Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Dishonest Gun-Control Debate | National Review Online
The gun-control debate is one of the most dishonest arguments we have in American politics. It is dishonest in its particulars, of course, but it is in an important sense dishonest in general: The United States does not suffer from an inflated rate of homicides perpetrated with guns; it suffers from an inflated rate of homicides. The argument about gun control is at its root a way to put conservatives on the defensive about liberal failures, from schools that do not teach to police departments that do not police and criminal-justice systems that do not bring criminals to justice. The gun-control debate is an exercise in changing the subject.
We hear a lot about “gun deaths” in the United States, but we hear less often the fact that the great majority of those deaths are suicides — more than two-thirds of them. Which is to say, the great majority of our “gun death” incidents are not conventional crimes but intentionally self-inflicted wounds: private despair, not blood in the streets. Among non-fatal gunshot injuries, about one-third are accidents. We hear a great deal about the bane of “assault rifles,” but all rifles combined — scary-looking ones and traditional-looking ones alike — account for very few homicides, only 358 in 2010. We hear a great deal about “weapons of war” turning our streets into high-firepower battle zones, but this is mostly untrue: As far as law-enforcement records document, legally owned fully automatic weapons have been used in exactly two homicides in the modern era, and one of those was a police-issue weapon used by a police officer to murder a troublesome police informant.
Robert VerBruggen has long labored over the various inflated statistical claims about the effects of gun-control policies made by both sides of the debate. You will not, in the end, find much correlation. There are some places with very strict gun laws and lots of crime, some places with very liberal gun laws and very little crime, some places with strict guns laws and little crime, and some places with liberal gun laws and lots of crime. Given the variation between countries, the variation within other countries, and the variation within the United States, the most reasonable conclusion is that the most important variable in violent crime is not the regulation of firearms. There are many reasons that Zurich does not much resemble Havana, and many reasons San Diego does not resemble Detroit.
The Left, of course, very strongly desires not to discuss those reasons, because those reasons often point to the failure of progressive policies. For this reason, statistical and logical legerdemain is the order of the day when it comes to the gun debate.
Take this, for example, from ThinkProgress’s Zack Beauchamp, with whom I had a discussion about the issue on Wednesday evening: “STUDY: States with loose gun laws have higher rates of gun violence.” The claim sounds like an entirely straightforward one. In English, it means that there is more gun violence in states with relatively liberal gun laws. But that is of course not at all what it means. In order to reach that conclusion, the authors of the study were obliged to insert a supplementary measure of “gun violence,” that being the “crime-gun export rate.” If a gun legally sold in Indiana ends up someday being used in a crime in Chicago, then that is counted as an incidence of gun violence in Indiana, even though it is no such thing. This is a fairly nakedly political attempt to manipulate statistics in such a way as to attribute some portion of Chicago’s horrific crime epidemic to peaceable neighboring communities. And even if we took the “gun-crime export rate” to be a meaningful metric, we would need to consider the fact that it accounts only for those guns sold legally. Of course states that do not have many legal gun sales do not generate a lot of records for “gun-crime exports.” It is probable that lots of guns sold in Illinois end up being used in crimes in Indiana; the difference is, those guns are sold on the black market, and so do not show up in the records. The choice of metrics is just another way to put a thumb on the scale.
The argument that crime would be lower in Chicago if Indiana had Illinois’s laws fails to account for the fact that Muncie has a pretty low crime rate under Indiana’s laws, while Gary has a high rate under the same laws. The laws are a constant; the meaningful variable is, not to put too fine a point on it, proximity to Chicago. Statistical game-rigging is a way to suggest that Chicago would have less crime if Indiana adopted Illinois’s gun laws . . . except that one is left with the many other states in which Chicago’s criminals might acquire guns. The unspoken endgame is having the entire country adapt Illinois’s gun laws. But it is very likely that if the country did so, Chicago would still be Chicago, with all that goes along with that. Chicago has lots of non-gun murders, too.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
How To Break In A New Holster
I’m always in search of the “perfect” holster, which means I’ve literally accumulated an entire box of holsters (that’s overflowing) in my closet. The other day, I decided that the numerous 1911 holsters in the box wouldn’t work for me and I purchased an outside the waistband “belt slide” holster made of leather.
When I put my gun in this new holster it was so tight that it took me forever to get it out of the holster again. If I would have had to draw the gun at that time to save my life, I’d probably be six feet under at this moment instead of writing this article.
With new leather holsters, having the gun be extremely tight fitting isn’t uncommon and all you need to do is break it in. Oftentimes, if you draw the gun in and out of the holster multiple times that will loosen it up enough and you won’t have to do anything else.
However, with the new holster I just purchased, drawing the gun in and out did very little and the gun was still extremely difficult to draw.
If you find yourself in this position with a leather holster, another thing you can try and use is some type lubricant, such as the popular “Leather Lightning.” Leather Lightning is applied to the inside of a holster and essentially “greases” up the inside of the holster so the gun easily slides in and out.
I will tell you though, I’m not a huge fan of any of these types of lubricants and I didn’t use one on my new leather holster.
Instead, what I did, and what I would do if I were you, is I placed the gun in a plastic shopping bag (the kind you get from the grocery store) and then placed the gun in the holster. (See the picture below.) When you use this plastic bag, it helps to slightly loosen up the holster making it easier for you to draw the gun.
Leave the gun in the bag overnight and the next morning insert and remove the gun, with the plastic bag still on it, from the holster several times.
Most of the time, the plastic bag is all you need and by now it’ll be easy enough to draw your gun. However, in some cases the gun will still be too tight to get out of the holster.
If this is the case, the next thing you want to do is wrap the gun in some wax paper, which you probably have sitting in a drawer in your kitchen right now. Like with the plastic bag, leave the gun wrapped in wax paper in the holster overnight. Then in the morning draw the gun, still wrapped in wax paper, several times.
If you’ve used the plastic bag and wax paper and the gun still won’t easily come out of the holster, then try using a thicker plastic bag, such as a Ziploc type bag. If you leave your gun in a thicker bag overnight, this will most likely do the trick.
But, if it doesn’t, then I would suggest using a lubricant like the one I mentioned above. As I mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of using a lubricant on my new leather holsters, which is why it’s an option of last resort for me.
The bottom line is, if you get a new leather holster for Christmas and you can’t get the gun out of it, use the methods above to make sure the holster is safe for concealed carry.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Concealed Carry Pistol: Criteria, Comparisons, and My 9mm Choices
Frequently students ask me to suggest some concealed carry pistols in 9mm for them to consider. They want a few options to begin their own research and to save them some time narrowing down the huge list of choices. It is difficult and very personal to whittle down the list, but here are just five of the criteria I use to do that and 12 options in 9mm pistols I suggest you consider at the present time. I believe it is very important to try each (or at least your top 3) of your carry options for yourself before you buy. I use a standard drill that is based on testing application of the fundamentals by the shooter for each of their top options, so they can compare the criteria for each carry option. Note that my .45 and other caliber carry options and other very good guns are not included here, because I tailored the options to match my personal preferences. I like primarily compact size 9mm for carry. Below represents only my current 9mm options, since I prefer that caliber for my carry gun, but I do carry others.
Some Criteria for my Concealed Carry 9mm Handgun are:
1. Accuracy- well-placed shots (slow and fast-fired) hitting the target in a 9-inch diameter area with one-handed and two-handed shots at tactical, combat distances of 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards; without gun modifications (out of the box); 9mm gives me less movement and more accuracy with the right ammo;
2. Reliability- consistency of target hits over repeated trials with the gun; being able to count on the handgun to be a quality, well-functioning gun, without malfunctions and stoppages, to hit the target each time I shoot the gun;
3. Ergonomics- the way the gun adapts to my hands; is it comfortable and can I easily reach the controls, trigger, magazine release button, slide lock lever, grip angle, type of safeties, decocker (if present), etc.
4. Trigger Press- can I press the trigger easily and make the gun fire efffectively, while minimizing movement of my fingers, hands, wrist, arm, and body and controlling recoil and getting acceptable target hits; I prefer 4 to 6 pounds of trigger press and no trigger modifications with a short reset and travel for my carry handgun;
5. Concealability- can I conceal the handgun easily, given my body characteristics, my method of preferred carry, and the dimensions of the gun. For carry, I pay particular attention to the width and angle of the grip and frame area (so for ME the Glock 19 below is not a carry consideration with its steeper grip angle and extra relative width), how well, easily, and where my trigger finger touches the trigger, barrel length (3-4″ for carry), capacity in rounds, total gun length, and loaded gun weight. For my aging eyes, easily seen sights are a plus and can be added as preferred to just about any gun, if not standard equipment.
Here are 12 current 9mm Pistol Optionswith their standard configurations that meet the criteria for me, at this time (not in priority rank). Try to narrow down the list to only your top 3 pistols to use in your handgun evaluation drill. I use a standard drill that has 5 shooting stages, firing 5 shots, at 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yard distances with one-hand and two-hand grips and a standing shooting position.
I believe you have to actually handle and shoot the guns to decide for yourself. I know this is a big time-consuming challenge, but the reward of knowing you took the time and effort to actually decide this for yourself, based on your own thought-out criteria and hands-on experience, will be well worth it. So, what price is it worth to you to “bite the bullet” and spend the time to evaluate your top 3 guns? I believe the benefits are priceless and far outweigh the costs of this. After all, your life and the life of your loved ones could be at stake here. As an example, I just recently had a friend and student of mine spend a few hours at the range with me making this important decision. He narrowed my list (and his list) of guns down to a list of 4 of the guns I own and ran my drill to decide on his best carry gun. He and I are confident that he made the best decision by following a standard drill and evaluation process for each gun. He demonstrated to himself through live-fire structured, shooting scenarios what gun he was most accurate with and enjoyed shooting the most. This was not just randomly shoot-paper fun. He then made a fine decision and was rewarded. He presented the comparison data, his hits and variations by gun by distances, and all his results to his wife, convincing her that he could defend her and himself in a violent encounter with one particular handgun. His wife recognized the importance of the results, wanted him to get that particular gun, and actually bought the gun for him as an early Christmas present. Wow! Let’s get started now on paring our list down, shooting our final choices, and getting a new gun for Christmas. Go for it! Here are my finalists:
*Does NOT Meet My Grip Criteria
**Does NOT Meet My Barrel Length & Trigger Pull Criteria- with 2.7″ barrel and 7# pull
Handgun Testing and Evaluation Drill
Now that you have narrowed down your possible 9mm handgun purchase options, it is very important to rent or borrow the finalists and actually shoot before you buy. We help our students by providing many handguns for them to choose from, with them providing their own ammo. It is less expensive to rent a handgun, fire some rounds yourself through it to evaluate it, than fork over the $600 or more to buy the wrong handgun. You should shoot each of the pistols on your short list following a standard drill process with the same procedures/steps while using your criteria to more objectively evaluate the performance of each gun, while following the shooting basics. It is important to use the same decision making criteria and try your best to apply the shooting fundamentals for each stage of the drill to get valid and reliable results for your decision making. The routine drill we use will help you standardize your approach to more fairly evaluate your accuracy with & handling of each gun. With our standard drill, I have students use my 4-Step Shooting Process which focuses on the basics of sight alignment, front sight focus, breath control to minimize movement, and trigger press and control for each gun. At each stage of the drill at different distances, students focus on the eight fundamentals of shooting. This basic drill is a good indicator of your abilities, your application of the fundamentals of shooting, and your match to the handgun for results. It can be repeated with fast fire for each stage, especially for considering close combat-tactical use with your concealed carry gun.
Your standard drill or mine for all guns evaluated is useful when checking your ability to use and control a certain handgun well and when checking a new technique, treating all guns the same as much as possible. Recognize that a handgun that is too powerful for some (such as a .40 sub-compact or snub-nosed .357 Magnum) may strike far from the point of aim and will scatter the grouping of hits on the target. So, most will do well with the first few stages, then have a larger grouping of hits at longer distances as recoil becomes tiring. That is why it is important to fire the short-distance stages first. If you do fine at short distances and then a problem becomes apparent at 15 yards, you have accomplished the goal so do not get discouraged. Remember, you are not shooting to beat the qualification drill nor competing against other shooters.You are shooting to learn about the blending of the features and performance of each handgun with your skills and preferences for your purpose, while applying the fundamentals, to help you decide on the best gun for yourself. You are really judging the gun and yourself together, while deciding if that is the best gun for your purpose. So, recognize that key difference… and have fun! Incidentally, your performance with the handgun might help you learn some technique, skill, or fundamental that can be improved.
If you want to evaluate the gun up very close for combat or tactical shooting, you can rerun your standard drill stages using only the front sight or Flash Sight Picture shooting with gradual rapid fire at closer distances. But, recognize when evaluating a gun that accuracy is more important than speed, although certainly both are important in self-defense and your use for the gun is a major consideration. While variations are possible, ensure the revised drill and stages are consistent for each gun evaluated.
Photo with Permission from HKuulapaa.
This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense, stand your ground law, and concealed carry. This is not legal advice and not legal opinions. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.
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Sunday, July 26, 2015
Gun Free Zone versus Gun Carry Zone.
Since Hollywood is on a bent to remake movies (and most of the time, screwing them) I thought I’d do the same with an old post from 2011. The original post was Why Concealed Carry helps those who do not carry, but as The Packetman smartly suggested in the comments, it also applies to Gun Free Zones.
Imagine two identically looking bowls with 100 M&Ms each:
Bowl One has 100 fresh M&Ms reap for picking by anybody.
Bowl 2 has 95 fresh and delicious M&Ms and 5 M&Ms laced with a very fast acting poison but indistinguishable from the rest.
Question: Which bowl will be avoided like the plague by nutjobs and other human predators, trying to score a high body count?
Saturday, July 25, 2015
More Death In A Gun Free Zone - Defend and Carry
Jul 24, 2015 |
Another Horrific Act Of Cowardice By Deranged Shooter In Gun Free Zone
Just 8 days after the senseless killings in a gun free zone in Chattanooga we are bringing news of yet another shooting in a gun free zone. The shooter in this shooting 59-year-old John Russell Houser had his vehicle parked immediately outside of one of the exits of the theater with license plates already switched out to help him escape after the shooting. Luckily police responded quickly and he was trapped in the theater where he took his own life.
The conditions surrounding this shooting lead one to believe that the shooter intent on doing harm to people without the fear of facing off against an armed bystander. These recent shootings (Charleston, Chattanooga, and now Lafayette) all share this element, they were carried out by cowards that would never have the courage to stand-off against armed resistance.
We as Americans now have a difficult task at hand of insuring that we do whatever we have to do to remove these gun free zones which are no more than killing fields from our society. We will not stop these attacks with deeper, more thorough, background checks, as well all know it s much easier to go out right this minute and buy a gun off of the street at a very cheap price with no wait and no means of tracing that gun back to you. Psychos like this man and the perpetrators of the Charleston shooting and the Chattanooga shooting would not have deterred from their plans over a background check or a waiting period, these are all deranged lunatics that would have done whatever it took to carry out these attacks.
Defensive gun use and removing gun free zones from our country are in my opinion the only hope we have, these cowards will not carry out these attacks when they are likely to be stopped by a good samaritan before they can fully launch the attack. Please be vocal against gun free zones and for the American people to remain armed and prepared to counter these attacks in the future.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Different Grips For A Concealed Carry Revolver
While a lot of emphasis tends to get pushed towards semi-automatic pistols, there’s more to being a concealed carrier than just a pistol. Revolvers have historically and continue to be a great asset.
We’ve enclosed a video from TheYankeeMarshall in which he discusses holding a smaller J-frame style revolver because he probably has one of the bestexplanations to date for these techniques. He goes over a few techniques in that video that may work for many concealed carriers. Definitely worth a watch.
Revolver Grip Technique #1: Combat Grip
This is a pretty common way to hold a concealed carry revolver because it’s what comes naturally to a lot of shooters who’ve used a pistol. The supporting hand’s thumb rests across the lower frame, beneath the cylinder.
Revolver Grip Technique #2:
The supporting hand is basically reinforcing the primary hand shooting the revolver. The thumb can be folded over the shooting thumb so as to help steady the firearm. It’s a big problem with smaller J-frames and smaller concealed carry revolvers in general where there’s a hard time finding a place to put the other hand. We’re always taught to shoot with both hands – but what if the gun you’re firing doesn’t support that?
Revolver Grip Technique #3: Tea Cup Grip
While the tea cup grip is generally boo-hoo’ed for semi-automatic pistol carriers, it’s perfectly fine and reasonable for smaller concealed carry revolvers. For larger revolvers, it can still be effective so long as the weight of the revolver can be steadied by a single hand.
Does this cover all the possible variations of ways you can safely hold and discharge a smaller concealed carry revolver? No. But what it does cover are the three major ways in which you can practice. Truly, the only way to know which technique works best for you is to, indeed, practice them.
Controversial Revolver Techniques That Need To Be Verified
Chris Cerrano discusses an alternate way to steady one’s grip on a larger revolver. He places the thumb of his supporting hand on the shroud of the cylinder to steady it.
This has, for some reason, been a more controversial posture because some argue the impact on that thumb may be too much to handle. Truly, it seems a bit riskier from the outset and really the only way to determine the validity of it is to try it… Something we’ll inevitably need to make a video of and yours truly will get back to you on.
On the surface, this technique appears to have some merit – as the additional pressure appears to help steady and keep a larger revolver on line. For smaller concealed carry revolvers or options where the shroud either doesn’t adequately cover or just doesn’t appear to cover completely, this is not at allrecommended. And for revolvers without a shroud, this is certainly a horrible idea – but most revolvers do contain a shroud of some sort.
Never Grip Any Revolver In Any Way That Compromises Your Hands
There’s a couple quick, easy things to always avoid when gripping your concealed carry full-size or compact revolvers.
- Never extend your thumb past the cylinder.
- Never grip the revolver so that the web of your hand is in the line of motion of the hammer (where applicable).
- Never place your supporting hand in such a way that it impedes your finger on the trigger.
Removing these options from the equation, there’s a lot left to experiment at the range – in a safe environment. Only experience will tell you the right grip for your concealed carry revolver.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Home Invasion Defense Plan - Are you prepared? - Defend and Carry
Jul 8, 2015 |
Home Invasion Defense Plan – How to survive a home invasion
Do you have a home invasion defense plan?
It’s possibly the hardest thing to plan for because there are so many factors. Three major pieces that have to be accounted for are:
- Family members
- Narrow, confined spaces
- Unknown time of day
- Your position in the house at time of invasion
These four pieces will change rapidly depending on the bottom two factors. However, if we break it down a bit further, there’s usually two major situations where we are at our most vulnerable: returning home and while we’re sleeping. These are the two situations where we’ll always have the tables turned on us. That’s why we’ve included three basic pieces to help solve some of the questions inherent to a home invasion defense plan.
Confirm Friend from Foe – Challenge and Response
Home invasions don’t have a schedule. They can occur in the early morning or late at night. One of the most harrowing ordeals is ensuring you have the right person. For those with young children or elderly family members, the easiest way to confirm is by an answer and call approach. You issue a challenge and they issue a one word response. Does this reveal your position and potentially jeopardize you? Yes. Yes it does. There’s a trade-off between knowing which family members are where in an emergency and the element of surprise.
If you can, always communicate your movements with other members of your household to ensure their survival during home invasion.
Practice: Issuing a challenge and response with other people living in your house. It’s also a good idea to coordinate that challenge and response with an action – such as getting on the ground and/or moving to a more secure area of a room.
Transition Safely from Hallway to Room and Back Again
If you live in a studio bedroom apartment, life just got a whole bunch simpler. However, for those with hallways, adjoining bedrooms with family members in them, and other constraints – the last time to practice for this is during an actual emergency.
Practice: Clearing hallways.
Tool Tip: Consider getting a laser sight for your concealed carry handgun. In a darkened environment, when things get hectic, anything that reduces your time to placing rounds at the exact spot.
Clear and Secure an Area
Even if you discover a burglar or criminal in your home and suppress him successfully – never assume he’s alone. Always check and clear all rooms in a house before letting your guard down. This tip plays in heavily with the challenge and response from the first item. Before placing your pistol back in your concealed carry holster, check each and every room.
The biggest downside is the traditional method that you may see on SWAT or military training videos for clearing a room may not entirely apply. In most situations, the only person you can count on to go into an unknown threat is yourself. That means not doing the classic “stack and push” technique.
Practice: –Dry Fire Exercise– Taking your pistol out and engaging a known target and then securing each room of your home. It also helps to have family members understand what you’re doing and why so they can either become familiar with the process themselves or ideally even assist. Involve your entire family for a weekly or monthly drill, it only takes about 15 minutes and it’s vital that everybody is on the same page and well prepared for a home invasion.
What are some factors you’ve considered in your home invasion defense plan? Do you have any insights? Share them with us in the comments section.
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Monday, July 20, 2015
The False Hope Of Gun-Free Zones
In a classic case of unintended consequences, supposedly “safe” gun-free zones become slaughter pens for the helpless innocent — at the hands of human monsters.
History and common sense show NRA’s Wayne LaPierre was absolutely correct when he said, “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
On September 27, 2014, I was asked to address the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago on the subject of gun-free zones. I’ll say here what I said there: Gun-free zones have become hunting preserves for psychopathic murderers.
This was the unintended consequence of a well-intended idea, but outlawing gun possession among the law-abiding in hopes of thwarting lawbreakers was so clearly hopeless it should have been seen sooner. Lawbreakers, by their very definition, break the law — they’ve literally made it their job description. Only the most childish naiveté could lead an honest person to believe someone who would break the most stringent laws somehow wouldn’t break a much less important one with a much less serious penalty.
On December 16, 2012, John Fund wrote an article titled, “The Facts About Mass Shootings” in National Review Online. Fund said, “Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law enforcement officials say they’re actually counterproductive. ‘Guns are already banned in schools. This is why shootings happen in schools. A school is a helpless-victim zone,’ says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff.
“‘Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,’ Jim Kouri, the public information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., theatre shooting.”
Fund continues, “Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found a common theme of mass shootings is they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools. I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed nothing has changed to alter his findings.”
In Their Own Words And Actions
How do we know the murderers think like this? Sometimes, they admit it. On August 10, 1999, Buford Furrow — a member of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations — walked into the North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Grenada Hills section of Los Angeles. He fired 70-some shots and fled, wounding a teenage female volunteer, an adult worker at the daycare center and three 5- and 6-year-old children. A few miles away, Furrow paused in his flight to murder an unarmed postal worker of Filipino descent. After his later surrender, he stated his motive in shooting up the daycare center was his hatred of Jewish people; he killed the postal worker because he was a man of color and an employee of the Federal government.
A particularly telling point was found in his confession. According to the Wikipedia entry on this atrocity, “Furrow considered attacking three Jewish institutions: the Skirball Cultural Center, American Jewish University and Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, but security measures presented too much of a problem.”
Sometimes, it’s too obvious to connect the coincidence. On July 20, 2012, James Holmes opened fire in the Cinemark Century Theater in Aurora, Colo., during a late-night preview of the then-new Batman movie. He killed 12 and wounded 70. Professor John Lott was one of the first to point out Holmes likely chose this particular target expressly because it was a gun-free zone.
“Most movie theaters allow permit holders carrying guns. But the Cinemark movie theater was the only one with a sign posted at the theater’s entrance prohibiting guns,” Lott wrote for Fox News. He continued, “There were seven movie theaters showing The Dark Knight Rises within 20 minutes of the killer’s apartment. At 4 miles and an 8-minute car ride away, the Cinemark’s Century Theater wasn’t the closest.
“Another theater was only 1.2 miles (3 minutes) away. There was also one just slightly further at 10 minutes away. It’s the ‘home of Colorado’s largest auditorium,’ according to the movie hotline welcome message. The potentially huge audience ought to have been attractive to someone trying to kill as many people as possible. But, all of those theaters allowed permitted concealed handguns.”
Lott concluded, “So why would a mass shooter pick a place that bans guns? The answer should be obvious, though it apparently isn’t clear to the media: disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them sitting ducks.”
Armed Citizens Fight Back
Arguments against gun-free zones beg the question: “So, what happens in the real world when an armed citizen fights back against one of these mass murderers?” Fortunately, it’s easy to answer. A while back on an anti-gun TV show, Diane Sawyer claimed she couldn’t find a case where an armed citizen had stopped such a death orgy. I submit she either didn’t look very hard, or her agenda overrode her journalistic approach. There are so many cases I didn’t have time to list them all when speaking at the GRPC, and don’t even have time to list them all in the pages I’m allotted here.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook horror, the media excoriated NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre for famously saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Yet his statement was absolutely true. Sometimes the good guy (or gal) is a uniformed cop, an off-duty officer or an ordinary private citizen legally carrying a gun. In the big picture, it doesn’t matter whether the celluloid card in the hero’s pocket is a police ID or a CCW permit.
Historically, when mass murderers encounter armed resistance — in the US or abroad — the slaughter of the innocent ends immediately or very soon after. Sometimes, they surrender at virtually the first sight of an armed Good Guy — like Holmes meekly did when responding officers confronted him outside the “gun-free” theater. In Norway, Anders Breivik gave himself up to the first armed LEOs to arrive on the “gun-free” island where he massacred 77 helpless victims and wounded 319 on July 22, 2011.
Sometimes, these murderers commit suicide as soon as serious, armed resistance confronts them. Cho, the mass murderer of Virginia Tech in 2011, did so. The same happened with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine High School in 1999. Ditto for Adam Lanza when the Newtown police, with good response time, pulled up outside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On July 25, 1993, The Church of St. James in Cape Town, South Africa, becomes the target of a massacre by four members of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army. Wielding fully automatic military AR’s and lobbing hand grenades, the terrorists kill 11 helpless victims and wound 58. However, among the intended victims is missionary Charl van Wyk. He always carried a 5-shot, snub-nose .38 Special revolver … and now, he deploys it. His return fire wounds one of the attackers, and all of them break off the assault and flee the scene. Against all odds, his snub-nose .38 has turned the tide of battle against four killers with explosives and machine guns.
On June 20, 1994, at Fairchild Air Force base near Spokane, Wash., disgruntled ex-Airman Dean Mellberg has been released from the USAF due to bizarre behavior. He returns to the base with an AK clone and an extended-capacity drum magazine. He opens fire at the base hospital, killing a psychologist, psychiatrist, military wife, an 8-year-old girl and the unborn child of one of the 22 people he wounds. The rampage ends with the first armed person he encounters on this base.
Air Force Security Police Officer Andy Brown, on bicycle patrol and the first to arrive, comes under fire from the killer. With no cover, Brown kneels and returns fire with his issue Beretta M9, killing Mellberg with a 9mm bullet between the eyes at 70 yards. Awarded a medal for his courage, Brown will never know how many more lives were saved by his skillful and decisive action.
In Pearl, Miss., on October 1, 1997, 16-year-old Luke Woodham has stabbed his mother to death to gain access to the gun cabinet and his estranged father’s Marlin .30-30 hunting rifle. He takes the gun and lots of ammo to school, opening fire in the “commons” area. He murders two young women, one a former girlfriend, and wounds seven more of his schoolmates. Vice principal Joel Myrick sprints to the parking lot and retrieves his loaded Colt .45 auto from his truck. He interdicts Woodham, who’s about to drive away — with the rifle and plenty of remaining rounds — in the direction of the local junior high.
As soon as Myrick takes the young murderer at gunpoint, the latter throws himself to the ground in surrender and wails, “The world has wronged me, Mr. Myrick!” The vice principal’s quick action saved countless lives. It will never be known how much suffering could’ve been prevented if the school itself, a gun-free zone, would have allowed staff to be armed inside. In theory, this might have allowed Myrick to stop the carnage much sooner.
Disgruntled by a divorce proceeding, David Arroyo shows up at the Tyler, Texas, county courthouse wearing body armor and carrying an AK-47 clone on February 4, 2005. He opens fire on the courthouse steps, killing his ex-wife and wounding his own son. LEO’s open fire on him with handguns, but he has the position of advantage and the rifle. He drives them back, wounding three lawmen. But concealed carry instructor Mark Alan Wilson has rushed to the scene, and with his Colt .45 auto shoots down Arroyo.
However, he doesn’t realize his bullets have been stopped by the killer’s concealed armor, and tragically, Arroyo shoots and kills him. Nonetheless, the armed citizens discombobulated the gunman’s plans, and he flees without inflicting further carnage. Police pursue, and Tyler Police Sergeant Rusty Jacks kills Arroyo in the subsequent gunfight. The martyred armed citizen is hailed as a hero whose actions prevented countless deaths. Today, a large plaque erected to Mark Wilson’s memory stands prominently in downtown Tyler.
Further Case Studies
I wasn’t kidding when I said there are a lot of these cases — let’s look at a few more. On February 12, 2007 in Salt Lake City, Sulejman Talovic shows up at the Trolley Square Mall with a 12-ga. pump gun, .38-caliber handgun and a backpack full of ammo. He opens fire, randomly shooting nine innocent victims and killing five of them before he’s stopped. His murder spree is stalled when off-duty Ogden police officer Ken Hammond, eating with his wife in a mall restaurant, hears the shooting and “runs to the sound of the guns.” Hammond is armed only with a subcompact .45 loaded with six rounds, but his return fire pins down the killer long enough for SLCPD to arrive, and the killer dies in front of their MP-5 and AR-15 fire.
Having earlier attacked a religious center in Arvada, Colo., which left two dead and two wounded, Matthew Murray resurfaces at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs on December 9, 2007. He opens fire, killing another two and injuring three. But this time, there’s an armed citizen who literally runs to the sound of the guns. A former cop, with a carry permit and working volunteer church security, Jeanne Assam draws her Beretta 9mm and rushes the heavily-armed killer, firing as she moves. He falls, riddled with her bullets, with only enough strength left to pull the trigger one last time to finish himself off. Jeanne Assam is hailed as a hero who saved countless lives with her courage and skill.
On April 22, 2012, three months before the infamous theatre massacre in Aurora, a man with a grudge and a gun shows up a the New Destiny Christian Center and shoots the pastor’s mother to death. Before Kiarron Parker, a 29-year-old with a substantial criminal record, can claim any more victims, an off-duty cop attending the church draws his own handgun and shoots the assailant dead. An estimated 30 other members of the congregation present may have been saved from a criminal’s murderous intent because a Good Guy With A Gun was immediately present.
Just days after the horror in Newtown, a mass murder is thwarted at a movie theatre and Chinese restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. Jesus Manuel Garcia opens fire at the movie theatre from the parking lot, causing people to flee in panic. He also takes shots at a police car before off-duty deputy Lisa Castellano, working a second job, ends the matter by shooting him four times. In this case, there was no loss of innocent life. It’s not a gun-free zone: Someone was able to shoot back and end the deadly danger before it could become another infamous mass murder.
Crazed narcissist Eliot Rodger goes on a long-planned rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., on May 23, 2014. He uses knife and hammer to kill three young men, and then races his car through the community on a deadly spree, shooting people and running them over. Three more victims die from his bullets, eight are wounded, and he strikes four more with his vehicle. As soon as armed police confronts him, however, he almost immediately kills himself. The media will virtually ignore the non-gun deaths he inflicted, focusing on the three he accomplished with gunfire. The media will also ignore the fact carry permits are all but impossible to get in this part of California, which in effect rendered the entire community a “gun-free zone” for any spree killer who chose to commit his murders in public.
A crazy man comes to the right place, but does the wrong thing in Upper Darby, Pa., on July 24, 2014. Richard Plotts shoots and kills a female caseworker at a mental health office, and wounds psychiatrist Lee Silverman. But Dr. Silverman has a small pistol within reach and returns fire. Three gunshot wounds later, the killer is down and out of action — though he’ll survive his wounds. There was talk of punitive action against Dr. Silverman for having the pistol in a gun-free zone, but after police publicly announce he undoubtedly saved many lives, the doctor suffers no punishment.
In Moore, Okla., on September 26, 2014, a recently fired employee returns to the workplace and attacks with a knife, beheading one woman and stabbing a second. The boss, whose office is apparently not a gun-free zone, grabs his firearm and rushes to the scene, shooting the killer down and stopping the carnage.
If you want to know why the public doesn’t know, take the two shootings three months apart in Aurora. The atrocity at the theater lit up worldwide news for days and remains a cause célèbre; the thwarting of the killer at the church barely and briefly flickered across even Colorado media — and never made the mainstream at all. Part of it, certainly, is an inherent anti-gun bias, which the mainstream media has long made clear. But part of it’s simply because a killer being cut down as soon as he claims his first victim isn’t as “newsworthy” as a horrendous massacre of the helpless.
When a home burns down in your community, it probably makes front-page news in the local paper. When a homeowner uses a fire extinguisher to put out a kitchen blaze before it spreads, it may not make the news at all. An incident prevented isn’t seen as an incident. This is why, when the topic of gun-free zones comes up, we need to write letters to the editor and call in to the radio talk shows to spread the truth.
Many of the cases mentioned above were reported in detail here in the Ayoob Files. A complete archive is available online at www.americanhandgunner.
com/ayoob-files-archive. An excellent account of the Tyler incident appears in my friend Chris Bird’s book, Thank God I Had a Gun, available at www.
The unequipped and unprepared are helpless. Bring your business to places where you can legally carry and do carry. Even a subcompact can suffice. Van Wyk drove off four terrorists with his 5-shot .38. But consider something bigger and easier to shoot well under stress … and always have spare ammunition. Officer Hammond, who had only three cartridges left at the end of the Trolley Square Mall gun battle, urged other officers to always carry off-duty, and to carry spare ammunition as well. Jeanne Assam’s familiarity and skill with her 15-shot Beretta saved lives in Colorado Springs.
The lessons of history are clear. The facts are stark and can be easily found by someone who doesn’t have a personal agenda. It’s not about political correctness; in the end, it’s about the protection of the innocent from evil.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
The Gun is CivilizationThe Gun is Civilization
Reprinted by Permission
"The Gun Is Civilization" by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.
If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.
Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.
These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a armed mugger to do his job.
That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.
It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)
So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.