1 Dec 08
Just talked with friends at SA this morning. Backlogs for M1As are running four to twelve weeks, depending on the flavor. Most in demand is, not surprisingly, is the sixteen-inch-barreled SOCOM. Next in line is the “Scout,” which is essentially the same thing with an eighteen-inch barrel. The twenty-inch “Standard” version is next. We’ve had a number of SOCOMs in Urban Rifle Courses, and they’ve all run just fine! 20-round magazines are in good supply.
XDMs are also in short supply. Standard XDs, less so. There are no plans to gradually phase-out the XD in favor of the XDM. Both pistols will remain in production. The XD is “plain-vanilla,” while the XDM represents the more-expensive premium pistol with extra features and increased capacity. Both run and run!
SA, since its inception, has had some rocky periods, but they are currently producing excellent products, and customer service is also very good.
The Garand-inspired, M14 platform is hard to beat!
1 Dec 08
Friends at FA tell me they are backlogged, like everyone else:
Most in demand is their standard M14, similar to SA’s “Standard” M1A. Backlog is twelve weeks, and growing!
Next in line is the M1 Carbine, with a backlog of eight weeks.
Their wonderful Garand rifle, available in 30-06, 308, and 270, is also eight weeks out, longer for those who want the shorter “Tanker” version.
Magazines are in good supply.
The owner of Fulton Armory is a perfectionist, and all his rifles are exquisite, albeit pricy!
Customer service is second to none.
2 Dec 08
Fire extinguishers are now considered a “hazard” in the UK!
All fire extinguishers may be forcibly removed from apartment buildings, and individual residences, throughout the UK! Government eggheads have decided that fire extinguishers represent a threat, because their presence encourages “untrained people” to take (God forbid!) personal initiative and actually extinguish a fire, rather than simply fleeing the building!
“Risk assessors” further pontificated that typical citizens (aka: “idiots”) might “point fire extinguishers in the wrong direction,” or “use the wrong extinguishers.” They just can’t be trusted to do anything right! Besides, they add, with new building regulations, every escape route “should be” fireproof.
I am left to wonder about those confronting small fires in their kitchens. Do you suppose there is even a slight chance ordinary citizens might just figure out how to actually use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose? They’re awfully complicated, you know!
I also wonder if all those who are trapped and subsequently burned to death in “fireproof” escape routes will find these risk assessors’ assurances comforting!
Comment: Among ordained Collectivists, every possibility of personal initiative must be suffocated! This is the same thinking that underpins anti-gun politics in this country. They only want “victims.” Being a “good victim” is thus one’s ultimate civic responsibility!
2 Dec 08
Bombay, India, 2008
Since throwing off British occupation in the last century, India has rabidly tried to rid itself of everything that so much as smells British, even changing names of cities (Bombay to Mumbai, for example)!
Unfortunately, one British legacy to which succeeding generations of cowardly politicians have held fast is anti-gun fanaticism, the black curse Britain inflicted upon all her colonies. Today, the licensing process for an Indian citizen to legally acquire a firearm is so complex and bewildering that few even make the effort (kind of like NYC, eh?). In addition, guns cannot be legally imported for non-government consumption, so there isn’t much of a selection anyway.
Accordingly, India has no “gun-culture,” which means there are no competent instructors who are able to teach even those few police who are ostensibly “armed.” The resultant incompetence of Indian police was on public display last week. As terrorist sieges of hotels proceeded unabated, and innocents were being mercilessly gunned down left and right, arriving police, even though armed, milled about aimlessly and did nothing, for hours and hours! They were more afraid of their own firearms than they were of terrorists. The only activities at which they showed any real acumen was cowering and hiding!
As a result, a tiny team of armed, foreign terrorists went about their deadly program, with virtually no interference from police, nor anyone else, because, in India, good people are, by law, unarmed! The city, indeed the entire nation, was paralyzed, for days. Bodies piled up!
Even Gandhi cursed the British, and the gutless Indian politicians who followed them:
“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”
Well, this evil “black curse” is still alive and well today, and it still arouses power-mad politicians (not too much of a redundancy!) in every corner of the globe.
In the aftermath, predictably, the current gallery of entrenched Indian politicians and bureaucrats will scurry about, trying desperately to convey the false impression that they are actually doing something. Of course, they will accomplish nothing, and, in a week or two, everything will be back to normal, as if nothing had ever happened.
However, foreign visitors have taken notice! India, and many other countries, are no longer attractive as places to do business, nor even visit! So long as west-hating terrorists can expect scant hindrance, much less active opposition, from the local “government,” Westerners and western business interests will stay away, and should!
Indian politicians, British politicians, indeed most politicians, prefer dead victims to live heroes, and always will. They were granted their wish last week!
In 2009, we can expect more episodes like the one in Bombay, and, in view of the foregoing, there is little reason to hope for different results!
Once again: You’re on our own. Dress appropriately!
3 Dec 08
Just received this from a friend, an American, who nearly didn’t survive the recent carnage in India:
“The people who did this have no souls. They have no hearts. They are simply the living manifestation of evil, and they only know killing and murder. We – all of us – need to understand that. Their target tonight was first and foremost Americans. Why? Because they fear everything that America stands for. They fear hope and change and freedom and peace. Let’s make no mistake; they would have shot me and my children point blank, tonight, with out a moment’s hesitation. Most of us sorta know that, but sometimes we equivocate. We can’t equivocate. Not ever.”
Comment: We will never change the behavior of these terrorists, any more than we will change that of venomous snakes. The idea that we can somehow make them suddenly “like us,” is the province of fools, and soon-to-be-dead ones!
3 Dec 08
Stay put, or get out?
During the terrorist attack of a building, those caught inside need to make a decision immediately. Should I stay put, or attempt to escape?
Of course, there is no risk-free option! Indeed, either option is fraught with danger, but here are lessons from recent events:
1) “Rescue” is a lot further off than you think! It will take several days for authorities and tactical teams to arrive, assemble, get organized, make a plan, and begin actively seeking out terrorists and innocent victims. You’ll have to hold out all that time. When captured, you probably won’t! Those wounded, when they remain where they are, will likely bleed to death long before any possibility of their being rescued. Bottom line: “Rescue” is mostly myth!
2) Escape is likely to be successful sooner, rather than later. At the beginning of the event, confusion is king! Everyone is bewildered, shocked, and disorganized, including terrorists. No terrorists plan ever goes exactly as anticipated, and, in the beginning, terrorists are at the weakest and least ordered. Eventually, terrorists will consolidate their gains, cut off all escape routes, murder, tie up, or otherwise incapacitate hostages, and rig the building with explosives. Thus, the longer you delay, the less likely that your escape attempt will be successful.
3) A “lock-down” does little more that herd people into coffins! When instructed by “authorities” to stay put, get out immediately! Don’t worry about venturing into “unauthorized” areas. Get out of and away from the building any way you can, and as quickly as possible.
4) Avoid upper floors of hotels. Stay on the first or second floor. That way, you can escape out a window without being confronted with a suicidal fall. Tie bed-sheets together to make a descent rope, when necessary
5) When staying in a hotel, never unpack! Keep everything organized, packed-up, and ready for instant departure.
6) In foreign hotels, the registration system is linked to passports and can be used by terrorists (who know exactly how it works) to identify you as a US Citizen. Accordingly, find a reason to change rooms, even floors, every few days. The tactic will throw their system into confusion. It will be difficult for anyone to know exactly where you are.
7) Likewise, switch cabs often. Notice when the driver talks on his radio/cell-phone the moment you depart his vehicle. All drivers are suspect! None can be trusted.
8) Likewise, keep note of behavioral and routine changes on the part of hotel staff and endemic locals. Terrorist plans are hard to keep secret, and the word often leaks out among locals. When you notice significant alterations in their routines, it’s time to go!
9) Get to know folks at the Marine Detachment associated with the US Embassy. They can tell you, in real time, what is going on locally, without the heavily filtered/sanitized “official” State Department party-line.
10) If not a gun, locally acquire several good blades and have them with you always. Dispose of them prior to departure.
11) Most importantly, act at the critical moment! Don’t become a victim of the “paralysis-of-analysis.” Avoid capture at all costs! Don’t wait to be rescued. Stay in motion. Keep your head up. Watch your back. Don’t relax too soon! When necessary, kill without hesitation.
4 Dec 08
Dealing with terrorists, wisdom from an Instructor:
“The best choice, among many unhappy ones, is to think of terrorists as black-widow spiders.
They are what they are, and they’ll never change. There are many nests of them, and one is just outside our kitchen door. Nearby, there are a number of cocoons, harboring innocent butterflies. Of course, we have no quarrel with butterflies, but we have to get rid of spiders, because they represent a real and continuing threat to our way of life that cannot be abrogated effectively with any other strategy. There is no possibility of accommodation, nor ‘peaceful-coexistence.’ Believe me; we’ve tried!
Spiders may have a place in nature (don’t we all!), but they don’t get to be in my house, thank you. So, we kill spiders, all spiders, as quickly and efficiently as possible. We do our best to spare caterpillars, but, you know, we have to honestly confront the fact that some of them won’t live through it!
The alternative of ‘just-leaving-the-spiders-alone’ is not viable. We can’t relocate them, and we can’t persuade them to modify their behavior. They’re spiders, and that is all they’re ever going to be, and they can always be depended upon to do what spiders so! So, we are left with only rapid, aggressive, violent, surprise attack on them from multiple angles. Clean out the nest. Sadly, some caterpillars will be caught up in it and won’t survive.
That’s regrettable, but it’s vastly better for the rest of the caterpillars that we destroy spiders before they can multiply. It’s not a permanent solution, and we’ll probably have to do it again. Nevertheless, the ability of these particular spiders to do us harm is extinguished forever. Thank God!”
Comment: Remaining alive and living life is never effortless nor risk-free. It is dangerously naive to think that we’ll never have to fight to protect ourselves, our property, and our way of life. On the contrary, we’ll be earnestly tested so long as we’re here. Threats will never go away, so we can never relax.
Welcome to Planet Earth!
5 Dec 08
Why I like Aimpoints over most other red-dot, non-magnifying optics. From a friend who does a lot of rifle shooting:
“I’ve broken/destroyed every optic on the planet, except Aimpoint. They’re mighty tough!
There are a couple low-budget red-dots out there that seem promising. Burris and Vortex make ones for $250.00/copy. The trouble with any of the cheaper optics is battery life. They ALL pale in comparison to the Aimpoint.”
Comment: I have Micro-Aimpoints forward-mounted on most of my serious rifles. Aimpoint is definitely at the top of heap. No doubt!
7 Dec 08
Success story, from an Instructor in LA:
“After dinner at a local upscale restaurant with my teen-aged daughter yesterday evening, we were walking back to my car. This is a ‘nice’ part of town!
Out of the dark emerged a ‘homeless’ man. He moved toward us aggressively, actually bumping into my daughter, who was a few steps in front of me. He may not have even seen me initially. In a gruff and threatening voice, he said, ‘Give me some money!”
Instantly, I put my hand up (open palm) and clearly announced, ‘Don’t come near me!’ I quickly looked at this hands to make sure he wasn’t reaching for something, and then back to his face, as I swept my daughter behind me. My OC bottle was already in my strong-side hand.
He froze in place. His blank expression indicated to me that he was startled and befuddled. Seizing the initiative, we disengaged and speedily walked past him. I glanced back over my shoulder to see if he was following, but he just stood where he was, mumbling to himself.
Problem solved! Not a big deal as it all turns out, but what it confirmed to me is that you need to learn the steps and practice them until they become automatic. At no time did I think of the individual steps after I set the process in motion.”
Comment: In our “Gun Courses,” we do a lot of shooting, of course. But, aggressive verbal and postural disengagement are also critical skills and must be learned and exercised in scenario-based drills every time we’re the Range practicing our shooting skills. In this life, you’re going to talk with a lot more people than you’re going to shoot… with any luck!
7 Dec 08
Comments on India, from a well-traveled friend and colleague:
“I notice India has not given up all things British:
They still apeak English. They still use railroads. They still use the Westminster Bicameral Parliament.
And their political leaders? All educated in England!
No, it is not the ‘British Legacy’ that confounds, but the will toward tyranny, to which all governments, not just the British, are ever disposed.
Ours is, unhappily, no exception, and, in many ways, is leading the charge into a new Dark Age, from which humanity may never emerge.”
Comment: The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative, the day after the Revolution!
9 Dec 08
Illinois politics never change!
This morning, Illinois’ current “governor,” Rod Blagojevich, was arrested by the FBI for official corruption, corruption on a massive scale. Indeed, he is making Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabie look downright respectable by comparison! Of course, even casual followers of Illinois politics have known this from the day he took office.
Blagojevich, along with the equally-corrupt Chicago mayor (the real governor of Illinois), are (by coincidence, I’m sure) rabidly anti-gun, invariably opposing all forms of the private ownership of firearms by us “ordinary” citizens.
I find it curious that these sleazy criminals, who have disgraced their office (and both of whom enjoy heavily-armed bodyguard contingents, generously provided by beleaguered taxpayers) are so anxious to strip those same taxpayers, honest citizens, of every last bit of human dignity and nobility, forcing them to be permanently vulnerable to the ravages of violent criminals, simultaneously, and humiliatingly, converting them to piteous beggars!
The connection is unmistakable: Advocates of “gun-control” are invariably sleazy, lying criminals and tyrant wanna-bes! And, the more corrupt they are, the more anxious are they to take guns away from the good and honest citizens they so dreadfully fear, and simultaneously despise.
But, masquerading as Santa Clause, they get elected, always appealing to the most vile and despicable of human emotions: envy, jealousy, fear, race-hatred, sloth, avarice.
It indeed speaks poorly of the American electorate!
10 Dec 08
From a friend who just went through a “problem-prone” household move. Now, there’s a redundancy!
“I thought I was prepared for everything. I wasn’t!
The first couple of days of the move went okay. Only the ‘usual’ headaches. But, just as our new house was in complete disarray, and new owners had already moved into our old one, a ‘plumbing problem’ reared its ugly head, and I had to get my family out, and to a hotel, where we stayed for a week, in several widely-separated rooms, without even having a chance to plan, nor gather together what we needed.
I was prepared for the move (or so I naively thought), but I was not prepared to be without my home-base, and without much of what I needed for daily life, for an additional week! After a couple of days of ‘disaster-du-jour,’ I was beyond exasperation. I had reached ‘divide/overflow!’
I then considered, if this had been a widespread terrorist attack, with the attendant mass displacement of people, how unprepared I truly was.
This frustrating, sometime scary, experience gave me a new perspective on how a real disaster, affecting many thousands of people at once, might quickly overwhelm peoples’ civility, as we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. ‘Normal’ societal relations will break down in a matter of days. A whole new world of anger and violence would emerge!
With life now back to ‘normal,’ I am reassessing my emergency and preparedness plans. While this past week was awful, I learned valuable lessons:
1) When confronting unanticipated difficulties, coming at you faster than you can even catalog them, much less deal with them, keep things in perspective. Don’t allow yourself to fly into a tizzy! Take a breath, size up the situation, make a plan, and go forward. Cursing, spitting, and becoming upset with everyone else just delays the ultimate resolution. Calm down, and you’ll calm everyone down!
2) The rule is: ‘Worst First!’ Promptly prioritize problems. Take them on one at a time, starting with the most pressing. You’ll probably never have all the information you want. Make decisions anyway, and don’t look back!
3) Know the difference between a legitimate, left-threatening menace, and a mere annoyance! In our artificial existence within this civilization, we often look upon every bothersome irritation as an ‘emergency.’ When there is a real emergency, recognize it instantly, address it first, temporarily forsaking the rest! Learn to separate the significant from the insignificant!
4) Be prepared for the unexpected! Absorb it gracefully and move on. When you are tested, it will be in the way you least want, and are least prepared to deal with. That’s why they call it a ‘test!’
Ask me how I know this!”
Comment: Attitude is the difference between an “ordeal” and an “adventure!”
“Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity!”
14 Dec 08
From a London newspaper, on the subject of armed police officers:
Members of CO19, the armed unit of Scotland Yard, all agree that the days of the unarmed police in the UK are numbered.
“In many areas of London, there is not a ‘possibility’ that an officer will be confronted by an armed suspect, but a ‘probability.’”
Identical to the situation in most American metro areas.
“When I shoot someone, I’m a Cop. When I get shot, I’m a ‘Bobby.’ English don’t like Cops, but love ‘Bobbies.’”
Just like the willfully naive in America, who detest heroes, but love victims.
“… most in senior management have tried to pretend we don’t exist.”
Reminiscent of Jimmy Cirillo’s NYPD Tactical Unit and other heroic SWAT units. They love us when we’re murdered, but hate us when we do our job. And, the more elegant and professional we are, the more we’re hated. Sluttish politicians, who rely upon violent criminals for political support, are particularly venomous in their denigration of tactical teams. They curiously change their tune, of course, when those same officers are tasked to protect them. Imagine that!
In the UK, there is no gun-culture, only gun-ignorance. Adolescent twits there, as here, who know nothing of guns except what they’ve “learned’ from watching the typical sewage emanating from Hollywood, make unenlightened statements like:
“If armed police are so highly trained, and are such expert marksmen, then why are their ‘victims’ always killed, and never just wounded?”
I suspect their whining will be slightly less shrill when it is their lives that are saved by armed police!
The sinister commingling of immorality with “enforced ignorance” will bring down any civilization, right readily!
15 Dec 08
A prophet in his own county…
The Meuse/Argonne Offensive signaled the merciful, and long-awaited, end of the WWI. A war-weary world looked forward to a new “Age of Peace.” Such naive hopes would be dashed a mere two decades later! In the interim, a few visionaries, like Billy Mitchell in America and Erwin Rommel in Germany, realized that land armies had, unnoticed by most, passed through a one-way, historical portal.
Horse-powered armies of the Nineteenth Century had been fundamentally self-sustaining. They foraged for supplies and could thus remain effective, in the field, for months at a time. Their only weapons were small-arms fire and close-combat, and critical supplies were simple in nature and could usually be procured locally. But, with the rapid adoption of new and frightening weapon technologies, like hydraulically-dampened artillery, armored vehicles, cartridge rifles, machine guns, and combat aircraft, modern armies discovered that, if they were to remain mobile and responsive, they needed to be continuously supplied with countless items that could not be attained/manufactured in the field.
Foraging skills fell into disuse and were eventually forgotten entirely. Food, even water, now had to be brought in. Sophisticated new weapons required meticulous maintenance, not to mention fuel, lubricants, spare parts, and manufactured ammunition, which they consumed at a rate unimagined by soldiers only a generation earlier.
Modern, mechanized armies were fearsome indeed, in terms of flexibility, mobility, and destructiveness, but they all shared a fatal weakness: Even while not engaged, each division now consumed thousands of tons of supplies each and every day, supplies that had to be delivered to them in the field. When engaged, required tonnage tripled! Without a huge, elaborate, sophisticated, and profoundly capable supply/logistics system, stretching all the way back to the points of manufacture, an army’s viability in the field was measured in mere days!
The transformation was so gradual, most military planners failed to notice critical implications. For example, Mitchell and Rommel both pointed out to their mostly uninterested superiors that fielded armies were now all but irrelevant! What needed to be attacked was supply lines, logistical distributions points, and, indeed, a nation’s very industrial base. Without an uninterrupted supply line, fielded armies promptly wither.
Mitchell thus became an evangelist for air-power. He pointed out, as early as the 1920s, that battleships were obsolete, forever gaining him the enmity of admirals. He conclusively demonstrated the ability of his bombers to send to the bottom, within minutes, any number of heavily-armored naval vessels, many of which were considered “unsinkable!” When Navy brass, even then, ignored him, expressing more interest in blimps than aircraft carriers, he openly accused them of short-sightedness, and quickly got himself court-martialed!
Rommel’s similar attempts to interest Hitler in committing to a program of constructing of a fleet of heavy, long-range, four-engine bombers that could decisively smash Allied supply lines, manufacturing, and shipping, received a like reception.
Mitchell was forced out of the Army, but his band of loyal disciples, like Jimmy Doolittle and Harold (“Hap”) Arnold, remained behind and carried forward his ideas, laying the foundation for ultimate victory in WWII. Mitchell himself died of natural causes in 1936. He didn’t live to see the way his ideas and fearless inspiration made victory possible.
Rommel, forced by Hitler to commit suicide in October of 1944, did live long enough to see the Third Reich disintegrate, its industrial base pounded to splinters by endless waves of heavy, Allied bombers! He is known for this sage quotation: “Amateurs study tactics. Professionals study logistics!”
Lessons: We all need to worry less about impressing our students, and more about inspiring them. Worry less about accolades from your contemporaries, and more about accolades from generations yet unborn!
“You can always spot a true genius in history, because all the dunces of the world will predicably unite to oppose him!”
“Experience is a hard teacher, because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”
“Smooth seas do not good sailors make!”
15 Dec 08
Leather CCW Concealment Vest:
My friends at CCW Clothiers (concealedcarry.com) are now marketing a stylish, lined-leather concealment vest. It is dressier than the “Tropical” cloth vest I’m used to wearing, but it is heavier and warmer. I’ve been wearing my copy for a month, and, for anything but a hot environment, it is very nice.
I have no particular sense of (nor interest in) style, but I’ve liked my CCW vests for the decade that I’ve worn them. I wear a copy every day. Arm holes are the right size to allow comfortable movement, but not reveal a concealed pistol. Length is exactly correct to keep concealed pistols (I wear at least two) discretely out of sight.
The new leather version is a definite style upgrade for me, although I’m still essentially invisible, which is the way I prefer to be while in public.
15 Dec 08
Lesson learned in New England:
“Just wanted to relate an cathartic experience that just happened to me this past weekend.
I live in New England, and last weekend my town was at the epicenter of a winter storm that coated everything with an inch of ice. Tree limbs littered the street. Utility lines and poles were pulled to the ground. We had no power for twenty-four hours. Travel, even by foot, was all but impossible for most of Saturday
Sunday, the ice quickly melted, and I discovered that one of my horses was AWOL. I called our local police to let them know whom to call when someone found a stray horse.
There was no answer! No harried dispatcher asking if I could hold. No call-forwarding to the State Police. Not even an answering machine! The phone rang for ten minutes, with no answer. This is an upscale town of 15,000, with a full-time chief of police and ten, full-time officers, several non-sworn employees, and a brand-new, magnificent police station! I tried again an hour later. Same result!
My horse returned later that day (when she got hungry), so all is well. But, for the first time since we’ve lived here, I started to think about what would have happened if a violent criminal were breaking down my door. What if someone were really trying to harm me?
I’ve always heard from the liberal media that I didn’t need to own guns, nor give even the slightest thought to my own safety, as the police are there to protect me. Well, they weren’t there last weekend!
The event shook me up!
This storm was localized and short-lived. What is going to happen when a disaster, or international event, affects the entire State, or all of New England for that mater, maybe for weeks? Who will protect me from violent criminals then?
The lesson really hit home for me when I needed help, and found only an unanswered phone.”
Comment: I don’t know how many times things like this have to happen before Americans finally, honestly confront the woeful limitations of government! Here, we see a small police department altogether overwhelmed by a short-lived, localized weather event. I’m sure they did the best they could, but they were instantly in over their heads, and public expectations suffered, as we see.
Those “expectations” are probably unrealistic anyway! They’re based on perfect weather, perfect conditions, and no surprises. They represent little more than wishful thinking!
We need to ask liberal politicians, who are tirelessly working to incrementally legislate all the uncertainties out of life, if they plan on legislating weather too! If not, the rest is an exercise in futility. All they really accomplish is the suffocation of our individual freedom.
If I were cynical, I might even suspect that was their real purpose from the beginning!
15 Dec 08
Secret Service Failure?
We were treated today to videos of a “reporter” at a Baghdad new conference, throwing a shoe at the US President, and then throwing a second shoe, again at the President, moments later!
President Bush, in yet another surprise visit to the War Zone, gets militantly assaulted by a local goof, who, as it turns out, has a reputation for violence.
The screening process should keep miscreants like this one out of throwing-distance from the President, but, realistically, I suppose our President may have to dodge a thrown object now and then.
What I can’t understand is why he was compelled to dodge two!
Why didn’t the second thrown shoe hit a Secret Service Special Agent? Why was not the President instantly shielded and then unceremoniously ushered out of there? If they’re going to just stand there while the President dodges missiles, neither protecting him, nor abrogating the threat, I’m wondering why we even have a Secret Service Presidential Protective Detail!
President Bush laughed off the incident. That was a mistake!
Is there no dignity nor self-respect left in the Office of President? Has Bush forgotten that he is there representing all of us?
The reputation of the USA was harmed greatly as a result of this incident.
“Great Powers” deserve respect. We must demand it,… or give up and walk off the World Stage!
18 Dec 08
An officer with a domestic police department with which I work regularly had an ND yesterday that resulted in injury to himself. This particular officer is a recent hire and has never been one of our students, but many of his colleagues have.
The officer was carrying a 1911 pistol in 45ACP, manufacturer unknown, in an IWB/concealment holster. It was loaded with high-performance, service ammunition, but no one could tell me the brand.
When the officer holstered his pistol, his index finger was inside the trigger guard, and his thumb was on the manual safety, pushing it “off.” Grip-safety was, of course, fully depressed. As the pistol was pushed into the holster, the holster itself pushed the index finger into the trigger, and the pistol discharged, sending a single bullet into the officer’s right buttocks!
The bullet, of course, passed through and through, subsequently impacting into a concrete sidewalk, causing no additional mayhem. The ER physician who treated the officer is a student of mine, and he described the wound as a “furrow,” four inches long. The bullet only penetrated into the buttocks an inch or two before exiting.
It is the doctor’s opinion that the officer will suffer (in addition to embarrassment) some permanent disfigurement, but no permanent disability.
In relative terms, he was lucky!
Important lessons here: All of us who carry loaded pistols in holsters need to:
(1) Reconfirm that we have learned, and regularly employ, a strong, “register” position for our trigger-fingers any time we’re handling guns. This practice is particularly critical when holstering a loaded pistol, as most any holster will cheerfully fire the gun for you when you carelessly have your finger inside the trigger guard during the process!
(2) Those of us who insist on carrying a 1911, or any other pistol equipped with a manual safety lever, must be constantly aware of the status of the lever. The safety needs to be “on” during the holstering process. You can’t “forget!” Who do, need to think about carrying another kind of pistol, or, better yet, not carrying at all!
21 Dec 08
Persuade me if you can!
“Who bear arms can be persuaded, but never forced!”
Tyrants really have only one tool through which they are able to bend wills to their way of thinking: Coercion. Conversely, the enlightened use persuasion, because we firmly believe that, in the free marketplace of ideas, what is true and right will always shine through fraud, mendacity, and deceit, no matter how cleverly disguised.
Thus, the evil among us predictably resort to violence and threats in order to coerce, when their deceptive rhetoric miscarries, which it always does.
Who bear arms can interact, in every normal way, with our fellow citizens, and we can both persuade and be persuaded. But, we cannot be forced! Sway me if you can, through reason and righteousness, but I am an American, and “force” is an option with which I decline to endow you!
The foregoing is, of course, at once frightening and dumbfounding to those in government who seek, not to serve, but to be served. There are many, but here in America, their demoniac lust after unlimited power is immoderately checked, mostly by the Second Amendment!
Thank God for our Constitution and our Bill of Rights!
“‘Good intentions’ will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that our Constitution was made to guard the People against the dangers of ‘good intentions.’ There are always those who mean to govern well, but mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but mean to be masters!”
23 Dec 08
Anti-Gun Editorial from Today’s NY Times
In all-too-typical anti-gun/anti-freedom hysteria, editors at the NY Times today cite a “study” by the rabidly-partisan, anti-gun “Mayors-Against-Illegal-Guns,” a bigoted conspiracy, headed by the current NYC Mayor.
Dogma emanating from this crew is highly predictable!
This hand-wringing editorial laments “weak” gun-laws and champions “strong” ones. Of course “strong-gun-laws” is their venal code-phrase for:
“The all-inclusive elimination of the private ownership of guns in America.”
Anti-gun editorials like this unfailingly share three fatal errors:
(1) From the beginning, they get their conclusions mixed in with their suppositions. First, they spell out the party-line. Then, they tell you that you better agree, if you know what’s good for you!
(2) They tirelessly avoid getting specific, as that would require intellectual honesty. They’ll never tell you, for example, what their real goal is (see above).
(3) They assiduously ignore embarrassing facts that don’t fit with pre-arranged “conclusions.”
The fact that Mayors promoting gun-confiscations/prohibitions (masquerading as “strong gun-laws”) all themselves enjoy heavily-armed bodyguard contingents. Guns that guard them are apparently okay! After all, politicians “need” armed protection. Conversely, we peons are apparently expendable!
The fact that clod-infested states, like mine, with “weak” gun-laws that, for example, permit citizens to carry concealed, all curiously have significantly lower levels of violent crime that do states where legal concealed-carry is impossible. Imagine that!
The fact that “gun-free zones,” like London, Moscow, and Tokyo, where the private possession of guns is absolutely prohibited, and has been for decades, are currently awash with violent crime, most of it involving (you guessed it!), guns. “Tough gun-laws” apparently haven’t helped in those places. Have they now?
Duplicitous, dogma-driven editorial writers, like these, are academic hypocrites and journalistic frauds, a disgrace to their profession.
No apology here!
26 Dec 08
Another worthy entry into the militarized, zero-magnification, rifle-optics competition is the new Zeiss Z-Point. The Z-Point is the offspring of the excellent H&H G36 integral-optics package. You can see it at zeiss.com
Only slightly bigger than the Aimpoint Micro, the Z-Point comes with an integral, spring-loaded mount that makes instant installation on any rail something that can be done at the user-level. The unit is powered via a single hearing-aid battery, augmented by a solar panel on the top. How much the solar panel extends battery life during actual field use remains to be seen!
I mounted my copy of the Z-Point on my wonderful Krebs/Kalashnikov (KTR, Krebs Tactical Rifle) in 223. The KTR comes with an integral rail, mounted on top of the dust-cover. As with Aimpoint and EOTech, eye-relief is not critical. The Z-Point sets itself up perfectly with existing iron sights, so that the iron sights are sill useable in the bottom third of the optic. Within ten minutes of opening the box in came in, my Z-Point was solidly mounted and ready to go!
A new feature with the Z-Point, and one that I sincerely hope is immediately copied by EOTech and Aimpoint, is self-adjusting brightness of the illuminated aiming point (red dot, similar to Aimpoint’s). The brightness of the dot goes up and down automatically, according to ambient light. Within this feature, the Operator may still manually brighten or dim the dot, to his own preference. Now, when going from bright sunlight to dark shade, as is typical when pig-hunting in South FL, I won’t have to screw around, at inconvenient times, with brightness adjustments!
As with EOTech, Z-Point’s aiming dot turns itself off, after four hours, to conserve battery life. When I talk with the Zeiss folks at the SHOT show, I’m going to ask them if it is possible to set up the Z-Point so that the aiming dot stays “on” indefinitely, until I manually turn it off, as is the case with Aimpoint. That is my preference, as I don’t like surprises!
In the optics business, few enjoy Zeiss’ reputation for quality, and I believe the Z-Point will prove itself worthy, but, of course, I need to satisfy myself personally through heavy use in our Urban Rifle Courses.
We have many UR Programs scheduled for 2009, and my Z-Point/KTR duette will surely get an adequate work-out!