These terms swirl around us. I can remember those “ Thrilling days of yesteryear!” Cowboys or combat certain images were associated with America’s love for firearms. Which brought me to an awareness that I needed to know how to protect myself properly and responsibly, when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em… As children, especially boys were encouraged to play with guns, toughening up rite of passage and if someone hits you, hit ‘em back. Cowboys and Indians was the thing to play! We saw cowboys in “Shoot ‘em up” westerns with trusty six shooters. Television shows like The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, characters were featured as gun slingers. Still in re-runs today. Untouchables with Machine guns, the detectives versus the Mob, outlaws and police everywhere with guns. Shows also featured military brigades, fighting for truth, justice the American Way…
Women toted pistols…Annie Oakley portrayed by Gail Davis, of course Roy’s Dale Evans. Davis (Betty Jeanne Grayson) was particularly interesting because she was a legendary sharp shooter who wasn’t just acting. She had pistol packing power. Davis’ character, and ability to outshoot men, (while they thought she was a pansy) really fascinated me. There were cops and robbers shows of every sort. Firearms have been a staple “prop” throughout television history. Used to establish, enforce law and order. In movies and real life, the power of a gun let’s you know that something serious is about to go down. A gun is a persuader of perceived power, one upsmanship. Wielding a gun can be intoxicating… It can save your life and if you pull one out you’d better be prepared to use it, know what, how to do what must be done. It’s about accuracy, safety, consequences, aftermath, and perhaps a deadly outcome.
Yes, we want safety; better safe than sorry, when it comes down to being violated, perhaps it’s kill or be killed. Worst-case scenario, last resort, left with no choice, life or death situation, be prepared. Emergency preparedness training must be ongoing. Life circumstances became real and I needed a gun. I had been violated and robbed at gunpoint. I am thankful to be alive to tell this story. The situation could have been the other way…The need to protect/defend myself on another level was of concern. The person was never caught and brought to justice. (Sound familiar?) The responsibility to be an informed, experienced gun owner was obvious. I purchased two. One to keep with me, the other in a safe place to protect my property. I practiced regularly, joined the NRA, and used the range for target practice. That was decades ago, before I understood politics as I do now. If you have to take matters into your own hands to defend yourself, your body must be the ultimate weapon. I am an advocate/activist for what I believe and hold dear. 2nd Amendment advocates are on both sides of the political aisles, diverse, of every political persuasion. Preserving life, using deadly force to protect the life of loved ones and property is not a partisan issue, must be preserved as our 2nd Amendment rights state. There is a delicate balance between protection, safety, awareness, and responsibility. The NRA and reputable gun advocacy organizations have their merits. Better served not being limited in scope to focusing on endorsing any one particular parties’ politics. They need a different approach so that 2nd Amendment rights are inclusive, not exclusive. They need not be pitting themselves against each other concerning gun policy legislation.
My goal is to keep training, honing my skills, improve accuracy, and stay abreast of relevant issues and laws. Setting my sites on new improved weaponry and ammo, and of course watching my back. Bullying isn’t just a youth issue. As I observe the political stance of the American people, I am mindful of safe, sane and solid ways to exercise this right.
When serious issues have arisen local law enforcement tells me, “there’s nothing they can do” after they’ve told me to “ call them if I need them”… I have no choice but to defend myself, take matters into my own hands, if necessary.
This time I’m not training as an amateur. The law is there whether you are a proponent of it or not. That’s what it’s there for…protection. I’m choosing to take advantage of that 2nd Amendment!!!
“ Praise God and Pass the Ammo, the heat is on!”
This message is intended to raise awareness, gather support, and maintain a voice for gun rights and safety.
Antoinette Singh Writer/Journalist Gun rights advocate/activist Radio producer Civil /Human/ Women’s Rights advocate Crisis Counselor Artist /Designer Woman of God…
50 States. All with different gun laws and gun storage laws. There are many reasons to look up gun laws in your state apart from the obvious: you live there and own a gun! If you are travelling through or moving to a different state you will have to research gun storage transport laws for every state you plan on going through. That can take a lot of time. Sometimes it is not easy to find specific laws on state department websites either.
That is why this series exists. Every week we will research and bring to you the most important gun and firearm storage laws in various states, so that you can stop worrying about breaking the law with your firearm.
Each week we will take a look at a specific state and compare it to neighboring states so that you will be informed about the different laws you might have to be aware of if you plan on travelling into the nearby states. We will also review Federal gun laws and how they interact with your local laws. Along with this we will take a look at general gun laws to keep in mind while travelling in each state.
We will explore what types of gun storage solutions adhere to the laws in each state. These will range from gun lockers, and wall mounts to cable locks and carry cases with a special emphasis placed on space concerns. We hope to bring solutions that will fit for all living situations from city to rural and from apartments to townhouses.
We hope to help you answer all your questions and lingering confusions in the upcoming posts. The aim of this series is to cut down your research time and allow you to travel and store your firearms safely abiding by federal and state regulations. Keep checking back weekly for updates!
I really wanted to present you a Labor Day writing this week, or rather an automated non labor future writing (teaser for next week???), but I really can’t pass (pun intended) on the Kaep situation. You see, I am a Marine, and it seems that in my lifetime people have completely lost touch with what freedom is. If you are one of the ones calling for some type of discipline of Colin Kaepernick from the league or the team, you should check yourself, seriously, you either never knew or no longer understand what living in a free world is. Freedom allows for people to do and say things you don’t like. Get it through your brain housing group, ie your head. You don’t have the power to make people live as you wish. Moreover, quit trying to speak for me, a veteran. We know the sacrifices that we have made, we know why we have made those sacrifices. I wish you would be this outspoken when it comes to taking care of us once we are no longer in active service. I appreciate that you want to honor our sacrifice, but really, it is only a song, and it is the rights of individuals that are most cherished and protected. If you wonder how this ties in with guns or the 2nd Amendment, it is simply a matter that all rights are protected, if one falls or is curtailed than they all can be.
That said, if you are upset, I have a sneaking suspicion that it really isn’t about him sitting. I’m going to guess you are generally good person, and are more than likely to be upset about a multi-millionaire making a statement that others need to be doing more. If that is not the case, maybe you should take a hard look at yourself and your motives and beliefs, that’s a subject for another article. In this case a question that should be asked is what has Colin done to help out the impoverished and oppressed community? I don’t have that answer, and I hope he is out there, but it really is a question we should be asking ourselves. I have posed this question/challenge to dozens of my friends, which is, to quote Bernie I think, to be the change you want to see. Do you really trust an inept (at best) or corrupt (at worst) government to change things? A government that has had 50 years fighting the war on poverty with nothing to show for all its efforts?
Sorry I digress a bit, the challenge is for you to find one or more families that need your help. A buddy of mine is friends with a couple with multiple kids, the mother is struggling in low wage work, and she misses time because of the children, and the father (not married) can’t find work. I am sure many of you have seen this scenario. These people are good people, but they are stuck in continual assistance. My friend is adamant that they need increased assistance, but I asked my friend what he is doing to help them, personally. I believe and explained to him that the most beneficial thing he could do would be to babysit for them while they spend time at the library, learning, developing new skills, with the possibility of starting something of their own. Take a second to think this through with me if we are able to give four hours a week to a single mother, father, or couple, what that the time adds up to over the course of a year. Four hours a week translates into 208 hours a year. In that amount of time a person should be able to learn about something of interest to them, put in some practice time and actually start a business. Also I should note, I understand that his stance was more to do with the system being oppressive, I don’t have the influence or power to change the whole system, but if I can change the lives of one or two families, I think that it is my responsibility to help out.
I am not sure what others are thinking when they get upset at Mr. Kaepernick, I know that it didn’t disgust me or even upset me, but I did wonder what he has done personally to help change anyone’s future. I wonder what each of us have done, what each of us could and should do. We need to be involved in our community’s lives, actually down and personally helping, not just throwing money to an organization or government to waste. If each of us helps one family, it can be generational change for them and their children. My motto this year, and quite possibly for my foreseeable future is to give more than I receive from this world. I hope the same from each of you. Have a wonderful day, peace.
Not too long ago, I lived my life as you probably do today. I was a law-abiding citizen who went faithfully about his business as you probably do. I went to work every day, spent quality time with my family, regularly attended church services, and didn’t stick my nose into the affairs of other people.
I dutifully exercised my civic duties such as voting in every election, maintaining my home inside and out, and supporting the general affairs of the city of my birth. Further, I felt that I had the basic routine of ensuring my family’s safety covered: I owned a shotgun and had plenty of buckshot shells on-hand for home defense and maintained a state of continual vigilance.
Despite my best efforts of trying to be safe in an increasingly dangerous town, my world was suddenly and violently turned upside-down on one eventful night. As I was returning home one evening from a full day of work, I was approached by and robbed at gunpoint by two teenagers in my own backyard. My own garage had become a crime scene.
How To Get Robbed In Your Own Backyard
I suffered the indignity of having a gun shoved into my face while being relieved of a few paltry and essentially worthless material possessions – a booty worth less than a total of $50. After it was all “said and done,” I experienced a bruise to my ego that wouldn’t be fully felt until several days had since passed when family and friends would later blame me for being a victim of a violent crime.
It could have been much worse. I could have been shot or killed, which seems to be the case in Detroit armed robberies these days. To be totally honest, I had fully expected to be shot due to the fact that I had steadfastly and boldly refused to accompany my assailants at gunpoint to an ATM to retrieve more money and refused to chaperone them into my house so that they could present a threat to my family. Unless you have experienced a robbery for yourself, there is no true way you can truly appreciate the trespass I felt on that night. I made my peace with God and was resolved to be shot to death in my own backyard.
I am a father of four wonderful children. Although I have adequate life insurance, what kind of life would my kids have without me in their lives? I grew up without a father, who died when I was twelve years of age. My dad had adequate life insurance – I was able to go to college – but the void I experienced in my life has never been filled. I think of him at least once every day. I know what that experience feels like and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
I Procrastinated Away The Opportunity To Defend Myself
More than anything, I was maddened by the experience. Not only was I mad at the two thugs who robbed me, mad at the negligent parents of our city who have no clue of what their children do after dark, but I was even madder at myself. You see, by this point in time, the CCW laws in Michigan had been changed several years ago such that law-abiding citizens, such as myself, could have applied for and received the privilege of carrying a concealed pistol on their person.
Had I applied at that point in time circa 2001, I would have had a gun to defend myself in my time of need. The situational circumstances of my robbery were such that my awareness on that night would have given me enough time and space to react. One problem: I didn’t have a gun.
Never Assume That Bad Things Never Happen To Good People
Upon further analysis, my major problem prior to the robbery was that, despite the increasing number of violent crimes reported in the media, I had allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. After all, I was at that time married, had four children, had a nice home in a solid middle-class neighborhood, did not hang out in bars and clubs, did not associate with people of questionable character, and was often in bed by 10 p.m.
At that point in my life, although I had experienced several petty property crimes at our residence such as several car break-ins, one burglary of our home, the theft of our built-in outdoor barbecue grill, and a couple of car-eggings, I thought that I was reasonably safe, given my low-key lifestyle. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Nice neighborhoods, it seems, are open-air markets for criminals: deluded potential victims and a lack of firearms carried by area residents.
Instead of taking a clue from the daily crime reports, as detailed in the nightly newscasts, I had put off the idea of getting a CCW because I felt that “I didn’t need one today.” I let the everyday mundane tasks of going to work, attending family social events, getting haircuts, and shopping for clothes and other essential items, stand in the way of securing my most basic right: the right to be safe and secure in my own person. I had let the unimportant tasks and chores of day-to-day living keep me from doing that which was most important.
Getting Robbed Is Bad Enough – The Aftermath Is Worse
My experience was made even worse by the inconveniences I had to endure in the aftermath. For starters, I had to call a locksmith to replace all the locks in my home. I had to catch a city bus to a suburban car dealership to get a dummy key made to unlock the ignition on my car, so that it could be towed away and have all of its locks replaced, have new car keys programmed, and have the new keys cut.
Further, I had to replace all of my identification: driver’s license, work ID badge, work parking lot tag, AAA card, voter registration card, library card, report my credit cards as stolen, change my banking account information and get a new ATM card. I lost a few personal photos and now had the specter of being an identity theft victim. The $50 robbery actually cost me about another $1,000 in cash and lost time from work. I would have came out cheaper if I could have just written my assailants a $100 check for my wallet and keyring.
Big Secret: No One Cares If You Get Robbed, Raped, or Victimized
To add insult to injury, I had to explain to various people why I needed their assistance. Essentially, I had to tell them that I was a victim of an armed robbery in my own backyard. Invariably, everyone who I talked to found it within themselves to, in one way or another, blame me for the crime. Somehow, my victimization was my fault for not being aware of my environment in my backyard, not being inside when it was dark outside, and not having left Detroit for the suburbs several years ago.
Furthermore, I had to make several attempts to file a crime report with the respective detective for the case because he was on vacation and no one seemed to know when he would be back. I felt victimized all over again. Here I am – a crime victim – wanting to do whatever to help the police to find my assailants and they were making petty arguments between themselves over who gets to file the paperwork.
The Police Don’t Really Care About You Being Victimized
Never mind that the old neighborhood precinct was shuttered some time ago when the police department consolidated and that I had to travel a considerable distance to continually drop in and try to find the respective detective. On several occasions, I thought about not bothering to follow through with the process, however, I thought that my report might somehow make a difference for someone else. Maybe – just maybe – someone wouldn’t experience the trespass I experienced because my criminal report made someone in the police department do something about it: increased patrols of the area, interviews with known suspects, put together a criminal line-up, or something. Anything.
When I did finally catch up with the appropriate officer, he performed his role of investigator admirably but neither he nor his colleagues were around when I needed them most – at the robbery scene. I spent about an hour giving the detective all of the details of the crime I could recall and muster – several days after the occurrence, however small, in an effort that might reveal a pattern which might suggest known suspects to the officer. I guess I watch too much T.V.
Most crimes, if reported at all, are never solved. No one seems to care too much unless there is a dead body associated with the crime. Even then, it seems that unless the outrage from the community is great, nothing ever comes of it. Did the police ever solve the murder of that woman whose body was discovered downtown on the morning of the Super Bowl?
After I spilled my guts to the detective, I inquired about the process of receiving a CCW. His reaction was not pleasant. He didn’t do or say anything offensive, but he dismissed my desire to take more responsibility for more personal safety as “contributing to the problem.” Anyhow, he told me to go to police headquarters and that the info I sought could be found there.
First Step To Recovery Is Admitting That You Have A Problem
Many people, such as the person who I used to be, stand on the sidelines of the Second Amendment/gun ownership game until something adverse “happens” to them or to someone they know and value. Personally, I never had a “perceived” need for a handgun; I had previously viewed owning a gun as a novelty and perhaps a waste of hard earned cash. I had bought into all of the misleading anti-gun propaganda being spewed vociferously by various people and “special interests” with hidden agendas.
I never bothered to research the facts on gun ownership for myself. I left that task up to other people to educate me through the media via so-called factoid public service announcements, speeches from various governmental officials who enact “feel good” legislation that doesn’t work or conduct gun “buy-backs” that can’t be objectively evaluated for effectiveness, and barbershop talk with many people in my community who discuss their feelings about guns rather than the honest-to-God facts. My problem was that I allowed others to do my thinking for me on the subject of guns. I have since “in-sourced” that function back to the person I trust the most: me.
Everybody Knows Everything Until Something Happens
Well, something did “happen” to me – I was robbed in my own back yard while parking my car in my garage. Prior to this event, I did not see myself as a potential victim. I have always been able to “hold my own and handle my business” whenever I needed to do so throughout my life. The mere idea that someone would have the audacity to size me up as a victim never crossed my mind. A gun in the hands of violent predators, who have no qualms about using violence or the threat of violence to accomplish their evil purposes, changes the natural order of the food chain. I then knew that I needed to make a few changes.
Consequently, I then chose to get on the playing field. To my surprise, I have been warmly greeted by the pro gun rights side and have been consequently shunned by the “guns are evil” side. Making the decision to own a firearm makes you a gun nut in the eyes of many ignorant people.
The uninformed and unenlightened folk will treat you differently and are prone to making snide comments about you. They’ll either tell you that they don’t “need” a gun because of where they live or they’ll demonstrate some Kung Fu disarmament moves they learned from playing Tekken on their PlayStation2 video game console. They couldn’t possibly be more wrong. However, I’ll patiently wait until “something” happens to them and I’ll forget and forgive all of the ignorant things that they said and welcome them to the correct side.
A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step – Gun Ownership
Anyhow, after filing the crime report at my not-so-local neighborhood police station, I headed downtown to acquire a “Ten Day Purchase Permit.” The Gun Licensing Department ran my background to see if I had any official governmental prohibitions – felonies – against owning a firearm. Of course, the check came back clean so I was issued the permit. I was now able to legally buy a gun within the next ten days. If I had failed to do so (buy a gun), I would have to come back downtown to repeat the process.
Next, I went to a local gun shop without haste and bought my first handgun. I didn’t let the ominous signs – warning customers against pulling out guns because they might get shot – or the fact that all of the gunshop employees were openly carrying their guns on their hips, deter me. I had no idea of what to buy, so I bought the same gun that my brother-in-law owned. “If it was good enough for him, it must be good enough for me,” I reasoned. I didn’t originally plan on spending several hundreds of dollars on my purchase, but my first and only thought was to buy the best gun I could “afford” even if a few utility bills didn’t get paid on time that month. My life and safety were worth a ding or two on my credit report.
In retrospect, the gun dealer didn’t offer me a lot of informed customer service. To his credit, maybe he assumed, that since I was a guy, that I knew what I wanted. In fact, I didn’t know much of anything. My ignorance was my fault. The dealer’s fault was not asking me enough questions to allow him to best assess my needs. However, his insensitivity did not stop him from also suggesting additional purchases: jacketed hollow points and an inside-the-waist (IWB) holster.
Pure luck, it seems, brought a gun into my possession that fit my hand perfectly. I couldn’t test fire it, as the shop didn’t have a range. So I had to “take it on faith” that I could handle shooting it. I must have filled out a ream of paperwork that day; it was like closing on a house. Anyhow, it’s funny now recounting the experience, but I was – in all truth – nervous while carrying my new encased gun from the back entrance of the shop to my car. I mused how ironic and funny it would be if I was to now be robbed of my new gun at the gun shop.
My next stop on my personal armament tour would be to venture back downtown to police headquarters to have my new firearm “safety inspected.” Before having my gun inspected, I had no idea of what tests they were going to perform to properly test my gun. After they safety inspected my gun, I am still ignorant to the process even though I witnessed it with my very own eyes. Bottom line: by the time I left police headquarters this time, my name, my personal info, and the fact that I owned a handgun were now entered into a database.
On my departure from police headquarters I picked up a copy of an application for a Concealed Pistol License (CPL/CCW) from the front desk. I opened the enveloped and read the application. It was rather lengthy but informative. I figured that I would peruse it more thoroughly in my car. Right before I left the building, I asked a near-by police officer for a place where I could go and shoot my new gun. He specified a range and told me how to get there.
I’ll Do Or Try Almost Anything Once – Even Shoot A Gun
So, my big adventure continued as I went to a local range to shoot a handgun for the very first time in my life. For the record, it is not recommended to visit a firing range without first taking a gun safety class or at the very least taking along a knowledgeable shooter with you. In fact, it is dangerous. I didn’t know any better. You have read this passage, so now you know. Ignorance kills. The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was lucky. Any number of things, all of them bad, could have happened that day. Fortunately for me, I checked my ego at the door and asked someone behind the counter for help. I got a very basic introduction but critical 20 second tutorial: Don’t load it until you are in the booth, Always keep the gun pointed downrange, Position your hands so that they are not in the path of the slide, and Unload the gun before you leave the booth.
I managed not to hurt myself or anyone else. However, if I had experienced a hangfire or a squib load in the booth, things may have turned out differently. I must say that I was rather proud of myself after shooting. Shooting was an enjoyable experience. It was a blast – pun intended. My adrenaline was pumping; I was high off of shooting a gun. I guess I had just found myself a new and exciting hobby.
As I was driving home from the range that afternoon, still mentally digesting the requirements for the CCW Permit, I had arrived at an intersection whereby the stoplight had just turned red. The car in front of mine had an advertisement on the back of it for a CCW Class. More than ever, I believe that when your mind is truly ready for something, the Lord will make it appear. This situation merely provided confirmation. I immediately called the displayed phone number and discovered that there was a class being held on the very next day. I RSVP’d and took the class on the very next day.
A Responsible Gunowner Needs Training
During the class, I learned a staggering amount of information about the safe usage, storage, loading, unloading, handling, purchasing, transporting, and maintenance of firearms. Before that day, I truly did not know how much I did not know about firearms.
I was introduced to the nomenclature of all of the firearm’s constituent parts on both a revolver and a semi-automatic, learned how the parts inter-operated to create a discharge, learned the legal aspects of self defense and lethal force, learned how the media and “certain powers that be” distort the truth and spread outright lies about handguns, learned the proper fundamentals of shooting a firearm, learned a few shooting stances, and learned how to become a more hardened target.
More than anything, I was a little disheartened by my instructor’s admonition that I was now not a gun-fighter. I was told in plain and in no uncertain language that I had now just met the state’s minimum requirements to qualify for a CPL/CCW. Thus, I was just given another clue that there was much more to learn about firearms and their role in personal protection. I still didn’t know what I didn’t know. I then dedicated my spare time to devouring any literature that I could buy or find on the Internet that had anything to do with firearms and their role in personal protection.
I discovered and studied the works of many authors: Colonel Jeff Cooper’s “The Art of the Rifle,” Massad Ayoob’s “In the Gravest Extreme,” David Kenik’s “Armed Response,” Gabriel Suarez’s “Tactical Pistol,” Andy Stafford’s “Surgical Speed Shooting,” Chris Byrd’s “Thank God I Had A Gun,” Marc Young’s “Street Safe,” and Chad Cantrell’s “No Bull Gun Fighting.” The gun section of my library is comprised of over 100 works that I have read, re-read, highlighted, and studied relentlessly.
I have practiced the concepts and techniques explained in those books faithfully. I have spent hundreds of hours at neighboring target ranges shooting thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition to perfect my shooting ability.
I have befriended numerous local firearms instructors and gunshop employees throughout the metro-Detroit area to glean and retain whatever knowledge they had to bestow. I joined gun themed Internet bulletin boards: Michigan Gun Owners, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, AR-15, The High Road, Glock Talk, and many others.
Finally, I had reached a point where I felt that my learning curve had steepened to such a point that further research was delivering diminishing returns. Simply put, now the act of spending a day to read a new book “might” teach me something that I didn’t already know. I then turned to and joined the nation’s oldest firearms organization: The National Rifle Association (NRA).
Currently, I have NRA certifications to teach Personal Protection, Basic Pistol, and Home Firearm Safety. To qualify as a NRA certified instructor, a candidate must meet certain admission requirements, take a grueling 40 hour course, and pass six timed examinations with a score of 90% correct or better on each exam, and must meet the Training Counselor’s expectations of teaching ability. Not many people qualify. Also, I am a NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO). RSOs are certified to safely oversee shooting activities at a shooting range. Further still, I am an authorized Membership Recruiter for the NRA.
I have personally provided firearms training to people from all walks of life: ex-military, FBI agents, business owners, stay-at-home mothers, college students, real estate agents, business executives, bar bouncers, waitresses, club DJs, and etc.
I truly feel that I am doing what God has called me to do. He has placed me on this path and I have accepted his mission to do His will. I am hands-down the best firearm instructor in the metro-Detroit area. I stress safety, teach with enthusiasm in an entertaining manner, and never take any shortcuts.
I have met many people in this industry and some don’t measure up. Some of them don’t cover legal training. Some of them use airsoft pistols for the target qualification. Some have questionable certifications. Some of them commit felonies punishable by four years of prison time by selling certificates. Some of them, quite simply, can’t teach. Bad instructors not only do a disservice to their students but also to the community as a whole because their practices make the streets more dangerous.
I have a drawer full of testimonials that attest to my ability to clearly explain complicated concepts, to make newcomers to firearms comfortable with the experience, and to teach a person who has never shot a firearm before reliably hit the X on the target silhouette.
Firearms instruction is my passion and it shows. I am literally making a difference in my community – one class at a time. No one, in my opinion, becomes an instructor to get rich. Quite simply, if you have integrity and do things by the book it won’t happen. The scam artists turn up dead or become imprisoned.
I teach because I want to empower people to defend themselves in an increasingly violent time. Many folks are surprised to learn that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect you. Their job is to uphold the genral peace and to investigate crimes. If you become a crime victim, you can’t hold them responsible. Very sobering thought.
I am a firearms instructor, a defender of freedom, and an empowering force in my community.
Activism Is The Next Logical Step
Once a person, for whatever reason, decides to exercise a right he eventually acquires a great appreciation for having that right. Accordingly, he will do whatever it takes to keep that right. Gun ownership and the right to keep and bear arms is continuously under assault by those persons in our society who want a disarmed populace. Nevermind that gun ownership was granted to citizens of our fine nation as a means to prevent tyranny and to preserve liberty, I am most concerned with having the ability to defend my life and those that I love. After all, in case after case, the courts have proclaimed that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect us.
It would only be too easy to let others fight for my rights. I could merely write a check and let various gun rights organizations, such as the NRA, The Second Amendment Foundation, and the Citizens Committe RKBA, do my fighting for me. The future of gun ownership depends on us – you and me.
Many people could care less about the Second Amendment until they need a gun. If gun ownership is made illegal, how can you get one in your time of need? There are currently over 20,000 gun laws on the books and more are being drafted with the purpose of being enacted into law with each passing day. We don’t need more laws; we need enforcement of the ones already on the books.
We need citizens like you to exercise your right: get a permit to carry, go hunting, teach your family and friends how to shoot, engage in hunting sports, and teach people you know the truth about guns.
Everything You Have Been Told About Guns Is Probably Wrong
Until you remove emotions and uneducated opinions about guns from the public discourse, you may believe the lies that are being told to you. For example, the biggest lie ever told is that guns cause violence and crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. A firearm is a tool – nothing more – nothing less. It is far more important to discuss how a tool is used by a particular person, rather than to debate whether an inanimate object is bad. Is a ball-point pen evil? How about a cane?
While a gun has several obvious purposes that most people can readily enumerate, other tools – designed for other legitimate tasks – in the wrong hands can create as much mayhem. A person could misuse the following items and cause severe bodily harm or death to another: a baseball bat, a pair of scissors, a ball-peen hammer, a nail gun, a golf club, an automobile, a steak knife, an awl, an ice pick, a tire-iron, a crowbar, an axe, a garbage can lid, a fireplace poker, a jump-rope, a bowling trophy, a text book, a container of gasoline, rat poison, a garden rake, or a bottle of battery acid.
A gun placed on a kitchen countertop can not harm anyone all by itself. It requires assistance – pressure on its trigger – to be used, whether those purposes are for good or bad. No one wants to debate the folly of banning matches whenever an arsonist starts a “car-becue” on Angel’s Night. Likewise, no one wants to ban the usage of water every time a young and unattended child falls into a back yard swimming pool. Even more outrageous is the idea than gun manufacturers should be sued for violence committed by criminals. Has anyone ever sued the Ford Motor Company because a drunk driver mowed down a schoolyard full of children?
Guns Don’t Kill People – People Kill People
Some people want you to “think” that guns somehow turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into homicidal sociopaths. The truth of the matter is that if a specific person with a gun is crazy, that same person without a gun is still just as nuts. University of Maryland professor and gun control researcher, Dr. John R. Lott, has extensively studied the supposed guns and crime relationship – most notably in his critically acclaimed tome “More Guns – Less Crime.” The conclusion of his work is abundantly clear – the absence of guns creates more crime. Reversely stated, more guns in a community decreases crime.
An unarmed populace creates a hazard-free working environment for violent criminals. Robbing, raping, and pillaging is a dangerous career choice. Everytime a criminal plies his trade, he risks at least an injury and perhaps death. Criminals, if given a choice, will choose an easy target rather than get into a life-or-death battle with an armed citizen.
Correspondingly, if many people in a community are armed with a gun, crime plummets due to the fact that the criminal is reluctant to assault someone “that may be packing.” Thus, the unarmed people in the community are, as a direct result of the armed people in the community, shielded from crime. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw an advocate for gun control post a sign in his home’s front yard that stated, “We are unarmed! We hate guns!” File that event under something you’ll never see.
By definition, a criminal is a person who breaks the law. Thus, if it was ever possible to outlaw guns, only the criminals would have guns. You don’t expect a criminal to disarm himself, do you? Of course not! Only law-abiding citizens would consider such a thing. What result would expect in a city full of law-abiding and unarmed citizens and a sizeable quantity of armed felons? This type of environment would create an “open season” state of lawlessness among the criminals. The rapists, jackers, and killers could ply their trade with impunity. This result has been observed with predictable results in our country.
Time and time again, the cities with the highest rates of crime are in those cities with the most strict gun control laws – legal and de facto. To name a few – NYC, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Detroit – are among our nation’s worst when it comes to gun control and violent crime. These cities happen to also be where large populations of minorities live. It is no mistake – gun control has racist roots that trace back into time when newly freed slaves were barred from owning guns to prevent any “score settling” with their former masters.
Stop being a pawn: Buy a gun, exercise your right to self-defense, and help spread the truth about guns.
I can hear people all over the internet groaning out loud. “Now hold on there a minute, Skip. What are you talking about? We’re not at war with the UN! Why are we even talking about this?”
Okay, good point. I should answer that question first. The reason I’m talking about it,is because a growing number of non-crazy, non-radical Americans are also taking about it. It’s not just conspiracy theory stuff anymore. The people at large are starting to believe the following:
1. People are really starting to believe that the US Government is setting up internment camps and will soon be snatching up US citizens without due process by virtue of the power granted to them in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
2. People are starting to believe that UN troops are already here on American soil and training to assist the US Government in suppressing a violent uprising of American citizens by either killing them militarily or imprisoning them in FEMA camps.(I had a call just a few minutes ago by a man from out of state who told me he’s seen 3 UN convoys on the Turnpike already this year. He wanted me to explain it to him. I couldn’t.)
3. People are starting to believe that it doesn’t matter who they vote for. They are always voting for the lesser of two evils, so they revolt by not voting at all. Of course when good people refuse to vote, this does nothing but hasten the greater of two evils, thereby becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
4. People no longer believe what they see on the news. This is disheartening, because the media has always been considered the accountability partner to the government. But what happens when the government is no longer held accountable by the media, but, rather, is enabled by them?
In my opinion, the stage is set for the second American Civil War. The powder magazine is full and all we need is a spark to set it off.
Here’s how it could happen.
1. Hillary Clinton is elected in November.
2. In February she nominates the missing Supreme Court Justice.
3. Over the next year all cases brought before the Supreme Court will be ruled upon in a way to erode away our freedom.
Here’s what we’ll lose:
1. The Second Amendment will be restricted to a point of insignificance.
2. Home schooling will be controlled and monitored by the Government.
3. Religious freedom will be gone.
4. The alternative media will be banned from the air waves.
All this will happen by 2018.
You’ll recall that in my fictional novel series “The Shadow Militia, ” a secret militia had been formed over the course of decades in order to, as Colonel MacPherson explained:
“The Shadow Militia was formed decades ago in the event society collapsed, or, God forbid, our government needed major realignment.” He let that sink in before continuing on. “We are a small, but well funded and equipped group of highly trained, elite individuals, dedicated to the continuity of a constitutional society.”
Of course, that’s all fiction. You can find it in my novel “The God Virus.” But that hasn’t stopped people from asking me how they can join the Shadow Militia. They are always very disappointed when I explain to them that the Shadow Militia does not exist. Some people refuse to believe me and are offended because I won’t let them join the club. But the truth is “There is no club. It’s just a story.”
But let’s get back to my original question. “Can the people of America win a war against the United Nations?”
I recently read an article by Dave Hodges (and you can read it here) which asked similar questions. In this article, the author analyzed citizen uprisings since 1775.
“An analysis of past conflicts featuring guerrilla war reveals that only 25% of guerrilla forces, out of 443 such conflicts since 1775, were successful. The government prevailed almost 64% of the time with the remainder of the conflicts ended in a stalemate. Conversely, since the end of WWII, the percentage of success for guerrilla forces has indeed gone up to 39.6%. Yet that still means that government forces have continued to prevail 51% of the time.”So, what that means is this: According to the stats, if the American people engage in a guerrilla war in the upcoming years, the people have less than a 40% chance of success.
Personally, I think that’s low. And here’s why.
1. Americans are different than the rest of the world.
In all other industrialized nations, such as Australia, England, Germany, France and Belgium, when faced with the physical threat of mass shootings, the people allowed their respective governments to disarm them. Juxtapose this to America’s response to not only the threat of active shooters, but also to terrorism, crime and the threat of disarmament and you can see an attitudinal differential. When faced with danger, Americans prefer to buy more guns, arm themselves, and get trained instead of contracting out their personal protection to politicians.
2. Americans are armed to the teeth.
How many guns in America? Who knows? Not even the Department of Homeland Security can answer that question. Sure, they can tell you how many background checks are run, but that number is going to be low. It accounts for only “legal” firearms.
3. Americans are more afraid of their own government than they are anything else in their lives.
Are you afraid of the IRS? Are you afraid of a no-knock raid in the middle of the night? Are you afraid the government is monitoring your computer right now as you read this article? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the mainstream media will instantly and without thought or evidentiary support label you as a conspiracy theorist.
But here’s the rub. Americans will only fear the government for so long. Once they start to “believe” in their heart of hearts that the government is evil and will either enslave them or kill them, they have no recourse but to fight back. At that point Americans kick into survival mode.
I believe if the present course of human events continues to unfold, there will be a civil uprising in America. I believe the UN will be called in to quell the uprising. I believe millions of Americans will die at the hands of their own government while being aided by foreigners.
I give America a fifty-fifty chance of survival.
But, of course, this is all just conspiracy theory and fiction. I’m just supposing for the sake of argument. Because, after all, there is no “Shadow Militia.” It doesn’t exist except in the hearts and minds of a few disgruntled patriots. So please, don’t send me a membership application to The Shadow Militia. I’m just a novelist. For all you know I’m just a greedy author trying to market his books.
Skip Coryell lives in the Midwest with his wife and children. He is the author of 11 books, including “The Shadow Militia” and “Civilian Combat The Concealed Carry Book.” Skip is a Marine veteran and the co-host of Frontlines of Freedom, America’s #1 syndicated military talk radio show. Skip is an Adjunct Professor of Writing at Cornerstone University as well as the owner and Lead Instructor for Midwest Tactical Training.
When I wake up and begin my day, the last thing that crosses my mind is worrying if I have to use my firearm. I do not live in a very high crime area of town nor do I venture to more high crime areas. I occasionally frequent bars or lounges but since carrying a firearm, I try not to venture to areas where there is a higher probability of confrontation. As gun owners, when the time arises when we are out and things go from casual to downhill, we must determine when to use our firearm and when not to and at times this can be hard to determine. It’s not always a black and white situation as I myself have had to make quick thought out decisions when it came to using my firearm.
I recently went to Ohio with my girlfriend for her cousin’s birthday party. I live in Pennsylvania, and before leaving for Ohio I researched and studied the firearm laws for conceal carry in Ohio. In 2015, any out-of-state concealed carry permit holder became recognized in Ohio. So before venturing to the Buckeye state, I happily included my handgun and a couple speed loaders with me on my trip.
We attended the party and everyone was drinking and having a good time. There were approximately seventy people at the birthday party. It was located in a quiet suburban area. I was an outsider but conversed with my girlfriend’s family and friends. As the party dipped into the evening hours I noticed two drunk men at the party start to argue with each other. One of the guys shovel the other into a fridge and soon people started to separate the individuals. The argument continued out into the street of the suburban neighborhood. The guy who was shoveled pulled a knife out and made a threat to stab the individual who pushed him. My girlfriend and I are about 200 yards away from the altercation and she suggested that I go over there and try to deescalate the situation. I replied that I’m not getting involved because my life nor her life was not in immediate danger. I told her to call the police and it is their job to get involved and keep the peace. As we walked back to the car to leave, I heard someone cock back the slide of a gun and saw some more people head over to the conflict.
The guy with the knife fled but eventually he called the police. The police eventually arrested him and ended the party. No one was injured. On our way back to the hotel that night, I explained to my girlfriend that if I would have pulled my gun out, I could have been arrested and been in legal trouble trying to deescalate the situation. I told her that carrying a firearm isn’t about saving the day, it’s a responsibility. Often times you have to make a judgment call. The situation might have been different if he had someone at knife point, went on a stabbing rampage, or was threatening my or her immediate safety. But I was in no way in danger. I was always taught to use your firearm as a last resort when you cannot escape. I had an out and I took it. I got away from the danger. As a gun owner, I hope I never have to pull my firearm out for a self defense situation. In the case I have to, I want to be justified in my decision to use it.
“The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people.” — Alexis de Tocqueville
Long before French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, birthed the concept of American exceptionalism by name with these famous words in 1831, our nation had been busy fleshing out the inspirational phenomenon of “The Great Experiment” on practical, measurable, and meaningful terms. From the willingness of the Founding Fathers to sign their own death warrants by placing their names boldly on the Declaration of Independence to the courage and resolve found in the common American family, prepared to risk everything they had in an all-or-nothing bid to stake their personal claim on the uncertain future of the great and intimidating Western frontier that was Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase to the gargantuan national effort that was required to build the Transcontinental Railroad to the steadfast endeavors of the Wright brothers, who risked life and limb in their nearly endless attempts to invent the first flying airplane to the persevering dedication of Thomas Edison, whose never-give-up attitude led him to remain ever vigilant through 6,000 failed attempts to create the first working version of the commercially-practical incandescent light bulb, Americans have exuded the confidence and exhibited the can-do attitude to succeed in the face of almost certain defeat.
It is with this singular, roll-up-your-sleeves brand of American grit that has inspired our country’s scientists, inventors, businessmen, and cultural leaders to consistently accomplish that which, at the time, appeared seemingly impossible. For instance, one of the most critical American scientific breakthroughs in the history of mankind that resulted in profoundly positive worldwide implications was the advent of the Green Revolution, where American agronomist, humanitarian, and Nobel laureate, Norman Borlaug, overcame the Malthusian projections of worldwide famine by developing high-yield, disease-resistant crops that saved at least a billion lives all over the planet.
And the legacy of American exceptionalism has continued through to modern history. Naming a select-few, game-changing inventions that society now takes for granted, the world was introduced to refrigeration, the telegraph, assembly-line production, extra-galactic astronomy, the liquid-fueled rocket, EEG brain topography, the digital computer, nylon, the transistor, the video game, cable television, radio carbon dating, the credit card, the nuclear submarine, the laser, carbon fiber, the integrated circuit, the weather satellite, the birth control pill, kevlar, the compact disc, the space shuttle, the graphical user interface (GUI), and the global positioning system (GPS) through American ingenuity, creativity, innovation, desire, and sheer effort.
However, despite all of the evidence to demonstrate the validity of this inspirational phenomenon, the concept of American exceptionalism is, in modern times, almost as hotly-debated a topic as the 2nd Amendment, especially amongst academics. Many have questioned whether or not American contributions towards the forward progress of mankind have truly stood head-and-shoulders above those achievements that have come from other parts of the world. While the liberal professoriate in this country decries the very notion of this unique hallmark of American distinction, reality and history clearly prove otherwise.
Even when one moves beyond the inventions and innovations listed above and leans towards the loftier ideals that help define the human condition with moral fiber and dignity, American exceptionalism can be very clearly demonstrated through the common desire to see fairness and equality extended to all citizens of this country, a powerful and defining notion that speaks to the very character of our national identity. Time and again, civil rights activists have tapped into the American consciousness in their plea to end slavery, in their bid for women’s suffrage, and in their attempts to gain racial equality. Famous historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Susan Brownell Anthony dedicated their lives towards causes and political movements that served the greater good. Their victories in promoting social progress were always earned through great personal sacrifice and, in some instances, their struggle for equality eventually cost them their lives.
On the wider scale of human progress, it is that unique brand of American exceptionalism that engendered our nation’s history of promoting and protecting civil rights which inspires even those citizens of the world who live beyond our borders. The people of Iran, Egypt, Syria, and all over the Middle East have risen up against their tyrannical regimes in recent times as a direct result of American exceptionalism, both motivated on principle by our country’s freedoms and because of the timely efforts of our nation’s pioneering innovators, whose vision and legacy became Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, and revolutionized the social media space that was necessary to make a home-grown and instantly unified national uprising possible.
Utilizing this same social media technology that is driving societal progress in the Middle East, a living and breathing example of modern American exceptionalism is now being clearly demonstrated in California, where common, law-abiding citizens, demonized by the mainstream press, politicians, and the gun control lobby establishment over the past three decades for doing nothing more than exercising a basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right to self-defense, have found each other online to simultaneously stand up en masse and shoulder-to-shoulder in ending the gun control lobby’s ceaseless advance against the 2nd Amendment in the Golden State by stopping every single gun control bill introduced in the State Legislature cold in 2010.
Once attacked and vilified to the point of nearly-forced silence, law-abiding California gun owners now draw upon that uniquely-muscular brand of American courage that inspires them to hold their heads high and stand tall in defense of the time-honored traditions and principles that helped to forge and shape this country into being. They do so against great adversity, and like their forefathers and fellow civil rights trailblazers did before them, exhibit the courage of conviction to rise up in the face of deliberate injustice and societal oppression. Gun ownership, once spoken of in almost hushed tones for fear of being marked by an immense anti-gun social stigma, is now being publicly proclaimed with a proud and patriotic defiance, as common, every-day Californians are staking their names, faces, and professional reputations in defense of their basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right to self defense.
And the courageous efforts of these living and breathing examples of modern American exceptionalism have netted all common, law-abiding Californians a growing number of significant victories in their collective bid to re-secure their 2nd Amendment Rights in the Golden State.
For instance, when the nation’s most recognizable gun control organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, teamed up with their legal affiliate, the Legal Community Against Violence, to try and bully tax-paying and law-abiding firearms retailers out of the local San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Pleasant Hill by conspiring with high-ranking City Council members behind closed doors in an effort to force those small businesses out of the city, a contingent of 109 Second Amendment supporters from Responsible Citizens of California, Contra Costa Open Carry, Nor Cal Open Carry, Calguns, the East Bay Tea Party, and other local concerned residents converged on City Hall on a nondescript Tuesday night in April to express their strong opposition to such proposals. These 2nd Amendment supporters’ collective efforts paid off. Not only were these unconstitutional proposals stopped cold, but the owner of one of these Pleasant Hill firearms retailers, City Arms, was also presented with an award by the mayor in the city’s 4th of July parade less than three months later.
Another shining beacon of American exceptionalism at work in California is clearly demonstrated by the People’s victory over San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey’s blatant disregard for State law mandating that he have a written policy for concealed carry handgun permit (CCW) applications in place. Being that California is a “may-issue” concealed carry State, many County Sheriffs have abused their authority by effectively hiding behind the “may-issue” statute to impose a “will-not-issue-under-any-circumstances” reality. The only exceptions to this rule would be if the applicant is a friend of the Sheriff or was a significant political contributor. This was clearly the case in San Francisco County. After more than a decade of flaunting the very law that he is duty bound to uphold, the Calguns Foundation, at great cost through their own exhaustive legal efforts, was able to force the 32-year career law enforcement official to comply with State law.
And Calguns’ efforts in forcing the San Francisco County Sheriff to obey State CCW laws do not stand alone. Recently, the California 2nd Amendment advocacy organization scored another victory in Ventura County when Superior Court Judge Henry Walsh ruled that the county must release information about concealed carry permit applications that are pertinent in helping Calguns determine whether or not CCW permits are being issued in a lawful and uniform manner. This information is critical in helping future CCW applicants in establishing “good cause” before a CCW permit can be issued by Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean. This ruling also establishes a clear-cut court precedent for other counties inside California to comply that have, thus far, been reluctant to produce their own corresponding documents under Freedom of Information Act requests.
These 2nd Amendment victories in California come on the heels of other successful efforts to re-secure the basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right to self defense in the Golden State. If there is a living and breathing example of the anti-gun establishment’s hostility towards Right-to-Carry laws, then it was very aptly demonstrated in February of 2010 when East Palo Alto Police Detective Rod Tuason, threatened to shoot law-abiding Open Carry advocates for doing nothing more than exercising their fundamental civil rights. When Calguns posted Tuason’s threatening and discriminatory Facebook comments online, State and nationwide outrage ensued. Hoping that this controversy would completely disappear over time without threatening the anti-gun status quo, the East Palo Alto Police Department took no corrective action on the hot-button topic, despite multiple attempts by concerned citizens to follow up over the next several months. However, the non-profit, Right-to-Carry advocacy organization, Responsible Citizens of California (RCC), would not let the matter die without a fair and just resolution. After more than five months of stonewalling, the East Palo Alto Police Department finally issued a public statement condemning Tuason’s Facebook comments on the same day that RCC staged a protest in front of the East Palo Alto City Hall to speak out against this months-long injustice.
However, like all progress involving civil rights in America, individuals within this Movement who have stood up to defend the 2nd Amendment in California have, at times, paid a very high and personal price. It is their character and integrity that has set them apart as shining examples of modern American exceptionalism. For instance, when Responsible Citizens of California Chairman of the Board Sam Wolanyk was improperly arrested by the San Diego Police Department for exercising his Open Carry rights, he decided to stand up for the entire Movement in California by enlisting the Calguns Foundation’s legal expertise to not only seek damages but also, more importantly, to secure his petition for a Finding of Factual Innocence from the City of San Diego, thus forcing the city to admit that no reasonable cause for his arrest existed and therefore, effectively set a precedent for all Open Carry advocates in California facing similar circumstances in the future.
It is against this type of open, anti-gun hostility that 2nd Amendment activism in California has not only survived, but also thrived in that pressure cooker of all civil rights endeavors, forged by the fires of American exceptionalism. For instance, when South Bay Open Carry decided to attend the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair in September of 2010, they thoughtfully showed the etiquette of setting up a meeting to set at ease any fears that the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair Association may have in regards to their attendance. However, instead of accepting this extension of courtesy and diplomacy as an act of good faith, the anti-gun Manhattan Beach Fair Association Board and local police officers attempted to circumvent the law by enacting a weapons ban to bar the Open Carry advocates’ attendance. However, then-South Bay Open Carry President, Harley Green, was very well-versed in the law and pointed out that such a weapons ban would be a direct violation of Article 11 of the California Constitution and through extensive back-and-forth legal wrangling, where the local government realized that they could not act unilaterally to pass a weapons ban on public property without due process, was able to achieve yet another meaningful victory against the gun control lobby’s illegal efforts to curb every law-abiding Californian’s 2nd Amendment Rights in the Golden State. As with all Open Carry events across the State and the country, gun control advocates’ fears about public safety were met with the facts–the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair went off without a hitch and no threats to public safety ever materialized. Furthermore, it is because of the scores of highly-publicized Open Carry events such as the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair being covered in the print, radio, and television media without the slightest hint of a threat to public safety that the non-gun-owning general public is now becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the gun control lobby’s arguments against the Open Carry Movement in California simply hold no water.
And these clear-cut examples of American exceptionalism being demonstrated by 2nd Amendment activists in California show no signs of letting up any time soon. For instance, in a concerted bid to coalesce the efforts of all gun rights groups in the Golden State into an even more focused force multiplier on the political and legal stage, Calguns has organized a Second Amendment Weekend starting on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 1 PM at the Murphys Historic Hotel in Murphys, California to review the remarkable progress that has been made over the past two years as well as discuss future plans that all 2nd Amendment activists can contribute to in re-securing their basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right to self defense on the West Coast. With discounted hotel rates already negotiated beforehand for all event participants, most of the local hotels have already been booked to capacity, as more than 100 guests have already pre-registered for the event. However, there are local bed and breakfasts as well as campgrounds nearby for those wishing to exercise that option. For others still wishing to attend the event, organizer Kevin Thomason has recommended that those who have yet to register are welcome to bring sleeping bags and overnight accomodations will be made for any 2nd Amendment activists wishing to participate. As one of the largest 2nd Amendment advocacy gatherings in the history of the Golden State, there will be many prominent faces within the gun rights community in California speaking at this engagement, including several Calguns Foundation Board Members and at least one prominent civil rights attorney.
With these historic developments in mind, the future of the 2nd Amendment advocacy in California is looking brighter with each passing day. Characteristic of the fellow countrymen who came before them, those wishing to uphold and defend their basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right to self defense have embraced the ideals of American exceptionalism wholeheartedly and the quickened pace of forward social progress that is a hallmark of the American identity is now very clearly coming into focus in the Golden State.
So when did I become a “gun” advocate? That’s a funny question because I think I’ve always been an advocate I just didn’t have the training and knowledge that I have now to actually be in a position to share that information.
When I was younger, I was an eager enthusiast, watching passionately as my revered icons shot up the silver screen. I idolized those camera cannons as if they were characters themselves. As much as I dreamed about what I would do with my gold plated Desert Eagle. I knew I’d probably never own one.
In my youth, I lived a transient lifestyle, moving often as a musician and post break-up artist which wasn’t very “safe” for owning a firearm. Although, still enthusiastic, most of what I’d learned about firearms was from movies or non-legal carriers. The problem is everything thing I’d assumed and learned up to that point was wrong. I actually believed that there was such a thing as an accidental discharge.
9/11, I awoke that morning to what I that was a movie trailer for a new action movie. As I watched the news footage of an airplane crashing into one of the twin towers, I look over at my pregnant girlfriend and tears welled up in my eyes. My thought was that before my son was going to be born things were going to change drastically. Even though I was afraid, I buried my fear and continued on.
A few years later my mother moved out to the “country” and I decided to try out “the simple life”. A friend of hers decided to give me a crash course in deer hunting. I, clad, in my bright yellow parka (hunters orange was not in the wardrobe) and an aged 20ga shotgun. He handed me the long zipped pouch and walked towards the hunting shack laughing at my jacket and lack of vest. After the second shot, I rested the button against my shoulder. D’oh!!!
My first New Years celebration after turning 21. I was excited, I had planned on hanging out all night with my new “friends” across the street. I’d spent the the afternoon drinking vodka and lemonade which only led to a early evening nap. I awoke to a headache and the sounds of war from outside my window. Remembering an invitation to shoot anything that took brass, I ran (OK, I walked to the door and as I looked out all I saw was the fast flash, from a small automatic uzi being shot loosely into the air. I wasn’t afraid to go out and stand with my neighbors. I was terrified. The sounds coming from the back yard weren’t echoes, they were the other blocks responses.
Columbine 1999, Sandy Hook Elementary 2012 and San Bernardino 2015? We’re not getting better.
I, out of my own reasoning, started to wonder Why”. Is it because there are guns? Do assault rifles make people violent? What would happen if guns were banned? Would a ban stop violent deaths? I (who, is an expert by no means) have never seen a gun fire itself, nor have I found any cases of assault rifles bullying anyone into forced discharges (they’re kinda lazy that way, I guess). The current laws aren’t stopping criminals from getting their hands on even the most rare firearms so isn’t it safe to say the gun laws only disable law abiding citizens from protecting themselves their home and their families.
I’m not saying that I think firearms are for everyone (that’s not my decision to make), but statistically, these types of criminals seek out victims. How often do you hear about a 35 year old Marine or off duty L.E.O. getting attacked? Hardly, if ever. The examples are usually, a woman with children, the small guy with his hands full the unsuspecting employee, who are accosted. Shouldn’t a hardworking, taxpaying constituent have more rights and legal abilities than a recidivist felon who wants to challenge his/her God and state given rights?
If there were more trained (this isn’t a natural skill, it does requires training) advocates walking around then this type criminal would be forced to change his m.o. because the law of averages would start to catch up.
Isaiah 54:17, states that no weapon formed against me shall prosper,
well in my opinion neither will a family forced to accept the loss of a provider.
Btw, my first firearm purchase was a Magnum Research MR9 Eagle…my last name is Griffin and it seemed appropriate (cats have 9 lives and eagles, well they fly!!!).
Terrell Griffin aka. Hugh Izzey. As a musician and writer for over 20 years, I have always been inspired to write about my passions both musically and as a journalist. After years of “living in fear”, I finally decided to make a conscious effort to improve not only myself and others. In 2015, I received my F.O.I.D. card yet still procrastinated in my efforts to stop being a victim. In order to fulfill, my upcoming New Years resolution, I put my “Baby Desert Eagle” on online layaway. As an actual firearm owner, I got thirsty for more gun knowledge and turned to the internet. As I prepare to update my training and upgrade to CCW, I turn to advocates like Kenn Blanchard, the Black Man With A Gun. Now, no looking back (except to check my 6).
When considering a bag to transport your rifle to and from the range, you really need to consider your surroundings. When I go to Academy or Bass Pro there’s no end to the number of tactical bags available, but what if I’m transporting my rifle from my car to my place of business do I want to advertise to the world that I’m carrying a rifle? I’d think not. So, it’s through that lens I’m considering the Copperbasin Takedown Backpack.
If you’re looking for an aggressive looking tactical bag that strokes your ego and makes you feel more like a manly man then this probably isn’t the style bag for you. If you’re comfortable in your manhood, and like me live and work in the city where you’re surrounded by others that may not be as comfortable around guns, then you should consider the Copperbasin Takedown Backpack.
I was pleasantly surprised when the bag showed up, the thoughtful design and the quality construction was apparent. You can get the specs on the Copperbasin Website so I won’t get into those but let me talk just a minute about my thoughts on how well the bag is built. I spend a fair amount of time in the woods and have a number of bags from multi-day backpacking bags to quality day-packs and I’m a stickler about quality construction when it comes to bags.
The first thing I noticed was the use of quality nylon for the main bag body, I tend to be tough on bags and keep them for a long time (if they hold up). I feel that this bag will get the job done for many years to come. The main zippers are big and rugged, there’s nothing more frustrating than a manufacturer who invests in quality material only to included cheap zippers on the final product. The bottom on the bag is reinforced with a tough vinyl type of martial, so as you’re packing and unpacking your bag overtime it won’t wear holes through the bottom.
Copperbasin includes quality buckles (which I’m a stickler about) which are a must, especially if you live in a colder climate where the cold can make the buckles brittle.
Storage…storage…storage is what this bag offers. You can easily get your rifle, magazines, cleaning supplies, tools and ammunition to the range and still have both hands free to bring more toys along with you. The compartments for your rifle and accessories are lined with a fleece material which helps to keep your weapon free from any dirt or other debris that may scratch the finish on your rifle. The compartment for your rifle and barrel have adjustable straps to keep everything safe and secure.
For those like myself that tend to have a lot of gear already in the truck there is a seat mount to give you more carrying options. The only problem with the design is that if you don’t have adjustable head rests the strap may not be long enough to get around the fixed head rest design. I have a 2006 Ford F350, as you can see from the picture my headrest is not adjustable so the strap doesn’t work for me. A bummer but not a deal breaker by any means, because the bag is slim it easily fits between the front and rear seat or just about anywhere else.
All-in-all the Copperbasin Takedown Backpack really opened my eyes to the reality of being a gun owner in an urban environment. If you don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you’re carrying a weapon to and from your vehicle, home, or job then you need to reconsider tactical style bags and think about a bag like the Copperbasin Takedown Backpack that does a much better job at blending into the urban landscape.
Is Publisher of Outdoors In Color, which he founded in 2016 and outdoors contributor to blackmanwithagun.com. When he’s not with his family you’ll most likely find him out at the lake or stalking hogs in the woods.
Special thanks to CopperBasin for letting us review this great bag. Thanks and congratulations to Merrell Ligons for the review, and on his recent nuptials.
Traditionally a pocket knife consists of a folding knife, maybe even a slip joint. So why would someone carry a small fixed blade. Strength, simplicity, and cost. Fixed blades are inherently strong because they are only one piece, there is not lock or pivot to fail. Also a one-piece design is very simple which leads to the last point. Simplicity usually leads to less cost. Today I am going to take a closer looks at the Evans Knife and Tool (EKT) Companion.
The Companion was developed by Brian Evans, a custom knife maker, who decided to make a mid-tech knife. The definition of a mid-tech is somewhat debatable, but I consider it a knife designed by a custom knife maker then produced by a manufacturer in small batches. The subject knife of this review is version 1 produced in China with an $84 price tag. Brian has since lost his Chinese manufacturer and is currently planning to make a small batch of knives made in the United States. This time the blade steel will be CMP 20CV. Check out his current Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/evans-knife-and-tool-companion-usa-made#/
The Companion comes with a small kydex sheath. The eyelets are spaced for a Tek-Lok. I have seen many people on bladeforums.com fabricate leather belt loops or other carrying methods. I choose to carry mine with a County Comm 20” rubber necklace as a neck knife. The carry options are limited only by your imagination and DIY ability. The knife snaps into the sheath with an audible click and retention is fantastic, even when carried inverted as a neck knife.
Another feature of the Companion is the ability to change the scales. The knife comes with black G-10 scales. Blue, red, pink, orange, or jade G-10 scales are available for $10 each. Carbon fiber scales can be purchased for $35. I find the G-10 scales to be very comfortable with just the right level to grit to add enough traction. The carbon fiber scales look the best in my opinion, but are a little too smooth. A tool is even included with the knife to facilitate scale changes. I just use an allen wrench to loosen the chain ring fasteners. The scale fit and finish around the blade tang is great. There are no gaps along the length and the transition around the handle circumference is smooth. A lanyard hole is located at the end of the tang. I tried adding a small lanyard to extend the grip, but found the bare knife much more comfortable. Nevertheless the hole is there if you desire to hand something from your knife.
The knife came shaving sharp. I have been able to maintain the S35VN edge on my Spyderco Sharpmaker with the ultra fine ceramic rods. I have used this little knife for numerous tasks. It is great for food preparation. The fairly thin blade stock makes for a great slicing tool, say hello to easy diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Food prep is where fixed blades shine, it is so easy to clean, you can even remove the scales for cleaning. No peanut butter in the pivot here. I used the knife for some small gypsum drywall repairs. Cutting drywall is a great way to dull your knife which happened. However I was able to restore the edge easily. Other typically everyday tasks like opening and breaking down cardboard boxes is accomplished with ease.
So far you may be thinking that this author considers this knife to be the best tool to grace mankind. There are some negatives thought. The small choil before the blade edge is one. I wish it was slightly larger. I have yet to cut my finger on the very back of the edge, but I feel like it is possible. The other negative I have noticed, if you call it one, is slight discoloration under the scales. I do wear the knife against skin so it is exposed to sweat. So far everything has easily wiped off with a Tuff cloth, but it should be noted as a place to keep an eye on and perform some preventative maintenance.
Lastly I would be remiss if I did not mention the need to check your local laws before you begin carrying a fixed blade knife, especially concealed. As long as carry is legal I think you will find small EDC carry convenient. As a neck knife concealment is fantastic, this little knife disappears under a t-shirt.
Give small EDC fixed blades some thought. The EKT Companion is a great tool and worth the price in my opinion. You may be able to find some of the S35VN versions on the used market or check out the current Indiegogo campaign. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment below.