Saturday, August 25, 2012

*Yawn* Open Carried to Whole Foods, Target, the library

Super boring but obligatory post.

Saw a cop at the library too, waved at him.

Zero response from everyone.

And no, I don't wish something would happen so I could have something interesting to write about. These boring posts are just fine with me. They can match my boring experience open carrying.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quote of the A gun is not an argument

But the bottom line is that theories of rights, though interesting, do not matter here. The benefits of gun ownership do not matter either. Nor do constitutional matters and the history surrounding the construction of the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other documents of our founding generation.

All that matters is that our answer is, "No."

~Mark of a Free Man
Now we're getting to the root of the reason.

Open carried to Home Depot, Babies R Us, and a Manhunt

Home Depot was uneventful though I noticed people noticing me carrying. Strangely, they didn't throw their baskets into the air and flee the building, they just smiled.

Babies R Us could (should?) have gone the other way because the sign they had on their window sure seemed to indicate that no guns were allowed, but none of the associates suddenly stopped the conversation in order to remind me of their policy, and I doubt they failed to notice.

The manhunt was a fun one. When leaving a friend's house we picked up the conversation on his porch and while talking, noticed some police were gathering at the end of his cul de sac for somesuch reason, talking to the people who had called them. As we continued to talk, more cops arrived, and we noticed a helicopter started circling. When it was about time to go, my friend asked me if I wanted to wait before I left. "Why would I do that?" "Well, generally, I like to minimize my contact with the police as much as possible." "If you act like it's normal, other people do the same." As I walked toward the jam of police cars, more arrived, and I began to worry that I might be boxed in. I wasn't worried about walking past them, but having to approach them, and figure out who had what car where would be more troublesome. When I made it around the corner (the clot of police on my left side), I saw that the front half of my car was blocked my a police cruiser, and as I walked up to my car, another cop pulled up, blocking me in completely. I waved to the cop who had just pulled up, "Hey! Can you back up so I can get out?" "Oh yeah, sure!" He backed up 30 yards, and I crossed in front of him to my car, realizing that his headlights were completely illuminating my right side. So what? Act like it's normal! I thought as I opened my car door, tossed in my stuff, and hopped in. As I worked on backing my car out of the parallel park (The front tires turn, the back tires don't. That's why it was George's spot), I had to hop out of the car to make sure I wasn't going to hit the car behind me. As I did, the cop left his car, and called to me as he passed, "Hey, sorry 'bout that, Brother." "No worries." It took a tire on the curb to get me out safely, but the cops didn't seem to mind.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Students with gun permits get segregated dorms at University of Colorado

Wow... Just wow...
University officials say both campuses will establish a residential area for students with permits but will ban guns in all other dormitories, according to the new policy.

I've never claimed to understand anti-gunners, but to be confronted with this divide, and go the wrong way is nothing short of insane.

They want to ban guns because of the college shootings, right? How is a big sign that says, "Armed people live here, UNARMED people live there" going to help?

This is the equivalent of that yard sign saying your neighbor supports gun control and is unarmed, except in reverse.

This is like putting a sign in your own yard that says, "My neighbor is armed, I'm not! Please don't rob me."

These people are asking for a real hard lesson.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Amstar Theaters are victim disarmament zones

After weeks of open carrying I finally found someplace that asked me not to.

On our wedding anniversary we went to see Batman at a three o'clock showing at the local theater. There were about four non-employees in the lobby, and when my wife left to to go the bathroom, the assistant manager very politely noted that they do not allow firearms in their theaters. I apologized, said I'd put it in the car, and asked if we could bring in outside food because my wife is on a special diet, he had no problem allowing this.

After returning to the lobby, we entered the theater where a grand total of three people were, and watched the movie in a semi-private screening.

Having not seen a sign, and inspired by Jennifer's posts, I expected the "policy" was enforced by the assistant manager's whim. But I was wrong.

Amstar Theaters corporate conduct policy specifically prohibits:
Possession of firearms or weapons of any kind regardless of whether openly or concealed, with or without permit
Attentive readers may note the first rule was broken for us. ANARCHY!

Normally, this is where I'd tell you that I'll simply be avoiding this establishment in the future, but that's not the case!

I'll be frequenting this place more often because their conduct policy seems to indicate they've invented some sort of anti-firearms force field that repels guns.

That's the only explanation for a policy which prohibits the carrying of any firearms or weapons in any way regardless of local laws.

It would be silly to have such a policy if no magical barrier were in place, because that rule would only prevent those who follow laws and rules from carrying firearms, not those intent on murdering people (which is apparently, already against the law!).

Strangely, I encountered no similarly magical method of carry prevention. Maybe I'll have to ask the manager if they powered it up.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Buck 65 - Wicked and Weird

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The one with Bush stung.

I'll bet this one burns.

Caro Emerald - Back It Up

direct link

HatTip to Liberty (you remember him?) who has been busy in meatspace, so no blog link.

I gotta shake up my music range...

Quote of the enlightenment

There was a slight pause, and then the room thundered, and filled with a shimmering light. A sudden silence fell, and the man's eyes grew wide. Through the blinding light you could see knowledge fill the man's eyes, and sense his grasp of reality strengthen. In a flash, all old thoughts were revisited with new clarity, soundly defeated, and expunged from his mind. He closed his eyes, and reopened them to a new world full of sublime perceptibility. He was enlightened. Though, sadly, as this new level of cognizance spread to the corners of his consciousness, his brain gave way, weak from years of liberalism and cognitive dissonance, reducing him to a vegetative state, and simultaneously increasing his IQ.

Did I mention I love going through the archives?

My thirst for combination guns remains unslaked

For a while now, I've been wanting a break-action combination gun.

It seems like it would be a neat utility piece for hikes and small game hunting. One in .22WMR and 12ga would be very utilitous, and cause many a Sir to grunt and murmur approval through his pipe, but a .22lr and .410 just seems like an inordinate amount of fun to me.

Unfortunately, the Invisible Market Force Committee has decided that combination guns are SO fifty years ago, and no one makes them anymore aside from Springfield's ZOMG PLANE CRASH rifle, which lacks Classical Style and, for that matter, pretty much all other style.

I had been keeping an eye out for the best entry in the category, which was the Savage Model 24.

Clicky to unleash the awesome

So when I heard Savage was releasing a new combination gun with the model designation 42 (see what they did there?), I was excited for the chance to pick up a combination gun that wasn't older than I was.

So I looked for pictures, and found...

Clicky to unleash the... something...


TTC feat. Modeselektor - Une Bande De Mec Sympha

My inexplicable taste for French electronica persists.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It stings so much...

Did I mention I've been practicing more? Had to make this.

Oblio13 is back from blogging vacation!

That's right, Philosophizing with a Hammer is live, and posting all kinds of outdoorsy fun. He has great archives I highly recommend checking out.

Riflecraft and Simulated Distance Targets

I'm trying not to break the chain on my rifle practice, so I've been spending 15 minutes a night dry firing at a simulated distance target. Because the 500 yard target was the one I had the most problems with, I only made that target, but will probably make some 300 and 175 targets just to cool down. At 500 yards, the "bell" is a little larger than a dot, and focusing on it fatigues my eyes after 10 minutes.

Making simulated distance targets isn't too hard when you think of it as a ratio.

If you want to shoot a 12 inch target at 400 yards, but you only have 4 yards in which to practice, you want to solve for the size of the target at 4 yards.

As a ratio, this looks like this (all measurements in yards)
Target size        Simulated size 
--------------- =  --------------
Target distance    Available distance

.333     X
---- = ---
 400     4
Which we solve by criss crossing the equation;
400 * X = .333 * 4
400X = 1.332
Get the X by itself by dividing both sides by 400...
400X / 400 = 1.332 / 400
X = 0.00333
So a 0.333 yard target at 400 yards would be 0.00333 yards (0.11988 inches) at 4 yards. The numbers here are round enough to check ourselves to prove the method works. A 0.333 yard target at one hundredth the distance is one hundredth the size.

Grab your calipers and see if you can achieve a clean break with good follow through to confirm hits on your simulated targets. Obviously, this training doesn't account for bullet drop or wind, but we're focusing on your fundamentals.

For the second consecutive election...

... why must I find myself looking for a bumper sticker that reads;
Romney / Heart attack 2012
It was cute with McCain, but the base will only hold its nose for so long before losing interest in the Grand Ancient Party.

The Obama presidency seems to be doing serious damage to the Democrat party, what if Romney gets a landslide, and the Dems realize they've lost a lot of standing, then Romney proceeds to Romney up the presidency, leaving BOTH parties severely weakened?

I'd call that a perfect storm for a third (or fourth?!) party candidacy!

Yeah, I know, but shut up a minute, ok? I can dream, can't I? Let me have this moment...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Open carry roundup and SWAGs

Super walmart (busy Sunday afternoon), Subway, Kroger, Joseph Beth Booksellers.

Was glad to confirm by doing the super walmart on another busy day, but the Joseph Beth was the one the only one I was worried about.

Joseph Beth is apparently an independent (in what way, I don't know) small chain of book stores full of people who look either look like they have tenure at Berkley or spent "a while" at Occupy Wall Street, so "ZOMG no guns!" wouldn't have surprised me. In fact, the cafe inside the store has a "no guns" sign on the exit to the parking lot (but not on the inside entrance), not that signs have the weight of law, but I digress...

At first, I carried with a little apprehension, but it disappeared after a few minutes. I was more worried about a patron yelling at me, but no one said anything or fled the building. I didn't see any signs on the main entrance to the bookstore, so I figured the cafe was a separate establishment.

So far my SWAGs for response to my open carrying have been quite wrong.

What if your preconceptions about what would happen if you open carried were just as wrong?

Better to beg forgiveness...

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Quote of the defeating North Korea

Saw this at HotAir, and it was too good to keep to myself...

A response to a comment about the upcoming Red Dawn remake modified to make the aggressors North Korea instead of the original antagonist, China.
assuming the Norks could get here, they’d be invading grocery stores and fast food joints.
Yep. We could throw up a defensive line of mobile KFC outlets and set off open barbeque pits upwind of their rear areas.

crosspatch on August 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM
Aww, that's just... Gee...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

My Rifle MK3 - Free America

The latest version of My Rifle after some Free America modifications.

Click any for large size.

As you can see, we've got a normal capacity magazine with 30 rounds of GET OFF MY LAWN ready to go.

Don't tell Dianne Feinstein, but this button will drop the mag without a bullet or other tool to release it! All I need is the finger I was born with! It's anarchy out here! Cats living with dogs! Mags dropping all over the place!

The Lumaforce Tac-5 is mounted and set for 230 lumens of disco fever. I always liked my support hand forward (which is part of the reason for the dissipator conversion), so the on/off is right at the tip of my thumb ready to light up my target, and backlight my sights (No red dot or night sights yet).

My M1A is not My Rifle just yet, but once I get more 308 ammo, it will certainly be shooting for the slot.

The sling is a Butler Creek hunting sling that functions moderately as a shooting sling, but it's mainly built for comfort. The neoprene padding and easy adjust make it very comfortable to carry on long hikes into mountain lion and "rural horticulture" territory.

It got a rattlecan paint job partly for hunting and partly because I like the color. The flat black was ok, but I really dig the contrast created by the lighter stock. I learned from my G22, and took my time with the Krylon, which has only had minor chipping, which is surprising given the places I carried it through.

Zipped through Molon Labe again

After loaning out Molon Labe to a friend, he kept talking to me about it, and kindling my interest in rereading it.

By the time I got it back, I was chomping at the bit, and finished it in a couple days.

The second read through was not earth-shattering, but it certainly raised a few points I had forgotten. I may not be able to target shoot much right now, but I should at least be dry firing at simulated targets to practice my form, focus, and follow through. I've been meaning to start a Don't Break the Chain for the skills I want to cultivate, and riflecraft is definitely one of those skills.

I noticed that I enjoyed the supplementary information more this time around. It seems that my first read through of a book is mostly for plot, and the second is more detailed and enjoyable, which is not my intention. Maybe I need to pull out some of my once-read favorites, and give them a twice-over.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Open carry is the way forward.

I've been aware of the open carry debate for some time, and even did some serious thinking on the topic four years and one state ago, but now that I'm open carrying, and thinking more about it, I've had a change of heart.

It's obvious to me that Open Carry is the best way for us to advance our gun rights.

The gun rights supporters who fight open carry have a few arguments I'd like to go over.
It's not socially normal!
Well, duh. That's the problem. If you are afraid to carry your gun openly, where legal to do so, you're acknowledging that the carrying of firearms by private citizens is still taboo in your community. If we keep acting like carrying a gun is something we need to hide, people will continue demanding we hide it. Is that acceptable to you? Or would you rather that change?

Soccer moms will clutch their pearls!
I didn't realize we lived in Europe, where someone being offended is a legitimate argument to stop you from exercising your rights. Someone will always be offended, and the great thing about America, is that it's ok to be offended, and to offend. When someone says that you carrying a gun makes them scared, you smile politely, and say, "Have a nice day, Ma'am." and walk away. I can't even believe this is a common argument.

All those casually anti-gun people are walking around, right now, thinking that a small police force is all that prevents the barbarians from overrunning the city. They don't know, or choose not to believe that regular citizens are contributing to the security they enjoy by carrying firearms around them all the time. Don't allow them to reject reality. Show them the truth, and make them come to terms with it. It's not your job to participate in their fantasy.

Also remember that you might be surprised by the lack of response. This guy open carried (when legal) all over the place in Southern California. Are you going to tell me some Kommiefornian was exercising rights you are afraid to? What's the matter, McFly? Chick-fil-a?

The cops will hassle you!
I didn't realize that making a law man uncomfortable was a reason to not exercise your rights. If open carry is a legal activity, wouldn't that make harassment for doing so illegal? America is a nation of laws. If the cops don't like 'em, they can fight to change 'em. Until then, we have this right, and you know what they say about a right unexercised.

There are practical concerns which might prevent you from standing up for your rights, we all have important things to do, so refusing a vehicle search and waiting an hour for the drug dogs to arrive when you're on your way to the airport to fly out on vacation might be beyond your level of tolerance. But don't let this convince you that everything you do is more important than exercising your rights.

This argument has some validity in states where open carry is flatly illegal, but there are many more areas where the right to open carry has not been explicitly confirmed, or it's allowed by exclusion, or it has conflicting ordinances. It is your responsibility to determine how legal open carrying is in your area, but if you look around, I bet you'll find people are already doing it. Yes, even if it's the guy who open carries an AK and a Ron Paul sign in the middle of downtown. If he gets arrested, and charged, and the charges stick, you've got your answer. But in most cases open carriers who know the laws rarely get hooked up. Just hassled.

Videos like this are all over youtube, waiting to be watched. If you do watch them, try not to be alarmed by the thrill you may experience when the tiny little citizen says "No." to the big scary law man, and then the big scary law man gets all Ezekiel 25:17 on him, and the little citizen, threatened with the wrath of an angry demigod, simply repeats "No." That's the thrill of freedom.

So, when a cop tells you he's going to arrest you if you don't hide your gun, tell him you'd like to speak to his supervisor, that you are carrying where it is legal to do so, that your lawyer has confirmed this, and that you'll file harassment charges against him faster than the DA can reject the case. Like Claire Wolfe says; Intimidate back.

Finally, keep in mind that there are varying degrees of "harassment" that you can choose to accept based on your comfort level. Some police will do everything within their power to stop you from doing what you're doing. Some will ask for (not demand) your ID so they can run you like a criminal to make sure you're not a felon. Some will just ask for a name they can put in their report. It's up to you to choose what level of "harassment" you're willing to put up with. Just know that many encounters may be diffused with a little voluntary compliance.

You're just an attention whore!
You're damn right I am, and you should be too!

It's about time private citizens carrying guns got some attention outside of the usual "On the lighter side of the news: Granny's got a gun!" news story. You know the ones I'm talking about. Where the anchor cheerfully relates how a man broke into her house to rape and murder her, and he got "mooooore than he bargained for!" as "Janie's got a gun" plays in the background. If they're lucky, there's even a surveillance video they can play cartoon sounds over as the rapist falls all over himself fleeing for his life. No matter public opinion, the media is STILL closed to the idea of private citizens carrying.

For all the progress we've made, "Man stops robbery with gun" still isn't news, nor is "Rapist runs after woman draws gun." We can't trust the media to spread the truth about carrying a firearm, so it's up to us to take it to every town and city we can, to reach everyone we pass the same way we reach individuals we take to the range one at a time. It's obviously not as complete a transformation, but we can make it up in volume, because the casual anti-gun population have not challenged their premises. They exist in their little bubble where everyone agrees guns are bad, so no one even feels the need to explore it. Pop their bubble. Let them see a regular person carrying a gun in a regular situation, and let them see that this person was polite, pleasant, and didn't start shooting when they bumped carts at the grocery store.

You'll make my fight harder!
"Right now, we're tip-toeing by the casually anti-gun population, and we've been making progress! If you Wookie Suiters jump in front of them and yell 'SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!11' then public reaction will snap back, and we'll be worse off!

That argument might have been valid before the Aurora shooting lacked public backlash on guns entirely. We've tipped the scale to 51%, and people are starting to realize that guns are just tools and they can be used for good or bad. The grey ponytails are always going to hate you for carrying a gun, concealed or not. The "respect mah authoritah" cops will always hate you for carrying their power symbol, concealed or not. Hiding your gun from them so you don't feel hassled is wrong. You won't be able to change their minds. But revealing your gun can have a positive impact on casual anti-gunners.

The idea of open carrying to a theater in Colorado right after the Aurora shooting would have been rejected by most in the gun community as tactless, dangerous, and damaging but I think it's exactly what should have happened.

Then, when some people freak out and overreact, it can make the news, and casual anti-gunners can look at the story and astonish themselves by thinking, "But he wasn't going to shoot anyone." This is how minds are changed. We need to direct this emotion for us, instead of waiting for it to turn against us.

Open carry is tactically unsound!
This is a completely valid opinion one can have in ones decision to open carry or not. However, your opinion is just that. I can certainly agree that there are tactical concerns in revealing you have a gun rather than keeping it secret, but the goal I'm trying to outline here is a society where open carry is the norm.

The idea of cities, counties, or entire states where the population is empowered to open carry, and does so, has significant tactical advantages over what we have now. Which is, an average of less than 2% of the the population with carry permits, and only a fraction of them actively carrying, and those who do choosing to hide their guns.

If you don't care about gun rights, and only care about being able to carry to protect you, and yours, continue carrying concealed. It's totally pragmatic, and no one can blame you for making your choice. But know that you are standing stationary in the political arena, and hoping the winds never blow you backwards. Shouldn't you advance instead of fighting to maintain the status quo?

The end of the fight.
I have a vision for gun rights in America that you very likely share. The only difference is that we disagree on how to get there. We've been moving the ball forward, one yard at a time, for decades now, and much is owed to this strategy. But the balances have tipped, and we've got a whole new generation who is open to the idea that private ownership of guns has value in a civilized society. We need to take this momentum and direct it to where we can make the most progress. If we don't take this opportunity to show everyone, not just those who choose to listen, but EVERYONE, that private citizens with guns are doing their part every day, we could lock this up for generations to come.

I hope that we haven't been on the defensive for so long, fighting tooth and nail for meager gains so often, that we've become afraid to floor it when we see a path to the finish line.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Gun myths that make me GROAN

Despite the fact that most of us have the collected knowledge of the world literally in our pockets, there are many myths which refuse to die.

While myths about getting red wine out of your carpet or the best way to repel insects may exist, myths about how to effectively defend your life must not. Yet nary a youtube video, forum post, or blog lacks a comment espousing the same tired, completely disproved old wives' tales.

So why am I adding fuel to an already tremendous bonfire while the people I want to reach are obviously too busy staring at the sun? I really don't know. I suppose I just need to vent.

Lets start with the list, then explain them afterward.

Knockdown Power: If I shoot someone with my .45/12 Gauge/30-06/.50 BMG/20mm, he's going to vanish into the horizon, likely enter low Earth orbit, and suffocate in the low oxygen environment. ONE SHOT STOP!

Pain Power: If I shoot someone with rock salt or bird shot, he'll say, "OUCH! I stood my ground after you pointed that shotgun at me because I didn't think it would hurt, but clearly, I was wrong. Good day, Sir. I bid you adeu."

Pistol Power: Handguns are more than enough to stop someone, why would I need a giant shotgun? What is this, world war two?

.45 Magic Bullet: The .45 ACP: Because shooting someone twice is silly.

Shotgun Spread: I call my 12 gauge "The Hallway Cleaner" because all I need to do is hold it out my bedroom door, and pull the trigger, and everything will be swept away by the wall of lead.

Knockdown Power
Perpetuated by: The ammunition industry, movies.
The Facts: There are two simple reasons why this is very wrong. The first is called inertia, which is a brand new theory you might not have heard of since it was asserted in 1687, and has stubbornly persisted for 325 years. Somehow every child with a grade-school education knows this, but I guess you don't need a grade-school education to post comments on youtube.

Inertia says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is great because you already know this when you feel recoil. The force that shoots your projectile forward is the EXACT SAME as the force that pushes you back. So why don't you fly backwards at 2200 feet per second? It's because you're bigger than your projectile! The force on a massive object, like a human body, translates to less motion than it does on a less massive object. If you wanted to knock someone back, you could fire a 1.3 million grain projectile at them, but if you did that, you would be knocked back at the same velocity as your projectile. PHYSICS!

The second reason this doesn't work is because projectiles don't transfer their energy perfectly into soft targets. If you hit a baseball with a bat, it will fly through the air with the energy the bat transferred to it. If you hit a gallon jug of milk with a bat, the jug will crumple, pop, and likely spray milk everywhere. Similarly, if you jab a needle at a block of wood, the wood will move. But if you jab it at an apple, the needle will sink into the apple.

The projectile is doing more than transferring energy into your target, it's puncturing into your target, and having complex interactions with the matter within your target. Ignorant people sometimes counter this by arguing that if the target has a bullet resistant vest on, the energy will transfer perfectly into push-back force, and ergo-ipsum-phalus knock your armored attacker over. Again, wrong. See the first reason; the shooter of the projectile IS getting the energy transferred perfectly into his body, and the shooter is not being knocked backwards.

Pain Power
Perpetuated by: Gran'pappies.
The Facts: Rock salt in the chest hurts. Birdshot in the stomach hurts. But hurting does not mean stopping. This "recommendation" usually comes with the footnote that the first shot is the pain shot, and the next is the grown-up self-defense load, offering the explanation, "If the that first shot doesn't stop him, the second and third will." Which seems to be an admission that the first shot is a kind of warning shot that stupidly carries the message, "Yeah, I shot you with a shotgun, but if you don't stop, I'll shoot you for REAL this time!"

PCP is a drug, but so is adrenaline. Expecting your attacker to feel pain is not a solid bet. Arguing, "Well, I'd certainly stop!" is even worse. Meth is turning people all over America into zombies with no regard for their personal safety, who would stab you with a steak knife for the fiver in your wallet. I don't want to hear that criminals used to be civilized, respectful, and know well enough to back down once they get an ouchie. I want you to deal with the reality of the threats that exist, and defend yourself like you mean it.

Pistol Power
Perpetuated by: Movies, teevee.
The Facts: All handguns suck. A pistol is a tool of convenience. It is small, light, easy to carry, and available when you need it. It is a very useful tool, but its strengths are also its weaknesses. Pistols are hard to shoot, they have small capacity, they shoot small bullets, and they deliver much less power to the target.

The inflated perception of pistols usually comes from our heroes in the movies and on teevee. Where pistols serve the dual purpose of eliminating minor bad guys in one shot, while merely wounding major bad guys long enough for a satisfying quip before death. The other reason handguns are so prevalent is that actors like it when people see their faces, and that's hard to do with a proper cheek weld on an AR-15. So everyone important almost always uses a pistol, except when things get serious and someone has to pull out the big guns. But even then, they're usually fired from the hip for the same reason above.

.45 Magic Bullet
Perpetuated by: Internet Commandos.
The Facts: Modern pistol ammunition can expand to double its size, making the difference between 9mm and .45 ACP negligible. While the expanded .45 will still be larger than the expanded 9mm, the fact above remains. All handguns suck. What doesn't suck is scoring hits on vitals that damage tissue, leading to blood loss. You can do that with a .45 and you can do that with a .25. Bigger holes do mean more damage, but there is absolutely ZERO guarantee of the much bandied "One shot stop."

If you're defending your life with a handgun, the thought that you need only shoot once is simply dangerous. You must practice rapid fire with your self defense handguns.

Shotgun Spread
Perpetuated by: Movies, video games.
The Facts: An 18" barreled, full bore 12 gauge shotgun fired at indoor ranges can expect to have the pattern of shot covered by a tea cup. Walk to the end of your hallway, or wall opposite your bed, and count all the areas a tea cup can cover that don't include you.

Don't take my word on this, take your home defense shotgun to the range, and put your double-aught buck on paper at the ranges you find in your home. Your "scattergun" does not fire a city bus down your hallway or across your bedroom. You must aim it in order to hit your target.

Ok, Mister Mythbuster, what DOES work?
I'm sorry to be disappointingly obvious, but: Rapid delivery of trauma to vital organs precipitating a sudden drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.

That's it. That will stop any human being, any time.

To accomplish this, you need the following things.

1. Shot penetration to reach vitals.
2. Ammunition that will damage vitals.
3. Ability to hit vital areas.

Gosh, that's boring! Who wants to argue on the internet about that?

Shot penetration to reach vitals
When we are cut, we do bleed, but we don't bleed anywhere near as much as if someone cut our spleen. We want to damage vital organs to have the fastest impact, and we can't do that with birdshot. Generally, 12 inches of penetration into ballistic gelatin is the minimum, and allows for heavy jackets, rib cages, and other real world variables.

Ammunition that will damage vitals
A full metal jacket .22 will do less tissue damage than a .45 mushroomed open with spinning copper petals as sharp as razors. A low velocity .223 FMJ will make a neat hole, while a high velocity .223 soft point will tumble and break into many pieces which will scatter into a target's vitals. The impact your bullet has on the target is generally called the wound channel, and there are different ways to achieve a large one. Heavy, high velocity rounds made to stay together generally rely on hydrostatic shock, while smaller, low velocity rounds try to make the projectile deform into a more damaging shape as it passes through the body. Make sure that the ammunition you're shooting is designed to maximize tissue damage, and functions as designed in your firearm. Hollow-point bullets that expand completely out of a 6" Magnum may act like full metal jackets out of a 2.5" snub nose revolver.

Ability to hit vital areas.
This is simply skill with your firearm, and frankly, is probably the most important. A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45. Firearms skill is an interesting thing. Some people just shoot revolvers better than automatics. They can certainly practice more, but if they don't feel comfortable getting hits on vital areas with a gun, they shouldn't rely on it. Ammo is much cheaper than a funeral. Practice on human-sized targets until you can reliably hit vital areas. Keep in mind that long guns are simply easier to shoot, so you can save money practicing with something that doesn't take as long to learn.

See? Was that so hard? I hope everyone I was talking to can take a few minutes out of their busy day of posting comments that start with, "Well, I don't know anything about any fancy physics, but I always figured..." to read some actual truth.

Quote of the disinclination

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
~Douglas Adams

Saturday, August 04, 2012

I see your seatbelt laws...

... and raise you a seatbelt shirt.

One of the things that surprised me about driving across America was the seatbelt laws. In fact, it was the first sign I saw after crossing the border into Free America (Arizona). Driving though Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, I expected some or most not to have seatbelt laws. Every single one did.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Organization, 32 states have "primary" seatbelt laws, which affect everyone in a vehicle. While 17 have "secondary" seatbelt laws, which have minor limitations. Only New Hampshire has no seatbelt laws.

Contrast this to the motorcycle helmet law stats from the same site, where 19 states (including TN!) have a universal helmet law. The rest, save three, have age limitations which usually expire at 18 or 21. Some even depend on your insurance coverage, which is humorous. The three with no helmet laws are Illinois (!), Iowa and New Hampshire. A careful observer may note that NH broke down and made a helmet law for bicyclists under 16! I'm sure every month someone shows up at a city council meeting and yells, "IT'S LIKE KING GEORGE TAKING A DUMP ON MY COUCH!"

Either way you slice this, seatbelt laws fall well within the category of "For your own good!" laws. I don't remember a rash of people killed by being struck with a human body flying through a windshield. I suppose we could check with New Hampshire to be certain. The only person in danger when you don't wear a seatbelt is you. It's dangerous and foolish to do, but I don't have a problem with someone making that decision for themselves.

I expected that beyond the wire surrounding our aspiring socialist states, these laws wouldn't exist. But they do. Even in the states that pop to mind whenever someone says, "freedom."

Of all the states in the union, I guessed Texas as most likely to have no seatbelt law, as they've declined federal highway funding in order to cut the strings that come attached to that money. It was a surprise to learn that "Don't mess with Texas" wasn't a warning to oppressors to leave them alone, but a warning that the state is set in its ways and may fine you $10,000 for littering. To me, there isn't much difference between oppressively restrictive and oppressively polite.

Many states, like Texas, are becoming more economically free, and showing great gains even in this economy. But increased economic freedom is practically beneficial to the state as it draws more money in taxes. Other countries such as Ireland are discovering the benefits to free market capitalism as well, but this is still only economic freedom, and it still is in the best interest of the state.

Economic freedom is not personal freedom.

If Hitler discovered that free market capitalism made the Fatherland flush with capital, it would only have empowered his oppression and aggression. It's hard to cheer the financial success of a state that doesn't value personal freedoms.

Seatbelt laws seems to be a bit of an odd duck. Over the past few decades, more personal freedoms have returned to the people in many states, yet seat belt laws remain. It's possible that these laws remain only for the increased highway funding, and they aren't enforced as a primary offense, but I haven't been able to confirm that outside of anecdotal evidence.

Friday, August 03, 2012

"Why we lined up at Chick-fil-a"

National Review: Why We Lined Up at Chick-fil-A

Lee Habeeb, VP of content at Salem Radio Network, has an excellent article which says all the things I've been trying to turn into ones and zeroes.

I went to Chick-fil-a on appreciation day even though I support gay marriage, because my gut said it was the right thing to do. Afterwards, I read many articles on the topic to see why people went or stayed home, trying to find hints to how and why I felt the need to go, because I wasn't completely sure of my motivations.

I was very happy to find this article which Lee apparently wrote for me :). It says all the things I wanted to say perfectly, and thinking about it helped me solidify other thoughts.

I don't like it when people tell me to boycott something, and I like it even less when I'm attacked for refusing to participate. I don't like tearing down, I like building up. Show me a buy-cott I can support, and I'll show you my wallet. But when self-righteous groups and politicians try to stop me from doing something, I feel a sudden drive to do the opposite. I'm just an onery libertarian like that.

It is a shame that the LGBT community's boycott was overshadowed by politicians trying to score points through constitutionally repugnant threats, but that's the way it turned out. If it's any consolation, they felt the burn, and will think twice in the future.

I am a big believer in voting with your dollars. I think it's every citizen's right to support or not support companies with their hard-earned cash. But there are many corporations, non-profits, comedians, actors, production companies, video game publishers, religions, orangutangs, and breakfast cereals that I patronize who don't match my beliefs.

It would be impossible to only give money to people who match your beliefs 100%, so we all have our personal thresholds.

Chick-fil-a, and countless other Christian groups, do great work for the poor. They donate their time and money to great causes that I agree with. To me, their positive impact on America and the world is not negated by the fact that they don't agree with me on gay marriage.

Churchill said, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." I know there are homosexuals out there to whom gay marriage isn't the sole deciding issue in their politics. If Osama Bin Laden wanted to destroy America, subjugate women, and rule in an oppressive theocracy, but was totally on board with the whole gay marriage thing, I wouldn't expect the LGBT organizations to support him. (Though I can't help but wonder in the world of politics.) There are degrees of value that must be measured to maintain some level of intellectual honesty.

The day may come when Chick-fil-a's values do more harm than good in my estimation, but that day was not August 1st.

Evaluate the breadth of contributions and damages before you decide your personal threshold of support. We're not simpletons who can only formulate blanket yea or nay positions based on one minor subject.

Yes, "minor subject."

Whether or not a bureaucrat in your state capital stamps a form with a certain word on it that confirms your deep love and personal commitment to your soul mate IS a minor subject in the grand scheme of things. Deep love and personal commitment don't come from a form.

Somebody buy that man a rifle Gun Owner Saves Cop's Life by Shooting Deranged Gunman! (VIDEO)

Citizen helps cop pinned in gunfight by making 165 yard shot on the gunman with his pistol.

H/T Uncle

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Encounter Defusal

At the last Collexion I started talking firearms with a visitor from another Hackerspace. This particular gathering had a Ruby meeting in it that was showing a loud presentation, and it was still pretty hot in the building, so we stepped outside to continue talking without disturbing anyone.

This hackerspace (like most), is run on a shoestring budget, which means low rent in not-so-great neighborhoods, so I was happy to be open carrying while we talked.

While we chatted there were many people walking to and fro on the sidewalk, but two saw us and approached. I was leaning against the corner of the building with my fellow hacker standing opposite me, they approached on my 9 o'clock, and I didn't turn my body toward them, not feeling the need to reveal I was carrying.

One white female, blonde and short, holding wires and a cell phone, who appeared to be in the early stages of tweaker-dom. One black male, tall with a Gilligan hat, who seemed to exude "dazed and confused." He wasn't particularly threatening in any way.

She got within 15 feet and both pleadingly and disjointedly explained that she was stuck across town, and her cell phone was dead, and she needed to charge it, but she only had a car charger, so if we have cars, could she charge her battery in one of them?

While the story had WTF written all over it, her body language and the situation reeked of JDFR long before the story began.

She looked pleadingly at my friend, who parried. "Sorry, I took the bus." He didn't. Then she looked at me, and seemed to notice her story had not penetrated, but still waited for an answer. "We're not interested."

This was the important part, I showed her that I did not trust her, and it was up to her to decide how this was going to end. She could either shrug her shoulders and walk away sullenly, which would probably precipitate me second guessing myself and feeling bad for a bit, or she could get indignant and get aggressive. She chose to get aggressive, but fortunately, did so while retreating.

At first she seemed confused, then as she started walking away, she started to yell at me for being so rude and refusing to help her poor stranded self. Her friend ambled along as she got further away and louder and angrier, yelling how God was going to strike my ugly ass down, and she wasn't going to be sad when I was struck down. Just before she disappeared behind another building she seemed to run out of things to say, but kept glaring at me. I took advantage of the lull to tell her to have a nice day.

After thinking about this, I realized that if she had chosen to advance toward me, I would have had to face her, back up, yell at her to back off, and put my hand on my gun. This was a sobering thought after the situation had already defused in an amusing way. It's a pretty crappy option to consider, but the only one crappier is doing the same with the only place to put your hand being your swinging cod.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Open carry roundup

The bank (drive through atm :p), gun shop (it had a sign asking for unloaded carry), a business meeting, Michaels crafts store, Chick-fil-a, Colexion, Harbor Freight, Womens' health clinic, Subway, Cici's Pizza, and Rite-aid.

The gun shop was a fine place with an older proprietor to match the older guns they stocked. I unloaded and dropped the full mag in my other pocket in the foyer (though I didn't like touching my gun), and had a fine time talking old guns with them without any mention of my unloaded handgun. I think I might forget next time and see if they really mind.

The business meeting was with an owner of a gun shop, so I didn't think he would mind, and he didn't.

The Chick-fil-a was an exercise in attention, because it was shoulder to shoulder in the line, and I kept turning to see the people behind me. Had a short chat with the manager about how busy they were for the appreciation day.

Colexion was just fine, though I was a little worried that I didn't know them all very well yet, and hackers are notoriously socialist. One in particular was visiting from Louisville (I mean, "luhvull"), and he was a recently converted gunnie, so he was pretty interested to talk guns (Say hey, if you're reading this!). When he mentioned his quick conversion I was worried, because quick conversions usually involve a blindside with the reality bat, but he was starting to question the premises of his casual anti-gun-ness, and realized he didn't know enough about the topic to form an honest opinion. Of course, after he informed himself, he saw the pro-gun side made more sense. An interesting thing happened while we were talking, but that'll be another post.

Harbor Freight was great because I got a compliment on my firearm, and another when I whipped out my pen to sign before he could hand me one. "I like my customers prepared." Obviously, I like being prepared.

I was a little worried about the appointment my wife had at the Womans' Health Clinic, because it would have been extremely easy for them to argue "some might be put off by a firearm" but the only person who said something was the technician who asked me what kind of gun I had. "What have you got there?" "It's a Springfield XD in 9mm." "Oh. Is that like government issue?" "No, I'm just a private citizen choosing to carry." "That's great. I need to get one soon. I'm worried they'll take 'em away." Nice.

When we went to Rite-aid, I was with my friend who was also open carrying, following my wife who was looking for some gum. We both came in following her, talking about guns or video games or some other topic, but I half-noticed someone eyeing us. I paid him no mind (act like it's normal, and other people will too), and didn't see him again until we checked out, and I realized he was a security guard who didn't seem to mind us very much at all. Getting caught up in the conversation we were having, we wound up loitering outside the Rite-aid at around 10pm talking about guns. From the time we walked in the door, we had probably been there for 15 minutes, when a cop pulled up on the opposite side of the parking lot to my 3 o'clock. My friend broke the conversation to say, "He's probably here for us." I shrugged, and stumbled a couple times trying to resume conversation while preparing myself mentally for the encounter. I kept my right arm clear of my firearm so he could easily see it, and feel compelled to note that I was wearing light colors with a big black Galco leather holster. Unfortunately, by the time I hit my conversation stride I was continuing the conversation about the choice between a shotgun or a sub-machine gun as the cop strode, head down, around the other side of the pillar I was leaning against, and entered the Rite-aid. I smiled at my friend, "Have faith." My wife added, "It may not help that we're basically loitering here." We wondered if he might have entered because he thought we were still in there, but he would have done so differently if he was there for us. Regardless, I didn't want to make the Rite-aid guys feel uncomfortable, and we walked back to our cars to talk more.

I don't know if I'm paying more attention or if I'm just noticing it more, but I can see people glancing at my gun. My earlier question of "Did anyone even notice?" seems to have an answer. They can see it, they just don't seem to mind. That's just fine with me.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Quote of the dangly bits

Attempts to gather some soup-to-nuts beginner grilling information fell flat, since I was apparently supposed to be born with the natural ability to grill meat on fire as soon as my androgynous zygote checked the box for dangly bits.
I love going through the archives.