Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Random Thoughts

I’m reading the “Warrior Mindset” by Michael Asken, Lt.Col. Dave Grossman and Loren Christensen. 

What’s it about?  Leadership, mental toughness, fear, stress, and coping with them are a few of the answers.  To me these kinds of books are more about how they relate to my situation and my needs than an abstract reference.  I don’t expect to lead men into battle or rush to the sound of disaster.  I do expect to have meetings with customers and supervisors, deal with co-workers and manage activities.  Many of the mental challenges faced by police and military have diluted but parallel existence in civilian life.  Double that if you carry a gun.

This would be a good book to have on your bookshelf.  It would be a better book to actually read.

Following Sandy Hook many people sought to find a solution to gun violence.  Many politicians and a sizable portion of the population took the easy way out. 
The easy way? That’s anything that doesn’t require introspection leading to the hard work of changing people and practices.  Instead it’s much easier to blame objects like high capacity magazines or bayonet lugs for the evil men do.  

Well, for that crowd I suggest you check out the mass killing in China.

A confrontation involving axes, knives, at least one gun and ending with the burning down of a house left 21 people dead in China's troubled far-west region of Xinjiang, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday, calling it a "terrorist attack".

It was the deadliest violence in the region since July 2009, when Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, was rocked by clashes between majority Han Chinese and minority Uighurs that killed nearly 200 people.

Nine residents, six police and six ethnic Uighurs were killed in Tuesday's drama, said Hou Hanmin, spokeswoman for the Xinjiang government.

It was not immediately clear how many burnt to death.

Evil finds a way.  The gun?  One police officer had a gun.

On a slightly different note, have you ever wondered why you seldom see pictures of police in North Korea or China wearing a gun?  Could it be their government fears the consequence of having an armed population?  At home our government wants to control our access to firearms.  Do you see any kind of relationship or precautionary tale here?

I like the police. No. I really do.  I accept they are fallible men and women with all the weaknesses, strengths and vanities found in each of us.  Despite this they do a job that is so hard.  I couldn’t do it for more than a day.  But, I don’t mind pointing out some of the less than stellar moments, especially if we can learn from them.

Chief Beraraducci has an accidential discharge and shoots self
Being shot has to hurt.  Shooting yourself, oh yeah, you're in a world of pain!
The Akron paper of April 19 2013 reports that Medina Police Chief Berarducci shot himself while holstering his .40 S&W.  It seems he was at home, getting ready for work but the details of the AD are missing.  Finger on trigger?  New holster?  Old and improper holster?  Just plain carelessness?  New gun?
I’m glad he’s all right, but handling a gun takes all your attention.  You can’t let your mind wander to what’s for lunch or weekend activities.  Two of the most potentially dangerous gun activities are holstering and drawing your weapon.  

In a conflict, prematurely discharging your weapon at best puts you one round down.  At worst it could mean killing someone, including yourself, you promised to protect.

Make sure your gun fits the holster, you’re familiar both holster and handgun operation and mastered both skills.  Replace worn or faulty equipment as soon as you’re aware of the problem.  If there’s anything worse than kitchen-table gunsmithing, it’s shoddy holster repair.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reacting to Sandy Hook

Gun Control

As I hunt and peck this blog, our government is moving to vote on a new and I predict, ineffectual gun control bill.  Part of the problem with any law is its reactionary nature.  It only has force after a crime has been committed.  And who brings these scofflaws to answer for their crimes?  Good guys with guns.

The magazine limits and so-called assault weapon components have been eliminated, for the time, but could be added back as amendments.  The core of the current bill seems to be background checks on private sales. 

Suppose I want to sell an unwanted gun to someone I know.  How would this work? What kind of paperwork is needed? (It’s the Feds.  There will be paperwork!)  Who would pay for paperwork and background?  Would we need to become firearms dealers?  Can BATF demand to see my gun sale records at anytime of day or night because I sold a gun to my shooting buddy?  If I have to do background checks, can I sell out of state?  Is this the first step to gun ownership registration?    I don’t know.

The problem with many laws passed in response to public outrage is the legal ramifications, and blow-back is not considered.  Ask any of the NYC cops who now discover it is illegal for them to have more than 7 rounds in their guns! 

So much of what I hear of the current gun violence reduction reminds me of the suggestion that to reduce public drunkenness, we should sell liquor in smaller glasses.  It misses the point.  Some people drink too much and the size of the glass or percent alcohol in the glass makes no difference.

While the news media debates the life-saving potential of smaller gun magazines most of them missed the mass knifing at a Texas college.

Seems a student, Dylan Quick, went from building to building knifing people.  I was under the impression two were dead, but fortunately it seems this information was wrong.  Nobody has died.

I was asked how a person could stab and cut so many people.  I suspect he ran up to a group of students, started stabbing and slicing and quickly moved to another group before anyone could react. 

His weapon?  No, it’s not an automatic or switchblade, bowie knife, flick knife or any of the other knives NYC or Chicago wants to ban.  The description in the press sounds like a Stanley utility knife.

It seems you don’t need a gun to kill and injure people.  Just the desire.

Tactical content:  A knife can be a deadly, almost unstoppable up-close weapon.  Don’t let people you don’t know, or people acting suspicious, into your personal space.  Keep your reactive distance secure.

Notes in passing

A NY Times article on self-rescue deals with the response time police need and the potential victims of a active-killer.  You can find the entire article at 

The article discusses passive resistance like barricading a door, or knowing where the escape routes are.  It even gives the example of a teacher who held a door shut while students jumped out the second floor window.  The teacher gave his life so his students could escape.

But I found this snippet interesting:

“In 16 attacks studied by researchers, for example, civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in three cases. In other attacks, civilians have obstructed or delayed the gunman until the police arrived.

You can draw your own conclusions, but for myself, I know it’s better to have a gun and not need it than need it and not have it.