The Lucky Gunner team shares tips from four well-known shooting instructors on how to improve your grip and why you might consider doing so.
The government cannot “buy back” what it didn’t sell in the first place. It can only confiscate…
If you go and look at the comments on the video, you’ll see a lot of Aussie liberals with their knickers in a thorough twist. I don’t quite get it. They asked to be a nation of defenseless victims and now they’re bent about being called a nation of defenseless victims. Nevertheless, the state-run Australian Broadcasting Company posted this article quoting Australian gun owners saying that the video is an accurate depiction of what did happen in Oz.
Shooters Union Queensland vice president David Brown said the video was entirely accurate and that the 20-year-old information was still relevant.
“Factually the video is correct … it’s not the NRA that has drawn Australia into the conversation about gun ownership, it’s Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” Mr Brown said.
“Our union supports the laws for safe use and correct storage of firearms and the NRA in fact promotes that same message.”
Their government’s priorities remain at odds with the actual needs of its citizens and their safety.
[Brown] said Australian politicians should invest resources into tackling the root of problems spawning from organised crime gangs, mental health concerns and violence instead of “harassing farmers with gun licences”.
“There should be less focus on red tape for law-abiding firearm owners and more focus on crime gangs, drugs and giving help to people with mental illness rather than picking on farmers,” he said.
“People can commit murder no matter what weapon they use.”
Gun grabbers in the U.S. are a subset of a larger group of weapons prohibitionists. While most American anti-gun activists accept the idea of self defense with less-than-lethal weapons, their overseas cousins are not nearly so broadminded. And that fanaticism could have some unintended consequences.
As many of you probably know by now, a 17-year old Danish girl successfully used pepper spray to defend herself against a possible “Rapefugee” in Sønderborg, Denmark. She’s now facing a fine for doing so. The reason being that pepper spray and similar less-than-lethal weapons are illegal in Denmark. Thus the anti-weapon extremists have set up a system wherein victims of violent crime can be charged for defending themselves.
But as Eugene Volokh points out, the weapons prohibitionists’ zeal could have some unanticipated results…
Note also what I call the anticooperative effect of law. Some people might react to this by not carrying pepper spray. But if a woman is carrying the pepper spray illegally and successfully fends off an attacker — or unsuccessfully tries to do so — will she go to the police so the attacker can be caught and his next attack prevented? Or will she keep quiet, since she doesn’t want to be prosecuted herself? (Note that pepper spray possession is apparently just punishable by a fine: not likely to greatly deter people from carrying, but likely enough to deter many pepper spray users from going to the police.)
I have to admit that my first reaction to the story was “Why did she go to the cops?!”. I doubt I’m the only American gun owner to have that reaction. It’s this nearly instinctive reaction that makes counting defensive gun uses in the U.S. so hard to do. Most of these involve simply showing a firearm to a potential attacker. The attacker, not wishing to be injured or killed, sensibly leaves. But after that, who in their right mind would call the cops to report themselves for what could be seen as “brandishing”? It’s this fear of prosecution for what is, in reality, a righteous act that causes so many gun owners to not cooperate with the police.
In a perfect world, the ideal reaction would be for the gun owner to report the incident so that, as Volokh points out above, “the attacker can be caught and his next attack prevented”. But, anti-gun extremists have created a legal climate that exposes the law abiding to criminal liability. The end result is that the criminal gets to walk away and try again with someone who isn’t armed.
Most people can delude themselves into believing they’re safe from a multitude of unfamiliar dangers. This is probably because we want to be safe from these things, but do not really know how to actually achieve that goal. Call it whistling past the graveyard, but we accept what someone else calls safety when it comes to a subject where we lack experience. Firearms safety is a case in point. Many a gun muggle will accept without question what someone with a teleprompter and a nice suit tells them.
No one, unless they’re utterly devoid of decency, wants unsafe firearms in our society. As gun owners, we drill the basic rules of gun safety into the heads of new shooters: Do not load a gun until you’re ready to use it, do not put your finger, or anything else, on the trigger until you’re about to shoot, and never, ever let the gun point at something you’re unwilling to see destroyed. We know guns and we know what they can do if mishandled. No one is more interested in gun safety than a gun owner. So when a gun owner balks at using a “safety” device, you should wonder about the device and not the gun owner.
The latest “safety” device to fail to earn the trust of gun owners is the “smart” gun. President Obama has ordered the DOD, DOJ, and Homeland Security to investigate use of these devices by government personnel. But Ars Technica founder Jon Stokes questions the efficacy of this technology. He wrote in the L.A. Times:
Gun owners are terrified of anything that might make their guns less reliable. And when they consider the frequency with which their $700 smart phone’s fingerprint scanner fails when presented with a clean, dry, perfectly-positioned thumb, they rightly conclude that putting any type of electronic lock on their Glock will likely make them less secure, not more.
Stokes also notes that “smart” guns that communicate with some sort of external device, like a big, ugly watch that only the authorized user is supposed to wear, could be detected by the same hardware credit card thieves use to sniff out RFID equipped cards. This either makes the gun owner a target for theft or it marks them as something to avoid; which then puts you, the unarmed one in the crowd, into the thief’s crosshairs.
There are other safety concerns…
- If the “smart” part of the gun fails, does it let the gun fire for anyone or no one? Either can lead to disaster if gun is in the hands of someone who can’t answer the question.
- If they’re having a really, really bad day on the job, can Officer Smith pick up Officer Jones’ “smart” gun and use it? Or does he have to get Officer Jones’ big, ugly watch first?
- Stokes notes the potential for hacking. How many police officers or soldiers would want a service weapon that the bad guys could shut off with a smartphone app?
- How many gun owners would want that same gun with its hidden remote kill switch?
- When it comes to water or gun cleaning chemicals, can the “smart” part of the gun take a joke? Most electronics don’t play well with moisture or oil.
It’s these unknowns and others that make “smart” guns so unappealing to gun owners. We realize that they make our guns less safe for us and our loved ones. This is why there’s no market for them, not some nefarious plot by the dreaded gun lobby.
So why is the President pushing the technology?
I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that, like all decent people, he wants guns to be safer. But bless his little heart, he has no idea what he’s talking about. He doesn’t understand firearms, let alone ones with untested features. He doesn’t understand how safe guns are. The number of gun related accidents has been falling in the US for decades. But rather than seek advice from the nation’s premier gun safety organization, the NRA, he sought out the opinions of other, equally ignorant, gun muggles.
And he’s going to bitterly cling to their bad advice.
As we’ve mentioned before, the California “microstamping” law is nothing more than a way to stop the sales of new handgun designs in this State. This was never about safety or solving crimes. It’s an incremental gun ban.
The California Rifle and Pistol Associate has posted this update on the law and the lawsuits that have been filed to stop it. As predicted, the law is drying up the supply of “not unsafe” handguns available in California; including newer and safer models.
Conscientious gun manufacturers often make minor changes to their products as new technology or manufacturing processes become available so consumers get the best, most reliable products on the market. Even though these minor changes are made, manufacturers typically do not change the product model numbers. Under California rules, however, handgun models with any such minor changes, even if for the purpose of increasing safety, must be equipped with microstamping capability or the handgun must be recertified before it can be re-listed on the Roster.
Gun manufacturers now face an impossible dilemma. To comply with California’s current interpretation of the UHA, once a minor change is made to a pistol the only way a gun manufacturer can get it back on the Roster is to incorporate microstamping technology into the firearm. But gun manufacturers can’t, don’t, and won’t do so.
As a result, roughly 10% of the models that were legal to sell here 15 days ago have been pulled from store shelves because they lack a technologically impossible feature and are thus “unsafe”. If you lived in “Free America” you could still buy these, but not here in the land of fruits and nuts.
This article on CNN.com shows why one must dig deeper, 14 paragraphs deeper in this case, than just the headlines.
The article’s headline is “First on CNN: Guns used by LA deputies put officers, public at risk, report says”. This is followed by a picture of the new handgun with the caption “The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm was introduced to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2013. The following year, accidental discharges in the field shot up by more than 500%.”.
Wow… 500%?! They must be dropping like flies in L.A. County! Of course, the question a reader should ask is “500% of what?”. 14 paragraphs later, we learn that it’s 500% of 3. Accidental discharges by LASD deputies increased from 3 to 19 in 2014. 12 paragraphs in we learn that the guns were issued to ~6100 deputies. So put another way, ADs increased from .05% of deputies to .3%.
So where does the problem lie with this story? “500” is more interesting number than “19” or “.3”. 500, even with the percent symbol following it, is perceived as a large number; 19 is not. .3% is even smaller to our minds. However, it’s the “larger” number, 500, that gets seen first by the reader. This creates a cognitive bias called anchoring or focalism in the reader: I saw a really big number, therefore LASD guns must be going off like firecrackers at a Chinese New Year’s parade. Dig deeper and you see that the report is fretting about a very slight increase; one that is probably hard to read above the statistical noise. (The next question to ask is “How do LASD’s accidental discharges vary from year to year?”. If they bounce up and down a lot, then an increase from 3 to 19 becomes less spectacular than CNN would have you believe.)
We see this type of attempt to exploit anchoring bias often in reporting about firearms. Recent reporting about “mass shootings” in the US would have the reader believe that these are an everyday occurrence; that one would be safer strolling the streets of Mogadishu than any place in America. This isn’t true and even Mother Jones, hardly an NRA front, says that it isn’t true. One popular and widely cited website claims that there have been 381 such shootings in the US this year; Mother Jones says there have been 4. But once the big number, 381, gets put out there, the bias is set. “It’s a really big problem” part of the reader’s subconscious decides. “4” causes the opposite response; the “wrong” response.
A related phenomenon is the Availability heuristic. We judge things to be more common if we hear about them more often. Thus repeated news stories about the same incident make that sort of incident seem more common. Read 10 reports about the same event, and part of your mind thinks that it saw 10 reports on 10 events. Thus when a new event is reported, that same part of your mind counts it as number 11, not number 2. The same bias is seen when the AR-15 is repeatedly called a “high powered assault weapon”. We gunnuts snicker at that definition, but gun muggles don’t understand why we do. In fact, we risk coming off as callous and uncaring if we don’t explain why we’re laughing at that kind of reporting. As far as the gun muggle is concerned, it must be a high powered assault weapon because they’ve heard it a thousand times. “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”
Our job as gun owners is to debunk that sort of myth. Each gun owner needs to be a walking Snopes.com for his or her gun muggle friends.
(For the visiting gun muggles, the AR-15 commonly fires the 5.56X45mm cartridge. This is a mid-powered round. It has more energy than a pistol round, but far less than that of a common hunting round like the .30-06. This is why we’re snickering.)
AL.com writer Cameron Smith wrote this piece on purchasing a handgun for home defense. He grew up with firearms, shotguns and long guns, but his wife was unfamiliar with them. Neither had experience with handguns. So they did what every first time handgun buyer should do: They went for a test drive. A trip to the range let them try out several guns in different calibers. They settled on a 9mm as a gun that both he and his wife could operate confidently. Some may dismiss this as a “mouse gun”, but a larger caliber is of little use if the Smiths won’t take the gun to the range for practice. A gun isn’t a magical talisman that protects you from harm. It’s a tool that requires practice to be useful.
The other feature that they found of value is the gun’s standard capacity, 15-round magazines…
Ultimately, we bought a Heckler & Koch VP9. It’s balanced in hand, holds fifteen rounds and is remarkably easy to use.
Shooting rounds at a range is one thing; firing accurately in a confrontation is another. According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study of the New York Police Department’s firearm training, “the average hit rate was 18 percent for gunfights. Between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate in situations in which fire was not returned was 30 percent.”
Most average folks will likely be even less accurate during a home invasion or other crisis situation. That’s why more rounds in a defense weapon make a difference. It’s also a good reason to think critically before imposing broad magazine restrictions.
Another factor that must be discussed when talking about “combat accuracy” in a gunfight is a round’s ability to incapacitate your opponent; to make him stop attacking you. Using the 18% number from the RAND study, this translates to 2 hits from a California legal, 10-round magazine. To be effective, at least one of those two hits must be so severe that your opponent is either unable or unwilling to continue attacking you. Even a pair .50 AE rounds hitting the bad guy will be of little effect if neither is incapacitating. If one has a standard capacity magazine, the number of hits increases to 3. That gives you, the innocent party in all of this, a 50% greater chance of prevailing over an attacker. It also gives your family, if you’re all that stands between them and a predator, a 50% greater chance of survival. Politicians like Jerry Brown, and Paul Krikorian are putting their fragile emotions above your right to live when they call for restrictions on magazine capacity.
It should also be mentioned that the particular H&K model the Smiths chose is not available in California. It is considered “unsafe” here because it does not leave a human readable serial number microstamped onto the spent brass. No matter that this is a technologically impossible feat, the State still demands this of all new handgun models before they can be offered for sale here. There are currently 21 Heckler & Koch handguns on the “not unsafe” roster. Their certifications expire on 1/1/2017. It is unlikely that any of these models will be legal to sell after that date. H&K’s engineers are brilliant, but I doubt that even they can do the impossible.
That warning to Ferguson, MO, residents, as they wait to hear the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown case, allegedly came from a law enforcement officer in Missouri. The comment was made on an Internet forum for St. Louis area police…
“If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them. Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times.”
The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared”. That means prepare before a crisis arises. When smoke is rising from buildings 100 meters from your location and you can smell tear gas on the wind, that’s not the time to start thinking about buying a gun to protect you and yours. And to be honest, today is probably too late to start thinking about it if you live in or near Ferguson. You might have a little time. As far as I can tell, your State has no waiting period to buy a gun. You could get something today and spend tomorrow at the range learning to use the thing. (Yes, you need to practice; otherwise, it’s just a very expensive paperweight.)
However, were this happening in California, things would be completely different. Today would be too late by ten days. Unless you have a time machine parked in your garage, waiting until the last minute to buy a gun isn’t an option in the Fool’s Golden State. Furthermore, you wouldn’t be allowed to purchase standard capacity magazines for a new firearm. Nor would you be permitted to have a magazine release that can be quickly and safely operated on a semiautomatic rifle. You’re also not permitted to buy the latest, and safest, handgun designs. In many ways, today is far more than ten days too late in this State.
Seriously… Are they nuts?
Bob Owens asks “Is Gun Control Advocacy A Sign Of Mental Illness?“…
Blaming inanimate objects for the actions of people is a pattern of behavior that self-righteous zealots have been using since prehistory. Here in the United States, the most successful expression of that insanity was the Temperance Movement that sprung up after the Civil War.
The Temperance Movement blamed alcohol for the actions of people. In that regard, [Moms Demand Action founder] Shannon Watts is little more than Carrie Nation, though Watts is much better compensated than the possibly mentally ill woman who was the driving force behind Prohibition.
It’s a fair question to ask: Are they nuts? Monomania certainly describes their obsession with firearms. They worry about what are really exceedingly rare events. Homicide in the US, with or without firearms, is largely limited to our criminal class. Gang bangers and drug dealers murder one another far more often than do Shannon Watts’ neighbors. In fact, her neighbors are far more likely to use firearms to stop violent crimes than criminals are to commit them.
Which make you wonder; Why is someone like Watts so obsessed? I get people like Gabby Giffords and her husband. Some liberal whackjob tried to kill her. Their response to that event may not be entirely reasonable (they’re still blaming the thing rather than the person), but it does have its own internal logic. Watts, on the other hand, went off the rails after Sandy Hook; an event that didn’t involve her.
One might say that she was simply moved by the loss of life. But if that’s the case, then where was her concern before that? During that same year, 2012, the city of Chicago had a “Sandy Hook” occur on its streets every 2 weeks. Where were Watts and here motherly minions then? Perhaps they were just as moved, but knew better than to raise a stink. After all, it’s not like they could claim that Chicago has a gun shop on every corner. Or that they city is awash in guns due to lax gun laws. Chicago is their kinda town. Criticizing Chicago’s gun laws would be… well… crazy.