A Reminder: "Gun Free Zones", Aren't

A Reminder: "Gun Free Zones", aren't

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The metal detectors at Amalie Arena in Tampa are there for your protection. They go off at the slightest whiff of a dangerous weapon, and staffed with security professionals who are trained to stop threats before they happened.

Or, you know, not.

Lucas Cassidy, 27, was removed from Section 320 in the arena and charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for bringing a handgun into the event.

Tampa police say a fan who saw Cassidy drop a handgun in the restroom alerted authorities who arrested him during the third period of the game.

“We would rather that it hadn’t happened, we wish it didn’t,” said Amalie Arena Vice President Mary Milne.

Asked how Cassidy got past security, Milne said it was human error.

Cassidy, she says, had set off a metal detector, but showed a staff member the keys in his pocket. With a crowd of people still waiting to get into the game, he was let through without being rechecked.

Legal notice: Don’t carry your otherwise-legal firearm in place you shouldn’t, especially in government buildings, schools and the like. That’s bad, bad juju.

That being said, have I waltzed past “No guns allowed” signs posted in private businesses while carrying? Yep.

Concealed means concealed, after all.

What this incident really shows is the utter futility of “gun free zones”. Despite a metal detector and security guard, there was a gun in the arena. Probably more than one.

Build a better mousetrap, and smarter mice will figure out ways to get the cheese.

Exit question: This incident started when a gun was dropped onto the floor and panic ensued. Would the response to this stupid accident have been different in Florida had an open carry law?

Four Months Without A Gun

Four Months Without A Gun

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Due to a snafu with my mailing address, I *finally* received my Florida CCW today, after applying for it back in January of this year. The last time I legally carried a firearm for self-defense was December 19, 2014, and going so long without a CCW gun has taught me a few lessons…

  1. Naples is a very safe city. Not safe enough that I’m comfortable without a gun near me, though.
  2. A gun in my car is NOT near enough.
  3. A flashlight and awareness are very nice tools for self-protection. A flashlight, awareness and a CZ P07 is MUCH better.
  4. You get used to not carrying a gun. That’s not a good thing. Now I need to re-learn daily carry, and as I do so, I’ll update things, as I think it will give me a fresh perspective on the armed lifestyle.

Oh, and things are calming down at work after our opening (I have a day off this week! Yay!) so expect more content as well.

Still Not Here

Still not here

Not going to be here for a while, either. The store opens on Wednesday, and for the next two weeks, I’m working 12 hour days.

The good news is, I’m putting rounds downrange, and will be doing so more often now that we’re open. Got to shoot a Sig P226 TacOps this weekend (niiiiiice), a PX (not impressed), an H&K P30 (good, not great), a ZevTech Glock (best Glock I’ve shot, which is like being the skinniest kid in fat camp…), and a Ruger LC9s (MUCH improved).

Stay tuned.

A Mile Wide, An Inch Deep

A mile wide, an inch deep

Something I’ve found out after almost a year on the other side of the gun counter: If you want to work in the industry, having some knowledge about a bunch of firearms related things trumps knowing every little thing there is to know about, say, the AR-15. You never know who is going to walk in the door / send you an email / call on the phone, so being able to talk intelligently about sporting clays with one guy and then switch over and chat about concealed carry for women five minutes later is a very, very useful skill.

And not just “Yeah, my Dad had a gun like that, but I never shot it” type conversations, either. If I have one piece of advice for anyone who wants to get into the industry, it’s shoot a bunch of guns in a bunch of different settings. Don’t just go to one range and do one type of shooting all the time: If you plink, try shooting clays. If you shoot scatter guns, try precision rifle. Take a good pistol course. Shoot 3 gun, bullseye and go hunting. Learn a little bit about a bunch of things, because that helps you understand HOW your customers use their guns, and that helps you sell them the guns they want and or/need to enjoy those activities a little bit more.

Match Report, Louland Pistol Match, March 19

Match Report, Louland Pistol Match, March 19

I decided to try something different this time. Rather than shoot the match USPSA-style with my tuned CZ-75 and gamer rig, I shot it with my P-07 and my carry rig.

I had zero expectations about this match: The only reason I was shooting it was to get used to my carry rig again and to flex my IDPA muscles a bit. To be honest, I could have shot it better, but overall, I’m ok with my results as they reflect where I am as a shooter right now. I’ve not been dry-firing as much as of late, and it shows.

Ok, not that bad for a dead-stock gun. Memo to self: Next time, listen to the stage briefing, that way the RO doesn’t need to coach you halfway through your run.

I'm Not Much Of A Hunter But…

I'm not much of a hunter but…

I went to the local Safari Club International dinner over the weekend, and there was one trip up for grabs on the live auction that I would have bought in a heartbeat had I anything resembling the spare cash/credit to buy it.

A week’s hunting for Red Stag, accommodations included, on the Balmoral Estate of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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No, you wouldn’t be staying in the palace. I checked.

Look, I get that there’s still a lot of reverse snobbery from Americans about the British royalty, but for someone Canadian-born like myself, the Queen is a BIG deal, she is the embodiment of the country, and to be anywhere near a) the Highlands and b) Balmoral is almost overwhelming for someone like me.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled American stuff.

Still Got The Shutter Bug.

Still got the shutter bug.

Even though it’s been at least a dozen years since I tripped the the shutter for a living (and five years since my last big gig), I can still pull out a good shot or two when needed.

Did a day’s worth of shooting for the day job over the weekend, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

< Shooting range The Alamo by Lotus Gunworks SUCKS Women shooting

Gear for the shoot, if you must know, was this cheap-o Chinese lighting kit, a flex reflector and my old D70.

Oh, and gaffer’s tape, foam core and a-clamps, because let’s face it, when you get right down to it, those are more important than the camera.

No, really.

Things might have gone a bit smoother on the shoot if I had access to my old reliable Speedotrons, but hey, time (and gear) marches on. Besides, I picked up the entire new system for the price of one flash head from my old lighting kit. Granted, I now have four 200w/s monoblocks instead of 9600w/s worth of lights that can (and have) lit up a basketball arena, but what I have works for me, and that’s the way I like it.