Shots Fired.

Shots Fired.

Florida Carry cuts off its nose to spite its face – Again

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders.  License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts.  When firearms, that are being lawfully carried concealed, accidentally become exposed to the sight of another person, license holders are being arrested for violating the open carry ban.

In Florida, there are 1.8 million law-abiding license holders. Every time they leave their homes, carrying a firearm, they run the risk of that firearm becoming exposed to the sight of another person and then being thrown face down on the street, arrested at gun point and treated like a criminal – because the wind blew open a jacket or they reached for something on a top shelf or a shirt got snagged and uncovered their firearm.

Yeah, I’m gonna guess that the ILA ain’t gonna get a Christmas card from Florida Carry this year.

And probably next year as well.

I’d criticize all those “no compromise” groups out there for how they compromised their beliefs in order to gain a political victory, but first, they need to actually HAVE a political victory for me to do that.

Product Review: Elite Survival Systems Pulse 24 Hour Backpack.

Product Review: Elite Survival Systems Pulse 24 Hour Backpack.

Advantages: Well-made, holds a bunch of gear, doesn’t look menacing
Disadvantages: Could use a just little more MOLLE on the sides
Rating: Five Stars Out of Five.

I reached out to Elite Survival Systems for a couple of EDC/Bug Out bags, and they didn’t send me just two bags, they sent me three: A Pulse 24 Hour bag that I’ll review right now now, and an Echo EDC bag and a Guardian concealment pack that I’ll talk about later.

How cool is that?

I reached out to Elite Survival Systems for this bag because I found out that my current bug-out bag, a Paladin Gear, um, Bug Out Bag, just wasn’t comfortable enough to carry on a long-term basis. I did a seven-mile walk with the Paladin on my shoulder (note: *shoulder*. More on that later.), and it became really tiresome to carry around about halfway through the journey.

This is a problem, because my idea for this bag and what it holds is simple: It holds all the stuff I need if I need to go camping for three days on a moment’s notice, anywhere in the American Southeast. I don’t go camping as much as I used to, and I don’t go into the back country here in Florida like I did in Arizona (probably due to the fact that the back roads here are, in fact, swamps, and not roads), but still, I like to have a backup plan handy at all times, so I carry a bug out bag.

The Elite Survival Systems Pulse takes the tried-and-tested 72 hour bag and tones it down a bit. Rather that make it Kyrptec or Multicam or some other tactical color, the bag comes in either brown or black, about as boring as possible, and boring is good if you’re going to be walking around town with it on your shoulders.

And that’s a key point: This bag has two very comfortable padded shoulder straps, along with buckles the chest and level and waist level, and makes it very easy to carry around for hours on end. I did the same walk recently with this bag, and it was a MUCH more pleasant experience. A sling bag is good for emergencies, when you need to grab something quickly and move quickly, but that’s not why I have a bag in the back of my car. The bag in my car is meant to keep me going for at least three days without access to all the niceties of the modern world, and if that means taking a hike to get  back to the modern world, I take a hike.

The Pulse is built well: The zippers open easily and don’t hang up, the nylon is nice and thick and there are no loose threads to be found anywhere on the bag. One of the reasons why I like the Pulse for this sort of thing is it contains a pocket for a hydration pouch: Living in Arizona taught me that a ready supply of water is really, really important, so a bladder is a “must have” for me in a bag like this.

A hydration pouch is just one of the pouches this bag has. I was able to squirrel away all the gear I had been carrying in old bag, with some space left over. The Pulse has MOLLE on the back of the bag and a plethora of pockets inside, allowing me to sort out my stuff into some sort of logical order for quick access. One thing that is different from the Paladin bag is that there is no MOLLE on the sides, which really isn’t a bad thing, I guess, but I carry around a machete with me in my car (because I live literally minutes away from the Everglades) and it’d be nice to strap it to the side of the bag if I need to take a long walk in the swamp, for one reason or another.

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a gear bag that won’t make you look like you’re headed out to the sandbox when you’re headed out of town.


FCC Disclaimer: Yes, I said they gave me this bag. What of it? 

Hog Wild.

Hog Wild.

Whole Hog

Michael Bane brought up an interesting idea on last week’s podcast: Hog hunting, specifically eradicating feral hogs in the Southeast, has saved the sport of hunting in the U.S.

And he’s probably right.

Getting into hog hunting is really easy, especially for people like me who are middle aged and have never hunted. As I’ve said before, it’s actually easier for my wife and my kids to get into a regular hunting training program than it is for me to get into one.

However, getting into hog hunting is actually pretty easy: I snagged an evening’s trip awhile back to help me evaluate a cheap little IR sight, and there’s two-day classes on hunting hogs available near me as well that I’ll probably take advantage of next year.

And then there’s the simple fact that hogs are an invasive species, and blasting them into oblivion is like fishing for lion fish or hunting for Burmese Pythons: Yes, it’s hunting, but it’s hunting that tries to restore the balance to the ecosystem, and even the most fervent of tree-huggers understands that getting rid of invasive species is a good idea for everyone.

So go out and blast Wilbur into oblivion, and do so knowing that not only are you restoring balance to the environment, you’re also creating an on-ramp for generations of hunters to come.

And organically-grown, free-range, antibiotic-free bacon is just icing on the cake.

Upcoming Training: Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian.

Upcoming Training: Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian.

The Contextual Handgun

REALLY looking forward to this one, for a couple of reasons:

1. 
It’s the first class I’ve seen out there that tries to put what we learn on the range into the context of our everyday lives. Pretty much every class taught to armed citizens teaches us techniques of shooting a gun, but then leaves it up to us to figure out how to apply said techniques to our lives once we’re done with the class. It’s like learning what the gas pedal is and what the brake pedal does, but not learning when to speed up in traffic and when to slow down. John and Melody are the first people I’ve seen to bring firearms training into the real real world we all live in, rather than trying to bring firearms training that works in downtown Fallujah onto the streets of downtown Detroit*.

2.
The reason for all of this, the reason why I’m taking classes and learning to shoot and writing about it and all of this, started with my desire to protect my family. ALL of this stems from that desire, and I’ve been trying for literally a decade to find a firearms training class that acknowledges that we are not in it alone, that there are other people out there who we care for and want to protect. I’m not a cop on the street, it’s not my job to chase down bad guys. It’s my job to help keep my family safe, and yet no one until now** has designed a firearms training program based around that simple idea.


* Granted, downtown Fallujah is probably safer than downtown Detroit, but you get my idea.
** Yes, I know, there’s an “Armed Couple” class at GunSite and whatnot. That’s not what I’m talking about here, we’re talking about one person having the means to defend their family, not everyone being armed.

After Action Report: Step By Step Gun Training Glock Range Day / Night Shoot N Scoot

After Action Report: Step By Step Gun Training Glock Range Day / Night Shoot N Scoot

Shoot N Scoot

The Everglades Glock Range Day is a unique event for a number of reasons. It’s the only non-GSSF event that Glock’s involved with, and it’s one of the very few events designed to get people used to moving and shooting with their defensive pistols. (Disclaimer: I gave away a bunch of AR stocks I had lying around as prizes, so yes, technically, I was a sponsor. Yay me.).

The event has enough competitive elements to get the hardcore types out and compete against each other (I saw one guy plunk down $100 for a bunch of tickets in a quest to win one of the Glocks offered as a stage prize… not sure if he won one or not…), yet the stages are easy to shoot and the environment is laid-back so people who’ve never shot on the move or competed on a stage aren’t intimidated by the task at hand. There was vendor booths and a DJ and a food truck and door prizes and a good time was had by all.

Honestly, something like this should be an annual event at every range that hosts either a USPSA or an IDPA match. If we want our sport to be accepted and grow, it has to seem acceptable and bring in new people.

It’s not rocket surgery, people.

After the event was over and the booths put away, there was a night time training event where we had a chance to try out some tac lights and night sights options for our firearms.

I got a chance to try out a bunch of new gear in a situation that’s kinda sorta close to a situation where I might need to use it:

Trijicon HDXR Night Sights
REALLY useful in low-light situations where you can see and recognize a target but it’s not total darkness yet, but not so useful in total darkness. If you can’t see your target, don’t shoot at it, but up until that happens, those night sights were really handy.

Streamlight TLR-1 HL
Sha-ZAM. I have this light mounted on the front of my .300BLK pistol, and it easily lit up a target 35 yards away. I’d be very comfortable engaging targets up to 50 yards away with that light, and I like where I’ve got it set up on my pistol.

Streamlight Pro-Tac 1 Rail
Not as bright as the TLR-1, but it did the job mounted on my Kel-Tec SU-16. I was wondering if it tossed out enough light to be useful with a non-illuminated low-power variable optic (a Leupold 1.5-4x), and it does. Useful to know.

Condor Plate Carrier
Not as bulky as I thought it would be. I still need to figure out the best way to store my mags in their pouches (shooting left-handed gets a little weird at times), but I could run my AR pistol with no issues while doing my best Tactical Timmy impersonation.

Layered Like An Onion

Layered Like An Onion

It’s not uncommon for awkward and potentially violent situations to pop up inside a church. For instance, one of the issues that’s happened in a church I’ve attended is where one spouse refuses to quit going to the same church as the other after a nasty divorce, and steps need to be taken that restraining orders are adhered to.

Yuk.

My local megachurch posts an off duty deputy in the narthex, which discourages social predators and rude behavior, but it also means that asocial predators will look at him, and strike elsewhere.

Predators don’t prey on the strong, they seek out and attack the weak. I’m glad that we have a cop in our church lobby, but I’d prefer him to be 300 yards to the east, in the children’s educational wing where my sons are learning about God. That’s where the weakness is, and that’s what needs protecting.

The sanctuary with all us adults? Well, I know there’s at least one well-armed, well-trained individual worshipping in every service I attend.

Will it be enough? I sincerely hope I never have to find out.

Urban Grey Man

Urban Grey Man

I see this all the time, especially at our local Wal-Mart. Sum dood wearing a gun-related hat and Mossy Oak t-shirt with a silk screen on it that loudly proclaims his love to all around him for the 2nd amendment. If he’s carrying, he’s carrying so well that he’s not printing, and he walks up to the sporting goods counter and talks about his shooting exploits to everyone there.

… and then buys one 50 round box of .40 or .45 (Never 9mm. Never, ever 9mm.).

Meanwhile, lil’ ol’ me in my polo shirt and khakis smiles quietly, noticing that a good portion of the gun-related books for sale at the gun counter were authored by friends of mine…

An Army Of We.

An Army Of We.

Interesting article on Wired on how social media is proving to be more flexible and faster-responding to disasters than the .gov is.

From Hernandez’s viewpoint, international aid workers from countries such as Spain, Japan, Israel, and the United States were working at a dangerously slow pace. Hernández placed more trust in civilians, such as the carpenters, electricians, and welders who had responded to volunteers’ messages. The lamps, shovels, and dust masks were distributed from volunteers’ tents. The food that volunteers provided for the hundreds of people on site, including the government’s uniformed forces, was prepared in their own homes.

The Southern Baptists figured this out YEARS ago, which is why they’re so much better at responding to hurricanes than anyone else.

The modern security state exists, in part, because the people decided they needed a larger-scale response to large-scale traumatic events than they as individuals were able to provide. When a really big fire and a rising crime rate was the problem, the people got together and appointed members of their community to act as firefighters and police officers and solve those problems.

What happens when the people themselves can self-organize faster than the agencies that were supposed to solve those problems? What happens when the people who were supposed to solve the problems become the problem itself?

As the saying goes, the internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it. Maybe now we’re seeing what happens when the internet has to route traffic to damage in order to repair it.

Discrete CCW Update

Discrete CCW Update

quietly armed

Two things happened recently that have affected my choices of gear in discrete environments. One was listening to legendary mustache lawman Chuck Haggard talk about how he would advise people to carry a spicy treat dispenser rather than a reload, and the second is reading John Correia of Active Self Protection talk about how, out of the 10,000 gunfight’s he’s analyzed on video, a civilian has never had to reload, not even once.

This is why I no longer carry a spare mag for the LCP2. When I’m in business casual, I can carry stuff in my pockets, and that’s about it, so I have to keep my gear down to the absolute minimum.

Current Discrete Carry, Clockwise from Upper Left
Sticky Holster Pocket Holster, strong side pocket
Ruger LCP2 With Crimson Trace Green Laser, in holster
Streamlight 2xAAA Stylus Pro flashlight, clipped to weak side pocket
LCP2 magazine, in gun
6+1 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense .380ACP, in magazine
CRKT Pazoda 2, clipped in weak side pocket next to flashlight
Sabre Red pepper spray, weak side pocket
Leatherman PS multitool, on keychain
Keys, weak side pocket
Wallet, weak side pocket

All of that disappears fairly easily into the pockets of my work khakis. I’m not 100% satisfied with carrying that pepper spray rattling around loose in my pocket, but it will do until I come up with something else. I had been carrying around a Photon Micro-Light II on my keychain, but I realized that I wasn’t using it, and if for some reason I needed a backup flashlight, there’s an app on my phone that will work just fine for that task.

Turn Up The Radio.

Turn Up The Radio.

Ugh, did I just make a reference to a lousy 80’s hair metal band?

Yes, yes I did.

Anyways, there’s an interesting article on MacRumors.com on how iPhones are equipped with an FM receiver, but it’s turned off by default, and turning it on, especially during natural disasters, might be a good idea.

Actually, I think it’s a great idea.

Our cell service was out for days after Irma, and we did better than most people at keeping up with what was going down because we had a cheap wind-up AM/FM radio with us. But if the gazillions and gazillions of iPhone owners out there could tune into hear emergency updates at a time when the cell towers were tango-uniform, it can only be a good thing.