I’m Done With Florida Open Carry.

I am now completely and utterly convinced that if and when Florida does allow for the open carry of firearms, it will be despite the efforts of Florida Open Carry, not because of it. I joined the group thinking they’d be as effective in changing Florida’s  gun laws as Arizona Citizens Defense League has been changing the laws of Arizona.

Boy, was I wrong.

Look, if you think that gay pride parades open carry fishing events and stuff like the photo below will get people to change their minds about the public display of guns, you’re fooling yourself.

Open carry won’t happen until guns are seen as boring, not frightening, and frightening the locals with such things as that  is not the way to change minds.

Work on removing the need for a background check if you have a CCW license. Lower the CCW fees. Get more scholastic shooting teams in the schools. Change the culture, then change the law.

Concealed Carry As A Martial Art.

concealed carry martial arts

Let’s take it from the top.

  1. Civilian firearms training for concealed carry is a martial art*. Probably the first martial art to originate from America.
  2. There are dojos and gyms that teach quick, cheap and easy “Sexual Assault Avoidance” classes that leave their students feeling empowered and slightly better off than when they walked into the gym, but those classes don’t take the time to teach students more than a few ritualized responses to a violent attack.
  3. There are gun schools that do the same thing as Point #2, leaving their students with a feeling of empowerment but with a limited skill set that does not encourage further training.
  4. Lessons are lessons. Dry fire is kata. Drills are sparring. Matches are, well, matches. None of that is an actual fight.
  5. No serious dojo or boxing gym would ever consider tossing someone who just bought their gi and white belt into a sparring match without training them to some extent beforehand, yet we tell new gun owners, over and over and over again, to go to a match to learn how to shoot under stress.

And then we wonder why they’re afraid to go shoot and embarrass themselves in front of others.

Why are they embarrassed to shoot in front of others?

They have a lack of confidence in their own skill with a firearm.

What do we do to increase that confidence?

Keep thinking. I’ll wait.

In order to succeed in a sparring match, the student needs to be trained to the point where they can throw a bunch of punches or block a bunch of strikes without conscious thought.

There are also certain skills in the martial art of the defensive pistol that need to be performed without conscious thought during a match.

They are:

  • A smooth trigger press (still working on that one…)
  • An appropriate sight picture
  • Something resembling a good stance**
  • Drawing the gun from a holster without shooting something
  • Recognizing and engaging multiple targets
  • Reloading without fumbling
  • Safely moving from point to point with a gun in your hand
  • Shooting with the strong hand only and weak hand only
  • Reholstering the gun without shooting anyone

The good news is, that’s actually quite a small list of techniques to master, compared to a lot of martial arts, and you really don’t need to do them all without conscious thought in order to shoot a match***.

The bad news is, how much of that do you learn in a CCW class (Answer: None.) and who is teaching that stuff with the goal of getting people out to a shooting match (Answer: Pretty much no one).

We have not built a dojo around concealed carry (yet), and then we wonder why so few people make the transition from getting their CCW to carrying a defensive firearm.


* Why did karate become popular in Okinawa? Because the local constabulary was doing a sucky job of protecting the citizenry. Same with the monks who dreamed up gungfu. And this differs from you and me wanting to arm ourselves with our defensive sidearms… how?

** Ever notice how all the arguments about what is and is not a good stance go FLYING out the window the minute you run up to a barrier, or have to shoot through a low port? To quote Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

*** Oh, and “tactical carbine” = All those esoteric weapons-based martial arts like Iaido and Kendo. Are they fun? Sure. Are they useful? Well, unless you carry around a boken in your day-to-day life, no, not really.

Domke Kong.

One more thing about the Tactical Man Purse… ten+ years of carrying around a camera bag on my shoulder enlightened me to just how handy a purse / messenger bag / gadget bag really is. I spent years bouncing around between brands of camera bags*, and finally settled on the classic Domke F-2, because I could cram in two bodies with motors (an FM-2 and, shockingly, an FG (smaller and lighter than an FE-2 or F3, perfect as a backup)), a strobe (Vivitar 285, of course), five lenses (20 f2.8, 35 f2, 85 f2, 105 f2.5 and a 180 f2.8**), accessories and a brick of film into something I could (and did) carry around all day long.

And no, I never wore a shooter’s vest. The only guys I knew who wore one were poseurs and wannabes who would argue, at length, the best color negative film for their new Canon AE-1, while me, with my beat-up 20 year old Nikons, was shooting my weight in Fujichrome each month.

If you want to worry about how your gear looks, fine. We’re in a phase now when the driving forces of the gun industry are moving beyond the “hobbyist” market (aka gun nut) and into the larger American consumer market, so OF COURSE how guns look (and how you look with your gun) are going to become more and more important.

But for the working pro, how something looks will always take second place to how it works.


* The first time we went shopping together, my wife was amazed at my patience as she went from purse to purse, trying to find the right one for her, but once I told her that I had owned a dozen different camera bags, she got it.

** In the days when ISO100 was about as fast as you can go with color, having that extra one or two stops in a prime focus lens was EVERYTHING. You kids and your chimping these days. And there’s also something about the restrictions that a prime focus lens places on you that makes you think more about composition and framing than just twisting a zoom dial does. You have to work to get the shot, rather than just stand there and zoom.

They Want Us To Have “A Conversation About Guns,” And Yet This is How They Talk.

But just how does one carry on a conversation with someone like this?

The amount of hysterical ranting here just boggles the mind. The people behind “Guns Down America” apparently haven’t got the memo that gun control is a losing issue, and have decided instead to double down on stupid.

Not that I mind such things. To borrow from  Napoleon Bonaparte, when the enemy is making a mistake, let them.

Back At It.

I received a job offer today, for the same salary I was making before, doing pretty much the same work I did before, but with the added possibility of a bonus if I drive in more revenue.
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. They really, really REALLY made a difference.
And Bob, you were such a big help the last time I was laid off. I miss you brother, I really, really do.

A Gun For All Seasons.

Me, three years ago:

Modularity means more than just backstraps, it means being able to build my gun, my way. I REALLY like what SIG is doing with the 320, but I’d take it one step further and just sell the serialized trigger group by itself, with no pieces parts in it all, much like an AR-15 lower is sold today.

GhostGuns.com, this month.

GhostGuns.com is in the process of developing an 80% FCG that will allow buyers to build their own P320 compatible clones by drilling/milling a few pin holes and trigger sections. The entire process should be achievable with someone with average skills and tools.

So with one of these “80%” trigger packs and a bunch of parts from Apex, Gray Guns, SIG Sauer, etc, you’ll not only have a pistol, you’ll have a pistol that’s built to your specifications and is almost infinitely expandable.

Cool.

 

Whoops.

Went out of town yesterday, and to be honest, my mind’s been on other things, like getting a job.

Sorry.

Well Isn’t That Special.

Breach Bang and Clear has more on the “Tactical Operator = Instant Training Legend” phenomenon that’s popped up as of late, and it’s worth your while:

Who would you rather learn from? A guy who’s had his hands in peoples guts every day for 30 years? Or a guy who spent a couple of tours overseas dealing with guys that come fully stocked with all of the med gear you would ever need – on their person?

Quick question: Which sold better, the “Police Quest” series of video games, or “Call of Duty”?

If you’ve ever picked up a game controller in your life, you know the answer to that question. People these days didn’t grow up playing Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers, they grew up blowing up (virtual) terrorists inside a video game.  On the range and in our training, we tend to want to emulate our heroes, and right now, our heroes are Delta Force, not 1-Adam-12. This, combined with the subtle (and not-so-subtle_ amount of “Walter Mitty-ism” to the gun training community*, means the SpecOps is going to the glamour industry for the foreseeable future.

Good, bad, indifferent, it just is.


* I mean, it’s not like it started out as cowboy “Quick Draw” competition, or something. Oh, wait.

One Shield, Two Shield.

I ordered a new Shield for me a couple of weeks before I got that bad news about my job, and it showed up the same day I got laid off.

Timing is everything.

I bought the new gun for two reasons: I’m pretty much all-in on using the Shield as my primary carry gun now, and the model I own has the manual safety on it. I’ve not flicked that sucker on (intentionally) the entire time I’ve owned it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn itself on, which might seriously affect my first-shot speed.

The plan is to (eventually) outfit the new gun with Trijcon HD XR Sights and either move my Streamlight TLR-6 over to the new gun, or buy a new holster for it (I’m leaning heavily towards a Comp-Tac CTAC right now) and keep the other one as backup / dry fire.