Musical Interlude

I didn’t go see The Police when they re-united and toured a few years ago, because I wanted to remember them as when I first saw them, 0ver 35 years ago, playing in a hockey arena in small city on the edge of the Canadian Rockies.

I didn’t go, because I didn’t want to see my heroes get old.

But New Order? I’ll go see New Order any time, anywhere.

A Good Knife.

To be honest, I will never understand people who leave the house without a knife, phone and a flashlight. Unless you work in a non-permissive environment like behind TSA lines or in a school, it only makes sense to carry around a sharp edge, along with some way of seeing in the dark and a means of communicating beyond yelling at the top of your lungs.

Oh, and a lighter would also be a good idea as well, because being able to start a fire is never not handy.

Part of the problem is, when people say “I want a good knife,” we recommend a tactical folder to them or a confusing mulittool when all they really wanted was something cheap and pointy.

Enter the Opinel folding knife. I got turned on to these almost thirty years ago by a knife-loving friend of mine, and I’ve tried to keep one nearby as often as I could.

opinel_1

The Opinel knife has changed very little since it was introduced almost 100 years ago. It has a simple, twist-lock design that keeps it closed when not needed or when it’s open, and that’s about it. It’s not the easiest knife in the world to open (it usually takes me both hands to open mine), but what it does, it does very, very well.

opinel_2

The blade is sharp. DANG sharp, and the handle fits comfortable in your hand. If you’re looking for a cheap, everyday utility knife, skip the cheap Chinese imports and go with something that’s been around for a hundred years.

“Half The Store Is Devoted To Solutions”.

“Because people don’t just want to buy personal computers anymore, they want to know what they can do with them.”

This. This is how Apple took over the world. They realized, faster than Microsoft did, that computers were not something we used just at the office, they were becoming part of our lives.

Apple did this, and now they own the retail world.

Who is devoting half of their gun store to HOW you use a gun? Anyone?

Why not?

Is there anything, anything at all inside your gun store that gives hints about what you can DO with your guns, now that you’ve bought one?

Why not?

Dance With The Person Who Brought You To The Dance.

Nice to see one of the icons of mainstream, establishment conservatism notice the role that the NRA played in defeating Hillary Clinton.

There are many claimants to the honor of having nudged Donald Trump over the top in the presidential election. But the folks with the best case are the National Rifle Association and the consultants who made their TV ads.

The NRA did just about everything right. It endorsed Trump last May when he was still just the de facto nominee. The goal was to persuade Second Amendment supporters who’d backed other candidates to unify behind him.

The NRA planned ahead. It had lined up TV time months beforehand when rates were lower. That saved money. Thus when the Access Hollywood tape threatened to capsize the Trump campaign a month before the election, the NRA had cash on hand for a fresh ad to steady Trump.

Good to see Freddy (“The Beadle“) Barnes saying something that I’ve been saying (literally) for years, that gun owners are the new evangelicals.

October, 2015:

“The NRA is not going away anytime soon, but their political role is changing. Thirty years ago, the Republicans relied on a “three-legged stool” of support from foreign policy hawks, small-government activists, and social conservatives. Of those three, it was the social conservatives who did the dirty work of knocking on doors and getting out voters to the polls on voting day. Since then, however, the power of social conservatives inside and outside of the Republican Party has waned, and it’s now gun owners and NRA members who get out the vote for their candidate of choice.”

October, 2016

We’re in a presidential election where one of the candidates is proud that the National Rifle Association and others opposes her efforts to change the meaning of the Second Amendment and impose the “Australian model” of gun control on the US.

American gun owners are, for the most part, allied against Hillary’s attempts to move the right of self-defense from an individual right to a duty that belongs to the state. We’re mobilized, and we’re spreading the word about what responsible gun ownership looks like.

We’re winning. The gun-control fever has broken, at least on a national scale. Let’s get back to healthy, safe gun ownership as the norm in American life, and leave civilian disarmament on the ash heap of history where it belongs.

It’s Hard Being a Pimp These Days.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about the current state of gun journalism, and a few thoughts have popped into mind that may or may not make sense to you.

In the past, I’ve bemoaned the lack of metrics when it comes to guns and compared gun reviews to car reviews. That’s not fair, though, because due to their size and how they operate, a car is MUCH less affected by who’s behind the wheel than a gun is affected by who’s on the trigger.

A better comparison might be cameras, something which I have more than a passing familiarity with.

Strictly speaking, camera reviews suck. Always have, always will. Yes, they can compare signal to noise ratios and megapixels until the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is, if you gave me a Nikon D5 and gave Greg Heisler an iPhone, his pictures are going to be better than mine. They just will. That’s why he’s Gregory Heisler, and I’m not.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My favorite camera when I was a shooter (clickclick) wasn’t the FM2 or the Hassie or the Sinar 4×5, it was a small, light (relatively) cheap Olympus XA rangefinder. I liked that camera because it was ALWAYS with me, and I got some great shots with when they popped up in front of me. Now, did I try to shoot tabletop still lifes or corporate portraits with it? Of course not, but that’s when the Sinar and Hasseblads (respectively) would come into play. The XA, though, just *shines* in my favorite kind of work, informal environmental portraiture, so that’s why I carried it for so long.

None of my decisions to buy gear for either myself or the studio was guided in any way by a camera review in a photo magazine. To be honest, most photographers know diddly-squat about cameras as a whole: I think I cracked open “Popular Photography” maybe once or twice in the dozen years I was a shooter (clickclick), but I read every issue of PDN and Outdoor Photography (because I’ve always been MAD for Galen Rowell‘s work). My experience as a shooter was hardly unique. Most of the day in, day out photographers I know have no clue about the camera market as a whole. They do, however, know the cameras they use everyday like the back of their hand.

How this applies to the gun journalism world should be easy for you to figure out.

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.

 

Waiting For Godot. And the HPA.

I like what SilencerCo is doing here.

Purchase one of our silencers through a SilencerCo Dealer any time between February 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017 then click the link below to register your product and upload your proof of purchase.

GET THIS
You’ll then receive a custom code via email within 72 hours that’s good for up to $200 worth of free gear on SilencerCo’s web store – accessories, merchandise – you name it.

I’m actually shopping around for my first can right now, and this is a tempting deal because there are things like silencer covers, QD mounts, etc, that quickly drive up the price of what is already an expensive add-on for your gun.

SilencerCo is adapting to the market as the market changes. Cool.

Five Years Later, People Are Catching On.

Me, writing in December 2011:

I keep wondering why there aren’t more pistol-caliber short guns out there on the market.

There’s the Hi-Point which suffers from being a Hi-Point, there’s the Kel-Tec Sub2000 which suffers from being a Kel-Tec and also cannot be found for purchase within the lower 48. There’s the Taurus CT G2 which has yet to hit our shores, the Beretta CX4 Storm (which costs about the same as a dedicated 9mm AR), and then there’s all manner of lever action guns in all manner of calibers.

The Ruger LCP and LC9 proved that there was a market for upgraded and “name-brand” versions of guns inspired by Kel-Tec guns, and with the utter unavailiability of the Sub-2000 and the lack of competion in the carbine marketspace, maybe it’s time for Ruger to take a another look at the Ruger Police Carbine and update it for the 21st century with some rails and a folding stock.

And now 2017 is apparently the Year Of The Pistol Caliber Carbine.

This doesn’t surprise me at all. The pistol caliber carbine is pretty much a civilian version of a Personal Defense Weapon, or older still, the M1 Carbine. It’s the gun you grab when you need more than a pistol but don’t want / can’t use an AR-15 or bigger gun. If it works for police and the military, it should work for me, too, right?

Braise The Beef And Pass The Ammunition

Me, last year:

Gun Culture 1.0 was/is fairly respectable and respected: You could (well, until recently) own a gun for hunting and not be considered a “Gun Nut”. No one blinks at a copy of Field&Stream or Outdoor Life in a doctor’s office waiting room. Gun Culture 3.0 will be when no one blinks at a copy of Front Sight or The Tactical Journal in a waiting room.

Peoria, Arizona, today:

Modern Round is an exhilarating and empowering new entertainment concept for the adrenaline seeker in all of us. It’s part virtual shooting range meets part upscale lounge. You’ll experience state-of-the-art technology that feels as real as shooting a live gun. But instead of using live ammo, you’ll be at the center of a simulated world where you’re placed right into the action.

Seems to be like a cross between Gunsite, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and a Dave & Busters.

The “guntry club” is obsolete: Say hello to the drive-by restaurant.