The Default Setting Is Fun.

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Thinking a little more about yesterday’s post, one of the biggest issues that Gun Culture 2.0 has is helping people get serious about shooting. Gun Culture 1.0 didn’t have that problem because the shooting is the culmination, not the beginning of a hunt and a poor shot could be overcome with a closer stalk. Getting people to do more with their gun than just go to a range and make noise is a challenge, because blasting away and making noise IS A WHOLE LOT OF FUN. Taking a class and finding out how much you suck?

Not fun.

I’m still not certain how we can bridge that gap between the joy of shooting loudly and the confidence of shooting well. Kathy Jackson uses a swimming lesson metaphor and it’s a good one, the closest one I’ve yet found to helping people understand how training can make a day on the range more fun than an untrained day on the range.

Taking a walk in the woods is fun, so therefore, people go out into the woods and hunt. Riding in a boat across the lake and chatting with your friends is fun, so people go fish. Going to the range and shooting is fun, so people do that as well. Shooting a competition with your friends is fun, and that needs to talked about more often if we want Gun Culture 2.0 to thrive.

The First Steps Are Always The Hardest.

I am continually amazed at how much bad advice there is out there when it comes to helping people shooting more gooder with a pistol. Yelling “Front sight! Front sight!” over and over again to someone not shooting well means little if the person behind the trigger doesn’t understand that what you mean is “Watch what the front sight is doing in relationship to the rear sights before, during and after you press the trigger.”

We wouldn’t expect a blindfolded quarterback to be able to throw the ball accurately *, so why do we expect people to shoot well when they can’t predict their shots will hit before they pull the trigger?

More thoughts on this over on Ricochet.com.


* Ok, let’s face it, Peyton Manning or Joe Montana could do it, but they’re not human.

Product Review: Prosounds M2 Ear Protection.

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Advantages: Low cost, full features
Disadvantages: Top out at 25db noise reduction
Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Earlier this year I backed a Kickstarter project for a set of ProSounds M2 electronic earmuff hearing protectors. They came in last month, and to be honest, I forgot I had them, because I’ve taken a shine to these other ProSounds hearing protectors instead.

However, the M2 earmuffs are quite good. Slightly larger than the Howard Leights they replace, they offer 25db noise reduction versus the 22db reduction of the Howard Leights. They also cover my ears more, which is probably one of the reasons for the better noise reduction rating.

The volume controls are easy to reach and easy to use without looking at them (a must-have for this sort of hearing protection, and they were comfortable to wear all morning long at a recent USPSA match.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little step up from the Impact Sports that are so popular these days, give the Prosounds M2 a look.

The Problem Just Showed Up On Our Doorstep.

Me, last year.

How long before MS13, La eMe, etc, figure out there’s as much money to be made from kidnapping middle class citizenry as there is from smuggling people and/or drugs into the U.S.?

Phoenix, Arizona, today.

A bank teller noticed a distraught woman withdrawing a significant amount of money and contacted police who then saved her from kidnappers.

Court records show that on August 26, a woman walked into the Bank of America near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. She was reportedly visibly distraught and tried to withdraw $19,000 without a bank card. The teller “went to check if she could go that,” but instead alerted police.

Phoenix police report that they arrested 22-year-old Alonzo Daniel Cabrera who was with the victim in the bank.

The whole story has yet to be told here, so I’m willing to bet there was an illicit connection of some kind between the victim and her kidnappers. I don’t think this was a random kidnapping, but the amount of the ransom, $38,000, tells us that the bad guys out there are willing to roll in hot and kidnap people for ransom amounts under $50,000. This one probably wasn’t a random kidnapping, but the next one might not be.

Stay safe out there.

Quiet Is The New Loud.

Prosounds in ear hearing protectionI reviewed a set of the ProSounds H2P earbuds for Shooting Illustrated.

Bottom line: I likey. I can’t stand foam ear buds, but these things were ridiculously comfortable to wear throughout a full day at the range, and unlike over-the-ear hearing protectors, they don’t make your ears sweat.

Go check out it.

The Unreality May Overwhelm You.

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… so I post what I thought was a fairly innocuous question in a popular gun rights group on Facebook.

I’ve seen a lot of people showing off their carry guns and guns they carry in their vehicles, but what I haven’t seen a lot of is people talking about how they carry a first aid kit that’s capable of dealing with a gunshot wound or other trauma.
If we carry a gun because we know that the cops won’t show up when we need them, shouldn’t we also have a first aid/trauma kit because the paramedics won’t show up any faster than the cops do?

Reactions to this post fell into one of two categories:

  1. Why should I care about performing first aid on the bad guy?
  2. Sure! I got a nice big kit in my truck!

So people tend to see GSW’s and other traumatic injuries as something that will only happen to the bad guy, because, um, they just will! Apparently these people have never considered that a gunfight might be a two-way affair.

They also think that having a first-aid kit in their vehicle is being prepared to deal with a gunshot wound. Would they also consider themselves as being prepared to deal with a gunfight if their gun was in their truck when they needed it most?

Faith-Based Firearms Training

If I myself set the standards for what it would get me into heaven, you’re darn right I’m going to set standards that I am capable of passing. I’d say something like “Don’t use Microsoft Windows, drink light beer or go to an American League game (because the DH sucks) and lo, yours is the kingdom of Heaven.”

By the same token, if I set the standards for when I feel I’m good enough to defend myself with a firearm, chances are, I’m going to set the standards at a point I know I’m capable of reaching. I can hit paper at 25 yards? Dude, I am SO ready!

The problem is, most firearms owners today feel they are capable of defending themselves with their gun, but they have no desire to expose themselves to a revival service (also called a basic pistol class or a match) and have a “come to Jesus” moment on how bad they really are and how woefully unprepared they are to put rounds on-target under stress. The only thing that saves most of them, I think, is that the crooks are even less-prepared to deal with a gunfight, and tend to run away when things go bad for them.

This is not true of an active shooter. Dealing with an active shooter, someone who will not give up until you and a bunch of other people are dead, is taking things to a new level. Flight 93 showed us that even the most determined of attackers can be stopped, but only at a high, high cost to ourselves.

Not sure if I’m ready. And I know I don’t want to find out if I am.

Learning From Front Sight.

I’m not that big of a fan of the training at Front Sight: I think it’s uniquely suited to getting people 2/3rds of the way up the first hill of the Dunning-Kruger Effect and that’s about it. However, nothing they taught interfered with my learning from other, more robust trainers, so there is that.

One thing Front Sight does exceptionally well, though, is engage with and talk with the mainstream media, and this article at The Nation, of all places, is a really, really good example of how to talk to a left-leaning reporter about guns and self-protection without seeming like Rambo redux.

And the same is true of Rob Pincus. Look, you may not like what he teaches, his (wrong) stance on the value of competition or other items in his resumé, but anyone can extol the virtues of firearms training and safe firearms ownership to people who already own guns. Talking about why Obama is 100% wrong on the Second Amendment to people who think he was born in a manger? That’s take a level of confidence most trainers just don’t have.

But it’s a skill they need.

What Caliber You Use Doesn’t Matter…. Until It Does.

An interesting reflection on .22LR as a defensive round, from Greg Ellifritz.

The reader asked me to explain why I considered the .22 stops to be more likely “psychological stops” as opposed to physical incapacitations.  That’s easy to explain…and it doesn’t have anything to do with the size of the muzzle.

There are only two mechanisms for physically incapacitating someone with a handgun.  The first is a shot to the central nervous system (CNS).  A bullet placed into the brain or the upper spinal cord will usually stop someone instantly.  Can the .22 do that?  Certainly, but I think a brain or CNS shot is less likely with the .22 than with a larger caliber.

Another fact that many people haven’t considered is the difference between police and armed citizen gunfights.  My friend Claude Werner often points out that when a criminal is involved in a gunfight with the police, the stakes are higher.  The criminal knows that the cops won’t stop until he’s dead or in jail.  That’s not true with a gunfight against an armed citizen.  The armed citizen just wants a break in the fight.  If he can cause the criminal to flee, he wins and stops shooting.

Take a look at this surveillance video from a Florida robbery a couple of years ago: Once one of the supposed “victims” starts to fire back, the bad guys beat feet, and quickly. In their experience, having a person fight back is as foreign to them as someone speaking Albanian at the McDonald’s drive up window is to me. When it happens, they have no idea how to handle it, and de-ass themselves from the area as quickly as they can.

The very definition of a psychological stop.

Now, am I will to bet my life and the lives of my loved ones on a crook running away when he’s shot? Nope. That’s why I carry something bigger and train I’m semi-competent with my gun of choice. However, the first rule of gunfight is still in effect: Have a gun, even if it’s a wimpy little .22.