April 19, 1775

The Revolution Begins

The clash began on April 19, 1775 when more about 700 British soldiers were given what they thought were secret orders to destroy colonial military supplies in Concord, Massachusetts. Fortunately, thanks to a rather elaborate colonial intelligence network, led by the Sons of Liberty, the Patriots were aware that their supplies were at risk, and were able to move them to different locations long before the British began to move. Also, thanks to the daring rides of a few brave men, the colonial militia knew that an engagement with the British Army was imminent.

Hand drawn depiction of the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston, by J. DeCosta July 29, 1775.

The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the “Shot Heard Round the World.” The colonial militia, a band of just 77 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.

While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.

The American War for Independence was now in full swing.

The PDW – Revised

I was messing around in my old articles looking for something and saw the title of something I had forgotten I wrote about. Forgotten because it was writing in 2013. So besides the industry having changed drastically in the last decade, I wanted to see if my own ideas on the subject had evolved as well.

Link to original article: The PDW

As I said, a lot has changed. Industry wise, affordable, reliable optics are now the norm. It is more ad more common to se guns without back up iron sights because the red dots are tried and true. There are new offerings in compact firearm platforms, such a  plethora of them that I wont even try to name all the options. Also, products such as purpose build AR15 lowers that do not require a mag block to be inserted to utilize glock or colt stick magazines, buffer tube “braces” (and who are we kidding here but I like mine so I’ll play the game and not just call it a stock), and folding buffer tube mechanisms have all increased the already versatile AR15 into a whole new realm.

As always, I am coming at this from a civilian standpoint for civilian uses. I’m not looking at full auto or proprietary calibers such as the 4.6×30 that the MP7 shoots. I’ll leave the 5.7 in there as it is at this time a pretty common round, although good 5.7 that even the FBI and Secret Service tried to like was found wanting and they moved on from the round. The first time I wrote about this, I concluded that a sidearm is just as good. I’m hoping to refute that today but along the same industry lines, developments in the pistol world have come along way as well.

The potential uses of the civilian PDW hasn’t really changed. It was developed for drivers and executive protection details to be a concealable yet powerful option to employ. Light weight, low recoil, high capacity… useful for 0 to, oh I don’t know 150 yards? Naw, I’d say 0-100 max, but whatever. Again, here’s my problem, a quality red dot sight on a quality pistol with a quality shooter can make 100 yard shots with their sidearm, so where does a PDW fit in?

I have no empirical evidence of multiple studies where a pistol with a red dot sight (RDS) was ran against a PDW type weapon in differing courses of fire to see if there really is a difference in accuracy or speed of engagement. I think most of us would think something with a stock should be more accurate and controllable (faster) than a pistol with an RDS but is it a big enough difference? I don’t know.

The real difference maker here is the level of proficiency and continued training of the shooter. I’m not bad with a pistol right now, could I pick up an AR based PDW and do just as well running back to back courses of fire? Maybe. And maybe that’s a win for the PDW, that its easier, I don’t think so though. You have to know the firing system and furthermore, know the situation. I can wring out an AK pretty well, I can handle an AR too – as long as it doesn’t give me some weird ass malfunction cause I don’t train enough on clearance drills – and because I am a student of all this junk, I know if all I have is a .22 mag or a 5.7, each target gets MULTIPLE bullets. I read once that the official standard for the US Secret Service for a P90 with the 5.7 round was 8-15 bullets per target. We’re not talking double taps here, we are talking as a standard, if it needed shooting once, it needed shooting a-fricken-lot just to subdue the threat. Apparently in some numb nuts brain, that was an acceptable balance of terminal ballistics versus magazine capacity. This isn’t a caliber war thing, this is a tactics thing. If all I’ve got is a weak caliber, yeah  shoot them a lot. The salesman from FN deserves a metal for the snow job they pulled.

Side note, that was with law enforcement only ammo, full auto and short barrels on those P90s. Some might say 8-15 rounds isn’t that big of a deal when you have 50 in the magazine. I say in a reactionary setting, when your target is actively trying to kill you or others, 8-15 rounds is a pretty big deal.

So accuracy and speed versus a pistol, I’m, calling a it a wash… kind of. Range matters. At 10 yards, heck 25 yards, I think its a wash. Much beyond that though and transitioning to a 2nd and 3rd and 4th target, while achieving good hits on those targets with relative speed, the balance starts to go in favor of the stocked PDW.

And you know, now’s a good to hit on a term I just used, a reactionary setting. As a civilian, if you are in a situation that you may have to employ a weapon and use deadly force, stuff has already gone sideways in a really bad way. I’m not going to say defensive, but the PDW is a reactionary weapon. You are reacting to something that you did not intend to happen. This could be a riot/mob blocking a road, this could be an attempted robbery or obduction, this could be an active shooter, what it isn’t is the nice easy drive home or shopping trip you hope or every day. I t is a reaction to something you did not intend on happening.  intended on. This is not the weapon that you purposefully choose while setting an ambush or whatever, it needs to be accessible, quickly employable while also fairly concealable for every day where shit doesn’t go wrong.

As I’ve kind of touched on, I don’t really want to do a big caliber thing, but there are some considerations to take into account now that were not really available before. Namely 300 Black Out. I don’t own a gun in 300 so a subject matter expert on that round I am not. What I do know is its a bad mother. It doesn’t care about short barrels, it doesn’t blow out your ear drums if subsonic and suppressed, and it is main stream, aka there are many firearm platforms available in it and you don’t have to reload just to get it. 223 doesn’t like short barrels, 9mm over penetrates, 12 guage is limited for capacity and range… there are always disadvantages. Knowing them and working with them is the trick. One isnt really better than the other in my mind. 223 will go through soft armor just as well as 5.7, and cheaper too, but without as many rounds available in one compact magazine. 9mm is an obvious contender unless you worry about overpenetration in an urban setting or being able to extend out to a medium range… never a free lunch.

So instead of continuing to examine a whole bunch of pros and cons, I’ve concluded to choose what I choose, let others like what they like, and get freaking good with what I have. Firefighters have a fast response time because they practice donning their turnout gear quickly and efficiently, there is no reason that you shouldn’t practice pulling your PDW out of your bag, unassing your ‘stuck’ vehicle, extending the stock, chambering a round, and delivering rounds on target from various positions at various ranges. You do that with any sort of  proficiency and your PDW will serve you, because you will be the weapon, not it.

 

Woobies are useful crap.

Just to be clear, I’ve never been in the United States Armed Forces. The mystical powers of the “woobie” is loud and proud there. I have however worn a pack and slept in the field, in the woods, sometimes unplanned, more times than I can count. I was out with a group two weeks ago, working away, and we were tasked with a RON (remain over night), well that was fine, although none of us had planned for it before hand. Scratch that, one of us had planned for it. So while the smaller guys made beds in, or on, the trucks, us normal sized over six foot tall people all stared at the ground for a minute, said “good enough,” and laid down. It was hot out and the weeds were soft, softer than my helmet which I tried to use as a pillow for about twelve seconds, so it really wasn’t that bad. We were only scheduled to go down for about four hours. I can nap on a bed of nails for four hours, not a big deal. So four of us laid down in the bushes and got ready to pretend that it was the other guys all snoring.  While three of us snuggled in, the fourth, really snuggled in. Dirty SOB opens his day pack and pulls out a poncho liner. I scoffed, then looked at him wrapping up and getting way cozier than we were. He was out in no time.

Was it needed? No. Was it wanted and he probably napped better than us? Yeah. Dude had just come off of back to back deployments in the sand, and he loved his “woobie.” I tried a poncho liner once as a throw blanket when my sleeping bag got wet during a rain storm on a hunting trip, it was next to useless, but dang if I didn’t want something after seeing him with his.

An hour on some forums and two days of waiting on Amazon, and I had a brand new SnugPak Jungle Blanket stuffed in my day pack. Why the SnugPak? because for as much as Im going to use it, I’m not paying $150 for the Kifaru Woobie, and the SnugPak gets better reviews than the ebay/sportsmansguide/cheaper than crap surplus poncho liners.

The SnugPak weighs 25 ounces and covers 76 x 64 inches. Knockoff military liners weigh two pounds and cover 87 x 64. So its probably a wash, but whatever, better reviews on something I’m not planning to have to use to keep me alive, just to keep me a little more comfortable when I want it. That’s worth it. If its windy, it’ll help with the wind, if the ground is wet, dusty, burnt from fire, or otherwise gross, it becomes a ground cloth. I’ll carry a pound and a half of snivel gear for that.

So yes, it’s mostly mental, but it does make “being miserable anyway” a little more comfortable. It’s not the be-all-end-all of foul weather gear, but for its size, it’s pretty damned good. Durable, inexpensive, effective, can handle wetness, and if you tear it up too badly, you throw it in the trash and get another with no guilt. I’ve tried it out twice so far in relatively good conditions just to use it, and, well it was there. Did I sleep better with it? Maybe. Where its going to come in handy though is the times when you don’t expect to need it, and then, I’ll be glad I have it. Probably.

What is being “in shape?”

I’m in shape. Always have been, just something that is. I am an active dude, always have been because I enjoy being active. I never put any thought to it until recently, it was just a thing. I’ve also been told that because I’ve never been on the other side of the curve, I don’t get it. I disagree with that. Working out, being “in shape,” to me is about 90% a mental exercise.  Even before my knees were garbage, I hated running, but I did it. I hate it not because it physically hurts, but because I mentally don’t enjoy it. For twenty years I have been a crappy runner, and every single day that I do work out, it is a struggle up to the very last step before I either go for a run or hit the gym. I love carbs, I can easily binge on total non-nutritional junk, and I want to be lazy and not go work out, but I do it because I have never finished a workout and wished that I hadn’t have done it.

I am not all that old, but I left behind the idea of a “beach body” a long time ago. I just don’t care about the idea of looking attractive to what amounts to no one. I do care about looking attractive to someone I am interested in – funny because females are so much less visually driven – but I just don’t care about the big muscles anymore. I’m a relatively big guy. In my early twenties I was at 6’4 220. Those numbers sound impressive and perhaps even looked a little intimidating. For how in-athletic I really was compared to other people my size, I laugh at the notion. Fast forward ten years and I’ve dropped a good 25 pounds out of my body, whether it was muscle mass/weight, or unnoticed fat, I’m honestly not sure. I don’t feel as strong as I once did, but I mostly attribute that to treating my body like a battering ram and forklift for a lot of years. What I do feel now is more well rounded. And that’s my goal with my “being in shape,” long term fitness.

I don’t take the examples of other people into play in my life as much as a lot of people seem to. I don’t look at a 45 year old co-worker with a belly who cant go up a flight of stairs without wheezing and say, “I never want to be like them.” I also don’t look at a guy I respect quite a bit who is 65 and can out work most 20 year olds and say “I want to be like him.” I look at me, and want to be “me” for as long as possible. Long term health, stability, fitness, that is in the back of my mind, but when I focus on my current levels, the spot on my personal fitness rollercoaster that I am at right now, I am simply competing with myself to see if I can improve where I am at on the track. I am not interested in my bicep size or my bench press numbers, I honestly couldn’t tell you what I could press and if I tried, it’d probably be seen as “weak” by the guys that love to look at numbers. What I am interested in is my work capacity. I like being able to last longer on a hike, work longer on a job, have more stamina in a soccer game, or if it happened, in a fight, than most people would.

So I don’t 5×5 or 5-3-1 for bulk gains, I do high intensity interval training, stamina drills, balance work, you know, the stuff that will actually help you in everyday life! Big thighs and chiseled shoulders are impressive, the explosive energy that those big dudes can bring to the table is impressive, but after that young, big bulky dude is winded after the first twenty minutes of bucking bales in the farm field, I am just getting warmed up for the long haul. Or that’s the idea anyway.

To me, work capacity is more important for long term health as well as the short term, every day life. Mentally its more beneficial for the long term as well, having to push when you’re already smoked, keeping your focus through the complex movements, knowing how your body is feeling and how much more it can take. I don’t subscribe to “farm strong” or tout the benefits of a Keto diet, but I know a little about them. I don’t talk to other people about fitness. If someone brings it up, I’m going to find out about their mindset in life before I go very in depth. If they are “in a cut for the spring” I say, “good for you! Go get em!” and go about my day.  If someone wants to talk about quality of life due to nutritional and fitness benefits, AND they have been on both ends of the roller coaster, that is interesting to me.

Scary Looks and Scary Words

This is not without bias, but I saw it, liked it, modified it, and am now posting it so we can at least try to get on the same page.

1) The AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle. The “AR” is the original platform designer, ArmaLite, which was founded as a division of Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation. “15” was the pattern for the rifle. Nothing more and nothing less. The AR-15 is nothing new, it was designed and first sold in the mid-1950’s. It was and is designed and manufactured for civilian use, specifically because it is semi-automatic, fires one round per trigger pull, and is not capable of select-fire or automatic fire. The AR-15 is NOT a machine gun. “Assault Weapons” and “Assault Rifle” is a made up term coined by the media in the 1980’s, and then used in order to create hysteria in an effort to ban their possession.

2) The AR-15 is not a “military style” weapon. Nor is it a “weapon of war”. Not one military in the world, including the US armed forces, uses the AR-15. The military uses the M4 or M16, which while superficially resembling the AR-15, it is not. The M4 and M16 are capable of semi auto AND fully automatic fire (i.e. an ACTUAL assault rifle). Saying “that’s just semantics” or that they are the same is like saying that your Mom’s ’04 Toyota hatchback is the same as a NASCAR race car with a custom race engine, custom high performance suspension, hand built high performance transmission and capable of exceeding 200mph. They are not the same. The AR-15 is, by definition, a “civilian style” weapon. Intentionally ignoring the distinction is either intellectually ignorant or intentionally dishonest.

3) No one needs a machine gun? The AR-15 is NOT a machine gun, nor can it be readily or legally converted to one, pursuant to the following: Machine guns are already highly restricted at the Federal level since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Legal ownership of machine guns is highly regulated and requires substantial paperwork, rigorous background checks, time, and expense. You can not walk into any gun store (or gun show) in the US, and walk out minutes later with a “machine gun.” You can’t. I can’t. No one can. Its a lie that you can. The average gang-banger or even a deranged psychotic student is NOT toting a machine gun, another Hollywood / main stream media myth. While a semi-auto civilian AR-15 might be legally purchased for anywhere from $500 to $1,500.00, the few actual transferable machine guns in circulation in the US start at $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 and depending on type quickly rise into the multiple tens of thousands of dollars. No one needs a machine gun? Well guess what….hardly anyone has one, and not one single machine gun has been used in a school shooting… EVER. Fact.

4) The AR-15 does not fire 700 rounds per minute. It’s physically impossible. Even a military issued M4 or M16, while achieving a sustained rate of fully automatic gunfire, is limited to the capacity of its 30-round magazine before it needs to be reloaded. Hollywood movies would have you believe that firearms don’t need to be reloaded, but they do. While a machine gun could theoretically achieve a much higher rate of fire than the semi-auto AR-15 (again, one-bullet-per trigger-pull), you still could not load a military M4 or M16 fast enough to fire enough 30-round magazines in a minute to achieve the main stream media’s fantasy of some ungodly high round per minute rate. It’s impossible, and again, ignorant, or a lie.

5) ALL GUNS are deadly, that is their purpose. Show me a gun that isn’t capable of killing, and I’ll show you a gun manufacturer that is going out of business. No one buys a firearm that isn’t capable of killing. Trying to say that you only want to ban “the dangerous guns” is exactly the same as saying you want to ban all guns… because ignorant, or lying.

6) The bullet doesn’t care what gun it is fired from. The AR-15 is no more deadly than any other rifle, and frankly less destructive than most others. The AR-15 fires an intermediate cartridge — the .223 — which is not particularly known for it’s stopping power, nor is it known as a long distance round. It is however known for being a light weight, low recoiling, relatively easy to shoot cartridge, which is what makes it accurate and safe to operate in the hands of law abiding men and women alike, both small and large in stature. There are many other semi-auto rifles that fire much larger and more devastating cartridges capable of causing far more injury and death, but lets not give them any ideas on what else to attack…

7) The AR-15 scares me. The AR-15 is no different in function that any one of a great number of other “less scary looking” semi automatic rifles. While the AR-15 is the most popular civilian rifle in the hands of law abiding citizens in the US, there are literally 1000’s of other makes and models of semi-auto rifles that function identically to the AR-15. The fact that the the AR-15 is black doesn’t make it more dangerous than any other semi-automatic rifle with pretty wood furniture. The reason the AR-15 is so popular is because its features & relative light weight make it easier to operate safely and fire accurately. It’s easily customized to the individual shooter, and has a sleek modular ergonomic design — it’s basically the iPhone X of rifles. Would you rather people shoot guns that are less safe? Would you rather they shoot rifles that are less accurate? These are what the majority of law enforcement carry. Do you want them to have a less safe and accurate rifle? So when you say you want to ban the AR-15, you really are saying you want to ban one of the safest of all semi-automatic firearms.

8) All pistols (not revolvers) are semi-automatic too. Pistols take far more lives every year than AR-15’s. In fact, Pistols take far more lives every year than ALL RIFLES of ALL TYPES combined. So why focus on the AR-15, when the real instrument of death is the pistol? It’s because the main stream media has for years ignored the murders from handguns, and only seeks to sensationalize the statistically very rare occurrences of actual mass shootings with an AR-15, either for ratings, or to push an agenda. While all murders, particularly of school children, are tragic — and no gun owner or member of The NRA would claim otherwise, the small percentage of total deaths per year caused by the AR-15 simply do not support the false outrage. But again, lets not give them any more ideas to further the “ban” talk.

9) All guns scare me. I get it. The AR-15 is particularly scary to you. It’s black, has a lot of scary looking attachments that you’re not sure what they do exactly, and well, it’s a gun. For non-gun owners, all guns seem intimidating and scary. They. Can. Kill. It’s natural for people to fear what they do not understand or the unfamiliar, especially when it can cause lethal harm. It’s your defense mechanism, and this is normal and healthy. You have recognized this fear in yourself, you don’t want to take a human life or kill anything or anyone, and you have realized that if you did own a firearm that perhaps your emotions might get the best of you, and you might use a gun in an unlawful manner resulting in injury or death to you or someone you know. You don’t trust yourself with something as powerful and scary as a gun, and have come to the conclusion that you should not own a firearm. We get it, and you’re probably right. YOU should not own a firearm if you’re not going to be responsible for your own actions, but for you to then project your fear and inadequacy on others is unfounded. There are millions of law abiding citizens that are not scared to accept personal responsibility for their actions, respect the function and capabilities of firearms, have educated themselves on the safe operation of firearms, have trained with their use, and strongly believe in their right to self defense. You may not like guns, but in this free society, no one is forcing you to buy one.

10) Only the Police should have guns. Is this the same police that you were protesting a few months back because they shot an unarmed man? The same police that you were claiming are becoming overly militaristic, corrupt, and fascist? I’m not by any means saying all cops are bad…quite the contrary as some of my best friends are honest hard working law enforcement officers and I’m quite aware that they do a nearly impossible job and under the worst of circumstances — but — you should probably know that not all cops are “gun guys”. In fact, the overwhelming number of law enforcement officers only fire their weapons a few times per year to maintain their qualifications so they can keep their jobs. In nearly all cases, outside of special units (like S.W.A.T. teams for example), this amounts to most law enforcement officers only firing a few hundred rounds per year. Guess what? That’s not enough. But budget constraints and the cost of ammunition limit how much training we afford our Police. Meanwhile, most civilian gun owners who shoot or train regularly, exceed a few hundred rounds of ammo in a single range session. Most civilian competitive shooters, and there are many, shoot 1000’s and 1000’s of rounds per year. Have you ever seen the number of rounds fired in typical officer involved shootings? How many of those rounds fired went astray and missed their intended target? The average Police Officer is not a sniper, nor is reality anything like the movies where every round fired results in a bad guy going down. It takes training, and a lot of practice ammo. Time and money that most Police departments don’t have. But civilians often do.

11) AR-15’s ARE used for hunting, in spite of what you’ve been told. The main stream media will lie to you and tell you they are not. They will say “nobody needs an AR-15 to hunt” I challenge you to simply GOOGLE the keywords “AR-15 deer” or even “AR-15 pigs” and click on the image tab. You will find literally 1000’s of photos of successful and humane harvesting of animals with AR-15’s. After all….it’s just a rifle…like any other lawfully owned semi-automatic rifle….but with features that make the AR-15 safer to use.

12) But guess what —- The 2nd Amendment wasn’t written for hunting — so whether an AR-15 is used for hunting or not really has no bearing on the conversation. The 2nd Amendment is about 2 things and 2 things only: The right to self defense, and the right to defend against a tyrannical government. You ask if gun owners are afraid of a tyrannical government? And the answer is NO — exactly BECAUSE we have The 2nd Amendment in our Constitution, and rightfully so. It’s part of our system of checks and balances, and it’s fundamental to our free society. When the government tells you to trust them, that they will take care of you, to turn in your guns….. You want gun owners to turn in their guns to the government? The same government that you were just complaining about last month that is so corrupt and evil? In fact, why ban anything at all — why not just overturn the 2nd Amendment to The Constitution of The United States completely and confiscate all civilian owned firearms? That way — only the government will have guns. After all…isn’t that what you’re really after? Don’t pussy foot around and say “I only want to ban assault weapons / ar-15’s / machine guns / semi-autos / dangerous guns”. If you’ve been reading this, you should understand that it DOES mean nearly ALL guns in civilian hands. If you want tyranny, that’s exactly how you get tyranny. I saw a movie once where only the government had guns. It was called “Schindler’s List”. How did that work out for the people that didn’t have the guns? Weren’t you just saying last year that President Trump was Hitler? You really trust the government so much — because they never make mistakes — that you believe ONLY the government should have arms? Well, there are plenty of other countries where that isn’t working out so well.

13) “The framers of The Constitution never intended for civilians to have “military style weapons“. There were no semi-autos back then, they only had muskets, and they didn’t envision these advancements in technology!” Well, you’re couldn’t be more wrong. During The Revolutionary War, pretty much any firearm in civilian hands was a “military style weapon,” as civilians reported for duty with their own personal arms. The 2nd Amendment was written to ensure that The People would be able to defend themselves from a tyrannical government, and the only way to do this is for The People to be armed in a like manner to the government, that is to say with military type arms. This has been expressed and confirmed repeatedly everywhere from The Federalist Papers written by our founding fathers on through to decisions from The Supreme Court of The United States. The fact is, The People SHOULD have ACTUAL military arms, but our rights have been whittled away over the years by infringements like the National Firearms Act of 1934. As to semi-autos, The Girandoni semi-auto rifle has a 20-round magazine, fires a .46 caliber projectile, and has an effective range of 150-yards. It was available in 1779, 12 years before the 2nd Amendment was written. Even before the Girandoni, there was the Puckle Gun. It also is an early semi-auto firearm design, with multiple revolving chambers, and created in 1718…..73 years before the 2nd Amendment. The fact is — they were aware of — and wrote about these advancements in firearms. You do of course remember from your history classes that Benjamin Franklin was one of our founding fathers and a signer of The Declaration of Independence. Are you really suggesting that Franklin, one of the most prolific and industrious inventors of the modern age, who loved science and discovery above (nearly) all other pursuits, was not aware that technology would advance? If we were to accept your logic, the First Amendment would be limited to speech from a flat bed printing press as the framers certainly did not envision the internet, and yet your speech on the internet is still protected by the 1st Amendment. If what you suggest were true, the framers certainly did not envision the advent of cell phones, or that one day cell phones might need to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, and yet the 4th Amendment protects your cell phone today.

14) Nobody needs a 30 round magazine? Then why does the military use them? Why do the police use them? Life isn’t a movie. Hollywood would have you believe that every bullet equates to a dead bad guy, and that’s just a lie. Short of perfect shot placement under stress in a target’s vital organ, most people simply do not just drop dead from a gun shot wound. They can and do continue to fight and can often remain a lethal threat even after they have been shot multiple times. And that’s just one bad guy. Guess what? Bad guys often travel in groups, and 30 rounds goes dang fast under stress faced with a group of assailants. Many women have made the claim that since men don’t have vaginas, that men should not be able to legislate a woman’s biology. You say, “but you’re not in a war, you don’t need 30 rounds” or “you don’t need an AR-15” —- yet you’re not a gun owner — and you have no expertise with their operation or their capabilities, but yet you feel qualified to dictate and legislate their use? In a free society such as ours, why should anyone let anyone else tell you “what they need”? Do you need a car that goes faster than 55 mph? Do you need more than 2 pair of shoes, or more than one home? What YOU think anyone “needs” has nothing to do with what what someone else can own. If the Police and the military are the definitive authority on defending themselves with firearms, shouldn’t civilians follow their lead and respect their expertise on the subject and arm themselves with the same capabilities? No, you don’t need a 30 round magazine to hunt — but like I said earlier, the 2nd Amendment wasn’t written to protect us from a deer uprising.

15) “If he only had a knife, he wouldn’t have been able to kill so many. If it weren’t for the AR-15, not as many children would have died.” Not necessarily. There was just a stabbing knife attack in a train station in China. There were 27 murdered and over 100 injured……with a knife. It’s a shame private gun ownership in China is banned. If only one of those 127 victims had been armed and been able to defend themselves from a mad man, things may have turned out differently. But no — basically the entire country is a gun free zone. Speaking of which, you don’t see mass shootings at NRA meetings. You don’t see mass shootings at gun stores, gun shows, or police stations. You do see mass shootings at gun free zone schools, gun free zone theaters, gun free zone colleges, all in states and countries with strict gun control laws. Are you seeing a pattern here? Gun free zones DO NOT SAVE LIVES.

OH — —– wait — gun free zones did recently save ONE life! ———- His name was Nick Cruz, and he killed 17 innocent people, mostly children, because there wasn’t a good guy with a gun there to protect them.

16) The NRA is complicit in murder? The NRA is buying off Congress? The truth is the NRA is not some big shadow corporation boogie man. The NRA is made up of law abiding citizens that hold a common belief in the fundamental governing principles of our Nation. The NRA is your neighbor, and your friends. We don’t all feel the need to brag, but we are everywhere. The strength of the NRA does not lie in supposed gun manufacturer political slush funds, but rather in the voting power of its membership. The NRA’s total lobbying budget of a few million dollars per year pales in comparison to what gun control groups are spending. NYC billionaire Mike Bloomberg alone spent over $50 MILLION in 2017 to thwart and demonize law abiding gun owners. If you’re looking for lies and corruption of our political system, you need not look any further than Bloomberg and his gun control groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Control. When you hear the propaganda from the main stream media that “90% of Americans” or “90% of gun owners” support stricter gun control — that’s a flat out lie. No one polled me. No one polled any of the thousands of gun owners that I’ve ever met or spoken with online. In fact, I’ve never heard of anyone being polled for these statistics. Did someone poll you? Didn’t think so. So, 90%? Again, more fabricated lies from the main stream media.

17) But what about Australia? The Australia gun ban and confiscation has frankly been a failure on many levels. While many may claim that Australia hasn’t had any mass shootings since their gun ban and confiscation started in 1996, that would be an outright lie purported by the main stream media. With the entire country now effectively being a ‘Gun Free Zone’, it might come as a surprise that as recently as December of 2014 in Sydney, a lone gun man named Man Haron Monis took 18 hostages and shot and killed one. Not a mass shooting, you say? Well, he was about to kill all 18 before he was shot dead by a good guy with a gun. September 2014 in New South Wales, crazed man Geoff Hunt shoots and kills a family of 4. April 2011 in Hectorville, a man named Donato Anthony Corbo shoots 6 people, killing 3 and wounding 3 including 2 police officers. In October 2002 in Melbourne, a man named Huan Yun “Allen” Xiang enters Monash University and begins shooting classmates and his teacher, shooting 7 and killing 2. October 1999 in Adelaide, 3 shot dead in an apparent gang war. Not a lot of shootings you say? Well, you must first note that Australia has less than 8% of the population of the United States, not to mention the completely different social / economic / ethnic / and geographic make up of the two nations. Regardless of the total number of shootings, or Australian shootings of individuals not listed here, statistics from multiple sources have revealed that Australia’s gun ban and confiscation has had little impact on their on their overall homicide rate. As for their suicide rate, in the first 10 years of their ban and confiscation, suicide deaths using firearms more than halved, but over the same period, suicides by hanging increased by over 52%. Multiple studies have been conducted by Dr Jeanine Baker and Dr Samara McPhedran. In 2006 they reported a lack of a measurable effect from the 1996 firearms confiscation and ban legislation in the British Journal of Criminology. Using ARIMA analysis, they found little evidence for an impact of the laws on homicide, but did for suicide. Subsequently, they compared the incidence of mass shootings in Australia and New Zealand. Data was standardized to a rate per 100,000 people, to control for differences in population size between the countries and mass shootings before and after 1996/1997 were compared between countries. That study found that in the period 19801996, both countries experienced mass shootings. The rate did not differ significantly between countries. Since 1996-1997, neither country has experienced a mass shooting (*not entirely true as Australia’s claim of ‘no mass shootings’ relies on a requirement of an artificially high number of deaths per shooting to enable that claim, while US gun control advocates seem to regularly include any shooting with 2 or more shot and not necessarily killed) event despite the continued availability of semi-automatic firearms in New Zealand. The Doctors concluded that “if civilian access to certain types of firearms explained the occurrence of mass shootings in Australia then New Zealand would have continued to experience mass shooting events.” In 2012, McPhedran and Baker found there was little evidence of any impact of the gun laws on firearm suicide among people under 35 years of age, and suggest that the significant financial expenditure associated with Australia’s firearms restriction measures may not have had any impact on youth suicide. Head of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn described the Baker and McPhedran article as “reputable” and “well-conducted”. Weatherburn noted that there was little evidence that the new laws had helped. He also stated that the 1996 confiscation and ban legislation had little to no effect on violence saying the “laws did not result in any acceleration of the downward trend in gun homicide”. A 2008 study on the effects of the firearm confiscation and ban by Wang-Sheng Lee and Sandy Suardi of University of Melbourne and La Trobe University studied the data and concluded “the Australian gun (confiscation and) ban did not have any large effects on reducing firearm homicide or suicide rates.” In 2009 another paper from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University also studied suicide in Queensland only. They said “No significant difference was found in the rate pre/post the introduction of the Australian gun (confiscation and) ban in Queensland.” A 2014 report stated that approximately “260,000 guns are on the Australian ‘grey’ or black markets”…with Australia being an island with controlled ports, while the US has one of the most porous borders of any civilized nation resulting in the smuggling of not only guns, but also significant amounts of drugs and occurrences of human trafficking. While other studies have been performed with results that counter or conflict with these, at best the effectiveness of the Australian gun confiscation and ban remains muddied and unclear. Further, in Australia – where there is no Right To Keep And Bear Arms, the total number of firearms confiscated and destroyed under their ban was optimistically around 700,000 to 1,000,000. That’s simply not practical in The United States where we DO have The Right To Keep and Bear Arms, and there are well over 300,000,000 firearms in civilian hands. Even Australia’s ambassador to the U.S., Joe Hockey, who helped craft Australia’s gun confiscation and ban while serving in their Parliament, says that the idea to implement the policy in the US is naive. Shortly after the recent Las Vegas shooting, Hockey tweeted: “I was in Govt. that changed Aussie gun laws. Guns are more pervasive & cultural here in USA. We all ‘wish’ for change but it’d be a miracle.” In interviews, Hockey has gone on to explain, “Australia and the United States are completely different situations, and it goes back to each of our foundings. America was born from a culture of self-defense. Australia was born from a culture of “the government will protect me.” Australia wasn’t born as a result of a brutal war. We weren’t invaded. We weren’t attacked. We weren’t occupied. That makes an incredible difference, even today…The U.S. had a horrendous civil war, with more casualties than every other war combined. We didn’t have that history. It really went to the core of what it means to defend your people. And so you have a Second Amendment…the gun culture is so ingrained in America…Where (our confiscation and ban) hurts the most are (the) unreported suicides, and threats against women.” So, when US gun control advocates say that they “aren’t coming for your guns” and that they just want “Australian style gun control”, what they are REALLY saying is that they want gun confiscation, and a muddled ineffective policy.

18) What about other countries? Gun control advocates attempts to point to England or Japan as shining examples to be mirrored are equally false narratives. Removing guns from the equation in both these countries had negligent impact on their overall homicide rates per capita. In fact, if you were to remove the US’s most violent cities from the stats – cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles, all of which are Democratically controlled cities with over bearing gun control laws — then the US would drop to the bottom of the list of countries for homicides per capita. It’s just not as simple as pointing to other civilized countries as population densities vary along with other social and economic factors. Take Honduras for example…a population of 8.2 million and they have banned citizens from owning guns, yet they have the HIGHEST homicide rate in the entire world. Contrast that with Switzerland, who also has a population of 8.2 million, but REQUIRES its citizens to own guns, and has the LOWEST homicide rate in the entire world. How can anyone reconcile these two facts and conclude gun control is THE answer, especially without first addressing the underlying root causes of social and economic disparities which create the unrest? The truth, while difficult for gun control advocates to hear, is that cities and states in the US with less gun control have lower homicide rates.

19) The 2nd Amendment is a civil right. When you talk about removing guns, you’re actually talking about removing civil rights from an entire class of people (law abiding gun owners) because of the illegal actions of a statistically small number of criminals who committed murder with an AR-15. Do you also support banning ALL Muslims because of the terrorist actions of a few radical fundamentalist Islamist murderers? Ask yourself why you’re so focused on “the gun”. When you get a speeding ticket, is it the car’s fault? When you put on a few pounds, is it the fork’s fault? If you don’t like what I’ve written here, is it my keyboard’s fault? No, obviously. So why are you blaming “the gun”? Clearly — terrorists, psychopaths, and murderers don’t need guns as they have repeatedly demonstrated that they can do equal or greater damage with knives, cars, trucks, planes, pressure cookers, fertilizer, box cutters, sticks, stones, fists and feet, bottles and bricks, just to name a few. In every single circumstance where mass murder occurred using one of these mechanisms — WHICH ARE FAR MORE READILY & EASILY AVAILABLE THAN A GUN — not once was the gun control crowd asking for a ban of these items. Why not?

20) “Shall Not Be Infringed” only appears once in The Bill of Rights, and it’s in The 2nd Amendment. In spite of that, we as firearm owners are always told “you need to compromise.for safetyfor the children”. Well, a compromise requires BOTH sides to get something. It seems to me that firearm owners are always giving everything, and get nothing. There is nothing ‘reasonable’ or ‘common sense’ about the restrictions to our 2nd Amendment rights that exist currently, let alone what is currently proposed. We compromised in 1934 with the National Firearms Act. What did firearm owners get? Nothing. We compromised with the The Mulford Act of 1967 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. We compromised with the Clinton Executive Orders. We compromised with the Lautenberg Act. We compromised with the HUD/Smith and Wesson Agreement. We compromised with the Brady Law. We compromised with the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act. We compromised with the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989. We compromised with Senate Bill 23 in 2000. Here in California, we compromised with the Roster of Hand Guns “Certified for Sale”. We compromised with CCR 11 5469 (a), with PC 30655, with PC 30510(a), with PC 17170, with PC 30600, and with PC 30515(a). We compromised with PC 12280, with PC 12276Each time, what did firearm owners get? Nothing but infringements of our rights. And yet still we are asked “why won’t we compromise? Why won’t we be reasonable? Don’t you want the children to be safe?” Gun control advocates have had their little experiment, and it hasn’t worked. If you want to protect the children, and you want to have a serious discussion, then that discussion must include hardening the security for schools with trained armed guards & reciprocity for concealed carry. Anything short of that is a non-starter.

21) The right to self defense is an inalienable right. Your right to self defense existed before The Constitution and The Bill of Rights was written, it existed before this country was formed, and it existed before man created the firearm. The 2nd Amendment in The Bill of Rights to The Constitution of The United States of America WAS NOT written to give you the right to keep and bear arms. IT WAS written to tell you the government of The United States DOES NOT have the right to take your firearms. The founding fathers and framers of The Constitution have written extensively about our inalienable rights being sacrosanct — that no matter which party comes into power, that your rights remain, particularly if a majority attempts to remove rights rights from a minority. The truth is, if your rights can be voted away, they were never rights to begin with. So if your right to self-defense can be removed, and and or all of your rights can be removed. And that, my friends, is tyranny.

22) There are over 300,000,000 guns in the US — a very conservative and likely low estimate. If guns were the problem, you’d all be dead by now. If you ban AR-15’s tomorrow, how does that stop the killing? There are already millions and millions of AR-15’s in civilian hands. All you’re really doing is prohibiting the sale of new AR-15’s. AR-15’s can easily (and legally) be manufactured for your own use in your garage with simple tools available anywhere. It’s not hard. So if you really want to get rid of the AR-15, how are you going to do it? Are you going to go door-to-door and confiscate them? You couldn’t muster the will to go door-to-door to deport a few million illegal aliens —- how do you expect to find tens of millions of AR-15’s? If all the guns are banned tomorrow, and magically scooped up and ‘disappeared’ from existence — what are you going to ban next? Cars? Trucks? Rocks? When all that is left to kill with is bare hands, will the killing magically stop? Or will killing continue with bare hands, and then what? Are you going to start removing hands to stop the killing? You can’t remove all the tools that can kill. But firearms are the tool that equalizes our society. A gun in the hands of a single mother is able to defend herself against a home invasion. A gun in the hands of a sorority girl walking back to her dorm at night enables her to defend against a gang rape or an abduction. It is the firearm that puts a 98-pound person on equal footing with a 200-pound attacker. Without firearms, do we go back to ‘Might is Right’? In that scenario — the strong molest the weak with impunity, and women dare not leave the house without being dependent on a man for protection. Is that really what we want to go back to? Is that really progress?

23) You may not be aware, but we already have a law against murder. Criminals don’t obey laws. We already have a law against rape. Criminals don’t obey laws. We already have laws against assault, and criminals don’t obey laws. We already have laws against felons purchasing firearms, and guess what? Criminals don’t obey laws. See a pattern forming? Make a law against AR-15’s — and — wait for it — criminals don’t obey laws. All gun control does is make our country and our society weaker, by making the criminal’s job easier, and the lawful citizen’s ability to defend themselves harder. Tell me what law you can create that will stop the killing? One more new law? Ten more? Twenty? Criminals don’t obey laws.

 

 

There Once Was an Assault Weapons Ban

…that lasted a decade: 1994-2004, and when it lapsed, the BATFE & FBI acknowledged it had no impact on crime. Yet now, after another shooting in which the local police and FBI dropped the ball multiple times investigating a man who posted on social media that he was going to shoot a school, the .gov and some of the general public are calling to reinstate a ban that was acknowledged to be irrelevant.

In London, after the Sep. 2016 Muslim terrorist attack, the mayor said Muslim terrorists attacks are “….part & parcel of living in a city…” and rather than going after Muslim terrorists, the deaths of infidels/British subjects, are tolerated. But if we say: “in the USA, part & parcel of a free society is that free people can make bad decisions that can kill other citizens,” is that an acceptable explanation? Hell no. It is acceptable with a Muslim terrorist in a truck, but regarding a certain type (AR15) or functioning (semi-auto) gun which is used in a minuscule number of deaths, it apparently isn’t an acceptable position… even if that position is basically what our country was based on: freedom. Today, not so much, although not necessarily in a completely negative way, just a balanced one.

“Total and unfettered freedom requires isolation. Why do I say that? Because being in a group is a compromise. You begin compromising your total freedom the moment you join a group, a village, a city, a nation. Don’t believe me? …go to a public park totally naked and begin doing Taichi…

You would not want to run into … one of those people because they interfere with you and your family’s enjoyment of the park … See….compromises.

So now we get into the balance of rights discussion, and why America is not, has not been, and never will be united. America, like the EU, is a loose amalgamation of 50 different city-states with their own laws, social mores, and ideas about living. What I do in my daily life in Norther AZ would have me put in prison in Illinois.”

Freedom is a term that gets tossed out there a lot in arguments and justifications, usually in regards to Speech, by one side, and Guns by the other.

I’m a big fan of freedom, on both sides, especially when one of those sides begins to be intruded upon. I like to think of it as the American in me that when you tell me I cant say or do something, I want to do it all that much more. I doubt I’m the only one like that as well.

Now  when a nutjob who should have been arrested and stripped of firearms because of threats of violence against his former school and classmates, we hear that we must ban all “assault weapons”. Lets go gun happy for a minute. One of several MILLION privately owned ARs is used in a murder that never would have happened if the local police & FBI had done their job, and the response to this FBI/police screw-up is that all guns should be destroyed. Or, perhaps, all gun owners be made into felons by new Draconian laws. Maybe some of it has to do with the recent #metoo movement and because so many gun owners are men, or worse, white men, it’s ok to make them felons with the stroke of a pen, without them yet committing a crime. Due Process anyone? The stroke of a pen made no difference in crime from 1994-2004, the BATF & FBI said it openly and it was even published in the MSM news papers, but let’s try again? An ineffective law is being called for because somehow it will be different this time? Most likely they figure if they ban MORE stuff, it will work this time. Huh.

Lawbreakers by definition break laws. Words don’t stop them. Those intent on violence will only be stopped by violence directed at them. Any cop worth his badge will tell you as much. Cowards preying on people who cannot fight back, words & laws will never stop them. It’s magical thinking to believe words or laws stop violence, just like the “COEXIST” bumper stickers don’t stop Muslim terrorists.

The issue is one of civics and culture. We have lost our way as the culture that led the way. We were an example as a country and as a society of what others should look up to, even if they didn’t want to emulate us, they respected us. We don’t respect ourselves anymore. We were made by hard work and family values. Those two concepts are all but destroyed in our modern climate.

Mental health is a subset of this loss in family values and I could go on and on about social workers and the sickening cycle it has become to create more problems than solutions. In fact, I will. In short, the mentally ill are a part of our society and today patients (now Politically Corrected as Clients) are released to the streets. The mental health providers claim that its better for the clients to not be “locked away” in a treatment facility. The homelessness that it caused for the crazy patients spurs the rise of social workers and policies of “community release” of individuals who previously would have been in mental institutions that are now no longer continuously supervised by health care workers. Medications begets street drugs begets crime begets arrests and releases back to the streets, all because the integrity of hard work and family values has been lost.

Is this an extreme example? Only slightly, a lot less extreme and a lot more common than most want to realize. But to tone it down, lets look at the youth of today’s families and their unhealthy coping with punishment and adverse consequences that seem to make them flip out because they don’t get what they want. I’ve seen it time and time again in public schools: student is punished for breaking an established rule, then proceeds to flip out about being caught, parents call up and don’t really ever deal with the student, their child, being in trouble, and somebody puts another quarter in the merry-go-round.

More laws don’t do shit to fix a problem. Emotional responses don’t do shit to fix a problem. Our culture is the problem. Bad parents are the problem. Look at Chicago, DC… Mexico… sigh, it doesn’t matter. You cant show facts and figures and history and rules to someone who is ruled by their emotions because they have been allowed to do so for so long. The simple fact is that people that want to do harm to others can and will find a way. Objects don’t affect human behavior.  Because you own a kitchen knife doesn’t make you a domestic spouse abuser or violent criminal any more than a baseball bat, ax, or an AR15 does. Evil exists, regardless of how it is physically manifested.

If a tree falls in the woods, and I’m carrying an assault rifle, does anyone know?

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I used to do a lot of exploring as a kid. It came with the territory of living out of town and not having cable TV. Me and my buddies who lived around “the loop” (a couple mile long loop of a road we lived on) knew every path, cave, overlook and otherwise cool spot out there. Once we started driving it was exploring every abandoned homestead and farm house on every back road in our county. We found everything from a Buddhist shrine in the middle of the woods to a really cool siphon like artisan well that someone had tapped with a pipe for it to constantly feed water into an old wooden trough. Once I got a little older my exploring took on a bit more of a scouting type nature, but really it was the same thing, just better armed and more camo-ed, although probably with just as much daydreaming about what-if scenarios. It was cool to know how to properly top the military crest of a hill and spook a big owl, and that time I peeked over a ridge and caught those two people going at it in the bushes off a well known walking trail was a surprising find too.

Eventually life got in the way. More and more land was subdivided, sold, and built on. I moved a few times and my quick access to go take as long a walk in the woods that you want to right out your back door got reduced to having to plan trips out, working around family schedules and whatnot. Well a buddy and I were up in the woods two weeks ago on a camping trip and there we were, poking around as usual, and he joked about us being explorers. That term is what brought these memories back to me and I realized first, yes, that is what we are, and also that I don’t do enough of it anymore.

Seven days later I am sitting around a campfire in the early afternoon and the family decides it was a good time for a nap. It was the last nice fall weekend we were going to have, hence our final family camping trip of the season, and I was not going to waste the opportunity to go for a walk in the woods. The thing was, we were at a campground. Ok, it is an ex World War II military installation turned damn big state park actually, but still, we weren’t exactly alone in the deep woods. Me being me of course just shrugged my shoulders and slung my gun up.

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I’ve been playing with this handy little blaster lately, an AR based “pistol” with a 10.5″ barrel. One night in my garage I looked at a box of parts and started lego-ing. What came out was my version of a budget Mini-Recce. Ballistics wise, yeah, 556 out of a 10.5 inch barrel is not optimal. Handy-wise through, that stupid little gun is really easy to carry and shoot. I topped mine with a 1×4 scope and have only taken it out to about 150 yards so far. its not a real stable platform to shoot from but with the right bullet and right magnification, I would feel comfortable out to 300 yards. 300 yards from a gun I yanked out of a small backpack, there’s just something cool about that. Inside of 150 with the scope dialed down, its fast while on the move and also gives me the ability to go stationary and really zero in to pin point a target. Perfect for the types of forests in my area.

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I always (uselessly) try to classify what my different setups are good for. Scouting, light hunting, rural go-to, urban go-to, competition, PDW, area denial… and the more I thought about it the more I realized that this cobbled together Mini-Recce thing really seems to shine right where I had it in the semi-wooded, semi-rural exploring I was doing. From aggressive animals to violent pot farmers, I felt very well suited with this gun, and the kids riding mountain bikes, couples walking their dogs, old people looking at birds, and the millennials in their male yoga pants and puffy jackets day driving to see the pretty leaves with lattes in hand had no clue I was as armed as I was… not that any of them saw me.

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Did I need a blaster the caliber of which I had on me while exploring old long forgotten roads wearing my fleece hat and sunglasses, hands in the pockets of my earth tone Costco jacket and low top hiking shoes? Meh, probably not, but my gun life so far is about want, not need. As more and more people start encroaching on our favorite backwoods haunts, we do need to be able to smile and wave and not have the national guard called in on us for simply being out on a little exploring adventure. Concealment while still being effective is usually a trade off somewhere along the way, this mini recce idea seems to give up the least amount in those areas. No its not a hunting rifle to shoot a deer with, and it wouldn’t be my first choice when hiking in wolf country up north of me, but for a place with low probability of threats when a person still likes to be armed better than just their handgun, I really, really think it shines… as long as you get out there exploring enough to make it worth it.

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