Pointy Stabby

Pointy Stabby

I honestly don’t know how people live their everyday lives without having a flashlight and a blade within arm’s reach at all times. How they open up packaging or navigate a darkened parking lot or perform any one of a hundred daily tasks where a portable source of light and a sharp pointy object might come in handy. Yes, there is the current insanity of “weapons free zones” to deal with, but my experience has shown that if you can make a reasonable case that your pointy object is a tool you need to perform your daily tasks, (this is one of my favorites for such purposes), you can have a blade near you at all times.

After poking around and trying out a bunch of knives, I have three which I carry on a regular basis:

Top: A Columbia River Knive and Tool Pazoda 2. I love this little knife for low-profile carry because only the clip shows when I carry it. This is REALLY important in such cases because the last thing you want is someone to fixate on a knife if you’ve also carrying something more… robust on you. Another reason why I like it is because it takes up hardly any room in my pocket, and that matters a lot when you’re trying to squeeze the armed lifestyle into business casual.

Middle: A Boker AK74. I’m blessed to live in a state that allows we plebeians to carry auto-opening knives, so this is what I carry. I also have a Kershaw with the Emerson quick opener on it for the times when I journey outside of the state, but I really like the assured opening of a spring-loaded blade versus relying on a draw to open my knife. Another thing I like this one in particular is once again, only the clip shows when I carry it in my pocket. It’s not as big of a deal with this knife as it is with the Pazoda, because this knife is part of my more-casual everyday carry and my cover garment usually covers my pockets as well as my gun, but it’s still possible to see the clip peek out as I move about through life, and the less noticeable my knife is, the better I like it.

Bottom: An SOG Mini-Instinct. As mentioned before, one of my big takeaways from ECQC was the utility of a fixed blade worn someplace on the centerline for when things get up close and personal, so that’s why this blade rides on my belt just to the left of the belt buckle. This one is for emergency use only: The Boker is the one that I use if there’s cheesecake to be had, and I save this knife for that other reason…

Other than that, I use this little Boker for those times when I really, really don’t want someone to know I have a knife, and that’s about it. They’re maybe not the most expensive knives out there, but they are certainly up to the tasks I need them to perform.

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.

Words Are Weapons

Words Are Weapons

sharpen the knives
makes you wonder how the other half dies

One of the big takeaways from ECQC for me was the utility of verbal agility. There were several evos when the defender was literally stopped in his tracks by what the attacker said, and one memorable time when a verbal confrontation wound up in a textbook Mountain Goat drill, both of them literally butting heads, jockeying for position.

This is not what I would call an optimum resolution of the situation.

So now I’m looking for classes or courses for we armed citizens in how to defuse a hostile situation with what we say, rather than what we carry on our belt. I’ve got the gun solution pretty well covered, and I’m working on the fist solution, now it’s time to work on the lips solution.

Last SHOT…

Last SHOT…

One of the trends I noticed at the show this year was the return of suppressors with wipes.

Wipes, if you recall, are flexible, soft expansion chambers inside a can that do a great job of sucking up noise because they’re soft and flexible, but because they’re soft and flexible, they also wear out, while metal does not.

However, the ATF recently ruled that having spare wipes on-hand is a no-no, as those are considered to be parts to build a can, and you and I aren’t allowed to do that without the permission of the government.

But that hasn’t seemed to stop the industry. Gem-Tech has a nice little can that uses wipes, as does Thompson Machine and GSL Technologies.

The times, they are a-changing.

Parting SHOT…*

Parting SHOT…*

A few random thoughts…

  • Having a marketing guy for one of the biggest names in the business tell me they were doing their new product strategy based on my “guns are now a lifestyle” approach to things was a HUGE ego boost.**
  • Want cheep booze and eats? Head to Ellis Island. $9.99 steak dinner (a HUGE hunk o’ sirloin that was cooked perfectly medium rare) and $6.99 Makers Mark. Oh, and an Elvis impersonator as well. Yes, you could be all hyper-cool at some joint inside the Aria and pay $20 for a shot of bourbon while being surrounded by Asian supermodels, but me, I like my Vegas circa 1985.
  • Some of my friends are going ga-ga over the SIG P365, and it does look like a great little gun, but me, I look at it as a SIG’s version of Kel-Tec P11. Eleven years ago, everyone went ga-ga over the LCP, which was essentially Ruger’s version of a Kel-Tec P3AT. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the most innovative gun designer in the post-Gaston world is George Kelgren, and the rate at which is designs are being copied just proves that fact.
  • If you’re in the 5.56mm AR-15 business, good Lord, you better diversify, and diversify QUICKLY. Aside from suppressors (which were surprisingly strong this year…) I didn’t see ANYTHING neat and nifty this year for AR-15 rifles. The price floor for AR’s was set last year at $399, and I don’t think it’s going up any time in the future.
  • All in all, product-wise, it wasn’t as good as it was in years past. I had to scramble to come up with six things a day to talk about for Shooting Illustrated, but we got the job done. Aside from the P365, there really wasn’t any “Oh, wow!” products this year, but there were more than a few embarrassing mistakes.
  • Business-wise (especially for us on the content production side), it was a helluva show, because the gun companies have figured out that in a post-levee world, they’re going to have to start marketing their products with more effort that just saying “Hey look, it’s in stock! Buy it before it goes away!”. The gun companies now need to move product, which means they want to get their product out there in front of the customers, which means they want to talk with us in order to get it done.
  • On a related note, I sold five stories to various NRA pubs at SHOT this year, which will more than pay for the trip. Gonna be a busy few months for me…

All in all… Best. SHOT Show. EVER!!!


* Words. This is my business.
** Yes, it happened. I have witnesses.

SHOT Show Is Almost Done…

SHOT Show Is Almost Done…

… and I’m almost done as well.

It has been a tremendous SHOT Show, maybe the best one I ever attended, but I learned two things:

  1. It is one thing to go to SHOT as new media with no real agenda, another to go as a buyer for a gun store, and another thing ENTIRELY to go as a writer with a deadline and a list of story ideas to come up with and source. Annette Evans and I worked out tokuses (tokii?) off from show opening to show close each day, and we hope you’ve enjoyed what we dug up off the floor of the show. This meant, however, that I couldn’t spend near as much time talking with old friends as I wanted to, which is probably a good thing, though, because…
  2. The SHOT Show crud is a real thing, and I’m currently in its grippe*. Rather than go out on the town and meet new friends, I’m in my room, blowing my nose and wishing for the sweet, sweet release of death.
    Or a good night’s sleep. One of those.

So what piqued my interest this year? This little Crosman BB gun, for one. Full auto. AR-15 SBR look and feel. $199 MSRP. I think three of them might wind up under the Christmas tree this year, because I have two sons and I’m not sharing mine if I get one.

Also, the new Remington Tac-14 Hardwood really grabbed my eye. I like guns with a story and a history, and the Witness Protection shotgun is definitely one of those kind of guns. Do I need one? No. Do I want one, along with a Smith and Wesson 459, a pair of RayBan Aviators and a big bushy mustache?

Oh yeah.


* You see what I did there? Word are my business!

Buh Bye.

Buh Bye.

I am outta here, headed off to SHOT.

One of the really neat things about the show this year is that I, along with Annette Evans, will be wandering the hallways of Sands Exhibition Center, looking for cool stuff to talk about for Shooting Illustrated. As all my efforts will be focused on what I’m doing for them, don’t expect any new content here next week.

In essence, I’ll be covering the largest gun show on the planet for the largest group of gun owners on the planet. Pretty cool.

And I *swear* I will not make it “All CZ, all the time”.

Ok, I’ll try to make it happen. But no promises.

And As It Turns Out, I Have Done Just That.

And As It Turns Out, I Have Done Just That.

Me, five years ago:

According to the commenters (some of which are combat medics), I needed to start with a pressure and a tourniquet rather than the QuikClot.

Which exposes a big gaping hole (no pun intended…) in my training: Aside from CPR and some basic first aid, I’ve had no training in dealing with the effects of a negligent discharge.

Today, I’ve had a day-long course in first-aid trauma med, and I carry either an improvised tourniquet or a full-on SOF-T everywhere I go.

Cool.

Lighten Up, Francis.

Lighten Up, Francis.

I have a friend who’s AntiFa, and his response when I suggested that maybe violence wasn’t the answer for his group was “Well, when I’m being threatened with violence, what choice to I have?” *

In other words, he hit me, so I have no choice but to hit him back.

Bull crap. That is a child’s response to violence: “Of course I hit him, he hit me first! I HAD to hit him!” **

“No choice?” We are humans, not animals. We learned to override our baser instincts around the same time one of us figured out that a burning branch wasn’t something to be afraid of, but rather, it was good for warmth and illumination and starting barbecues.

No, we do not always have control over the actions of others, but we always, ALWAYS have control over our reactions. Any cop could probably tell you about the times they’ve had some poor fool sitting on a curb in cuffs, watching a friend bleed out in front of them say something like, “Man, I didn’t want to do it, but he just wouldn’t back down.” At that point, one life is over, and one life is ruined. Who hit whom first is a bit of a moot point. I’m not willing to let this beautiful country with its beautiful freedoms go away just because a bunch of children started arguing over who threw the first punch.

* I’m old enough to remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was reviled by the right and loved by the left. My, how things have changed.
** I haven’t heard that said in our house since my youngest son turned ten, which speaks volumes about the emotional age of Antifa and other groups.