a powerful flashlight or something other less-lethal device? No? Change your ways, and quickly. Going to guns when words are the weapon of choice will result in nothing but bad consequences for you. Take Managing Unknown Contacts or a similar training class. Learn how to defuse a situation with words, not with weapons, and yes, if things look to get dicey and lethal force is looming on the horizon, beat feet to someplace safer.

Most of all, be wise as to when and where you make your stand. Being a martyr might be inspirational to others, but it pretty much closes off all your options for the here and now.

Be careful out there.

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

”I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny…”

– Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838

Following up on a post I made over at Ricochet.com, what happens when the culture war breaks out right in front of you? What do you turn down a street and find out that Antifa has decided to declare martial law?

Another example: My family makes it a habit to join hands and give thanks before every meal, whether we’re at home or not. We’ve had people approach us and thank us for this open display of faith, but what happens when some Social Justice Warrior sees us, takes offense at such a thing and gets up in our face? Do we leave? Why? We were doing nothing wrong, and now we have to deal with an angry, potentially violent person who is a potential threat to us.

Or what happens when you and your mates are having a cold one, talking about guns, and someone overhears your conversation and decides to loudly lecture you on how the NRA is a terrorist organization. Do you leave? Do you ask the manager to call the cops? Do you argue back?

We’re in a Cold Civil War right now, and the battlefield is our nation’s cultural norms. Where does escalation end and fighting for the future of America begin? We can, (and should) retreat if the fight is personal, but what happens when the fight starts because of what we believe in? The stakes are enormous in this fight, because if retreating in the face of an enemy attack becomes habit to us, we will lose the fight and cede the cultural battlefield over to the mob.

Where do you stand? What cultural hills are you willing to die on?

More on this tomorrow.

Can You Keep A Secret?

Can You Keep A Secret?

Here’s the deal: About two months ago, my wallet flew out of my pocket while on a roller coaster at SeaWorld. The good news is, it’s probably at the bottom of a lake somewhere, so at worst, there is a ‘gator out there that is stealing my identity, but the bad news is, my entire life was in that wallet. My driver’s license, my Social Security Card, my Green Card and my concealed carry permit.

Now, to be fair, I.C.E. and the Florida DMV have actually been fairly amazing: I got my driver’s license back in a matter of minutes, and green card (while expensive to replace) was sent to me in a just a few weeks.

My concealed carry permit, on the other hand, took two months to replace.

Why? Is it REALLY that more involved a process to replace a state permit to carry a gun than it is a federal permit that says I can live here permanently? And why did it take me 15 minutes to replace one state permit (my driver’s license) but 86,400 minutes to replace another?

Get on the ball, Tallahassee. This sort of thing is embarrassing.

In the meantime, not having my permit meant I couldn’t carry a weapon. The pistol obviously falls under this restriction, and Florida’s carry laws are so vague, I wasn’t sure about my centerline knife either (heck, even my auto-opener was on the bubble).

Not no more. While it feels good to walk around with all my accoutrements in-place once more, the fact of the matter is a) I live in a really quiet, well-upholstered section of God’s Waiting Room, so my chances of a stupid thing happening to me are quiet small to begin and b) I’m to the point that I can spot the potential for a stupid thing to happen LONG before it actually occurs.

But still, it’s nice to have all my options with me once more.

Minimalist Training.

Minimalist Training.

My current job is a casual dress environment, so for the first time since I started carrying on a regular basis, I’m NOT pocket-carrying a .380 four days out of seven, I’m carrying something more substantial pretty much all the time.

Do I feel more safe now that I have more firepower with me? No, not really. I know what each of the guns I carry on a regular basis is and is not capable of, and I adjust my worldview accordingly. We preach that it’s not the tools, it’s the training and mindset, then we tell people that if they don’t carry at least a Glock 19, they’re not taking things seriously.

But.

I think some of that reaction is actually “If you show up to my training class with anything less than a Glock 19, you’re not taking things seriously,” and there’s an element of truth to that. Taking classes with a tiny 9mm or less sucks: I accept the fact that I am not going to win the coin or find myself $5 richer. All humility aside, though, I shoot my Shield well enough to take it to a good class, and as a result, I get training that is 100% relative to what I carry.

However, for the average schmoe, unless it’s one of Claude’s or Chuck’s classes on pocket guns or something similar, showing up to train with a snubbie is an invitation to a lot of frustration.

So what needs to change? The standards for what a “responsible” gun owner should carry, or the training that teaches them to be responsible?

Taking A Shot Vs. Making A Shot.

Taking A Shot Vs. Making A Shot.

John was nice enough to link to this post last week, and re-reading it got me thinking.

Anyone with a camera can do well if the shot pops up in front of him or her. Heck, even a baboon can do it.

Literally.

The trick is making a shot when the shot isn’t there. That’s what a photographer does. It’s unbelievably boring to shoot cans of creamed corn on a white background (ask me how I know this), but you have to work and work at it until you get the results you need.

Almost anyone can use a gun well in the scenarios you see in basic pistol classes, where a big bad guy in a balaclava jumps out from behind a car and yells “GIMME ALL YOUR MONEY!”

Where training and experience show up is when the attack comes from surprise or from some who doesn’t look like a threat.

Get trained. Improve your mindset. Shoot well. Save a life. Maybe your own.

 

* The featured image in this post is “The Critic” by WeeGee the Famous. If you’re a shooter (of photos) you really need to check out his stuff.

Lessons From Maryland

Lessons From Maryland

The horrific massacre at the Capital Gazette newspaper is not following the established narrative for such events. First off, because the shooter was Hispanic and used a shotgun and Maryland has ridiculously tight gun laws, it’s going to be hard for progressives to blame “assault weapons” and the NRA for this one. Also, CNN, in a shocking display of sanity, is not publicizing the shooter’s name.

Good. These maroons do this for the publicity, and the less of that they get, the less chance that someone else will do similar.

The cops had a sixty second response time, which is blazingly fast, but five people still died. My response time to active shooter? About 1.7 seconds, from concealment (-ish) and my response time to a traumatic injury? A minute, tops. The shooter had multiple restraining orders against him, but I’ve yet to figure out how a piece of paper is a more effective defense against a maniac than 124gr hollow points. The fact that he was this crazy and still bought a shotgun is an issue we need to look at, but only if we gun owners get something in return. The days of us giving up a thing that is dear to us in return for nothing at all are over.

Finally, a Reuters editor tried to claim that the shooter was wearing a “Make America Great” shirt and was pro-Trump, and rather than other papers picking up that narrative and running with it like they did with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, that editor apologized and might be facing disciplinary measures at work.

Might a little sanity be creeping into our media? I certainly hope so. It’d be nice to have the adults back in charge once more.

You Never Were Safe To Begin With.

You Never Were Safe To Begin With.

I can sort of understand the concept of safety as a feeling. While it’s true that safety is a reality that has nothing to do with how you feel, the fact is, it’s up to us to become aware of that reality.  Either you are safe, or you are not, your emotions have nothing to do with it. Granted, there are degrees of safety. My famly is pretty secure from a home invasion or a hurricane, but if a meteor hits the Gulf of Mexico, we’ll be turned into instant flotsam and/or jetsam.

Strangely, that possibility does not keep me up at night. Go figure.

Tom Gresham posted this on Twitter awhile ago, and while the sentiment is good, the execution is often weak.

“Every possible self defense scenario” is a little… vague. I probably won’t have to defend against shuriken-throwing ninjas any time soon, but dealing with a road rage incident that spirals out of control too quickly to escalate it?

Maybe.

Staying safe is not just self defense, though. I’ve seen many, many car accidents and a fair amount of car fires, that’s why I carry a go-bag with me in my car and a fire extinguisher in my trunk. I’ve lost track of how many situations I’ve been in where a bright, powerful light was more handy than the sidearm on my hip. I lock my door right after me as I enter my house. I have a tourniquet on me when I leave my house. When I get out of my car in a parking lot, I look around before walking to my destination. My cell phone is rarely below 50% charge, and there’s usually at least a half a tank of gas in my car at all times. These are simple things that each have their own plan and are not gun-centric. What they do, though, is get everyone thinking about what to when things go bad, and that’s the pathway that leads to an armed, responsible citizenry.

A Deeper Shade Of Grey.

A Deeper Shade Of Grey.

I spotted a guy in church this week carrying a black sling bag covered in MOLLE straps, (probably something like Mapedition or similar). The guy carrying it stood out not only because he was carrying a bag, (here are other guys in the crowd doing that) but by the fact that he was 6′ 1″. 210-220 pounds, ridiculously fit and had a short, military-style haircut.

In other words, he looked like a cop or something similar. He was DEFINITELY not fitting in with the rest of the crowd.

There are people who can get away with carrying a military sling bag and not look like they were setting up to invade Fallujah: He wasn’t one of them.

Now I have no doubt that the Maxpedition bag was useful and handy and probably had enough gear in it to stop a small army in its tracks. However, if his intent was to look like just another worshipper in church, he failed. Maybe a little less Tier One and a little more Pier One might be in order when walking around in civvies.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition

Went on a family trip up to Orlando for my birthday over the weekend, so here’s some content I queued up for you all. Some of it written by me, so not.

An evidence-based approach to knife defence. I’m not the most-qualified guy to comment on this, but I found it interesting.

First Look: Savage B22 FLH. Really liked this little rifle. It’s a keeper.

A quick flow chart to help you stop bleeding.

Some really good advice on pocket pistols. When in doubt, go with a Failure To Stop Drill.

Five Skill Drills For The Indoor Range, because not everybody has access to a pistol bay.

Comparing an A Class vs C Class run on the same stage. I’m sucky and I know it.