Yih-Chau Chang – Modern American Exceptionalism And The 2nd Amendment

 

The following article provided by permission of the author.

Yih-Chau Chang

Oakland Gun Rights Examiner

“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

 

 Responsible Citizens of California, South Bay Open Carry

 

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.

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Gun Confessions of Musician and Writer Hugh Izzey

Finding My 2nd Amendment Voice

Why Can’t I Be Quiet?

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.desert eagle

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.dylan-klebold

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!!!).

Hugh Izzey

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).

Www.HughIzzey.com
http://www.hughizzey.com/look-hughs-talking-n.o.w.–in-other-words–1.html

Editors note: One of the goals of this movement is to find and inspire people like Hugh. Will be looking for contributors to share their stories as well. We are making history.

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Product Review: Copperbasin Takedown Backpack

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 Backpackblackmanwithagun.com Merrell Ligons

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.

Merrell Ligons for blackmanwithagun.com

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.

 

http://www.copperbasingear.com/ruger-1022-takedown-pack.php

Merrell Ligons
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.

 

 

Editors note:

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.

 

 

Fixed Blade EDC – EKT Companion

Lee Dingle

 

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.
20160305_121111

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#/

Specifications
Overall length: 6”
Handle length: 3-1/8”
Tip to scales: 2-7/8”
Cutting edge: 2-3/4”
Blade height: ¾”
Blade stock thickness: 1/8”
Blade steel: S35VN
Overall handle thickness: 0.56”
HRc: 57-58

20160305_121205The 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.

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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.

20151210_171911The 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.20151027_160353

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.

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Round in the Chamber?

How many of you conceal carry a semi-automatic handgun, or have friends or family members that do? After knowing this, have you ever wondered their stand point of why they carry, or the amount of training they had with the firearm? Now a question with a twist; how many of you keep a round in the chamber or prefer to charge your firearm when the time is needed? This was a conversation a fellow soldier and I had a few weeks ago; it was interesting but I was in total awe.

9mm

 A few weeks ago I was honored to be a participant in the Marksmanship Master Training Course held at Ft. Benning, Georgia. This is a course put together by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit to get everyone in the military who has anything to do with marksmanship instruction to be on one accord instead of putting out bad info, and also to debunk some myths all relating to shooting. One day while on break a question was asked to me from SFC Scarborough of Ft. Hood. He asked “When you conceal carry,do you keep one in the chamber or not?

Automatically, I knew this would be a good conversation (or a debate with others listening in on our words). My response was, “Always carry one in the chamber, not having one in does not compute with me.” My reason for saying this is easy, that is how I train. SFC Scarborough responded by stating that he does not feel safe with a round in the chamber, but that is how he trains. Now my thoughts are really trying to make sense of this, but then again, training prepares you for a serious encounter… right? Again my thoughts lead me to multiple past experiences in relation to a firearm as well as mentally putting myself in a position where manually I have to put a round in the chamber under a situation of stress and a deadly threat. Even walking the streets of Baghdad, Iraq we kept one in the chamber. There were a number of people who joined in the conversation and the mix of what they do or what is “correct” was evenly divided. The one point being made when was when the firearm is pulled out is that enough time to charge the handgun putting a round in the chamber in which I did not agree with. My response was more scientific than reason, but stating something I have seen and experienced firsthand.

Adrenaline and stress cause people to react in different ways, but now add in a complex real world situation where you have to pull out your firearm and pull the trigger. This same conversation started by me with a select number of buddies with whom I normally hang with. Their conversation took a different spin. The mindset was more aggressive and in aggreance with my initial response. In the event there is a reason where the firearm has to be engaged for your safety, I would prefer to be in a situation where my firearm is ready to fire, and my focus is more on the situation of changing the behavior of the threat versus having to get my firearm in a state of readiness. Time and space are your friend when a threat presents itself, so isn’t performing fewer steps with a concealed firearm better under a stressful situation? In my opinion the safe factor is to train with your firearm more than twice a year, but carry as you train. My tip is to keep one in the chamber.

This was a friendly conversation between two Soldiers sharing a common interest. From past training events that I was a part of, it was proven that a person can run at you from twenty-one feet and grab you or the firearm before you pull the trigger. A thought might sound good until you put it through a test and see if it works. If not it is time to go back to the drawing board.

How Shooting Became The New Golf

Gregory Andrews

 

About 10 years ago I moved from Northern Michigan to Central Florida. In Michigan we savor the late spring, summer and fall because that is the only time of year you can get out your golf clubs and hit the links. In the winter we watch the PGA TOUR on TV and learn all about erectile dysfunction medicines and investments strategies. Seriously, if you watch Golf on TV, those are the only commercials. While snow falls outside we read articles on how not to shank the ball and the new gear all available with the hope of shaving a few strokes off our game.

golfing vs shooting

All of that changed when I moved to Florida. My first thought was that I’d golf here all the time. It never snows here, but as it turns out it’s hot in Florida and humid too. When it’s not hot and humid, it’s either night time or raining. In the winter months it’s also 5 times more expensive to play. I still love Golf but playing is a lot harder than it used to be. I play more golf when I go home to visit family than I do living in Florida. One reason is that I have kids. The idea of leaving my wife at home with two small children while Dad lives it up for 18 holes just doesn’t seem fair. Dad Guilt! Another reason is that I don’t seem to be good at it any more. I’ve gotten old, my eyes are not as good, I’ve put on weight, my joints and flexibility are diminished and the whole endeavor is more work now than play. On the occasional outing I still manage enjoy myself, focus more on the positive rather than the negative but it’s just not the same. Usually by the middle of the round I’m looking forward to the girl in the tight shirt driving the beer cart more than anything.

Still, I needed an outlet for my spare time and extra money, and that is when chance, opportunity and desire conspired to make me the new owner of a gun. To be fair I had already owned a pump action 12 gauge. It was something I purchased after a rash of burglaries in my neighborhood. However, I never really got comfortable with it. It makes a nice recognizable sound that says SHTF / GTFO. It did the job until an opportunity to buy a beloved Icon of the 9mm family, seen in practically every movie came along. I was finally at a point in my life where I could buy a gun I’ve seen thousands of times, the Beretta 92 or in my case an M9A1. I’m not going to go into if that was a good choice or not, but I wanted it and I figured if the Army could teach people how to use it then I could learn too.Beretta M9A1

I couldn’t just own the handgun. So I got a nice range bag. And you need earmuffs, and eye protection so I got those things too. And then you need tools, brushes, patches & CLP to clean your guns. You need Ammo, and a safe place to keep all that stuff organized. My first trip to the range I looked like a walking Beretta billboard but I didn’t care. You’ve all seen that guy right? We all shake our head and think, “Oh boy, I hope this guy doesn’t get me killed”, more money than sense! I’ve been drinking the Beretta Kool-Aid from a young age so I didn’t care. My first brush with Beretta was my Grandfathers Beretta semi-auto 12 gauge Shotgun. My grandfather was the guy at the local Trap shoot that would simply wait for the other guy to miss before taking home the prize. He was that good. It’s hard to shake that brand loyalty when it’s tied to a beloved family member, and if it was good enough for Grandpa it’s good enough for me!

So here is where my Golf / Shooting parallel came into play. Just as my golf clubs needed a bag, and golf balls, and tees, and a golf glove and all the other junk, so does the shooting sports. For me it was almost an even trade in terms of expense. A good set of clubs will set you back $1000 or so, add in the bag and all the rest and you can easily add in another $1000 depending on if you buy pro jock wedges and putters, and leather staff bag. Not to mention Country Club memberships, bag storage, club cleaning and the list goes on. Gun = Clubs, Balls = Ammo, Range fee = Green Fees and so on. And best of all, going to the range takes considerably less time than 18 holes of golf.

happy golfer

I solved the dad guilt puzzle. I justified the use of my time and money as not only fun, but less time consuming than golf with the added benefit of learning to protect my family. These days I regularly slaughter paper targets at varying distances. It took me a while to get comfortable. I’d ask guys on the line for help, ask my friends and neighbors who were ex military, cops or prison guards for tips and tricks. I spent a lot of time reading and asking questions online. It was the exact same routine with golf. Why do I slice the ball? Why are my shots going low and to the left? Turns out there are some basic fundamentals that cause them both, but you need to be able to practice to master them. There is more to protecting your home and family than punching holes in paper, and I’m learning more as I go along. I think I’ll always be learning, practicing, and working on my skills. But, I have a good foundation, good tools and a familiarity I didn’t have 3 years ago. I’m safe and responsible and happy.

I have the Shooting bug. I’ve been out shooting clays; even got me an AR before someone decided it was illegal for me to buy one. Sound familiar? Yeah, I’m hooked!

I do miss the girl on the beer cart with the tight shirt though.

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