Pirates Of The Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Sean Sorrentino posted a terrific Marc MacYoung piece on ‘The Disneyland State Of Mind“, a mindset that Marc describes as slightly (or more than slightly) out of control and believes that dammit, I have a RIGHT to a good time, and HOW DARE YOU INTERRUPT ME HAVING A GOOD TIME!!!!!

I’ve written about how that applies to the interrupted good times of the Democratic Party over at Ricochet, but it also applies to our personal lives as well. To be honest, I was kinda troubled by how NORMAL it felt for me to carry around a knife and trauma kit inside a theme park. I mean, I’m on vacation, I’m SUPPOSED to be relaxing in a care-free environment with my family, and here I am wondering about how I’m going to smuggle things like a pointy-stabby blade past security.

And then I watched a violent domestic argument break out in front of me. No, I didn’t intervene, (because that’s what park security is for), but yes, it did wake me up to the fact that even though I was on vacation, reality itself was not on vacation, and bad things can and do happen in the happiest of places.

Having the means to defend myself and potentially deal with the consequences of lethal force didn’t affect my ability to have a good time. In fact, keeping an eye out for trouble also let me see the good things around me, like how many people around me were having as much fun as we were having inside the park. Being aware of what’s going around you means you’re aware of the good things going on around you, not just the bad things. It leads to a bigger life that’s more-connected with reality, not paranoia and fear.

Live in the moment. ALL of the moments.


Update: I wrote this post and queued it up for publishing before Monday night’s horror. If anything, it’s any more appropriate now.

Stand And Deliver… Sales.

Dear Acusport.

I love you. You know I do. You were our #1 vendor when I worked in the biz, and you have your @$#! together at a level that most other wholesalers only DREAM of having.

But.

You’re leaving cash on the table when it comes to accessories and weird special orders.

Special orders for a gun store are a nightmare. There is so much that can go wrong, and they take up so much time for so little profit. Researching the proper part number and then sending in an order for, say, a mag release button for a Glock 34 takes so much time,  a gun store will actually LOSE money on the sale, and if they say “We don’t do special orders,” they’ll lose the customer to Brownell’s or Midway.

Whether or not the customer has the time and willpower to navigate through those often-confusing sites is a topic for another day.

Instead of p!ssing off gun stores and customers alike, Acusport, why not turn yourself into the NFDN of gun parts, and set up in-store kiosks with all your stuff? Stores could set their own prices on their kiosks and then regulate which areas of your catalog they want to allow their customers to access. That way, if a customer comes in asking for all the weird stuff that customers ask for (but are a pain in the @$$ to stock), they can buy it at their local gun store and get it shipped right to them, and the gun store makes as much (or more) money off the process than they would have in the first place.

Oh, and as an added bonus, maybe have VOIP built into the shopping app (and a headset with video) so you can do the customer service as well. Net cost to you: A cheapo Android tablet and headset. Net benefit: More sales for you, and more sales for the gun stores who will have a steady stream of customers coming in to use the app.

You’re welcome.

Security Theater.

Those of you who know me on social media know that I spent the weekend at two theme parks in the central Florida area. Both parks are “weapons-free zones” that have metal detectors and bag searches before you walk through the park gates, so surely you couldn’t get a gun or a knife through such air-tight security, right?

And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Gaza to sell you.

I waltzed through the security checkpoints both days with my cell phone, a Coast flashlight (neither of which raised any eyebrows) and my lightweight emergency tourniquet, which looks like the nylon coin purse it really is. I had my Boker knife in my wallet, and on the second day, I carried around the ABDO safe with me, and that passed right through the bag search at the park because it looks like a big ol’ cell phone case it’s meant to look like. I know that I can fit an LCP ][ and a spare mag into that case, which means that even in a non-permissive environment, I can carry a gun along with a cell phone, spare mag, flashlight and a knife, the four things I recommend for concealed carry EVERY day, and also had a tourniquet on me in case that was needed.

Keep in mind that I in no way recommend you do similar, because that might be construed as telling you how to subvert Florida’s gun laws, and that would be a BAD thing, so don’t do this.

Even though you can if you want to.

Concealed Carry Needs An On-Ramp

Or at least, a better on-ramp than what we have now. We say “Carry your guns, people, it’s a lighter burden than regret!” and then we do nothing to actually help people get used to carrying a gun.

We ask them to run a marathon, without teaching how to prepare for a marathon.

Fortunately, there’s at least one training team that’s doing something about that problem, and their model could change “Gun Culture 2.0” forever.

Go check them out at Ricochet.com.

Armed? Who, me?

I’ve got a family trip coming up to a couple of Orlando theme parks that use metal detectors and bag searches to make sure they’re “weapons-free” zones.

Uh-huh.

I’m not planning on carrying a firearm with me into the parks, but I do want to carry a knife with me because a knife is useful for more than just defending your life.

After a few searches and reading a few blogs that I trust, I settled on the Boker Plus 01BO010 credit card knife.

The knife is skinny and hides easily. It is, essentially, your daily carry folding knife’s anorexic midget cousin. Without the clip, it’s just a few millimeters wide, and the size is very conducive to carrying inconspicuously.

That’s the new Boker next to my usual covert carry knife, a CRKT Pazoda 2, and a AA battery on the right. The blade on the Boker is taller and longer than the Pazoda, but the handle is a little shorter, which means I can only grip it with two fingers instead of three. Yes, that is an issue, but no, I’m not too worried about it. This is not a fighting knife, as it takes me two hands to open, but it is very useful thing to have with you because it’s a knife, and knives are handy.

The blade is 440-C stainless, and out of the box, it was quite dull. This did not please me, but a few moments with a sharpener solved that problem.

Did I mention it’s easy to conceal? Believe it or not, the Boker is in this photo, tucked in between a couple of dollar bills.

What’s the first rule of camouflage? Help the people see what they’re expecting to see, and in this case, the aluminum in my Ridge wallet will set off the metal detector, along with the metal in the knife.

Overall, I’m very happy with this knife. Yes, there were other, more covert options out there that are better fighting knives, but I’m not really too concerned about fighting my way through the line for “It’s A Small World”. Rather, I want a knife with me because of all the other things a knife can do, and this little Boker seems about right for that job.

There Is No Such Thing As The United States Of America When It Comes To Guns.

Spend a few minutes reading this post from David Yamane on who is usually guns to commit violence in America, and who is not. It’s well worth your time. Here’s a brief sample:

Taking an aggregate statistic like this, we often hear about how much higher the homicide rate is in the United States than other “similar” countries.

But there is a problem with such population averages: they gloss over important differences between subpopulations within the United States. For example, according to “Firearms Injuries in the United States,” the firearm homicide rate for those 25-34 is more than four times greater than the rate for those 55-64 (8.01 vs. 1.47). The rate for men is 6.13 and for women 1.15. The rate for non-Hispanic Blacks is 14.78 compared to 0.99 for non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Of course, these differences in subpopulations are related also to economics, and economics are closely related to residence in the United States. As I have argued previously, the problem with averages is that no one lives in “The United States.”

And it gets better from there. Go read it all.

I’m In.

Armed Parents

What should pop up in my social media feed right after I finished those last two rants but the news that Melody Lauer is bringing her Armed Parenting Class to Homestead Training Center in December of this year.

I’m in. I am SO in. I’ve been fascinated about this class from the moment I heard about it, for two reasons:

  1. The name of the course is *Contextual* Handgun. Think about that for a second… most (if not all) handgun training takes place in a context-free environment where we students are forced to adapt what we learn to our own lives. The instructor talks about presentation from a holster and post-engagement scan and assess and blah blah blah and then we students have to figure out what may or may not work for us.
    And let’s face it: If I was a single guy in the my late 20’s with no family, the threats that I might face and my reasons for defending myself or others would be quite different than they are now, with a wife and two young sons. If the reasons why were buying guns these days isn’t just “It’s a gun, and I can,” it makes sense to create training classes that are more than just “it’s a gun, here’s how you shoot it,” and yet nobody is doing that.
  2. People who I know and trust (and Bob Owens as well) have taken this course, and they’ve raved about it.

Really looking forward to this.

Bowling Against Columbine.

Stay-in-Lane-

Thinking a bit more about this post, have you been inside a bowling alley recently? The best of them are something like the Headpinz bowling alleys, which combine elements of a Dave & Busters into the current “midnight bowling” craze to produce something that’s closer to P.Diddy than it is to Earl Anthony. The worst of them? The worst are stuck in 1963, without the cool “Mad Men” retro vibe.

Think about how that applies to gun ranges. There are some good indoor ranges near me, and there are some really, really bad indoor ranges near me, but they all have one thing in common: Aside from the occasional zombie shoot or the late, great Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun, no one, and I mean NO ONE is trying to make range experience itself into something that is FUN, rather than something like taking an loud algebra exam.

Why not?

Gun nuts like myself (and most of the people reading this post) need no excuse to go the range beyond a) we have ammo and b) we want to shoot it. The act of going to the range and shooting a gun is all the amusement we need.

That’s nice for us, but just as outdoor ranges are competing against kayak rentals and driving ranges and other forms of outdoor amusement, indoor ranges are competing against other forms of INDOOR amusement such as bowling alleys, movies, etc., and from a quality-of-experience perspective, going to an indoor range ranks right up there with getting your tires rotated or parent-teacher night at the local middle school.

As they are set up now, most indoor ranges (in fact, shooting ranges in general) suck the amusement out of shooting a gun, not create more amusement beyond what comes from actually shooting a gun.

If we want Gun Culture 2.0 to thrive in a post-scarcity world, that has GOT to change.

 

The Possible First, Then The Unlikely.

I have two young sons. They tend to do stupid things. They have a better chance of getting hurt and needing first aid than my chance of needing a spare magazine for my concealed carry pistol of choice. Therefore, do I carry bandaids and other such things with me pretty much all the time?

You bet I do.

Because of my lifestyle, the odds of me needing to use a Bandaid are pretty good. The odds of me getting into a gunfight and needing  to use a spare mag are incredibly small. The stakes, though… the stakes are incredibly mortal.