I’ve Said It Before And I’ll Say It Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

There are three, and ONLY three times it’s ok to have a picture of yourself while holding a gun.  It’s ok when, and ONLY WHEN…

  • …you are a current member of the military posing with your buddies in some godforsaken corner of the world
  • … you are actively engaging in shooting said firearm.
  • …you are posing with the trophies from either a hunt or shooting competition.

Note that “Taking a picture of yourself with your cousin’s gun so you look all cool and stuff on Facebook” is NOT on that list.

Smickle happened to be spending the night at the apartment when officers came looking for his cousin. Smickle thought it was thunder.

When officers burst in, he was on the couch in boxer shorts, tank top and sunglasses, a pistol in his left hand and a laptop computer in his right, apparently taking pictures of himself looking “cool,” court heard.

A threee year prison term for felony stupidity might be in order here, but not a jail sentence for holding someone else’s gun in their own residence. An idiot’s home is still his castle, after all.

The Brainpower Behind The Firepower

The brainpower behind the firepower

When John Lott, the author of “More Guns, Less Crime” teams up with Gary Mauser, you know the results are going to be good

“To repeat, during these seven years, there were only 62 cases — nine a year — where it was even conceivable that registration made a difference. But apparently, the registry was not important even in those cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.” 

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Five Guns O’ Fun

Five Guns O’ Fun

Ok, Robb, since you asked… 

Special bonus entry: An M134 Vulcan Air Defense System. Why? Do you have to ask

5. A Deagle. There’s just something about owning Agent Smith’s gun that I like. And not a gold, engraved one either, just a regular ol’ Desert Eage.

4. Bren Ten. Don Johnson. Jeff Cooper. Josef and František Koucký. Need I say more? 

3. An HK53. I’ve liked these since before I graduated high school. Hating HK is cool now, but I still want one. Speaking of high school…

2. A Ruger AC556. No, not because of the A-Team. I wanted one since Dirk Benedict was Starbuck, not Face. 

1. A Beaumont-Adams revolver. The gun that won the West. The Canadian West, that is. 

The Good, The Bad, And The TTAG

The Good, the Bad, and the TTAG

I’ve tried to stay neutral on the Truth About Guns v. Gunblog battle because I try to stay neutral on internet spats in general. 

Yes, TTAG stole content. Yes, some of the people there pick fights when they don’t have to. But let’s face it, who amongst us isn’t also guilty of similar actions? To quote Mark Knoeffler

When you point your finger ’cause your plans fell through
You got three more fingers pointin’ back at you

But. 

I left this comment over at TTAG as a response to an incendiary article about who should and should not have the right to defend themselves. 

“Short version of this article: “I’m ok, you’re seriously messed up”.

Slightly longer version of this article: “Look, I’ve had 20 people look at me cross-eyed, so I know I can handle a gun in an emergency. The rest of you can’t, and I know this because I am better at this than you are. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And even though I give a great example of someone like you who handled things correctly, he’s the exception to the rest of you brain-dead schmucks. And he’s the exception because I say so. The rest of you guys can’t handle things as well as he did. So there.

Look, I understand that this site needs a certain amount of, ah, stimulating conversation, but some editorial oversight is necessary, lest TTAG become TMZ with guns.”

The problem is, that’s not how the article appears on the site: The critique (offered up in good faith) was edited out

Bad form.

Editing out critical comments is a no-no. That’s Blogging 101. Heck, that’s covered in Remedial Blogging 090. Blogs are only effective when they listen to and respond to user comments. Blogs that don’t do this are echo chambers, not centers of honest discussion.

One of three things will happen in the next few days…

  • I’ll get a profuse apology from the site owner, claiming that it’s not their policy to do such things and it happened without their knowledge and gosh darn it all we’re sorry. 
  • There’ll be a flame post show up that steals my banner graphic. 
  • This post will be ignored. 

I’m ok with any of that. I do this for me, for the love of shooting, not to pay people and stir up hornet’s nests.

Update: Already got an email saying it was to halt any “digression” in the comments.
Sorry, but blog posts are for blog owners, the comments belong to we the readers. 
For the record, blast away at me in the comments. I’ll only edit out harsh language, as I want to keep this PG-13. 

They rely on pageviews, links, and search results to drive traffic. As such, I’m not visiting there, not commenting there, they’re gone from my blogroll, this is the the last time I’ll talk about about them and the link in this post is the last link TTAG will get from me.

I encourage others to do the same. After all, the best way to neutralize an SEO whore is to ignore him altogether. 

 

Threats Analysis

Threats analysis

I’ve been thinking more about the comment I left in a post last week.

There are, as I see it, two kinds of violent encounters: Predatorial and Adversarial. 

The “sudden encounter” is a predator attack, be it mugger, rapist or Rottweiler. Those types of encounter require you to be on your game rightthisveryinstant and respond to the attack with enough force to end things.

The Adversarial attack is road rage or the loudmouth in bar itchin’ for a fight or the jealous spouse of a co-worker or the fight between friends that gets out of hand. Those happen on pretty well-defined patterns, and if they get out of hand, they get out of hand in predictable paths that can be countered (or better yet, de-escalated) in predictable ways. 

And as things are now, we spend a LOT of time preparing and training for the Predatorial attack: The mugger, the home invasion, the sexual assault. It’s not that these kinds of attacks aren’t real, it’s that for us law-abiding folk, they are just not that common. 

Predators tend to prey on the weak, and if you’ve taken the steps needed to secure your family at and away from home, you are not easy pickin’s no more. When such an attack happens, there’s little you can do to de-escalate the action, in fact, trying to de-escalate it will probably get you killed dead. Such an attack requires the immediate and swift application of force sufficient to end the threat. Anything less just ain’t enough.

Which leaves adversarial encounters. These differ in that we can and should control the level of force needed to end things. “A soft answer turneth away wrath” ain’t in the Bible because it sounds nice, it’s in there ’cause it works. 

Adversarial encounters can get out of hand quickly if no one choses to de-escalate. Ask any cop who’s had to arrest someone for a barfight or the murder of a friend and he’ll tell you the number one thing they’ll hear from the poor soul who’s now cuffed on the curb is “Why didn’t he just back down?”. 

I turn that around and ask “Why didn’t YOU just back down?”

Is an insult, a bad lane change or a loud remark worth twenty years of your life and the loss of your firearms freedoms? Is it worth not seeing your kids grow up or your friends? Is it worth a black mark on your record that will follow you wherever you go? 

We spend hours on the range and in the dojo preparing for the predator’s attack. How much time do we spend learning the difference between backing down and giving up? 

 

Defence By The Numbers Part II

Defence By The Numbers Part II

Ok, so we know what type of violent enocunters are most likely to happen around us. What about the “Black Swan” moments, or expecting the unexpected? 

Aye, there’s the rub. 

Three examples.

One: Many years ago (too many, if I’m honest…) a group of friends from my church’s college group were camping out on the Mogollon Rim, about to fall asleep, when another campsite erupted wild drunken hoots, hollers and gunfire, with what I assumed at the time were shotgun blasts into the air. 

There were twelve of us, seven college-age men and 5 girls (in a seperate tent. This was a church outing, after all…), and the best defensive weapon we had was a hatchet. If those drunks decided they wanted to “party” with the girls, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it. 

Two: My wife grew up on an acreage in the forests of northeastern Arizona, surround by her Dad’s extended family. One night, the black sheep of said family decided to invite Arizona’s most notorious motorcycle gang up to his property for the night. Her Dad spent the entire evening on their front porch with his shotgun in his lap, watching over his family as gang members loudly partied less than a 200 yards away from his house. The gang left in the morning and didn’t come back, but it made for a tense, sleepless night for her family. 

Three: Right after my wife and I were married, a cousin of hers took what I considered to be an unhealthy amount of interest in her whereabouts and well-being. Said cousin was 6’5″, 220lbs with a prior conviction for manslaughter for killing an undercover cop during a drug bust. He has since done the world a favour and killed himself, but it did make for a few tense months in our lives as I wasn’t sure how to handle someone like that if he came to our home with evil on his mind. 

What do all three of those examples have in common? 

1. There was a threat of imminent lethal force. 
2. The nature of the threat is outside the daily routine. 
3. Non-lethal force would not be an effective deterrent. 

We don’t carry because we expect trouble, we carry because trouble happens when we least expect it. If a shootout can start up outside of a quiet suburban shopping mall, it can start anywhere. 

General Knowledge

General knowledge

“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 

Robb’s post about what guns he wants and my post about the beginning armory got me a-thinkin’. What tasks should a garden-variety gun nut firearms enthusiast be capable of accomplishing? I’m not talking about winning Top Shot, I’m talking about being a well-rounded shooter. What should you know, what should you know how to do?

My suggestions: 

A firearms enthusiast should be able to… 

Know the basic operation and use of:
A muzzle-loading black powder rifle
A single action revolver
A double action revolver
A magazine-fed single/double action semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed striker-fired semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed semiautomatic rifle
A bolt-action rifle
A tube-fed lever-action rifle or shotgun
A tube-fed pump-action shotgun or rifle
A tube-fed semiautomatic shotgun
An over/under or side by side shotgun 

Be capable of:
– Field-stripping and cleaning any firearm they own
– Know the basic operation for any firearm they own
– Diagnose common issues with ammunition or operation that might prevent any gun they own from working properly and be able to deal with them correctly

Know how to (but not always accomplish):
– Draw a pistol smoothly and quickly from a holster (maybe from concealment, maybe not) 
– Hit center-mass of a man-sized target at least 7 yards away
– Hit a clay pigeon in-flight 
– Hit a man-sized target with a modern rifle 300 yards away 

Know (and ALWAYS accomplish successfully)
The Four Rules of Gun Safety 

What tasks or skills did I leave out? What should I remove?

Self Defense Insurance Comparison

Self Defense Insurance Comparison

Update: I have a newer, more comprehensive comparison over here. And hey, if you’re new to the site, feel free to stick around and/or give me a Like on Facebook.

There’s now three self-defense insurance plans out there for CCW carriers (and others) who want to win the court battle that comes after the gun battle. We spend hours on the range and thousands of dollars on guns, ammo, gear and training to prepare to defend our lives, but don’t spend a nickel on preparing to defend ourselves in court. Once my current bout of funemployment is over, I will be taking advantage of one of these offers, and it’s something I’d recommend for every civilian who carries a firearm.

Armed Citizen Legal Defense Fund

The purpose of the Network’s Legal Defense Fund is to provide legal defense support to Network members, when these lawfully armed citizens face prosecution or civil lawsuit after exercising their right to self defense. The Network does not offer an insurance program or a prepaid legal fee service, but rather a number of benefits are made available to members. If a member is involved in a self defense incident, a fee deposit is paid to the member’s attorney by the Network to get the legal defense immediately underway, with representation during questioning, and arranging for an independent investigation of the incident. If the incident results in felony charges the fee deposit is $10,000; if the member faces misdemeanor charges, a $5,000 fee deposit is sent to his or her attorney.

Network members, by virtue of their membership, are entitled to case review by one of the Network experts and have access to contact information for Network-affiliated attorneys and expert witnesses. For this service, there is no charge beyond the Network membership fee. Beyond that, distribution of monetary grants to help with legal fees is at the discretion of the Network’s Advisory Board, comprised of Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Jim Fleming, Tom Givens, Dennis Tueller and Network officers, Marty Hayes and Vincent Shuck, as ex officio members.

NRA Self-Defense Insurance

Update: NRA Self-Defense Insurance is now provided through NRA Carry Guard.

Our Self-Defense Insurance protects National Rifle Association members who need extra protection not found in most homeowners’ policies.

The coverage is a rider to the Excess Personal Liability coverage, and provides civil defense and liability and criminal defense reimbursement if you are involved in an act of self-defense.

What’s Covered:

• Provides coverage up to the limit selected for criminal and civil defense costs.
• Cost of civil suit defense is provided in addition to the limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage.
• Criminal Defense Reimbursement is provided for alleged criminal actions involving self-defense when you are acquitted of such criminal charges or the charges are dropped.

US Concealed Carry Association Legal Defense Foundation

The Self-Defense SHIELD consists of an insurance policy owned by the USCCA that designates the members as beneficiaries. No individual ungerwriting is required. As a Silver PLUS, Gold PLUS or Platinum PLUS member you automatically receve these insurance benfits. The USCCA owns and pays for the policy while you get the benefits.

Criminal Defense Grant
This layer of the Self-Defense SHIELD can help you pay for your criminal defense lawyer if you’re charged with a crime.

Court-Related Expenses
Our final layer of the USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD allows active members to apply for an additional grant for any other court-related expenses.

Policy Comparison


Criminal Court Costs Civil Court Costs Expert Witneseses Addt’l Grants Cost /Year
USCCA Silver $25,000.00 $50,000.00 Y $25,000.00 $127.00
USCCA Gold $50,000.00 $100,000.00 Y $50,000.00 $197.00
USCCA Platinum $75,000.00 $300,000.00 Y $75,000.00 $297.00
NRA Self-Defense Insurance One * $50,000.00 * $100,000.00 * N N $165.00
NRA Self-Defense Insurance Two * $50,000.00 * $250,000.00 * N N $254.00
Armed Citizen Legal Defense Fund $5000/$10,000 Y ** Y Y *** $85.00

* Total coverage is split between civil and criminal cases, with a $50,000.00 sub-limit on criminal court cases

** From the comments: “In your comparison grid you incorrectly state that the Network extends no assistance forcivil court costs. That is not correct. While The Network is not an insurance scheme, and thus does not have coverage limits, our commitment to our members who have had to defend themselves against criminal attack is to assist in their legal defense — be that a criminal trial or civil litigation — to the extent that our advisory board deems appropriate.”
The post has been updated to reflect this new information

Also from the comments: “The NRA-endorsed insurance programs require that you be an NRA membership. Average price is about $25 per year. The ACLDN membership requires no other membership costs. The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD memberships at the Plus levels also include membership in the USCCA at the listed level which costs $37, $67, or $97 for Silver, Gold, and Platinum respectively.

In addition, the spreadsheet only marks the NRA coverages as having the criminal limit being included in the civil limits. The SHIELD program does the same thing. The listed limits are per occurrence, including all coverage – civil and criminal. The criminal limits are the portion of the total which may be used for criminal defense.”

The table also misstates the USCCA coverage for expert witnesses. The summary of benefits states the coverage includes “reasonable and necessary costs and expenses incurred in connection with the investigation and/or defense of any criminal charge or criminal proceeding caused by the use of a firearm”. After checking with the insurance company, Tim Schmidt confirms that this is the correct interpretation. The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD program does indeed include coverage for expert witness testimony, private investigators, laboratories, and any other related expenses that would be needed to prepare and present the necessary defense.”

*** Grant amounts are unspecified

All descriptions of the policies were taken verbatim from each organization’s website.

 

This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun. Oh Wait, No, It Ain’t Either Of Those.

This is my rifle, this is my gun. Oh wait, no, it ain’t either of those.

My 14 year old nephew has an extensive airsoft collection including several replica M4 carbines. According to one local police department, he’s a criminal who is just WAITING to commit robbery.

AVONDALE, AZ – Avondale police officers are concerned over the amount of replica military assault guns now being used by children and criminals.

Officers seized 25 military assault-looking rifles, some fake and some airsoft, being used in home invasions, armed robberies, threats and intimidations, police said.

The seizure was part of an undercover operation with the Avondale Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit.

Ok, got that “children and criminals” part? The guns LOOK like real guns (well, aside from the fact that they’re the wrong caliber. Oh, and made of plastic.), so therefore, we have to seize them. It’s for the children, after all.

What’s next, seizure of fake VW-based Ferarris and Rolls-Royces? I mean, they LOOK just like a real Phantom or 308GTS, right (well, aside from the wheelbase, trim, engine noise, styling, interior, etc.), so they have to actually BE the real thing and not a harmless, cheap wannabe luxury car.

We need to shut down the kit car industry right away. Please, won’t somebody think of the children?