Update On Today’s Post.

Update On Today’s Post.

Dr. Gounder has changed the transcript and podcast to say that David and I encourage training, responsibility, and accountability among gun owners.

Which we do.

Kudos to her for changing the podcast to correctly represent our views on this matter… the battle for and against gun rights in America is often a battle of words, and knowing what words mean to one side or the other can be a challenge at times.

Everyone’s Concerned About Industrial Disease.

Everyone’s Concerned About Industrial Disease.

David Yamane and I were guests on the “In Sickness And In Health” podcast, which is an attempt to deal with gun-related violence in America from a medical point of view. In her previous series, Dr. Celine Gouder, the host, did a pretty good job dealing with the increase in opioid addiction in America, so I agreed to be on her podcast.

However, in this episode, Dr. Gounder incorrectly characterized my stance on universal background checks: I don’t support them at all, and I definitely do NOT believe in required training for firearms ownership. I believe the dojo model should be voluntary because after all, you don’t need a license to throw a punch, and fists and feet kill far more people than AR-15s do. 

Update: Dr. Gounder has changed the podcast and the transcript to correctly state my belief that training should be encouraged, not required. I applaud this effort, and she deserves praise for correcting this issue.

Also, in my opinion, she gave too much time to a military veteran who not only refuses to own a gun in civilian life but also believes that the military’s rules on firearms management and safety is an excellent model for civilians.

Not. Happening. Not unless I can get my hands on an M163 Vulcan Air Defense System if I do so. Then we talk.

The fact is, the military’s purpose for using firearms is far different than my purpose for owning a gun. The military is issued guns for specific purposes, like taking a hill or storming a beach, and unless you’re an MP standing guard or you’re doing overwatch at a firebase, you’re disarmed if you’re a soldier relaxing in a barracks. Not exactly the same reasons why I carry a gun. The idea that the mission drives the equipment is built into the strategy and tactics of the military, so by the military’s own rules, my reasons to carry a firearm are far, far different than a helicopter pilot’s reasons to carry a firearm with him on a mission. Therefore, the military’s rules on how and when a gun should be used really aren’t my rules.

Nor do I want them to be.

To a larger point, though, we are not going to move the needle on how guns are viewed in America if we don’t try swing that needle in our direction. Andrew Breitbart taught us that politics is downstream from culture: It’s time for gun owners to send an expedition to the headwaters of American culture and change where the river is flowing. Yes, I realize, my words may come back to haunt me, but I refuse to be a REMF in the culture war on guns.

History boils over, there’s an economics freeze
Sociologists invent words that mean ‘Industrial Disease’

Earth To Hunting Shows… Come In, Hunting Shows.

Earth To Hunting Shows… Come In, Hunting Shows.

Ok, Gun Culture 1.0… now that you’re realized that your recruiting methods suck and they are not bringing in new hunters like you thought they would, maybe it’s time to look at hunting shows as well. Do we really want another “whispering in the hunting blind” program that’s nothing more than “Hey, here’s the sponsor’s product, here’s me shooting something with that product, thanks for watching!”?

Bor-ring.

Hog hunting is an obvious in-road, maybe one that focuses on bringing in shooters who are non-hunters into the sport, something like, say, a 3 gunner, or maybe a tactical Timmy of some sort. And then there is the obvious tie-in with Big Buck Hunter, one of the most-popular stand-up video games out there, so why not take high-score winners in that video game out on an actual hunt?

Media On The Move.

Media On The Move.

Congratulations, everyone! We’ve gone from ZERO tv shows on basic cable about guns to…. ONE tv show on basic cable that’s about guns.

Oh, and by “guns,” I mean flintlocks and the like.

Oh well, I guess you gotta (re-)start somewhere. Go watch it, and record it and watch it on your DVR, because Discovery Channel, A&E and others ain’t gonna make more shows about guns unless people are watching them.

Speaking of which, A&E is coming out with a new show on November 20th, “Brothers in Arms,” about “two Army veterans who are experts at historical military weaponry.”

If it’s historical weaponry c. 1495, I’ll give it a hard pass… “Forged In Fire” fills that niche for me. However, if it’s Forgotten Weapons mixed with “American Chopper,” I’m in, and I’m in for the long haul.

Either way, it’s nice to have gun-related shows on TV again.

The Sheepdog Moment.

The Sheepdog Moment.

A weird thing happened last week as my wife and I were clothes shopping. I was hanging out, waiting for her to try on her clothes in the changing room, and as I usually do, I was firmly ensconced in Condition Yellow, splitting my time between keeping updated on what’s on going on by checking my phone and glancing around, seeing what was what and if anything was there that shouldn’t be there.

And I realized that a) that sort of thing seems… normal to me and b) no one else in the store was doing the same.

And that was a little jarring.

Now, I am not going to go full Grossman and “feel the wind blow through my cape,” but I understand how that emotion can spring up inside people who are serious about the armed citizen lifestyle. I have no desire to become a middle-aged Batman, but the difference in mindset between how I see the world now and how I saw it before I learned to carry is quite jarring.

… And You Will Be Invincibile.

… And You Will Be Invincibile.

It’s been a few months since I carried a pocket .380 as my primary defensive firearm. The fact is, though, that even when I carried a tiny little gun like my LCP2, I never feel under-gunned. Was it the optimal self-defense gun? Of course not, there is no such thing… a pistol, ANY pistol is a compromise, the LCP2 (and guns like it) compromise firepower in favor of portability and concealability. I know what I can do and can’t do with my LCP2, and I live within those limits. A Glock 19 is not an überwäffen: It also has limitations, and if you don’t know what they are, you’re in worse shape than I am with my pocket .380.

If you carry a pocket gun, and you haven’t put it (and yourself) to the test, do so, otherwise you’re relying on hope, not knowledge.

Missing Links.

Missing Links.

Tam makes a good point, as she is wont to do.

“I’m never going to need tactical fantasy band camp!”

Ignore the safety apparel; the plates and helmet in the shoot house are as necessary as eyes and ears on the square range. Do you think that moving in a structure and problem-solving with a gun in your hand is a skill that might someday be necessary?

I’ve done a LOT of problem-solving with a gun in my hand; it’s called practical shooting, and I’m… ok at it. One thing I’ve not done, though, is take a class using either my defensive shotgun or my defensive rifle inside of a structure, which is kinda sorta how I foresee using said devices.

Whoops. Time to change that.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

This is why you need something in-between harsh words and a gun.

The ATF giveth, and the ATF taketh away.

Brazil’s new President wants to arm victims to reduce crime. That idea’s so crazy, it just might work!

Before your next vacation, use the TripIt App to scope out potential dangers in and around your hotel.

What good are you rights if there is nowhere to shoot?

The NSSF is starting up a class-action suit against Google for firearms-based AdWords restrictions. Good, now do Facebook next.

A woman’s view on everyday concealed carry.

Guns Are Serious Business.

Guns Are Serious Business.

There are two types of gun shops near me… the ones for the local rednecks, and the ones that are there to take money from the rich Republican retirees here. The local redneck stores don’t know crap*. The rich people’s gun stores know a lot about rich people’s guns. There are, however, two good gun store/range combinations near me: One of them I refuse to deal with because of their crooked, crooked ways, and the other is one of the best shops in the business. It’s not only making a living, but thriving, and they’re looking to open up a second shop in the future. It’s clean, well-lit, has good retail branding and a 15 lane air-conditioned range that goes out to 25 yards.

This situation reminds me of the old days of the computer industry, where there was a Bits N Bytes Shop (or some other cheesy name) store in every strip mall, run by local people who were into computers but not into business, and they spoke the language of computer nerds. Then Computerland came along, and because they were first and foremost a business, they spoke the language of business, and they sold a metric buttload of computers to businesses.

It’s worth noting that with advent of a more computer-literate workforce, even the Computerland model has gone away**, and companies are either have their own IT departments and buy direct, or they outsource that to the same kind of mom and pop shops that were around in 1983. The big computer store didn’t kill off the local Bit Shop: Those stores survived by nibbling away at the edges of the bigger market for information technology.

For the last 10 years (maybe even the last 25 years, since the AWB…), the only marketing a local gun shop (and for that matter, gun makers as well) have had to do is just say “Look, it’s in stock… You wanna buy it, or what?”

The stores that are thriving are adapting to a new market. The ones that don’t adapt are goners.

 

* To give you an idea of how little they know, I had one good ol’ boy behind the counter tell me that an FN FiveSeven was “an AR-15 you can carry around in your pocket.”
Uh-huh.
** From the linked Computerland story above: “(computer) Retailers still are amateurish enough to consider themselves competitors … They are just too immature to realize that they’re complementary, not competitive.”
That pretty much describes today’s retail gun market as well…