Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Should The Physically Handicapped Have Firearms?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

He is just too crippled to be shooting a rifle:

During the first week of summer camp in 1992, a Scoutmaster approached me at registration and told me he had a young Scout in his troop who suffered from muscular dystrophy. The Scout was adamant about getting his rifle merit badge.

“I’m afraid he is just too crippled to shoot a rifle,” the Scoutmaster explained. “He can’t walk and he doesn’t have the arm strength to use crutches to walk. He is confined to a wheelchair, and we will have to carry him up to the shooting range.”

He also went on to explain that he had promised his parents that he would take good care of him if they would let him go with the troop to Scout camp.

The next day the troop up the hill with Tim on the Scoutmaster’s shoulders. I quickly ascertained that Tim could sit at the shooting bench and use his hands to stabilize himself and shift his position right or left as needed. A smile came over his face as I told him that in a way, it was a blessing that he didn’t have the strength to hold the rifle up himself. That was because I was going to teach the boys to use a sling to support the rifle. All that was needed was his arm bone structure. The sling would hold the rifle for him and was perfectly in keeping with the requirements for the merit badge he sought.

It was a tough week for Tim, but he knew it would be and never complained or asked for any special treatment. On Monday, he learned the basics and only got a couple of shots to hit the paper. Tuesday was a little better. His Scoutmaster understood what I was trying to do with him, and he coached him when I had to attend to other shooters. On Wednesday, he was able to get every shot to hit on the target, but the group still wasn’t tight enough to earn the merit badge. Thursday was better still, as he settled down, followed instructions and got a score that was only five points less than the score required for the rifle merit badge.

Friday was his last chance to qualify. I reminded him that he knew the basics and had been improving all week. I told him to relax, take his time, concentrate on sight picture, let the rifle go off when it went off, and to hold the sight picture for a moment after each shot. His entire Scout troop was there to give him silent support. I think his Scoutmaster crossed his fingers behind his back as Tim got himself in position and began to shoot.

After he finished, I went up to his target to see how he had done. After looking at the target for about 30 seconds, I turned back and called out to Tim.

“OK, here is what I want you to do this time — tell your Scoutmaster and those other not-so-quiet hooligans behind you that you just earned your Shooting Merit Badge.”

The gallery erupted in uncontrolled clapping and screaming and carrying on that simply isn’t acceptable on a rifle range. Tim collapsed across the shooting bench and actually cried a little.

When the troop returned to camp, Tim called his parents and begged them to come see him get his merit badge that evening, which they gladly said they would do.

When I shared this story with Kurt Hofmann, he told me about a loathsome worm who blogs under the name Mikeb302000.  Of this video, he says:

We cannot base our gun control regulations on an anomaly like this guy. Severely handicapped people are a danger to themselves and others when armed.

As if handicapped people have gone to Mikeb and asked for help in whatever he concludes is being safe.  Mikeb wants to be important and isn’t.  To Mikeb and all eugenicists of the world, I see the image of God in the boy in the story.  How sad for you that your view of life is so bleak and dark.  I pity you.  But only up to a point.

Perhaps after reading the report above, your heart will soften.  If not, I hope your head explodes.  In the mean time, I thought I would help the author of the story, Smokey Merkley, with a concluding sentence for the article.

And God smiled.

The Ten Commandments Of Firearms Safety

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Grand Forks Herald:

• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Be able to control the direction of the muzzle even if you should stumble.

• Treat every firearm as though it were loaded.

• Unload firearms when they are not in use. Keep the action open when the firearm is stored and carry it in a case to the shooting area.

• Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstruction and that you have the proper ammunition for the firearm you are carrying.

• Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.

• Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a firearm.

• Never climb a fence, tree or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm. Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle.

• Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or at water.

• Store firearms and ammunition separately.

• Avoid alcohol and other drugs before or during shooting.

For those of use who continually rehearse firearms safety (like me to myself, my readers and my family), it’s always good to hear them again.

But sometimes these things turn into religious observances for the Fudds.  Take for example “unload firearms when they’re not in use,” or “store firearms and ammunition separately.”

An unloaded firearm does you no good in a home invasion or if someone attacks you when you pull over to put fuel in your car.  The government wants the criminals and idiots to be safe, and they want their LEOs to be safe.  The surest way to accomplish this is to effectively disarm you.

Marine Corps Rifles, M1A Torture Test, And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

The U.S. Marine Corps is sticking with its Vietnam-era, M40 sniper rifle series, despite complaints from scout snipers who say they need the modern, longer-range weapons used by special-ops snipers.

Marine scout snipers are considered to be among the best snipers in the world, but many are frustrated at the limitations of the current M40A5 sniper rifle. The A5 is based on the Remington M700 short-action design that’s chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO, like the original M40 Marines used in Vietnam.

Seasoned scout snipers are deadly accurate with the A5 out to 1,000 meters.

Elite special operations units use sniper rifles chambered in more potent calibers such as .338 Lapua Magnum, a round that allows snipers to reach out to 1,600 meters.

U.S. Special Operations Command is currently in the final stage of selecting its new Precision Sniper Rifle for all of its sniper teams. USSOCOM awarded contracts to Remington Defense and another company in 2013 to make two different versions of the PSR – a multi-caliber sniper rifle that allows operators to choose .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7.62mm NATO by simply changing barrels assemblies.

The U.S. Army has watched the PSR program, but for now, it is sticking with its Remington M2010 sniper rifle chambered for .300 Win. Mag., a round that allows snipers to engage enemy targets out to 1,200 meters.

Currently, only the most elite Army and Navy special operations units use the MK21 Precision Sniper Rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.

Bob Owens is all over this issue, especially in his latest article on it.

The Corps will be upgrading the fifty-year-old M40 to the A6 version, which appears to be little more than a stock upgrade. Don’t get me wrong; the M40A6 will be a fine platform for inside 1,000 meters, against unarmored targets.

But we simply don’t live in a world where that is is “enough gun” for either anti-material or  anti-personnel use, now that so many of our opponents are issuing body armor that can stop the 7.62 NATO round at point-blank range, much less at preferred sniping distances.

Why are the Marines being stuck with using the same short-action cartridge in a military sniping landscape now dominated by magnum-class cartridges?


Factory match-grade ammunition for the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester family is cheap to manufacture, and the military already has tons of it contracted. Upgrading the M40A6 to even another short-action cartridge with better range and down performance such as the 6.5 Creedmoor would cost more than the meager Corps budget allows. Upgrading to a .338 Lapua Magnum, where both the gun and the ammunition cost more?

[ … ]

But snipers only destroy enemy soldiers and equipment, wreck their morale, cripple their battlefield leadership, and take out key infrastructure while providing a protective overwatch for our Marines on the ground and vital real-time intelligence for our commanders. They don’t create post-retirement jobs for generals, nor line the pocket of defense contractors, or contribute to the reelections of politicians.

The Marines on the ground will be forced make do, as they always have, with outdated equipment.

Thanks, Congress.

And of course, that’s just how the Marine Corps wants you to think about the issue.  Thanks Congress!  The problem is that this isn’t the whole story.  When the U.S. Marine Corps deployed the 25th MEU to the Persian Gulf in 2008, they deployed several Scout Snipers, one of whom I know.  He deployed with a .50 “Sasser.”  The Marine Corps armory is full of a broad array of weapons, including not only the .308 rifle for DMs, but the .50 Barrett as well.  If a Scout Sniper is qualified to the .50 and chooses to, he can carry it on deployments.  Be warned.  It has to be taken apart and carried on your back, but you can carry it.

As for the venerable .308, Carlos Hathcock made many of his kills with a .30-06 Winchester Model 70 (albeit not a .308). and only used a .50 (modified M2 for his longest kills).  Considering the traditional tactics of stalking, shooting and egress, Hathcock is still the most prolific sniper in U.S. history.  The ballistics data shows that there isn’t much difference between the .308 and .30-06, and if I was going to chose a new round to shoot as a Scout Sniper (and it wasn’t going to be the .50), I would probably choose the .300 Win Mag.  Of course, none of these compare to the effect of the .50 in range, power or capability against armor.  Suffice it to say that if the Marine Scout snipers cannot accomplish kills with their .308 rifles, they can with the .50, and they certainly have access to the large caliber rifle if they want it and are qualified to it.  They aren’t left wanting when it comes to firepower.

As for the Marine Corps’s decision to train exclusively with the M4 rather than the M16A2 or M16A4 (via Mike Vanderboegh), it must be remembered that the difference between them in muzzle velocity is negligible.  In fact, I cannot imagine having deployed my son to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007, with anything but his SAW or M4 (he was a SAW gunner who sometimes used an M4 if the specific mission called for it).  Again, I cannot imagine him having to swing an M1A or M14 through a doorway clearing rooms.  It would have been a reprehensible thing to issue something like M1As or AR-10s for CQB (the .308 being much slower to recover sight picture).

The Marine Corps always makes the decisions they need to make to support the mission.  When I deployed my son in 2007, his entire Battalion went with M4s, SAWs, M4s with M203 mounted, or Scout Sniper rifles of some sort.  The M16s were nowhere to be found.  So what’s all this stuff about the Marine Corps leaving the M16 for M4s?

It’s propaganda.  The Marine Corps want everyone to think that they are the poorest of the poor, when in reality they threw billions away on the ridiculous EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle), pretending that we are actually going to perform a land invasion from the sea with full armor capabilities like we did in the South Pacific.  They Marine Corps has wasted enough money (every MEU is a waste of money) that you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them when it comes to sniper rifles, Owens and his views notwithstanding.

When it comes to the M1A, you should spend some time watching these M1A torture tests.

Recall that we have showed you a sand torture test of an AR-15, we’ve made it clear that you can’t blame the gun for the battle loses at Wanat, and explained the simple things you must do to ensure reliable operation of your AR-15.

Finally, you’ve seen about AR-15s in sand, mud and operating bone dry.  For the final twist, see them operate with Twinkies installed inside the moving parts.  Yes, Twinkies.

Things You May Not Have Known About The Remington Walker Fire Control System

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

Over the years, Barber has amassed a mountain of documents, including internal memos from Remington and thousands of consumer complaints, that he said show that the company knew about the flaw with the trigger mechanism, known as the Walker Fire Control, and did nothing about it.

“I believe that I am quite capable of defending myself with Remington’s own documents, which speak for themselves and clearly speak volumes about what the company knew, when they knew it and what they did or did not do with that body of knowledge,” said Barber.

Remington has adamantly denied that the Walker Fire Control is defective. But the company has agreed to replace millions of trigger mechanisms in its top-selling bolt action rifles as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement

The details of the settlement are still being worked out in federal court and aren’t expected to be released until December of 2015. But we do know that Remington does not want the trigger replacement program to be labeled a recall. Also, part of the deal is that Remington does not have to admit that its products are defective or concede to wrongdoing.

That does not sit well with Barber.

“Until Remington at least quits denying a problem and wrongdoing, the cycle of death and injury will just continue,” said Barber.

Barber said he wants Remington to come clean about the history of problems with the model 700 rifle.

He showed MTN an internal memo from 1990 that says, “the number of model 700 rifles being returned to the factory because of alleged accidental firing malfunctions is constantly increasing.”

The memo was dated January 25 and already 29 rifles had been returned that month.

Barber also released to MTN a confidential document on testing done within Remington’s own facility. It advised the tester to wear a glove for protection and “be prepared for the rifle to inadvertently follow down or fire.”

“Remington goes as far as telling their own employees, as shown in that document, they warn them,” said Barber. “They tell them to be prepared for the gun to fire during testing, but yet they deny this fact to the public?”

They prepared their own gunsmiths to expect the rifle to “inadvertently fire” during testing.  I had not heard this before, even though I have linked a good bit of evidence (likely obtained initially by Barber) in previous posts.  It might actually have been interesting and enlightening for the case to go forward to court to see how Remington reacted.

I had also intended to mention that Jack Belk sent me his book (personally signed) entitled Unsafe by Design: Forensic Gunsmithing and Firearms Accident Investigations.  It’s written in a breezy, conversational style with lots of pictures and technical explanation.  The section on the Walker fire control system beckons me again, since it’s involved enough to read through a second time.  I highly recommend Jack’s book.

Should The Marines In Chattanooga Have Been Armed?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

There is in the news today a call for the Marines at the recruiting station in Chattanooga to have been armed, since “we are at war” with radical Islam.  A different take on the subject can be found (via WRSA) from Mason Dixon Tactical.  Here are some excerpts.

The question is somewhat easy to answer. “Should they have been armed?” The short answer is “No.”, at least not from an “On Duty” perspective. I find it interesting that some who have been crying to high Heaven about the “Jade Helm” exercise being a lead in to martial law, are some of the same ones saying the Marines should have been armed, and that we should arm all Service Members in CONUS. Those Marines were not acting in their combatant military capacity in those centers, they were there performing other duties. There was no reason for them to be armed anymore than the average citizen on the street, whom I might point out is just as much a soft target for terrorists, if not more so, from a “lack of training and awareness” standpoint. You want to arm the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen within the U.S., fine, but not before every citizen who is not legally restricted from firearms ownership, get’s to be similarly armed for self defense as well.

[ … ]

Being armed while on duty (especially visibly), unless you are operating in a Military Police, or base Security Forces specialty, is not something that should be, or technically can be authorized. Most don’t even realize that the majority of service members never even fire a handgun while in the service, let alone qualify with and carry one on a regular basis. That’s not even mentioning the logistics nightmare of having to train and qualify every Service Member, and then issue  them a handgun for self defense, which they would have to turn in at the end of the duty day (No, you can’t take it home), and only then (off duty) would they be able to carry a personally owned weapon.

More on that in a moment.  The most idiotic thing I have ever read from a General comes from Odierno, via Mike Vanderboegh.

“I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Analysis & Commentary

Special Operations routinely carries handguns even when armed with rifles, and at the time “green on green” attacks began I advocated that all Marines be qualified to and armed with a handgun when deployed and under arming orders, and this having been the case could possibly have stopped a great many of the attacks perpetrated on the USMC in the Helmand Province.

As to whether this is feasible or a logistics nightmare, there is no question that it could be done if the decision is made to do it.  I’ve seen what Marines do to waste time.  “Lance Corporal, have your fire team move this pile of dirt from here to the building roof, and when it’s done, call me.”  Lance Corporal – “Aye Sergeant.”  Call made, Lance Corporal – “Sir pile of dirt moved as ordered.”  Sergeant – “Ahh … made a mistake because I was distracted ordering the Corporal to take out the trash, move the pile of dirt back, and then police the grounds for cigarette butts and gum wrappers.  And then head over to watch the PowerPoint presentation on base safety protocols.”  And on it goes.

I call bullshit on the notion that a Marine cannot qualify on a pistol just like he qualifies on his rifle.  The Marines make big stuff out of 500 yard rifle qualifications, and the DMs and Scout Snipers go much farther than that.  Muzzle discipline, weapons clearing and malfunctions, weapons maintenance, rules of gun safety, etc., etc., are all taught as if straight from the Bible, and if you fail at any of it, you visit the “room of pain” for a while, and never fail again.  There isn’t any reason this cannot be laterally transferred to handguns as well.  There simply isn’t any reason.

Odierno’s objection isn’t stupid because he really believes what he said, it’s stupid because he is toeing the party line and cannot come up with something better.  But it must be observed that all of this has to do with Marines who are deployed and under arming orders.

As for when the Marines are stateside, we have dealt with this before too.

If I am not mistaken NCOs could never have personal weapons on reservation property, and officers could only with base commander approval.  But what this MARADMIN appears to do is expand the stipulations even farther.  Take note of the requirement for “government family housing … privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock.  All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.”

This expands the rules to property off of the federal reservation, and if you live in housing that is in any way subsidized by the government for families, your personal weapons must not only be in a container large enough to contain the whole of the weapon, and locked, but it (or they) must also have a trigger lock(s) on it (them), even while inside the container.

Damn.  Heads of households had better hope they aren’t the victims of crime.  Their families are completely unprotected and unsecured.  This, from a Marine Corps Commandant who is alleged to be trying to secure his Marines from harm.  Oh well.  This is also from a Commandant who was allegedly involved in illegal command influence in investigations under his charge.  Readers already know what I think of airman Amos.  When Daniel graduated from Boot Camp I presented him with a present.  It included several things signed by Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray, with personalized notes to him.  I’ll never request anything like that from Amos.

Airman Amos was a worthless, spineless sniveling lackey crap-weasel and a traitor to the USMC.  Notice that the MARADMIN that is the subject of the post had to do with personal weapons off federal reservation property.  Marines couldn’t even have those unlocked, within arms reach and ready to be deployed without risking NJP or dishonorable discharge.  As best as I know, this MARADMIN is still in effect.

As for whether the Marines in the recruiting office in Chattanooga should have been armed, the answer is a resounding yes and no.  Mason Dixon Tactical raises a very important point.  It wasn’t too many hundreds of years ago in our history where men were required to carry long guns to worship, practice with the other men after worship, and use the day for fellowship and training.  This could one day become more regular in America as the security situation degrades.

But at the moment, LEOs are the only ones who regularly openly carry pistols (and sometimes patrol rifles).  This has been the source of much mistrust, and may yet prove to be the catalyst for worse things than mere mistrust.  The history of the use of the military for battling insurrection is complex and varied.  But the armed forces carrying weapons in the states just doing battle with anyone or everyone is a dark road to start.  We don’t want to travel that road.  I have been critical of Operation Jade Helm, and for what I consider to be good reasons (I will hold in abatement the question of what I think of Robin Sage, since it isn’t an analogue to Jade Helm given than Jade Helm involves not just the armed forces but coupling with law enforcement – which I think is the most dangerous part of it – and scenarios that paint locals as the enemy).

The effectiveness of pistols in a situation where the shooter is in a stand-off position putting rounds through glass is dubious anyway.  The best defense against a rifle is another rifle and better training, but remember, whatever Soldiers and Marines get to carry, we should too.

There was no reason whatsoever that the Marines should have been carrying armory-issued weapons in a recruiting center, as no training was occurring and no one was at the range.  That “we are at war” isn’t a salient objection, as Congress must declare war in order for it to be legal.  Arming orders were not issued, and moreover, they shouldn’t be in the states (the exception I have often advocated is arming orders for troops at the Southern border) excepting an invasion.

But also remember that self defense is a God-given right, and those Marines in Chattanooga, if they had chosen, should have been able to carry personal weapons for self defense.  Odierno’s objection is ridiculous.  Negligent discharges can be trained out of people, and as for consequences of NDs harming others, we who carry on a daily basis learn to cope with and minimize that risk every day.  We are just as liable to do time in the penitentiary for reckless endangerment or negligent homicide as a Soldier or Marine, perhaps more so, and certainly more so than LEOs.

Should those Marines have been armed?  No, not in an official capacity.  Let’s don’t go down that dark road.  But yes, in a personal capacity if they understood and took seriously their God-given duty of self defense and the Marine Corps allowed it (which they don’t).  It’s important to understand and properly categorize the reasons for arming Soldiers and Marines.

UPDATE #1: Washington Post – “The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here Thursday during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center, according to law enforcement officials.

Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics whether the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and possibly wounded him, officials said.

The standard-issue pistol for military personnel authorized to carry a sidearm is a variant of the 9mm Beretta 92. According to the Marine unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Mike Abrams, Marines are not authorized to carry personally owned firearms while at the support center.”

Police Officer Negligent Discharges

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

LA Times:

One sheriff’s deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.

Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room.

Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally injuring deputies. The jump coincides with the department’s move to a new handgun that lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger.

Sheriff’s officials say that the increase in accidental discharges — from 12 in 2012 to 30 last year — occurred because deputies were adjusting to the new gun. They expect the numbers to fall in the years ahead. So far this year, the department has recorded seven accidental discharges, five of which involved the new weapon.

But the problems may not be over, as more deputies switch to the Smith & Wesson M&P9. In response, department officials have imposed extra training requirements.

The M&P has obvious benefits. It is easier to shoot accurately, can be fired more reliably under stress and is a better fit for people with small hands. The switch was prompted in part by the threat of a lawsuit by women who had failed the Sheriff’s Academy. More recruits — including more women — are now passing the firearms test, and veteran deputies are also logging better scores at the firing range.

But the sharp increase in accidental discharges has prompted an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general. Critics say this type of semiautomatic, which is widespread in law enforcement and includes the Glock used by many agencies, is too easy to misfire.

Bob Owens, editor of, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.

For two decades, L.A. County sheriff’s deputies carried the Beretta 92F, a heavy metal gun with a large grip.

People with small hands often have trouble flipping up the Beretta’s safety as they prepare to fire. The first shot requires 12 to 15 pounds of pressure on the trigger, forcing some to use two fingers and reducing shooting accuracy for many. Subsequent shots take about 4 pounds of pressure.

The M&P is made of lightweight polymer, with a hand grip that comes in three sizes. Firing a round is as simple as pulling the trigger with a consistent 6 to 8 pounds of pressure.

Sheriff’s deputies have the option of sticking with the Beretta, and some have, saying they are used to it. But many who have switched to the M&P say their shooting has improved.

“At first, I thought, ‘No way, I’m keeping my Beretta forever,'” said Sgt. Mike Rafter, a firearms instructor. “Then I started shooting, and it’s a lot nicer. I can shoot better, and I’m more confident.”

Academy trainees began receiving M&Ps in 2011 and the rest of the department began gradually switching to the new gun soon after. About half of sworn personnel are now using the M&P and more are changing over. As more deputies converted to the M&P, accidental discharges rose.

This is rich.  In spite of the silly article that Bob Owens wrote on the Glock and the silly accusations in this article, the truth does come out.

They are blaming it on a SA/DA pistol because of the heavy trigger pull for the first round (although I have to say that 6-8 pounds isn’t exactly a light trigger pull for the M&P).  Thus they have trained officers to keep their fingers on the trigger of their handguns when they deploy their firearms.  They say so.

Think about that and let it wash over you again.  When a cop pulls his handgun and points it your direction, according to the training he has received, he most likely has his finger on the trigger of the weapon.  And thus do we reach the root cause of the problems – not Glocks, or M&Ps, or any other ridiculous culprits.  It’s a shame that Bob couldn’t have pointed out the truth rather than blame the gun.  Blaming the gun is what gun controllers do, and why the collectivists wanted the so-called smart gun.

So other than reminding you that this violates two of the sacred rules of gun safety (muzzle discipline and trigger discipline), let’s rehearse sympathetic muscle reflexes again, and I’ll remind you of what I said about how the Marine Corps trained my son Daniel as a SAW gunner.  First concerning sympathetic muscle reflexes.

The term sympathetic contraction refers to the fact that an involuntary contraction may occur in the muscles of one limb when the same muscles in the other limb are performing an intended forceful action. In physiology literature this effect is known as a mirror movement, with the intensity of the sympathetic contraction depending on the amount of force exerted during the intended action. In policing, a common situation that may evoke such a sympathetic contraction would be, for example, a law enforcement officer attempting to restrain a struggling suspect with one hand while holding a handgun in the other.

The second scenario described by Enoka involves loss of balance. When balance is disturbed the human body evokes rapid involuntary contractions to return itself to a position of equilibrium. Thereby the involuntary contractions used to prevent a fall depend on the options available to counteract the disturbance of balance. Usually, compensatory movements following gait perturbations primarily involve correcting movements of the lower limbs to keep the body in balance, whereas movements of the arms are restricted to their extension forwards as a safeguard to counter an eventual fall. When an individual is holding a handle for support, there is, however, a tendency to use the arm muscles to maintain balance rather than the leg muscles. Under such circumstances the focal point of automatic postural activity is any contact point an individual has with his or her surroundings. In other words, if an individual’s posture is disturbed while grasping an object, for instance a handgun, he or she is likely to grasp it more forcefully.

Startle reaction, the third scenario identified by Enoka, is a whole-body reflex-like response to an unexpected stimulus, possibly a loud noise. It evokes rapid involuntary contractions that begin with the blink of an eye and spread to all muscles throughout the body. The reaction of the hands occurs less than 200ms after the stimulus and leads to individuals clenching their fists. Enoka concludes: “Accordingly, an officer who is startled by a loud, unexpected noise while searching for a suspect with his weapon drawn would surely increase the grip force on the weapon, perhaps enough to cause an involuntary discharge.”

Next concerning training.

My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup.  The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger.  They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting.  Their lives depended on it.  They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.

My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper).  He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW.  He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.”  They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills).  He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour.  He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools.  He got out of the Marine Corps.

Why am I discussing this?  Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner.  Never.  You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq.  Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations.  I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills.  With the standdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, they oftentimes know as little as you.  These tactics place people in danger when there are better alternatives.

In spite of all of this, officer safety is paramount, not your safety.  So things we would never do on a range, and never allow our mates to do, are done every day by cops around the country.  They keep their fingers on the triggers of their weapons when they deploy them.  They are trained to do it.  And Bob Owens, along with the LAPD, blame guns with light trigger pulls rather than the horrible safety protocols police use.  They would apparently rather continue the tradition of ignoring trigger discipline and use pistols with a heavy trigger pull to ameliorate sympathetic muscle reflexes rather than teach cops to follow the rules of gun safety.

Good grief.  Horrible.  Just horrible.

Prior: Gun-Mounted Flashlights Linked To Accidental Shootings

Should Christians Own Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

After ISIS’ slaughter of Christians everywhere they go, the sufferings of the Coptic Christians in Egypt under the Muslim brotherhood, and the kidnapping of young Christian girls by Boko Haram for the purposes of sexual slavery, it may be tempting to ask yourselves, “What kind of an idiot would continue to press the notion that Christ demanded that we disarm in the face of danger?”

The answer is that those idiots are everywhere.  I confess that I have not read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.  I have tended to stick more with Charles Hodge, R. L. Dabney, W.G.T. Shedd and the classics.  But my son Joseph has read Grudem, and highly recommends his book to me.  It really isn’t necessary to study Grudem’s details in order to do a takedown of the critique of Grudem (who is pro-self defense and in favor of gun rights) offered by Krish Kandiah at Christianity Today, entitled Should Christians Own Guns: A British Theologian’s Views.

Krish says:

Grudem argues that the reason the Second Amendment was added to the constitution was “to provide another protection against tyranny – to make it harder for any potential dictator or would-be king to take control of the entire nation against the will of the people.” This concern is probably not at the heart of the individual gun control debate at the moment as the right to bear arms against a tyrannical dictatorship is a different question as to whether Christians need to own guns now in a stable democratic environment.

He isn’t very well connected to the current American political scene, is he?  And if a stable environment is all he’s after, Adolf Hitler provided that while be deported the Jews for execution.  As writer Kurt Hofmann and I have both noted, the notion of self defense should include both individual self defense and defense against tyranny.  Only when understood in that light can the current debate in American be enveloped.  It may seem petty to focus on his misunderstanding of the American scene, but when writers show a fundamental misunderstanding of their subject it casts doubt on the value of the work.

Krish continues:

Even if we accept the premise that the there is a right to self-defence this does not necessarily mean the right to own a gun. There will always be limit to the expression of this right that would include a whole range of military hardware; even Grudem recognises that the private ownership of a “machine gun or anti-tank rocket launcher or an anti-aircraft missile launcher” are unnecessary. But still he argues that private hand gun ownership reduces crime as an attacker cannot be sure that their potential victim is unarmed. The counter argument of course is that it could make gun violence more likely as attackers could increasingly assume their victims are armed …

This is as amazing a quote as you will ever see in the gun control debate.  Seriously, read it again and let the bad logic of it wash over you.  He is proffering the argument that ownership of guns makes more likely that attackers will become violent because they will assume their victims are armed.  Thus, according to him, the best way to turn back the “gain” setting on violence is to allow attackers to attack you unmolested so that perhaps things won’t go as badly as they could if you were armed!  You simply can’t make this stuff up, you would have to read it from collectivists in order to believe that someone could actually say or think something like that.

Finally, note that Krish says:

Grudem argues that carrying weapons would help prevent “tragic mass murders in which a lone gunman can hold at bay an entire restaurant or church full of people… are much less likely to happen in states where a large number of people carry concealed weapons.”

But the counter arguments are, firstly, that if guns were more highly regulated then it would be a lot harder for potential mass murderers to get hold of guns in the first place. Secondly, Ellen Painter Dollar argues: “Police officers go through hours of specialized training to help them discern when the use of deadly force is justified. As we know from not a few front-page tragedies involving police shootings, despite such rigorous training, even the best-trained officers don’t always get it right.

Right.  The “best trained” officers.  Like the NYC LEOs who shoot blindly into the darkness, or the South Carolina cop who shot a man in the back, or the police in Buffalo who currently rule the world in dog shootings, or the wild gun play of the Cleveland Police.  The “best trained” officers, he opines.  And here you see irrational faith in LEOs and irrational fear of personal use of weapons.  Always look for the most irrational among us to claim that we are the irrational ones, projecting their fears on the rest of us.

But there is one theme that keeps coming up, and this theme recurs in another critique of Grudem’s work by someone from the Church in Toronto, Nigel Tomes.

David eluded King Saul’s spear; Paul evaded his pursuers by escaping Damascus in a basket; Jesus escaped hostile crowds (Luke 4:29-30; John 8:59). But these are examples of self-preservation, not of self-defense.

And there you have it.  A distinction without a difference – self preservation versus self defense.  Nigel wants men to be unarmed with the best of weapons, just as does Krish, so that they stand the maximum chance of being harmed or killed.  Nigel and Krish don’t care about the children.  They would rather see men, women and children suffer and perish at the hands of evil men, criminals after money, sex or something else, or criminals in the hire of the government, than to acquiesce to the notion that men are made in God’s image and thus life should be preserved.

But the willingness of professors and church leaders to beclown themselves in the name of pacifism goes on to ridiculous proportions with a professor of religion at the University of Texas, John Traphagan.

There are many law-abiding American gun owners who do not go out and kill people and who keep their guns stored safely. But as a whole, Americans do not seem to be able to handle gun ownership in a way that permits maintenance of a civil society. The reality is that the significant numbers of bad apples have spoiled it for those law-abiding gun owners, and it’s time that gun rights organizations such as the National Rifle Association recognize this and begin working with those who want realistic gun control laws, in part as a way of building trust with those who do not own gun.

As if we would pay heed to the NRA in any attempt to increase gun control laws!  No, here is what I think professor Traphagan is talking about.  Crime is highly concentrated among minorities.  Recent riots have been concentrated in minority communities and cities such as Ferguson or Baltimore.  Professor Traphagan knows this.  He is in effect saying that the black community cannot handle the responsibility of gun ownership.  I think professor Traphagan is a racist but doesn’t have the guts to admit his views.  Whites must be disarmed (as if that would be possible without a bloody civil war) in order to bring peace to the black communities.

These things are all pointers, milestones, and signals of a decaying and rotting church, both British and American (although the British church is all but dead, leading the American churches in total irrelevance to anything).  The Episcopal church that has been famously losing people for decades, decided to focus even more on progressive social programs and gun control, and is now losing even more people.  That has happened to the Presbyterian Church in the USA, and between the Presbyterian Church in America, the ARP and other smaller denominations, it cannot be said any more that the PSUSA is the “mainline” Presbyterian denomination.

Except for orthodox, conservative American churches, most American churches today are open sepulchers (and even some orthodox and conservative evangelical churches teach pacifism).

Jesus was a Bohemian, peacenik hippie to the modern American churches.  This is a testimony to how irrelevant, comfortable, self-absorbed and lard-ass the American church is, as also is the fact that hundreds of thousands of Christians can be slaughtered, sent into sexual slavery and driven out of Mesopotamia without so much as an imprecatory prayer by Christians in the West.  Shameful, disgusting, and sickening.  It causes me to turn away in revulsion from the organized American church in disrespect for most of what I see passing for orthodox Christianity today.

Christianity Today is as irrelevant as the American church, as irrelevant as a professor of religion at the University of Texas who wants to disarm law-abiding folks because of a few bad apples, and as irrelevant as the Church in Toronto.  Not a single one of them can manage to construct even a very basic analysis of Christians and self defense.  For the record, I don’t need Wayne Grudem to do that for me.  I have supplied adequate analysis of this issue.  As I’ve summarized before:

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

This same sort of thinking can be applied on a larger scale to states and nations as so expertly done by professor Darrell Cole in Good Wars (First Things), relying on the theology of both Calvin and Aquinas.  But this is a bridge too far for some Christians who are just now dealing with the notion that they might be in danger.

Now a word of advice for pastor[s] and “theologians” who proffer these laughable interpretations.  It’s things like this that cause congregants to lose respect for the pulpit, and nothing screams the irrelevance of the sermon more than the Biblical impossibility of the pronouncements of the pastor (or in other words, the inconsistency of what he says with the balance of Scripture).  It’s just best to leave your own political aberrations out of the pulpit and teach the Bible.

Or as I’ve repeated elsewhere, John Calvin, commenting on commandment and prohibition, observes:

We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden.  There is no one who doesn’t concede this.  That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment.  Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned.  But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify.  For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice.  We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds.  Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so.  Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).

Consistency isn’t the Hobgoblin of small minds.  It’s the stuff of life, and even the most dense commentator knows that the Decalogue isn’t subject to the whims of dispensation.  It is a reflection of the very character of God, and thus universally and in all times and epochs, man is made in God’s image and life is to be protected rather than stoically given away to those who would usurp what must fall under the purview of the only potentate, God Himself.  He grants it, and only He can take it or tell others how and when to take it.  When stolid commentators and professors disconnect Christ from the very law He came to fulfill, it’s easy to ascertain that something is very wrong.

Man is made in God’s image.  Careless disregard for life means disregard for God’s law and hypocrisy towards the creator and His words.  Hand-wringing over guns versus knives or clubs or pepper spray or locked doors just means that you’re straining at a gnat in order to swallow a camel.  You (Krish, Nigel and John) don’t care about the women or children.  You’re a self-absorbed, self righteous, pampered product of the effete chattering class, unnecessary to and a bad fit for the very people to whom you are speaking.  No one is listening any more.


The Second Amendment Creates A God-Given Right To Bear Arms?

No Guns In Church In Alabama?

Christian Leaders Say No To Christian Militia

Gentlemen, Prepare To Defend Yourselves!

A Desperate Cry From Iraq’s Christians

The PCUSA On Guns

Dear Christians With Guns

Concerning The Nigerian Christian Girls

Guns: Think Of The Children

Does Jesus Shoot An AR-15?

Baptist Forum Does Gun Control

Who Would Jesus Shoot?

The Golden Calf Of Gun Control

Faith And Firearms

Guns And Religion

When Christians Discuss Guns

Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense

Update On Remington 700 Settlement

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago


The Montana man whose nearly 15-year search for answers about the death of his son paved the way for a nationwide class action settlement with the Remington Arms Co. says the gun maker still is not coming clean. So now, Richard Barber says he is launching a new push to “inform and educate the public” about one of the most popular firearms in the world, and his claim that the guns can fire without the trigger being pulled.

Barber’s 9-year-old son Gus was killed during a family hunting trip in 2000 when a Remington Model 700 rifle went off as the boy’s mother was unloading it. At the worst possible moment, Gus had run behind a horse trailer and into the path of the bullet. Barbara Barber has consistently maintained that her hand was nowhere near the trigger.

Richard Barber says he eventually found thousands of customer complaints and internal documents that suggest Remington had known for decades about an alleged design flaw in the gun’s firing mechanism but did nothing about it despite dozens of deaths and injuries. Allegations of the defect and a cover up—both of which Remington has steadfastly denied—were the subject of the 2010 documentary “Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation.”

“The Model 700, including its trigger mechanism, has been free of any defect since it was first produced,” Remington told CNBC in 2010. “And, despite any careless reporting to the contrary, the gun’s use by millions of Americans has proven it to be a safe, trusted and reliable rifle.”

Last month, a federal judge in Missouri tentatively approved a nationwide settlement in which Remington agreed to replace the triggers on more than 7 million rifles equipped with what has become known as the Walker Fire Control—the same mechanism that was in the Barbers’ rifle. But the company still maintains the guns are safe, and has said it is settling the case to put an end to lengthy litigation. Barber says that stance is part of the reason he feels the need to speak out again.

“I wholeheartedly support the provisions in the class settlement in replacing the triggers,” Barber told CNBC in an interview Monday. As a result, he said, he will not formally object to the tentative settlement. Nonetheless, he said, “Remington’s statements (following the CNBC program in 2010) potentially constitute a fraud that not only endangered the public, but resulted in loss of life.”

Barber said he is concerned that Remington’s continued defense of the gun, as well as the company’s decision at the same time to launch a recall of a much smaller group of Model 700 rifles with a different firing mechanism, could either confuse customers or lull them into complacency.

“No deal is perfect,” he said, acknowledging that the company will likely never agree there is a problem.

“Nothing can force them to do that,” he said.

Remington is still denying any culpability, and Barber isn’t happy.  I told you so, and I told you so.  The most enlightening thing from the article is the comments.  This one is rich.

Once again if the gun wasn’t pointed horizontally this wouldn’t have happened. I can picture it completely. The mom like most women aren’t strong enough to hold the gun up or down while reloading it so she probably had it propped up on her leg with the gun pointing sideways and it went off.

And this one:

Basically comes down to the fact that the parents screwed up, they know it, and they are trying to blame someone else so they can sleep at night. I completely understand with such a tragic accident, but this is all this is about. They want to blame someone for their tragic mistake so they can feel better.

And finally, this:

Once somebody could repeat the condition of auto discharge of Model 700 that will proved the mechanism have a design flaw. But probably will be a lot of work to make it happen. Maybe a robot that will try all kind of positions for hours and hours will do it!

We’ve rehearsed the failures of the Walker fire control system before.  The reports are found here.  In this document, FSR and FOS is “fires when the safety is released,” and “fires on safe,” respectively.  The 700 does both.  There is no excuse for a single instance, ever.  EVER.  Not if the engineer is responsible and ethical and the management has moral fiber.

Is it the fault of the parents?  Yes.  Is it the fault of Remington?  Yes.  It isn’t either-or.  It is both-and.  It’s called defense in depth in firearms design and operation, and if you’re too stupid to understand this, you shouldn’t be posting comments to the internet.

Army Seeks Gun Industry Help On M4 Carbine

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

The U.S. Marine Corps led the way.  At the time I said this:

Recall that I told you “that Rock River Arms, Knights Armament, LaRue Tactical and Daniel Defense isn’t the Colt produced under milspec for the Army and Marine Corps (these are all superior to the Colt M-16 and M-4)?”  And recall that John Jay and I have both discussed Milspec and what it does (and doesn’t) mean?

It should also be pointed out that there are many things that can be tweaked on the Stoner platform (Milspec design) that can make it much more reliable than the Colt.

Fouling in the M4 is not the problem. The problem is weak springs (buffer and extractor), as well as light buffer weights (H vs. H2 or H3). With the abovementioned drop-in parts, the M4 is as reliable as any weapon I have ever fired, and I have fired probably every military-issue assault rifle fielded worldwide in the last 60 years as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant (18B). An additional benefit of the heavier spring/weight combo is that it transmits the energy impulse of the firing cycle to the shoulder over a longer duration, lowering the amount of foot pounds per second and dramatically reducing the perceived recoil. Follow-on shots are easier to make effectively, and much faster, especially at 50 meters and beyond.

I reliably fired 2400 rounds (80 magazines) on a bone dry gun, and I would bet that is a lot more than any soldier or other armed professional will ever come close to firing without any lubrication whatsoever. So, disregard the fouling myth and install a better buffer spring, H2 buffer, enhanced extractor spring and a Crane O-ring (all end user drop-in parts). With normal (read “not excessive”) lubrication and maintenance, properly-built AR-15/M4 type rifles with carbine gas systems will astound you with their reliability and shootability.

The high quality AR-15 manufacturers know all of this and generally make their parts better than Milspec.  But now the Army wants in on the game.

The Army is asking the gun industry to build new components for its soldiers’ primary weapon — the M4 carbine — a move that experts say is a tacit admission that the service has been supplying a flawed rifle that lacks the precision of commercially available guns.

At a recent Capitol Hill hearing, an Army general acknowledged that the M4’s magazine has been responsible for the gun jamming during firefights.

On the federal government’s website, the Army announced a “market survey” for gunmakers to produce a set of enhancements to essentially create a new model — the “M4A1+.” It would include a modular trigger, a new type of rail fitted around a “free floating” barrel and other parts. The upgrade is supposed to improve the rifle’s accuracy and reliability.

The Army last year took the significant step of beginning to convert the basic M4 into the special operations version, the M4A1, with a heavier barrel designed to better withstand the heat of rapid fire.

The Washington Times reported in 2014 on confidential prewar tests that showed the barrel was prone to overheating. The Times also quoted active-duty soldiers who said the M4 is inferior based on their experience in battle. A Green Beret said he takes the extraordinary step of rebuilding his M4A1 on the battlefield by using components from other gunmakers — technically a violation of Army regulations.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, an artillery officer and decorated Vietnam combatant, is one of the M4’s most vocal critics. He also believes the 5.56 mm M855A1 ammunition — an environmentally sensitive, or “green,” round — is wrong for the gun.

Gen. Scales said the Army’s new solicitation is further proof of the carbine’s shortfalls.

“It’s another attempt by the Army to make the M4 look good,” he said. “If the Army wants to improve the M4, fine. But it’s not a weapon suitable for high-intensity, close combat in extremes against an enemy who is basically matching us in weapons performance in a close fight. Everybody knows the weapon has flaws.”

Mr. Scales said the M4’s basic shortfall is that it uses gas, or direct, impingement to extract and expel its shells as opposed to a piston system. A piston firing mechanism is in the prolific AK-47, which runs cleaner and cooler but is considered slightly less accurate.

This article is a complete mess.  It goes from things that we’ve discussed before that should be obvious (such as a floated barrel to avoid interference with [natural frequency] barrel harmonics by fixed points), to old battle philosophy (such as the notion that Solders and Marines today shoot Carbines fully automatic as if they are some sort of area suppression weapon like a SAW – seriously, this is thirty or forty year old battle tactics, the stuff of Vietnam rather than the professionally trained fighters of the twenty first century).

It ends (for me, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to read any more) when that loud mouth, washed up old coot General Scales started begging for the piston system again.  Good grief.  He weighs in against the Eugene Stoner platform for CQB, which is ironically the situation in which it is the best weapon on earth by far.  My message is clear.  Just stop.  The main stream media needs to stop being a day late to the story.  We’ve already worked this one over until it’s bloody.  General Scales needs to go home and stop advocating for whatever armament company he’s working for today.  The Marine Corps and Army need to stop telling the world what they are going to do about non-existent problems with their weapons.  They have diarrhea of the mouth.  Wanat and Kamdesh were not caused by weapons problems.  They were caused by the idiot general who deployed Platoon-size U.S. forces to ensconce themselves in valleys to fight off Battalion-size Taliban forces who had the high ground.

But what does need to happen is with the Marine Corps and Army.  The procedures need to change to allow the armorers the freedom and latitude to arm the men with the weapons they need.  If they want Magpul magazines (with the no-tilt follower), then they should get them instead of the ridiculous Milspec magazines with the follower that binds and sticks (yea, it’s happened to me too).  If a free floated barrel is better (and it is), then change the Military specifications to allow a free floated barrel and replace them all.  If stronger buffer springs are better, then replace them all.  Just go do it.  Adapt, improvise and overcome.  Don’t be bureaucratic pointy-heads.

And something needs to happen with Patriots too.  We should all learn from the intransigence of the Army and Marine Corps.  If there is a better part, buy it.  Test it.  Work your weapons systems.  Learn them.  Practice with them.  Procedures are good insofar as they help you.  If they become a hindrance, defenestrate them.  You control them – they do not control you.

And by the way, around these parts we speak the name of Eugene Stoner with hushed reverence.  Do otherwise at your peril.


Army And Marine Corps On M855 Ammunition

Marines To Get Rifle Makeovers

Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses

The Reliability Of The Eugene Stoner Design

Fortune Magazine On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago


Doug, who runs the website, asks us not to use his last name or to identify the town where he works. “I’m just in Nebraska,” he says. “What’s on the website,” he continues, “that’s the information that can be given out. I just want to see where it’s going to go. Take baby steps. Move forward as it progresses.”

A lifetime National Rifle Association member, Doug earns his living as a gunsmith and licensed firearms dealer, selling pistols, revolvers, assault rifles, and machine guns to law enforcement and other qualified customers.

That’s all ho-hum. But is sensitive stuff, so Doug wants to insulate his mainstream business from it.

Is he dealing in contraband? Peddling vice?

No. Doug is selling the Armatix iP1, a semiautomatic pistol developed by the renowned weapons designer and executive Ernst Mauch. During his more than 30 years with his prior employer, Germany’s Heckler & Koch …

So it starts oh so secretive, with the roll-in to H&K who supplies LEOs, armed forces, and so on.  It’s breathtaking, all this secrecy, or that’s what the author intends.  But remember H&K’s we hate you, no, we mean it, we really hate you attitude towards anyone but LEOs.  As for Doug, I couldn’t care less what he does or what he sells.  The market will determine whether he is successful or not.  I didn’t know about his web site and have no reason ever to visit it.

How out of touch the author is comes clear in this paragraph:

Additionally, the hope is that smart guns could reduce the toll of murdered police officers, killed when their service revolvers are wrested away from them. (From 2004 to 2013, according to FBI statistics, 33 police officers were murdered with their own weapons.)

Now I love me a wheel gun and carry one every day, but find a LEO who still carries a “service revolver.”  No, really, it’s a serious question – find me one.  I bet you can’t.  They all carry semi-auto plastic frame guns now.  If I was a LEO they would have to grant special dispensation to carry a 1911.

If Armatix can persuade such a unit to adopt the iP9, the world will change.

“I’ve never been more optimistic about personalized guns than I am now,” says Stephen Teret, the founding director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research, who has been pushing for safer gun designs for more than 30 years. “It’s going to happen. And the American gun companies can either get on board or they can become Kodak.”

Breathless!  “The world will change!”  You can read the rest of the article on your own time.  The article asks of smart guns, “They’re ready, are we?”  But that isn’t what they really mean.  What they really meant to ask is when America will be ready to have smart guns crammed down our throats by regulation?

The reality is that if there was a demand for smart guns, they would already have a significant market share.  There isn’t, and they don’t.  It all has nothing whatsoever to do with the NRA or NSSF.  As for whether we will allow “smart guns” to be mandated, I can’t think of a better way to foment civil war focusing on 4GW.  The Fortune author wasn’t thinking about that when he asked if we’re ready, was he?  So we might ask the author, are you ready?

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