Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Write To Your Senators and State Representatives

To some, your voice may fall upon deaf ears.  It certainly seems that way if you petition at  President Obama seems to think that he knows what you are really thinking when you tell him that you do not want a new assault weapons ban.  The arrogance of that man is sickening.  I'm tired of all this.  I have decided to make my voice heard by my state representatives and senators.  If you want to send a message to your representatives of your state, but are feeling a bit of writer's block, I encourage you to take what I have written, tweak it however you feel for your state situation, and send it on.  The more people we can get writing, the more voices will be heard, and perhaps we can shoot down Frankenstein's new assault weapons ban legislation for good.

Text of my letter below.

Honorable Senator Hatch:

I am writing to make my voice heard regarding Senator Dianne Feinstein's new attempt on an "assault weapon ban."  I oppose any all attempts to further restrict or deny we, the law-abiding people, from owning firearms described in her newest piece of proposed legislation.  I also oppose restrictions on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.  As any firearms enthusiast, and expert will tell you, limiting magazines to 10 rounds or less will not have any measurable affect on crimes committed with firearms capable of accepting magazines with more than 10 rounds.  In fact, during the last assault weapons ban, guns confiscated after crimes that actually had "high capacity" magazines in them were stamped law enforcement or military only, which were illegal to possess in the first place.  Banning high capacity magazines will not deter crime - it will only make it frustrating for law-abiding citizens (the ones you need not worry about) to obtain them.  This new assault weapons ban will do nothing to deter crime, especially mass shootings.  If you look at the Sandy Hook massacre, you will note that the state of Connecticut already has an existing assault weapons ban in place, and it did absolutely nothing to deter this evil man from walking into the school, killing 20 children.  If you look at the information, a so-called "assault weapon" wasn't even used.

You must also know that the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting or sport.  It is about regular everyday citizens being armed, not only for self defense reasons, but to stand as a final check against a government that would work to pervert the Constitution and infringe upon our rights as citizens of These United States.  I admonish you to tell the federal government that you will not support any assault weapons ban, or legislation that further encroaches on our rights, as American citizens, to keep and bear arms.  As armed Americans, we have grown weary of these attacks and infringements upon our rights.  As gun owners, we are the most regulated people in These United States.  With 20,000 or so gun control laws already on the books, isn't it time to start enforcing the laws we have rather than imposing new and dramatically unconstitutional laws?  What did the last assault weapons ban get us?  Nothing of consequence.  These so-called "assault weapons" are used in less than 2% of crimes, and many of those were committed by law enforcement officers - the ones we pay to protect us.  In addition, Columbine happened in the height of the first assault weapons ban, and many kids were killed there.  This, combined with Sandy Hook, are two prime examples of why legislation like this does not work!  Timothy McVeigh used a box truck, some diesel fuel, and fertilizer to kill 168 people, including many children; he did not use a gun.  The 19 terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks did not use guns or explosives; they used box cutter knives.  BOX CUTTER KNIVES!!!  The point is that evil people exist and no matter how much you restrict their access to the most regulated pieces of equipment on the planet, they will find other - sometimes more deadly - means of carrying out their evil intentions.  Guns are not the problem.  In fact, banning guns will just send them underground.  You can look at our failures in the drug war to see an example of how effective this gun control would be.  Look at the Prohibition era.  Alcohol went underground.  You can't legislate morality.  When the guns go underground, criminals will have more access to firearms because these will not be regulated.  My guns have never been used to commit a crime, and as long as they remain in my law-abiding hands, they never will.

I admonish you to support concealed carry in our Utah schools, openly saying so.  We already have the right to do so, but we need to put the word out to our administrators, teachers, and other faculty that their concealed weapons permit allows them to do so without fear of being charged for crimes they do not commit.  We need to set an example for the rest of the nation to follow.  Here, we have no mass shootings in our schools, and the reason is because criminals know there are armed citizens, good people, who stand ready to invoke their 2nd Amendment right to stand against evil from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I also admonish you to abolish the federal Gun Free Zone act.  If nothing else, ensure that gun free zones don't exist in the state of Utah.  Recent history has shown that "gun free zones" are nothing more than free killing zones because criminals that want to make a big impact will choose these locations to do their heinous crimes.  And why not?  They won't meet any opposition until the police arrive, which will be minutes later, and by that time the damage is already done.  As soon as the murderer is confronted by police, he puts a bullet in his head.  If we take away gun free zones, we put criminals on notice that he may encounter a citizen with a concealed weapons permit, and faced with that idea, the bad guy will most likely think twice.  Why?  Because criminals don't want to work.  If they did, they'd get a job.  When you confront a bad guy with a gun, you become work.  And as long as the bad guy is shooting at me, the concealed weapon permit holder, he is not shooting unarmed, innocent people, including children.

Lastly, I admonish you to put forth your own legislation that tells the federal government to stay out of Utah.  We invoke our 9th and 10th Amendment rights to tell the federal government that we will not uphold laws that are unconstitutional and will work to ensure that citizens of Utah remain free of these treasonous out of state senators, who would disarm the people for their own ends.

I thank you for your time in reading this.

Most sincerely,

James Wood 

PS: I came across a well-written article on gun control that author Larry Correia has put together.  It is worth the effort to read and understand just how Americans think when it comes to gun control.

Friday, December 28, 2012

ETON FRX3 Weather Alert Radio and Smartphone Charger

It's 7:30 PM.  You are watching your favorite show on t.v. when suddenly the power goes out.  The lights turn off, the t.v. dies, and the next thing you know, you are in the dark, groping around for flashlights and candles.  To add to this, it's the dead of winter, and your furnace is no longer working.  As you look outside, you can see one hell of a blizzard blowing through the neighborhood.  You have no idea where repair crews are, or how long it will take them to get the power back online, but by the looks of it, nobody is working in this storm.  You have no idea what the weather is supposed to be like, and as you look at your smartphone to check the weather app, you realize that your battery life is at 2%.  With no t.v., computer, or even your phone, you cannot get any information, nor can anyone contact you to make sure you are okay.  If that wasn't bad enough, you just realized that you have run out of batteries for the flashlight, and the ones in it are dead.  We've all been there at some time or another.  And when you are caught totally unprepared, it really sucks!

Enter the Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine AM/FM/Weather Alert Radio with USB Smartphone Charger.  What a mouthful!  We'll just call it the FRX3 for short.  This all-in-one radio is just what you need in a situation like the one describe above.  Information is a lifeline in emergencies, and the easier it is for you to get information, the better off you will be.  The FRX3 has an AM/FM radio built in so you will have no problem tuning into your favorite news station to get critical updates.  It also has a built in weather radio, with access to seven weatherband channels.  You pick the one that works in your area, and it does the rest.  The weather radio portion of this radio also includes an alert system.  You just set the radio to your weatherband frequency, and tap the alert button.  An alert indicator flashes on the energy saving display to let you know the radio is waiting for an emergency weather alert.  It stays in a sleep mode until an alert is broadcasted.  When an alert is received, the radio comes to life and starts talking to you, letting you know about important weather events in your area.  Those of us who have lived in flood plains or earthquake prone areas really appreciate this feature.

The FRX3 also includes a 2 LED flashlight.  While not the brightest or coolest in the world, it is enough to help you find your way in a dark house.  Since you can recharge the unit manually, there is no need to have a ton of batteries on hand for this device.  When the flashlight dies, you simply wind the crank to charge the batteries back up.  The more you crank, the more light you will have (more on that later).  You might want to use this light to locate other lights in the house though.  Maybe you just need enough light to find the candles in the closet or a battery operated lantern in the garage.  Either way, a source of light is a comforting thing.  There is also a red flashing LED beacon, which could be used to help someone locate you in the dark or warn vehicles that you are in the area.  It's a somewhat useful feature, if only for certain times of need.

The FRX3 is constructed of a type of ABS plastic that is shock resistant.  The construction is designed to protect critical componets from damage from use to misuse.  The AM/FM tuner knobs and volume control are positioned on either side of the main body, inside the square frame.  This not only protects from damage, but makes it so that they cannot so easily be rotated out of alignment.  The display is recessed behind the X shaped spars.  If the radio falls on it's face, the display will not hit the ground.  The control buttons, which are rubberized, are also protected from accidentally being pressed, while the power button and battery buttons are easily accessed from the front.  The bottom of the unit has rubber feet so it won't just slide around, and the antenna stores in the back, partially recessed so it doesn't get damaged.  The hand crank, though plastic, does have a metal pin that attaches the handle to the turbine so it won't break.  Just don't abuse it and it will last you a long time.

At the heart of the system are the batteries.  This radio uses two kinds.  First off, it uses three traditional alkaline AAA batteries.  It also uses a Ni-MH battery pack, which is included with the radio.  This battery pack is your run of the mill kind that you can buy in any radio shack, so you don't need to worry about getting them only from the manufacturer.  This is a good thing because over time, Ni-MH batteries lose their ability to hold a charge, and will eventually fail; all batteries do.  Don't be alarmed.  Unfortunately, there is no weather seal around the battery compartment, so I do not recommend taking this radio water skiing with you.  For total reliability, I would not expose it to too much moisture because it doesn't seem to be waterproof.

There are three ways to charge the Ni-MH pack.  I will cover each individually with charge times and performance.  The first is the obvious.  It's the hand crank, or dynamo charger.  Eton calls this a hand turbine.  Either way, it's a small generator with a coil of wire, some magnets, and a solid ferrous metal core.  We used to experiment with stuff like this in college.  It works because as you turn the crank, you are rotating a slug with a coil of wire around inside a magnetic stator, also with coils of wire.  As the magnetic field is cut by the wires, voltage is produced.  The electron flow coming from this voltage production is directed into the batteries, where it is stored until needed.  That's basically it in the simplest of terms.  The generators I work on are generally much larger and more complex.  With the hand crank, you want to turn it around 150 RPM.  It's not terribly fast, no.  But it is sufficient to start charging the batteries.  It is, however, a good vigorous speed for getting those electrons flowing.  Charge times will vary with what your goal is.  If you want to charge your phone, you'd better get to cranking.  It may take a few minutes of charging to get your phone to go up a few percentage points.  However, for radio use, about 90 seconds worth of cranking will give you 5-7 minutes of air time, depending on volume levels.  For flashlight use, I'd just crank that bad boy whenever you're not using it.  But suffice it to say that 90 seconds of cranking should yield 20 minutes of flashlight use, according to the manufacturer.  I personally wouldn't know because I never use a flashlight for more than a few seconds.  If I need more light, I switch to a lantern or a head lamp (good idea for another review, I think).

Now, to start charging with the crank, or the solar panel for that matter, you need to push the button on the front that has a crank picture on it.  This selects the Ni-MH battery pack and will allow you to charge it.  If you have pressed the button that has a battery on it, you can crank all you want, but nothing will happen.  The same also applies for DC charging from a computer.  The opposite is true if you want to use the 3 AAA batteries You would depress the battery icon button to use power from that source.  You cannot charge the device when the AAA batteries are selected.  This is a safety feature to keep your fingers attached to your hands when handling this radio.

Solar charging is neat.  I love solar chargers.  It's free energy that I don't have do any work for.  Just place the radio outside (not through a window), and let Mother Nature handle your charging needs.  Your arm with thank you for it, and so will the environment.  Even on an overcast day, the solar cell still works.  I know this because I watched the battery indicator show it charging when I was outside on a very cloudy and snowy morning.  Solar charge time from discharged to fully charged will be around 10 hours.  If you are out camping, this means that your radio will not die at all during the day and you can use the stored energy to power it at night.  Should the batteries die at night, you can fall back on good old fashioned hand crank power to get your information.

DC charging is accomplished via a mini USB in the radio, connected to your computer.  You can expect around 2-hours to fully charge with this method.  This is handy because if you are going on a camping trip, you can pre-charge the batteries before you head out and save yourself some time by not cranking the turbine as soon.

The controls atop the unit also allow you to set the clock (12/24 hr formats) as well as an alarm function, much like a clock radio.  However, the main selling point of this radio is the fact that it can charge a smartphone via USB, and it actually works!  In my video demonstration, you will see this function in action.  There is a button on the top called CELL.  With the Ni-MH batteries charged up, you plug the USB into the back of the radio, and the adapter into your phone.  I used the iPhone cord that mine came with.  Then you tap the CELL button.  What happens then is that the radio will "dump charge" the phone, meaning that it will rapidly pour all those little electrons into your phone until either the radio's battery pack discharges completely or your phone gets fully charged.  I have not tested a 5% or less to 100% charge, but last night it charged it from 46% to 75% in just a few minutes.  That's fast!  By the way, I do not recommend dynamically charging the Ni-MH batteries while charging your phone.  There's too much going on when you do this.  The best method would be to charge until the battery is depleted, and then charge the radio separately.  Once you get some more juice into it, then plug your phone back in and "dump charge" it.

Pricing is always subject to change, but I found this radio on for about $65.  As far as I can tell, it's worth the price of entry because of all the features it has, and the fact that it actually does charge a smartphone.  It's predecessor, as well as other brands, seem to suffer poor reviews because they don't actually work as advertised.  But with the Eton FRX3, you have some pretty good technologies built in that make the higher cost worth it.  As I like to say, quality hurts you now, crap hurts you always.

Here is my video review, showing you how some of the features of this radio, including the smartphone charger, actually work.  Enjoy!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Streamlight ProTac 2AAA

Streamlight ProTac 2AAA
To start off, I'm making these pictures smaller than I normally do.  If you want to see them better, click on each and it will blow up to a larger, more detailed size for you to see up close.

This is my review on the Streamlight ProTac 2AAA flashlight.  This is one flashlight in Streamlight's ProTac series of lights.  I've been carrying this light around for the past few months, and I have say that I love it.  I'll go over some of the technical details in a minute, but I want to share with you the intended use for a light such as this.  First off, it's not really a "tactical" light, though the name suggests it, ie: Pro"Tac."  It's an everyday carry light.  What do I mean by "everyday carry?"  For the uninitiated, everyday carry is just that, or EDC for short.  Everyday carry items can be anything from a small pocket knife to a flashlight, such as this, a pocket sized multi-tool, or any other item (aka: gear) that you think you would need everyday.

For instance, my EDC system consists of a lock-back pocket knife, a Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tool, a flashlight, and typically another small keychain knife, which includes tweezers, tiny screwdrivers, a toothpick, a very small knife, and a bottle opener.  I also carry a gun, but that varies depending on my mood.  For the most part, the items mentioned above do not change, and they go everywhere with me, no matter what.

Because I'm a field service mechanic, meaning that I work out of a truck - not in a shop, I find myself needing these smaller tools on my person at all times because sometimes the places I go may be far enough from my truck that I might need them (without going back and forth).  I also carry a tool bag, but I often find myself needing nothing more than a small flashlight and a small screwdriver; it's hardly worth grabbing an entire bag every time.

Not all people are mechanics, however.  The one thing we all have in common is we all have the need for a small flashlight at one time or another.  Trying to find your keys in the dark can be a real chore.  Or perhaps you lost a small screw behind a desk and need to find it.  Maybe you dropped something in the foot well of your car and the dome light doesn't illuminate where you need the light.  Or perhaps the power goes out and you suddenly find yourself groping in the dark for the candles and battery operated lantern - or ironically, another flashlight.  The point is that no matter who you are, or what your situation is, you could always use a small, rather powerful light on your person.

ProTac 2AAA top, Maglite Bottom
Since this review isn't necessarily geared toward a tactical gear junkie like myself, I'm using a Maglite incandescent mini maglite as a direct comparison.  These little flashlights are a dime a dozen.  They are really cheap.  At less than $10 most places, you can easily hook into one for your kids or yourself.  The problem is that this Maglite is so antiquated in so many ways.  First off, the body is much larger than the ProTac 2AAA.  The Maglite is heavier.  To turn on the light, the user interface is a twist on, which requires two hands to operate, unless you are a ninja.  There is no pocket clip to speak of, and the head doesn't have flats to keep it from rolling off the table.  The final nail in the coffin for the trusty ole Maglite is the fact that the light output is only 14 lumens.  Compared to the output of the ProTac 2AAA at 80 lumens on high, the Maglite is 5.7 times dimmer.  Comparing run times is also bad for the Maglite because the ProTac's 10 lumen (low mode) output will make the batteries last 30 hours compared to 5 hr 15 min for the Maglite.

Maglite left, ProTac 2AAA right
Of course, all that usability comes at a higher price.  I paid $29.49 on Amazon Prime to have the ProTac 2AAA drop shipped to my house back in September.  That price includes free shipping and no tax.  For the price of the ProTac, you could probably buy 3 Maglites (non-LED variety).  However, even if you combined the light output of all those incandescent Maglites, you still couldn't touch the 80 lumens put out by the ProTac 2AAA.  And if you combined all the run times for the Maglites, you still couldn't touch the 30 hour run time of the ProTac 2AAA on low.  You also wouldn't have an emergency strobe that can go for 5 hours straight.  Did I mention, the Streamlight ProTac 2AAA has strobe function?  Well now you know.  Suffice it to say, I think I've killed the Maglite (incandescent variety) with the ProTac.  How's it stack up against the Maglite 2AAA LED model?  Well, at 84 advertised lumens, Maglite beats Streamlight on paper.  And with an advertised run time of 5 hours, 45 minutes, it also has the Streamlight beat, on paper.  But remember this: Maglite flashlights will dim over the course of the battery life.  It's been my experience even with the larger, 3D LED light that it just doesn't stay at advertised 134 lumens of light output for long.  Rather, it just slowly fades until there is nothing left.  With the Streamlight ProTac 2AAA, you get solid state power regulation, which keeps the light output at 80 lumens until the battery is nearly dead.  This is the reason for the disparity between run times for each brand.  I've experienced this with the ProTac 2AAA.  While using it, it came to the end of the battery's life.  The light output immediately reduced, letting me know it was time to swap out batteries.  Don't let this hour and a half run time fool you though.  You're not going to be using this light as a search light.  I always use mine for short periods of either momentary operation (which I'll get to later) or clicked on for just a few minutes at most.  This is likely how you will use yours because despite the fact that I make a living using flashlights in hard to see places, I still buy groceries and drop my keys in the snow at night, like everyone else.  Oh yeah, before I forget... the cost of that fancy Maglite 2 cell AAA LED mini?  $18.50 plus $4 shipping on  For all the disadvantages of the Maglite, you'll surely pay nearly Streamlight prices for it!

The Streamlight ProTac 2AAA is easy to service (that is, replace batteries).  The button cap screws off, and out come two AAA batteries.  I use Duracell in my flashlight because it's my preference.  Streamlight recommends alkaline batteries in this model.  There is a rubber o-ring seal on the end to protect the inside of the body from water, dirt, and other debris.  This really works.  While I have not dunked the light into the bath tub, I have dropped it in the snow, into mud puddles, puddles of coolant & diesel fuel, and I dropped it into a 5 gallon bucket of waste oil (which made me none too thrilled).  After fishing the light out of the bucket, I wiped it off, disassembled it, and found no motor oil inside.  I finished cleaning it up, put it back together, and kept using it.  For the record, I have dropped a mini maglite into a mud puddle before and it stopped working completely.  I had to throw it in the trash.  You get what you pay for.

The user interface is a momentary/clicky that allows you to do a few things.  First, you can depress the button just enough to turn the light on at full power.  This is good for general use, where you don't need the light on for any measurable amount of time.  To make it stay on, just depress until you hear and feel a "click."  Since the rubber button cover isn't protected, I initially thought that the light might activate itself if I bumped into something, but this hasn't been the case.  The button takes a bit of effort to click and the action to do so must be deliberate.  I'm not saying it's impossible to accidentally turn this on, but it is highly unlikely.  The other functions are accessed as follows: to turn on the strobe, you momentarily depress the button twice.  If you want the strobe to stay on, you just click the button down and it stays on.  To access the low setting, you momentarily press the button 3 times.  If you want the low setting to remain on, you finish pushing the button until it clicks.  I find it sort of obnoxious that I have to cycle through the strobe function to get to low.  For me, a better option would be to click it once and hold it down to toggle between high and low, which is how my Streamlight Stinger LED works.  The reason is because if you are using the low setting, chances are you'll want the light to be on for more than a few seconds, and clicking to turn it off is easy enough.  As you can see, in the picture above, the rubber cover is shaped like a hat and it goes into the metal ring before getting screwed onto the button.  This not only retains the rubber cover, but weatherproofs the housing.  Since the button is on the back, it is one-handed in operation, and can easily be activated momentarily on and off with your arm raised, which makes it easy to actuate with your thumb.

The clip is designed so it rides deep in the pocket.  If you move the clip to the top of the light, as I have, it rides so deep, it's hardly noticeable.  The only thing I wish the clip had was the end to be shaped so it's not sticking out like it does.  You can see how the finish has come off on the front of it from scraping against walls or brush, or even painted surfaces.  However, the clip is small and mostly unobtrusive.  There are no weird shapes or weird attachment screws.  The other benefit of this clip is that you can remove it without tools, should you decide that clipped pocket carry isn't for you.  For you gals, who want to carry this in your purse without snagging on other things, you may want to remove the clip.  As for me, the flashlight rides nicely in my pocket opposite my pocket knife.  The thinness of the flashlight also makes it great for carrying in the breast pocket of your work-provided button up shirt, which I've also carried in.  With the overall slimness of the design, it's really hard not to find a good place you can store this flashlight without it getting in the way, yet readily accessible when you need it.

The LED is Streamlight's C4 LED technology, which I've discussed here before.  Basically, it's a marketing gimmick.  What you are buying is a CREE LED, which will last 50,000 hours under normal everyday use.  The bezel is somewhat crenulated, which doesn't do a whole lot of anything.  The most useful part of this feature is that if you're foolish enough to set a flashlight down on its bezel, light will emit through the gaps between the table and the bezel, alerting you that you are throwing photons around when you ought not to.  Some flashlights are heavier and have more pronounced crenulation, which serves to turn the light into a striking weapon of sorts.  However, that's not the case here.  It's mostly for looks, in my opinion.

The head also has an anti-roll feature, with three flats machined out of the aluminum housing.  Since you always want to set your flashlights down, as shown in the picture above (never on the bezel), the anti-roll flats on the head will keep the flashlight from, eh, rolling away from you.  If you have the clip on it still, then it really isn't going anywhere.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Streamlight ProTac 2AA flashlight, which is basically the same light, but it runs on AA batteries instead of AAA.  You also get 120 lumens for 1.75 hours.  The features are virtually identical, however, it is good to note that this light is obviously larger than the ProTac 2AAA model.  The major advantage of the 2AA flashlight over the 2AAA flashlight is that it uses more readily available AA batteries instead of the harder to find AAA variety.  By harder to find, I don't mean that AAA batteries are rare, but I don't see them on every shelf that stocks AA batteries.  In many cases, AA batteries are less expensive than AAA batteries.  If I wasn't so terribly concerned about keeping a small and light footprint for my everyday carry, I might just opt for the ProTac 2AA instead.  The price difference between the two is negligible.  At $35.68 on Amazon Prime, it really comes down to needs and preference over cost.

 New in Streamlight's lineup are the ProTac 1L and ProTac 2L series of lights.  These are the same lights, except they use either one or two CR123 batteries.  I like them.  At 180 lumens for 2.5 hours for the 2L and 110 lumens for 1.5 hours for the 1L, each does a lot for giving you options.  If you are running a lot of CR123 powered lights, these might be the route for you.  Of course, that is also the downside of these 1L and 2L lights.  They use expensive and harder to find CR123 batteries, and the run times are about the same as the ProTac 2AA and 2AAA models.  For everyday carry, the 1L and 2L don't offer anything that my 2AAA doesn't already have, except for higher light outputs and more money spent on batteries that are harder to find and more expensive than the run of the mill AA or AAA batteries you can buy at 7-11.

Now, if I was to buy one of the two, 1L or 2L, I'd get the 2L.  The reason is that I obviously want the 180 lumen output that it throws.  It might be a good EDC option for when your size and weight constraints aren't as pressing.  I can't see any reason I would get the 1L because if I was determined to get a really compact light, I'd get the ProTac 2AAA because despite the fact that it is longer, it is much slimmer in the main body and hides in my pants pocket easier.

For those of you who want the short, compactness of the 1L, but don't want to run CR123 batteries, you can opt for the ProTac 1AA, which is nice and compact, yet runs readily available AA batteries.  The major downside is that you are restricted to 50 lumens instead of 110 from the 1L and even the 80 from the 2AAA model, or the 120 from the 2AA model.  However, for my use, a good EDC light will be 50 lumens or above.  Since it's not a tactical light, it's not entirely imperative to have the most lumens in the world.  Finding your car keys at night does not require 180 lumens of light.  It requires enough to see.  50 lumens is ideal for that.  But since I prefer between 80 and 100 lumens for everyday carry, I went with the ProTac 2AAA model.    By the way, all the aforementioned lights are waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

So, if I didn't have any of these, and was in the market for one, which would I buy?  Well, that's going to depend.  I have a lot of flashlights that run CR123 batteries anyway, so it only makes sense for me to choose another CR123 powered light.  At $40 on Amazon Prime, the 2L is $10 more expensive than the ProTac 2AAA, and boasts more than double the light output, which means it could cross over and be a small tactical light if necessary.  For EDC, I'd still go with the ProTac 2AAA because of the overall slim design.  If I was going for a more tactical loadout, the 2L would get the nod.


The Time To Stand Is NOW

I encourage you to click on the link above and read the article on the newly proposed language of the impending assault weapons ban.

This is my facebook response:

Friends, it is time to stand! Write your legislators and tell them this will not be allowed. ALL GUN OWNERS!!! If you aren't standing now, it is time to stand up and fight. Make your voice heard and do not allow this legislation to pass. It will affect over 100 MILLION gun owners, will cost the nation BILLIONS of dollars we can't afford, and will only result it making it harder for law-abiding citizens (the ones you don't need to worry about) to obtain guns to protect themselves and their families. It will not, however, have any affect whatsoever on the criminal element in our country, which already does not obey the over 20,000 existing gun regulations/laws on the books. Look at history, and judge for yourself. Columbine happened DURING the first assault weapons ban. Newtown occurred despite the fact that Connecticut has a current assault weapons ban. Mexico, which has total gun control, suffers murders with guns 55,000 times a year. England, which has total gun control, has violent crime rates that make America look tame. Australia, which instituted total gun control only a year ago, has experienced appalling murder, violent crime, armed robbery, and rape case increases since it was enacted. Do not follow the same path of these governments and nations. Educate yourself. Open your eyes. Understand that liberty, freedom, security, and your ability to protest, and guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment and those of us who are willing to bear the burden of owning firearms and standing as a first and last line of defense against governments who would pervert liberty and subvert our laws to their own means and satisfaction. While you are told that you do not need a gun to protect yourself, Obama has hundreds of guns protecting him. While you are told that your children don't need guns to protect them in schools, Obama's children attend a school with no less than eleven armed guards in place. These people are no more important to me than my own children and I am willing to give my own life to protect them and to protect the freedoms I cherish. My only regret is that I have only 1 life to give in defense of liberty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Victim's Perspective on Gun Control

You anti gun idiots who live in this fantasy land need to take notice. This woman was there during a massacre, and she gets it!  Stop looking at the world through rose colored glasses and educate yourself on the real reason the 2nd Amendment is there for us - all of us.




Sunday, December 23, 2012

Raven Concealment Phantom Modular Holsters

With all the hysteria over guns lately, I have been completely and utterly exhausted over the issue of turning my rights into something not so much of a right.  Time time to buy weapons and ammunition has come and gone.  If your system isn't setup yet, you are way behind the curve.  Hopefully, you have taken the saying "Amat Victoria Curam" (which means victory favors the prepared) to heart and are now in the process of fine tuning the system you have.  We are never completely ready, however, and while it is still legal to do so, we need to constantly evaluate, test, re-evaluate, retest, and tweak what he have to work.  If that means changing out this holster for that, finding a new light that works better, or changing our load-out to accommodate new technologies and designs, then we must do so.  With that being said, I'm reporting on my experience with the Raven Concealment (RCS) Phantom Modular Holster.  In this instance, it is the Phantom Light Compatible Holster.

Soon after purchasing my Beretta M9A1, I sought out a good all around and tough light to mount to the accessory rail - a Streamlight TLR-1s.  It's a good light, and the combination make for a great feeling and handling weapon system.  Knowing this was my go-to-war gun, I wasn't concerned so much with the concealed carry aspect until I owned it for a few months.  The more I owned it, the more I desired to carry it.  No longer would this just be a night stand gun, or a gun to throw into a nylon holster woven into my chest rig, I wanted to take this gun with me everywhere I wanted to go, and wasn't concerned about deep concealment.

After an exhaustive search, I came upon Raven Concealment, which offered exactly what I was looking for in a concealed carry holster that would accommodate this gun with this light.  Their Light Compatible Holster, based on their Modular Holster line, seemed to fit the mold perfectly - pun intended.  I made contact with them and placed my order.

And waited...

And waited...

And waited...

Finally, months after ordering this holster, it came in the mail.  I had moved across three state lines while waiting for my holster to finally be made, and the customer service was excellent about accommodating this, and shipped to my new address.  Unfortunately, the holster came in the beginning of the summer, so I hadn't had much opportunity to wear it until around the middle of October, when the temperature was finally low enough to justify wearing a jacket indoors and outdoors.

The quality of this holster is just fantastic.  The rivets are evenly spaced along the perimeter of this holster, and the retention is just enough to keep the gun in place when I'm carrying, but loose enough to allow for an extremely fast and smooth extraction of my handgun.  Re-holstering is a breeze since the nature of Kydex means the holster is rigid and maintains its shape once the weapon clears it.

The construction of this holster is a pancake style, which allows the holster to lie flat against the body, and the wide construction means that the weight of the handgun is spread over a large area of the belt instead of just a small portion.  This consideration is important when dealing with a handgun, like the Beretta M9A1 which weighs 46 1/4 ounces with a fully loaded 20 round Mec Gar magazine and Streamlight TLR-1s mounted flashlight.  That's not exactly a lightweight combination by any standards, but it is my choice and I don't mind the weight.

Bearing the weight of this gun in mind, I opted to buy the little OWB Pancake Wings that fit all their holsters in the Modular lineup.  These wings allow me to not only spread the weight of the weapon system over an even wider area on the belt, but they allow me to adjust the holster for a tight, tighter, tightest fit against my body.  In the configuration I have shown in this picture, the holster is at the tight position.  Since the weapon is no tucked up too close, I can get a full grip on the weapon before extracting it, making my draw near perfect each and every time.  Consistency is the key to success with a holster draw because no matter what position you find yourself in, you can always hearken to a good draw with your handgun, even if you are lying flat on your back after being whacked across the head with a 2x4.

The holster I bought incorporates a body shield, which keeps the gun from contacting my skin, shirt, or whatever, and protects me from having the gun snag on clothing.  The body shield also aids in re-holstering because it not only helps guide weapon into the holster, but it keeps clothing from finding its way into the opening, which would prevent the weapon from seating properly, or worse, cause a negligent discharge.  Being able to holster the weapon with one hand is important because you may not have your support hand available when the gun is holstered.  You also want to be able to get your gun holstered and hidden as soon as possible, especially after a shootout.  If the police hear a call over the radio that shots have been fired, they may not have a description of the suspect.  If they find you struggling to re-holster after a lawfully justified defensive encounter, they might just shoot you, thinking you were the bad guy.  Bad news!

The loops that ship with the holster are shown on the right, just above.  These standard loops work well, and I tried them for a week before putting the pancake wings onto my holster.  I haven't looked back either.  In fact, I'm quite satisfied with how mine are mounted that I really haven't given much thought to adjusting them for a tighter fit to my body or different cant angles.

The cant on the holster is fairly neutral, with a slight forward orientation, which helps for concealment.  If you need more cant adjustment, you just position the rear loop down and the front loop up for any combination of positions for your suited method of carry.  If you are going to play with angles, I'd suggest the pancake wings, as they offer a lot more room to run your belt through.

I know there are some other competitive options out there, and one company in particular has made a holster like the Raven holster but the refinement of the RCS is really quite good.  It's well worth the asking price.  The major downside is the wait.  I waited months for my holster to arrive.  Other companies seem to be able to punch them out faster, but many of these holsters are being made for Glocks, S&W M&P's, Springfield XD's, etc.  In order to get something for a pistol that isn't as in vogue as the plastic striker fired guns made popular in recent years, you'll have to wait.  These holsters are truly custom made when you get them for guns that aren't plastered all over gun rags.  If you do have a Glock or a Smith, RCS has a quick ship holster for you, which they claim will arrive in 30 days or less.  For the rest of us, it's the current lead time.  For me, that lead time was about 3 months.

If you are a patient person, and are looking for a very high quality holster that rides well, carries well, performs fantastic, then the Raven Concealment holsters might just be for you.


An opinion on gun control - by Larry Correia

I am linking this blog entry and the text to mine so you can read it easily.  Credit to the author, Larry Correia, who took the time and exhaustive effort to put together the best response to the gun control issue I have ever read.  This guy is my new hero!  I was going to put something like this together myself, but Larry is so eloquent in his delivery that I do not feel I could elaborate any better than he did here.  If you have read my blog over the years, you will probably sense the parallels of this man's opinion to those of my own.  In fact, I agree with this guy 100%.

An opinion on gun control

I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).
Today’s blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything I’ve heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work.
A little background for those of you who don’t know me, and this is going to be extensive so feel free to skip the next few paragraphs, but I need to establish the fact that I know what I am talking with, because I am sick and tired of my opinion having the same weight as a person who learned everything they know about guns and violence from watching TV.
I am now a professional novelist. However, before that I owned a gun store. We were a Title 7 SOT, which means we worked with legal machineguns, suppresors, and pretty much everything except for explosives. We did law enforcement sales and worked with equipment that is unavailable from most dealers, but that means lots and lots of government inspections and compliance paperwork. This means that I had to be exceedingly familiar with federal gun laws, and there are a lot of them. I worked with many companies in the gun industry and still have many friends and contacts at various manufacturers. When I hear people tell me the gun industry is unregulated, I have to resist the urge to laugh in their face.
I was also a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor, and was one of the busiest instructors in the state. That required me to learn a lot about self-defense laws, and because I took my job very seriously, I sought out every bit of information that I could. My classes were longer than the standard Utah class, and all of that extra time was spent on Use of Force, shoot/no shoot scenarios, and role playing through violent encounters. I have certified thousands of people to carry guns.
I have been a firearms instructor, and have taught a lot of people how to shoot defensively with handguns, shotguns, and rifles. For a few years of my life, darn near every weekend was spent at the range. I started out as an assistant for some extremely experienced teachers and I also had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most accomplished firearms experts in the world. The man I stole most of my curriculum from was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Special Forces, turned federal agent SWAT team commander. I took classes in everything from wound ballistics (10 hours of looking at autopsy slides) to high-speed cool-guy door-kicking stuff. I’ve worked extensively with military and law enforcement personnel, including force on force training where I played the OpFor (i.e. I got to be the bad guy, because I make an awesome bad guy. You tell me how evil/capable you want me to be, and how hard you want your men to work, and I’d make it happen, plus I can take a beating). Part of this required learning how mass shooters operate and studying the heck out of the actual events.
I have been a competition shooter. I competed in IPSC, IDPA, and 3gun. It was not odd for me to reload and shoot 1,000 rounds in any given week. I fired 20,000 rounds of .45 in one August alone. I’ve got a Remington 870 with approximately 160,000 rounds through it. I’ve won matches, and I’ve been able to compete with some of the top shooters in the country. I am a very capable shooter. I only put this here to convey that I know how shooting works better than the vast majority of the populace.
I have written for national publications on topics relating to gun law and use of force. I wrote for everything from the United States Concealed Carry Association to SWAT magazine. I was considered a subject matter expert at the state level, and on a few occasions was brought in to testify before the Utah State Legislature on the ramifications of proposed gun laws. I’ve argued with lawyers, professors, professional lobbyists, and once made a state rep cry.
Basically for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the laws relating to those things. So believe me when I say that I’ve heard every argument relating to gun control possible. It is pretty rare for me to hear something new, and none of this stuff is new.
Armed Teachers
So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.
Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You can’t mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets!
No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.
Police are awesome. I love working with cops. However any honest cop will tell you that when seconds count they are only minutes away. After Colombine law enforcement changed their methods in dealing with active shooters. It used to be that you took up a perimeter and waited for overwhelming force before going in. Now usually as soon as you have two officers on scene you go in to confront the shooter (often one in rural areas or if help is going to take another minute, because there are a lot of very sound tactical reasons for using two, mostly because your success/survival rates jump dramatically when you put two guys through a door at once. The shooter’s brain takes a moment to decide between targets). The reason they go fast is because they know that every second counts. The longer the shooter has to operate, the more innocents die.
However, cops can’t be everywhere. There are at best only a couple hundred thousand on duty at any given time patrolling the entire country. Excellent response time is in the three-five minute range. We’ve seen what bad guys can do in three minutes, but sometimes it is far worse. They simply can’t teleport. So in some cases that means the bad guys can have ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes to do horrible things with nobody effectively fighting back.
So if we can’t have cops there, what can we do?
The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.
The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while he’s concentrating on killing them, he’s not killing more children.
But teachers aren’t as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.
But this leads to the inevitable shrieking and straw man arguments about guns in the classroom, and then the pacifistic minded who simply can’t comprehend themselves being mandated to carry a gun, or those that believe teachers are all too incompetent and can’t be trusted. Let me address both at one time.
Don’t make it mandatory. In my experience, the only people who are worth a darn with a gun are the ones who wish to take responsibility and carry a gun. Make it voluntary. It is rather simple. Just make it so that your state’s concealed weapons laws trump the Federal Gun Free School Zones act. All that means is that teachers who voluntarily decide to get a concealed weapons permit are capable of carrying their guns at work. Easy. Simple. Cheap. Available now.
Then they’ll say that this is impossible, and give me all sorts of terrible worst case scenarios about all of the horrors that will happen with a gun in the classroom… No problem, because this has happened before. In fact, my state laws allow for somebody with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a school right now. Yes. Utah has armed teachers. We have for several years now.
When I was a CCW instructor, I decided that I wanted more teachers with skin in the game, so I started a program where I would teach anybody who worked at a school for free. No charge. Zip. They still had to pay the state for their background check and fingerprints, but all the instruction was free. I wanted more armed teachers in my state.
I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual. Some schools had more. I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them.
After Virginia Tech, I started teaching college students for free as well. They were 21 year old adults who could pass a background check. Why should they have to be defenseless?  None of these students ever needed to stop a mass shooting, but I’m happy to say that a couple of rapists and muggers weren’t so lucky, so I consider my time well spent.
Over the course of a couple years I taught well over $20,000 worth of free CCW classes. I met hundreds and hundreds of teachers, students, and staff. All of them were responsible adults who understood that they were stuck in target rich environments filled with defenseless innocents. Whether they liked it or not, they were the first line of defense. It was the least I could do.
Permit holders are not cops. The mistake many people make is that they think permit holders are supposed to be cops or junior danger rangers. Not at all. Their only responsibility is simple. If someone is threatening to cause them or a third person serious bodily harm, and that someone has the ability, opportunity, and is acting in a manner which suggest they are a legitimate threat, then that permit holder is allowed to use lethal force against them.
As of today the state legislatures of Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are looking at revamping their existing laws so that there can be legal guns in school. For those that are worried these teachers will be unprepared, I’m sure there would be no lack of instructors in those states who’d be willing to teach them for free.
For everyone, if you are sincere in your wish to protect our children, I would suggest you call your state representative today and demand that they allow concealed carry in schools.
Gun Free Zones
Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.
Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.
In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.
The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.
I testified before the Utah State Legislature about the University of Utah’s gun ban the day after the Trolley Square shooting in Salt Lake City. Another disaffected loser scumbag started shooting up this mall. He killed several innocent people before he was engaged by an off duty police officer who just happened to be there shopping. The off duty Ogden cop pinned down the shooter until two officers from the SLCPD came up from behind and killed the shooter. (turned out one of them was a customer of mine) I sent one of my employees down to Trolley Square to take a picture of the shopping center’s front doors. I then showed the picture to the legislators. One of the rules was NO GUNS ALLOWED.
The man that attacked the midnight showing of Batman didn’t attack just any theater. There were like ten to choose from. He didn’t attack the closest. It wasn’t about biggest or smallest. He attacked the one that was posted NO GUNS ALLOWED.
There were four mass killing attempts this week. Only one made the news because it helped the agreed upon media narrative.
  1. Oregon. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter confronted by permit holder. Shooter commits suicide. Only a few casualties.
  2. Texas. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter killed immediately by off duty cop. Only a few casualties.
  3. Connecticut. GUN FREE ZONE. Shooters kills until the police arrive. Suicide. 26 dead.
  4. China. GUN FREE COUNTRY. A guy with a KNIFE stabs 22 children.
And here is the nail in the coffin for Gun Free Zones. Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed.
The Media
Every time there is a mass shooting event, the vultures launch. I find it absolutely fascinating. A bunch of people get murdered, and the same usual suspects show up with the same tired proposals that we’ve either tried before or logic tells us simply will not work. They strike while the iron is hot, trying to push through legislation before there can be coherent thought. We’ve seen this over and over and over again. We saw it succeed in England. We saw it succeed in Australia. We’ve seen it succeed here before.
Yet when anyone from my side responds, then we are shouted at that we are blood thirsty and how dare we speak in this moment of tragedy, and we should just shut our stupid mouths out of respect for the dead, while they are free to promote policies which will simply lead to more dead… If the NRA says something they are bloodthirsty monsters, and if they don’t say something then their silence is damning guilt. It is hypocritical in the extreme, and when I speak out against this I am called every name in the book, I want dead children, I’m a cold hearted monster (the death threats are actually hilarious). If I become angry because they are promoting policies which are tactically flawed and which will do the exact opposite of the stated goals, then I am a horrible person for being angry. Perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed to own guns at all.
But that’s not why I want to talk about the media. I want to talk about the media’s effect on the shooters.
Put yourself in the shoes of one of these killers. One nice thing about playing the villain and being a punching bag for cops, soldiers, and permit holders is that you need to learn about how the bad guys think and operate. And most of the mass shooters fit a similar profile.
The vast majority (last I saw it was over 80%) are on some form of psychotropic drug and has been for many years. They have been on Zoloft or some serotonin inhibitor through their formative years, and their decision making process is often flawed. They are usually disaffected, have been bullied, pushed around, and have a lot of emotional problems. They are delusional. They see themselves as victims, and they are usually striking back at their peer group.
These people want to make a statement. They want to show the world that they aren’t losers. They want to make us understand their pain. They want to make their peer group realize that they are powerful. They’ll show us. The solution is easy. It’s right there in front of your nose.
If you can kill enough people at one time, you’ll be on the news, 24/7, round the clock coverage. You will become the most famous person in the world. Everyone will know your name. You become a celebrity. Experts will try to understand what you were thinking. Hell, the President of the United States, the most important man in the world, will drop whatever he is doing and hold a press conference to talk about your actions, and he’ll even shed a single manly tear.
You are a star.
Strangely enough, this is one of the only topics I actually agree with Roger Ebert on. He didn’t think that the news should cover the shooters or mention their names on the front page of the paper. So whenever the press isn’t talking about guns, or violent movies, or violent video games, or any other thing that hundreds of millions of people participated in yesterday without murdering anybody, they’ll keep showing the killer’s picture in the background while telling the world all about him and his struggles.
And then the cycle repeats, as the next disaffected angry loner takes notes.
They should not be glamorized. They should be hated, despised, and forgotten. They are not victims. They are not powerful. They are murdering scum, and the only time their names should be remembered is when people like me are studying the tactics of how to neutralize them faster.

Mental Health Issues
And right here I’m going to show why I’m different than the people I’ve been arguing with the last few days. I am not an expert on mental health issues or psychiatry or psychology. My knowledge of criminal psychology is limited to understanding the methods of killers enough to know how to fight them better.
So since I don’t have enough first-hand knowledge about this topic to comment intelligently, then I’m not going to comment… Oh please, if only some of the people I’ve been arguing with who barely understand that the bullets come out the pointy end of the gun would just do the same.

Gun Control Laws
As soon as there is a tragedy there comes the calls for “We have to do something!” Sure, the something may not actually accomplish anything as far as solving whatever the tragedy was or preventing the next one, but that’s the narrative. Something evil happened, so we have to do something, and preferably we have to do it right now before we think about it too hard.
The left side of the political spectrum loves it some gun control. Gun control is historically extremely unpopular in red state and purple state America, and thus very hard to pass bit stuff, but there’s a century’s accumulation of lots and lots of small ones. There have been a handful of major federal laws passed in the United States relating to guns, but the majority of really strict gun control has primarily been enacted in liberal dominated urban areas. There are over 20,000 gun laws on the books, and I have no idea how many pages of regulations from the BATF related to the production and selling of them. I’ve found that the average American is extremely uneducated about what gun laws already exist, what they actually do, and even fundamental terminology, so I’m going to go through many of the things I’ve seen argued about over the last few days and elaborate on them one by one.
I will leave out the particularly crazy things I was confronted with, including the guy who was in favor of mandating “automatic robot gun turrets” in schools. Yes. Heaven forbid we let a teacher CCW, so let’s put killer robots (which haven’t actually been invented yet) in schools. Man, I wish I was making this up, but that’s Facebook for you.
We need to ban automatic weapons.
Okay. Done. In fact, we pretty much did that in 1934. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it so that you had to pay a $200 tax on a machinegun and register it with the government. In 1986 that registry was closed and there have been no new legal machineguns for civilians to own since then.
Automatic means that when you hold down the trigger the gun keeps on shooting until you let go or run out of ammo. Actual automatic weapons cost a lot of money. The cheapest one you can get right now is around $5,000 as they are all collector’s items and you need to jump through a lot of legal hoops to get one. To the best of my knowledge, there has only ever been one crime committed with an NFA weapon in my lifetime, and in that case the perp was a cop.
Now are machineguns still used in crimes? Why, yes they are. For every legally registered one, there are conservatively dozens of illegal ones in the hands of criminals. They either make their own (which is not hard to do) or they are smuggled in (usually by the same people that are able to smuggle in thousands of tons of drugs). Because really serious criminals simply don’t care, they are able to get ahold of military weapons, and they use them simply because criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law. So even an item which has been basically banned since my grandparents were kids, and which there has been no new ones allowed manufactured since I was in elementary school, still ends up in the hands of criminals who really want one. This will go to show how effective government bans are.
When you say “automatic” you mean full auto, as in a machinegun. What I think most of these people mean is semi-auto.
Okay. We need to ban semi-automatic weapons!
Semi-automatic means that each time you pull the trigger the action cycles and loads another round. This is the single most common type of gun, not just in America, but in the whole world. Almost all handguns are semi-automatic. The vast majority of weapons used for self-defense are semi-automatic, as are almost all the weapons used by police officers.  It is the most common because it is normally the most effective.
Semi-automatic is usually best choice for defensive use. It is easier to use because you can do so one handed if necessary, and you are forced to manipulate your weapon less. If you believe that using a gun for self-defense is necessary, then you pretty much have to say that semi-auto is okay.
Banning semi-automatic basically means banning all guns. I’ll get to the functional problems with that later.
We should ban handguns!
Handguns are tools for self-defense, and the only reason we use them over the more capable, and easier to hit with rifles or shotguns is because handguns are portable. Rifles are just plain better, but the only reason I don’t carry an AR-15 around is because it would be hard to hide under my shirt.
Concealed Carry works. As much as it offends liberals and we keep hearing horror stories about blood in the streets, the fact is over my lifetime most of the United States has enacted some form of concealed carry law, and the blood in the streets wild west shootouts over parking spaces they’ve predicted simply hasn’t happened. At this point in time there are only a few hold out states, all of them are blue states and all of them have inner cities which suffer from terrible crime, where once again, the criminals simply don’t care.
For information about how more guns actually equals less crime, look up the work of Dr. John Lott. And since liberals hate his guts, look up the less famous work of Dr. Gary Kleck, or basically look up the work of any criminologist or economist who isn’t writing for Slate or Mother Jones.
As for why CCW is good, see my whole first section about arming teachers for a tiny part of the whole picture. Basically bad people are going to be bad and do bad things. They are going to hurt you and take your stuff, because that’s what they do. That’s their career, and they are as good at it as you are at your job. They will do this anywhere they think they can get away with it.  We fixate on the mass shooters because they grab the headlines, but in actuality your odds of running in to one of them is tiny. Your odds of having a violent encounter with a run of the mill criminal is orders of magnitudes higher.
I do find one thing highly amusing. In my personal experience, some of the most vehement anti-gun people I’ve ever associated with will usually eventually admit after getting to know me, that if something bad happened, then they really hope I’m around, because I’m one of the good ones. Usually they never realize just how hypocritical and na├»ve that is.
We should ban Assault Rifles!
Define “assault rifle”…
Yeah. That’s the problem. The term assault rifle gets bandied around a lot. Politically, the term is a loaded nonsense one that was created back during the Clinton years. It was one of those tricks where you name legislation something catchy, like PATRIOT Act. (another law rammed through while emotions were high and nobody was thinking, go figure).
To gun experts, an assault rifle is a very specific type of weapon which originated (for the most part) in the 1940s. It is a magazine fed, select fire (meaning capable of full auto), intermediate cartridge (as in, actually not that powerful, but I’ll come back to that later) infantry weapon.
The thing is, real assault rifles in the US have been heavily regulated since before they were invented. The thing that the media and politicians like to refer to as assault rifles is basically a catch all term for any gun which looks scary.
I had somebody get all mad at me for pointing this out, because they said that the term had entered common usage. Okay… If you’re going to legislate it, DEFINE IT.
And then comes up that pesky problem. The US banned assault rifles once before for a decade and the law did absolutely nothing. I mean, it was totally, literally pointless. The special commission to study it said that it accomplished absolutely nothing. (except tick a bunch of Americans off, and as a result we bought a TON more guns) And the reason was that since assault weapon is a nonsense term, they just came up with a list of arbitrary features which made a gun into an assault weapon.
Problem was, none of these features actually made the gun functionally any different or somehow more lethal or better from any other run of the mill firearm. Most of the criteria were so silly that they became a huge joke to gun owners, except of course, for that part where many law abiding citizens accidentally became instant felons because one of their guns had some cosmetic feature which was now illegal.
One of the criteria was that it was semi-automatic. See above. Hard to ban the single most common and readily available type of gun in the world. (unless you believe in confiscation, but I’ll get to that). Then what if it takes a detachable magazine! That’s got to be an Evil Feature. And yes, we really did call the Evil Features. I’ll talk about magazines below, but once again, it is pretty hard to ban something that common unless you want to go on a confiscatory national suicide mission.
For example, flash hiders sound dangerous. Let’s say having a flash hider makes a gun an assault weapon. So flash hiders became an evil feature. Problem is flash hiders don’t do much. They screw onto the end of your muzzle and divert the flash off to the side instead of straight up so it isn’t as annoying when you shoot. It doesn’t actually hide the flash from anybody else. EVIL.
Barrel shrouds were listed. Barrel shrouds are basically useless, cosmetic pieces of metal that go over the barrel so you don’t accidentally touch it and burn your hand. But they became an instantaneous felony too. Collapsible stocks make it so you can adjust your rifle to different size shooters, that way a tall guy and his short wife can shoot the same gun. Nope. EVIL FEATURE!
It has been a running joke in the gun community ever since the ban passed. When Carolyn McCarthy was asked by a reporter what a barrel shroud was, she replied “I think it is the shoulder thing which goes up.”  Oh good. I’m glad that thousands of law abiding Americans unwittingly committed felonies because they had a cosmetic piece of sheet metal on their barrel, which has no bearing whatsoever on crime, but could possibly be a shoulder thing which goes up.
Now are you starting to see why “assault weapons” is a pointless term? They aren’t functionally any more powerful or deadly than any normal gun. In fact the cartridges they normally fire are far less powerful than your average deer hunting rifle. Don’t worry though, because the same people who fling around the term assault weapons also think of scoped deer rifles as “high powered sniper guns”.
Basically, what you are thinking of as assault weapons aren’t special.
Now, the reason that semi-automatic, magazine fed, intermediate caliber rifles are the single most popular type of gun in America is because they are excellent for many uses, but I’m not talking about fun, or hunting, or sports, today I’m talking business. And in this case they are excellent for shooting bad people who are trying to hurt you, in order to make them stop trying to hurt you. These types of guns are superb for defending your home. Now some of you may think that’s extreme. That’s because everything you’ve learned about gun fights comes from TV. Just read the link where I expound on why.
I had one individual tell me that these types of guns are designed to slaughter the maximum number of people possible as quickly as possible… Uh huh… Which is why every single police department in America uses them, because of all that slaughtering cops do daily. Cops use them for the same reason we do, they are handy, versatile, and can stop an attacker quickly in a variety of circumstances.
When I said “stop an attacker quickly” somebody on Twitter thought that he’d gotten me and said “Stop. That’s just a euphemism for kill!” Nope. I am perfectly happy if the attacker surrenders or passes out from blood loss too. Tactically and legally, all I care about is making them stop doing whatever it is that they are doing which caused me to shoot them to begin with.
The guns that many of you think of as assault rifle are common and popular because they are excellent for fighting, and I’ll talk about what my side really thinks about the 2nd Amendment below.
We should ban magazines over X number of shots!
I’ve seen this one pop up a lot. It sounds good to the ear and really satisfies that we’ve got to do something need. It sounds simple. Bad guys shoot a lot of people in a mass shooting. So if he has magazines that hold fewer rounds, ergo then he’ll not be able to shoot as many people.
Wrong. And I’ll break it down, first why my side wants more rounds in our gun, second why tactically it doesn’t really stop the problem, and third, why stopping them is a logistical impossibility.
First off, why do gun owners want magazines that hold more rounds? Because sometimes you miss. Because usually—contrary to the movies—you have to hit an opponent multiple times in order to make them stop. Because sometimes you may have multiple assailants. We don’t have more rounds in the magazine so we can shoot more, we have more rounds in the magazine so we are forced to manipulate our gun less if we have to shoot more.
The last assault weapons ban capped capacities at ten rounds. You quickly realize ten rounds sucks when you take a wound ballistics class like I have and go over case after case after case after case of enraged, drug addled, prison hardened, perpetrators who soaked up five, seven, nine, even fifteen bullets and still walked under their own power to the ambulance. That isn’t uncommon at all. Legally, you can shoot them until they cease to be a threat, and keep in mind that what normally causes a person to stop is loss of blood pressure, so I used to tell my students that anybody worth shooting once was worth shooting five or seven times. You shoot them until they leave you alone.
Also, you’re going to miss. It is going to happen. If you can shoot pretty little groups at the range, those groups are going to expand dramatically under the stress and adrenalin. The more you train, the better you will do, but you can still may miss, or the bad guy may end up hiding behind something which your bullets don’t penetrate. Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, “Darn, I wish I hadn’t brought all that extra ammo.”
So having more rounds in the gun is a good thing for self-defense use.
Now tactically, let’s say a mass shooter is on a rampage in a school. Unless his brain has turned to mush and he’s a complete idiot, he’s not going to walk up right next to you while he reloads anyway. Unlike the CCW holder who gets attacked and has to defend himself in whatever crappy situation he finds himself in, the mass shooter is the aggressor. He’s picked the engagement range. They are cowards who are murdering running and hiding children, but don’t for a second make the mistake of thinking they are dumb. Many of these scumbags are actually very intelligent. They’re just broken and evil.
In the cases that I’m aware of where the shooter had guns that held fewer rounds they just positioned themselves back a bit while firing or they brought more guns, and simply switched guns and kept on shooting, and then reloaded before they moved to the next planned firing position. Unless you are a fumble fingered idiot, anybody who practices in front of a mirror a few dozen times can get to where they can insert a new magazine into a gun in a few seconds.
A good friend of mine (who happens to be a very reasonable democrat) was very hung up on this, sure that he would be able to take advantage of the time in which it took for the bad guy to reload his gun. That’s a bad assumption, and here’s yet another article that addresses that sort of misconception that I wrote several years ago which has sort of made the rounds on firearm’s forums.  So that’s awesome if it happens, but good luck with that.
Finally, let’s look at the logistical ramifications of another magazine ban. The AWB banned the production of all magazines over ten rounds except those marked for military or law enforcement use, and it was a felony to possess those.
Over the ten years of the ban, we never ran out. Not even close. Magazines are cheap and basic. Most of them are pieces of sheet metal with some wire. That’s it. Magazines are considered disposable so most gun people accumulate a ton of them. All it did was make magazines more expensive, ticked off law abiding citizens, and didn’t so much as inconvenience a single criminal.
Meanwhile, bad guys didn’t run out either. And if they did, like I said, they are cheap and basic, so you just get or make more. If you can cook meth, you can make a functioning magazine. My old company designed a rifle magazine once, and I’m no engineer. I paid a CAD guy, spent $20,000 and churned out several thousand 20 round Saiga .308 mags. This could’ve been done out of my garage.
Ten years. No difference. Meanwhile, we had bad guys turning up all the time committing crimes, and guess what was marked on the mags found in their guns? MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY. Because once again, if you’re already breaking a bunch of laws, they can only hang you once. Criminals simply don’t care.
Once the AWB timed out, because every politician involved looked at the mess which had been passed in the heat of the moment, the fact it did nothing, and the fact that every single one of them from a red state would lose their job if they voted for a new one, it expired and went away. Immediately every single gun person in America went out and bought a couple guns which had been banned and a bucket of new magazines, because nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they can’t. We’ve been stocking up ever since. If the last ban did literally nothing at all over a decade, and since then we’ve purchased another hundred million magazines since then, another ban will do even less. (except just make the law abiding that much angrier, and I’ll get to that below).
I bought $600 worth of magazines for my competition pistol this morning. I’ve already got a shelf full for my rifles. Gun and magazine sales skyrocket every time a democrat politician starts to vulture in on a tragedy. I don’t know if many of you realize this, but Barack Obama is personally responsible for more gun sales, and especially first time gun purchases, than anyone in history. When I owned my gun store, we had a picture of him on the wall and a caption beneath it which said SALESMAN OF THE YEAR.
So you can ban this stuff, but it won’t actually do anything to the crimes you want to stop. Unless you think you can confiscate them all, but I’ll talk about confiscation later.
One last thing to share about the magazine ban from the AWB, and this is something all gun people know, but most anti-gunners do not. When you put an artificial cap on a weapon, and tell us that we can only have a limited number of rounds in that weapon, we’re going to make sure they are the most potent rounds possible. Before the ban, everybody bought 9mms which held an average of 15 rounds. After the ban, if I can only have ten rounds, they’re going to be bigger, so we all started buying 10 shot .45s instead.
You don’t need an assault weapon for hunting!
Who said anything about hunting? That whole thing about the 2nd Amendment being for sportsmen is hogwash. The 2nd Amendment is about bearing arms to protect yourself from threats, up to and including a tyrannical government.
Spare me the whole, “You won’t be happy until everybody has nuclear weapons” reductio ad absurdum. It says arms, as in things that were man portable. And as for the founding fathers not being able to see foresee our modern arms, you forget that many of them were inventors, and multi shot weapons were already in service. Not to mention that in that day, arms included cannon, since most of the original artillery of the Continental Army was privately owned. Besides, the Supreme Court agrees with me. See DC v. Heller.
Well we should just ban ALL guns then! You only need them to murder people!
It doesn’t really make sense to ban guns, because in reality what that means is that you are actually banning effective self-defense. Despite the constant hammering by a news media with an agenda, guns are used in America far more to stop crime than to cause crime.
I’ve seen several different sets of numbers about how many times guns are used in self-defense every year. The problem with keeping track of this stat is that the vast majority of the time when a gun is produced in a legal self-defense situation no shots are fired. The mere presence of the gun is enough to cause the criminal to stop.
Clint Smith once said if you look like food, you will be eaten. Criminals are looking for prey. They are looking for easy victims. If they wanted to work hard for a living they’d get a job. So when you pull a gun, you are no longer prey, you are work, so they are going to go find somebody else to pick on.
So many defensive gun uses never get tracked as such. From personal experience, I have pulled a gun exactly one time in my entire life. I was legally justified and the bad guy stopped, put his gun away, and left. (15 years later the same son of a bitch would end up murdering a local sheriff’s deputy). My defensive gun use was never recorded anywhere as far as I know. My wife has pulled a gun twice in her life. Once on somebody who was acting very rapey who suddenly found a better place to be when she stuck a Ruger in his face, and again many years later on a German Shepherd which was attacking my one year old son. (amazingly enough a dog can recognize a 9mm coming out of a fanny pack and run for its life, go figure) No police report at all on the second one, and I don’t believe the first one ever turned up as any sort of defensive use statistic, all because no shots were fired.
So how often are guns actually used in self-defense in America?
On the high side the estimate runs around 2.5 million defensive gun uses a year, which dwarfs our approximately 16,000 homicides in any recent year, only 10k of which are with guns. Of those with guns, only a couple hundred are with rifles. So basically, the guns that the anti-gunners are the most spun up about only account for a tiny fraction of all our murders.
But let’s not go with the high estimate. Let’s go with some smaller ones instead. Let’s use the far more conservative 800,000 number which is arrived at in multiple studies. That still dwarfs the number of illegal shootings. Heck, let’s even run with the number once put out by the people who want to ban guns, the Brady Center, which was still around 108,000, which still is an awesome ratio of good vs. bad.
So even if you use the worst number provided by people who are just as biased as me but in the opposite direction, gun use is a huge net positive. Or to put it another way, the Brady Center hates guns so much that they are totally cool with the population of a decent sized city getting raped and murdered every year as collateral damage in order to get what they want.
Doesn’t matter. I don’t like them. We should ban them and take them all away like a civilized country.
Well, I suppose if your need to do something overrides all reason and logic, then by all means let’s ban guns.
Australia had a mass shooting and instituted a massive gun ban and confiscation (a program which would not work here, which I’ll get to, but let’s run with it anyway.). As was pointed out to me on Facebook, they haven’t had any mass shootings since. However, they fail to realize that they didn’t really have any mass shootings before either. You need to keep in mind that mass shooting are horrific headline grabbing statistical anomalies. You are far more likely to get your head caved in by a local thug while he’s trying to steal your wallet, and that probably won’t even make the evening news.
And violent crime is up in Australia. A cursory Google search will show articles about the increase in violent crime and theft, but then other articles pooh-pooing these stats as being insignificant and totally not related to the guns.
So then we’ve got England, where they reacted swiftly after a mass shooting, banned and confiscated guns, and their violent crime has since skyrocketed. Their stats are far worse than Australia, and they are now one of the more dangerous countries to live in the EU. Once again, cursory Google search will show articles with the stats, and other articles saying that those rises like totally have nothing to do with regular folks no longer being able to defend themselves… Sensing a trend yet?
And then we’ve got South Africa, which instituted some really hard core gun bans and some extremely strict controls, and their crime is now so high that it is basically either no longer tracked or simply not countable. But obviously, the totally unbiased news says that has absolutely nothing to do with people no longer being able to legally defend themselves.
Then you’ve got countries like Norway, with extremely strict gun control. Their gun control laws are simply incomprehensible to half of Americans. Not only that, they are an ethnically and socially homogenous, tiny population, well off country, without our gang violence or drug problems. Their gun control laws are draconian by our standards. They make Chicago look like Boise. Surely that level of gun control will stop school shootings! Except of course for 2011 when a maniac killed 77 and injured 242 people, a body count which is absurdly high compared to anything which has happened America.
Because once again, repeat it with me, criminals simply do not give a crap.
That mass killer used a gun and homemade explosives. Make guns harder to get, and explosives become the weapon of choice. Please do keep in mind that the largest and most advanced military coalition in human history was basically stymied for a decade by a small group using high school level chemistry and the Afghani equivalent to Radio Shack.
The biggest mass killings in US history have used bombs (like Bath, Michigan), fire (like Happyland Nightclub) or airliners. There is no law you can pass, nothing you can say or do, which will make some not be evil.
And all of this is irrelevant, because banning and confiscating all the scary guns in America will be national suicide.
You crazy gun nuts and your 2nd Amendment. We should just confiscate all the guns.
Many of you may truly believe that. You may think that the 2nd Amendment is archaic, outdated, and totally pointless. However, approximately half of the country disagrees with you, and of them, a pretty large portion is fully willing to shoot somebody in defense of it.
We’ve already seen that your partial bans are stupid and don’t do anything, so unless you are merely a hypocrite more interested in style rather than results, the only way to achieve your goal is to come and take the guns away. So let’s talk about confiscation.
They say that there are 80 million gun owners in America. I personally think that number is low for a few reasons. The majority of gun owners I know, when contacted for a phone survey and asked if they own guns, will become suspicious and simply lie. Those of us who don’t want to end like England or Australia will say that we lost all of our guns in a freak canoe accident.
Guns do not really wear out. I have perfectly functioning guns from WWI, and I’ve got friends who have still useable firearms from the 1800s. Plus we’ve been building more of them this entire time. There are more guns than there are people in America, and some of us have enough to arm our entire neighborhood.
But for the sake of math, let’s say that there are only 80 million gun owners, and let’s say that the government decides to round up all those pesky guns once and for all. Let’s be generous and say that 90% of the gun owners don’t really believe in the 2ndAmendment, and their guns are just for duck hunting. Which is what politicians keep telling us, but is actually rather hilarious when you think about how the most commonly sold guns in America are the same detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles I talked about earlier.
So ten percent refuse to turn their guns in. That is 8 million instantaneous felons. Let’s say that 90% of them are not wanting to comply out of sheer stubbornness. Let’s be super generous and say that 90% of them would still just roll over and turn their guns when pressed or legally threatened.   That leaves 800,000 Americans who are not turning their guns in, no matter what. To put that in perspective there are only about 700,000 police officers in the whole country.
Let’s say that these hypothetical 10% of 10% are willing to actually fight to keep their guns. Even if my hypothetical estimate of 800,000 gun nuts willing to fight for their guns is correct, it is still 97% higher than the number of insurgents we faced at any one time in Iraq, a country about the size of Texas.
However, I do honestly believe that it would be much bigger than 10%. Once the confiscations turned violent, then it would push many otherwise peaceful people over the edge. I saw somebody on Twitter post about how the 2nd Amendment is stupid because my stupid assault rifles are useless against drones… That person has obviously never worked with the people who build the drones, fly the drones, and service the drones. I have. Where to you think the majority of the US military falls on the political spectrum exactly? There’s a reason Mitt Romney won the military vote by over 40 points, and it wasn’t because of his hair.
And as for those 700,000 cops, how many of them would side with the gun owners? All the gun nuts, that’s for sure. As much as some people like to complain about the gun culture, many of the people you hire to protect you, and darn near all of them who can shoot well, belong to that gun culture. And as I hear people complain about the gun industry, like it is some nebulous, faceless, all powerful corporate thing which hungers for war and anarchy, I just have to laugh, because the gun industry probably has the highest percentage of former cops and former military of any industry in the country. My being a civilian was odd in the circles I worked in.  The men and women you pay to protect you have honor and integrity, and they will fight for what they believe in.
So the real question the anti-gun, ban and confiscate, crowd should be asking themselves is this, how many of your fellow Americans are you willing to have killed in order to bring about your utopian vision of the future?
Boo Evil Gun Culture!
Really? Because I hate to break it to you, but when nearly six hundred people get murdered a year in beautiful Gun Free Chicago, that’s not my people doing the shooting.
The gun culture is all around you, well obviously except for those of you reading this in elite liberal urban city centers where you’ve extinguished your gun culture. They are your friends, relatives, and coworkers. The biggest reason gun control has become increasingly difficult to pass over the last decade is because more and more people have turned to CCW, and as that has become more common, it has removed much of the stigma. Now everybody outside of elite urban liberal city centers knows somebodythat carries a gun. The gun culture is simply regular America, and is made up of people who think their lives and their families lives are more important than the life of anyone who tries to victimize them.
The gun culture is who protects our country. Sure, there are plenty of soldiers and cops who are issued a gun and who use it as part of their job who could care less. However, the people who build the guns, really understand the guns, actually enjoy using the guns, and usually end up being picked to teach everybody else how to use the guns are the gun culture.
The media and the left would absolutely love to end the gun culture in America, because then they could finally pass all the laws they wanted.
Let’s take a look at what happens when a country finally succeeds in utterly stamping out its gun culture. Mumbai, 2008. Ten armed jihadi terrorists simply walked into town and started shooting people. It was a rather direct, straight forward, ham fisted, simple terrorist attack. They killed over 150 and wounded over 300. India has incredibly strict gun laws, but once again, criminals didn’t care.
That’s not my point this time however, I want to look at the response. These ten men shut down an entire massive city and struck fear into the hearts of millions for THREE DAYS. Depending on where this happened in America it would have been over in three minutes or three hours. The Indian police responded, but their tactics sucked. The marksmanship sucked. Their leadership sucked. Their response utterly and completely fell apart.
In talking afterwards with some individuals from a small agency of our government who were involved in the clean-up and investigation, all of whom are well trained, well practiced, gun nuts, they told me the problem was that the Indian police had no clue what to do because they’d never been taught what to do. Their leadership hated and feared the gun so much that they stamped out the ability for any of their men to actually master the tool. When you kill your gun culture, you kill off your instructors, and those who can pass down the information necessary to do the job.
Don’t think that we are so far off here. I recently got to sit down with some fans who are members of one of the larger metro police departments in America. These guys were all SWAT cops or narcotics, all of them were gun nuts who practiced on their own dime, and all of them were intimately familiar with real violence. These are the guys that you want responding when the real bad stuff goes down.
What they told me made me sick. Their leadership was all uniformly liberal and extremely anti-gun, just like most big cities in America. They walked me through what their responses were supposed to be in case of a Mumbai style event, and how their “scary assault weapons” were kept locked up where they would be unavailable, and how dismal their training was, and how since the state had run off or shut down most of the gun ranges, most of the cops couldn’t even practice or qualify anymore.
So now they were less safe, the people they were protecting were less safe, the bad guys were safer, but most importantly their leadership could pat themselves on the back, because they’d done something.
Well, okay. You make some good points. But I’d be more comfortable if you gun people were force to have more mandatory training!
And I did actually have this one said to me, which is an amazing victory by internet arguing standards.
Mandatory training is a placebo at best. Here is my take on why.

In conclusion, basically it doesn’t really matter what something you pick when some politician or pundit starts screaming we’ve got to do something, because in reality, most of them already know a lot of what I listed above. The ones who are walking around with their security details of well-armed men in their well-guarded government buildings really don’t care about actually stopping mass shooters or bad guys, they care about giving themselves more power and increasing their control.
If a bad guy used a gun with a big magazine, ban magazines. If instead he used more guns, ban owning multiple guns. If he used a more powerful gun with less shots, ban powerful guns. If he used hollowpoints, ban hollowpoints. (which I didn’t get into, but once again, there’s a reason everybody who might have to shoot somebody uses them). If he ignored some Gun Free Zone, make more places Gun Free Zones. If he killed a bunch of innocents, make sure you disarm the innocents even harder for next time. Just in case, let’s ban other guns that weren’t even involved in any crimes, just because they’re too big, too small, too ugly, too cute, too long, too short, too fat, too thin, (and if you think I’m joking I can point out a law or proposed law for each of those) but most of all ban anything which makes some politician irrationally afraid, which luckily, is pretty much everything.
They will never be happy. In countries where they have already banned guns, now they are banning knives and putting cameras on every street. They talk about compromise, but it is never a compromise. It is never, wow, you offer a quick, easy, inexpensive, viable solution to ending mass shootings in schools, let’s try that. It is always, what can we take from you this time, or what will enable us to grow some federal apparatus?
Then regular criminals will go on still not caring, the next mass shooter will watch the last mass shooter be the most famous person in the world on TV, the media will keep on vilifying the people who actually do the most to defend the innocent, the ignorant will call people like me names and tell us we must like dead babies, and nothing actually changes to protect our kids.
If you are serious about actually stopping school shootings, contact your state representative and tell them to look into allowing someone at your kid’s school to be armed. It is time to install some speed bumps.