Ready. Fire. Aim.

Santa was a few days late with this present to Nevada gun owners, but I’m sure they don’t mind. Sebastian points out that Michael Bloomberg’s brand new make gun ownership illegal “universal background check” law can’t be enforced in Nevada, because Bloomberg’s lawyers seem to be unaware of how Nevada’s gun laws actually work.

NRS 202.254, as amended by Background Check Act, makes it a crime to engage in private sales or transfers of firearms (with certain exceptions) unless a federally licensed dealer conducts a federal background check on the potential buyer or transferee. Because the Act specifically directs the deal to run checks through the FBI’s NICS system, the Nevada Department of Public Safety has no authority to perform the background checks required by the Act.

Nevada, like Pennsylvania and Florida, uses a state-run background check system and not NICS, so the FBI/ATF had no jurisdiction and authority to run background checks in Nevada. It’s roughly equivalent to writing a law which mandates that the police department in Bangor, Maine, write the speeding tickets for Glendale, Arizona. Yes, the Bangor Police Department writes a lot of tickets, but no, their actions have little, if any effect on the traffic laws of Arizona.

Congratulations, Bloomberg. That’s $20 million you could have spent on something that would have actually lowered crime and improved the lives of the people of Nevada, but you chose to do this instead.

 

 

2016 In Review

Or, the year that everything changed, and nothing changed. I did really, really poorly on my shootey goals, but I did really, really well with other things.

I shot the fewest matches I’ve ever shot in one year, but I’m quite satisfied with almost every part of my pistol skill except my draw, and I’m working on that part every day.

Speaking of which, I’m on a regular dry-fire routine of ten to fifteen minutes of practice draws and trigger presses before I leave for work each day, and I’m doing at least a half-hour’s fast walking every night to get myself in some sort of shape other than “pear”.

While I haven’t been shooting much, my writing opportunities have really taken off. I’ve written a LOT for Shooting Illustrated and Ricochet, and I’ve added in the occasional article on Lucky Gunner as well.

Training-wise, the two-day class with Bob Vogel was well worth the money. If you’re looking for a class that will teach you pistol marksmanship, pure and simple, you’d be well served to take one of his classes.

SHOT Show was not in the cards this year, but NRA was, and it was wonderful to meet people like Andrew Branca, David Yamane and Tam for the first time and find out that they’re almost as nice in-person as they are online.

While I’m not working in the gun biz full time, my current job is one of the best I’ve ever had in my life, so I’m actually much, much happier than if I was slinging steel for a living. It was also nice to see some of my posts gain some traction inside the business, and I’m also working with a new startup developing a rather cool gadget for firearms training, but I can’t talk much about it right now.

Thank you, everyone, for coming by. I sincerely appreciate it, and have a happy and blessed New Year’s.

Merry Christmas

I’ll post a couple of times next week, but other than that, enjoy this time of wonder and joy.

For unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given
And the government shall be upon His shoulder
And His name shall be called
Wonderful
Counsellor
The mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace.

And The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth.

Most gun stores see themselves as being in the business of selling guns, when in reality, they’re in the business of selling you on all the fun stuff you can do with a gun. I don’t blame them, because most GUN companies also see themselves as being in the business of selling guns, not selling the activities that go along with a gun. Glock is good at avoiding this trap, as is S+W.

Right now, gun stores are for gun nuts, like comic book stores, computer shops and photography stores were/are for fans of those activities. What’s happened in the last 20 years, though, is that the activities associated with comic book stores, et al, have gone mainstream, but the stores themselves have either changed radically or disappeared altogether. The iPhone is the world’s #1 camera, movies based around comic books are big hits at the box office and Apple Stores rule the retail computer world. Therefore, the speciality stores associated with such activities have gone mainstream.

I worked in computer retail for years, and I watched as people bought IBM compatibles and brought them home then left them sitting unused in their den because they were confused as to their real purpose. Same thing is happening with guns right now. That will change, or else Gun Culture 2.0 will go away, and a bunch of people will have bought tactical pet rocks.

What would happen if the product sold to gun geeks in gun stores took on that same level of ubiquity as computers, digital cameras and comic book movies?

Do we even want such a thing to happen?

Occasionally, A Gun Appears.

This merits some further attention, as I know a few people who use “Top Gear” as the metric for what a good firearms-based TV show is supposed to look like.

“With no Stig, nor Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, the studio was the main thing, as the team believe the essential dynamic between the three men cannot be copyrighted to the BBC. In Clarkson’s words, the Grand Tour is still ‘three middle-aged men in poor condition, falling over and catching fire … and occasionally a car goes by‘.” (emphasis mine)

Now, what gun related shows fit that standard? “Shootout Lane” does such things, and quite frankly, a lot of hunting shows do as well, because  hunting, it’s all about the stuff before, during and after the stalk, and not so much pulling the trigger.

This is not true with Gun Culture 2.0, because when you shoot a match or take a class, there really is nothing to talk about outside of pulling the trigger. Aside from practice, traveling to shoot a match is pretty much like a sales trip for business, only a LOT louder.

Most car shows are about cars, but Top Gear was (and The Grand Tour) is driven by personalities, not the cars they drive. There are a few non-hunting shows out there that are personality-driven, but the vast majority are about the hardware, not the lifestyle.

That’ll change, and it will be cool when it does.

We Got A Half A Post Written, A Full Cup Of Coffee, It’s Autumn, And I Have A Laptop.

lincoln-park-tunnel

Hit it.

By my count, I have something slightly north of 10,000 words, 25 (finished) photos and a five-minute video to produce before the end of the year, in addition to my day job, which is really busy right now.

As a result, for the next few weeks, I may have to concentrate on those gigs instead of posting here.

Our Blessed Lady of Caffeination, don’t fail me now.

I Remember.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

“We’ll Start The War From Right Here.”

Trump is not the gun-rights leader I wanted (I was for Perry, then Cruz) but he is the gun rights leader we now have, and it’s time to retake some lost ground. Let’s get nation-wide concealed carry. Let’s lift the restrictions on firearms safety equipment. Let’s bring those 1911’s and M1 Garand rifles that are stuck in South Korea back home to our shores.

We’re winning. Let’s act like it.

What Happens To Guns, Now That Trump Has Won?

Firearms sales have been setting new records, month over month, for the last eight years. I fully expect to see that come to an end soon. Sales have been driven in part by fears that Obama (and possibly Hillary after him) will ban certain types of guns and gun accessories in a misbegotten attempt to curb violence in our country.

Trump started out shaky on guns, but he’s settled down and has been quite good as of late. Does that mean the bubble is popped?

Not necessarily.

Donald Trump inherits a country that is bitterly divided along party lines, and the supporters of one party have shown an enthusiasm for using violent means to accomplish their goals.

Think that’s going to end now? Me neither. I’m expecting gun sales to cool off after Christmas, but with one big caveat: The fear of widespread social unrest is one of the reasons why people bought guns in the past, and if protests and riots spread to other cities, look for gun sales to climb once again.

In the short term, breathe easy, gun owners. We won this round. Speaking of which, the NRA embraced Trump early in the election cycle, and it paid off for them. I wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that their ad buys and get-out-the-vote efforts were a big part of Trump’s victory.