The rationale of “no sales to police” and what it means to the RKBA fight.

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There is a growing list of gun companies who are refusing to sell to any government agencies (police departments, etc.) in states where their products are not allowed to be owned by the general populace. I’ve applauded this practice, and have taken more than a little heat from both friends and enemies for my stance.

Their arguments against industry-government boycotts are generally based on efficacy: the “it won’t matter, so why bother?” school of thought. I think that’s short-sighted, and ignores ...

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How subjects in the UK get around their draconian gun laws.

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As you may know, the United Kingdom banned possession of handguns for the general populace some time back. This action was precipitated by a spree killing at a school in Scotland, and in an incredibly strong knee-jerk reaction the UK simply declared handguns to be illegal. Confiscation and destruction followed; the loss of many historical artifacts resulted.

The law exempts muzzle-loading handguns, however, and so some enterprising souls convert double-action revolvers into muzzleloaders. The Firearms Blog has the ...

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A new source for old books – and a special discount to boot!

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I love old shooting books. Not necessarily because the information is strictly correct or useful (many times it’s neither), but simply because they’re interesting. They give us a glimpse into how shooting technique and equipment have evolved, and more importantly they document the characters who brought us to where we are today.

For instance, I’d never recommend “No Second Place Winner” as a book on good defensive shooting technique. Even so it’s still worth reading to see how a great shooter ...

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New DVD: Using the knife as a defensive weapon.

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As I pointed out a few weeks back, I’m not a believer in the idea of a knife as an adjunct to a handgun. By that I mean I don’t see it as a less-lethal defensive tool in the way that many do; the knife is a lethal object, and use of one will be prosecuted as such in just about any court in the country. It’s lethal force, just a less efficient form of lethal force than the handgun.

That ...

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What are “gun rights”?

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On Sunday, I tweeted this:

If there is no such thing as “gun violence”, there can be no such thing as “gun rights”. Be consistent – owning a gun is a HUMAN right.

Let’s delve into what that means.

I noticed that those in the shooting community bristle at the term “gun violence”. It’s the term used by gun control advocates and much of the media (but I repeat myself) to focus attention on the object rather than the person who ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: A piece of Oregon history in song.

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It was the summer of 1974. Our school district, overcrowded but short on money to build new facilities, had a couple of years earlier come up with an idea to stretch the useful life of our elementary school building: go to a year-round schedule, with students split into four staggered ‘tracks’ in a 9-week-on, 3-week off pattern.

As a result I spent most of the summer of ’74 in a classroom, getting to and from home via the district’s buses. Our ...

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Defensive training in context: even dinosaurs like the FBI evolve!

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A story in USA Today a few weeks ago is potentially good news for defensive shooting training in the private sector: the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently overhauled their own training protocols. (Please go read the article – it’s surprisingly good.)

The FBI went back through 17 years of data and analyzed the kinds of gunfights their agents faced. They concluded their training, which historically emphasized long distance marksmanship, wasn’t applicable to the threats their agents were actually ...

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The concept of ‘need’.

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I’m a bit concerned about a trend in the gun community, one borne from defending against the prohibitionists who have gotten their second wind courtesy of the Newtown tragedy. That trend is arguing ‘need’.

The prohibitionists (gun-grabbers, if you prefer) like to ask the question “why do you NEED” some specific gun or feature on a gun. Whether it’s a “high capacity magazine” or a “military style rifle”, the question puts the onus on us to justify our desire to have ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: A fast portrait under less-than-ideal conditions.

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As I mentioned recently, I attended SHOT Show 2013 in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. The Thursday of the Show was spent shooting pictures for a new book by Gila Hayes, all about concealed carry for women. It’s going to be published by Gun Digest Books this summer, and if it’s even half as good as her last book (Personal Defense For Women) it’ll be terrific. Gila really knows her subject and is incredibly thorough; ...

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SARC: a proactive way to deal with school attackers.

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In the midst of the debate about whether teachers should be armed, a pragmatic approach has been quietly gaining attention. It’s focused on giving students and teachers ways to fight back against attackers on school grounds, ways that don’t rely on politicians and contentious fights over “guns in our schools.” It’s called the School Attacker Response Course (SARC).

It was borne in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school murders. Rob Pincus knew that there had to be ...

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How do you budget for training?

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Omari Broussard recently wrote an interesting article for the Personal Defense Network about budgeting for your self defense needs. Too many people only think in terms of the cost of a gun, but you really need to think about the whole package: the gun, magazines, ammunition, holster, and – perhaps most importantly – the training to use it all safely and appropriately.

It’s a good read. Please share it with your friends!

-=[ Grant ]=-

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A BIG revolver. Sorta. But who’s going to argue with a Gatling gun?

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As I mentioned in my SHOT Show 2013 recap, I ran into Ian from Forgotten Weapons at the show. We only talked for a very brief time, but he mentioned that he was putting up a “revolver” video just for me – and then laughed.

No wonder! The video in question is him firing one of the Colt 1877 Bulldog Gatling Gun reproductions (which I covered in my SHOT Show 2012 report last year!) Neat video, neat gun, ...

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Competition and training: a very different perspective from Ken Murray.

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One of the truly original thinkers in the defensive training world is Ken Murray. He’s the author of “Training At The Speed Of Life” and an acknowledged expert on reality-based training, and in this PDN video he talks about the disconnects, as he sees them, between the competition arena and defensive shooting.

Food for thought.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Remnants of DC. No, not the town.

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The early days of electrical service in the United States were a race for acceptance between two separate systems: Direct Current (DC) was the province of Thomas Edison, while Alternating Current (AC) was pushed by his rival, George Westinghouse. Since Edison was the first to install complete electrical distribution systems (from generator to outlet) in New York in 1882, DC got a big headstart in the market. Many buildings installed DC-powered elevators and ventilation systems to take advantage of this ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part Two: Gear.

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I don’t really go to SHOT to look at gear, but on Friday I had the whole day to get out and look at stuff. Prior to that I only saw gear on a “hit and miss” basis as I ran between appointments and meetings. Here’s what I managed to see:

– The first thing I have to report (and the most exciting for revolver enthusiasts) is that Korth, the top-tier German revolver maker, is looking for a ...

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Some thoughts on solidarity in the gun culture.

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Since the election we’ve been bombarded with the notion that gun owners need to present a united front against the prohibitionists who wish to restrict the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I agree with the sentiment, but I think the idea of solidarity can be taken to an illogical extreme, and in fact has been.

When someone in our camp – like the gun store owner in Arizona who publicly declares that he doesn’t want Democrats in his establishment, or the ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part One: People.

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I spent last week in Las Vegas at the annual SHOT Show convention. For those who don’t know, it’s the shooting industry’s major business convention and darn near any company you can name is there. SHOT is where major new products are typically released, and it’s where the “people of the gun” congregate.

I go there specifically to network, to see people. The hardware isn’t terribly exciting to me; don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing a new gun as much ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Bombs away.

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t’s easy to forget that World War II didn’t really touch America all that much. I’m not talking about the lost lives of our troops nor of the privation at home, but rather about physical damage. Other than Pearl Harbor and the people killed by a Japanese balloon bomb right here in Oregon, the U.S. was spared the horrors of war because we weren’t being regularly attacked or invaded.

The rest of the world wasn’t so lucky. We bombed Germany night ...

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When is a 1911 not a 1911? When it’s an Obregon!

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Ian over at Forgotten Weapons has come up with another interesting video: a tear-down and a range test of an Obregon pistol. Made in Mexico (many people forget that Mexico had an inventive and thriving arms industry at one time) it’s sort of a John Browning meets Karl Krnka sort of affair. There are also a few surprises (like how the thumb safety is implemented.)

The gun is quite rare (there were, by most accounts, less than a ...

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Considering the knife as a defensive tool: what are the legal ramifications?

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It’s rather fashionable in the self defense world to carry a knife as a backup to a firearm. At any ‘tactical’ event you’ll find people carrying a ‘fighting’ blade along with a ‘backup’ blade, and some practitioners advocate the knife as a primary tool for self defense.

There was a time when I espoused such points of view, but over the years I’ve changed my mind a bit. The knife is almost always considered deadly force, and brings with it some ...

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How to contact your elected representatives and actually have an impact. It might not be how you’ve been told.

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The Second Amendment community is facing a major fight at the dawn of 2013. This time they’re serious, and it’s going to take some work on our parts to win.

You see, Congress goes back to work tomorrow and one of the things they’ll be working on is Dianne Feinstein’s new gun control bill. I’ll not waste the space here detailing the provisions — you can easily look them up with a five-second Google — but she’s going for broke this time: the ...

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Hypocrisy, thy name is journalism.

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There is just a ton of stuff to talk about this week, and my “ideas for the blog” bookmark list runs into the hundreds. I want to take today, however, to point out the hypocrisy of the press – and how at least one of the members of the increasingly sanctimonious Fourth Estate has learned that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, courtesy of the emerging Fifth Estate.

The Journal-News of White Plains, NY ...

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Practical responses to school attacks.

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Since the horrific school murders last week it’s become clear that our collective responses to these attacks is insufficient. The reports I’ve read indicated that it took police 20 minutes from the initial call to arrive; that’s a lot of time for a madman to be loose in a victim-rich environment – no matter what he’s armed with.

While the national debate rages about gun bans and mental health records, there are some logical, plausible, no-nonsense things that we can do ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Carlo’s masterpiece – the Moto Guzzi bicilindrica.

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Many people know the story of the famed Moto Guzzi 500cc V8 race bike – the audacious otto cylindri. The motorcycle it was intended to replace – but never did due to Guzzi’s withdrawal from racing in 1959 – was my favorite Moto Guzzi of all time, the bicilindrica.

The bicilindrica was a 500cc v-twin designed by Carlo Guzzi himself in 1933. It would go on to be one of their longest-lived and most successful racers before being officially shelved in ...

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The myth of situational awareness, illustrated.

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This story has been making the rounds over the last few days, and some people in the training business have been using it as an example of why situational awareness is So Very, Very Important: “if this guy hadn’t been texting and been aware of his surroundings, he’d be alive today!”

Bull twaddle.

Frankly, I think it’s a perfect illustration of a controversial piece I wrote for the Personal Defense Network nearly two years ago. In ...

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Should we welcome ‘liberals’ to the shooting world? Of course we should.

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I recently found this piece by Terrell Prude Jr. Mr. Prude** is a self-professed liberal who is also a Second Amendment supporter and a member of the NRA. If you’ve been following the blog, Facebook, or any of the podcasts I’ve been on lately you know that this is a hot issue with me. I don’t believe that someone needs to be of a certain political persuasion in order to be a gun rights advocate, and I ...

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Someone actually thought this was a good idea: cheesecake in the gun world.

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On Monday I brought you the sad tale of a silly article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 Annual. The silliness doesn’t stop with the content, however – the way that the article was presented casts a blot not just on Shooting Times and the author of the article, but on the shooting community as a whole.

The pictures for the article were taken by the author, one J. ...

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When will the silly defensive shooting techniques stop?

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After my article on not falling for a technique simply because someone of authority promotes it, a reader sent me an alert about an article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 magazine. The article is titled “Fight With A .380” by one J. Guthrie. (Had I written this article, I’d probably be embarrassed to use my full name too. You’ll see why.)

Mr. Guthrie bases much of his article on conversations with Ed ...

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Task fixation in critical incidents.

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One of the concepts that we talk about in most of my classes is that of task fixation: the diversion of attention to a particular sub-activity during an attack. We discuss this specifically relating to looking at the gun while reloading.

The concept is clearly illustrated in this video of a very dynamic simulation during a Craig Douglas ECQC class (one of the few on my “short list” of classes to attend.) Note that the gun fails to fire and suddenly ...

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My new PDN article: sight-seeing!

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I’ve got another new article up at the Personal Defense Network, and those of you who are pushing 40 (or pulling 50) will be particularly interested. It’s called “I Can’t See My Sights!”

It’s the distillation of all the things I’ve learned over the past few years about how to adapt to vision changes, particularly those related to the march of time. If you have contrast or color blindness issues, or if you wear bifocals, this article will ...

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