Category Archives: Concealed Carry

How Many Do You Need?

One common meme among the gun control freaks is the idea that a gun’s magazine should be allowed to hold no more than ten rounds. (Or seven, if you have the misfortune to live in New York.) Things like this:

604px-Double_drum_magazine_filled.svg

send them the vapors. And if you have the temerity to say that round limits make no sense, they will sneer that you must be a bad shot if you need more than ten rounds to drop a deer.

There are many things wrong with this point of view:

1. Hunting

Rifle_Springfield_M1903A4_with_M84_sight

In many states, hunters are limited to five rounds, not ten, indicating what the control freaks would like to see, perhaps–on their way to banning everything, that is. But the constant reference to deer shows a lack of awareness about what firearms are for. Yes, hunting is one purpose. Self-defense is another. To bring hunting into every discussion implies that this use is the only acceptable purpose to which a firearm may be put. However, people defend their lives with firearms, and that needs to be considered.

2. Power

50_AE_and_32_ACP

Not all cartridges are equal, and handgun rounds are much less powerful than rifle rounds. In fact, while a handgun can be used to good effect, unlike what Hollywood wants us to believe, one shot is unlikely to get the job done. A woman in Atlanta, for example, fired six shots at a home invader, five of which hit the man in the face and neck, and he was able to get away, only to be caught later when the cops finally arrived in the area. The woman’s revolver was a .38 Special, a common and worthy self-defense piece. Whatever the typical effect of X rounds of Y caliber happens to be, in this case, five weren’t enough. Had there been a second invader, even more would have been needed.

3. Defense

800px-Penalty_kick_Lahm_Cech_Champions_League_Final_2012

The attacker chooses the time and place of the attack. But we as good citizens are obliged to wait. This gives the attacker a tactical advantage. The gun control freaks ask me how many rounds I need. A good answer to that is that I don’t know. That’s precisely the condition that a defender is in. Before the action starts, there is often no way to anticipate how many attackers there will be or how many rounds will be required. The reports that I’ve seen suggest that a gunfight will be over most of the time after three or four shots, which is why I accept necessity and carry only one gun and a spare magazine, typically, but that is not a guarantee. While we all make concessions to what’s practical, I see no reason to tell you how many rounds you may have.

4. Rights

Gesto,_David_Černý(sochař),_21.10.2013,_Praha

When gun control freaks ask me why I need X number of rounds, my answer is that the question is wrong-headed. I don’t have to justify to the government why I want so many of whatever. It’s the government’s job to explain what need it has for requesting me to limit myself and beg my permission to enact such a limit.

But since some people are obsessed with limiting magazines to ten rounds, I have a proposal: Let’s make it a separate crime to use a magazine of more than ten rounds in the commission of another crime and apply an extra ten-year sentence for using such a magazine in a criminal act. That way, we all may have as many rounds as we find appropriate, but those who misuse a firearm will receive additional punishment for their evil ways.

Heresy, Heresy!

Heresy in ancient Greek meant choice. The idea here is that a person chooses a belief or a course of action without reference to what some authority decides is correct. Readers of this weblog will know that in many senses, I’m a heretic. But many of you probably didn’t imagine that I’d stray from one true faith, namely the right and holy doctrine of St. Jeff of the Corps. (Jeff Cooper, for those of you not in the know.)

Hold on one minute, I hear some saying. Didn’t you already wander outside the pale by accepting a pocket 9mm as a worthy sidearm?

Well, yes, but, um, all right. I told you I’m a heretic.

Today’s heresy involves a handgun whose caliber, at least, would please Cooper. It’s a Sig Sauer P-250, chambered in .45 ACP. It’s also available in 9mm Luger, .357 Sig, and .40 Short & Weak, but more on that later.

If it shoots the sacred round, what’s the problem? It’s double-action only. There are no safeties, just about six long pounds of pressure to squeeze off a round. The trigger breaks right at the end of the line with no overtravel, and it goes all the way back to reset. If you imagine the smoothest double-action revolver, you’ll get the idea. The long reset does make a second shot slower than what a single-action trigger can give, but it’s fine for what I can do.

And what’s that? As I’ve said in other articles, I don’t care much for bull’s eye shooting. If pieces of paper take a notion to attacking me, I’ll use scissors. My practice enemy of preference is soda bottles, and those evil containers of death (or so says Mayor Bloomberg, but I drink diet) are in mortal danger if they’re within twenty yards of me while I’m armed. That’s true even with the long double-action of the Sig. Well, when I’m shooting using both hands. One-handed, I’d pull the muzzle off target a lot, but that’s a matter for more practice, not the gun’s fault. The sights are the three-dot variety, and since mine’s relatively new, they still glow in the dark.

The recoil is stiffer than my other .45s. That’s because the Sig has an all-polymer frame with a steel slide. The guts are just a light metal rectangle with some springs and other parts. In fact, those guts are the gun. That’s where the serial number is. Take out one set of guts (done by removing a single pin) and insert a different set with the matching magazine and slide, and you have a new pistol in whichever of the four calibers you want. One of these days, I’ll get myself the .357 Sig guts, since I’ve been itching to try that round for a while now.

The frame is also easy to change. I may do that sooner. I bought this gun in a pawn shop, so I didn’t have a choice in frames, but after wearing the beast for a litte bit, I realized that the sandpaper texture of the grip wasn’t going to cut it. (Scrape it, yes, but not cut.) I got after it with my own piece of sandpaper and smoothed down the surface, but I’ll leave abrasive grips to those who need them.

So what’s my heresy? I’ve been an M1911 man ever since I got into guns. My 1911 was my first self-loading pistol, and that design’s the gold standard for all others. But now, at times, I’m carrying a Sig Sauer DAO P-250 instead. It’s a bit fatter than Browning’s slim model, but it holds the same 8 + 1 rounds and slides nicely into an inside-the-waistband holster. As I told you, heresy is about choice, and I like choice.

I still don’t have a Glock, though.

Good Enough for Government Work, Except When It Isn’t

Writing for The Huffington Post about the recent shooting near the Empire State Building in New York, Sanjay Sanghoee says the following in his article, “Friendly Fire: What NYC Shooting tells us about Cops, Guns, and Armed Citizens”:

“Now consider what would have happened in that situation if all New Yorkers were armed. With more guns in the mix and more citizens deciding to take matters into their own hands, many more shots would have been fired, and if the professionals themselves could miss their target and shoot innocent bystanders instead, you can imagine how ordinary citizens, most of them with only amateur shooting experience, would have done a hell of a lot more damage.”

He uses two words there that require analysis:

First, what is a professional? The word comes from a Latin verb meaning to declare. Thus, professors in college declare their knowledge and wisdom to students (or so we’re supposed to do…). Someone who converts to a particular religion or joins a monastic order makes a profession of faith. That latter sense led to occupations being called professions–occupations that involve specialized skills, in constrast to general labor. Today, the word includes that notion of skill, but it also brings in the fact of being paid for the work.

Let’s consider the New York Police Department. Are they professionals in the skilled sense of the word? The RAND Corporation was commissioned to examine NYPD use of force after the Sean Bell shooting. Look here to read the whole study. What interests me is that in a gunfight, a New York police officer on average has an accuracy rate of eighteen percent. When shooting at someone who isn’t shooting back, said officer scores somewhat better–about thirty percent. That rate improves to thirty-seven percent when the range is less than seven yards (pages 44 and 45). Are we talking about batting percentages for the New York Yankees here? No, these are situations when a police officer sends rounds outward, ostensibly with the purpose of stopping a dangerous person from causing harm.

We find the explanation on page 50 of the report. To qualify for carrying a handgun, a police academy recruit must hit stationary targets from fixed firing positions at least seventy-eight percent of the time. Other sources indicate that the targets are set at seven, fifteen, and twenty-five yards. Serving officers are tested semiannually with the same examination. This strikes me as an easygoing evaluation of firearms skill, so much so that I’d have doubted it had I not seen the RAND report.

By contrast, consider the word, amateur. An amateur, in today’s sloppy use of language, is someone who lacks skill in a particular field. This is far from the proper meaning of the word, though. Amateur, used correctly, means someone who loves (Latin: amare) a subject. This includes the tinkerer or the do-it-yourselfer that I wrote about here. Amateurs spend their free time enjoying their hobbies. They study the subject in detail–and often are willing to share volumes of information, even when the listener isn’t interested. They keep themselves informed about the latest developments in the field. With regard to firearms enthusiasts, we would find the proficiency test of the NYPD to be boringly easy.

So Sanjay Sanghoee, between the two groups, the NYPD and gun enthusiasts, which one do you honestly believe is more skilled with firearms? Actually, I withdraw the question. In the recent shooting, the two officers fired sixteen rounds, of which, at best, only nine hit their target who was standing a few feet away. There’s no need for Sanghoee to answer. Gun control advocates have been saying for years that the police are the only ones who are skilled enough to use firearms responsibly and safely. We know the answers that we’ve been offered in the past. Good sense says that we should come to a different conclusion.

Still have your doubts? Watch this video.

Any questions?

Whose Business Is It?

The recent shooting incident in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado raises a question of basic rights. According to the reports that I’ve seen, the theater in question bars the carrying of firearms. Of course, we see how well a sign declaring a “gun-free zone” worked, but that’s another matter. I want to consider the broader point about the boundaries of rights.

Take my home as an example. It’s generally agreed that I have a large measure of a right to privacy within its walls. Under our laws, if the government wants to come in, there must be a warrant issued by a judge to allow that, minus a small number of exigent circumstances. Our government violates that all too often, but many of us recognize that to be a violation. In addition to privacy, I have the right to say who gets to come in and what my guests get to do while visiting.

But what about a business? If I own a business, how much control over the behavior of visitors do I have? A business operates in public. We’re not talking about private clubs here, so we’ll leave aside questions as to whether a golf course can bar blacks or women. The point is what rules a store that is open to the public can have.

It’s here that we need to distinguish between passive and active rights. Take the case of a woman walking into a store while wearing a hijab. She is practicing her religion in public, but that’s a passive practice. If she walks around speaking to customers about her beliefs or if she calls out a prayer, she’s moved into action.

I chose the example of Islam first precisely because it’s the one that many Americans will have difficulty with. But the same question applies to a Jewish man who wears a yarmulke.

As I said above, a public business is just that. It has to be open to everyone who comes to participate in the business. A store owner has the right to remove someone who is disrupting that business, but the passive expression of a person’s basic rights–in the examples given, the right to exercise of religion–is not a disruption.

How does this apply to the events in Aurora? The handgun that I carry concealed on my person is not a disruption to the normal activity of any business. Unless I’m in imminent danger, it won’t be visible. I don’t cross over into active expression of my right to self defense on a whim. Since I am passively exercising my right, the business has no justification in banning what I do, any more than it would have to ban a yarmulke or a hijab. The laws in some jurisdictions don’t comply with rights in this regard, and those need to be changed.

What this points to is how much freedom we each may have in public. As always, I seek the most freedom that we all can have while we’re together.

Gun Control Beliefs

1. The same government that can’t keep illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing our borders could stop firearms from doing the same.

2. The 300,000,000 + guns in America will either disappear or be turned in if the dreams of gun banners become reality.

3. The 100,000,000 gun owners will quietly accept their guns becoming illegal or will acquiesce to licensing and registration.

4. The same government that can’t make the Department of Motor Vehicles operate efficiently could make the Department of Firearms Control do so.

5. The rights of the individual are only what the government grants.

6. People who can be trusted to choose their leaders can’t be trusted to own firearms.

7. The actions of a few veto the rights of the many.

8. Signs that ban guns from the premises will stop someone from committing a Class A felony.

9. Mechanical devices have wills of their own and exercise powers over human beings.

10. Safety is more important than freedom, even when the former is illusory.

I could go on, but do we notice a pattern here?

Psst–Want Some Sugar?

Michael Bloomberg, the man who changed New York City’s term limits to buy himself a third time as mayor (because billionaires just know what’s best for us, you know) and who can’t stand the idea of good citizens owning or carrying firearms, has had a new subject gain his attention: sugary drinks.

Yup, Bloomingidiot wants to ban any drink in a restaurant, theater, or sports venue of more than sixteen ounces if it’s sweetened with sugar.

Those of us who care about gun rights have known that Hizzonor the Mayor is a control freak, but now the nation as a whole is getting to see that once you take power with the purpose of running the lives of others, there are no limits–no limits, that is, beyond what the people can apply.

New Yorkers, why did you elect this man for a third term? You are responsible for what he does to you, at least until he finds a way to ban elections.

But if you’re ready to see the foolishness of his ways, America awaits. Here in Arkansas, for example, you can buy and carry a Big Gulp and a .44 Magnum most anywhere you want. The majority of other states are the same.

To Bloomingbutt specifically, you, sir, have no need to worry. As things stand, I have no interest in visiting your city. Feel free to enjoy your fiefdom until the peasants rise up.