And Tam, Of Course, Is Correct.

As someone who’s had to learn how to integrate various levels of armed self-defense into a white-collar working environment for almost a dozen years now, let me just add “HELL YES.”

“‘Dressing around the gun’ is the single dumbest godd*** concept the industry has ever come up with. Espoused principally by two groups; those who carry under color of law and those who don’t have real jobs. That is to say, not on the same planet as the rest of us.” –Claude Werner
There are people who work daily in non-permissive environments with dress codes, where a gun may be legal to carry, but would be a firing offense. Telling a 5’4″ woman in a skirt with no belt loops to “dress around” a Glock 19 in an IWB holster makes one sound a little dense.
There are people who have social lives who like to dress normally around their friends and peers at dinners or cocktail parties. There is a place for a gun that can be carried very discreetly.

IDPA knew this from the very start, which is why they came up with the Back Up Gun division, a division that’s now officially a part of that sport.

Firearms trainers? They’re still working on it. There are precious few pocket-gun specific classes out there, even though the LCP and its successor have been selling like hotcakes for the last ten years.

To me, “Reality-based” firearms training for new gun owners has to start by training beginners to use the guns they own, not the guns the trainer thinks they should own. You want more students in your class? Teach them how to shoot, not how to buy a gun you like.

Are We Winning Yet?

At one point in time, Wired magazine was a bastion of techno-libertarianism, where articles on cryptography went side-by-side with articles on using the Internet to empower individuals to take charge of their lives.

That era is long-gone, and Wired has veered so far towards progressivism, they endorsed Hillary Clinton for President last year.

Which makes this article on “gunsplaining” rather interesting. The author correctly points out that most attempts at gun control fail because the people who make gun control laws have no friggin’ clue how guns actually work, so they wind up legislating on feelings rather than facts. The problem with that is, of course, that effective laws require precision, and precision and emotion are not usually associated with each other, leading to horrible laws that are easy to circumvent. What the author doesn’t realize, though, is that if liberals learn more about guns, it won’t lead to better gun laws, it’ll lead to fewer gun controls, not more of them. I’m all for more people learning about guns, because once they understand what they can and can’t do, we win.

Every. Single. Time.

Is there a realization on the left that they sound like morons when it comes to guns? I hope so, because that means they are starting to fight this fight on OUR terms, not theirs, and once the enemy is fighting your battle rather than theirs, the path to victory becomes a whole lot clearer.

How Do You Change The World?

I dunno, let’s ask Steve Jobs how he changed the world. Maybe there’s answers here for us as well.

Playboy: How about some concrete reasons to buy a computer today? An executive in your industry recently said, “We’ve given people computers, but we haven’t shown them what to do with them. I can balance my checkbook faster by hand than on my computer.” Why should a person buy a computer?

Jobs: There are different answers for different people. In business, that question is easy to answer: You really can prepare documents much faster and at a higher quality level, and you can do many things to increase office productivity. A computer frees people from much of the menial work.

Playboy: Those are arguments for computers in business and in schools, but what about the home?

Jobs: So far, that’s more of a conceptual market than a real market. The primary reasons to buy a computer for your home now are that you want to do some business work at home or you want to run educational software for yourself or your children. If you can’t justify buying a computer for one of those two reasons, the only other possible reason is that you just want to be computer literate. You know there’s something going on, you don’t exactly know what it is, so you want to learn. This will change: Computers will be essential in most homes.

Playboy: Was the initial market hobbyists?

Jobs: The difference was that you didn’t have to be a hardware hobbyist with the Apple II. You could be a software hobbyist. That was one of the key breakthroughs with the Apple II: realizing that there were a whole lot more people who wanted to play with a computer, just like Woz and me, than there were people who could build their own.

Let’s pause for a second and re-write those paragraphs a bit.

Playboy: How about some concrete reasons to buy a gun today? An executive in your industry recently said, “We’ve given people guns, but we haven’t shown them what to do with them.

Jobs: There are different answers for different people. In law enforcement, that question is easy to answer. You defend your life and the lives of the innocent much faster and at a longer ranges than just your fists, and you can reduce the danger to yourself. A gun frees people from much of the fist and nightstick work.

Playboy: Those are arguments for guns in law enforcement and the military, but what about the home?

Jobs: So far, that’s more of a conceptual market than a real market. The primary reasons to buy a gun for your home now are that you want to do some recreational shooting or you want you to protect you and your children from a real and specific threat. If you can’t justify buying a gun for one of those two reasons, the only other possible reason is that you just want to be feel safe. You know there’s something going on, you don’t exactly know what it is, so you want to learn.

Playboy: Was the initial market hobbyists?

Jobs: The difference was that you didn’t have to be a hardware hobbyist with the Glock 17. You could be a training hobbyist. That was one of the key breakthroughs with the (product that hasn’t been developed yet… or has it?): realizing that there were a whole lot more people who wanted to enjoy guns, just like Woz and me, than there were people who could build their own.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Guns have the same place in society right now as computers did in back in 1985. Most of us know we should have a gun around, but we struggle to come up with a reason why.

And this part is interesting as well: Jobs was predicting the home internet in 1985, back when the Internet was Arpanet and the .com had just been rolled out.

Jobs: The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people—as remarkable as the telephone.

Playboy: Specifically, what kind of breakthrough are you talking about?

Jobs: I can only begin to speculate. We see that a lot in our industry: You don’t know exactly what’s going to result, but you know it’s something very big and very good.

What will happen when the personal safety empowerment that a gun provides (and the skills, attitude and courage to use it wisely) gets connected?

Can it get connected? Will connecting gun owners like we connect computers change society, or will it be something else?

Prep Work.

I picked up an assignment, many years ago, to take pictures of Magic Johnson right after he gave a speech at a luxury Phoenix resort. I knew his time would be limited, so I arrived early, scouted a good location, and my assistant and I set up four high-powered strobe lights to properly expose him and wonderful Arizona sunset that would happen just as the shot was scheduled to happen.

But what DID happen was that the resort’s circuits weren’t up to the task of handling my strobes and their outdoor lighting at the same time, so my first test shoot blew a breaker and everything went dark.

I had to take a picture of Magic Johnson, and I had to take it NOW, no matter if my primary light source just went into the crapper.

Fortunately for me, I knew that resort pretty well and I knew the outside breezeways looked pretty good and went east-west so there was still light in them even as the sun was going down. I grabbed my assistant, my tripod and a flex fill, and away we all went for an impromptu available light shoot as the light slowly faded in the west.

And the chromes turned out pretty good. Good enough that I picked up two more assignments from the agency who assigned me.

Now think about it… if I hadn’t been familiar with the environment around me and I didn’t have that reflector and/or assistant with me and was inexperienced at slow shutter speed photography, I’d be completely out of luck and would have p!ssed off a basketball legend and not gotten paid by my client for the job.

Familiarity with your surroundings… having a backup plan and backup gear… recognizing what the issue is and working around it on the spot… why does that all seem so familiar? 😉

Oh, and if you get a chance to take photos of Mr. Johnson, do so. He was, BY FAR, the most approachable and laid-back celebrity I’ve ever photographed. It’s not an act with him.

Turn Up The Radio.

Ugh, did I just make a reference to a lousy 80’s hair metal band?

Yes, yes I did.

Anyways, there’s an interesting article on MacRumors.com on how iPhones are equipped with an FM receiver, but it’s turned off by default, and turning it on, especially during natural disasters, might be a good idea.

Actually, I think it’s a great idea.

Our cell service was out for days after Irma, and we did better than most people at keeping up with what was going down because we had a cheap wind-up AM/FM radio with us. But if the gazillions and gazillions of iPhone owners out there could tune into hear emergency updates at a time when the cell towers were tango-uniform, it can only be a good thing.

Las Vegas Will Viva Once Again.

Yes, I’ve heard about the horror in Vegas.

No, I will not comment on it. Not for at least another 24 hours.

I will say that the people shot were fish in a $@!%ing barrel, and that the LVPD had a breaching team on-site in under 10 minutes.

That’s a helluva response time. Well done.

And as usual in situations like this, people banded together to save lives. Hotels used shuttle vans to send people to the hospital. People stood up when it mattered most, and once again, they realized that they, and not the cops or the paramedics, were the first responders.

I love you Americans. I really, really, do.

We’ll get through this. But right now, pray for healing and comfort.

And watch your six.

The NRA As Tribe, Part 2.

So a few of my friends are asking why the NRA created this video and is weighing in on the issue of standing for national anthem. What does THAT have to do with gun safety and firearms training?

Well, not a lot, to be honest. But it does have a lot to do with what the NRA sees as it’s future in a world where fear is not a primary driver of gun ownership, setting yourself up as a phyle is actually a pretty darn good idea and as the name of the game from here on out seems to be identity politics, and creating a rally point for traditional American values makes a lot of sense.