Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



Semi-Automatic Versus Bolt Action For Precision Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Precision Rifle Blog has a very interesting piece up on semi-automatics (in this case, AR style rifles) versus bolt action rifles for precision shooting.  It is noteworthy that, according to PRB, “there isn’t a single shooter among the top 100 competitors in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) using a semi-automatic rifle. Why not? Even though speed, maneuverability, and recoil management are huge parts to that game, the best shooters are all running bolt-action rifles. Some believe that is because AR’s can’t achieve the same precision as bolt guns, so the goal of this test was to quantify the precision difference between a couple of high-end gas guns and a custom bolt-action rifle.”

But they put all of this to the test by comparing bolties and ARs in a side-by-side competition.  It’s worth your time to go investigate his findings.  He uses the 6.5 Creedmoor for his test, and I’ll comment on this in a moment.  It’s also noteworthy that the group sizes look like this.

6_5-Creedmoor-AR-Groups-Size

Now let me speak for a moment on testing for MOA.  Barrel harmonics and its effect on bullet placement is a heuristic process.  It will follow the Central Limit Theorem.  If you shoot three or five shots and claim that your MOA is thus-and-so, you haven’t really given us useful information because you don’t have fractional standard deviation (relative error) and variance of the variance (VOV) information along with the test data for us to ascertain how good it is (and it won’t be good with such few shots).  Understand what I’m saying.  The more rounds you put down range, the more you will fill in the tails of the distribution and the wider your MOA will be (or at least, you will be able to give us your MOA with its associated standard deviation).  There is no such thing as MOA.  There is only MOA with its associated standard deviation.

This is a pet peeve of mine, but when anyone – shooters or manufacturer – tells you that a gun is 1 MOA “out of the box,” they aren’t really telling you anything about how many rounds they used to make this judgment.  But moving on from this, I’ll note that the high-end ARs are performing very well.

There is another point to be made.  I’ll turn to WeaponsMan for his observations.

Money spent on accuracy not used is money wasted. In economic terms, it’s an opportunity cost. 100%, to a first approximation, of shooters, would improve their lethality and therefore their safety in an armed encounter if they put those dollars into ammo, or, especially, training. Yet the guy who balks at taking a pistol class (unless maybe he can take it from a high-speed “operator” who wears designer Multicam down to his skivvies) will drop that money on a tuned 1911. Who are you going to shoot with that 1911? If you’re the late Paul Poole, you shot F-type silhouettes at 100 yards to get people’s attention; if you’re a ranked competitor, you might need that edge when X-rings decide who takes home the trophy. But who are you going to plug with a .45? A burglar in your bedroom? A carjacker in the pax seat of your Prius?

The waste of excessive accuracy is not the only problem with high-precision weaponry. Yes, precision costs money — any gunsmith, machinist, hell, any biologist sequencing a bacterial genome will tell you that. Costs rise asymptotically as you approach the goal of perfection.  And yes, all this is bad. Because money is fungible, at the defense ministry or service finance level, a dollar spent on excess accuracy is a dollar than can’t buy training ammo, tank fuel, medical supplies or new radios (or anything else).

But the things that make for optimum accuracy alone may not be suitable for a general purpose weapon. Have you ever wondered why all M1 Garands or M14s weren’t National Match rifles? It’s not just because Uncle Same Numba Ten Cheap Charlie. It’s because some of the NM “improvements” are only improvements for the express purpose of match competition. Tighter parts fit? Hand-lapped locking lugs? A “blueprinted” or tight chamber? A smaller rear-sight aperture? All of these things are wonderful when your target is a bullseye at 500 yards, but they’re no help when your target’s the 10,000 screaming Norks or Chinamen who are coming to take your position or die trying. Indeed, since history tells us that you’ll be facing that human wave in bitter cold, blowing sleet, enervating heat or jungle monsoons, accuracy for a service rifle is defined as practical accuracy that a real-world rifleman (who is not NRA Distinguished or the owner of a Presidents Hundred tab) can employ in real-world combat.

Engineers have a saying for this. “The best is the enemy of the good.” Excess performance over practical specs has uncertain benefits but very real costs.

Yea, engineers have another saying too.  Good, fast and cheap.  Choose any two.  I have chosen the middle of the road.  Rock River Arms has a nice competition grade rifle (5.56) with an 18″ stainless steel barrel, sleek barrel shroud and muzzle brake, and it’s not cheap, but it also isn’t top of the line expensive.  It’s advertised as 0.75 MOA, and it’s obviously designed for 3-gun competition (as well as some distance shooting competitions).  I have one on order as a complement to my RRA 16″ barrel carbine with rails.

Folks, 0.75 MOA challenges the best that most bolt action rifles can do.  This is true of 5.56 mm, and I see that the 6.5 Creedmoor bolt actions are similarly challenged by AR designs.  I’m not sure that the same can be said of 7.62/.308.  In fact if you read the forums on the AR-10, commenters are rather down on the lack of similar design features / lack of modularity, breaking parts, higher expense to get the accuracy, and other things.  It may be that accomplishing this kind of accuracy with .308 in semi-automatic invokes the observations about too much expense to get the accuracy.

And 0.75 MOA challenges what I can do with a rifle as well.  Other manufacturers have similar designs for 3-gun and target competition with ARs (they usually involve 18″ SS barrels and a muzzle brake).  It’s good to see manufacturers closing the gap between semi-automatics and bolt actions on the smaller calibers, but I’m not sure that I expect for this progress to hold for the larger calibers.

North Carolina Teen Uses Rifle To Scare Off Three Intruders

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

WNCN.com:

SNOW CAMP, N.C. (WMFY) — A teenage girl is credited for scaring off intruders at her parents’ home with a rifle.

It happened on Lambe Road in Snow Camp around 12 p.m. Thursday.

Kirk Puckett, a spokesperson for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, said two sisters, 12 and 13, were inside the home when they heard knocking on the front door.

Puckett said when they looked outside, they saw three unfamiliar men. He said the older sister grabbed her dad’s rifle.

The suspects then broke in through the back door. Puckett said the 13-year-old pointed the rifle at them, causing them to run away without taking anything.

[ … ]

“There’s a school of thought where folks will say, ‘I’m armed, and if someone comes in my house someone is going to get shot or die,’” Puckett said. “There’s the other school of thought to retreat. Where someone would retreat out of another exit. Go into another room and barricade themselves.”

Wait!  This is impossible.  It doesn’t fit the narrative.  According to the progressives, she should have shot herself because guns are more dangerous to the person wielding them than to the person at the end of the barrel.  And she should have just waited around to be raped or killed.  According to the progressives.

As for whether a person flees or fights, if you’re not in a confined space and have means of egress, evasion and escape, then it might pay to retreat (of course, while maintaining situational awareness), especially if you’re not in your own home.  But the notion that one should just go hide in a closet or try to jump out of a window is profoundly bad counsel.  Criminals can close the gap very quickly, and you just might hear that knock at the door to the closet, or jump into the arms of a rapist or murderer.

Get guns.  Learn how to use them.  This teenage girl managed to do just fine.  And I don’t want to hear another damn word about how people who haven’t been trained in all of that LEO super-ninja stress control can’t defend themselves.

Massachusetts Attorney General Wants To Ban Semi-Automatic Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The Boston Globe:

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Wednesday she was cracking down on the sale of guns that, she said, were designed to skirt a state law banning assault weapons.

Healey said she had put gunmakers and sellers on notice that they were not allowed to sell the guns, which she said were intentionally designed to circumvent the ban by incorporating “small tweaks that do nothing to limit the deadliness of the weapon.”

The attorney general said at a morning news conference that the law remained the same, but her office would change the way it enforced it.

While manufacturers have deemed certain weapons in compliance with state law, she said, her office had looked at the issue and concluded that they weren’t.

“The gun industry does not get to decide what’s compliant,” she said during the event, where she was flanked by law enforcement officials, community leaders and anti-violence activists. “We do.”

[ … ]

Healey spoke after penning an opinion piece in Wednesday’s Boston Globe, in which she said the gun industry was taking advantage of a legal “loophole of potentially horrific proportions.”

She said her office had begun looking at the law in the wake of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, where a gunman killed 49 people.

Healey said the recent killing of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas, along with the fatal shootings of black men at the hands of police, have only added to the urgency.

She described her action as “a step” toward reducing gun violence.

“It is not a total panacea, I recognize that, but it is a step,” Healey said.

She said her office had notified dealers in the state that they cannot sell guns whose “operating system is essentially the same as a banned weapon.”

Operating system.  Got that?  That means semi-automatic weapons of all kinds.  She doesn’t mean DI systems as designed by Eugene Stoner for the AR-15.  All semi-automatic weapons can discharge one round for every pull of the trigger.

Ms. Healey has declared herself the only sovereign potentate who gets to adjudicate on everything and anything she wishes.  She’s queen.  And gun owners should willingly bypass, smuggle, and disobey this edict however and whenever they can.

Less Than Complimentary Article On Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The author of this article at The Boston Globe, Akilah Johnson, is obviously trying to show the human side of gunsmiths and mechanics at Smith & Wesson as opposed to the ugly, boogeyman portrait the progressives paint.  But it reminds us (1) that Smith & Wesson has no business whatsoever still being ensconced in Springfield, and (2) this would never have to be done in most other locations in America (can you imagine a journalist having to show the human side of gunsmithing in, say, Charlotte, N.C., or Greenville, S.C.?).

Furthermore, this article isn’t really very friendly to Smith & Wesson or the place they live for the discerning gun owner.  Consider.

… to many, including US Representative Richard Neal of Springfield, who participated in that demonstration on the House floor, it is the hometown company.

“My own position has always been: Be helpful in that every police officer or patrolman in America ought to use a Smith & Wesson, and I think the American military ought to use a Smith & Wesson,” Neal said in an interview. “At the same time, there will be disagreements as it relates to guns.”

Their own member of the House participated in that juvenile sit-in, and would presume to mention firearms ownership within the context of LEO and the military, but noticeably didn’t mention anyone else.  What a horrible place for Smith & Wesson to do business.  Just horrible.

“It’s a good job,” co-worker Marc Holland called out from across the bar at the neighborhood watering hole early one morning last month.

Holland, 54, retired after 25 years at a paper mill and was looking for a way to stay busy. Six years ago, a friend at Smith & Wesson told him about an opening. Now, he works the machines that make triggers among other things.

“I can do like 3,600 triggers in a shift, over 10,000 in a week,” he said.

Excuse me, but I wouldn’t be bragging about how many triggers I could push out to the next mechanic if I were you.  Instead, I would be bragging about how I focused my time and effort on quality and craftsmanship.  Listen to me, Smith & Wesson gunsmiths and mechanics.  There are so many pistols, revolvers and rifles out there that competition will run you into the ground if you begin to work the line in order to maximize production instead of quality.  Gun owners will notice.  You’ll be shut down not because you can’t produce enough, but because we’ll be calling your stuff shit, and we’ll do it over forums, in blogs, and at the range.

Refocus on quality.  Tell me something about how you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to work that trigger to ensure its smooth action for that working-man buyer who is just like you, earning a living by the sweat of his brow.  Don’t tell me how fast you can do it.  I suppose that’s why I buy from the S&W performance shop if I buy S&W.  I know somebody has put some knowledge, skill, effort and craftsmanship into it.  I want to know that somebody left part of his soul in that machine when I pay that kind of money for it.  I leave my soul at work many a night when I leave.  It’s all I’ve got, and I’ve given it to a job I consider a blessing, with professionalism and excellence.  I want you to do the same thing, and if you can’t do it I want to know because I’ll never send another penny your way.

Neal said House Democrats were left with little recourse besides the sit-in to get the attention of US House Republicans, which after mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, Calif., and Aurora, Colo., he figured would be easier to do.

“This highlights how difficult it is in America today to have a conversation about these sorts of things,” he said. “The majority in the House makes no effort to accommodate the concerns of the minority. That was true when we were in the majority, and it’s true now.”

Neal said he supports background mental health checks, closing gun show loopholes, and keeping those on the government’s no-fly list from being able to purchase firearms.

“I think those are reasonable positions by any standard,” he said.

The barber shop owners’ late father once worked for Smith & Wesson. Ralph Ricciardi, 45, said when his father first emigrated from Italy, he needed steady work before he could become a citizen. At the time, authorities did not consider being a barber secure employment.

“So my father actually made guns, from ’70 to ’74,” he said while cutting a client’s hair. “He opened up his shop in ‘74.”

“It’s just like a business. It’s just like a store or something,” said David Tancrati, 58, as he waited to sit in Ralph’s chair.

“We don’t even think about it. It employs a lot of people.” Ciro Ricciardi, 47, Ralph’s brother said.

Well, you should think about it, about the Puritan work ethic that brought you this kind of industry to begin with, and about the good weapons do for mankind.  If the only thing you can be proud of is a paycheck, and you have to ignore the product you’re making, you’re unworthy of the industry that calls Springfield home.

And to Congressman Neal, it’s easy to have conversations about guns.  We do it every day here.  And not one more law.  And I’ll converse with you about that until your eyes turn red and your heart stops, but conversing won’t change my mind.  Just as Springfield is unworthy of S&W, you are unworthy of the trust the people of your state have placed in you.  You should be ashamed, and I only hope that in the future, you get to look at the shuttered doors of the Springfield S&W plants as they have shut down and moved.  May your precinct turn into a ghost town.

Bear Gun?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Outdoor Life:

There’s nothing new about the quest for a good bear-country sidearm, and what we’re carrying is evolving. Giant revolvers, though still popular, are somewhat antiquated. The Glock 20 is rapidly becoming the preferred arm of choice, and for good reason. It is more streamlined, more shootable, and it carries more ammo than a revolver, yet it is still dependable and powerful. My pal Andrew Brady of Lone Star Armory showed me a few tricks to improve a stock Glock.

Replace the Sights

Chances are an encounter with a bear that requires using a pistol will happen very fast. You may not even have time to aim, but any edge you can give yourself helps. XS Sight Systems makes by far the fastest-acquiring sights that I have used. In particular, I recommend its Big Dot express sights ($125).

Swap the Barrel and Recoil Assembly

A quality aftermarket barrel ($140) will increase accuracy. The new barrel, along with a guide rod and recoil spring ($40), can be easily swapped out while your pistol is field stripped.

Modify the Grip

The grip angle on Glocks is a big turnoff to some shooters. Their relatively “steep” angle gives a shooter the feeling of awkwardly having to point the pistol down, compared to a 1911, in order to level the sights. We outlined the steps to change the grip angle below. Grinding on a new pistol might feel counter­intuitive, but you end up with a better-shooting gun.

It just keeps going on in this article.  I am a fan of the 1911 with its eleven degree grip angle and narrow profile, and I don’t like the feel of the sharp edges of a Glock.  If you don’t want to shoot a 1911 but want a double stack higher capacity magazine, why not choose a Springfield Armory XD or XDm which is modeled in the same fashion of the eleven degree grip angle?

Or why not choose a .357 magnum or .44 magnum revolver?  Why would anyone spend the kind of effort and money necessary to pull this off when you can buy a new gun for the same amount?  I think the gunsmiths at Hyatt Gun Shop would look at you weird if you brought them these plans.

And for the record, a .45 ACP has proven enough to turn a bear away.

Sandy Hook Families Call Remington Repugnant In Court Documents

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Remington filed a motion to withhold certain information concerning its Bushmaster brand of AR-15s, based mainly on the proprietary nature of said information.  For those of us who deal with technical information or trade secrets, this is routine and customary.  It is certainly not out of the ordinary, and the motion could have to do with information Remington wants to keep from being disclosed.  What if they have studied the rifling twist rate to  tweak it to produce a little more stable bullet flight, or studied barrel length to make it effective at longer distances, or whatever.  I don’t know, I’m just making this up as I go because I don’t know what they know after having invested their time and wealth in making a better rifle.  That’s the point, and that’s why Remington wants its information withheld from public disclosure.

Enter the Sandy Hook families again.

The families suing the maker of the AR-15 rifle used by gunman Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook massacre called a request by Remington Arms to keep company materials secret so that the company keeps its competitive advantage “repugnant,” according to a new filing in the case.

“Remington did not become the country’s leading seller of military weaponry to civilians by accident. It ascended to that position through its calculated marketing and pursuit of profit above all else,” lawyers for the Sandy Hook families wrote in a response objecting to a protective order filed by Remington.

As part of their lawsuit, families of victims have asked Remington to turn over its marketing materials in the belief that they will show that company intentionally marketed its high-powered rifles as “weapons of war” to civilians who had no business owning such guns.

“Plaintiffs lost family members, including children, in the service of that bottom line. Now Remington wants them to do more to protect its profitability,” the motion reads.

So let me translate.  We, the Sandy Hook families, don’t care about your God-given rights to defend yourself and your families the best way you see fit, nor do we care about the fact that in the court of public opinion, we lost and these weapons are entirely legal.

Furthermore, we don’t care that we don’t know what we’re talking about, and that virtually every gun in civilian use has a military application, from shotguns used for room clearing in Now Zad, Afghanistan by the Marines, to Remington 700 bolt action rifles used by Marine snipers in Iraq, nor that virtually every military weapon has a civilian application.

We don’t care about the fact that there isn’t the distinction between the two that we’re claiming, and we don’t care about the fact that weapons truly get tested by the civilian community, who has to spend their own money for the guns and reviews them on blogs and YouTube, rather than the military who has to use what the Pentagon buys for them, nor that vast improvements have been made to military weapon systems by applying civilian-based gun modifications or tactics developed in 3-gun competitions or the gaming community.

Hell, we don’t even care about the fact that there is a federal law against what we’re doing, called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and that we’re basically relying on a raving-bitch SJW judge named Barbara Bellis to help us through what would otherwise be dismissed with prejudice.  We don’t care that the weapon used in Sandy Hook was stolen.  No, we don’t care about anything but us.

The real morally reprehensible actions are being taken by the Sandy Hook families, not Remington.  How utterly despicable.

Prior:

Judge Barbara Bellis Says Sandy Hook Families’ Lawsuit Against Remington Goes Forward

Update On Sandy Hook Families’ Lawsuit Of Remington

Discovery In The Sandy Hook Families Versus Remington Case

Was It Wise For Him To Unholster His Gun?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

I’ll let the lawyers weigh in on this one as to the legal ramifications of what this fellow did.  Readers can weight in too, but I wanted to focus on whether this was wise (h/t Uncle).

There is an interesting discussion here about this.  My take is that a mob, or any potential assailant for that matter, can close the gap very quickly.  I don’t fault the man for unholstering his weapon.  Neither do I fault him for walking backwards and very carefully while trying to pay attention to his surroundings.

What I would say though is that if he thought he was under threat, when he was out of range he should have retreated and gotten away.  I would have.  Remember, egress, evasion and escape.  That he came back will probably be a problem with a prosecutor.

The Dallas Shooter Used An SKS, Not An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

I hadn’t thought much about it or researched it, but I stumbled on this Inquisitr article where the weapon used in the Dallas shootings was an SKS, not an AR-15.  The New York Times also mentioned this.  Dean Weingarten writing for Ammoland spent a good deal of time on this.

The rifle used by the Dallas sniper was an antique East Block rifle designed in the 1940’s, an SKS.

The SKS was considered obsolete by the Soviet military in 1956, 60 years ago. 

It is a simple semi-automatic design that does not use detachable magazines and holds 10 rounds of ammunition. It uses the intermediate powered 7.62 x 39 cartridge, about as powerful as the .30-30, a common deer cartridge in the United States for a hundred and twenty years.  From nbcnews.com:

Dallas police said Friday that detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and “a personal journal of combat tactics” in Johnson’s home.

Johnson used a SKS rifle and a handgun in the attack, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News.

The rifle has a wood stock, no pistol grip, is not black, does not have a muzzle brake, or a threaded barrel.  None of those things change the basic effectiveness of the rifle very much.

It is not the rifle, but the man that makes the greatest difference.  Any hunting rifle could have been used to about the same effect by the Dallas sniper.  Designs from the 1880’s would have been as effective for the tactics employed.

The boogeyman of bad things, that awful “black gun,” didn’t play a role in this event at all.  That’s why Evan Osnos writing at The New Yorker has written this.

After the slaughter in Orlando, in an effort to defuse attempts to impose stricter regulations on AR-15s, the military-style rifle used in San Bernardino and many other attacks, gun-rights advocates fixated on the fact that the Orlando killer did not use an AR-15. (He used a similar military-style rifle, produced by Sig Sauer.) It was, in retrospect, an especially shortsighted strategy: by drawing attention to the broader range of weapons that are widely available to civilians and capable of inflicting mass harm, gun-rights advocates inadvertently aided their opponents by making it newly evident that banning AR-15s alone would not solve the problem.

What to the gun rights advocate seems obvious, i.e., that banning certain guns with certain features won’t solve a much deeper problem, is to the collectivist evidence that everything needs to be banned.  We’ve seen it before at Daily Kos when the writer waxed honest and forthright, even if unintentionally.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

Leaving aside the discussion over the effectiveness of certain kinds of weapons for certain kinds of things, and leaving aside the point for a moment that they can’t have our AR-15s (we won’t let them be taken), the point is that conversations with collectivists over increments here and compromises there exactly follows their overall strategy – death by a thousand cuts.  They don’t just want our AR-15s, while leaving those Fudds who have over-under shotguns for fowl hunting alone to hunt a few times a year, or those backwoods boys to use their scoped bolt action rifles for deer hunting.  They want everything, and just occasionally they admit it.

UPDATE: See the comments where it appears this information might be incorrect, it might be an AK-74.  Also, there is an interesting discussion in the comments at Say Uncle.

Let’s All Blame The Dallas Shootings On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Dallas Morning News:

When rifle shots rang out in downtown Dallas during Thursday night’s protest, some of the demonstrators were also carrying rifles.

In the ensuing chaos, one of them was labeled a “person of interest” after police released a photo of him carrying an AR-15 rifle. Others were stopped and questioned by police.

It was not immediately clear Saturday whether any of those who were legally armed delayed or hampered the police response to the shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. Dallas police did not respond to questions.

But Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said: “It’s logical to say that in a shooting situation, open carry can be detrimental to the safety of individuals.”

No Mayor, that’s not logical at all.  How is carry of a gun, concealed or open, a detriment to safety?  Please explain yourself.

Rawlings said Dallas police Chief David Brown told him that people running through the shooting scene with rifles and body armor required officers to track them down and bring them to the police department. Whether that was time that could have been spent trying to find and stop the shooter is something police will have to comment on, Rawlings said.

So let me get this straight.  So you assertion is that if open carry wasn’t legal, the shooter would have shot cops, continued to open carry for all to see, and that would have made it easier to find him, as opposed to say, a concealed carrier shooting, concealing his weapon, and making it harder for the cops to find him?

“There was also the challenge of sorting out witnesses from potential suspects,” Geron said. “Texas is an open carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part. There was confusion on the radio about the description of the suspects and whether or not one or more was in custody.”

Okay look, you’re just trying to find someone to blame for this being chaotic rather than clinical, but such things are always chaotic rather than clinical, and open carriers didn’t cause anything or impede any investigation.  If an open carrier had been at the scene he could have helped to handle the situation, but apparently no one was at the scene who had access to weapons (concealed or open).

At least initially the shooter was in a standoff position, and frankly if he had wanted to maintain his effectiveness he would have maintained that standoff position and ensured means of egress.  He chose to engage in CQB and thus he showed himself.  I’ve told you guys time and time again, the most dangerous situation of a sniper’s hide with a “shooter’s rifle,” a scoped bolt action rifle that will shoot  << MOA.

That kind of weapon can be pre-deployed in a sniper’s hide with proper planning.  You’re thinking too small by focusing on guys running around the street and open carriers.  You need to expand your thought framework.

When Cops And Civilians Both Have Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Julia Dahl with CBS News:

On Wednesday evening, police in Falcon Heights, Minn., fatally shot Philando Castile in his car. According to a video filmed by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was sitting beside him when he was shot, Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm.

“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him,” Reynolds tells the camera.

“I told him not to reach for it,” says the officer, whose face is unseen but whose gun is still pointed at the bleeding Castile in the driver’s seat.

“You told him to get his ID, sir,” responds Reynolds.

Minnesota law enforcement have yet to confirm whether Castile did indeed have a permit to carry a firearm, but if he did, he is one of more than 230,000 such licensed gun owners in Minnesota, according to Andrew Rothman of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

Since 2003, Minnesota has been what is called a “shall issue,” state, which means that county law enforcement must issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon if the applicant meets certain standards. And, Rothman says, 13 years after this expansion of the right to carry, Minnesota police should know how to interact with legally armed citizens.

[ … ]

Bill Johnson, the Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations, an advocacy and education organization focused on advancing the interests of law enforcement officers, says that the presence of a gun other than the officer’s in a police-civilian interaction “does ratchet up the stress of the situation.”

Reynolds, who gave an emotional statement outside the Minnesota governor’s mansion Thursday on Facebook Live, says that they were pulled over because of a broken taillight, which she says wasn’t broken.

Reynolds said the officer asked to see Castile’s license, and Castile reached into his back right pocket where he keeps his identification. She said Castile told the officer he was carrying a firearm, and Reynolds said she told the officer he was legally licensed to carry.

That’s when, she said, the officer fired five shots into Castile’s chest. She said the officer told them not to move: “How can you not move when they ask you for your license and registration?”

In a situation like what Reynolds describes, Johnson says that there are multiple ways for an officer to make sure he and the citizen he pulls over are safe once that person has disclosed that he has a firearm.

“Most officers will say, I appreciate you letting me know: here’s what we’ll do,” Johnson said. The officer can then, for example, ask the subject to step out of the car while he secures the firearm until the encounter is finished. He can also ask his partner to secure the firearm while the civilian keeps his or her hands in plain sight.

Oh dear.  It’s going to take some unpacking for this one.  First of all, I sure am glad that with ISIS in the twin cities, we have cops focusing on the right things such as broken tail lights.  We wouldn’t want the inspection process to handle it or anything.  We need to pay cops good money to conduct stops to tell drivers about their tail lights.

Next, there’s just nothing more a peaceable, law abiding citizen can do.  He pulled over, came to a complete stop, rolled the window down, and announced that he had a gun.  He did everything he is expected to do.  And no, silly counsel to call what you have a “firearm” rather than gun or weapon has no bearing on anything at all.

Whether he is black, white or some other race is irrelevant to the issue.  He was exercising his rights, not just rights under the law (which is a covenant for living together), but incorrigible rights granted by God.  In addition to other things like departments possibly hiring the wrong kind of people, police officers are simply being taught the wrong things in the academy and by the example of their superiors.

According to the Supreme Court in Tennesse versus Garner, police can use their weapons only in the same instances I can, i.e., when their lives are in danger.  If I cannot legally do it, then police officers cannot legally do it either.  The fact that they get away with it because prosecutors won’t bring charges doesn’t make it okay.

Continuing, it isn’t okay for an officer to unholster his weapon and point it, showing no muzzle discipline, in the direction of someone who isn’t an immediate and clearly discernible threat.  I cannot legally do that, and it’s called assault with a deadly weapon.  It isn’t okay to assume that when someone is doing what you tell him to, he is really intent on doing you harm.  People cannot read minds, and Mr. Castile had no way of knowing that you thought he was reaching for his weapon.  If you cannot do any better than that as a LEO, then quit your job and go find one you can handle.

It isn’t okay to discharge your weapon in the direction of someone just because you surmise he might be doing something you don’t understand.  And finally, it isn’t okay to take another man’s life for obeying the law.  The notion that the mere presence of a weapon “ratchets up the stress” is ridiculous.  I’m around people with guns all the time.  I’m not stressed out.  I’m careful, but I don’t swing my weapons around and threaten people because that’s unwise, immoral and illegal.  What the cop did was unwise, immoral and illegal.  I don’t care if a jury exonerates him – he is guilty of at least second degree murder in my book, or perhaps manslaughter.

Here’s a note to cops everywhere.  Assume everybody is carrying a firearm.  Take a deep breath.  Be a friend to the person you have stopped.  Stay calm.  If a man pulls his car over, rolls his window down and announces pursuant to the law that he is carrying and agrees to produce his permit, don’t unholster your weapon and kill him.  He hasn’t done anything illegal.  These are basic childlike things that any fifth grader should know.  And don’t tell him to put his hands up.  That’s stupid.  Grow up.  Ask him to put his hands on the steering wheel if you can’t take the stress.  But don’t tell him to produce his license and then shoot him for moving his hands.  That makes you out to be the moron, not him.

The problem, notwithstanding Julia’s lede, isn’t that both cops and civilians have guns.  LEOs and civilians have always had guns, and they always will.  This is nothing new, but what is new is the reaction we see with LEOs.  And this reaction is itself causing problems.  Witness dead LEOs in Dallas from the Black Lives Matter protest.  BLM is quickly becoming a terrorist organization, and just to remind you, none of this has in my mind to do with Michael Brown, a criminal who stole, trespassed, and beat a cop nearly senseless.  Don’t mix these two things if you want to think clearly about the issue.

Our friend Amanda Marcotte at Salon reacted with disdain not at the police, but the NRA.

Right in the midst of a national outrage over  a video of police in Louisiana shooting Alton Sterling while holding him on the ground, yet another video of a police shooting of a black man has come out.

This video, filmed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shows a man named Philando Castile writhing in pain with blood splattered all over his car while his girlfriend says that a police officer shot Castile after asking Castile, responding to requests for his license, reached for his wallet. Castile later died of his wounds.

Beyond being yet more videos of senseless violence by police against African-Americans, what these two videos have in common is the police in question excuse their actions by citing the presence of a gun.

In the Minnesota video, the woman tells the camera that Castile informed the office that he had a licensed gun on him before he reached for his wallet. The officer then returns, arguing, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

In the Louisiana video, officers can be heard yelling, “He’s got a gun!”

In both cases, there seems to be no question that the shooting victims were armed. It’s a point that’s already being flogged by conservatives in an effort to excuse these officers.

However, and conservatives should be the first to remember this, guns are legal in this country.

Guns are legal in this country. Louisiana is an open carry state. Minnesota allows concealed carry. Police officers in these states know full well that people have a legal right to carry. They have, according to conservatives themselves, no reason to believe that a man with a gun is a bad guy. Why, he could very well be one of those good guys with a gun, at the ready to stop crime, that we keep hearing about from conservatives

Which brings up a critical question: Where is the gun rights lobby?

Here are two American citizens that were killed while doing what the NRA claims is a constitutional right. Surely this must be a gross injustice in the eyes of the NRA! Surely they will be demanding action, petitioning congressmen, demanding the Department of Justice to step forward and make sure that every American has a right to arm themselves without fear of being gunned down by the police! Right?

Oh Amanda, there’s no reason to be bitchy about this.  The NRA doesn’t usually get involved in individual cases, but they usually do stay more on track for larger legislative actions they can effect (some to my liking, but if it ends in yet another gun control law, I’m always opposed to it).  But if you want conservatives to come to the defense of the man shot in Minnesota, why not use my example?  I am the NRA.  I say the cop did something that was evil, but I don’t think that’s the real issue with your commentary.  I think you’re being disingenuous.  See, you no more believe in Mr. Castile’s rights than you believe in mine.  You’re just using this event as an opportunity to be a SJW, aren’t you?

One final point as I close out and give readers free reign to analyze as appropriate.  If you’re a LEO and you actually touch another man’s gun in the process of a stop, or you have a partner touch his gun, much less unholster it, “secure” it or anything else you think you are doing to it, let me be as clear as I can be.  You … are … an … idiot.  If your procedures have you doing this, then your procedures were written by idiots.  You can tell them I said so and send them this article.

You have no business risking NDs or taking possession of property that isn’t yours, even temporarily, and especially since you don’t know of modifications that may have been made to the firearm that would make it unfamiliar to you.

Don’t do it.  Just say no.  I wouldn’t walk up and presume to take possession of another man’s gun at a range or while in his home.  You have no business doing that either.  It’s weird, creepy, and unsafe.


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