Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Importance of Situational Awareness

Robber shoots North Dallas man who thought holdup was joke

There are a few things I find fault with here.

1. The victim likely exhibited poor situational awareness. Remember, before and after you pull into your driveway, especially after dark, take a moment to look around you. This is even more important if you're not able to pull into a garage (and close the door after yourself). If you can see someone coming at you before you exit your car, you have that much more ability to flee or use your car as a weapon.

2. Lighting your surroundings at night is important. #1 becomes moot if you do not have enough lighting around your entry/egress points at night to be able to see if someone is there. Making sure your landscaping doesn't provide hiding opportunities is important as well.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays

I've been traveling, and find that when I'm with family and friends out of town, I don't have a lot of time to sit down and post blog entries.

One thing I did while I was in Tucson, AZ was visit a gun show. What makes this interesting for me is that I am able to compare this show with shows that I attended a few years ago. Seeing as how I've been away from Tucson for that long, I was granted a unique opportunity to observe first hand the changes that our new administration is wreaking on the firearms industry.

Tucson isn't known for having a show every weekend like Dallas. While I saw advertisements for another show in mid-January, typically you see shows in Tucson about 4 or 5 times a year.

So I grabbed my father, who also enjoys shooting and carrying firearms, and a good buddy of mine who has been working with me on various shooting techniques he learned the hard way and we headed down to the show. I intentionally arrived just as the show opened, as I've seen here in Dallas just how nasty things have been getting.

I was very impressed. Tucson, where I have never seen a line to get in to any show had a line that was well over 100 yards long to get in. And this to one of the smaller shows I had been to. Luckily, my father noticed that people were all waiting in line for one ticket booth - another was open right next to the first without a single person waiting. After dispelling a whispered rumor in the long line that you had to be in that line to get a firearm zip tied, we proceeded right into the show.

I was shocked at the dearth of actual guns for sale. Racks that in previous years always held a few good battle rifles, tables full of AR uppers and lowers and accessories, palettes of ammunition - all pretty much absent. I noticed a fair number of Mosin Nagants and their like, but not a *single* M1A was in evidence. I did notice one, and I mean one, Garand (it was actually a beautiful example of the species and not unfairly priced - if I had had the money I would have bought it). I did see a few AR uppers here and there, but in all reality - most of what was around, with the exception of hand guns, was junk.

I saw one real ammo dealer, and it looked like he was selling gold bullion to Wall Street investors - his table was jam packed with people buying everything they had.

After grabbing some plinking ammo to shoot with my buddy while I was in town (I drove my lovely M4 clone out there with me as a treat) we left. We had been inside a couple of hours, and came out to find....you guessed it - a line 100 yards long waiting to pay to get in. And of course, with BAA sounds in my mind, the second ticket booth was still empty. I took pity on the line folks and mentioned the red-headed ticket booth a few times as I walked beside it on the way to the car.

Nothing has happened yet. As Vanderboegh has mentioned, the crush is on, and we haven't even had pending legislation mentioned yet. I do believe that there are a fair number of first time buyers running around out there (a friend at work whom I have been attempting to introduce to shooting told me today he's "heard some things" and wants to buy a gun very soon), but certainly not the press of blind sheep that will surely come when the Messiah takes office and the legislation starts flying. The worst part - rifles and ammunition are already running very low. There are little spurts of bulk ammunition popping up here and there, and if you're savvy, you can still hit a show and find a lovely Patriot Ordnance Upper for MSRP (and by the way, that price hasn't budged by much for the last year or so that I've seen), but in reality, I agree that the crush is coming. The panic will start.

As with the Clintons, I think we can likely thank the Libs for promoting firearms, and especially "assault weapon" (man I hate that term) proliferation, but I cringe to think of the final buying panic when the first couple of bans are suggested on the floor of the House or Senate.

Have you gotten enough ammo to hold out for a while yet? Why not?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blunt Force Trauma

Former Bond Actress Bludgeoned to Death by Home Intruder

I sure am glad that home invader didn't have a gun. He might have hurt someone!

What many gun controllers forget is the equalizing influence that a firearm provides. Lets say, for a moment, that there was a way that someone could flip a switch and all the guns on the planet just stopped working...for good.

Your typical gun controller would be dancing in the streets! Right up until he/she realized that the removal of firearms simply means that those who are strongest now rule...well....everything.

It's more difficult for weaker people, who haven't been in the prison yard pumping iron for 5-10 years, to defend themselves without equalizing tools. The firearm allows anyone the ability to equalize the differences between them and an attacker. Differences such as strength, skill at hand to hand combat, even mobility (or lack thereof).

In this case, a woman who, had she been armed, would have had a fighting chance against this thug paid for her country's policies on guns with her life.

But again, at least he didn't shoot her!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tools of a Resistance Mindset

The recent riots in Greece have produced some very interesting tidbits of information for those of us attempting to increase a resistance mindset.

Reports on the riot perpetrators are swinging a bit. As you're probably aware the initial catalyst for the riots was the shooting death of a 15 year old man by Police. I've read that the continuation of riots over the last eight days were by Anarchists, Communists, Leftists protesting a corrupt and thinly held right-wing majority government, etc. Most articles seemed to agree that youth are mainly responsible for the rioting.

So far, the Police have held up to the normal projectiles, rocks, trash cans, etc. The rioters have added molotov cocktails to that mix though. I saw one photo of an Officer engulfed in flames. To their credit, the Police have held their fire, which is generally believed to have been responsible for the rioting not increasing exponentially.

One tactic some rioters have turned to is pictured above. They are using lasers to dazzle the eyes of the Police. I find this to be an interesting idea. On the one hand, it is non-lethal in and of itself, though it should be noted that if the laser is of a certain intensity, it can permanently damage the retina. On the other hand, it is likely far better than, say, more lethal objects such as molotov cocktails.

I do wonder at the effectiveness though. In a tight beam such as pictured above, one can only affect one opposing force member at a time. Maybe two or three if you're playing it back and forth accurately. You'd have to have a lot of lasers distributed to the crowd to affect enough of the opposing force to make a difference. On the other hand, it may be possible to rig a vibrating mirror to rapidly play the beam over a wider area - allowing for a generally disconcerting bright flashing that would cause disorientation to a larger group of people.

What this ultimately proves to me is that I need to shift my mindset. There are likely many common tools and devices that we have in our daily lives that could potentially be used to cause uncomfortable but ultimately non-damaging/lethal effects on an opposing group of people.

Too often, when playing out what-if scenarios, the mind turns immediately to lethal implements. However, what the Greek protesters are teaching us here is that there is more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. Disruption can take many forms. Force multiplication relies on a tactic being cheap, easy, and effective.

Remember, the idea of an action such as this is not to create a situation in which the general public thinks you barbarous. Instead, you need to tailor your disruption in such a way as to affect mainly (or preferably only) the representatives of an oppressive force, and in a way that is seen as ultimately non-harmful. It's easy for for the media to show you burning people with molotov cocktails in a highly negative light - but if all they can do is show your group resisting with lasers and an occasional rain of rocks, it may be far easier to keep the public on your side.

As an example of tailoring your public image, look at the image of the Policeman on fire vs. the image of the laser above. Both images are from the Greek Rioting, but they evoke different emotions in a reader. The laser is "cool", the image is still very eye catching, and likely to end up in the media with a story about the protest. This image gets into the papers and sparks the public's interest. The fire is bad - it too gets into the public consciousness but generates thoughts that are not beneficial to your side.

By all means, respond with appropriate force to counter the other side's actions. However, let the other side escalate to the next level of the force continuum first, don't allow your side to cause the escalation in a way where retaliation can be reasoned away.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey Yutz! Guns Aren't Toys...

"Hey yutz. Guns aren't toys - - they're for family protection, hunting dangerous and delicious animals, and keeping the king of England out of your face. " -- Krusty the Clown, The Simpsons

David Codrea asks in today's Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner: "How would you respond to the assertion that it's too dangerous to keep a loaded gun in the home?"

I've responded to the article and posted my response below as well. If you'd like, take a moment to head over there and add your own comments.

Triptyx responds:
A firearm is a tool. Just like a hammer, or a kitchen knife, or rat poison. By itself, it does nothing more than sit on the shelf, gathering dust.

Unfortunately, at some point we as a society have elevated this tool to some god-like level. When put in a person's hand it somehow changes that person into a murderous monster. Having a gun makes a person feel powerful, makes them have a bigger johnson, and will cause them to prey on weaker beings.

Those of us who are responsible firearm owners, who study self-defense and train with our firearms; those of us who may even legally carry them frequently, understand differently though.

We know that the firearm is a tool. It is a piece of machinery that is actually quite simple. The firearm has no feelings, no emotional baggage attached to it, no will, no soul. Simply, the firearm performs a function - it launches a projectile downrange.

The firearm doesn't care what is in front of it, what is downrange, what stands in the way of destruction, it simply *is*.

The person picking up this tool is the deciding factor. Regardless of age or sex, regardless of past or present experiences, the person operating this tool is the impetus for the resulting effect of its use.

The mere presence of a tool, be it a hammer, a kitchen knife, a baseball bat, a shovel, even an ice pick (all of which are quite lethal in the wrong hands) is not dangerous in and of itself. To create danger, you must add the human element into the mix. Without a human to operate those tools, they are nothing more than lumps of metal or wood.

As a society, we do ourselves a great disservice when we decide to imbue inanimate objects with power. This simple minded idolatry precludes logical thought and reasoning (which doesn't seem to be taught much in our schools in recent history) and provides for an added level of danger in our environment.

By creating this sense of mystique and danger around firearms, we not only cause unenlightened adults to shun them for themselves, but to shun teaching anything about them to their children. Those children, when encountering a gun, know only what they see on TV, or video games. They do not know the real danger that exists in attempting to operate this tool without adequate care.

Having a loaded firearm in the house in and of itself is not dangerous. Having any tool in the house that is accessible to those ignorant of its safe use and utility certainly is. However, that statement can be made of any tool or object. Swimming pools, motor vehicles, natural gas/propane operated appliances, anything can become very deadly in the hands of the ignorant.

Why then, do we not teach basic gun safety in our schools? Why doesn't every child and adult understand what guns are, how they operate, and how to interact with them safely?

Ignorance is certainly not bliss.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Don't Feel Safer Either...

We Don't Feel Safer

You often see editorials that frequently say "we have a right to feel safe". "The community has a right to feel safe."

Yet at no time do those authors even think about the rights of others around them for whom feeling safe means carrying a legally concealed weapon.

Does this mystical right to "feel safe" only apply to people who think one way? Perhaps these elitists truly believe that their way of thinking is the only correct way.

We don't demand they carry guns, despite our belief that guns make us safer. Why do they insist on demanding that we not carry guns due to their belief that not having a gun makes them safer?

Thanks to Oleg Volk for the image.

Backpack vs. Gun

Controversy Erupts Over School Proposal to Teach Kids to Fight Back Against Gunmen

Lord forbid we arm qualified, permitted teachers to simply put a few rounds into the gunman. We'd much rather have our children throwing books and backpacks at them.

This has been covered before on the various gun blogs, but here we are again.

"[He] (the school resource officer) was starting the conversation with us to say, well, ‘Do we want the kids to sit there and literally have the gunman be able to shoot them one at a time? Or do we want to allow instincts to kick in and basically allow them to protect themselves against the threat?'" Carol Jacobs, the district superintendent, told FOXNews.com.

Instincts? What instincts? Most people, at the sound of gunfire, will try to run away (and rightfully so). Fight or flight. And when you have nothing to fight with (or rather, far inferior "weapons" such as your Western Civ book, flight is number one on the list. And don't think for a moment that Carol Jacobs really wants people to be able to defend themselves against the threat.

If she did, she'd demand the state allow her teachers to train with and carry legal concealed firearms.

And in case you were wondering what the outcome is with regards to my blog title:
In the game of backpacks and books versus gun, gun wins.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The 3%

So here we are. On the other side, are the Brady Bunch, the AHSA, Joyce, the Main Stream Media, and many others whose ultimate goal is the total disarmament of the citizens of the United States of America.

Standing against them, are a few choice and select groups. JPFO, GOA, Three Percenters (3%) and local state organizations.

In between are pragmatists (prags), hunters (fudds), and sheep.

Prags feel that there is always yet a political solution. In this age of Olufson, Heller (sure, 2nd Amendment is great...except for what we say are "reasonable" restrictions), and our new ultra-left government, prags feel that "we should use the tools the forefathers gave us"...and nothing else.

Fudds believe that as long as the government doesn't touch their bolt-action hunting rifle, all is well. Those darned "assault weapons" and handguns should be banned.

Sheep, as one pragmatist put it recently, just want to drink their Starbucks and flip the bird to the driver in front of them.

Prags want to befriend the sheep, so the sheep will vote for pro-2nd Amendment issues. To the prag, the three-percenters are scaring the sheep, sending them scattering across the fields in terror. This, unfortunately, is probably true. However, I posit that the sheep are a lost cause as far as the pro-gun community is concerned.

Here is the problem. Sheep watch CNN, MSNBC, and their local news. Most Sheep news sources are not pro-gun. To your normal person watching TV, guns are for criminals and murderers. For now, news outlets are content to paint handguns and "assault weapons" as weapons designed to kill people. And not just people, but dewey eyed students and babies, and women at the hands of their drunk, red-neck male assaulters.

It was just recently here in Dallas that a competition marksman, using a 50 caliber rifle for practice, had a round get loose (I'm still not sure how, he was on a designated range) and crash through the ceiling of a woman's trailer, 5 miles down range. When the shooter heard of the injury on the news, he immediately turned himself in to the Police - as well as apologized in person to the woman and her husband. Luckily, the round only broke the woman's arm near her wrist, and the Police seemed likely to let the injury pass as an accident. The husband, while he accepted the gentleman's apology, happily went on the news and opined that this is why 50cal weapons should be banned. The news anchor, then, naturally chimed in that 50cal weapons can pierce tanks, shoot down airplanes, and, I kid you not, "destroy" concrete bunkers". And this was our local Fox News station. Yes, Fox ain't perfect, but when a network that is usually reasonably right-leaning makes those kinds of statements, what does that leave us with?

This misleading, and in many cases outright fabricated crap is what most sheep are inundated with day in and day out. Guns don't save lives. They aren't needed tools to ensure our Republic remains intact - they are for "gun nuts" and "red necks" to prove their manliness with, right up until Billy-Bob down the street decides he needs to shoot someone else because they took his parking space. I have even had friends who were gun enthusiasts tell me that I was "asking for trouble" because I carry a legally concealed weapon.

In all reality, how do you combat that? When the general populace has been conditioned to believe something by every source that they deem credible; when they are fed a constant supply of bull$^@# day in and day out, how do you really deprogram that when you do not have access to the level of resources that our enemies do? Further, how do you counter that kind of misinformation when your opponents have been trained not in logical debate, but rather taught to yell emotional tag-lines and stuff their fingers in their ears while screaming "lalalalala" when anyone raises a counter-argument?

Comments recently by self-described prags seem to indicate that those of us who are in the 3% have completely given up on the political front and are cleaning our guns in gleeful anticipation of "going hunting". However, that could not be farther from the truth. Most of us remain dedicated to a peaceful solution. Our opponents, however, know very little except for force (war). Don't pay your taxes, guys with guns come to haul you away. Criticize your representative, guys with guns come to take your guns. Even trying to work within the system ends up in which a shoestring is declared a machinegun (yes, this has since been reversed).

Make no mistake. Heller to the contrary (but not really), and the Constitution and Bill of Rights to the contrary, our government has proven time and time again that they will do whatever they want. Apparently, it is up to us to protest and get arrested and spend millions of dollars of our own money (and another few million of our tax dollars as the government defends itself) to get a ruling from a court that has shown it is no longer really interested in what the Founders intended. In the mean time, we spend years languishing under unconstitutional laws waiting and hoping that the powers that be will deign to let us actually live in the spirit of Freedom that is supposed to be guaranteed by "that goddamned piece of paper". Compounding the problem, there is actually little to no consequences for those who architect unconstitutional legislation and get it passed. The worst they get is voted out of office, and only then if they're not in a place where they have sufficiently programmed their constituents to line up and bleat with proper deference.

Meanwhile, the Fudds sit around cleaning their bolt-action deer rifles and vote for Obama because he's only after those evil massacre inducing "assault" weapons and handguns.

Ultimately, each faction of the gun community needs the others. As Mike Vanderboegh stated here, the Prags need us as the group that could be unleashed should Politicians refuse to be reasonable and follow the Bill of Rights. We need the Prags to act as the respectable front of people who aren't into all that "militia" crap and really don't truck with "revolution". The Fudds need both of the other factions to ensure that "armor piercing" rifle ammunition and "sniper rifles" don't get banned.

Unfortunately, until the three groups truly understand their differences and learn to work together to cover each others real and perceived weaknesses, the infighting and sniping will continue unabated.

Meanwhile, Mike's original question to the Prags and Fudds goes unanswered...
Where is the line in the sand at which point you will conclude that a peaceful political solution is no longer on the table?

I believe I answered that question recently myself.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"This is as far as the bastards are going."

"This is as far as the bastards are going." Click the link to see Mike's dialogue with a confused pragmatist who will gleefully talk to gun controllers as they disarm him completely.

I have mentioned Mike Vanderboegh a few times on this blog, and definitely have talked about him to those people I'm lucky enough to talk to in person.

I've linked an excellent response Mike made to a pragmatist (we'll call them Prags) who thinks that we can reason with people who, while they say they want to compromise, really have only one goal - the eradication of private firearms ownership in any form.

Mike recounts an excellent story that I'll rewrite here from Anecdotes from the Battle of the Bulge:
Late on the night of December 23rd, Sergeant John Banister of the 14th Cavalry Group found himself meandering through the village of Provedroux, southwest of Vielsalm. He'd been separated from his unit during the wild retreat of the first days and joined up with Task Force Jones, defending the southern side of the Fortified Goose Egg. Now they were in retreat again. The Germans were closing in on the village from three sides. American vehicles were pulling out, and Banister was once again separated from his new unit, with no ride out.

A tank destroyer rolled by; somebody waved him aboard and Banister eagerly climbed on. They roared out of the burning town. Somebody told Banister that he was riding with Lieutenant Bill Rogers. "Who's he?" Banister wanted to know. "Will Rogers' son," came the answer. It was a hell of a way to meet a celebrity.
An hour later they reached the main highway running west from Vielsalm. There they found a lone soldier digging a foxhole. Armed with bazooka and rifle, unshaven and filthy, he went about his business with a stoic nonchalance. They pulled up to him and stopped. He didn't seem to care about the refugees. "If yer lookin for a safe place," he said, "just pull that vehicle behind me. I'm the 82nd Airborne. This is as far as the bastards are going."

The men on the tank destroyer hesitated. After the constant retreats of the last week, they didn't have much fight left in them. But the paratrooper's determination was infectious. "You heard the man," declared Rogers. "Let's set up for business!" Twenty minutes later, two truckloads of GIs joined their little roadblock. All through the night, men trickled in, and their defenses grew stronger.

Around that single paratrooper was formed the nucleus of a major strongpoint.

We have made some incremental gains in the last eight years. However, Obama's own Change.gov site dictates directly that he will do his level best to erase those eight years in a few fell strokes of a pen. And not only erase those last eight years, but plunge us back into the dark gun control filled days of the 80's. The gun control fanatics are already trumpeting their triumph and are lining up with new bills designed to disarm law abiding Americans - leaving us at the mercies of thugs, gangsters, and crazed terrorists bent on our destruction. Do not think for a moment that attacks like those that happened in Mumbai could not be easily carried out in Chicago, Washington DC, or New York City - all three of which are full of unarmed victims. All three held up as utopias by gun control organizations.

The time for one step forward and two steps back is over. People like Mike (and I'd like to think myself as well) are willing to dig in where they are. They're willing to not only act as a rallying point for like minded individuals, but they're willing to risk potential harassment, imprisonment, or worse by showing the world that they're willing to stand up for what they believe in. By doing so, they provide hope and momentum to others who are willing to take up the fight, but don't have the eloquence, debate skills, or knowledge to effectively do so themselves.

Stand up and get vocal. Blog, leave comments and letters to the editor when you see an anti-gun article/editorial in your paper. Correct misconceptions where you can. Show the Government that there is a strong group of people out there that will not stand idly by while our rights are removed piece by piece.

Stop alongside your fellow Patriots in the road and dig in to bring the fight to the enemy.

For the record, the image above is a poster distributed to commemorate PFC Martin's heroic statement. The paratrooper in the image is PFC Vernon Haught, also of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. More information and a link to a nearly full size copy of the poster can be found at this site.

Spending Our Way Into Oblivion

Audit of $700B Financial Sector Bailout Fuels Criticisms of Paulson, Bernanke

Good morning! Yes, I'm posting this at night. But it is past time we woke up and took stock of our Nation and its Economic Health.

I took a few weeks off to get some personal business taken care of, it's too bad our Government didn't do the same.

Trillions of dollars now in guaranteed bad debt (read: hundreds dump trucks of money that are attempting to fill a hole the size of the Grand Canyon), hundreds of billions handed out to banks and other insolvent institutions with absolutely no stipulations attached. And where are we? Still screwed.

The States, the Auto Industry, voters, Unions - everyone is lining up for money. The problem is, we don't have money to give. Repeat after me - we DID NOT have any money to spare to start with. We were already spending more than we made in taxes BEFORE we starting playing "money machine" and throwing cash down the drain.

So, did our erudite Government look for ways to cut spending, to reduce tax burdens on our corporations that already rank amongst the highest in the world? Did they ease or reduce environmental regulations that are costing our industries and businesses money that they do not have to spend?

No, they turned around and further increased our debts to foreign nations. Debts that we (or rather our Grand Children and likely their Grand Children) must pay back. They dug us further into a hole that may very likely lead to a collapse of not just our economy, but the world economy.

As Karl Denninger has so aptly put it - pouring on more credit, bailing out insolvent and bankrupt industries, is like giving booze to an alcoholic. It may ease the pain now, but it only causes further damage, and an even harder recovery down the road (assuming that last drink isn't the one that destroys the liver and kills the drunk). Not to mention that it's expensive as hell for the one providing the booze (the taxpayers).

Until the market is able to force insolvent banks, homeowners, and businesses into bankruptcy where they belong, we will see continued crashes/softness, and further delay in our recovery.

Again, I call on the Ladies and Gentleman in our Government:
FREE THE MARKET NOW. No more bailouts. No more emergency loans. No more credit to people who can not repay it.

Stop the madness, before it's too late.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson