So, We’re Back On Defense Again

So, We’re Back On Defense Again

Or are we? Some curated tweets from last week’s CNN show trial town hall about the Parkland murders. What was supposed to be a rally for gun control might turn out to motivate gun owners like very few things have before…

I would note that Guy Benson is a terrific advocate for conservative causes, but he is NOT a gun guy, and his response is something I am seeing again and again from folks on the right who are not into guns.

That clip of the audience cheering for a semi auto ban will motivate gun owners like nothing we’ve seen since 1994. If the NRA doesn’t use it in every ad they run in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and maybe Pennsylvania, they deserve to lose. We are talking SEMIAUTOS here, not “assault weapons” or scary AR-15’s. Things like the 10/22’s you use to plink cans and the Remington 1100 you use to blast geese from the sky would be covered by this ban.

Think that’ll motivate hunters to get out and vote?

And just how are we used to have a “conversation about guns” with someone who makes stuff up as they go along? It’d be like having a “conversation about football” with someone who insists on calling the ball a puck and swears that football is played in a rink.

Once you not only otherize your political opponents but also claim everything they do or say is actually violence, of COURSE you have to respond with actual violence. What choice do you have but to use violence against “violence”?

We are witnessing what happens when an entire generation (or more) has grown up with a Disneyland state of mind, and now they’re throwing the mother of all hissy fits.

And finally this, from the inestimable Frank J. Fleming.

Flash Site Pictures, Friday Edition

Flash Site Pictures, Friday Edition

A round up of stuff on the web, some written by me, some not.

The Generalist

The Generalist

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


There are three things driving my interest in firearms training. The first, and most important by far, is that it’s useful knowledge for someone like me who carries a gun on a regular basis. If I ever have to defend a life, it’s probably a good thing that I know how to do as effectively as possible.

Secondly, I want to learn from the root sources, or as close to them as I can. This is a habit ingrained in me from years of Bible school. Want the best translation of the Bible? Go to the Greek, (Aramaic if we’re talking OT) and go back as far as you can. That’s why I took a Massad Ayoob class, why I went to ECQC, and it’s driving which courses I’m attending at TacCon: I want to go back and learn from the people who started things off as much as possible.

Thirdly, I don’t want to specialize (hence the Heinlein quote). I want to be able to do just about any shooting activity with some measure of skill. A long-range rifle class is in the cards for me this year, and next year, I think I’ll pick up an over/under scatter gun and get some schooling in the shotgun sports. Yes, I know, one gun won’t cover all of them out there. My plan is to concentrate on Sporting Clays, and go from there. I know nothing about the shotgun sports, and it’s high time I fill that gap.

The Facts Of Gun Control Don’t Matter.

The Facts of Gun Control Don’t Matter.

Kevin’s note: This was written and queued up for publication last week, before the massacre here in Florida happened. If anything, it’s even more relevant today.


The facts really don’t matter: We can quote the reality of the situation, that responsible armed citizens aren’t the problem in America, but it won’t change the minds of people who favor gun control because a change in worldview like that only happens after an experience forces someone to change.

This was brought home to me while listening to David Yamane on Ballistic Radio last weekend, and it matches my experience (there’s that word again…). I’ve been arguing gun rights online for almost 20 years now, long before there was such a thing as a gunblog, and in that time, I’ve managed to convince absolutely no one that disarming the law-abiding will somehow affect criminal behavior.

However, I’ve also seen friends who were anti-gun get into guns because of their experience at a range: Shooting guns is fun, and once we get people to try it, we usually win.

A few years ago, after Sandy Hook, I was approached by a left-leaning college classmate of mine to join in on an online discussion of guns, arguing from the “pro-gun” side of things in a forum with people who favored gun control, with the goal of reaching a consensus. I declined, stating that I had argued guns for years online, and that trying to discuss why the right to self defense is important with people who are in favor of gun control is like trying to talk somebody out of their religious beliefs.

Not going to happen, as Dana Carvey would say.

I’m one of the very few believers I know who has had an intellectual religious conversion: Mere Christianity and The Road Less Travelled are what brought me back to Christianity: My experiences (there’s that word again) growing up in the church had no effect one way or the other on my decision to return to the faith.

However, I know I’m the exception. The good news is, though, when we take people shooting who are on the fence on this issue, we win, and we isolate the gun control crowd even more.

To borrow a line I’ve used over and over again, take someone to the shooting range and let them see for themselves, because guns are the gateway drug to freedom.

A Shot Vs. The Shot

A Shot vs. The Shot

So I’m signed up for a two-dayhog hunting school with Florida Firearms Training. I’m shopping for waterproof/snakeproof boots (not that I’m overly worried about snakes, but those boots are taller, and I *am* worried about tramping through foot-deep mud) and a big Yeti-esque cooler in another tab as I type this, and then I’m going to look around for rain gear and the best lightweight waterproof tactical pants to wear on my hunt.

Me, the very embodiment of Gun Culture 2.0, getting into hunting, the very essence of Gun Culture 1.0. Next up is a plague of locusts and a plague of frogs.

I’m actually rather excited about this, as it’s pretty much what I’ve been looking for in a hunting on-ramp: It’s local, it’s just two days long and it should (SHOULD) teach me how to hunt hogs versus taking us out with a guide to go blast Porky’s feral cousin without learning WHY we are doing what we’re doing.

Gun-wise, I’m probably going to go with my .300BLK pistol. My suppressor should be in my hands by then, and I’m looking forward to putting that gun and can into action together. I may go with the Holosun 1x red dot, or maybe swap that out for my 1.5-4x Leupold that’s not in use right now.

All this has got me thinking.

I shot about 600 or so rounds at John and Melody’s class last year. I shot 300 or so rounds at ECQC earlier this month. When I go to a USPSA or an IDPA match, I put 100 to 150 rounds downrange.

Now here’s the kicker: Out of all those shots, which one was the MOST important shot I fired? Which one of them made the difference between the quick and the dead? The first one, the one that was shot with no warmup and no prep and no practice. That’s what I can do, on-demand.

Which is just what happens on a hunt, because the shot you’re about to take is always THE most important shot of moment, if not the whole trip.

Think that has a self-defence application?

I do.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1261 – 1399

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1261 – 1399

Another day, another 140-ish rounds of Lucky Gunner’s .380 ammo through the little LCP2. This time out, it was just a slog to put as many rounds through the pistol as fast as I could, as today was a father-son range day with my youngest son, and my priority was helping him shoot, not running a test on this gun.

The LCP2 had one of it’s worst outings ever: 3 Failure to Ejects in under 140 rounds of shooting. While not a good thing, this is not too surprising to see as we approach the conclusion of this test. Two of the FTE’s were with Magtech ammo, and the other was with Fiocchi. The 39 rounds of Winchester White Box I put through it worked just fine.

A boy and his plinkster

Helping my youngest son with his shooting was the highlight of the day, by far. He’s a decent shot with my Marlin Plinkster, and he’s starting to love my red-dotted Smith&Wesson M22A. He owns a Remington 514, but I think he needs something more robust now that he’s older.

M22A and a young boy

Another highlight happened when we were loading mags: Bambi showed up to munch a bit on the sweet, sweet clover that was all over the ground of the backyard range we were shooting in, and offered up some suggestions about stance and trigger pull as we were shooting.

Everyone’s a critic.

Bambi and guns

And chill out: That Plinkster was empty, and there is a chamber flag in it. We were safe to load mags at that table.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge Results

Rounds Fired
50 Rounds Fiocchi 95 gr .380 ACP
50 Rounds MagTech .380 ACP
39 Rounds Winchester .380 ACP

Total Rounds Fired: 1399
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993, 1277, 1323, 1359
Failure to feed: Round 873

Flash Site Pictures, Tuesday Edition.

Flash Site Pictures, Tuesday Edition.

A quick roundup of stuff on the web.

  • Smith & Wesson has a new pistol out, the M&P380 Shield EZ. Apart from the word salad of a name, it looks like a really good little gun for people who want a gun to “feel safe” but aren’t going to get much training beyond a CCW class.
    Which doesn’t mean that a heavier, flat-shooting .380 is a bad option for a defensive pistol: It’ll do the job. Are the better options? Yes. Are those options worth the effort for 80% of the gun owners out there? Probably not. Really looking forward to seeing how S&W rolls out this gun, because how they marketed the Shield rollout was terrific.
  • My first article for the Beretta Blog is up, on what to look for in a firearms trainer.
  • And I’ve got an article on setting up a safe room inside your house over at NRA Family.
  • David Yamane was on Ballistic Radio, and it’s a great interview. Listen to it here.
  • Step By Step Gun Training is bringing John Farnam to Naples for a vehicle defense class. We spend hours and hours inside our cars each week, and carjacking is very real thing. Therefore, it’d be good to know what to do if you’re attacked inside your car because the rules change when the workspace shrinks.

Surviving The Death Of The GunBlogosphere

Surviving The Death Of The GunBlogosphere

First off, let’s face facts: Gunblogging (and indeed, blogging of all kinds) is pretty much dead. It’s pining for the fjords of Norway. It has ceased to be, and social media is now triumphant.

-ish.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I am seeing a LOT of requests for links from companies and individuals asking me to link to them in order to boost their SEO results. 99.9% of them I turn down because I really don’t see how linking to vaping supplies or woman’s shoes is related to a gunblog, but I will let a few through if the idea is right. So maybe blogging at yourgunblog.wordpress.com or the like is in trouble, but if you’ve got your own IP address, your own domain name and some decent inbound links, people will want to talk with you about making their domain results a little bit better.

And then there’s blogger burnout. Yes, it’s a thing, but I do this so I don’t talk guns with my wife all the time, so I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I’m liking how the blog is working in conjunction with my other writing efforts, and I like where things are headed.

Update: More on blogging (photoblogging, to be exact) from my friend and mentor Don Giannatti.

As social media begins to reveal its rather impressively large negative influences, as well as the increasing stultifying of creativity even as it may create some as well, there must be another way to be involved and engaged.

Facebook is too easy. It is too contained. It is becoming an echo chamber for anger, pity, fake news and ideas, and the constantly inwardly focus of the perpetually incensed.

That doesn’t sound like a great idea for a community to me.

 

Don’t Try To Understand ‘Em…

Don’t Try To Understand ‘Em…

… just rope ’em, tie ’em and brand ’em
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.

My heart’s calculatin’
My true love will be waitin’
Be waitin’ at the end of my ride

Move ’em on, head ’em up
Head ’em up, move ’em on
Move ’em on, head ’em up
Rawhide

A quick roundup of some articles I wrote that aren’t SHOT-related.

That Dropzone article is my first article for Shooting Sports USA, and they’ll be more articles over there by me in the near future. One thing that happened at SHOT this year is that I really diversified the number of places I’m writing for: Look for stuff on Beretta’s blog, the USCCA and even (gasp) American Hunter sometime this year.

Speaking of roundups (and bad segues), I’m outta here later today, off to take ECQC with Craig Douglas this weekend. This is a class I’m really looking forward to (even though I’ll probably get my @ss kicked in new and exciting ways) because it’s an area of self-defense that a) I know little about and b) have noticed for awhile now that there are a lot of people teaching a gun solution to violence and a lot of people teaching a martial art solution to violence but there are very few people integrating the empty handed skills of martial arts into the gun world.

Well, Craig is one of those people, so I am really looking forward to this class, no matter what it does to my poor, decrepit body.