The Rod And Thy Staff, They Comfort Me. And The 9mm On My Hip Helps As Well.

The Rod And Thy Staff, They Comfort Me. And The 9mm On My Hip Helps As Well.

My friend John waits 72 hours to comment on a mass shooting, and that’s a good idea.

I’m not that patient. I can only wait 24 hours.

Here’s what we know about the massacre in a Baptist church in Sutherland, Texas.

I do not suffer from the illusion that those who do not respect the law of God (and man) will somehow respect God’s sanctuary and not commit a horror inside the church. I’ve carried my CCW gun into church ever since I got my permit and my pistol, and if you can carry, you should, too.

Greg Ellifritz has some thoughts on staying safe inside the sanctuary, so does Ed Head. Read them both, and this weekend, when you go to church, praise the Lord.

And pass the ammunition.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

I like the article I wrote for Ricochet on choosing a firearms trainer, but the picture used to accompany the article is not the most… clueful of shots.

The nuances of what makes a good concealed carry rig can be hard to determine, and what’s worse, that was actually one of the better images that my editor had to choose from on Shutterstock.com, as I will now demonstrate.

The Thing Itself.

The Thing Itself.

I subscribed much more firmly to Aristotelean realism than to Platonic idealism. I’m not too concerned about the implications and ramifications of what might exist, rather, I am more focused on the thing itself.

Which is why this piece interested me.

What emotions do you attach to firearms?  Your emotions help determine what an object means to you.

I don’t, for the most part, attach any emotion to a firearm. There are a few exceptions, of course, like the .22 revolver my father-in-law carried or the CZ75 that kicked off my journey into armed self-defense, but I don’t attach feelings to all of the other guns I own. They serve a purpose, and if they didn’t, I’d get rid of them.

There are others who feel different, and that’s fine. There’s a lot of different ways to be human, and as long as we play nice with each other, everything is cool. I’ve just never associated emotions with objects. My self defense guns are an extension of my desire to keep my family safe, and I attach my emotions to my family, not to what keeps them safe. It’s always been about the why, not the how with me.

They Just Work.

They Just Work.

Reading the comments to yesterday’s post has been interesting. When I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking of specific hardware solutions, I was thinking about how you relate to the hardware itself.

The original Macintosh was truly “The computer for the rest of us”. It was the first personal computer you could use without having to become a personal computer hobbyist to one extent or another. Yes, people used PC’s to one extent or another before the Mac came out (and I was one of them), but the echoes of previous computer designs made them somewhat less than user-friendly right out of the box.

For example, I made pin money right out of high school setting up autoexec.bat files that allowed the user to launch WordStar or Visicalc or DBIII with one keystroke on startup inside MS-DOS. This was necessary because getting those programs to run (and making your computer DO something) was confusing for anyone who wasn’t willing to put in the time and effort to learn DOS. People were forced to make themselves work the way the computer worked.

That was guns before Glock. Want a 1911? Sure thing. You bought it, and then sent it to your gunsmith so it could run reliably. You needed to know what was under the hood of your pistol or how to run a DA/SA trigger or how to live with the 6 shots in a revolver. There were limitations placed on you by your pistol before you could use it as an effective self-defence tool.

Glock changed that. They just worked.

Caw Of Duty

Caw Of Duty

I got nothing of any consequence today (Hey, even Babe Ruth struck out every once in a while).

I did make an appearance on the Radio Deplorable podcast earlier this week, talking about how the culture around guns has changed over the last dozen or so years, and how bump stocks might have actually made the shooting in Vegas a little less horrid than it might have been.

Go listen, and be sure to come back on Monday.

Magpul Dynamics... sorta.

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

This post shows up early and often for searches on “self defense insurance.” It’s a good post, and I’m proud of how it’s helped a bunch of people find the concealed carry insurance that was right for them.

But that post covers just the lower-end of the spectrum, not the “Cadillac” plans, and so I thought a follow-up post might come in handy so people can see for themselves how things shape up at the top end of the scale, and compare USCCA Elite CCW insurance versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus concealed carry legal insurance.

As always, remember that I am not lawyer nor do I give legal advice. Both companies post copies of their policies on their websites, and I urge you to read them over very carefully before you sign up for anything.

NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

Aside from all the benefits listed below, NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus comes with a one-year membership in the NRA. The NRA also recently had a “Carry Guard Expo” featuring training opportunities and a trade show, and instructors can also add NRA Carry Guard training to what they teach.

Coverage costs EITHER $550 a year OR $49 a month, and the NRA is promoting Carry Guard very heavily right now. The NRA’s coverage is “first dollar” coverage: You will have to pay for your lawyers in someway, then, if you are acquitted, the NRA will reimburse you. NRA CarryGuard also covers your spouse if they need to use a firearm to defend a life, and it covers firearms only, not the use of other means of lethal force.

USCCA Self Defense Shield Elite

USCCA membership comes with a subscription to Concealed Carry magazine (my first article for them should show up early next year), and coverage costs EITHER $497 a year or $47 a month. The USCCA puts on a “Concealed Carry Expo” each year, and has so for the past four years. The USCCA also has their own cadre of trainers with their own training program as well.

USCCA self-defense insurance covers your spouse and also covers anyone under the age of 21 in your household if they need to use lethal force to defend a life. They cover most means of lethal force (knives, pointed sticks, fresh fruit) as well as the use of a firearm. The USCCA’s coverage starts immediately, which means there is no out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you up to the limits of your policy if you are acquitted.

 NRA CarryGuard Gold+USCCA Elite
Monthy Fee OR$50$47
Yearly Fee (Not Both)$550$497
Criminal Coverage$250,000$250,000
Civil Coverage$1,500,000$2,000,000
BailYesYes
"First Dollar" CoverageNoYes
Spouse Also CoveredYesYes
Any WeaponNoYes
Wage Compensation While In CourtYesYes
Training ResourcesYesYes
Choose Your Own AttorneyYesYes
SIGN UPSIGN UP

Usual Disclaimer: I am an NRA member, though not a Carry Guard subscriber, and I am an affiliate of the USCCA. 

Are We Winning Yet?

Are We Winning Yet?

At one point in time, Wired magazine was a bastion of techno-libertarianism, where articles on cryptography went side-by-side with articles on using the Internet to empower individuals to take charge of their lives.

That era is long-gone, and Wired has veered so far towards progressivism, they endorsed Hillary Clinton for President last year.

Which makes this article on “gunsplaining” rather interesting. The author correctly points out that most attempts at gun control fail because the people who make gun control laws have no friggin’ clue how guns actually work, so they wind up legislating on feelings rather than facts. The problem with that is, of course, that effective laws require precision, and precision and emotion are not usually associated with each other, leading to horrible laws that are easy to circumvent. What the author doesn’t realize, though, is that if liberals learn more about guns, it won’t lead to better gun laws, it’ll lead to fewer gun controls, not more of them. I’m all for more people learning about guns, because once they understand what they can and can’t do, we win.

Every. Single. Time.

Is there a realization on the left that they sound like morons when it comes to guns? I hope so, because that means they are starting to fight this fight on OUR terms, not theirs, and once the enemy is fighting your battle rather than theirs, the path to victory becomes a whole lot clearer.

How Do You Change The World?

How Do You Change The World?

I dunno, let’s ask Steve Jobs how he changed the world. Maybe there’s answers here for us as well.

Playboy: How about some concrete reasons to buy a computer today? An executive in your industry recently said, “We’ve given people computers, but we haven’t shown them what to do with them. I can balance my checkbook faster by hand than on my computer.” Why should a person buy a computer?

Jobs: There are different answers for different people. In business, that question is easy to answer: You really can prepare documents much faster and at a higher quality level, and you can do many things to increase office productivity. A computer frees people from much of the menial work.

Playboy: Those are arguments for computers in business and in schools, but what about the home?

Jobs: So far, that’s more of a conceptual market than a real market. The primary reasons to buy a computer for your home now are that you want to do some business work at home or you want to run educational software for yourself or your children. If you can’t justify buying a computer for one of those two reasons, the only other possible reason is that you just want to be computer literate. You know there’s something going on, you don’t exactly know what it is, so you want to learn. This will change: Computers will be essential in most homes.

Playboy: Was the initial market hobbyists?

Jobs: The difference was that you didn’t have to be a hardware hobbyist with the Apple II. You could be a software hobbyist. That was one of the key breakthroughs with the Apple II: realizing that there were a whole lot more people who wanted to play with a computer, just like Woz and me, than there were people who could build their own.

Let’s pause for a second and re-write those paragraphs a bit.

Playboy: How about some concrete reasons to buy a gun today? An executive in your industry recently said, “We’ve given people guns, but we haven’t shown them what to do with them.

Jobs: There are different answers for different people. In law enforcement, that question is easy to answer. You defend your life and the lives of the innocent much faster and at a longer ranges than just your fists, and you can reduce the danger to yourself. A gun frees people from much of the fist and nightstick work.

Playboy: Those are arguments for guns in law enforcement and the military, but what about the home?

Jobs: So far, that’s more of a conceptual market than a real market. The primary reasons to buy a gun for your home now are that you want to do some recreational shooting or you want you to protect you and your children from a real and specific threat. If you can’t justify buying a gun for one of those two reasons, the only other possible reason is that you just want to be feel safe. You know there’s something going on, you don’t exactly know what it is, so you want to learn.

Playboy: Was the initial market hobbyists?

Jobs: The difference was that you didn’t have to be a hardware hobbyist with the Glock 17. You could be a training hobbyist. That was one of the key breakthroughs with the (product that hasn’t been developed yet… or has it?): realizing that there were a whole lot more people who wanted to enjoy guns, just like Woz and me, than there were people who could build their own.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Guns have the same place in society right now as computers did in back in 1985. Most of us know we should have a gun around, but we struggle to come up with a reason why.

And this part is interesting as well: Jobs was predicting the home internet in 1985, back when the Internet was Arpanet and the .com had just been rolled out.

Jobs: The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people—as remarkable as the telephone.

Playboy: Specifically, what kind of breakthrough are you talking about?

Jobs: I can only begin to speculate. We see that a lot in our industry: You don’t know exactly what’s going to result, but you know it’s something very big and very good.

What will happen when the personal safety empowerment that a gun provides (and the skills, attitude and courage to use it wisely) gets connected?

Can it get connected? Will connecting gun owners like we connect computers change society, or will it be something else?

Prep Work.

Prep Work.

I picked up an assignment, many years ago, to take pictures of Magic Johnson right after he gave a speech at a luxury Phoenix resort. I knew his time would be limited, so I arrived early, scouted a good location, and my assistant and I set up four high-powered strobe lights to properly expose him and wonderful Arizona sunset that would happen just as the shot was scheduled to happen.

But what DID happen was that the resort’s circuits weren’t up to the task of handling my strobes and their outdoor lighting at the same time, so my first test shoot blew a breaker and everything went dark.

I had to take a picture of Magic Johnson, and I had to take it NOW, no matter if my primary light source just went into the crapper.

Fortunately for me, I knew that resort pretty well and I knew the outside breezeways looked pretty good and went east-west so there was still light in them even as the sun was going down. I grabbed my assistant, my tripod and a flex fill, and away we all went for an impromptu available light shoot as the light slowly faded in the west.

And the chromes turned out pretty good. Good enough that I picked up two more assignments from the agency who assigned me.

Now think about it… if I hadn’t been familiar with the environment around me and I didn’t have that reflector and/or assistant with me and was inexperienced at slow shutter speed photography, I’d be completely out of luck and would have p!ssed off a basketball legend and not gotten paid by my client for the job.

Familiarity with your surroundings… having a backup plan and backup gear… recognizing what the issue is and working around it on the spot… why does that all seem so familiar? 😉

Oh, and if you get a chance to take photos of Mr. Johnson, do so. He was, BY FAR, the most approachable and laid-back celebrity I’ve ever photographed. It’s not an act with him.