Appropriate Response

Appropriate response

One of the tenets of self-defense is to maintain situational awareness, and one of the ways to increase your awareness is to run through scenarios as you go through your everyday routine: “What would happen if a robber popped up behind that corner with a knife?”, “What would happen if someone tried to carjack me on the way to work?”, “How do I defend myself against a violent home invader?” 

One of the scenarios I’ve thought about is “What if there’s an active shooter in Chandler Fashion Square?”, as that’s where my family goes to catch a movie or do some shopping. How would I have responded to this situation had I been there? 

I’d have run like hell, keeping my head down and looking for the nearest exit. There were plainclothes officers involved, so sorting out the good guys from the bad wouldn’t have been easy. If Mr. Perez shot at me or my family, then things would change, but in this case, my responsibility is to let the cops on the scene do their job and get me and my family out of harm’s way. The LAST thing I want to do is be a victim of friendly fire, but knowing that I COULD defend my family’s life if I need to is an incredible comfort in situation like this. After all, people don’t stop active shooters, people with guns do.

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Worst-case Scenario

Worst-case scenario

This is going on about 6 miles away from me as I type this.

A Baja Fresh at Chandler Fashion Center remains surrounded after a shooting suspect apparently opened fire in the area and then ran into the mall.

Officers at the scene tell ABC15’s Brien McElhatten that the suspect inside the Baja Fresh is believed to have several hostages with him.

All of Chandler Fashion Center remains under lockdown as the police situation continues in the popular East Valley mall.

According to Pinal County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Tim Gaffney, the suspect is 25-year-old Daniel Munoz Perez, a shooting suspect who was mistakenly released from jail last month.

This isn’t some shootout in East L.A. or Detroit, it’s not even in the free-fire zone that is the west side of Phoenix, this is my family’s primary entertainment/shopping destination.

Now would be a good time to review Bob Owen’s guide to surviving an active shooter in a mall.

Get in.
Get low.
Get out.
Keep moving.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Calling My Shot

Calling my shot

Two days ago

If I have to guess, (and at this point, I do  🙂 ), I’d say Ruger is coming out with another compact pistol, probably something in 9mm between the SR-9C and the LCP. Borrowing the design of Kel-Tec’s P3AT was such a success for Ruger, why not borrow the design of the PF-9 as well? 


Ruger has just sent out an email announcing their new LC9. It’s awesome to see Ruger making their way into the compact 9mm market.
This particular little pistol weighs in at just 17.1 ounces with an empty mag and is only 0.9″ wide making it an ideal concealed carry gun. 

Barrel Length: 3.12″
Length: 6.00″
Width: 0.90″
Height: 4.50″
Weight: 17.10 oz.
Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot 

Let’s compare that to the Kel-Tec PF-9

Capacity: Fully Loaded 7 +1
Overall Length:  5.85”
Height: 4.3”
Width: 0.88” 
Weight Empty: 14.7 oz. 
Weight: 18 oz. 

Gosh, I wonder what could have inspired Ruger to come up with a gun like the LC9 ? 

My predictions for 2012: Ruger will come out with a folding pistol-caliber carbine and a semi-auto bullpup .308 rifile

Oh, and move to Florida. That too. 

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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.

The Year In Guns

The Year in Guns

This was a good year for acquisitions for me, the best so far and probably the best I’ll ever have. I can finally say “Yes, I have enough guns to do all that I want to do with a gun.” 

Well, except for shoot Single Stack, that is, so I’ll need a .45. And I want to start shooting the Carbine/Semi-Auto subgun matches at Rio and Phoenix Rod and Gun Club. And I need a backup Production in case my CZ75 ever buys the farm on a stage. And maybe a good over/under for sporting clays and for quail. And a lever-action .30-30 because, well, because.

But after that, I’m done. Well, I want to start shooting Limited eventually, so I’ll need a hi-capacity .40 caliber of some kind. 

But after that, I’m done. I swear

So, let’s review. 

CZ 82

First off is my new dedicated home defense pistol, a surplus CZ-82 from J&G Sales. I waffled between this and a used Smith and Wesson Model 10 for quite a while, but came down in favour of the CZ at the end. At $300 for pistol, extra magazine, 100 rounds training ammo and 50 rounds defensive ammo, tax included, it was a heck of a deal.

CZ P07

While on the subject of CZ’s and defensive firearms, I switched to a CZ P07 for daily (non-office) carry, and I’ve really grown to like this gun. It rides comfortably and easily in my Crossbreed SuperTuck, and it’s been very reliable, eating everything I’ve thrown at it without a hiccup. 

CavArms build

I won a CavArms lower off the R.O. table at the Superstition Mountain Mystery Three Gun match this year, and with a little magic from Dane Armory, turned it into this nice little plinker/defensive rifle. CavArms lower, VM HyTech upper from my old AR, 16″ Dane Armory barrel, A2 hider, no-name iron sights. 

Smith and Wesson M22A

I also picked up something every gun collection needs: A .22LR semi-auto. The S+W M22A is HECK of a lot of fun to shoot, and it’s a great way to help with my transitions and trigger control without breaking the bank on ammo. I still haven’t shot Rio’s .22 match with it yet, but that’s something that change this year.


Not really a NEW new gun, but I finally got my AR to where I want it for three gun matches. Almost. The Magpul backup sights on it are great backup sights, but they’re not the best primary sights in the world, so I’m swapping them out for a conventional front post and a DPMS rear sight

Cobra Derringer

And this one has come and gone already. I won a Cobra Arms .38 derringer off the R.O. table at the Desert Classic (and if you’re beginning to think that R.O.’ing matches at Rio is a great thing, you’re right!! 😉 ), and I had no use for it, so it went onto Gunbroker. 

Mossberg 930

And my last gun of the year, a Mossberg 930 SPX, which’ll be my new shotgun for three gun, relegating my pump gun to home defense use. 

Now that I’m essentially set for firearms, it’s time to actually USE them. My New Year’s resolution is to shoot in at least two matches each month whenever I can. It doesn’t do me any good to have all this stuff and not put it to some use. 

The Gun To Have If You Can Only Have One

The gun to have if you can only have one

I’ll admit it, when I first started reading about Jeff Cooper and his ideas about self defense, I didn’t “get” the idea behind a scout rifle. It seemed to be quaint and antiquated in a world of AR’s and AK’s, and besides, semi-autos had more firepower and precision rifles were more accurate, so why get a rifle that was a compromise.

I get it now, though.

It’s not that a scout rifle is the optimal self-defense rifle or the last word in 800 yard tack drivers, rather, a scout rifle gives you 85% of both of those rifles in a package that’s small and light so that you’ll have it with you when you need it and is reliable enough to go *bang* when you need it as well.

Do I *need* a rifle like that? No.

Do I want one? Oh yeah.

Update: Hey, if you’re coming to this page from various parts of the Internet (and beyond), feel free to stick around and visit the home page for more and/or follow me on Twitter.

For The Record

For the record

I don’t think the 1911 sucks, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s the Ultimate Defensive Handgun, either. I don’t own one right now, but an Armscor Tactical is on my list for this year so I can shoot Single Stack / CDP. I put .45 shooters in the same cubby hole with revolver shooters and SiG nuts and (*gag*) Glock fanatics: Hey, if that’s what floats your boat, go for it.

One comment in particular caught my eye, though. 

… anyone without enough training to disengage the thumb safety on the draw stroke doesn’t have enough training to carry anything safely 

I respectfully disagree. The first rule of ANY user interface is Don’t make me think”. The minute you use the phrase “Our interface makes sense once you get used to it”, that’s the instant you know your interface isn’t up to the task.

This is the case with cocked and locked carry. Sure, once you are used to it, it works, but that’s one more hill for a novice to climb over, one more thing for them to think about in a life-or-death situation. If there’s EVER a time for “don’t make me think”, it’s when you’re using a gun to defend your life.

A person’s ability to learn is limited, and if you say “anyone without enough training to disengage the thumb safety on the draw stroke doesn’t have enough training to carry anything safely” you’re saying “Look, there’s a learning curve on this gun, and the time you spend getting over it could be used to train awareness or cover/concealment or malf drills.” All of those other things are training items that have been proven time and time again to have a bigger impact on the chances of surviving an incident than whether you carry a 1911 or some other gun.

Recommending a gun that requires training to USE (not master, but just use every day) doesn’t dispel the myth that 1911 fans are snobs, and it certainly doesn’t encourage beginners to get into the shooting sports. Find the gun that works for you and use it, and hey, if it’s a CZ, so much the better. 🙂

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