Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tactical Safety

Let's think about the tactics of safety. 

(Just in case the link breaks)

Christmas time pushes people to do crazy, frenzied activities as we rush to make it a perfect holiday.  Let’s talk about putting things in place so they are ready when we need them.

I’m not talking about bug-out bags, stashed guns or even determining lines-of-sight in your house.  I’m talking about smoke detectors.

So many of us use a cut Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas.  These trees were cut 3 months ago or longer and are so dry and are so filled with resin that they practically explode into a ball of fire with the touch of a spark.  Even the live ones you cut at the tree farm are very flammable. 

So put in fresh batteries in your smoke detectors for Christmas.  Most of them use a common 9 volt radio battery available at Mega-Mart and corner stores across the nation.  If you don’t have a smoke detector buy a couple.  Put a smoke detector on each floor. 

I suggest you put one on the living room ceiling near the area you normally put a Christmas tree.  This one will give you an extra 10-20 seconds if the tree catches fire.  Those seconds could be the difference between having an awful Christmas and not having one at all.

One of my favorite blogs suggests keeping a headlight on the fire extinguisher.  Not a bad idea, but here are the two main thoughts on using a fire extinguisher.

If you have any doubts the fire is too big for your extinguisher or level of confidence, it is too big.  Like DeNiro said in Ronin,  “If there is any doubt, there is no doubt.”

If you choose to fight the fire, get the fire department moving before you start.  You only get one extinguisher.  If you have to leave to get a second, the blaze is too big.

A few more words on smoke alarms and such.  There are two types, ionization and photoelectric.  Experts suggest installing both.  Then they talk about adding carbon monoxide detectors, and don’t forget the Bluetooth linked detectors …

Remember, perfect is the enemy of accomplished good.  Just get a couple of smoke detectors on your ceilings and keep fresh batteries in them.   Make sure everyone knows to meet a location in the house and what their job is during an alarm.  I think you should practice a drill. 

You spend hours practicing head shots on cardboard, but you think it’s silly to run a drill to make sure you and yours get out safely?  Really?

Here’s a link to the article that sparked this rant.  I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart.

I want you have a Safe and Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Basics 6: Public Bathroom

Let's get gritty. (just for men edition!)

CCW and modern plumbing
So...Which are you going to use?

That’s your third cup of coffee.  Nobody ever owns coffee.  We just borrow it and input equals output.  Time to head to the john.

You’re carrying, that’s why you’re drinking something non-alcoholic.  Let’s assume you carrying strong side and someone has made you.  They want your gun.

Their plan is to be a half a dozen steps behind you into the john and when you step up to the urinal, unzipped and pre-occupied, they are going to rob you.  This is just a variation of one popular mode of making a felony warrant arrest and extraction from a public place.

Let me tell you how I would do it.  I’d start to walk past you and then slam your head in to the wall, hard!  Hard enough to knock you unconscious.  I’d scoop the gun out of your holster and be out the door while you were still falling to the floor.

So what’s your plan?

You’ve got a couple choices.  You could use the urinal on the right.  That’s a sturdy partition on your right that protects and limits access to your gun.
You could use the center one which gives you room to move either left or right during a fight.

The left one, that’s not so hot unless you’re a lefty.

So what’s the answer?

Use a stall. 
Nothing like almost complete privacy, with a door locked behind you to protect yourself.  Take care of emptying your bladder and when you’re ready, you open the door and step out.  Anyone waiting has to react to your timing.

Sure you can dream up other scenarios that invalidate the protection of a closed door.  How about two of them waiting for you outside the door?  Or maybe one will climb over into the locked stall after you. 

Really?  Maybe someone will simply teleport your gun away from you.  

Not very likely you say, and I would agree.  Lingering around in a bathroom always attracts attention.  That’s the last thing he wants.

It’s a basic tactic.  Use a stall.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Basics 5

I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before.

predator and prey  criminal and victim  same thing!!!
Victim and Predator    Image from Jim Burns
A small hawk had found a pigeon separated from its flock and managed to crash it in traffic in front of my car.  The hawk took a second or two to regrasp the pigeon, look around and then drag the injured bird off the road and on to the glass berm, out of sight.

The hawk was lucky on several accounts.  Traffic was slow and I recognized what was happening while they were still a flying tangle of feathers heading to the pavement.  I could stop and wait the 10 seconds it took.

There is a tactical message in all of this.  Let’s ignore the implication the pigeon was unarmed and the hawk armed with sharp talons.

The hawk cruised around until it found an isolated pigeon, a victim of opportunity.  It struck with maximum force to disorientate the victim.  He then took a second to make sure a bigger hawk would not steal his victim, made sure he had control of his victim and then took the victim to a secondary, more private location.  Needless to say the pigeon lost more than his wallet and watch.

What do we get out of this?

Armed or not, it’s safer in a group.  Pay attention to the surroundings.  If that pigeon knew about the circling hawk, it would have taken cover with the rest of the flock.  A criminal attack will be violent and unexpected.  See your attacker approach and start your counter before he arrives.

No, I don’t mean drawing your gun.  That’s dependent on the circumstances and may be appropriate.  But opening your coat to make access to the fighting tools easier, emptying your hands, moving to cover, moving back to the store entrance, getting the family to safety, all start the process.  This sends a clear message to the predator that they have been seen and you are not surprised.

Final observation.  Never let yourself been taken to a secondary site.  There is a reason the criminal wants to take the time and risk exposure and possible capture to move you to a move private location. 

Remember that pigeon.

Any comments?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

More Lessons From The Damned

Ray Tensing is in a lot of trouble.  July 19, 2015 while working for the University of Cincinnati police he stopped Sam DuBose.  What should have been an ordinary traffic stop went bad.  Very Bad.  Tensing shot and killed DuBose while he attempted to drive away.

Those seem to be the facts.  There are some questions about exactly what happened, what Tensing thought and what Tensing feared would happen.  They are in trial now to determine the outcome.

Tensing’s body cam has been examined and an expert claims it doesn’t support Tensing’s claim.  Tensing claims his hand was caught in the car as DuBose drove away and he would have been dragged.  Such a dragging could result in serious injury and perhaps death.
Powerful stuff.

What’s the lead paragraph in the Akron Beacon Journal and others about this revelation?  Not that the cop cam doesn’t support his claim, but that Tensing was wearing a black shirt with a Confederate flag and the words “Great Smokey Mountains” printed on it.  Kind of paints him as a racist, doesn’t it?

I couldn’t believe that any police force would allow a uniformed officer to discard the uniform top and just wear a tee-shirt while on duty.  A little more digging revealed the department requires a black tee-shirt be worn under the uniform top during the summer.

The shirt was also described by others as the kind you might buy at a souvenir shop.  Also not mentioned in the ABJ article was the shirt also had the numbers 1 9 3 4, the year the Great Smokey Mountains became a national park on it.

Oh!  Doesn’t sound so racist anymore does it?

I’m not here to rag on the ABJ, or on Tensing’s actions.  I want to talk about perceptions.  The jury saw that shirt.  DuBose’s death happened more than a year ago and now it’s at trial.  The prosecutor had a year to work on the case, make connections, try out different fact interpretation and find experts who agreed with his theory. 

That shirt doesn’t help Tensing.  The tragedy of one man killing another isn’t enough.  The news media paints him as a racist, that sells papers.  It is also what the DuBose family wants.  Their father/son/husband/brother/buddy was killed because he’s black, so they claim.  Bigger rewards that way.  (Yeah, I’m that cynical.) 

I’ve said this before; don’t stack the deck against yourself.  Personal ornamentation meant to shock or point out the hypocrisy of society, the clothing statement that you’re a rebel and loose cannon can and will be used against you by the media and the justice system.  Don’t make your defense harder than it has to be.  Beside, do you want your neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, relatives thinking you were looking for trouble?

My firearms have descriptive names - the second model 66 revolver I bought, not the widow maker.  It’s a Glock 17 with a light, not Zombie Slayer.  I don’t have skulls on my guns, little tombstones, or crossed out stick figures.

Save the statement tee-shirts for the backyard cookout and if you do wear a gun shirt that make sure it says something like “Quality since 1911” or “Proud Sponsors of Make-A-Wish” and not “Mess with me and Die with the Rest.”
I had a Springfield Arms shirt that listed all the matches Team Springfield shot in.  That was enough of a statement for me.


Tensing’s trial is in the hands of the jury, that collective organism with a IQ over 1000, more than 500 years life experience and 12 separate BS detectors, some of which are always working.  I wonder what the outcome will be?

New Flash!
A deadlocked jury results in a formal mistrial for Ray.  But he's not off the block yet.  Prosecutor Deters plans to refile and take Ray back to trial.  Deters wants to move the trial to a new location, I'm assume somewhere he thinks he can get a better outcome.  

Also remember, not guilty is not the same as innocent.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sniper Match

GTA’s sniper/spotter team match was a success.  17 teams of men and women worked through a variety of stages including a boat and shoot house.  A central tenet of my belief system is training and lessons can be found at the heart of all activities if you look for them.  As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watching...” or words to that effect.

What did I learn?

boat sniper stage
Row, row. row your boat, life is but a dream.....

Most snipers used .308 rounds.  A few fired the classic 30-06 round.  One other round was represented, a .243 Winchester.  Let’s unpack this a little. 

Don't confuse the reflection with the real targets...

The .243 is considered an entry level deer hunting round.  A 100 gr bullet typically has a speed of 2960 feet per second.  The Los Angeles SWAT teams used this round in their early years.  I suspect if it will stop a fully grown white tail deer, it will work on a man.  In some countries, civilian ownership of rounds used by the military like .308 is forbidden and the .243 Winchester finds a role as a replacement for the .308.

rifle hogan's alley
Any bright alley for the spotter in all of us!

The .308 was invented in 1952 as a replacement for the .30-06.  It’s not quite the same with the 7.62x51 round but the difference is so minor that SAAMT classifies it as a safe substitute.  One of the reasons the military dropped the .30-06 for the .308 was size and weight.  A 125 gr bullet typically has a velocity of 3100 feet per second.  Following WWII, the need for a more mobile and self-sufficient soldier was apparent.  This hasn’t changed for the soldier, police or deer hunter.  The smaller shell meant more ammo for the same weight.

shooting positions
Sniper take aim...

The .30-06 was a surprise to me.  First invented in 1906 the round is often thought of as a 1000 yard round.  Also known as 7.62x63 the round has gained the reputation for being suitable for any North American game including apex predators like polar bear.  If you’re going for elephant or Cape Town Buffalo, you need a bigger gun.  The .30-06 is reported to be at the upper limit of confortable, recoil manageable round.  The brass case has room to hold more powder, assuming your rifle and shoulder can deal with the increased load, to produce higher performance.

Every sniper I talked to zeroed his or her weapon at 100 yards.  As one deputy sheriff told me,”If I have to shoot farther than 100 yards, it’s a very bad day for everyone.”  Every professional sniper knew their bullet drop at different distances and if time allowed, dialed in the correction into their scope before the stage started.  Only when there is insufficient time do they depend on hold over.
This is very interesting.  At Camp Perry the rifle pop-ups are out to 300 meters and there is no time to dial the correction, so hold over is the order of the day.  I believe that if time allows, dialing in the bullet drop into your scope produces a better, more accurate hit as compared to estimating the hold over.

All the spotters had AR platforms.  Many of the spotters used a bipod as well.  The snipers used bolt guns with limited box magazines and almost without exception used a bipod.  This works well when the paradigm of sniper-equals-fewer-shots is valid.  Previous matches required the sniper to fire 9 rounds in under a minute, making those 3 and 4-round box magazines a disaster.

It should come as no surprise that prone shooting position produces the best results.  Unfortunately, prone is one of the slowest to move in and out off.  Several shooters had trouble shooting from un-orthodox positions, like behind a small cable spool or from inside a culvert.  That’s also not surprising.  Most amateurs don’t have the facilities to practice these positions.

If I had to make recommendations for next year or other matches, I would suggest forming a shooting team at the beginning of the season.  I cannot stress communication drills between sniper and scout, determining actual bullet drop and shooting from unorthodox positions enough.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sometimes New is Better....

It’s easy to find yourself chasing technology in an effort to have the latest tacti-cool accessory.  This is very apparent with bulls-eye shooters with their constant search for the dot, muzzle brake, oil, barrel, trigger job, or special start up ritual that will shrink their group and add 15 points to their average score.

Nor are IDPA or other action shooting games immune from tungsten guide rods, special sights, dot optics and the rest, all of which are attempting to reduce time and improve score.  Many pistol smiths make a good living selling superior performance.

Step out of the game world and into practical self defense and we’ll find these gismos waiting for us as well.  Some are potentially dangerous.  Trigger jobs that reduce the trigger weight to values not defensible in court, for example.  Some are just misleading like dry oils or dirt repellent lubrication.  Others actually improve your shooting ability and increase your survivability.

Accommodations must be made to age.  I just put Truglo TFX sights on my Glock 17.  The sights glow in the dark thanks to tritium, a slightly radioactive isotope of hydrogen.  The use of plastic light pipes that seem to suck up every extra photon helps me see them at dusk or in dimly lit surroundings.  The increase contrast is just what my old, hard to focus eyes need.

For gun games I wear special glasses, cheaters if you will, that help my eyes focus on my front sight.  Everyone shoots better when they focus on their front sight.  But I can’t really wear them for everyday wear.  Too many things, like traffic control signs, are out of focus.  It is very likely I’ll be wearing my normal prescription glasses when I’m forced to defend myself. 

Therefore, I want sights that will help me line front and rear sights up properly.  Truglo TFX does this for me.  As a chemist I like to test my assumptions, so I shot the Dot Torture target with my normal glasses.  It was noticeably easier to see my sights using the Truglo TFX.  I scored 50 out of 50.  Yes, the sights were a little out of focus, but these were easy to quickly line up.  I recommend them to you.  I have them on my glock .380 too!  They aren’t cheap, but missing or shooting the wrong person in self defense to too expensive not to invest in Truglow TFX sights.

No, it's not a very long slide, it's a function of the closeup camera lens.  Still, rear sights slightly fuzzy and front sight crisp and sharp that's perfection.

The other thing I changed was my Streamlight gun light.

My new Streamlight TLR-1s and my older M-3
This is one time newer is better due to upgraded technology.

Years ago I purchased an M-3 tactical gun light for that same Glock.  It was great.  Press down on the momentary switch with my left thumb and darkness would retreat from me.  I’ve used all the flashlight techniques with different degrees of success and a gun light beats them all.

Even with a gun light you need small tactical flashlight.  Use a hand-held light to illuminate areas you don’t want to point a gun at, but need to see.  I would suggest a light with a lanyard you can slip over the wrist.  You just drop the hand held light and grasp your weapon when you need more grip.
But technology has changed.  LEDs (light emitting diodes) have a higher efficiency and produce more light.  They also sip electricity.

Let’s go head to head:
M-3 Illuminator
TLR-1s Illuminator
80 lumens
300 lumens
Run time
2.5 hours
2 – 3 volt CR123
2 – 3 volt CR123
Focusable lamp
a little
Light source
Incandescent bulb
Illumination modes
Locked on and momentary contact
Locked on momentary contact and strobe
3.1 oz
4.1 oz

With the exception of the focusable lamp and weight, the TLR-is wins hands down. 
I recently was out on the range about an hour before sunset and noticed a clump of trees and bushes.  This little cluster of forest created complete and total darkness beneath it.  Several people could have easily hidden in the shadows.  The M-3 wasn’t bright enough 20 yards from the brush to illuminate shadowy undergrowth.  The TRL-1s did a great job!

My next step is to get a carry holster to fit the Glock and TRL-1s mounted.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Internet Training

At the heart of shooting, You'll find trigger control

The above is Dot Torture by Todd Louis Green.

Dot Torture is designed to help develop trigger control.  You can find many variations of trigger control exercises online.  Google Dot Torture and you will find it.

The instructions are simple.  Stand three yards away from the target and follow the instructions printed on the target.  If you’re paying attention you’ll realize there are no time constraints, just shooting requirements.  I modified dots 6 and 7 from 16 rounds to 8.

Internet rumor has it nobody has shot a perfect score at seven yards.

I’m happy with my results, especially dot 8, weak hand.

Training takes many forms.  Some of the better ones don’t look like training, just fun with your friends.  Almost all training takes 500 rounds.  Well, dry firing takes none, but most do.  You don’t need to fire 500 rounds in one session.  That could be actually counterproductive.  What is usually needed is repetition.  Whether it’s a three note riff or brain surgery, it takes repetition, especially for perishable skills.

Sometime you just have to go out and do the boring activities.  It’s an investment in yourself.  The advantages are obvious.  Reaching levels of unconscious competency frees your mind to deal with the unexpected and the unknowable.  In matches, it lets you concentrate on the stage and not on reloading skills or sight alignment.  In self defense, you can concentrate on the event and not get side-tracked by obtaining proper grip for recoil control.

Using a firearm for self defense will look nothing like an IDPA match.  People will move into and out of your field of vision.  You probably will not be standing still nor will your targets.  There will not be a perfect backstop for errant rounds.  You may not know when it actually starts, putting you behind the curve and you may not know when it ends.  The arrival of the police signals the start of a new phase of fighting for your life.

So go out and practice the boring shit once and a while.  Shoot Dot Torture at four yards when three seems easy.  Try taking a step left or right before each firing each dot.  Look up other drills and spend 15 minutes practicing them.

It’s a truism that there will always be someone better at anything you do on any day.  With practice you could find there are only seven million people better than you.  Or would you rather find out there are seven billion people with better skills?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Trigger Weight and the Courts

This what they use to measure trigger weight

One topic always in vogue is trigger weight.  Every armchair commando, range rat and lying blogger has not only an opinion, but suspects you are a dupe and a drone if you don’t agree with him.  However, every once and awhile, somebody asks an intelligent question: “How light can a trigger be and still avoid the legal problems that are certain to be present in a self-defense shooting?” 

You know my standard warning.  This is not legal advice, just my limited understanding.

First realize that our legal system resembles theater.  Each attorney presents their view of what reality is.  If it is the prosecutor, the view will oppose the defendant.  If the attorney is representing the defendant, the view will support the defendant.  The judge’s job is to ensure both attorneys follow specific rules and but not to ensure the views reflect reality.

The jury finds which reality is most persuasive with their vote of guilty or not.

In 2014, Massad Ayoob wrote a column and an article for American Handgunner, I’m using this for source material and these are my opinions only. (American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2014, you can read it on line.)

The political and social repercussions of a shooting, especially by the police, are manifold.  Such shootings often erase the fragile truce between the police and the criminal subclass.  The police are required to protect members of this sub-class from each other with their powers to arrest.  Often an officer involved in a shooting will be used as a sacrifice by aspiring politicians attempting to restore that fragile truce and promote themselves.

One case was Florida v. Luis Alvarez, in which prosecutor Janet Reno alleged Officer Alvarez, thumb-cocked his .38 spl service revolver creating a “hair trigger” and was responsible by a predictable and negligent accident for the death of Neville Johnson.  While Alvarez was cleared of these charges, the LAPD of the 1970s, in response to both real unintended discharges as well as falsely alleged claims, altered all their service revolvers to double-action-only (DAO).

Seeing the storm Florida v. Luis Alvarez was about to create, the Miami PD altered all their revolvers to double-action-only in the time between the actual shooting and the beginning of the trial.  Clearly Miami PD wanted to get ahead of the legal storm on the horizon.  It cannot be doubted that cocked “hair trigger” issues had a serious impact on two major American police departments.

Transitioning to semi-autos doesn’t solve the problem, either.  Miami PD only transitioned to the much needed Glock after BATF defined the Glock as a DAO semi-auto.  Like NYPD, they insisted on a heaver than factory trigger, an 8 pound trigger.  NY, as many of you know, worked all the way to the NY-2 trigger, topping out at almost 12 pounds of force needed to discharge the weapon.  In other words, at least two national police departments felt legal ramifications required an officer’s gun to be the equivalent of a heavy, DOA revolver.

In the case of Eddy Satibanes v. City of Tomball, TX a great many things went wrong, but it was the installation of a 3.5 pound trigger connector in the privately-owned, but department-approved Glock 21 that caused Judge Holt to send the case to trial.  At that point Chief Rob Hauck, seeing the handwriting on the wall, settled out of court.  It is estimated the city of Tomball spent over a half million on the 3.5 pound Glock connector.  I suspect the Tomball City now required all officers’ firearms to be at or exceed factory specifications.

So does that mean you must only have factory settings in your defensive weapon set?  If only it was that simple.  In NY v. Magliato, the armed citizen was found guilty of manslaughter when his cocked colt revolver with a 4.5 pound trigger went off unintentionally.  The minority opinion of the judges ruling on this case point out that a gun with a trigger that light constitutes depraved indifference to human life.  Pay attention to the fact that 4.5 pounds was the measured trigger pull on the Glock 21 in the Santibanes case.  A 4.5 pound trigger is considered within the normal range of triggers weigh specified by manufacturers and common custom and practice for 1911s.

In the Magliato case, I suspect the judge felt that cocking the weapon, regardless of trigger pull was unnecessary and contributed to his outrage.   Clearly, location of the incident (anti-gun NY) and the gun (single or double action revolver) involved alter the legal outcome.

So yes, there are criminal cases that turn on the weight of the trigger pull.  I can only imagine the problems the armed citizen would face with his or her limited resources. 

Your claim that you kept your finger along the frame until you were forced to shoot will be countered with the claim that you unknowingly, under severe stress and fear for your life, put your finger in the trigger guard.  Your claim you were forced to shoot will be met with disbelief.  The counterclaim will be offered that if the trigger was just a little heavier, you would not have bumped the trigger and caused the gun to fire.  Your claim that you lightened the trigger so you could shoot more accurately and delay pulling the trigger until the last possible moment will be countered that you put a light trigger in so you could shoot faster and fire more rounds to inflict maximum pain before death.

Which of these realities will the jury believe?

Do I have a recommendation?  Hell, yes.

Stay with factory specifications.  Purchase the tactical/combat model and not the target model if you have the option.

FINGER OFF TRIGGER until you must shoot.  Leave the safety on until your finger enters the trigger guard.  ALWAYS IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET.

If you gun has a decocker, use it.

Don’t muck with the springs.  Have a professional gun smith smooth the action, not lighten the trigger.

Look, as a chemist, I know you can do everything right and still have a negative outcome.  Be careful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Random reflections

I recently spent a few fun hours re-checking my zero with a newish load for my AR.  I also took the time to set up my chronograph.  While I wish I had the ability to shoot targets at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards, it isn’t very feasible.  The next best option is ballistic software.  If I have all the important parameters, the software can calculate my impact displacement at different distances.  Since the majority of times I’m interested in hitting a 12x12 inch plate no farther than 200 yards the important parameters are, bullet weight, muzzle velocity (hence the chronograph), Ballistic Coefficient (manufacturer’s website) and distanced zeroed as well as scope height over the center of the bore.  These are all pretty easy to get.

I didn’t really expect anything to change much.  I altered my windage slightly and was good to go.  The really important things I got out of checking my zero was time practicing the perfect trigger pull and confirmation nothing was loose on my rifle.  I know and believe that if I do my part, the rifle would live up to its side of the partnership.  You can’t buy confidence like that.

There’s a good reason to shoot matches on sunny, sweat-dropping, hot, windless days.  It has to do with discipline.   No, no, not Madame Fifi’s discipline, but the ability to stay focused on the task at hand.

There is a cycle of discipline with matches.  In a good club level match, all the shooters take turns, shooting, scoring, patching, running the stage and acting as safety officer for each other.  Some portions of the stage are very important, like shooting the weapon.  Some are extremely critical like assuring nobody is downrange at the beginning of the stage.  Others are less important and of no critical nature like patching the target.
Mastering the ability to change your focus and concentration will benefit you in many ways.  Changing focus quickly as conditions change is a useful skill.  Knowing you have these abilities is a large percentage of accomplishing this.

There is still a lot of excitement over the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.  Unless you live on your very own cloud nine world, you know that a Dickless Wonder shot up a gay nightclub, killing 49 and wounding 53.  The police arrive on the scene and attempt to negotiate with Dickless who, now that he has an audience, pledges allegiance to ISIS and talks about putting hostages into bomb vests.  It’s hard to criticize the police under those circumstances, but I will anyway.  They appear to have fallen into the trap of believing Dickless Wonder wanted to survive the event.  That’s the old hostage model. 

In the old model, the guy with the gun wants something, maybe to shoot his ex-wife, or maybe he wants a good ham sandwich and media attention.  But above all he wants to live through it and get away or at least become the darling of the media.  This wasn’t always true, but the old model worked well enough most of the time.

The new model appears to be way different.  Dickless wants to kill enough people to get a seat on the national media stage and set a new record.  He wants people to say “Not since Dickless, has anyone achieved higher level of mayhem and violence.”  He’s not especially interested in surviving, as long as he can continue to kill at his leisure.

What this means for us is that we can’t depend on the police to rescue us.  It’s up to us to know where are the exits, both the official and unofficial (like the kitchen’s back door).  In Ohio, I can carry into an establishment serving alcohol if I don’t drink.  That’s a small price to pay.  It doesn’t take advanced legal training to know if someone is killing random, unarmed individuals, the law allows you to stop him anyway you can.  Your humanity demands it.

One of my favorite websites kind of suggested that having a low capacity, hard to shoot, small caliber handgun is pretty useless in these circumstances.

as well as the video tape of the execution of Paris police officer Ahmed Merabet following the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the security tape from a bar during the November 2015 attack in Paris have lead me to a different conclusion.

What’s the worst that could happen if you emptied your 5 shot airweight revolver at any of these criminals?

Imagine you leaned out your window and fire two rounds at one of Officer Merabet killers and three at the other before they executed him.  I think they would have thought “Damn, someone is trying to kill me, we better beat feet!”

The guy with the AK in the bar and grill during the Nov 15 Paris terrorist attack, what do you think would have happened if the guy hiding behind the bar dumped three rounds at him and maybe even skipped one off of him?  The terrorist may have opened up on the empty bar, but he might have also thought “Damn they’re shooting back.  Nobody said they would shoot back.  Do I still get 72 virgins if I'm wounded and my leader shoots me instead of patching and packing me out?”

Dickless in Orlando wasn’t a very good shot.  One survivor reported on NPR he was shot twice in the leg, played dead and was later shot two more time in the arm and hand by Dickless who was aiming for his victim’s head.  I have to think if some popped off with a little .22 caliber semi auto with five rounds in it and managed to scare Dickless, Orlando would have turned out with fewer deaths.

What am I saying?  When someone is killing people around you, don’t wait for your turn.  Take the initiative and fight back!

Monday, May 30, 2016


“All right class, who knows what this is?”  Ms. Fishburn said while holding up a single sock. 

Not holster
Class?  Who knows what this is and when it was washed last?

“It’s a foot holster, Ms. Fishburn.”  Susy said.

“Okay… anyone else?  Jimmy?” 

“It’s what misers keep money in.  I know because momma said my dad has some money socked away that nobody knows about.” 

Ms. Fishburn decided she wasn’t going to explore that.  Then she saw Billy trying to flag her down.  With a certain amount of hesitation she said, “Yes Billy?”

“My grandfather says he used to put a condom in that to make an emergency water carrier when he was in the army.”  
That was the reason for Fishburn’s hesitation.

“But what else is it?  Anyone?”

“It’s for feet, Ms. Fishburn,”  said Jilly Ann.  “It’s a sock, they usually come in pairs and you put a foot in each.  Not a gun like that moron in Augusta, Kansas.”

“That pretty observant, Jilly.  Where do you put gun when you’re carrying it?”

“In a holster!”  Jimmy butted in before Jilly Ann could answer.  “Everyone knows that!”  The rest of the class made agreement noises.

Ms. Fishburn looked around the class room and nodded in satisfaction.  “You kids are going to do all right.”  Then to herself, “Now if we can just do something about the morons who get all their training from TV….”

Just to be clear, some dickless wonder, jammed a Kel-Tec .380 semi-auto in his sock and went to the high school graduation in Augusta, Kansas.  At some point he decided to readjust the gun and managed to pull the trigger.  He takes a little skin off his foot, but the ricochet manages to find an innocent bystander and injures her.  Fortunately for her, she isn’t injured too bad and is released from the hospital.

The gun went off because DW manages to pull the trigger.  A carry gun should never be just dumped in a pocket, purse or sock.  Why?  Because these things happen.  Stuff, your stuff to be accurate, manages to find triggers or lodges in the barrel and this happens.

Carry guns belong in holsters, or safely secured off your person.

In review:
This is a foot in a sock.

Can I make it any clearer?

This is a gun in a holster made for that specific gun.  It’s secured on the ankle and covered by the sock.  It is not a gun in a sock.
The sock is pulled down a little so you can see the holster.

Now I know you saw Clint Eastwood in the first Dirty Harry movie.  And I know many of you figure you have the man gene that Dirty Harry had and all your training and ideas come from that movie.  You even know his trade mark phrase.

Now Harry Callahan doesn’t jam a gun in his sock.  No, he tapes a switchblade to his ankle and covers it with his sock.
That’s the movies and not real life.  Use a holster.  

Don’t be a genitalia diminished wonder. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Tactics involves the study of conflicts and outcomes.  From these outcomes new doctrines arise in the effort to avoid the original outcome.  While we may never be faced with ten thousand sword-bearing warriors charging up a narrow valley at us, the doctrine of controlling pinch points remains valid.

Here a case brought to us from

Last Sunday (April 24 2016) in Pennsylvania, 46 year old Mark Storms shot and killed a 27 year old man over a dispute about a seat. Earlier this week, Storms was charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Summary from the above link:
Witnesses remember Braxton arriving at church irritated and cursing at an usher in the back of the church, court documents show. Church staff members tried to quiet Braxton, but he refused before heading to a pew that was reserved for two other church members, according to prosecutors.

A church member sitting behind Braxton tapped him on the shoulder to let him know the seats were reserved. Another couple put down two Bibles to save their spots before walking away. Braxton retorted the tap and starting yelling “Don’t f—— touch me!” an affidavit reads.

An assistant pastor and ushers came over to try and calm Braxton, but he continued to yell, records show.

In interviews with police, witnesses watched Storms walk over to Braxton, show him a badge and motion to a handgun under his shirt. The badge, police said, was for his concealed carry permit. Braxton exchanged words with Storms before punching him in the jaw. Storms then pulled out his gun and fired two shots, according to witnesses.
One person said Braxton lunged at Storms before the shooting. Another recalled hearing Braxton ask Storms “What are you going to do, shoot me?” before punching him, court documents show.
Storms, in an interview with police, said he opened fire on Braxton because he felt his “person was in great danger” and that he was worried other people in the church, including the elderly and children, were going to be hurt. Storms told police he showed off the concealed carry badge with hopes of defusing the situation.  He said, according to court documents, he had done that in the past and that man “walked away.

Let me add a little background before I jump into it.  It’s legal in Pennsylvania to carry a firearm in a church with a CCW license.  A concealed carry badge is not part of the law or a requirement.   Mark Storms does not have a law enforcement connection, such as deputy, game warden or dog catcher.  Nor does he have any official capacity with the church.

First…I don’t even write radio commercials for lawyers….  I am a student of the gun and teach CCW as well as firearms self-defense.

I associate civilians carrying and flashing badges, shields and buzzers with child molesters.  So do many police.  So it’s stupid to have one.  Period.  I don’t even like the SASS stars cowboy shooters like to wear….

Having a CCW license doesn’t give you police-like responsibilities or authority.  When Storms approached, flashed his badge and brandished his weapon he escalated what was at the time a minor conflict.  This conflict could have been handled much better if anyone had pulled out their cell phone and called the trained professionals, the police.

While Braxton threw the first punch, it hardly fits the parameter of deadly force.  Braxton’s punching Storms was a direct result of the escalation caused by Storms.  The fight seems to have stopped and Storms still had the option to back away.  Instead, he produced the weapon he had previously brandished and shot Braxton.

Part of Storms justification was that he was “worried other people in the church, including the elderly and children, were going to be hurt.”  The article does not mention Braxton having any other weapon other than his body.  Additional follow up indicated that he was unarmed.  One should never confuse unarmed with not dangerous.  I assume other adult men were present and so it doesn’t seem likely that Braxton could have hurt anyone before being restrained or at that point engaged by Storms.  Storms’ story sounds like bullshit to me.

He later confided to the police that he had done this before and had gotten away with it.  This paints Storms as a bully and a wanna-be police officer, interested in the power, but not the responsibility.  Neither of which will engender him to the police.  Nor should it to the civilian (AKA jury pool) population.

This is another story of having only one tool to solve problems.  Not having verbal skills, Storms attempted to bully Braton with a phony badge and concealed weapon.  Not having a less lethal option (OC spray, open/closed hand skills), Storms fell back on the only skill he had, trigger pulls.

Voluntary manslaughter sounds fair….Storms is the perfect poster child for stupid.