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.

 

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Ray Price – CZ-USA Scorpion EVO: My New Favorite PDW

I have always enjoyed CZ-USA firearms. In the past I had two pistols and my dad had many throughout the years. Through trading, we both had parted with our CZ-USA firearms, but we have had overall great experiences with them. Then I found out about a fairly new firearm from CZ-USA: the CZ-USA Scorpion EVO. Ever since hearing about this firearm I knew I wanted one and since owning one for about a year now, I can say that I won’t be parting with this firearm.

The CZ-USA Scorpion EVO was introduced to the American marketplace as a pistol but the original design was a sub machine gun. It is chambered in 9mm. The CZ-USA Scorpion EVO pistol is a light weight pistol, made with several polymer features to reduce weight. The overall length is 16 inches and it came with two 20 round magazines, but you can buy 30 round magazines. The MSRP of the CZ-USA Scorpion EVO pistol is $849 but I was able to acquire mine for a little less than that. I’m not going to go into all the features and the specifications of the pistol as I want to give you my impressions and experience with it.CZ Scorpions

Before taking the firearm out to the range, I attached a Sig Sauer red dot sight, buffer tube and Shockwave Technologies’ stabilizing pistol blade to add stability making firing the firearm easier. The blade rests on your forearm as you operate the firearm. I shot the firearm from 15 yards to 50 yards and it was a joy to shoot. Out to 15 yards I was shooting a steel tree target and I was ringing the target. Even out to 50 yards, the pistol still performed great. With the red dot, the pistol is very accurate. Not taking anything away from the iron sights as they are very good and the sight radius can be adjusted. I shot my father’s CZ-USA Scorpion EVO at 20 yards with just the iron sights and I was very accurate and able to acquire the target fast. The firearm did not have any failures since I have owned it. I have put at least 500 rounds through it.

I do want to mention that this firearm would be an excellent short barrel rifle. My father loved my CZ-USA Scorpion EVO pistol so much he brought one himself and was able to turn the pistol into a short barrel rifle by going through the proper ATF registration. If you are interested in this firearm, you will enjoy it. I shot different types of 9mm ammo and it functioned flawlessly through the firearm. Because of the light weight versatility, light recoil, and ability to accessorize it, the CZ-USA Scorpion EVO is my home defense pistol. This is a great firearm for close quarters. Leave a comment if you have any questions about the firearm

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

Ray Price: For My Concealed Carry Sisters

Recently my sister approached me and asked me what I thought about her getting her concealed carry permit. Naturally I told her it was a great idea and that she was among many people especially woman obtaining their permit recently. She then asked me the following questions as it pertains to a woman who wants to conceal carry.

“What would be advice they you would offer a woman who was interested in carrying a handgun for self defense?” I would first ask her why she has become interested in carrying a firearm? I would then want to know what experiences she has had with firearms and any training she has had. I would explain to her or anyone who was interested in carrying a handgun that they look into educating themselves on the laws and seek proper training.

“What firearm would you advise a woman to buy for conceal carry?” There are many options for conceal carry. It depends on her experience and what she feels comfortable with. I would advise any woman interested in owning a handgun to journey to their local firearms store and ask to handle the most popular handguns for conceal carry.

“What carry options are available for women?” The same carry options that men have available to them, women have, and more. There are manufacturers making clothing and holsters specifically for women to conceal carry. Conceal carry is about how well you can hide your firearm and it comes down to the holster and clothing; that goes for anyone.

“Would you consider carrying in a purse?” Well…I carry to work with me everyday a messenger bag. My dress attire for work is dress pants and a dress shirt tucked into my pants. When the weather is nice enough without having to wear a jacket, I sometimes off the body carry and place my handgun in a pocket in my bag easily accessible to me. I think there will be times that a woman will have to carry their handgun in a purse, but she should think this method of carry out to be able to quickly access her firearm when needed and also be mindful where she keeps her purse. If she doesn’t have her purse, then she doesn’t have her firearm. I do not like off the body carry but sometimes you might have too depending on the situation. Research other carry options to carry on the body if possible.

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

Brief Take on the Ruger Precision Rifle

I always wanted a rifle chambered in 308 Win. for long distance shooting up to 800 yards. Most precision rifles I looked at were out of my budget making them unattainable. And then if I were to buy a high end precision rifle, I would have to purchase high quality accessories to get the most out of the rifle. But then a couple months ago I heard about a fairly new bolt action rifle Ruger had manufacturer for precision shooting that was budget friendly.

The rifle I am referring to is the Ruger Precision Rifle. Pretty straightforward name. So I did my research and immediately there were quite a few features that caught my attention. First, the chassis is of an AR platform, something I’m very familiar with because I own two myself.ruger rpr picture

Second, it has a folding and adjustable stock. Third, is the price. Again rifles that are made for precision long range shooting are expensive. MSRP for this rifle on Ruger’s website is $1399 and I got my rifle at my local firearms store for a little under $1000. So how does this it shoot? I was only able to shoot up to 400 yards because that is as far as I can at my local range. I shoot the rifle off of sandbags with no bipod and the rifle is fairly accurate.

I brought a Bushnell Legend Series scope for the rifle and the scope was a good fit for the rifle. I plan on buying a bipod and continuing to go out this summer to get proficient with this rifle. I do not have many rounds through the rifle so I will not give an in depth review, but from the two hundred rounds down range so far, I am very pleased with the rifle’s accuracy and I believe I just scratched the surface with this rifle’s accuracy and long range effectiveness.

I highly recommend this rifle for anyone looking into precision shooting. If you are on the fence, or if you always wanted to get a rifle to shoot at long range distances, this rifle will certainly do that. I’m not going to get into the specifications on the rifle; you can look for that on Ruger’s website. I had to wait a month before I could acquire mine because these rifles are rare like seeing a unicorn, but they are worth the wait. This was a great buy and I am happy with my purchase. I’m glad I added it to my collection. Feel free to leave comments or ask me any questions about it.

Ray Price

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

Tiffany G. Johnson, Esq. – Let’s Talk About Guns

BUT FIRST, CHECK YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS AT THE DOOR.

For most of my life, my only exposure to firearms was negative: friends and family members getting shot, robberies, home invasions, car-jackings, and all the carnage we see on the news every day. In my early twenties, a family tragedy made me HATE guns with every fiber of my being. But then I realized that I had never actually touched a gun, had never even seen one up close, and knew almost nothing about them. So, one day, out of the clear blue sky, I walked into Rangemaster in Memphis, Tennessee, and told the strangers at the counter that I was terrified of guns. Their response: “We’ll fix that.”

Thirteen years and scores of classes later, I am what you might call a convert. My introduction to “the gun world” has afforded me the opportunity to meet all kinds of people who I might never have otherwise encountered. And now I’ve got a somewhat unique perspective on guns: I’ve lived in both camps and heard arguments from people I trust and respect on both sides of the debate. On this issue I’m not an idealist. I’m a realist. And frankly, BOTH sides sometimes frustrate me. A lot. Both sides have some valid points, but both sides do and say dumb things that hurt their own causes. Both sides (excluding the crazies) are usually genuine and well-meaning, but neither side readily admits that about the other.

Then there’s me, often caught in the middle. It’s a lonely space at times, especially now that recent trends in the gun debate have driven such a gaping wedge between the opposing points of view. I certainly don’t fancy myself an expert on firearms or self-defense. That title is reserved for giants like my mentor at Rangemaster, Tom Givens. But, if you’re tired of the same old talking points from the same old faces, here’s (another) blog from a simple chick who just tries to keep an open mind. With any luck, maybe you’ll find a few useful nuggets of fresh perspective here from time to time. Hope you enjoy!

– tgj

Taken from Tiffany G. Johnson, Esq. blog  – FrontSitePress.com

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.
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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.

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The Right Fit

My experience in concealed carrying firearms has taught me that not one gun fits all. Just as we all don’t wear the same shoes, what I might like or carry might not be right for you. Below I provide tips on how to find the right firearm for concealed firearm for you.

 

1. Feel. One of the best ways to find a firearm for concealed carry is to actually handle the gun. Remember this will be the gun you train with and learn how to become a proficient marksman. How does it feel in your hand? Can you operate the controls such as the safety and rack the slide back? How does the trigger pull feel? I recommend visiting your local firearm store and ask to handle various firearms to get a feel for what you like.

 

2. Research. Start reading some trusted firearm magazine articles, search the Internet for gun reviews, and ask people about particular first hand experiences with firearms for concealed carry.

 

3.Holster. A great holster and belt will make it more comfortable to carry a firearm on your waist. Are holsters easily available for the particular firearm you are interested in? What type of holster do you plan on wearing (inside the pants, ankle holster, shoulder holster, etc.?)

 

4. Dress. Your dress will affect how you carry your firearm. You might have to redo or make alterations to your wardrobe in order to carry properly. Tighter clothes are harder to conceal and carry a firearm. Evaluate your wardrobe; there are multiple companies that manufacture lines of clothing for conceal carry.

From my personal experience and opinion, when considering what to buy — consider a compact or subcompact pistol that feels comfortable in your hand and you feel comfortable manipulating the functions. I would recommend some type of safety features. Ensure that you are easily able to dissemble and reassemble. I have fired and carried multiple handguns from a variety of manufacturers and many of them have great options for concealed carry.

For those of you that are concealed carry veterans I would love to know what your first firearm you purchased was and for any new comers feel free to ask any questions.

Rule 2 + Rule 4 = Rule 6?

From contributing blogger – JJ Pewers

http://jjpewers.blogspot.com

Rule Two – the obvious rule

When discussing the firearm safety rules, one of the most basic principles that we as gun owners follow is to:

2. Never point a firearm at something you don’t intend to kill or destroy.

This is only common sense. This is probably the first rule that we teach a new shooter. While we need all of the rules to be completely safe, not pointing a firearm at someone is the foundation of all others. It’s the difference between a safe trip to plink tin cans and an unfortunate trip to the hospital.

Rule Four – where does that bullet go?

Rule Four can be a bit more ambiguous:

4. Know your target and what’s beyond it (and what’s around you)

This is much less a hard-and-fast rule, as it is a judgement call. We try to create the safest environment possible to enjoy the shooting sports. We have firing lines to keep people behind our 180º focus. We shoot into a hill and not over a ridge when out plinking. Shooting ranges have angled walls created from high tech bullet-catching material. We try to create a setting where everything we don’t care about stays down-range, and everything we do care about stays up-range.

That brings me to something I discovered not long ago. I was breaking either Rule Two, or I was breaking Rule Four, or perhaps it was some combination of both!

Rule Six = Rule 2 + Rule 4

6. When you are not at the range, add Rules 2 and 4 together!

At night, I unlock my firearm and place it on the dresser. I don’t have small children to be concerned with micro-humans accessing the gun while we sleep. The problem I realized is that if I something does go bump in the night, and my wife or I were to grab for the firearm, it is pointed right at the family we are intending to protect! Depending on the angle, down-range could include parts of three rooms and the landing where I expect my children to be.

We moved the firearm to be pointed across the stairway, where it never enters any of our living spaces, and has to travel through at least six sheets of drywall or more to exit our house.

Another violation of Rule Six I noticed one night when I sat down to dinner, after bringing in a flank steak off of the charcoal grill and placing it on the table. I will pocket carry in the summer from time to time. I have cargo-style shorts and I have dressier shorts with smaller pockets. When I sat down at the table in the dress shorts, I was pointing my firearm directly at my son’s abdomen! I hadn’t consciously realized that in the cargo shorts, I always slide the gun and holster down the side of my leg to point at the ground when I sit. At that moment, I excused myself from the table, and stored my carry piece away in a safe place.

Rule Six and YOU!

How do you find that Rule Six applies to you and your home? Are there people down-range from your storage location? When you reload your firearm and rack that first round in, are there people directly downstairs from you? Does your holster carry method flag your friends and family?
 
Stay safe, and have fun shooting, Young Americans!
JJ Pewers
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