2 Sept 05
… as anarchy descends:
In order to address the anarchy, lawlessness, and mob violence that has spread, unchecked, throughout the entire New Orleans region this past week, LA’s governor Blanco has said of the newly-arriving NG, “They have M-16s, and they’re locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will.”
Tough talk, a mere five days late! If looters, arsonists, vandals, and other VCAs had heard that warning from the beginning, and had then been gunned down without hesitation, on sight, by local police, little of the present chaos would be seen.
For decades, local and state officials in the area considered violent criminals “cute.” After all, as is the case in most metro areas, it the votes of the criminal class that keep many local politicians in power. Official corruption was tolerated. Criminal conduct was winked at. The welfare/handout mentality was encouraged, as unproductive people voted themselves all kinds of benefits. Now, the city gets to sleep in the bed it has made!
The lesson here is that good people, no matter where they live, need to be well supplied, heavily armed, and well trained, lest they fall victim to a suddenly broken infrastructure and hoards of newly-enfranchised VCAs. The world is filled with dangerous vermin, as we see. The anemic veneer we laughingly call “civilization” is paper thin. Be unprepared at your peril!
2 Sept 05
Merc work at Blackwater, forwarded by a friend on active duty:
“Must emphasize that following is for serious operators only. Amateurs need not apply.
Gary Jackson from Blackwater called today asking for help in recruiting security personnel to work in New Orleans. He needs 200 operators right away. Pay is $200.00/day, plus expenses. Transportation, per diem, lodging, and necessary equipment provided. No time to train. You need to be good to go when your feet hit the ground. It is a 14-day gig, which will probably be extended. Operators are to provide security for museums, critical infrastructure, and convoys.
Gary emphasized this is no job for amateurs. He needs ‘gun people’ who know how to ‘operate effectively.’
For those interested, Gary’s contact number at Blackwater is: 252 435 2488, ext 324.”
2 Sept 05
Interesting comments from a good friend and eminent criminal defense attorney:
“It scares me (and it should) that I agree with you on this. Having done criminal defense for the last twenty-eight years, I agree that EVIL IS NOT THE SAME AS ‘GOOD, BUT CONFUSED.’ Personal readiness is still the bottom line. It is still our only real protection against evil people.”
Comment: Evil is a disease of the heart, terminal, incurable. It is because of evil people that we have prisons, and it is because of evil that we have, and must have, guns in the hands of good people.
5 Aug 05
At an Urban Rifle Course in PA last weekend we had the usual assortment of weapons. All worked well, with the exception of my JLD PTR-91 (domestic copy of the HK-91). After digesting various brands of 308 ammunition, it started choking, particularly during high-volume exercises. The problem was extraction failure. We’re replacing the extractor spring, and I’ll be exercising it again shortly. I really want to like this rifle, but I can’t live with reliability problems. More later.
A student using a Robinson Arms VEPR (7.62X39) did just fine, until he tried to feed it MagSafe ammunition. Upon feeding, the MagSafe bullet consistently pushed back into the case so far that the feeding cycle could not complete. It happened with round after round. When we replaced the MagSafe ammunition with some cheap, Russian military stuff, the rifle, once again, worked perfectly. Ammunition intended to be used in military rifles had better have a robust crimp around the bullet, so it doesn’t set back (or become loose) during the feeding cycle. Ammunition with only casual bonding of bullet to case is suitable only for non-serious purposes and should be used only in non-serious rifles.
6 Sept 05
Previous disasters have been handled by the National Guard. However, in this present disaster active-duty military quickly, and necessarily, became involved with the city now referred to as “third world.” Weapons actually have ammo this time! Hard perimeters have been established. Not sure of the “procedure” for involving federal troops in domestic disaster, and, at this point, no one seems to be asking. We may be witnessing the formation of a permanent, Federal, Emergency Response Model.
Be prepared with food, water, clothing, cold weather/rain gear, first-aid supplies, sanitary supplies, cash, credit cards, personal ID, pistols, rifles, blades, ammunition, and the ability to pack a lot of it into a car quickly for a hasty departure.
Get away from danger as soon as the full scope of disaster becomes evident, if you can. If not, stay away from crowds and mobs. Don’t allow yourself to be “herded” somewhere that is unsafe. Don’t “wait to be rescued.” Don’t wait for anything! Any kind of organized assistance may be days or weeks away.
Family cars should be all-wheel drive! Being able to safely diverge from the “prescribed” evacuation route may be a critically important capability.
Form a network of friends and family in other parts of the country. Openly discuss a mutual-assistance understanding among yourselves, so you’ll always have guaranteed refuges to which you can flee that are far removed from the danger area.
When traveling, there is great benefit to carrying pistols and blades discretely concealed and putting rifles and shotguns into “normal-looking” packs, bags, and luggage. Stealth applies to evacuation, too! Under these circumstances, being conspicuous for any reason is usually not in your best interest.
9 Sept 05
At an Urban Rifle Course this week, a student brought a Auto-Ordnance Thompson Carbine, manufactured now by Kahr. It was beautiful! Came with two, thirty-round sticks and one fifty-round drum in a nice case. It fires from a closed bolt.
Unfortunately, it would not function! Maximum number of rounds we could get through it without a failure to feed was five. Neither of the sticks nor the drum would feed reliably. We used several different brands of ammunition, mostly hardball, and it would not feed any of it.
It was a great disappointment for its owner, who is sending it back. One again, this is a gun I would like to like, but what I saw was unsatisfactory!
9 Sept 05
Simmunitions Guns and “Classroom” Guns:
Both Glock and SIG make dedicated Simmunitions pistols and non-firing “classroom” guns, and I think any other gun manufacturer who plans on competing seriously for institutional sales needs to have these two items in its inventory.
Simmunitions pistols need to have blue frames, so their identity can be instantly established, even when they are holstered. That prevents functional pistols from being inadvertently carried into a Simmunitions exercise, and it also prevents a Simmunitions pistol from being inadvertently carried on duty. Simmunitions conversion “kits” are far less satisfactory, as using them invariably invites Simmunitions guns and functional guns to become mixed in with each other. It is my opinion that Simmunitions pistols need to be dedicated to that purpose and be permanently unconvertible to functionality.
“Classroom” pistols, or “Red Guns,” are non-firing, but otherwise fully functional, simulators that can be safely used in a classroom setting. They are handy for teaching gun-handling skills, including field stripping and user-level maintenance, without having to consume a range in the process. Again, the frame must be a distinctive color (red is the industry standard), and the pistol must be permanently unconvertible to full functionality.
Manufacturers consider producing and marketing these two items to be an expensive nuisance, but they have no choice. Any gun manufacturer that does not offer them cannot be considered a serious competitor. If we are to train officers properly, we need them!
9 Sept 05
Advice on natural disasters, from a friend in the Phillippines:
“A side ‘benefit’ of living in a country that is in the middle of the typhoon belt is that we learn to prepare for such scenarios early in life. In each house, it is normal to have an adequate stock of food, water, medications, and other critical necessities, such as flashlights, radios, and batteries. Many choose diesel, all-wheel-drive SUVs, even for city use. They will ford deep water, and the diesel engine gets you good distance on a single tank of fuel.
We also don’t wait too long to define ‘the full extent of the threat.’ We get out of harm’s way early, on the assumption that enduring the inconvenience of a ‘false alarm’ is better than getting stuck in the path of a killer storm.
We have little looting here, as looters are afraid they will get shot when they attempt to steal during a crisis. They are right. They will get shot! We are known to share what we have during a time of calamity, but we are also famous for protecting what we cannot share.
We are called ‘Third World,’ and maybe we are. But, our harsh experiences have taught us that we cannot expect anyone to ‘take care’ of us, and, only when you take care of yourself, can you be effective in taking care of others.”
Lesson: Good advice. If the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock had the attitude of many Americans today, they would still be standing there with their hand out!
12 Sept 05
A student experienced an ND in his motel room recently. The single, errant bullet penetrated to an outside wall and impacted into a hill behind the motel. Fortunately, it resulted in property damage only, along with a large dose of embarrassment!
The accident occurred at the end of a long and exhausting day of shooting. The student was tired. He took his backup pistol out of its holster and began to unload it, then became distracted by a news bulletin on TV. When he “dry-fired,” the pistol unexpectedly discharged.
This kind of accident can happen to anybody, and those of us who carry and handle guns regularly needn’t think ourselves exempt! The two causative factors, operating simultaneously are always:
Sometimes, we’re just too tired to be handing guns! This student told me later that he had decided to wait until morning to continue with maintenance, but then changed his mind.
When loading, unloading, performing a chamber check, and performing user-level maintenance, we need to have an attention span sufficient to complete the process. Interruptions will provide the deadly catalyst! As with parallel parking a car, handling guns requires that we pay full attention to what we’re doing throughout the procedure.
Finally, I recommend to all my students who carry guns to own and use a Safe Direction gun bag. Safe Direction is not designed to prevent accidents. It is designed to limit the damage. It is a containment system that will stop and contain a errant pistol bullet fired unintentionally during administrative gun-handling processes. All serious gun owners should have a copy.
Every time you touch a gun, you are presented with yet another chance to have an accident. Be alert. Follow the correct procedure without interruptions. Use a Safe Direction bag. The consequences of your errant bullet causing injury are too grievous to do less.
14 Sept 05
The 1911 Pistol and the Swartz system
As originally designed and produced, John M Browning’s 1911 pistol had no mechanical interlock that prevented the firing pin from going forward when the pistol was dropped on the muzzle, nor when the slide went forward in the normal loading procedure, nor during the normal cycle of operation. These theoretical circumstances through which the pistol could conceivably fire unintentionally (or even go full-auto) were considered so astronomically unlikely, Browning was unconcerned.
History has proven him correct! I, for one, have been training people to carry and shoot 1911s since 1968 and have had thousands of 1911s come through classes, including many that were manufactured during and before WWII. My students have loaded them, unloaded them, performed chamber, shot them, and even dropped them more times than I can count. In those thirty-seven years, I’ve never once personally witnessed a 1911 slam-fire, a 1911 go full-auto, nor a 1911 discharge as the result of being dropped. Maybe these things happen, but they have never happened in front of me. Yes, like all of us, I’ve heard many third-hand stories, but my experience causes me to believe Browning was right, as we have discovered over the years that he usually is!
Today, nearly all major manufacturers of pistols, other than the 1911, have trigger-activated firing-pin locks, standard on all their products, and have had this feature from the first gun they produced. In the 1980s, Colt added a trigger-activated system to their version of the 1911, and all Colt’s 1911s have come with it ever since. A trigger-activated firing-pin lock makes it mechanically unachievable for the firing pin to reach the primer of the chambered round without pressure being applied to the trigger.
Other modern-day 1911 manufacturers, specifically Kimber and S&W, instead use a version of the “Swartz-System,” which is a grip-safety-activated firing-pin lock. The Swartz System was designed specifically to address the drop-safety issue only. It does not address the slam-fire issue, as the pistol is properly gripped (depressing the grip safety) when it is loaded. Since most pistols don’t have grip safeties, the Swartz System is found only on 1911s.
Kimber makes the “Warrior” model, which has neither a grip-safety nor a trigger-activated firing-pin lock, and that is the one currently being purchased by the USMC. My Detonics too has neither of the above.
I became concerned with this system when I witnessed several female students shoot my S&W Scandium Commander one-handed last week. On several occasions, S&W’s version of the Swartz System worked only too well! The hammer dropped all the way forward as the trigger was pressed, but the pistol, to the astonishment of the shooter, failed to fire. The primer on the chambered round, upon examination, was unmarked. I’m persuaded that this failure was due to the fact that the grip safety was not fully depressed. It was depressed far enough to allow the hammer to fall but not far enough to fully unblock the firing pin. The phenomenon was not observed with shooters with bigger hands, nor did it happen when my female students held the pistol with both hands.
Upon examination of the firing-pin stop itself (a spring-loaded plunger), I could see that it had been battered by the firing pin hitting it. A friend who also owns a S&W 1911 observed that the firing-pin stop on his pistol was badly battered too. He sent his back to S&W, and they, of course, replaced the part, but he, and I, are concerned that eventually that part (the firing-pin stop) will batter itself into incompetence.
S&W has a good product here, but I am concerned about these occasional failures to fire. When I get a chance to talk with gunsmiths at S&W, I’ll report back.
15 Sept 05
Colt’s new NRM
Colt is now making and marketing the NRM, or “New Rollmark” or “New Series 70″ 1911 pistols. Colt is still offering their current “Series 80″ 1911s also. The new Series 70 pistols, designed to directly compete with the Kimber Warrior and the new Detonics 1911s, are sold as a “Custom Shop” item, signifying nothing, except that they apparently now consider themselves justified in turning out guns with no trigger-activated or grip-safety-activated (Swartz) firing-pin block.
As with S&W, we all wish Colt would reclaim some of their proud heritage and rebound as a serious competitor for Glock and SIG, but their labor problems (Teamsters) probably nixes any possibility of that.
15 Sept 05
On Leupold Scopes, from one of our instructors:
“I have a Leupold (M8 2.5X IER) Scout Scope, forward-mounted on my M1A. After our last course, I noticed the reticle (coarse cross-hairs) was broken. The wires had come loose.
I got on the phone with Leupold. Their agent was sharp and knowledgeable and admitted that they had a reticle breakage problem with the early version of the Scout Scope, which I had. The issue is not recoil but the way the reticle is mounted in the tube. Tightening the rear mounting ring can cause the reticle to break. Fortunately, they have a upgrade that fixes this problem.
He said they would happily upgrade the scope and install a reticle style of my choice, all at no charge. They have it as I write this. I don’t know if my experience is typical, but for Leupold to own up to the problem and then fix it promptly at to cost to me is great customer service.”
Comment: Leupold is our best domestic scope maker, and the customer service described above is typical. They deserve credit for making a sound product and for taking care of their customers.
15 Sept 05
On Tape Loops, from a student:
“I want to tell you about a recent experience that illustrates the effectiveness of a well-rehearsed ‘tape loop.’ My wife and I were in Atlanta two weekends ago for a Convention at the downtown Hyatt. Like many big towns, Atlanta has ‘anti-begging’ laws, but they are largely unenforced.
Sure enough, we were approached by a local sleaze who tried the old, ‘Hey mister; can you help me?’ ruse. I was ready for it, and, halfway through his first sentence, I interrupted, raised my left hand in a half-wave/half-dismissive chop and said politely, but firmly, and in a clear voice, loud enough for everyone nearby to hear, ‘Sorry sir; we can’t help you.’ We continued walking without so much as dragging a foot.
It was as if he walked into an invisible wall! He turned to his right and drifted aimlessly away without another word. Fortunately, my tone left no doubt in his mind that he had selected his ‘victim’ most unwisely!
Your tip on memorizing and rehearsing short phrases came in handy that evening, and this was the first opportunity I’ve had to use it. It worked!”
Comment: Successful disengagement can usually be accomplished via posture and firm verbalizations, but you must be practiced and have your “tape-loops” ready to go!
16 Sept 05
A Training System Founded Upon Fear:
In GA there was an accidental, fatal shooting of a police trainee by an instructor last week. Details have been actively withheld, but we do know this:
The training was conducted in a state-administered “Safety Facility.” Standard “safety” rules mandated at such facilities include:
No functioning firearms, nor even live ammunition, are allowed in buildings or classrooms, even though firearms handling and tactical use of firearms are among the subjects taught in such classrooms.
Cold ranges. Not even charged magazines are allowed in weapons unless on the firing line. Weapons are immediately, indeed frantically, unloaded the instant any shooting phase is completed. Unloaded guns are repeatedly placed in holsters and carried that way during the course of the day.
Students are assumed to be blithering idiots and/or criminals and are consistently treated as such.
The “no guns/ammo rule,” aside from being stupid, is, as anyone would guess, poorly and inconsistently administered. Instructors soon contrive and implement “work-arounds,” so that they don’t waist so much time. Metal detectors are posted at building entrances, but all those carrying tin simply walk around them. Upon entering, armed officers are then supposed to place their unloaded firearms in lockers, but lockers are inconsistently and inconveniently located, and no useable “safe direction” is provided for the unloading process. So, the unworkable “no gun/ammo rule” is eventually disregarded.
Instructors have “red guns” for instructional use. Naturally, they must bring them to class, and, in this case, the teacher apparently forgot his and used his service pistol instead, which he had doubtless “unloaded.” There have been varying reports as to what was actually being taught at the time in question, but obviously muzzle awareness was not on the curriculum!
More stringent and draconian “rules” will not prevent these tragedies, any more than they prevented this one, although that is surely what this academy will do in response. The problem is not a lack of rules. The problem is that the entire system is based on fear and personal revulsion of guns. Bureaucrats who set this system up are so frightened and hateful of guns, they are paralyzed with fear any time they get near one, and they despise and dread all those who are not frightened and who carry guns proudly and audaciously.
Indeed, cold ranges and “no guns/ammo zones” are little more than crystallized fear. Training institutions embodying such a fear/loathing approach to firearms can never be successful and will consistently experience firearms accidents, such as this one, until they finally repent of their arrogant folly and admit they’re doing it all wrong!
On the other side of the ledger, our ranges are all hot! Everyone, students and instructors alike, is armed all the time, usually with several guns. We encourage our students to think of themselves as professional gunmen, and we treat them as such. One can respect guns without fearing them.
We have seen some progress with institutional training, but fear still has a chokehold on most training academes. We need fewer bureaucratic attaboys and more audacious heroes!
17 Sept 05
Excellent summary, from one of our instructors:
“The national cultural attitude toward serious weapons is encapsulated in lines from a recent episode of a police drama on television. It oozes the egregious illogicality of many American’s thinking process.
Speaking to a witness, an investigator says, ‘So, Mr Smith, your girlfriend, Ms Jones, was assaulted and beaten by an ex-boyfriend. Therefore, you gave her this pistol.’
‘Yes I did! And, I showed her how to use it.’
‘But, Ms Jones said that she was afraid that, if she had a gun, she might do something terrible…ad nauseam”
The ‘designer logic’ here is that a demon lives within every gun, and he just can’t wait to hypnotize whoever picks it up. Our ancestors gave up worshiping rocks and sacrificing humans eons ago, but the mendacious notion that inert objects are alive continues to be held even today by the willfully ignorant. Every logical person will see the blatant fallacy here! We have allowed the image of guns to be reframed from icons of personal power and independence, to mysterious and sinister talismans with a will of their own and even the ability for independent action!
We, you and I, preach to the choir, and then we’re surprised when few others ‘get’ what is so painfully obvious to us. The people in the sad event you describe are decidedly different psychologically and culturally from those of your and my salad days. We now have to retrain ourselves. We have to investigate, experiment, and advance the Art of our needful discipline. OUR COMFORTABLE INTROVERSION IS ULTIMATELY SUICIDAL. Every moment of inaction is a positive act of harm, because it isn’t enough to merely inculcate sensible attitudes into ourselves and our disciples. We live with the residua of our doing only that, and, to the astonishment of no one, we’ll continue to hear the familiar drumbeat for more restriction.”
Lesson: Many a “false step” is made by standing still!
19 Sept 05
On training Accidents, from a friend in Nuclear Security:
“We have the same fear-mongering attitude here. It drives everything ‘management’ wants us to do. We are supposed to maintain our pistols, but neither opportunity nor facilities are provided, and we are not allowed to take them home and clean them there. Thus, no maintenance is ever preformed. Even rifles carried by ‘tactical responders’ are always unloaded with no magazine inserted. Magazines are kept in a zippered bag, which is never opened, and magazines are seldom checked to see if they are fully charged. Signs glibly listing Four Basic Rules of firearms safety are posted everywhere. They are nearly as ubiquitous as ‘clearing barrels.’
If spite of all our anal, fear-induced ‘safety procedures,’ last night I watched one officer inadvertently point his rifle at a shift supervisor and a radio operator, all in one, smooth, fluid motion. He was, of course, oblivious, because all guns here are always ‘unloaded.’
So, instead of developing confident, competent, independent operators, we have careless, naive, neglectful oafs who ‘feel good’ about themselves. But, few of them will stand and fight, because, deep inside, they know the truth. They know, as does management, they have no real skills. It’s all just ‘let’s pretend.’ Thus, we will continue to have gun accidents here, and, in a real emergency, most armed guards will panic and run when the first shot is fired.
Every time there is a gun accident, management first does a Curly, Moe, and Larry imitation, then scurries for cover, then finally admits they are completely ‘mystified.’ Nothing changes, and we go back to where we were. Management’s reply to us is that our concerns are ‘overstated.'”
Comment: Loosely translated: “We don’t care. We don’t have to.”
19 Sept 05
Gun Handling Story, from a student:
“After a day at the range, I took my G32 out of its holster in order to unload it, so it could be cleaned. My backup pistol, of course, remained in its holster and fully loaded.
Holding the G32 in my master grip, I turned the gun ejection port down and pulled the magazine out of the gun. I then racked the slide backwards and let it go, then locked it to the rear.
A single, live round dropped out from the magazine well. I guessed it was the one from the chamber. I was wrong! Adhering to procedure, I then checked the magazine well, bolt face, and chamber with my little finger. It was then that I felt another live round, this one still in the chamber!
Apparently as I pulled the magazine out, the top round came loose and fell out into the magazine well. As I subsequently racked the slide back, the extractor evidently failed to pull out the round that was actually chambered. Fortunately, there is sufficient redundancy built into our unloading procedure, including tactile verification, that, even with this unrepresentative sequence of events, I still didn’t endure the embarrassment of firing a round into my Safe Direction Bag while inside my condo!
As gun carriers, we handle weapons a lot. If the chances of an unforeseen circumstance, such as described above, are only one in a thousand, we are going to run into that event within a single year or two! Manual verification of a ‘cleared’ weapon is thus a must, and I’m glad that this has been hammered into me.”
Comment: Here we have the real crux: the gunfighter whom you will become during a true “reckoning” is probably not the person with whom you are most familiar. He is instead a developing entity within your primitive brain. All your training is solely in building up this inner, evolving warrior. Correspondingly, anything you do to undermine him will come back to cost you when the True Test comes, and the True “Test” may not be a fight. It may be an accident avoided when doing something as simple and routine as unloading a pistol you’ve carried around all day!
20 Sept 05
With the full extent of the damage inflicted upon New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina just now becoming evident, and Hurricane Rita promising something similar for the Texas Coast, my friends in the retail gun business tell me sales of guns and ammunition, particularly serious rifles and pistols, is brisk indeed! The promise that government, at any level, will provide people with meaningful protection is now seen as a hollow myth by an ever-more-nervous American citizenry. The Second Amendment is finally emerging in the minds of Americans as something vastly more important than what it has been in the idyllic past, ie: merely a disconnected topic of casual conversation. Wherever you live, “ANARCHY” IS ONLY SEVEN MISSED MEALS AWAY!
20 Sept 05
Excellent comments form one of our instructors:
“There is always more than one perspective. Once the amoral get past the superficial and obvious social implications of anarchy, they apply the excellent Chinese proverb, “In confusion, there is opportunity.” That’s all looters do. They are just amoral opportunists, albeit low-class ones.
Those of us who are a little more moral and a lot smarter and who live (comfortably) to a ripe old age, plan in advance. We solve problems before they become problems. Thus, people who have waited until the wind started to blow to buy guns and ammunition are a late into the game. Besides, they are thinking defensively, and we know that never works.”
Comment: As Werner Herzog said, “‘Civilization’” is a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.”
21 Sept 05
Interesting comment from a student who is a labor lawyer:
“Workman comp laws in almost all states make it far less expensive for employers to simply ‘pay off’ the family of a murdered employee than risk liability and litigation costs to third-party plaintiffs. This is why Seven-Eleven won’t allow employees to be armed on their premises. If an armed-robbery suspect is injured by a Seven-Eleven employee, liability exposure to the employer is vastly higher than if the employee is simply murdered by the VCA.
They’ll never discuss it publicly, but the state, with the all-too-willing cooperation of most employers, has inadvertently declared all employees ‘expendable!’”
22 Sept 05
Evacuation advice from a friend on the Gulf Coast:
“You’ve provided us with advice with regard to needed items in an emergency bug-out kit. Here are some additional tips that many here are now learning the hard way:
Before evacuating, take a shower, put on clean cloths, brush your teeth, and shave. You may not be able to do any of those things for days, and it’s best starting out as clean as you can be. Also, add deodorant and body power to your kit. You, and all those around you, will be glad you did!”
22 Sept 05
From a psychologist and student, on the subject of preparedness:
“‘Innocence’ is usually used in the same sentence with words like ‘harmless’ and ‘helpless.’ Innocence implies blissful ignorance, unpreparedness, and denial. Innocence, in an adult, is crystallized self-indulgence! Innocence may be trendy, and it is certainly government-approved, but the price of innocence is sudden death! For its victims, calamity seeks the unprepared, particularly those in denial. Denial slows the OODA loop to the point where any kind of rapid, effective response is unlikely.
On the other hand, personal preparedness, including planning, equipping, and training yourself to effectively cope with any threat, requires a bona fide commitment. It is the physical manifestation of the doctrine personal responsibility. It requires one to give up his belief in Santa Clause, repent of his infantile ‘innocence,’ and start thinking of himself as ‘dangerous’ and, yes, even ‘harmful.’
For example, when you carry a pistol, be sure you can work the gun and make it hit where necessary in order to quickly stop a fight. You and your pistol can be effective out to twenty meters. The pistol IS designed to do this, but you have to practice with it to the point where you are convinced you can do it, on demand, not just on a balmy, sunny afternoon at the range, but in a cold, muddy, ditch, at night, in the rain!
Don’t, on a whim, decide to take an untested pistol out on the street! Think it through. Make sure you are genuinely prepared, ‘dangerous’ if you will. Be ready. Yes, be ‘harmful.’ It will save your life!”
Comment: Well said, my friend!
23 Sept 05
From a friend on duty on the Gulf Coast:
“Just got back from eight days in New Orleans providing police support. I carried an MP-5 (ready to go, of course), my duty SIG2340, and my G27 backup in an ankle holster.
National Guardsmen, to my horror, were issued only ten rounds each for their M16A2s (no matter how many magazines they had) and were under standing orders not to chamber even one of them unless ‘threatened!’ They asked me to go with them, since they knew all my weapons were hot. I persuaded some of them to ignore such a stupid order and load their rifles and keep them that way. None had pistols. Few even had blades.”
Comment: Once again, senior “management” knows weapons training provided to these NG troopers is poor. They don’t trust their own training, and they don’t trust the men themselves. Like 7/11 clerks, they’re cannon fodder! And these guys are supposed to be ready for real war?
27 Sept 05
Excellent summary of our national training dilemma, as exemplified by NG troopers in New Orleans:
“It is not a failure of the troopers’ training, nor a failure of discipline. Rather, it is a failure of the commanders’ understanding of the military’s role, and, by extension, a failure of the entire sociopolitical ethos. Commanders aren’t afraid troopers won’t shoot. THEY’RE AFRAID THEY WILL! The sad circumstance your friend described in New Orleans betrays a high-level, fundamental incomprehension of the warrior ethos and the way it should serve a civilization.
All human behavior is reducible to circumstantial evaluation of self-interest. It’s a simple matter of weighing pros and cons. Establishment of civil order is a matter of the judicious application of the continuum of force. Often, mere presence and voice are sufficient, but they must unmistakably imply that escalation is available and will be resorted to without hesitation, until the desired effect is achieved.
Any fighter worth the title is dangerous, until he is dead. But, soldiers operate under ‘rules of engagement’ and specific orders. When you direct them to be dangerous, by arming them, then (in the same breath) tell them to be only a ‘little dangerous,’ by arming them incompletely and disaffirming their skill and ethics by giving them only a few rounds, you imply that they must neglect the very esprit you’ve pounded into them. In other words, you make them schizophrenic.
Schizophrenia is the embodiment of decontrol. Schizophrenics are perniciously dangerous, not because they are uncontrolled, but because they are confusingly controlled, with a host of internalized, but mixed, messages.”
Comment: Mixed messages are the last thing soldiers need!
27 Sept 05
Comments on preparedness, from friend and students in the hurricane zone:
“Daily clothing choices are important, footwear particularly. I saw several people who got out early, return wearing shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops. I was amazed that they had the foresight to evacuate early, and obviously had time to think about what to take and what to wear. Yet, they chose this ensemble and thus found themselves wading around in filthy muck with bare legs and ‘shoes’ in which they are essentially bare-footed, and clumsy too! What could they have been thinking?
I have a pair of Croks, but I never wear them when I go out, because I can’t move quickly or surely in them, and they expose my bare feet to cuts and scrapes. I don’t carry a pistol, blade, and OC because I expect a fight. Still, if one comes to me, I intend not to look foolish.”
From another friend:
“As you know, all freeways out of Houston were choked. Many who did not have an auxiliary escape route became a road block to everyone else as they ran out of gas. Freeways became ‘lemming lanes.’ I was able to get all the way to Dallas in six hours on back roads and, in some instances, with the aid of four-wheel drive.”
From a trauma surgeon:
“Clean, white underwear are recommended. Deadly, internal infections often come from bits of clothing dragged into wounds by missiles. The missile itself is usually sterile. I’ve removed much clothing from gunshot wounds!”
Comment: Good advice!
28 Sept 05
You have to start them young in SA:
“While walking to school in Pretoria yesterday, my thirteen-year-old son was attacked by a vagrant/VCA. The vagrant was carrying a sharpened stick and threatened my son with it while ordering him to hand over his school bag, watch, and cell phone.
My boy, and his mother, recently completed a knife-fighting course with one of your instructors here in SA. The course was designed on the model given to us by your friends at Cold Steel. My son has carried a Cold Steel Ti-Lite (just like yours!) ever since.
When confronted, my son assumed a fighting stance and quickly deployed his blade as he yelled at the thug to go away and leave him alone. The startled thug fell apart! He starred mumbling to himself and then broke and ran. We haven’t seen him since!
One small knife for a boy. One large act of courage for mankind!”
Comment: Good show, Lad!
28 Sept 05
More comments on “Induced Schizophrenia:”
“Internalized, mixed messages are the antithesis of the ‘mushin’ state of mind, that is the requisite predisposition of effective warriors. Commanders, responding to politically-correct constraints desired by clueless, naive, ‘innocent,’ bureaucrats, have provided yet another nail for the coffin of the warrior class.
‘Mu,’ meaning negation. ‘Shin,’ meaning heart/mind. Often translated, confusingly, as ‘no mind.’ A more correct translation is ‘pure mind.’ It refers to that state of mental clarity and enhanced perception produced by the deliberate absence of judgments, fear, anxiety, pre-conception, and self-consciousness, collectively known as ‘clog and clutter.’ With mushin, the mind is not preoccupied. Instead, it is freed. No longer inhibited, slowed, distracted, or clogged, the mind is liberated to fully perceive, respond, and commit to action. Warriors in the mushin state of mind cannot be defeated!
Not only is this current generation of commanders marginalizing their troops’ effectiveness by limiting ammunition and not allowing them to carry loaded guns, but, by inducing schizophrenia, they are robbing these troops of full use of their most effective weapon, their minds.”
Comment: Shame on them!