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.

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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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Its disaster season…

…and I’m paying attention. I do not live where we have hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding. Our most common natural disasters are winter storms, wild fires and the ever looming possibility of an earthquake. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something to learn from the current disasters. Man made or natural, people and their pre and post disaster behaviors are one of the big factors that I watch. Panic buying a day or two before hand, evacuation issues, and then how they deal with the after effects of clean water, extended power outages, food, gasoline, medical, and other social scarcities… If nothing else, seeing, hearing, and reading these reports give us a good reminder to get our own stuff back up to snuff cause if you’re anything like me, throughout the year everything gets used, not put back exactly right, there’s a pile of stuff I’ll get to later, things I tell myself to remember to fix…

“Sheep only have two speeds: graze and stampede.” 

Here is one pretty good report from a guy in Houston that I found. I’m going to bold a few points which I think are usually overlooked.

I am less than a mile from one of the media’s favorite flood scenes, but am unaffected.

My AAR as follows, but still in progress:
– don’t underestimate effort to monitor news and communicate to friends/neighbors, etc… this is also the primo way to get news cause the news stations suck at giving real info
there is something other than a bugout bag and a get home bag — it is a small support bag i can carry with me that has just basic 10 items, knife, fire, phone, p cord, multitool, cash.
– 36 hours before the storm – stores are devoid of bread, water, milk, canned goods, cereal…and fruit. Plenty of broccoli, onions and other veggies including potatoes. All I did was go in and take pictures, bought some ice cream and fresh food to top up
– during the storm – almost the calmest part of the situation for me as we didn’t get hit bad. Not flooded and plenty of power/internet. Check you local risk maps when buying a place to understand your wind and flood risk.
– after the storm – every major highway closed, many key roads closed. If you needed to get somewhere, you had better know your way around and pick through side streets.
– I get a message from a friend “SWIMMING AWAY FROM THE HOUSE, LOST EVERYTHING” – now I can’t contact him
– after 5 days of storms – everything is still closed, people wandering around checking groceries and pharmacies, a rare convenience store open here and there. Some bars are still open.
– today I hear about sporadic looting events from friends around the city. Listening to online digital scanner, sounds like emergency services vastly overwhelmed – don’t depend on them.
– Levee breaks – even more flooding. Tough decision to let water downstream and flood people there or hold it….moot point now.
– tonight is our first curfew night. I spent some time pre positioning firearms, flashlights and fire extinguishers just in case….everything is locked down and alarmed.
– so far, we have nearly 10,000 in shelters in the city of houston and need space for another 10,000. It will be interesting to see how that plays out over time.
– the overall mood has been very respectful by everyone I have come in contact with…trading info about the storm, areas of damage, where have you tried to get supplies, etc…
– there is a sense of desperation/slight panic in some. Took a drive to check out my AO, stopped by the grocery…there was a young man there with a three year old….looking to get milk…the place was closed and he had this look of concern that is hard to describe. I think going to groceries and pharmacies might turn into a dangerous trip if this continues.
– saw “cash only” signs in a couple convenience stores.

My biggest surprise was how quickly supplies disappeared from the shelves within hours of the announcement… If you do not stock up and prepare well in advance, you are going to be one seriously hurting puppy.

I’m guessing Thursday or Friday I will need to dip into my gasoline reserves, other than that I could sure use a delivery pizza.

UPDATE: One week after the event:
– i have noticed a lot of hotels with “NO VACANCY” signs – even the formerly hourly ones
– Rental cars are getting scarce
– Car repair services seem a lot busier than normal
– The public storage was jammed like I’ve never seen it – the lady who runs the place says they have no more spaces
The “green grocery stores” like Whole Foods were the first to close their doors and last to open… undependable.
– COSTCO did one hell of a job restocking quickly, providing much needed supplies like batteries, cleaning supplies and such. They had employees from other stores which had been flooded and these folks came to the open stores in Houston to work to help people….I have been a customer for years but now I am for life…they really came through. I saw the manager working with folks who were buying bulk supplies for relief efforts and handling it smoothly. AWESOME job.
After five or six days, eating prep foods gets old, the milk and bread runs out and you’ve been couped up like a hibernating bear.. Some friends were getting “cabin fever” by the time it was all over. Keep busy, stay focused and take breaks away from the news.
Constant vigilance creates a kind of burnout and coupled with a few sleepless nights I can see how the brain starts to suggest stupid ideas. If my house had caught on fire or a tree fell on it, I can envision degraded thought processes being a killer.
– Supposedly the airport is opening up…hope so, my wife is on an inbound flight.
– In retrospect, having an alarm system was helpful, but more as a perimeter detection system than a summoner of emergency services…they could not have gotten to me if they wanted to…too busy with real rescue.
– The curfew has been widely obeyed by most. I called police station and told them what I needed to go out and get my wife at the airport…they said go ahead and do it, just be prepared to explain to the officer if you get pulled over…so evidently officer discretion is very much in effect.
– Getting around was dicey….with all the roads flooded, it often required a very circuitous route to get from A to B….during something like this, be prepared to travel 3 times the distance and 3 times the elapsed time to get to your destination.
– Based on how difficult travel was and that you never know who you might meet at the empty parking lot of the closed grocery store (there were only a few shady ones)…. I developed a “travel bag” that included water, a backup gun with extra ammo, extra ammo for my carry, cash, a few small tools, a small hygiene kit, a small IFAK, some batteries, Hatch resistor gloves, a map of the city, flashlight, multi-tool, some Pcord, some candy, a few other minor items, a bottle of water. The goal of the bag is more operational support while you’re out and about locally, not sustainment. Focus on fast, light movement, defense and very basic support. If my wife was here during the event, I would have added comms.

I am guessing that the price of the following products will go and stay high for a while: gas, furniture, food, clothing, apartments, cars/trucks, construction supplies & tools, insurance.

I am wondering if we are going to have some kind of spike in health/hygiene oriented illnesses due to mold, sewage, spoiled food, wearing your clothes for too long, stress, etc…

Have not heard any updates on looting, and have not seen any national guard in my area. Power is stable, internet is experiencing degradation but is acceptable.

– Local authorities and FEMA are already saying “we will be here for years” to repair the damage.

This is what a real non-hollywood, not prepper dream disaster looks like. I think the tide has finally started to turn for most of the people who got into the survival state of mind around the mid-2000s. Its not all hoarding the best deals from Sportsmans Guide and Cheaper than Dirt catalogs, its beginning to see the real world useful items and hopefully, mindset. Not nearly enough of us use and are extremely familiar with everything that we do have, and that is not great but it is understandable. Being adaptable and knowing when you need to slow down, thin, read directions, etc is as important as having all that gas in metal cans and no way to safely transfer it into your generator. Being able to hook that gen set up to your well pump is probably one of those things you shouldn’t guess at being able to do right when the time comes by the way.

Stay safe. Stay vigilant and stay learning.

-Ian

One Gun – Round 2

I have previously shared my thoughts on the one do-it-all gun for today’s world. Well the more I practice what I preach, the more convinced I am that a 308 Bullpup – once properly set up and wrung out – is the best do-it-all one gun there is.

Now yes, yes, mission and training dictates the equipment… but I like to learn, so I picked up some new equipment that really seems to fit the mission. Instead of ooh-ing and awing at pictures and looking at receipts, lets start by looking at all the places it fits:

The Scout Rifle

Accredited to the late Co. Cooper, the scout rifle concept is nothing if not an argument starter. I still like the concept though… if you don’t get hung up on the traditional stuff – because in truth it is unbalanced and kind of not all that great – and while outdated (in my opinion), the criteria for Coopers old idea has been well documented. With new materials, innovations, and inventions, the specific Scout Rifle numbers of weight and length and sighting system just don’t translate anymore. But again, the idea still does.

“A general purpose rifle is a conveniently portable, individually operated firearm, capable of striking a single decisive blow, on a live target of up to 200 kilos in weight, at any distance at which the operator can shoot with the precision necessary to place a shot in a vital area of the target.”

So a handy (read: light weight), hard hitting and accurate gun with a low powered variable optic that is a bit of a do-all outside of extended combat? Yeah, that translates. In some ways the idea is almost even more valid in today’s world of accurate, reliable, mag fed semi autos and quality optics than ever.

Of course though as soon as a set of rules are laid down, there will always be immediate push back, and this happened with the Scout Rifle concept… and still does fifty years later. But as much as they bitch, people have been drawing inspiration from Coopers concept for the same amount of time. So in the spirit of inspiration, I think we are right on with a heavy caliber bullpup. Yes a 77 grain 556 will do just fine, but whatever, I’m not goign there.

Copper’s prototype Scout Rifles were bolt-actions, however he did state, “if a semiautomatic action were made which was sufficiently compact and otherwise acceptable, it should certainly be considered.” To that I say you pretty well can’t get more compact that a bullpup. What I’m really taking away from Coopers thoughts are that the controls need to be intuitive, and positive. Let me explain…

I’m old school, and like so many other people, a lever or bolt action is still very intuitive for me, heck, more so than an AR is in the heat of the moment quite honestly. Keep it simple and all that. Anyway, I think we’ve all shot on platforms – rifles and pistols – where the controls just weren’t in reach. I have big hands and still never could quite get to the point on a heavy metal 1911 where the controls were all easy to access without having to turn the gun perpendicular in my palm. That’s a slight exaggeration, but really, only slightly. The other gun I have never forgotten how non-intuitive it was, is the Kriss Vector. I had a friend with one and every time I would shoot it, put it down, then pick it up again, I’d swear I was looking around to see if my hands were in the right place. It was just… different.

Now as different as the bullpup platform is from literally everything else, I don’t find it un-intuitive. Each one is going to be different of course, but at least to pick it up and hold it, if you’ve spent any time with sub guns / sbrs, or any other short firearm that gets shouldered, it’s very natural. With the fact that bullpups are for the most part a newer thing, relatively speaking, I’m finding that modern day designing and testing and revamping have all helped to make them as good as possible as far as control placement and grip angles go.

Cooper further outlined such specifics like, “the bolt knob should be smooth and round, not checkered and positioned far enough forward of the trigger to avoid pounding of the index finger during firing. The safety should be positive and include three positions. It should disconnect the trigger mechanism rather than blocking it. It should be strong and positive and work from front to rear, rear position “safe” and forward “fire.” 

Ok well I disagree with the checkering, and while its not ideal in today’s world, the M1/M1A safety is not all that bad. But again, his intent was simply nothing to hang up, nothing to screw up, and nothing that left the user unsure. Some more modern iterations of the scout rifle include things such as retractable bipods and accessory rails for other lights and attachments,  and while the addition of some of these features often render the rifle technically not a scout as originally defined, it (thankfully) has come to be accepted by many as still conforming to the spirit, if not the letter of the concept. We can go all through the outdated specifics and restrictions, trigger pull weight, forward mounting optics and the like, the point is, the 308 bullpup meets and exceeds those old ‘rules’ and works quite well in the scout role.

So, where else can this thing stretch its legs?

Designated Marksman

Yes, the ‘not quite a sniper’ Designated Marksman of the squad. It may be yet another somewhat outdated concept meant for those guys who were issued ACOGs for their long barrel M16s because it afforded them the ability to be a bit more selective with their targets at extended ranges, but the idea is always an intriguing and sexy one, so lets go with it.

In reality, if the Sniper is the offensive threat, the DM is the defensive one. The sniper is a specialized tactician, employed for specific missions, who slinks in undetected, completes his offensive objective, then slinks back out undetected. The DM is an advanced shooter that works with a squad, just as a grenadier or automatic gunner is, who is called upon when need arises.

The DM’s role fills the gap between a regular infantryman and a sniper, typically being deployed at ranges of “can you hit that from here?”  They are the middle ground almost-experts… which sounds exactly like what we’re looking to do with our one general rifle. I joke, but in all honesty, Designated Marksman are traditionally misunderstood and misused by their commanders, and with absolutely zero discredit to them in the service, this is one of those rare places where I believe civilians should be able to do better than the run of the mill rifleman, because through ability and necessity, we are all capable of meeting the DM standards. The guys I hang around all take their stuff out to extreme ranges, because, why not? From pistols to SBRs to muskets, we’ve tried to see just how accurate at X range we were with whatever we had out that day. I can hit targets at 600 yards with my AK74 and iron sights, it doesn’t make it or me DM capable. DM’s are trained to work with their squad, its what makes the whole team thing work. We’re not concerned with that part right now though (although you should look into their training, its cool as shit). As civilians, with the right platform, we are afforded the opportunity learn and practice to our hearts desire, and with better glass, a wider variety of ammunition, and however much time we want to put into it. I see no reason why any shooter can’t get coached up to, and continue to practice to remain effective against targets at extended ranges, if they have an adequate setup for such a role, and that’s what we’re talking about here.

In the various individual services, from Russia to Israel to the US, that setup usually is a semi-automatic, magazine fed or 10, 20, or 30 rounds (depending on the firearm in question) slightly accurized with an optic to aid in target acquisition.

I’m probably talking too much about the tool and not enough about the idea here. The idea, minus the military squad implementation, is a rifle that can engage multiple targets at a sustained rate of fire across a wide distance. 308 Bullpup.

Home defense

Well, maybe lets go with rural home defense. While I completely support my neighbors defending hearth and home with superior fire power, I really don’t want anyone touching off a 308 in town. Read up on frangible 9mm and 556 vs drywall if that’s your AO. For rural home defense though, hey, its a short 308, whats the problem?

Ok no its not anyone’s first choice, but the bullpup design is great for being shouldered in a firing grip with only one hand while the other opens doors or holds back family members. Close quarters engagements are 90% tactics, but it sure helps to not have a four foot long bolt action you are trying to implement your violence of action with.

One thing about the bullpup in 308 that shouldn’t need to be said, is that they are loud. If one were so inclined, choosing from a design that suppresses well (easily) may be something to keep in mind. Me, I just keep ear plugs AND ear muffs readily available.  Big bore suppressors are not exactly cheap and they do change the handling of the firearm. For what this gun is for me, I’ll stick with the non-high speed stuff.

For a closing thought I’m going to back up for a moment. The idea of this versus a lever action… well like I said, I’m a bit of a nostalgist and one of those in 30-30, 30-06, 308, 338, or even 45-70 is still a hell of a gun. But the capacity, length and modularity of more modern offerings which expands the effectiveness in multiple roles cannot be denied. Three or five shots from even a moderately short barrel 30-06 will do dang near anything you need it to… for those three or five shots. From hunting to man to man engagements to an anti-vehicle need, only having three to five shots on hand can suddenly make you feel real short in the capacity department in a real hurry. Like this old AK goo-ru having to accept that the AR platform as a near household name in today’s world, bullpups, if not the way of the future, have carved out a niche that is here to stay, and I’m willing to take full advantage of they they bring to the table.

 

 

 

They’re a great close range bush gun. Plus its a nice medium between a fudd gun and a black rifle for the fudds that dont want an AR