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?

 

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?

 

Kids And Guns

Kids and guns

The quotes of the day are from this discussion of shotgun locks over at The High Road:

“I’m reminded of: ‘If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B.
I’ll make a parents version: If plan A is to depend on the wisdom of a 4 year old, you really need to come up with a Plan B.’

‘I don’t trust kids…especially boys. I was one.’ “

Just yesterday, my 7 year old son managed to climb a six-foot cinder block fence without the aid of a ladder and my 5 year old son spent the afternoon “decorating” his room with Magic Marker, so let me say I’ve gone WAY beyond Plan B and I’m into Plans Q and R right now.

Plastic Fantastic

Plastic Fantastic

Lower

Earlier this year, I won a gun (ok, an AR Lower, but it counts, right?) off the prize table at the Superstition Mountain Mystery Three Gun.

And here’s what it turned into.

Cav Arms lower + MagPul

  • CavArms Lower
  • 16″ Dane Armory barrel
  • VM HyTech Upper from my old AR
  • Magpul forend
  • No-name handle and front sight

It’s unbelievably light, shoots very well and will make a great plinker/defense gun for when I don’t want to use the UEBR.

Both Sides Of The Story

Both sides of the story

Unlike a lot of gunnies, I can completely empathize with the goals and ideals behind the Brady campaign, and Sebastian deserves to be praised for opening up a dialog with them. We’re not all gun-crazy loonies, and they’re not all gun-grabbing socialists.

I don’t agree with the Brady campaign, but I can see how their point of view evolved. 

Just like the Brady campaign, I don’t like violent criminals, and I don’t like guns being used as a means to commit suicide (remind me to tell you all of the encounter with a failed suicide victim I had as a young lad in high school). 

But. 

I don’t blame backyard pools for accidental drownings and I don’t blame baseball bats for muggings. I don’t blame the printing press for the existence of Mein Kampf and I don’t blame Thomas Edison for Uwe Boll’s awful, awful films

Ok, I may waver a bit on that last one. 

More …

There’s No "eh" In "freedom"

There’s no "eh" in "freedom"

Valley of the Ten Peaks

I grew up in Canada. See that photo? That’s two hours away from my home town. I love Canada, always have, always will.

But.

The fact that the citizens of Canada are even considering arguing whether or not the government has the right to track, index and tax the rifles and shotguns of law-abiding citizens (to say nothing of the almost complete ban on handguns up North) saddens me to no end.

Beware the government that is wary of its citizens.

There’s No “eh” In “freedom”

There’s no “eh” in “freedom”

Valley of the Ten Peaks

I grew up in Canada. See that photo? That’s two hours away from my home town. I love Canada, always have, always will. 

But. 

The fact that the citizens of Canada are even considering arguing whether or not the government has the right to track, index and tax the rifles and shotguns of law-abiding citizens (to say nothing of the almost complete ban on handguns up North) saddens me to no end. 

Beware the government that is wary of its citizens.