When I Became A Man, I Put Away Childish Things.

Kathy Jackson makes an excellent analogy about firearms training: At first, we climb up the mountain because we are want to escape the rising floodwaters. In time, however, we realize that we enjoy the climb, and we go up the mountain for the sake of the journey itself.

I’m not saying I’m on the North Face of Eiger, hanging on for dear life, but let’s say my life has a distinct vertical tilt to it right now.

Last year, I trained with Bob Vogel. This year, so far, it’s been a class with Andrew Branca, and in May, I’m taking MAG40 with Massad Ayoob. I wanted to take a John Farnham class as well, but time and tide worked against me.

I’m not lacking for training: I’m at just over three hundred hours right now, and while that’s a paltry sum compared to some of my peers, it’s got me to the point where I’m comfortable defending my life or the lives of my family with what I have with me most days.

But I didn’t get into this to be comfortable, I got into this to be better, and that’s why I’m moving on to the next level and learn from the masters of the craft.

A Good Knife.

To be honest, I will never understand people who leave the house without a knife, phone and a flashlight. Unless you work in a non-permissive environment like behind TSA lines or in a school, it only makes sense to carry around a sharp edge, along with some way of seeing in the dark and a means of communicating beyond yelling at the top of your lungs.

Oh, and a lighter would also be a good idea as well, because being able to start a fire is never not handy.

Part of the problem is, when people say “I want a good knife,” we recommend a tactical folder to them or a confusing mulittool when all they really wanted was something cheap and pointy.

Enter the Opinel folding knife. I got turned on to these almost thirty years ago by a knife-loving friend of mine, and I’ve tried to keep one nearby as often as I could.

opinel_1

The Opinel knife has changed very little since it was introduced almost 100 years ago. It has a simple, twist-lock design that keeps it closed when not needed or when it’s open, and that’s about it. It’s not the easiest knife in the world to open (it usually takes me both hands to open mine), but what it does, it does very, very well.

opinel_2

The blade is sharp. DANG sharp, and the handle fits comfortable in your hand. If you’re looking for a cheap, everyday utility knife, skip the cheap Chinese imports and go with something that’s been around for a hundred years.

Switching My Daily Carry

Ruger LCP II

At this point, with almost 400 rounds through it with nary a hiccup, I’m confident enough in the LCP II to carry it on days when I have to be more discreet than usual. Also, based on the results from this test and feedback from people whom I know and trust, I’m switching from Hornady 90 grain XTP’s to Hornady 90 grain Critical Defense ammo in my .380’s. The Critical Defense round was the only round to penetrate more than 12 inches of gel AND expand each and every round that was tested.

Look for more rounds downrange with the LCP II in the near future.

“Half The Store Is Devoted To Solutions”.

“Because people don’t just want to buy personal computers anymore, they want to know what they can do with them.”

This. This is how Apple took over the world. They realized, faster than Microsoft did, that computers were not something we used just at the office, they were becoming part of our lives.

Apple did this, and now they own the retail world.

Who is devoting half of their gun store to HOW you use a gun? Anyone?

Why not?

Is there anything, anything at all inside your gun store that gives hints about what you can DO with your guns, now that you’ve bought one?

Why not?

Dance With The Person Who Brought You To The Dance.

Nice to see one of the icons of mainstream, establishment conservatism notice the role that the NRA played in defeating Hillary Clinton.

There are many claimants to the honor of having nudged Donald Trump over the top in the presidential election. But the folks with the best case are the National Rifle Association and the consultants who made their TV ads.

The NRA did just about everything right. It endorsed Trump last May when he was still just the de facto nominee. The goal was to persuade Second Amendment supporters who’d backed other candidates to unify behind him.

The NRA planned ahead. It had lined up TV time months beforehand when rates were lower. That saved money. Thus when the Access Hollywood tape threatened to capsize the Trump campaign a month before the election, the NRA had cash on hand for a fresh ad to steady Trump.

Good to see Freddy (“The Beadle“) Barnes saying something that I’ve been saying (literally) for years, that gun owners are the new evangelicals.

October, 2015:

“The NRA is not going away anytime soon, but their political role is changing. Thirty years ago, the Republicans relied on a “three-legged stool” of support from foreign policy hawks, small-government activists, and social conservatives. Of those three, it was the social conservatives who did the dirty work of knocking on doors and getting out voters to the polls on voting day. Since then, however, the power of social conservatives inside and outside of the Republican Party has waned, and it’s now gun owners and NRA members who get out the vote for their candidate of choice.”

October, 2016

We’re in a presidential election where one of the candidates is proud that the National Rifle Association and others opposes her efforts to change the meaning of the Second Amendment and impose the “Australian model” of gun control on the US.

American gun owners are, for the most part, allied against Hillary’s attempts to move the right of self-defense from an individual right to a duty that belongs to the state. We’re mobilized, and we’re spreading the word about what responsible gun ownership looks like.

We’re winning. The gun-control fever has broken, at least on a national scale. Let’s get back to healthy, safe gun ownership as the norm in American life, and leave civilian disarmament on the ash heap of history where it belongs.

Catching Up.

I wrote a bunch of articles for Shooting Illustrated at the end of the year last year (something about writing articles that get clicks and not missing deadlines makes you popular with your editors. Go figure.).

Anyways, here’s some stuff for you to read in your free time.

A review of a thermal sight that clips onto your smartphone.

A review of the Streamlight Pro Tac 2 Rail Mount light (I *really* like this light. It’s probably the best value out there).

Choosing an angled foregrip (I was surprised by how much I liked the Mako grip).