Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Teaching By Humiliation In The Gun Community Part II

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 4 days ago

So in this post I discussed teaching by humiliation using the example of Pat Rogers, who apparently used patches to reward shooters who failed to properly seat their magazines.

This started the comments as if on queue about how I had it all wrong, was disrespecting dearly beloved and dearly departed Pat, and so on and so forth.  You can go read the comments for yourself, I won’t delete them.  But I have banned the commenters for a number of reasons that are too numerous and involved to outline here.  For one thing, I don’t write for low information, non-thinking readers.  I write for thinking men and women.

But if you start at the beginning and read the post before the comments, and then start at the beginning of the comment thread, you’ll see several things.  First of all, the article was intended to refer to beginner shooters, or beginner competitors, not those who were well versed and highly experienced as shooters.

I didn’t know Pat and don’t need to.  But the intent of the article was clear.  Giving patches out to beginners to demarcate their failure is bad pedagogical strategy.  One commenter said this.

I’ve been drilled and grilled by Pat, Steve Fisher, Jeff Gonzales, cops in classes, and students that were friends. I’m no gunfighter, but I know I never will be if they don’t take the time to drill in to me what I need to know. I’d rather have that than some gentle “hey buddy, do you need a hug? How can I help you get better, little guy?” bullshit.

When I go in to classes, I know that I better put on my big boy pants and toughen up for the shit storm that’s gonna hit me if I fuck up. This isn’t tennis. People fucking die if they get this shit wrong.

Well aren’t you big shit?  This is stated from the perspective of an experienced shooter, and if he wants to be big shit and get grilled by someone, consider my son when he was a Marine preparing his boots for deployment after he received them from SOI into the fleet.

He didn’t use patches.  No, with the entire chain of command watching, up through Lt. Col., he practiced his boots at the range until they scored “expert” on the range (iron sights, 500 yards).  When they failed, he would take the butt of his gun, slam it into the back of the Marine who failed (still prone), and then tell them to do it again.  If you want punitive encouragement, I doubt you could do much better than that (although there are other times I can’t tell you about).  This process was repeated until every one of the boots under his responsible charge scored expert.

There are no snow flakes in the U.S. Marine Corps.  This is clearly NOT what I am talking about in the linked article.  I’m sure of it.  I was discussing being an evangelist for shooting, and it was clear enough that commenters Fred, Blake and Archer clearly understood what I was saying.  On to be sure, we ridicule all sort of folks around here, most especially cops who have negligent discharges.  I even confess to errors from time to time.  Recently I confessed to sending 200-300 rounds down range, poorly, only to figure out that my EOTech was loose.  I had failed to check my dope before I started – perhaps I’ll use green Loctite before I start next time.

What we were CLEARLY discussing isn’t bravado like “shitstorm” and people “fucking dying if they get this stuff wrong.”  What we were CLEARLY discussing was new shooters and the encouragement and instruction they need.  I’ll tell you what.  You go to public ranges and start throwing your crap around about people dying and “shit storms” if people screw up, and watch (a) all those women take back their pink and purple pistols to the gun store and ask for their money back, and (b) those same women walk into the voting booth and vote to make your guns illegal.

Now to be sure, the fact that my guns suddenly become illegal doesn’t mean that I lose them.  It just means that the bloody civil war we are all trying to avoid is that much closer and maybe even upon us.  The shooting sports are growing, and people who never would have purchased and learned to use a gun (e.g., women) are doing so in huge numbers.

You’ll learn to speak their language, you’ll learn good pedagogical techniques, you’ll figure out how to encourage them, or you’ll lose them because you are stupid.  You act like monkeys and think like idiots, when you need to be thinking men.  To be sure, if you’re taking a class on fire and maneuver and small unit warfare tactics, handgun presentation, rapid target acquisition, and so on, you need to be disciplined.  Patches don’t do it.  And to be sure, we all need to make sure that the issues about gun safety are taught with the utmost diligence and without sugar coating anything.

But that’s a world apart from failing to seat a mag in the mag well for a brand new shooter who is scared even to be out on the range with you or me.  Besides, if you are experienced shooters you shouldn’t need that anyway.  And if you’re cops, you have no business as militarized SWAT teams.  Put on a uniform and act like a peace officer.  Or if you want to play warrior, join up go across the pond and do it for real.  I have no patience for tacticool cops.

In the mean time, I make no apologies for telling my readers they need to consider encouraging instructional methods for new shooters.  This is how we win friends and converts, and if it’s possible to win the political battle before us, this is how we avoid a bloody civil war.  You want hell on earth?  Go without power for two years after the electrical grid has been destroyed.  Watch as the entire city of New York goes without water for a month after the Catskill Aqueduct has been destroyed.  None of us wants that, and I specifically advocate against that.  It’s much cleaner to win the political battle.

For all of the new commenters here from Facebook (God, I hate Facebook), think before you write.  And take a course in literature.  Perhaps if English wasn’t a second language to you it would have been clear that the article was about evangelizing new shooters.  Because … that’s what I said in the article.

U.S. Versus Robinson, U.S. Versus Black, U.S. Versus Rodriguez, And Judge Neil Gorsuch: Do Not Touch The Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

We previously discussed the terrible, no good, very bad ruling the Fourth Circuit recently handed down on Robinson and how it differed 180 degrees from their decision in Black.

Neil Gorsuch, who is apparently in consideration for the Supreme Court of the U.S., concurred in a ruling that was just as bad as Robinson and very similar.

The facts of the case are these.  A New Mexico policeman observed Mr. Rodriguez, a convenience store clerk, carrying a concealed handgun.  Carrying a concealed loaded handgun is illegal in New Mexico without a permit but legal if one has a license to do so.  The officer, upon seeing a Rodriguez’s handgun, detained him, then – acting first and asking questions later – forcibly disarmed Rodriguez.  After finding out that Rodriguez did not, in fact, have a license to carry and, indeed, was a convicted felon, the officer placed him under arrest.

Of course, hard cases make bad law.  But the precedent from the Rodriguez opinion will affect police-citizen relations in New Mexico, and possibly elsewhere in the Tenth Circuit, for many years to come.  Not bothering to figure out the legality of Rodriguez’s firearm before detaining and disarming him, the officer’s initial actions would have been the same even if Mr. Rodriguez had been a lawful gun owner.

According to the 10th Circuit’s opinion, the police are justified in forcibly disarming every armed citizen based on nothing more than the presence of a concealed firearm.  This allows the police to treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal – which, in many cases we have seen, includes rough treatment such as grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him.  Far too many police officers do not like anyone to be armed other than themselves and have taken it upon themselves to intimidate those who dare to exercise Second Amendment rights.  Under the Rodriguez decision, only after being forcibly disarmed and detained would a citizen be entitled to demonstrate that he was lawfully exercising his Second Amendment rights.

This is a hideously bad decision, and enables LEOs to forcibly violate constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure whenever they feel like it for their own “protection.”  How innocent citizens get their protection from negligent discharges, beatings by LEOs, and violations of their right to privacy is left unaddressed by the tenth circuit because the tenth circuit doesn’t care.

Any man who believes that LEOs have the right to disarm innocent civilians because they feel like it isn’t fit to be on any bench, much less the Supreme Court of the United States.  Neil Gorsuch should resign his post along with his colleagues on the tenth circuit and be replaced by good men who believe in the constitution.

Now let me address something I’ve mentioned before.  If you are a LEO reading this column, if you stop anyone whom you have no evidence is guilty of a crime and you touch their gun, or ask them to touch it thinking that you are actually decreasing risk, you are an idiot.  You are an idiot and your procedures are written by idiots.

This is about configuration management.  The safest possible configuration for the both of you is to leave your gun alone, and leave his gun alone.  Do … not … touch … them.  Do not risk negligent discharges, do not mistake intentions, do not engender suspicions.  Do not touch the guns.

Do not touch the guns.  Do not play with guns, yours or his.  Do not touch the guns.  Do not engage in high risk behavior.  Do not touch the guns.  Leave them the hell alone.  Do not touch the guns.  Keep your finger off the trigger of the guns, do not depress the grip safety, do not put your damn hand on any gun, his or yours.  Do not touch the guns.  Do not touch the guns.

Damn, people.  Just damn.

Teaching By Humiliation In The Gun Community

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

After embedding the video below.

Bob Owens says the following:

Dearly departed AR-15 guru Pat Rogers had a special patch he would give out to students who failed to properly seat their AR-15 mags and commenced to shooting, only to watch that loaded but not locked magazine hit the dirt.

In other words, teach by humiliation.  Um … no.  If you’re a U.S. Marine you might get beaten up for not doing something right.  But we American gun owners are in a different category inasmuch as we are evangelists for the cause.

The way to add to the roles of new gun owners is to teach them, encourage them, be patient with them, and gently correct their mistakes.  There is no quicker way to eviscerate the ranks of gun owners than to make it an “us-four-and-no-more” boys club of folks who know everything, or think they do, and those who get ridiculed.  If you want to be on the outside looking in with your rights gradually stripped, do just that.  Ridicule those who don’t understand.

I was watching a video of 3-gun competition once with Rob Leatham [Edit: it might have been IDPA or some other competition] shooting and heard him and others ridiculing some participant (behind his back) who was shooting more slowly, wouldn’t have won, and yet was probably learning and having fun.  The thing to do would have been to befriend him and encourage him, not embarrass him.

I was quite turned off at Rob when I heard that.  Really.  I was completely repulsed.  I will have a hard time ever watching another one of his videos for that reason.  Disciples are made, not born.  Teachers who teach by humiliation aren’t teachers at all.  Our community doesn’t need them.

Travis Haley On Deliberate Practice

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Gun Rights Are Absolute

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Concord Monitor:

… an individual’s right to bear arms was not clearly stated in the Constitution. It was the Supreme Court in a 2008 decision that decided that the right goes beyond “a well regulated militia” and that it also belongs to an individual (District of Columbia v. Heller). But the Supreme Court also made it very clear in that same decision that this right was not so “absolute” that the federal, state or local government could not make and enforce restrictions. Those like Baldasaro who say their right cannot be “infringed” need to read the Supreme Court’s decision.

The majority decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote: “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions or qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms.”

The language is a little awkward for a non-lawyer like myself and Justice Scalia obviously cannot be asked for any clarification, but I believe Scalia is saying that a law to prevent firearms in schools is “constitutionally permitted.” In other words, there is no constitutional guarantee of your right to go into a school with a gun. You definitely could lose this “right” simply by walking into a school, if a restriction on this exists. And I would add, this would also apply to guns at polling places, which would be considered sensitive places in our communities.

One clever commenter cites John Cockrum v. State, but he has the quote slightly wrong and misses a few words, important words.

The right of a citizen to bear arms, in the lawful defence of himself or the state, is absolute.  He does not derive it from the state government, but directly from the sovereign convention of the people that framed the state government.  It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and is “excepted out of the general powers of the government.”  A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the law-making power.

This is strong tea, but not strong enough for my tastes.  First of all, we do not derive our authority to bear arms from the sovereign convention of the people, but rather, from God Himself because man is made in God’s image and it is his duty to protect that image.

Moreover, while this statement does pertain to the state of Texas, it doesn’t go to the federal government because it got the very genesis of our rights and duties wrong.  Regular reader Frank Clarke does better when he turns the conversation to what the constitution does.  Our rights are not based in the constitution, but rather it enumerates them in order to prevent the federal government from trespassing those rights.  It delineates what the federal government cannot do, not what we can do.

Finally, I’m uncomfortable with the notion that the constitution or any judicial action or decision “secures” our rights.  It simply isn’t true.  Our rights are secured in heaven, and on earth two things obtain.  First of all, if the covenant(s) within which we live do not reflect God’s laws, they are an abomination and dishonor God.  They are null and void.  Second, to the extent that they do, when we fail to live within the framework of that covenant, man’s covenant itself broken and therefore null and void.

Our rights are secured by the fact that we are armed.  Only armed men can protect themselves from wicked governments intent on doing harm to those men by making them unable to defend themselves or their loved ones.  That’s why men can never wait on judicial action to arm themselves, and can never disarm.  Disarmament is wicked, whether personally or nationally.

Fourth Circuit Gets Amnesia And Forgets Its Own Precedents On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

National Review:

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just suffered from an outbreak of bad judging. In an en banc opinion, the court ruled that after a lawful traffic stop, the police may frisk any person who they believe may possess a firearm, regardless of whether that person possesses a concealed-carry permit. The court actually typed this sentence: “The danger justifying a protective frisk arises from the combination of a forced police encounter and the presence of a weapon, not from any illegality of the weapon’s possession” (emphasis added.) The implications were clear: Even lawful gun owners are by definition “dangerous” and can be broadly treated as such by the state.

Before I get to the sad weakness of the court’s reasoning, let’s discuss the specific facts of U.S. v. Robinson, the case that brought us to this strange and perilous place. Police received a call that a man “in a parking lot well known for drug-trafficking activity” loaded a gun, put it in his pocket, and got in the passenger side of a car. Let’s pause for a moment and note that there is nothing inherently unlawful about any of that. It’s not unlawful to walk in a dangerous area, ride in cars in dangerous areas, or carry guns in dangerous areas. Indeed, it might well be prudent to carry where the danger is greatest.

Police later pulled over the car (the driver and passenger weren’t wearing seatbelts). Given the report that the passenger might be armed, the officer asked him to step out of the car rather than dig in his pocket for ID. The passenger, Shaquille Robinson, stepped outside. As he did, the officer asked him whether he was armed. Robinson gave the officer a “weird look,” an “Oh, crap” look that the officer interpreted as “I don’t want to lie to you, but I’m not going to tell you anything.” The officer frisked Robinson, found that he was carrying a weapon, and then recognized that he was a convicted felon. The officer then promptly arrested him as a felon in possession of a gun.

So no law was being broken, but the officer was justified based on his own safety to violate the person’s right against illegal search and seizure, the right intended for situations just like this.  Now compare and contrast this decision with the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in the case of Nathanial Black.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

It’s legal to openly carry a gun in North Carolina, and the mere presence of a gun was no excuse for having detained him.  The Fourth Circuit reached the correct conclusion.

So I guess someone hit them on the head with a hammer and forced amnesia.  The Fourth Circuit opinion in the case of Nathaniel Black is a good one.  This most recent one is not, and if it wasn’t amnesia, perhaps they were drunk.

Precision Chassis Rifles From The 2017 SHOT Show

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Ammoland does a nice job of writing up five new precision chassis rifles debuted at the SHOT show.  Except for one thing.  I’m not even interested in looking at the models unless you have a price affixed to them.  Fortunately, a commenter does this for us.

Ill save others the hassle of looking for MSRP’s. IWI doesnt even show the rifle above, Tikka doesnt show an MSRP on their site, the other three list for about $1500-to $1600, which come with a number of features standard, plus options. Ill say the obvious, put an MSRP in your press releases/ads and make sure your web site has the product you are talking about.

I don’t know if he’s got the prices right.  Some of the Bergara precision rifles start at > $2600 and go up from there – way up.  For the folks who debut these things at the SHOT show, you need to have them on the web site, true enough, and you need to stick a price tag with them.  If you’re not ready to price it, then you’re not ready to debut it.

But more to the point, if you’re getting ready to ask for > $2000 for a precision chassis rifle, you’re asking too much.  Bring the prices down or there won’t be sufficient interest to make the gun except as a special order item for professional precision rifle shooters, of which there are about 150 in the country.

U.S. Army Chooses Sig Sauer P320

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Fox News:

The U.S. Army on Thursday awarded Sig Sauer a contract worth $580 million to make the next service pistol based on the company’s P320 handgun.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

“We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice,” Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of Sig Sauer, said in a statement to here at SHOT Show, the world’s largest gun show, taking place this week in the city.

“Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees, their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world,” Cohen added.

Whatever.  Color me unimpressed.  Go look at the model.  I’m not a Sig fanboi (nor a Glock fanboi), so I hadn’t really noticed the Sig pistols all that much.

This is God’s honest truth.  The first thing I thought when I saw that thing was “The slide profile is very tall and it has a high bore axis and so it will have worse muzzle flip” (well, I say God’s honest truth, but to be completely honest, this thought coincided with the thought “boy that thing is ugly”).

Now to be sure, you can look at the Sig fanboi forums (yes, here are such things), and they swear up and down that Sigs don’t have a high bore axis, and even if they do it doesn’t mean there’s more muzzle flip.  That’s a myth.  It isn’t real.  Seriously, you can’t make this up.  Go look at the forums yourself.

Well, here it goes, so listen up.  The bore axis is higher in this pistol than any I’ve ever seen (distance between bore and web of your hand in Cartesian space, here think the “y” axis, straight up and down).  The greater the moment arm, the greater the force.  That’s engineering mechanics to those who have taken courses in statics and dynamics.

Or to little boys who first learn to work a jack when they change a tire.  Amusingly, Uncle says “I also don’t disagree with picking the Sig. Or if they’d have picked the M&P. So long as they went with a striker-fired, polymer-framed gun that holds a lot of bullets. And isn’t an XD or Taurus.”

Well, that puts me about 180 degrees out with Uncle, since it eliminates 1911 and XDm, the only two guns I would want to take into combat.  I thought about that the other day (“If I had to go to combat, what sidearm would I want to take?”), and while my heart says 1911 because I shoot it better than any gun I have, my head says XDm for its durability, reliability, simplicity and 11 degree 1911-style grip angle.

I could beat on it with a sledge hammer and it would still work, I’m convinced.  All of you Glock owners out there, you realize that your grip isn’t the perfect 11 degrees, right?  And all of you M&P owners, take your pistol (make sure it has no rounds in the chamber first), look at it from the side, and observe the gap between the front of the slide and the frame compared to lack of gap at the rear of the gun.  You can even take your fingers and squeeze the slide together with the frame at the front of the gun.  It rattles.  This is true of all M&Ps.  The slide sits a full 1/8″ off the frame at the front sight.

You see, right?  Did you M&P owners do it like I suggested?  I don’t like that gap for reasons too numerous to outline here.  I don’t shoot 9mm (chamber pressure of around 35,000 psi compared to around 25,000 psi for the .45 ACP), and I don’t have Sigs.

As for other reviews, there is this one from Shooting Illustrated, and in it there are these nuggets.

One of the pistol’s features I really like is the cutouts on either side of the frame, which allow the magazine to be stripped forcefully from the frame when necessary, such as when correcting a double-feed.

Funny, that.  I’ve shot thousands of rounds through my XDm, and I’ve never had a double-feed.  Not a single FTF or FTE.  Not even once.  And then there is this.

My overall complaint about the P320 is a net that I’ll cast over nearly every SIG pistol: a bore axis that results in more muzzle flip than necessary.

Well, like I said.  So to reiterate my take on the Army decision … whatever.  I won’t be getting one.

New Hampshire Senate Passes Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

New Hampshire Union Leader:

The state Senate, as expected, voted along party lines, 13-10, on Thursday to approve a bill that would make it easier to legally carry a concealed weapon in New Hampshire.

Senate Bill 12 to eliminate the state’s permit requirement for concealed carry was endorsed in a 3-2 vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 10.

State Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, said the change will make New Hampshire residents less safe by removing the authority of police chiefs to pick and choose which residents will be allowed to carry a concealed handgun. Current law allows police chiefs to determine if someone is “suitable” for a concealed carry permit.”

SB 12 will revoke a process that has worked well in our state for more than a century,” said Lasky. “It’s a process that balances the Second Amendment rights of our citizens with local control of law enforcement to ensure that potentially dangerous people are not allowed to carry concealed weapons.”

New Hampshire is one of 31 states that give law enforcement the power to deny a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

[ … ]

D’Allesandro said the state’s police chiefs oppose the change …

I’m sure they do oppose constitutional carry.  It destroys a revenue stream from which they can buy brand new Dodge Chargers, Comms gear and top of the line AR-15s.

“Pick and choose.”  Remember that folks.  That’s what the progressives want to do.  They want to pick and choose the special people.  You may not be on that list.  As for the criminal, he’s not worried one way or the other.

Tennessee Bill To Allow Open Carry Without A Permit

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

A Tennessee lawmaker is hoping to loosen Tennessee’s gun carry laws.

State Rep. Micah Van Huss, a Republican from Jonesborough, has introduced a bill to eliminate the need for a permit to open carry a handgun.

Under the law, you would still need a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but if you wear the gun openly, you would not need a permit.

House Bill 40 would amend the state’s weapon laws for open carry to bring Tennessee in line with several other states.

Several lawmakers who spoke with Tri-Cities NBC-affiliate WCYB said they support the proposal.

“Tennessee has eight bordering states, I think seven of them allow what’s called open carry,” said state Senator Jon Lundberg, for Tennessee’s 1st District. “Has it changed the dynamics in Virginia and North Carolina, not really.”

The bill has been introduced twice and was rejected both times. If approved, Tennessee would join the other 29 states that don’t require these permits.

“This is one that people are passionate about, they’re either for it very strongly or against it very strongly,” said Lundberg. “So you will see those kind of passions come out this time around.”

Right now, the bill is still in the early stages and doesn’t have a senate sponsor yet.

Well, it needs a sponsor, and it needs to be passed this time around.  Frankly, I thought that Tennessee was already a gold star open carry state like my own state of North Carolina.

Tennessee needs to join the ranks of states that recognize God-given rights like this one.  Anyway, Tennessee can show the way to Texans, who have permitted open carry, and who are flirting with constitutional carry if only the awful Lieutenant Governor will get out of the way.

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