Category: David B. Cole

You Don’t Need To Hunt

You Don’t Need To Hunt

A recent article on Huffpost, by alleged hunters, is repeating the old narrative that the only guns which merit any protection are those which are deemed necessary for hunting. After all, they say, you just don’t need an AR-15 to hunt. Big mistake, Elmer.

 

Never mind that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and never mind the obvious arguments against living in a society where you are only allowed to possess the things which you need (as decided by someone else).  Let’s stick to the idea that you only need guns which are suitable for hunting, because there is a very specific problem with that position.

The problem is that once need becomes the linchpin of your position, you now open up the debate as to whether or not you really need to hunt at all. And you know what? You don’t.

There are very few people left in this country who require hunted game meat to feed themselves, if any. We hunt because we enjoy the activity, and because we like game meat, but we don’t need it any more than we need a new Xbox. And if you really want to argue the case that you and your family need hunted game meat in order to survive, I’ve got a solution for you…and you aren’t going to like it.

It involves means testing before being allowed to hunt for subsistence. If your income as reported to the IRS does not fall below the poverty line, then you do not qualify as a subsistence hunter. Remember, the only allowable guns are those suitable for hunting, and since your income level means you do not need to hunt, you may possess no firearms at all.

The next phase of the solution comes once all the non-subsistence hunters and their nasty old non-hunting guns are weeded out. Now we have a relatively small subset of impoverished gun owners who simply cannot afford to buy meat at the grocery to feed their families. It then becomes a simple matter to put them on government assistance (if they aren’t already) and bump their allowance enough to enable them to buy their meat at the supermarket like everybody else.

The supposed need to hunt has now been removed once and for all. Now, not only have the awful guns no one needed to hunt been eliminated, the so-called “good guns” are unnecessary as well. Once you put need into the equation, you are one government-issued EBT card away from no longer needing to hunt. There’ll be no tasty venison for you, but you won’t starve. And once you no longer need to hunt, you won’t need any of those guns at all, Elmer.

Turn Out The Lights

Turn Out The Lights

The party’s over…at least for me and the Sig Sauer P320RX Compact. I don’t typically do gun review stuff here, but I think this is worth sharing. I bought this gun about six months ago, looking to make the switch not just from iron sights to a red dot, but from a relatively low-capacity pistol to one with more ammunition on board.

 

 

After about a month of every day carry, I picked up the gun one morning and the red dot simply would not come on. Sig utilizes a technology they call MOTAC, which shuts down the reticle after two minutes of inactivity in order to preserve the battery. Then when the sight senses motion, the dot immediately reactivates. Of course, if you are carrying the pistol on your person for 10-12 hours per day (or more), the reticle remains on constantly, consuming power from the battery. I replaced the battery with a fresh one, and the sight came back to life with no problems. As I continued to carry and shoot the gun, I was finding that the dot was dying on me about once per month.

 

In a fantastic IWB holster from JM Custom Kydex

 

This bothered me, because it seemed a bit too frequent for a carry pistol, and I wanted more information on battery life. This is obviously a critical consideration in a carry pistol, since you need to be 100% comfortable that the gun will function in the event that it is needed in a defensive situation. And although the P320RX does have backup iron sights…well, I already had an iron-sighted carry gun, and I didn’t buy a gun with an optic in order to keep shooting with irons. Since I still really didn’t have a good feel for what sort of battery life I should expect, I did not have the confidence I thought I should. So when I went to the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, I sought out a representative of Sig Sauer who was knowledgeable on the Romeo 1 red dot, and asked him what his recommendation was regarding battery life in a daily carry gun.

Unfortunately, his answer didn’t inspire the confidence I was seeking. When I explained my concerns to him, and asked for a recommended battery change interval, he advised that for a daily carry gun the battery should be changed every 2-3 weeks. That’s 26 batteries per year based on the bi-weekly replacement schedule, and while the 1632 battery that the Romeo 1 uses isn’t terribly expensive if bought in bulk, I just don’t think I want to fool with that.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the gun itself, and although I was still getting used to shooting an optic-sighted pistol, I did like having the dot. If you don’t mind keeping track of bi-weekly battery changes, maybe this won’t be an issue for you. But for me…for now…I have to conclude that the Sig Sauer P320RX and its Romeo 1 optic are too high maintenance, and not quite ready for primetime. Maybe someday Sig will come out with an improved version with better battery life; maybe someday I’ll buy a replacement slide with iron sights and use that. I will probably keep shooting the gun in USPSA Carry Optics for the rest of this season, but as a concealed carry gun, I don’t think it works for me right now. Time to turn out the lights…

The Last American

The Last American

It isn’t me. It isn’t you. The last American hasn’t been born yet.

Down? Perhaps. But never out.

It is certainly easy to get down on the future of the nation known as the United States of America, and there is plenty to worry about. We live in a time of weaponized government agencies and regulators, seemingly more interested in putting citizens in their place…underneath the boot of the ruling class…than fulfilling their Constitutional duty to preserve the rights and freedoms of those citizens. Political opponents use the machinery of a massive federal government to investigate each other and leverage the justice system as a tool of overthrow to subvert the will of the people.

I have only been alive for 55 years…a blink in the timeline of the United States…and yet in my lifetime I have seen Americans gradually but steadily turned from citizens into subjects. Serfs destined to do no more than to pay taxes in service of the Deep State, with no apparent way out. There seems to be no realistic way to turn the tide back towards the free nation that the Founders envisioned and made real.

It was a Great Experiment, the greatest the world had ever seen. And it still is, even as it declines. You see, America was founded as the first nation in history which was constituted on an idea that men could…and should…rule themselves. An idea that men could…and should…live free, as God intended. An idea that men could…and should…form consensual governments to preserve those freedoms.

An idea.

But from this, we should take heart. Because no matter how dark things may appear, the truth is that America has always existed. Long before 1781, there was an America. Since the beginning of the human race, there has been an America. Heck, ten thousand years ago, there was a caveman squatting by the fire with the idea, “Why do we always have to do whatever Og says?” That was an American. Back in the 70’s, there was an inmate in a Soviet gulag with the idea, “This is not how it’s supposed to be.” That was an American. Right now, there is a prisoner in a North Korean labor camp who knows…knows…with every fiber of his being, that he is meant to be free. That’s an American.

An American is anyone who believes in the idea that this nation was built upon. They don’t even have to live within our borders, as long as they hold that idea. Live that idea. Love that idea.

I try to remember this whenever I become discouraged. When the news of the day makes me fear for my country, I draw strength from the reality that America can never die. Never. Because America is not a place…it is an idea. And as long as there is a single individual on this planet who holds to the idea of America…then America lives on.

We may be down, but we are not out. Throughout the course of human history, there has always been at least one individual clinging to an idea of liberty. There has always been…and always will be…someone who holds to an idea that one man was not meant to bow to another. There will always be one more individual who believes in that idea, and that one individual, that last individual…that last American…has not been born yet.

You Can All Go To…

You Can All Go To…

“You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.” – Davy Crockett

Although I try to keep a lid on the salty language in this column, sometimes it is really tempting. As a law abiding gun owner, it sure has been difficult lately not to give some people some directions to a…much warmer location. Especially since the gun controllers have been feeling their oats following the Parkland school shooting, and the hundred-or-so million of us who have done nothing wrong have been feeling the heat.

It is really easy to get discouraged with the relentless attack on one-third of the American population and the accusations of complicity in the murder of children. The mass media amplification of the minority voice which favors massive control can certainly make us feel isolated and alone in our support of the 2nd Amendment.

But it is a false narrative, and I can prove it to you. Come see me…and over 80,000 kindred spirits…at the 147th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas, Texas.  If you are a law-abiding gun owner who understands and values the right to keep and bear arms as enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, you owe it to yourself to join us in Dallas the first weekend in May.

While Michael Bloomberg, George Clooney, and other elitists organized and funded the so-called March For Our Lives (a protest against civil rights), the NRAAM is a display of true grassroots. How many would have attended the March For Our Lives if they had had to pay their own way? We’ll never know. But in one month we will see over 80,000 individuals celebrate liberty in Dallas, and they’ll do it on their own dime.

The stakes could not be higher. The forces which wish to eradicate gun rights in this country are feeling brave right now. The mask is off, and they feel safe in their contempt for us and our liberty. But they are wrong. We are the good guys (and gals). We are going to gather in Dallas and show them who we are.

We are people who say “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me.” We recognize the responsibility that goes hand-in-hand with the exercise our right to keep and bear arms, and are exceedingly law abiding and safe gun owners. We do not have blood on our hands. No matter how the antis try to portray us, we are not the problem.

So if the constant stream of vilification from the anti-gun rights has you down, I can think of no better cure than to gather with the good people of the National Rifle Association in Dallas. Let the haters go…well, you know. I am going to Texas. Hope to see you there.

What Do You Fear?

What Do You Fear?

This one is pointed directly at school boards, superintendents, and other leaders who oppose allowing teachers to go armed to defend their students. If you’re in this category, I’m talking to you.

What do you fear? What, exactly, makes you so afraid to allow otherwise sane, competent adults to carry a concealed defensive firearm inside your schools?

Don’t worry about answering, though. I already know the answer…stop me if I’m wrong.

You fear taking responsibility, both financially and personally. You fear being sued, and you fear being blamed. You fear this more than you fear a school full of dead children, and this makes you a coward.

You’ve done the math in your head. Your fear is that when a school shooting breaks out, a teacher with a gun will “make it worse.” You are afraid that the teacher might miss and hit a kid, even if the teacher manages to stop the killer in the process. You fear the lawsuits and the finger pointing that will follow, even if the teacher stops the massacre, because there was a regrettable accident in the process. The killing might have been stopped quickly, with a relatively low casualty count, but you fear that accident. You fear being blamed for it, because you made the decision.

You actually fear that possibility more than you fear the killer who enters your school and murders unopposed for minutes…long minutes…until someone else eventually arrives to stop him. Make no mistake, the body count will be much higher…we know from experience how this scenario plays out. But you actually fear this much less. You probably won’t get sued, at least not successfully. After all, your school was a “gun free zone,” with totally awesome lockdown procedures. Even though there are many more dead children, you’ll get to make a tearful speech to the TV cameras, and you’ll be a sympathetic figure. There will be hashtags, thoughts, and prayers for the terrible tragedy that you had nothing to do with. There will be more blood, but at least you aren’t responsible.

You are willing to gamble with the lives of children, hoping against hope that “it won’t happen here”…because you fear making the hard call and taking responsibility for it. You call yourself a leader? I call you a coward.

Not Shinola

Not Shinola

In the days since the Parkland, Florida school shooting, a lot of people have been talking about allowing teachers to arm themselves to defend against such an attack. Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of that talking is coming from people who…as the saying goes…do not know [ahem] poop from Shinola.
 
Such an example can be found in this article, which suggests that 132 hours of training is somehow insufficient for a teacher to carry a concealed firearm in the workplace. Give me a break.
Florida House bill sponsor Rep. Jose Oliva, center, (R- Hialeah), watches the vote board at the Florida Capital in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday March 7, 2018. The Florida House has passed a school safety bill that includes new restrictions on rifle sales and a program to arm some teachers. The House voted 67-50 Wednesday on a bill that's a response to the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school that killed 17 people. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo
 
People who think that some sort of “extensive” training is necessary for a teacher to defend against a school shooter frankly are either ignorant on the subject, or they are liars with an agenda. The truth is that anyone who possesses basic competency with a concealed carry pistol can carry safely in a school, and can defend against a school shooter. Period. Full stop.
 
First of all, none of these maniacs is looking for a gunfight. If they were, they’d go hit a police station or a Friends of NRA dinner. Historically, every single time one of these losers run up against any armed resistance, they either flee, surrender, or commit suicide. The only exception to this rule are attacks by self-proclaimed jihadis, which we thankfully have yet to see at a school. (Though we will, eventually.)
 
Second, no one is asking armed teachers to form a SWAT stack and head down the hallways to seek and destroy the attacker. Some might decide to go on offense, and we should thank God that such heroes exist. That is the type of action necessary to stop an attack once it has started. But all a teacher needs to be able to do is to secure their classroom as well as possible, get the best cover they can, and point the gun at the door. Bad guy comes through door…shoot bad guy. Kids saved.
 
In police circles, a common term for a door is “the fatal funnel.” Do you know why that is? That’s because it is the easiest place to get yourself shot while moving through a building. If somebody can hit a door, they can hit you, if you hang out there too long. Cops know this, and treat doors very carefully so that  they don’t make themselves an easy target. Unless your school shooter knows and utilizes proper technique for entering a room through the “fatal funnel,” guess what that makes him? You guessed it…an easy target for the armed teacher waiting inside.
Image result for fatal funnel swat
There’s a reason teams train so much on how to enter a room. Even done correctly, it’s very high risk.
 
Don’t get me wrong. More training is great. But while there is no such thing as “too much,” there is also such a thing as “enough,” and most of the people making proposals like this don’t know the difference. Let’s just say that it definitely is not Shinola.
I Am Innocent

I Am Innocent

I am a law abiding citizen, and I own an AR-15.

I am not a murderer, rapist, thief, or drug dealer.

I am a military veteran, a former police officer, and a former SWAT officer.

I have been through several professional firearms training classes, and am a certified firearms instructor myself.

I have passed multiple background checks for firearms purchases and for concealed carry permitting. My state even automatically runs me through a NICS background check every 28 days, simply because I have a concealed carry permit. As such, I am background checked a minimum of 12 times per year.

In the 15 years I have had one, I have never had my concealed carry license suspended or revoked.

I have never intentionally harmed another peaceable human being, nor will I.

Despite all of this, there are those who would have me turn in my AR-15.  They would do this because another, with a heart full of hate, used a similar rifle to murder. I have harmed no one, and my rifle has never drawn blood. But they would strip me of my liberty to own that rifle.

To deny me the exercise of a civil right for the crimes of another is unjust. The thought of it should be as repulsive as suggesting that we incarcerate all members of a group, simply because some in that group commit violent crime. It would certainly reduce violent crime, but at the cost of the liberty of the innocent.

I am one of about ten million AR-15 owners in this country, and I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

I am innocent.

 

Images courtesy of Oleg Volk.

You’ll Get Nothing And Like It!

You’ll Get Nothing And Like It!

Remember the scene in the movie Caddyshack where Judge Smails and his spoiled brat nephew, Spaulding stop for a snack break during a round of golf?

I can’t help but be reminded of all the “no-compromise” types who helped torpedo national reciprocity a couple of months ago, because it contained language to improve the accuracy of NICS background checks. (I’m looking at you, Congressman Thomas Massie.)

All I can hear is Spaulding’s whiny voice saying, “I want national reciprocity…no, I want national constitutional carry. I want a repeal of the NFA. I want a repeal of the ’68 GCA…” And then the Judge shouting, “You’ll get nothing and like it!”

That’s what I am afraid we gun owners are going to be faced with here in very short order. Following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we are once again combating a flood of useless gun control proposals, and the squishy GOP trying to find something they can pass to appease the antis (who cannot actually be appeased). One proposal which is gaining traction is…you guessed it…passing the “Fix NICS” bill which is currently in the Senate. This is essentially the same language which was attached to National Reciprocity, but do you think we’re going to see any reciprocity being advanced now?

Hindsight may be 20/20, but think about how things might have turned out if we had gotten behind H.R. 38 and ignored the rants of Congressman Spaulding…er, Massie…and the like. Maybe we could have gotten something to actually advance gun rights for a change. All it would have cost us is to accept proper enforcement of the law…even if we don’t like the law very much…and we might be enjoying some tasty reciprocity right now.

Instead, we in the gun community tore ourselves up with infighting because some weren’t satisfied with the something we were offered. Now, we’ll actually be lucky if we get nothing. How do you like that?

It Ain’t Me, Babe

It Ain’t Me, Babe

Any of the young men pictured in this article could be me…
 
I entered high school in 1977. Before I graduated in 1981 I had been taught rifle marksmanship; we pushed back the desks, set up traps, and actually shot 4-position 10-meter air rifle *in the classroom*. I received the Tennessee Hunter’s Education course as part of the curriculum in JROTC; as part of that we went to the range and shot rifles, muzzleloaders, shotguns, and archery. Nobody shot up my high school.
 
I entered college in the fall of 1981. Before graduating in 1985 I was taught the operation and maintenance of the M16A1 and the M60 machine gun…and how to use them in the field. Never mind my schooling in the employment of the hand grenade, the Claymore mine and construction of field-expedient booby traps. Nobody shot up my university.
 
 
And even before any of this took place, I had been educated in the use of firearms by my father, at home. I owned guns. I used guns. When people ask me the first time I ever shot a gun, I truthfully tell them that I have no memory of it. I have had access to guns ALL MY LIFE. I have never attacked anyone, anywhere, ever.
 
Some will say, “But Dave, you’re different. Not everyone grew up like that.” And on a certain level, they’d be right. The difference between then and now is not the guns, it’s the people, and it’s the times. I…and people like me…are not the problem. The problems are multiple, and complex, and societal, and many are outlined in the linked article. You really ought to read it.
 
But the problem is not the existence, presence, or availability of guns. They have been widely available in this country since the founding, and no matter what law is passed, they always will be…at least to those unconcerned with breaking the law. To suggest we “just get rid of all the guns” is just as feasible as suggesting “just get rid of all the heroin.” While it is tempting to reach for a simple solution to a complex problem, it is also folly.
 
New laws and regulations which would restrict my access to firearms will protect no one. New laws and regulations which would restrict access to firearms by the over 100 MILLION gun owners who have never harmed anyone will…obviously…protect no one. So let’s drop the foolish notion that gun control will fix any of this. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s A Major Award!

It’s A Major Award!

In case you missed it, the National Association for Gun Rights plans to recognize Congressman Thomas Massie for being a champion for gun rights. In his most recent act as such a champion for gun rights, the Congressman chose to vote against H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

No…you did not misread that. To show his support for your gun rights, Congressman Thomas Massie voted against national concealed carry reciprocity. Now, he’ll tell you he supports “reciprocity,” but he never connects that word with “national.” This is because his support is only for the bill he introduced, H.R. 2909, which enforces reciprocity only in the District of Columbia…where he works.  He also says that he opposed H.R. 38 because of the “Fix NICS” language which was added to it. But ask him if he’d support H.R. 38 without that language, and all you’ll get is silence.

Never co-sponsored HR 38, even months before it was amended to include NICS.

No matter how he tries to spin it…he voted against my right to carry my concealed firearm when I drive through Illinois. And yours.

He voted against my right to carry a concealed firearm when traveling to Massachusetts, or New York, or Chicago for work. And yours.

He voted against my right to carry my concealed firearm into New Jersey to attend a martial arts seminar.  Without the national reciprocity which Massie opposes, New Jersey can continue to jail people like Shaneen Allen or Donna Gracy. Or me. Or you.

For this, the NAGR will present him with their “.50 Cal Award.” Mind you, this is an organization whose most notable achievement in the advancement of national gun rights is that they have never actually advanced national gun rights in any meaningful way. I cannot think of a single piece of significant national pro-gun legislation which NAGR has helped pass. If there’s something they’ve done to increase my gun freedoms, I am unaware of it.

So I guess it is 1984 after all. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. And a vote against more gun liberty gets you a major award from a national gun rights group which doesn’t advance national gun rights.

Personally, I’d prefer the leg lamp.

 

As a postscript, I will tell you that the gun shop which is hosting this award ceremony is in my local area (Triggers in Florence, Kentucky), and if I can get free on Thursday, I’ll go check it out. If I do, it will be the last time I ever set foot in that particular store. Any gun shop which would celebrate this will never get another dime of mine.

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