The Illusion Of Control

The illusion of control

Kevin Baker delivers another überpost, and it’s well worth your time

So, we have established that James Kelly cares about his fellow humans and wants nothing but the best for them: he wants everyone to be safe, free from fear, have an equal share of the wealth, etc. But it’s the reactionaries that prevent his personal vision of utopia from coming true, people who “construct the most astonishingly complex defensive arguments just to avoid having to let go of their familiar certainties”, people who are willing to carry weapons and use them against their fellow-man. 

Mr. Kelly’s entire argument is that the number of weapons is what dictates the level of violent crime. If gun crime is increasing in the UK, it’s obviously because there are more guns, despite the UK enacting every gun law that our gun ban control safety groups want to enact here, up to and including complete bans on legal possession of whole classes of firearms. If knife crime is up, it’s due to more knives (not weapon substitution). But when the US adds 3-4 million new guns each year and our gun crime goes down, then what? 

Then we have to confront the idea that cold, hard facts may get in the way of our utopia. 

My full time job is working with an international relief and development agency, so I completely and fully understand the desire of trying to create a paradise on Earth. But I also realize this world will never, ever get to the point where we live our lives free from want and fear.

The same motivations that drive me to by insurance and smoke detectors drive me towards self-protectection. I won’t wait for the fire department to come and save my house if there’s a kitchen fire, and I won’t trust the police to be there if I should ever need one.

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A Force Of One

A Force of One

Tactical Studies Group, the people who put on the night shooting class I attended a few months ago, are having a range/practice day at Rio tomorrow starting at 8 in the morning. They’ll be going over professional bodyguard techniques like hot evacuation drills, contact drills and team-shooting drills, something that an ordinary, everyday CCW holder like myself shouldn’t be concerned about, right?


Think about it: Why do we civilians carry defensive firearms? To protect our lives and the lives of the people around us. What is the role of a professional bodyguard? Ditto. The only difference is, I do it for love instead of money. When I’m out with my wife these days, I find that I’m naturally falling in one step behind and one step to her right as we’re walking, scanning the area we’re moving through. When I put my kids in the car, I scan the area, strap them in, then scan the area again before I get in. Paranoid? No. Aware? I hope so.

And that’s just the type of behaviour expected of a professional bodyguard. We civilians could learn a lot from the pros, maybe it’s time we start listening.

Plastic Fantastic

Plastic Fantastic


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.

Two Wrongs Make A Right

Two wrongs make a right

I’ve had a Sccy CPX-1 for a while now and it’s been a bit of a problem child for me. I bought it as my first CCW gun, and I thought it was quite a good buy. Price at around $300, it’s small, light, accurate and packs the punch of 10+1 9mm rounds into a pistol that can slide into the front pocket of a pair of dress pants. 


It’s not exactly the most reliable gun in the world. Mine’s had to go back to the factory three times in the three years I’ve owned it, typically because the receiver has a tendency to crack slightly under heavy use, causing the gun not to go into battery. 

Not a good thing. 

It’s a nice enough gun and does the job, but it can’t handle high round counts, and that’s why I carry either my Kel-Tec P3AT or my CZ P07 these days, relegating the Sccy to backup duty in my car. 

Door jam

And it works pretty good there: The pistol and holster fit snugly into the door pocket, it doesn’t slide around when the car moves and it doesn’t scream “HEY THIS IS A PISTOL!”. You’d think that a cheap, ugly Uncle Mike’s holster would be the LAST holster you’d want for a car gun, but actually, it works pretty well. 

It works

The magazine on the top of the holster is a nice place for my left hand to hold on the holster as I pull it out of the door pocket, and thumb snap holds the pistol secure until I need it. I haven’t timed my draw on this yet, but after a few dry runs, it feels almost as fast as my draw from concealment, and definitely faster than having to wriggle around in my seat trying to get my CCW gun into action if I need it. Funny how two things that by themselves don’t work so well turn out to work really well together for this task.

Three Times The Guns, Three Times The Oo-RAH

Three times the guns, three times the oo-RAH

The Marines are look to use three gun competition as a way to hone marksmanship

Multi-gun exercises combine marksmanship with a fast-paced obstacle course. Picture rushing through a range, shooting at various targets and using multiple weapons — a rifle, pistol and shotgun, for example. To heighten the realism and boost difficulty, you may be weighed down in full combat gear.

With the belief that competition breeds excellence, Marines are pitted against one another to see who can earn the best time. Go too slow, and you waste precious seconds. Go too fast, and you could risk missing targets and being docked additional time anyway.

“Anytime you’ve got a Marine focusing on increasing his speed and increasing his accuracy with a weapon system, it applies to combat,” (Weapons Training Battalion commander Col. Tim) Armstrong said. “Having a Marine proficient with his service rifle, or pistol, or a shotgun, on the battlefield is going to mean good things.” 

For me, anytime I’m focusing on increasing my speed and accuracy with a defensive firearm, it applies to the skills I may have to use to save a life someday. 

Via The Firearms Blog.

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Tactical Wonderland

Tactical Wonderland

I made a walk up to Cabela’s this week to pick up some reloading supplies (damn you, Sportsman’s Warehouse for not carry big boxes of cheap 9mm bullets!), and once again was overwhelmed by the scale of that store. From fishing reels to boating to camping to hunting, if you wander out of doors, chances are, Cabela’s has something you can buy.

Which got me a-thinking: The driving force behind firearms sales these past few years hasn’t been in hunting rifles or duck guns, the “tactical” or self-defense markets have been where sales have really taken off.

So what would a “Cabela’s (or Bass Pro Shop) for the tactical market” look like?

Well, it’d look a lot like the Scottsdale Gun Club, quite frankly. With a name like that, you’d expect it to sell high-end hunting rifles and collectable Old West shootin’ irons.

Wrong. They’ve got Wilson Combat .45’s and Sig Sauers and whole wall of M4geries, along with a great indoor range and a training program that is second to none.

Environment and branding are everything in retail, (Don’t believe me? Why did the Apple Store succeed where the Gateway Store failed?), so the store fixtures and experience have to instill confidence in the customer so they can trust advice from people of this store with their lives. If I see ONE MORE gun store open up shop with fixtures left over from an office-furniture repo sale, I swear I’ll…

Where was I? Oh yeah, training and accessories.

These are the killer (pun not intended. Really.) add-on. Margins on guns themselves are pretty slim; where guns stores make their money is in the add-ons. If you carry concealed, you’ve got a box full of holsters that didn’t work quite right, and if a store can become THE local source for good holsters, chances are they can succeed where others have failed.

And a good indoor range will also bring people back over and over again, not just to buy more ammo to replace the rounds they’ve shot, but to buy the little profitable things that make a store stay in business.

And training, ideally as an adjunct from a school nearby that’s known and trusted nationwide. I haven’t done the cartography, but I’d be willing to bet that everyone in the lower 57 states is within a day’s drive of a top-flight gun school. I haven’t been to Gunsite (yet) because even though it’s in-state and somewhat nearby, I can’t afford the cost of the ammo for even an beginning class there, much less the registration fee and hotel room cost.

But would I spend a hundred bucks to be one of 10 people in a basic class (say, two hours of classroom time and an hour of range time) taught by a Gunsite Instructor?

You betcha. Call it, say, Remedial Defensive Pistol 090 and use it to either develop interest in Gunsite (or Thunder Ranch or U.S. Shooting Academy or whatever) or upsell NRA training classes and let the range make some $$$. Either way, it’s a win for the firearms industry and a money-maker for the range.

Will we ever see such a place? Maybe somesday. And if it does happen, I’ll be first in line when it opens.


But This One Goes To Forty-eleven

But this one goes to forty-eleven

So .40 turns out to not be an über-caliber after all


The commenters are falling into one of three (rather predictable) groups: 

1. Switch to .45 ACP! JMB invented it, and that’s all you need to know!
2. Switch to 10mm! Why settle for a lesser evil? 
3. Hah! Told you 9mm was enough! 

I’d like to (humbly) suggest a 4th and 5th option: Hit your freakin’ target, dude, and there ain’t no such thing as a one-shot stop with a handgun.

There were former and current law enforcement officers in my NRA Instructor class last weekend, and not to brag (much), I smoked ’em when it came to demonstrating the quick and proper defensive use of pistol. 


Three reasons. 

1. I practice a lot, and cops don’t. Nothing against the cops, they’ve got their hands full with all kinds of things I don’t have to worry about, like domestic violence calls and handing out speeding tickets, while I am laser-sighted (not literally, of course) on the defensive use of a handgun. But still, ammo is free for cops, why not take advantage of it? 

2. As I said, my goal with my training is simple: Stop the attack. A cop has to worry about so much more than just the defensive elements of his/her job, and there’s only 24 hours in the day. 

3. I practice in a stressful environment. Competitive shooting has GREATLY improved my ability to use a handgun in a stressful situation. IPSC, PPC, IDPA, whatever. Pick one and practice at it, and your defensive accuracy will improve. I guarantee it. 

As for the 5th option, well, I lied. If you want a one-stop shot with a handgun, there’s always a .600 Nitro Express revolver.

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Driving The Point Home

Driving the point home

We’re winning.

Pizza delivery driver gets held up, driver defends himself with a legally carried firearm. Franchise owner says “Way to go, more please.”

I wanted to assure you that the policies of both the Nippers owner and my own are such that we not only allow, but encourage our drivers with valid HCPs to carry while working. We recognize the dangers associated with the pizza delivery position and we want our employees to be able to protect themselves. 

I worked one day as a Pizza Hut delivery driver in a more, ah, exciting part of town, and that was enough for me. In my opion, anyone who who intentionally goes into bad neighborhoods with cash and food had better be armed, or else be prepared to lose both, and maybe your life as well.

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