Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

This article on why progressives are setting themselves up to lose in 2020 could be written about gun owners as well.

… in politics, intensity is not strategy. You have to be able to convert. The Resistance didn’t convert. It didn’t convert when Chuck Schumer chose to make Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court the decisive political test of the year. It didn’t convert when it turned his initial confirmation hearing into a circus. It didn’t convert when media liberals repeatedly violated ordinary journalistic standards by reporting the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh that followed Christine Blasey Ford’s.

Above all, it didn’t convert the unconverted.

Let me explain this as clearly and as easily as I can: No one cares about YOUR rights, they care about THEIR rights. The key to winning a political battle is to make YOUR issue THEIR issue, and quite frankly, gun owners suck at that sort of thing. If we want to spend less time fighting gun control and spend more time on the range, we need win the gun control battles before they happen. We need to make control so toxic, no politician in their right mind would come out in favor of it.

The first step to making gun control unpopular is to make gun ownership popular once again. Make the fight about the shared desire to stay safe, and the sheer outright FUN of shooting a gun, don’t make it about your right to carry an AR-15 while fishing. Gun rights are going to have to become an inclusive, populist movement if we are going to win.

Take someone to the range. Start an informal gun club in your neighborhood. Go plinking with a cow-orker. Get out of the choir loft, and onto the street.

Hook, Line And Thinker.

Hook, Line and Thinker.

Speaking of the media narrative on guns, I have (note the past tense) been impressed with Lois Beckett’s reporting on the give and take when it comes to the right of self-defense in America. She took the time to approach gun owners with an open mind, and turned in some terrific, balanced reporting on the issue.

Past tense.

This tweet, though, shows that despite her willingness to approach and engage with NRA members, she still doesn’t get it.

What does the fact that NRA-supported candidates won in Florida have anything to do with the Parkland shooter? Was the murderer an NRA member? NO! So why involve the NRA with this? As I said in my response to her,

The NRA is NOT the “gun lobby.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) represents gunmakers on Capitol Hill, not the NRA. However, the NRA is feared and reviled by progressives because it registers people to vote, and those voters tend to vote Republican. If the issue was truly about “gun safety,” progressives would welcome and embrace the world’s largest firearms safety training organization and support efforts like Eddie Eddie and Project Childsafe.

Instead, the reverse is true: Bloomberg’s minions were outraged when the Department of Justice teamed up with the NSSF to promote firearms safety, and oppose the world’s largest gun training organization teaching firearms safety.

No, I don’t get that either.

It’s not about safety, it’s about making sure you know your place and making sure your vote doesn’t count.

Make sure it does.

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

I had a pastor who once said that if you’re being a jerk while talking about God, you’re not being persecuted or treated like a martyr for your faith, you’re being treated that way because you’re acting like a jerk. It’s not your message that is setting things off, it’s how you’re saying it.

So when do we say when, and stand our (moral) ground in this culture war with the NeoJacobins?

  1. When You Are 100% Certain You Didn’t Start Things
    You and your mates carrying on at normal conversational levels for the environment you’re in is one thing. Talking about guns while dropping F-Bombs in the presence of children and drowning out the conversations around you is something else. I don’t care if you’re talking about a subject I really like; if you’re doing it while being a jerk,  you deserve everything you’re about to get.
  2. When It’s About Something Bigger Than You
    If the argument starts with SJW’s getting in your face because what you are saying, it’s about something more than you. If it starts because of how you’re saying it, it’s about you. In that case, it’s yes on one, and no on two.
  3. When You Have Other Options 
    Do you how to block a punch? Know how to wrassle someone to the ground without much fuss and bother? Do you carry pepper spray, a powerful flashlight or something other less-lethal device? No? Change your ways, and quickly. Going to guns when words are the weapon of choice will result in nothing but bad consequences for you. Take Managing Unknown Contacts or a similar training class. Learn how to defuse a situation with words, not with weapons, and yes, if things look to get dicey and lethal force is looming on the horizon, beat feet to someplace safer.

Most of all, be wise as to when and where you make your stand. Being a martyr might be inspirational to others, but it pretty much closes off all your options for the here and now.

Be careful out there.

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

”I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny…”

– Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838

Following up on a post I made over at Ricochet.com, what happens when the culture war breaks out right in front of you? What do you turn down a street and find out that Antifa has decided to declare martial law?

Another example: My family makes it a habit to join hands and give thanks before every meal, whether we’re at home or not. We’ve had people approach us and thank us for this open display of faith, but what happens when some Social Justice Warrior sees us, takes offense at such a thing and gets up in our face? Do we leave? Why? We were doing nothing wrong, and now we have to deal with an angry, potentially violent person who is a potential threat to us.

Or what happens when you and your mates are having a cold one, talking about guns, and someone overhears your conversation and decides to loudly lecture you on how the NRA is a terrorist organization. Do you leave? Do you ask the manager to call the cops? Do you argue back?

We’re in a Cold Civil War right now, and the battlefield is our nation’s cultural norms. Where does escalation end and fighting for the future of America begin? We can, (and should) retreat if the fight is personal, but what happens when the fight starts because of what we believe in? The stakes are enormous in this fight, because if retreating in the face of an enemy attack becomes habit to us, we will lose the fight and cede the cultural battlefield over to the mob.

Where do you stand? What cultural hills are you willing to die on?

More on this tomorrow.

Flash Site Pictures.

Flash Site Pictures.

Mike Janich is coming to South Florida. If you want to avoid being stabbed and learn how to use a blade as a defensive weapon, start with his class.

I did a review of the Daniel Defense DDM4 VP7 pistol in .300BLK with a LAW folding brace.

How far are you willing to go to support “your side” when a culture war heats up?

Speaking of which, if this doesn’t chill you to the bone, brother, you are already dead.

I agree with Greg: There really is no reason to carry something other than a SOF-T or CAT tourniquet. I carried a SWAT for awhile, but the fact is, it’s no less bulky than a SOF-T is, so you might as well carry something that’s documented to work.

Remember, You Wanted This.

Remember, You Wanted This.

Allow me a brief moment of politics here.

Remember this scene in “Jack Reacher“?

Tom Cruise is beating up the bar thugs: He has one of them (literally) by the short and curlys, and he looks at the last two thugs who are considering joining the fight and says “Really?” Those goons saw what just happened, are seeing their friend writhe around in agony, and WERE EVEN TOLD BEFORE THE FIGHT HAPPENED that this was going to occur, yet they still want to press the attack.

Right now, Red State Americans and Blue State Americans both seem hell-bent on starting Civil War 2.0, and there’s no one on either side asking themselves “Do we really want to do such things?”

Which pretty much guarantees it’s going to happen.

God help us all.

We Have A Lot Of Ground To Make Up.

We Have A Lot Of Ground To Make Up.

Speaking of the culture war against guns (and I have been speaking about that a lot recently), these are just some of the gun-centric shows have come and gone from basic cable since I starting writing this blog.

Lock and Load
Top Shot
Sons Of Guns
Guns And Gear
American Guns
Mail Call (NSFW, because Gunny)
Hot Shots
3 Gun Nation
Guntucky

Now, there are very good (legal) reasons why at least two of those shows are off the air, and two more relied on the sparkling personality of R. Lee Ermey for their success, but right now, there are exactly ZERO gun-related shows on basic cable. Yes, there are the great shows about guns and how they’re used on places like the Outdoor Channel, Sportsmans Channel and The Pursuit Channel, but those shows are not growing the culture because the audience for those programs is an audience that is already interested in the outdoor life.

We need more outreach programs that show up on channels which don’t rely on hunting programs for the majority of their content. Something like a gunsmith version of “Forged In Fire” is an obvious idea, but that’s just an opening bid. We need more. Let’s get back to the 2010 numbers, and soon.

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Are The Fearful Themselves.

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Are The Fearful Themselves.

Your Monday morning dosage of clue, served to you hot and fresh with a side of wake the @$%! up and take someone to the range.

If a tool’s only utility is grounded in fear, it allows for one dimensional stereotypes of its owner. Those opposed to your beliefs will label you, contain you, which will anger you while also leaving you vulnerable to manipulation. Although this is unfair, it happens regardless.

Stereotypes of gun owners and gun culture in America couldn’t be further from the truth. Yet, the only time the nation as a whole interacts with gun owners is following the tragedy of a mass shooting. With emotions already high and fingers being pointed, responsible gun owners are pigeon holed into false identities that they then feel forced to defend.

When we act like the scary quasi-fascists and use violent phrases to defend our gun rights, people tend to think we’re scary, violent quasi-fascists.

Duh.

Moreover, talking like crazy, violent quasi-fascists goes against the very idea of being a gun owner. Inside the armed self-defense world, we preach de-escalation, calming words and verbal judo as a way to get out of potentially violent encounters. But, when we are confronted with emotionally-charged words of violence from those who want to negate the idea of armed self defense, we immediately go to the “MOLON LABE!” card and escalate the rhetoric.

Remember what happened in your concealed carry class? Remember all the questions you and your fellow students had about “Well, what if the bad guy is doing X? Can I shoot him then?”. What was the response to 99% of your questions about the escalation of force? Yep, that’s right, it was “Don’t shoot them, it’s a bad idea.”

We know that when we decide to carry a gun on our person, we must, MUST give up our “right” to be angry, because if we escalate the situation, it may go very badly for us. Note that in doing so, though, we are not giving our right to self-defense, we are merely using something other than 124 grain hollow points to accomplish that task. Just as we would only draw a weapon when it’s apparent it’s the only way to survive, we should draw a line in the sand and say “MOLON LABE!” only when, as Massad Ayoob puts it, it is in the gravest extreme.

Have we reach that point yet? I can’t answer that question for you, that is a personal decision. However, just as the answer to 99% of the “Can I shoot him now?” questions in your CCW class were “No,” I think the answer to 99% of the opportunities to escalate the rhetoric, our answer should be “No” as well.

We have other options. We know we need “tools in the toolbox” to defend our lives, so we need more options to defend our rights than just angry words. We need a full-court press to re-take our culture, and that means if we need to smile and take someone shooting, we smile and take someone shooting. If that means we join the NRA, we join the NRA. If that means there’s a TV show out there that treats civilian gun ownership with respect rather than showing it as the source of all evil, we BY GOLLY make that show the #1 show on the network.

I’m the NRA, and I not only vote, but I watch movies and TV shows as well.

Why R. Lee Ermey Matters.

Why R. Lee Ermey Matters.

I don’t think gun owners fully understand the debt we owe to R. Lee Ermey. With “Mail Call” and a host of other shows, he talked about guns as fun, while being funny.

We need more people like him today who are engaged in the culture and are having FUN while shooting a gun. No matter how much it might make you feel good, yelling at the gun control crowd and threatening Democrats are not fun actions. Gunny Ermey spoke up on politics and paid a price for his words, but he was known mostly for being a tremendous advocate for the military, firearms and an honorable way of life, and he had FUN while doing so.

Rest easy, Gunny. We’ll do our best to pick up the task you left behind.