Sunday, April 10, 2016

See, now this is an intelligent contribution to the safety discussion.

I don't regularly follow John Farnam these days, but he remains a valuable observer on tactics, technique and attitude, in much the way that I recall Mas Ayoob used to be.  And so I just ran across this post from Farnam, on the use of the rifle's manual safety, specifically within the context of the hot range.

It's worth reading, and considering.  Unlike anonymous commenters who try to suggest that Onlier Operatorer types are somehow above Cooper's safety rules,  Farnam has documentable street cred, and a known capacity as an analyst.

And so:

Most modern pistols (Glock, XD, M&P, SIG320, Walther PPQ, H&K VP9, FNS, Ruger AA) don’t have manual safeties, yet we still routinely move with them in our hands during training exercises, relying mostly upon a strong “register” position of the trigger-finger to prevent NDs. Still, we don’t prevent them all, no matter how careful we try to be!

Can we do the same with our rifles, or do we insist students keep the manual safety in the “on” position except when in the process of firing intentionally?

My answer to that question is:


I accept it either way, but I teach the former.

Of course, I tell students that I want the manual safety “on” when the rifle is slung, and I want them to check it frequently. Scant argument there.

However, when the rifle is in their hands, the position of the manual safety becomes optional.

The whole article is worth reading;  one of Farnam's particular eloquences is his ongoing defense of the hot range (as ultimately safer than the cold range), and you get a lot of it here.

This discussion of the rifle safety is interesting.  For a rifle with a truly ergonomic safety, like the Steyr Scout's tang-mounted roll switch, I don't really think I could be any faster one way or the other, as with a 1911 pistol.  Many other boltgun safeties are nearly as good as that (e.g., M700, M70, Sako).  But most "battle rifle" and "battle carbine" safeties I've met are not ergonomic to engage;  one has to shift hand positions to do it, and that does take time.

And there is this:  I suspect that Farnam's point is both in acknowledging a measurable raw speed value, and also in the attitude surrounding the use of the manual safety.  We should remember that one can observe all Four Rules with a cocked and unlocked piece;  none of the Rules makes any mention of a manual safety anywhere.  Presentation of the piece for firing always, always includes disengaging the weapon's manual safeties, if it has any.  For any drill that has the student randomly in and out of his sights, this doesn't need to change:  whether or not he re-engages a safety in between, every time the gun comes up to fire, that safety gets wiped off.

So, the discussion of when to re-engage any manual safety becomes intentionally decoupled from the discussion of when to dis-engage...and that does seem like an important observation to make.  There is no need to use a manual safety as any sort of bolster to Rule Three, and in fact it might be too easy to rely on it, however slightly, as a separate "proof" of a safe condition.

If it's really the attitude, and not the hardware--as we all love to say--then Farnam makes a good point here.  I'm happy for the reminder.

Made me think of you, Mama.

Seen on the TwitFace today.

An old woman walked up and tied her old mule to the hitching post. As she stood there, brushing some of the dust from her face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The young gunslinger looked at the old woman and laughed, "Hey old woman, have you ever danced?"

The old woman looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No... I never did dance... never really wanted to."

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said "Well, you old bag, you're gonna dance now," and started shooting at the old woman's feet.

The old woman prospector -- not wanting to get her toe blown off -- started hopping around. Everybody was laughing. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old woman turned to her pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air, and the crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old woman and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old woman's hands, as she quietly said, "Son, have you ever kissed a mule's ass?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No ma'am... but I've always wanted to.

There are five lessons here for all of us:

1 - Never be arrogant.
2 - Don't waste ammunition.
3 - Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.
4 - Always make sure you know who has the power.
5 - Don't mess with old people; they didn't get old by being stupid.

And, of course, "Never enter a battle of wits unarmed."

Anyway, it made me think of MamaLiberty right away.  Sure, the old woman in the story was (giggle) CCing that shotgun--made for a nice story element with the surprise--but as ML likes to say, CC or OC, just carry!   :-D

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Another capital-R resource from Claire.  This one covers--well--the idea that sometimes the path to better things does indeed go through the technically unacceptable.

Are we likely to see constitutional carry in Massachusetts, New York, or California any time soon? Ha! But I can tell you that a lot of us who were around in the dark old days of 1993 and 1994 never thought we’d see even this much, ever, in so many places.

And “this much” is a lot. A hell of a lot. Better yet, we’re going to see more.

Do I now approve of the “shall issue” permits that laid the groundwork for this? Nope. No way. But even I have to admit that the grassroots “shall issue” ccw movement gave birth to the constitutional carry movement. And constitutional carry is an unreservedly good thing.

I do indeed remember those darker days;  in fact it was right around then that I stumbled across Claire in the first place.  Worth, seriously worth, a RTWT.

The only downside I can see, honestly, is that celebrating a good thing for what it is, isn't going to help the sort of prag mindset that still can't distinguish between long-term strategy and true pre-emptive surrender.  Yes, there is a lesson in all this for those of us who can't bring ourselves to actively support ideas that might turn out later to be valuable incremental milestones.   (Duly noted and appreciated, and to borrow from Joel, the crow tastes pretty fine!)  But we, too, should recognize our important place in restraining the surrender impulse--and keep at it.  The real visionaries, as Claire's post suggests, will recognize us for what we are and work with us.

Here's to more such free-people assertions.  Many more!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Okay, is it just me...

...or has it gotten way past the eye-rolling stage, even by the usual election standards, the way many people are acting at the very idea of a Trump presidency?  

You know, as if he would somehow be materially different from any other "leader" in the same position? mean he might be a bigot against The Little People?

He might curtail basic human rights at home, and ignore them abroad?

He might go dick-swinging around the globe, in a way that might engender blowback?

He might shove societally suicidal policy down the national gullet?

He might do all the above by lying, deceiving, and conspiring with not-nice people to get what he wants, all at our expense?

You mean, in general, that he just might act with the impunity of a dictator, rather than with the accountability of an executive custodian?

ZOMG, your powers of perception are simply off the charts, man.  With informed, enlightened attitudes like that, you have me, like totally convinced that we can totally prevent even the slightest bit of all that by simply electing someone else.  Hill!  Bernie!  Cruz!  Rubio!  Kang!

Ferchrissakes, people:  yes, Trump is frightfully unfit to win The One Ring Sweepstakes.  But all this "leave the country!" "the sky is falling!" melodrama really does little more than out you as either a weapons-grade hypocrite, or as unconscionably, nearly unbelievably naive.  They're all unfit to wield power...over a cat, much less 330+ million people.  And they all have been since before any of us were born.

On the other hand, maybe you should leave, if you can't (or refuse to) see that the the real problem with The One Ring Sweepstakes isn't the competitors, but the prize.  If the office disposes of so much power that just putting a slightly-less-sophisticated buffoon in it can cause the whole thing to come apart, then maybe--just maybe--the office has too much damn power.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Yes, David. Yes.

Saw this from the redoubtable David Codrea today:

I vote for good when I engage in a mutually voluntary and acceptable association or transaction. When I vote for a political candidate, I'm picking up any chair in a bar fight I did not start, with the sole intent of extricating me and mine for the time being with minimal injuries.

Not sure I've ever seen it stated more honestly than that.  Even as someone who happens to be committed to the other decision that can arise out of that observation (I simply reject the fait accompli argument for the permanence of the state), I'm in full agreement with the observation itself.  

Yet another example of why David is one of the most important "gun writers" we've ever had.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Peasant humor.

Seen today on the TwitFace:

For the disaffected who yet still use the fait accompli argument to justify their participation, it would seem to be by far the least ridiculous choice available.

(For anyone who doesn't get the reference, it's from this.)


Monday, February 29, 2016

A quick nightmare update.

I continue to be impressed with the AUSA assigned to the forfeiture in rem case against Gunsmoke Guns.  From her I now learn, in another timely response to an emailed question, that the paperwork items I recently filed to become an official party to the case (my interest is simply to get my 03 rifle and 1911 pistol returned) were indeed successfully received, and she further added some intel that she is starting to advocate for those parties in my position, directly with counsel for Gunsmoke.  

It's not over for me until I have my property back in my hands, and of course the frustration that any of this happened in the first place is by no means forgotten, but I have to admit I had not expected this much accommodation from an AUSA, and I am thankful for it.  I'm sure I'll have more to say when it's all over, however it turns out, but in the meantime I do have a few things to appreciate, and have a need to say so.  The information and ideas from Claire, Len, Mama, and El Neil were hugely helpful, and so has been the information and assistance from the AUSA on this case.  

That's all for now.