I really wanted to present you a Labor Day writing this week, or rather an automated non labor future writing (teaser for next week???), but I really can’t pass (pun intended) on the Kaep situation. You see, I am a Marine, and it seems that in my lifetime people have completely lost touch with what freedom is. If you are one of the ones calling for some type of discipline of Colin Kaepernick from the league or the team, you should check yourself, seriously, you either never knew or no longer understand what living in a free world is. Freedom allows for people to do and say things you don’t like. Get it through your brain housing group, ie your head. You don’t have the power to make people live as you wish. Moreover, quit trying to speak for me, a veteran. We know the sacrifices that we have made, we know why we have made those sacrifices. I wish you would be this outspoken when it comes to taking care of us once we are no longer in active service. I appreciate that you want to honor our sacrifice, but really, it is only a song, and it is the rights of individuals that are most cherished and protected. If you wonder how this ties in with guns or the 2nd Amendment, it is simply a matter that all rights are protected, if one falls or is curtailed than they all can be.
That said, if you are upset, I have a sneaking suspicion that it really isn’t about him sitting. I’m going to guess you are generally good person, and are more than likely to be upset about a multi-millionaire making a statement that others need to be doing more. If that is not the case, maybe you should take a hard look at yourself and your motives and beliefs, that’s a subject for another article. In this case a question that should be asked is what has Colin done to help out the impoverished and oppressed community? I don’t have that answer, and I hope he is out there, but it really is a question we should be asking ourselves. I have posed this question/challenge to dozens of my friends, which is, to quote Bernie I think, to be the change you want to see. Do you really trust an inept (at best) or corrupt (at worst) government to change things? A government that has had 50 years fighting the war on poverty with nothing to show for all its efforts?
Sorry I digress a bit, the challenge is for you to find one or more families that need your help. A buddy of mine is friends with a couple with multiple kids, the mother is struggling in low wage work, and she misses time because of the children, and the father (not married) can’t find work. I am sure many of you have seen this scenario. These people are good people, but they are stuck in continual assistance. My friend is adamant that they need increased assistance, but I asked my friend what he is doing to help them, personally. I believe and explained to him that the most beneficial thing he could do would be to babysit for them while they spend time at the library, learning, developing new skills, with the possibility of starting something of their own. Take a second to think this through with me if we are able to give four hours a week to a single mother, father, or couple, what that the time adds up to over the course of a year. Four hours a week translates into 208 hours a year. In that amount of time a person should be able to learn about something of interest to them, put in some practice time and actually start a business. Also I should note, I understand that his stance was more to do with the system being oppressive, I don’t have the influence or power to change the whole system, but if I can change the lives of one or two families, I think that it is my responsibility to help out.
I am not sure what others are thinking when they get upset at Mr. Kaepernick, I know that it didn’t disgust me or even upset me, but I did wonder what he has done personally to help change anyone’s future. I wonder what each of us have done, what each of us could and should do. We need to be involved in our community’s lives, actually down and personally helping, not just throwing money to an organization or government to waste. If each of us helps one family, it can be generational change for them and their children. My motto this year, and quite possibly for my foreseeable future is to give more than I receive from this world. I hope the same from each of you. Have a wonderful day, peace.
Not too long ago, I lived my life as you probably do today. I was a law-abiding citizen who went faithfully about his business as you probably do. I went to work every day, spent quality time with my family, regularly attended church services, and didn’t stick my nose into the affairs of other people.
I dutifully exercised my civic duties such as voting in every election, maintaining my home inside and out, and supporting the general affairs of the city of my birth. Further, I felt that I had the basic routine of ensuring my family’s safety covered: I owned a shotgun and had plenty of buckshot shells on-hand for home defense and maintained a state of continual vigilance.
Despite my best efforts of trying to be safe in an increasingly dangerous town, my world was suddenly and violently turned upside-down on one eventful night. As I was returning home one evening from a full day of work, I was approached by and robbed at gunpoint by two teenagers in my own backyard. My own garage had become a crime scene.
How To Get Robbed In Your Own Backyard
I suffered the indignity of having a gun shoved into my face while being relieved of a few paltry and essentially worthless material possessions – a booty worth less than a total of $50. After it was all “said and done,” I experienced a bruise to my ego that wouldn’t be fully felt until several days had since passed when family and friends would later blame me for being a victim of a violent crime.
It could have been much worse. I could have been shot or killed, which seems to be the case in Detroit armed robberies these days. To be totally honest, I had fully expected to be shot due to the fact that I had steadfastly and boldly refused to accompany my assailants at gunpoint to an ATM to retrieve more money and refused to chaperone them into my house so that they could present a threat to my family. Unless you have experienced a robbery for yourself, there is no true way you can truly appreciate the trespass I felt on that night. I made my peace with God and was resolved to be shot to death in my own backyard.
I am a father of four wonderful children. Although I have adequate life insurance, what kind of life would my kids have without me in their lives? I grew up without a father, who died when I was twelve years of age. My dad had adequate life insurance – I was able to go to college – but the void I experienced in my life has never been filled. I think of him at least once every day. I know what that experience feels like and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
I Procrastinated Away The Opportunity To Defend Myself
More than anything, I was maddened by the experience. Not only was I mad at the two thugs who robbed me, mad at the negligent parents of our city who have no clue of what their children do after dark, but I was even madder at myself. You see, by this point in time, the CCW laws in Michigan had been changed several years ago such that law-abiding citizens, such as myself, could have applied for and received the privilege of carrying a concealed pistol on their person.
Had I applied at that point in time circa 2001, I would have had a gun to defend myself in my time of need. The situational circumstances of my robbery were such that my awareness on that night would have given me enough time and space to react. One problem: I didn’t have a gun.
Never Assume That Bad Things Never Happen To Good People
Upon further analysis, my major problem prior to the robbery was that, despite the increasing number of violent crimes reported in the media, I had allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. After all, I was at that time married, had four children, had a nice home in a solid middle-class neighborhood, did not hang out in bars and clubs, did not associate with people of questionable character, and was often in bed by 10 p.m.
At that point in my life, although I had experienced several petty property crimes at our residence such as several car break-ins, one burglary of our home, the theft of our built-in outdoor barbecue grill, and a couple of car-eggings, I thought that I was reasonably safe, given my low-key lifestyle. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Nice neighborhoods, it seems, are open-air markets for criminals: deluded potential victims and a lack of firearms carried by area residents.
Instead of taking a clue from the daily crime reports, as detailed in the nightly newscasts, I had put off the idea of getting a CCW because I felt that “I didn’t need one today.” I let the everyday mundane tasks of going to work, attending family social events, getting haircuts, and shopping for clothes and other essential items, stand in the way of securing my most basic right: the right to be safe and secure in my own person. I had let the unimportant tasks and chores of day-to-day living keep me from doing that which was most important.
Getting Robbed Is Bad Enough – The Aftermath Is Worse
My experience was made even worse by the inconveniences I had to endure in the aftermath. For starters, I had to call a locksmith to replace all the locks in my home. I had to catch a city bus to a suburban car dealership to get a dummy key made to unlock the ignition on my car, so that it could be towed away and have all of its locks replaced, have new car keys programmed, and have the new keys cut.
Further, I had to replace all of my identification: driver’s license, work ID badge, work parking lot tag, AAA card, voter registration card, library card, report my credit cards as stolen, change my banking account information and get a new ATM card. I lost a few personal photos and now had the specter of being an identity theft victim. The $50 robbery actually cost me about another $1,000 in cash and lost time from work. I would have came out cheaper if I could have just written my assailants a $100 check for my wallet and keyring.
Big Secret: No One Cares If You Get Robbed, Raped, or Victimized
To add insult to injury, I had to explain to various people why I needed their assistance. Essentially, I had to tell them that I was a victim of an armed robbery in my own backyard. Invariably, everyone who I talked to found it within themselves to, in one way or another, blame me for the crime. Somehow, my victimization was my fault for not being aware of my environment in my backyard, not being inside when it was dark outside, and not having left Detroit for the suburbs several years ago.
Furthermore, I had to make several attempts to file a crime report with the respective detective for the case because he was on vacation and no one seemed to know when he would be back. I felt victimized all over again. Here I am – a crime victim – wanting to do whatever to help the police to find my assailants and they were making petty arguments between themselves over who gets to file the paperwork.
The Police Don’t Really Care About You Being Victimized
Never mind that the old neighborhood precinct was shuttered some time ago when the police department consolidated and that I had to travel a considerable distance to continually drop in and try to find the respective detective. On several occasions, I thought about not bothering to follow through with the process, however, I thought that my report might somehow make a difference for someone else. Maybe – just maybe – someone wouldn’t experience the trespass I experienced because my criminal report made someone in the police department do something about it: increased patrols of the area, interviews with known suspects, put together a criminal line-up, or something. Anything.
When I did finally catch up with the appropriate officer, he performed his role of investigator admirably but neither he nor his colleagues were around when I needed them most – at the robbery scene. I spent about an hour giving the detective all of the details of the crime I could recall and muster – several days after the occurrence, however small, in an effort that might reveal a pattern which might suggest known suspects to the officer. I guess I watch too much T.V.
Most crimes, if reported at all, are never solved. No one seems to care too much unless there is a dead body associated with the crime. Even then, it seems that unless the outrage from the community is great, nothing ever comes of it. Did the police ever solve the murder of that woman whose body was discovered downtown on the morning of the Super Bowl?
After I spilled my guts to the detective, I inquired about the process of receiving a CCW. His reaction was not pleasant. He didn’t do or say anything offensive, but he dismissed my desire to take more responsibility for more personal safety as “contributing to the problem.” Anyhow, he told me to go to police headquarters and that the info I sought could be found there.
First Step To Recovery Is Admitting That You Have A Problem
Many people, such as the person who I used to be, stand on the sidelines of the Second Amendment/gun ownership game until something adverse “happens” to them or to someone they know and value. Personally, I never had a “perceived” need for a handgun; I had previously viewed owning a gun as a novelty and perhaps a waste of hard earned cash. I had bought into all of the misleading anti-gun propaganda being spewed vociferously by various people and “special interests” with hidden agendas.
I never bothered to research the facts on gun ownership for myself. I left that task up to other people to educate me through the media via so-called factoid public service announcements, speeches from various governmental officials who enact “feel good” legislation that doesn’t work or conduct gun “buy-backs” that can’t be objectively evaluated for effectiveness, and barbershop talk with many people in my community who discuss their feelings about guns rather than the honest-to-God facts. My problem was that I allowed others to do my thinking for me on the subject of guns. I have since “in-sourced” that function back to the person I trust the most: me.
Everybody Knows Everything Until Something Happens
Well, something did “happen” to me – I was robbed in my own back yard while parking my car in my garage. Prior to this event, I did not see myself as a potential victim. I have always been able to “hold my own and handle my business” whenever I needed to do so throughout my life. The mere idea that someone would have the audacity to size me up as a victim never crossed my mind. A gun in the hands of violent predators, who have no qualms about using violence or the threat of violence to accomplish their evil purposes, changes the natural order of the food chain. I then knew that I needed to make a few changes.
Consequently, I then chose to get on the playing field. To my surprise, I have been warmly greeted by the pro gun rights side and have been consequently shunned by the “guns are evil” side. Making the decision to own a firearm makes you a gun nut in the eyes of many ignorant people.
The uninformed and unenlightened folk will treat you differently and are prone to making snide comments about you. They’ll either tell you that they don’t “need” a gun because of where they live or they’ll demonstrate some Kung Fu disarmament moves they learned from playing Tekken on their PlayStation2 video game console. They couldn’t possibly be more wrong. However, I’ll patiently wait until “something” happens to them and I’ll forget and forgive all of the ignorant things that they said and welcome them to the correct side.
A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step – Gun Ownership
Anyhow, after filing the crime report at my not-so-local neighborhood police station, I headed downtown to acquire a “Ten Day Purchase Permit.” The Gun Licensing Department ran my background to see if I had any official governmental prohibitions – felonies – against owning a firearm. Of course, the check came back clean so I was issued the permit. I was now able to legally buy a gun within the next ten days. If I had failed to do so (buy a gun), I would have to come back downtown to repeat the process.
Next, I went to a local gun shop without haste and bought my first handgun. I didn’t let the ominous signs – warning customers against pulling out guns because they might get shot – or the fact that all of the gunshop employees were openly carrying their guns on their hips, deter me. I had no idea of what to buy, so I bought the same gun that my brother-in-law owned. “If it was good enough for him, it must be good enough for me,” I reasoned. I didn’t originally plan on spending several hundreds of dollars on my purchase, but my first and only thought was to buy the best gun I could “afford” even if a few utility bills didn’t get paid on time that month. My life and safety were worth a ding or two on my credit report.
In retrospect, the gun dealer didn’t offer me a lot of informed customer service. To his credit, maybe he assumed, that since I was a guy, that I knew what I wanted. In fact, I didn’t know much of anything. My ignorance was my fault. The dealer’s fault was not asking me enough questions to allow him to best assess my needs. However, his insensitivity did not stop him from also suggesting additional purchases: jacketed hollow points and an inside-the-waist (IWB) holster.
Pure luck, it seems, brought a gun into my possession that fit my hand perfectly. I couldn’t test fire it, as the shop didn’t have a range. So I had to “take it on faith” that I could handle shooting it. I must have filled out a ream of paperwork that day; it was like closing on a house. Anyhow, it’s funny now recounting the experience, but I was – in all truth – nervous while carrying my new encased gun from the back entrance of the shop to my car. I mused how ironic and funny it would be if I was to now be robbed of my new gun at the gun shop.
My next stop on my personal armament tour would be to venture back downtown to police headquarters to have my new firearm “safety inspected.” Before having my gun inspected, I had no idea of what tests they were going to perform to properly test my gun. After they safety inspected my gun, I am still ignorant to the process even though I witnessed it with my very own eyes. Bottom line: by the time I left police headquarters this time, my name, my personal info, and the fact that I owned a handgun were now entered into a database.
On my departure from police headquarters I picked up a copy of an application for a Concealed Pistol License (CPL/CCW) from the front desk. I opened the enveloped and read the application. It was rather lengthy but informative. I figured that I would peruse it more thoroughly in my car. Right before I left the building, I asked a near-by police officer for a place where I could go and shoot my new gun. He specified a range and told me how to get there.
I’ll Do Or Try Almost Anything Once – Even Shoot A Gun
So, my big adventure continued as I went to a local range to shoot a handgun for the very first time in my life. For the record, it is not recommended to visit a firing range without first taking a gun safety class or at the very least taking along a knowledgeable shooter with you. In fact, it is dangerous. I didn’t know any better. You have read this passage, so now you know. Ignorance kills. The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was lucky. Any number of things, all of them bad, could have happened that day. Fortunately for me, I checked my ego at the door and asked someone behind the counter for help. I got a very basic introduction but critical 20 second tutorial: Don’t load it until you are in the booth, Always keep the gun pointed downrange, Position your hands so that they are not in the path of the slide, and Unload the gun before you leave the booth.
I managed not to hurt myself or anyone else. However, if I had experienced a hangfire or a squib load in the booth, things may have turned out differently. I must say that I was rather proud of myself after shooting. Shooting was an enjoyable experience. It was a blast – pun intended. My adrenaline was pumping; I was high off of shooting a gun. I guess I had just found myself a new and exciting hobby.
As I was driving home from the range that afternoon, still mentally digesting the requirements for the CCW Permit, I had arrived at an intersection whereby the stoplight had just turned red. The car in front of mine had an advertisement on the back of it for a CCW Class. More than ever, I believe that when your mind is truly ready for something, the Lord will make it appear. This situation merely provided confirmation. I immediately called the displayed phone number and discovered that there was a class being held on the very next day. I RSVP’d and took the class on the very next day.
A Responsible Gunowner Needs Training
During the class, I learned a staggering amount of information about the safe usage, storage, loading, unloading, handling, purchasing, transporting, and maintenance of firearms. Before that day, I truly did not know how much I did not know about firearms.
I was introduced to the nomenclature of all of the firearm’s constituent parts on both a revolver and a semi-automatic, learned how the parts inter-operated to create a discharge, learned the legal aspects of self defense and lethal force, learned how the media and “certain powers that be” distort the truth and spread outright lies about handguns, learned the proper fundamentals of shooting a firearm, learned a few shooting stances, and learned how to become a more hardened target.
More than anything, I was a little disheartened by my instructor’s admonition that I was now not a gun-fighter. I was told in plain and in no uncertain language that I had now just met the state’s minimum requirements to qualify for a CPL/CCW. Thus, I was just given another clue that there was much more to learn about firearms and their role in personal protection. I still didn’t know what I didn’t know. I then dedicated my spare time to devouring any literature that I could buy or find on the Internet that had anything to do with firearms and their role in personal protection.
I discovered and studied the works of many authors: Colonel Jeff Cooper’s “The Art of the Rifle,” Massad Ayoob’s “In the Gravest Extreme,” David Kenik’s “Armed Response,” Gabriel Suarez’s “Tactical Pistol,” Andy Stafford’s “Surgical Speed Shooting,” Chris Byrd’s “Thank God I Had A Gun,” Marc Young’s “Street Safe,” and Chad Cantrell’s “No Bull Gun Fighting.” The gun section of my library is comprised of over 100 works that I have read, re-read, highlighted, and studied relentlessly.
I have practiced the concepts and techniques explained in those books faithfully. I have spent hundreds of hours at neighboring target ranges shooting thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition to perfect my shooting ability.
I have befriended numerous local firearms instructors and gunshop employees throughout the metro-Detroit area to glean and retain whatever knowledge they had to bestow. I joined gun themed Internet bulletin boards: Michigan Gun Owners, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, AR-15, The High Road, Glock Talk, and many others.
Finally, I had reached a point where I felt that my learning curve had steepened to such a point that further research was delivering diminishing returns. Simply put, now the act of spending a day to read a new book “might” teach me something that I didn’t already know. I then turned to and joined the nation’s oldest firearms organization: The National Rifle Association (NRA).
Currently, I have NRA certifications to teach Personal Protection, Basic Pistol, and Home Firearm Safety. To qualify as a NRA certified instructor, a candidate must meet certain admission requirements, take a grueling 40 hour course, and pass six timed examinations with a score of 90% correct or better on each exam, and must meet the Training Counselor’s expectations of teaching ability. Not many people qualify. Also, I am a NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO). RSOs are certified to safely oversee shooting activities at a shooting range. Further still, I am an authorized Membership Recruiter for the NRA.
I have personally provided firearms training to people from all walks of life: ex-military, FBI agents, business owners, stay-at-home mothers, college students, real estate agents, business executives, bar bouncers, waitresses, club DJs, and etc.
I truly feel that I am doing what God has called me to do. He has placed me on this path and I have accepted his mission to do His will. I am hands-down the best firearm instructor in the metro-Detroit area. I stress safety, teach with enthusiasm in an entertaining manner, and never take any shortcuts.
I have met many people in this industry and some don’t measure up. Some of them don’t cover legal training. Some of them use airsoft pistols for the target qualification. Some have questionable certifications. Some of them commit felonies punishable by four years of prison time by selling certificates. Some of them, quite simply, can’t teach. Bad instructors not only do a disservice to their students but also to the community as a whole because their practices make the streets more dangerous.
I have a drawer full of testimonials that attest to my ability to clearly explain complicated concepts, to make newcomers to firearms comfortable with the experience, and to teach a person who has never shot a firearm before reliably hit the X on the target silhouette.
Firearms instruction is my passion and it shows. I am literally making a difference in my community – one class at a time. No one, in my opinion, becomes an instructor to get rich. Quite simply, if you have integrity and do things by the book it won’t happen. The scam artists turn up dead or become imprisoned.
I teach because I want to empower people to defend themselves in an increasingly violent time. Many folks are surprised to learn that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect you. Their job is to uphold the genral peace and to investigate crimes. If you become a crime victim, you can’t hold them responsible. Very sobering thought.
I am a firearms instructor, a defender of freedom, and an empowering force in my community.
Activism Is The Next Logical Step
Once a person, for whatever reason, decides to exercise a right he eventually acquires a great appreciation for having that right. Accordingly, he will do whatever it takes to keep that right. Gun ownership and the right to keep and bear arms is continuously under assault by those persons in our society who want a disarmed populace. Nevermind that gun ownership was granted to citizens of our fine nation as a means to prevent tyranny and to preserve liberty, I am most concerned with having the ability to defend my life and those that I love. After all, in case after case, the courts have proclaimed that the police do not have a legal responsibility to protect us.
It would only be too easy to let others fight for my rights. I could merely write a check and let various gun rights organizations, such as the NRA, The Second Amendment Foundation, and the Citizens Committe RKBA, do my fighting for me. The future of gun ownership depends on us – you and me.
Many people could care less about the Second Amendment until they need a gun. If gun ownership is made illegal, how can you get one in your time of need? There are currently over 20,000 gun laws on the books and more are being drafted with the purpose of being enacted into law with each passing day. We don’t need more laws; we need enforcement of the ones already on the books.
We need citizens like you to exercise your right: get a permit to carry, go hunting, teach your family and friends how to shoot, engage in hunting sports, and teach people you know the truth about guns.
Everything You Have Been Told About Guns Is Probably Wrong
Until you remove emotions and uneducated opinions about guns from the public discourse, you may believe the lies that are being told to you. For example, the biggest lie ever told is that guns cause violence and crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. A firearm is a tool – nothing more – nothing less. It is far more important to discuss how a tool is used by a particular person, rather than to debate whether an inanimate object is bad. Is a ball-point pen evil? How about a cane?
While a gun has several obvious purposes that most people can readily enumerate, other tools – designed for other legitimate tasks – in the wrong hands can create as much mayhem. A person could misuse the following items and cause severe bodily harm or death to another: a baseball bat, a pair of scissors, a ball-peen hammer, a nail gun, a golf club, an automobile, a steak knife, an awl, an ice pick, a tire-iron, a crowbar, an axe, a garbage can lid, a fireplace poker, a jump-rope, a bowling trophy, a text book, a container of gasoline, rat poison, a garden rake, or a bottle of battery acid.
A gun placed on a kitchen countertop can not harm anyone all by itself. It requires assistance – pressure on its trigger – to be used, whether those purposes are for good or bad. No one wants to debate the folly of banning matches whenever an arsonist starts a “car-becue” on Angel’s Night. Likewise, no one wants to ban the usage of water every time a young and unattended child falls into a back yard swimming pool. Even more outrageous is the idea than gun manufacturers should be sued for violence committed by criminals. Has anyone ever sued the Ford Motor Company because a drunk driver mowed down a schoolyard full of children?
Guns Don’t Kill People – People Kill People
Some people want you to “think” that guns somehow turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into homicidal sociopaths. The truth of the matter is that if a specific person with a gun is crazy, that same person without a gun is still just as nuts. University of Maryland professor and gun control researcher, Dr. John R. Lott, has extensively studied the supposed guns and crime relationship – most notably in his critically acclaimed tome “More Guns – Less Crime.” The conclusion of his work is abundantly clear – the absence of guns creates more crime. Reversely stated, more guns in a community decreases crime.
An unarmed populace creates a hazard-free working environment for violent criminals. Robbing, raping, and pillaging is a dangerous career choice. Everytime a criminal plies his trade, he risks at least an injury and perhaps death. Criminals, if given a choice, will choose an easy target rather than get into a life-or-death battle with an armed citizen.
Correspondingly, if many people in a community are armed with a gun, crime plummets due to the fact that the criminal is reluctant to assault someone “that may be packing.” Thus, the unarmed people in the community are, as a direct result of the armed people in the community, shielded from crime. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw an advocate for gun control post a sign in his home’s front yard that stated, “We are unarmed! We hate guns!” File that event under something you’ll never see.
By definition, a criminal is a person who breaks the law. Thus, if it was ever possible to outlaw guns, only the criminals would have guns. You don’t expect a criminal to disarm himself, do you? Of course not! Only law-abiding citizens would consider such a thing. What result would expect in a city full of law-abiding and unarmed citizens and a sizeable quantity of armed felons? This type of environment would create an “open season” state of lawlessness among the criminals. The rapists, jackers, and killers could ply their trade with impunity. This result has been observed with predictable results in our country.
Time and time again, the cities with the highest rates of crime are in those cities with the most strict gun control laws – legal and de facto. To name a few – NYC, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Detroit – are among our nation’s worst when it comes to gun control and violent crime. These cities happen to also be where large populations of minorities live. It is no mistake – gun control has racist roots that trace back into time when newly freed slaves were barred from owning guns to prevent any “score settling” with their former masters.
Stop being a pawn: Buy a gun, exercise your right to self-defense, and help spread the truth about guns.
No matter if I’m going to work in a suit and tie, jogging in tennis shoes and basketball shorts, or out on a date in blue jeans and a collar shirt, I never leave home without having a watch on my wrist, a knife in my pocket, and a handgun concealed. The three fit perfect together. All three are stylish staples and functional necessities that I live by. I been fascinated into watches since I been five. My father and grandfather were watch fanatics and exposed me to their collections. Naturally, I would become a watch guy. In a world with digital watches that are connected to our phones and lives, I enjoy a smooth, rugged automatic watch in a dive case with a unidirectional dial. I don’t do much diving in Pennsylvania, but I enjoy the aesthetics of a dive watches. Functional and stylish without voice controls. I have always enjoyed a good knife. A knife doesn’t need to connect to our social media outlets: it just needs to cut and cut good. My new knife was recommended to me by an EMT. It has a serrated edge, tungsten carbide window breaker, and a seat belt cutter. The additional features make this knife a great everyday carry knife. Also the orange color screams style. Lastly, to put any outfit together is a great carry gun. My Kahr K9 has been an exceptional carry gun and I have fired hundreds of rounds through it. It is also a great conceal carry handgun. It fits comfortably inside an inside the waistband holster. I brought wood replacement grips, custom checkered stainless steel guide rod, and a custom leather holster with stingray outliners. My gun, my knife, and my watch: I’m naked without them but dressed for any occasion with them.
The gun control advocates have been very patient and intentional in their pursuit of disarming us. They have used long term planning and tactics, hijacking our educational and court systems, and enticing the media with increased ratings through fear. To use a phrase from my Marine Corps days, it’s time to adapt and overcome. I plan to use this column to help develop a long term vision for combating those that would take away our second amendment right to bear arms. I hope you join me for the journey, not only join me, but collaborate to develop a viable long term plan to retain our freedoms. I hope this will be an active and engaged community, because I am sure not smart enough to figure this out on my own.
Seriously, we have to start thinking generationally. The enemy inside our gates has been at this a long time, so we must combat it with the same intentionality. In the short term though there are options. First and foremost it is time to start hitting the gun free zones in their most important nether regions, their wallets. Obviously, states have mandated gun free zones, such as schools, or bars, but some individual companies elected to also not allow patrons the right of self-protection. For whatever reason, these companies have decided to take responsibility for the safety of their customers. Follow my logic here, a company has implied that they assume the responsibility of protecting their customer by removing the ability for the customer to protect themselves. There are many misguided reasons why they have so chosen, such as insurance breaks, or they are liberal left, or religious right, the reason matters little to me. They are in business to make money, so that is where we must attack. Our voice must be united and strong. The message must be loud and clear, if you assume to take our ability to protect ourselves an attack occurs in your business we will hold you liable for not providing adequate protection.
We have to share this message everywhere, on every social media platform. Even those people that do not believe in protecting themselves would be likely to sue if they or a family member have been attacked in a gun free zone. The next shooting that occurs in a business that does not allow concealable weapons needs to be sued by all those involved. A lawsuit has to occur, and has to be won to set a precedent so that other shop owners understand the responsibility they bear if they elect to disarm their legal patrons. I know that the defense is that we have the ability to choose not to shop at those locations, and that may be a defensible position for a small store, but not so much if it is an entire mall, or a large department store, restaurant chain, or movie theater. For those locations it may be that it would generate undue burden to expect the customer to go elsewhere, or a myriad of other potential issues. I am not a lawyer, but I am willing to help fund such a lawsuit. We, the gun community, must be willing to assist those that would fight to set precedent and further our goals.
I am excited about where we are headed. The gun control groups have never been more brazen, but our community is also becoming more outspoken and I am happy to play a small role in it, however that may work out. You all are some great people, and I look forward to getting to know you all more. Peace out.
I can hear people all over the internet groaning out loud. “Now hold on there a minute, Skip. What are you talking about? We’re not at war with the UN! Why are we even talking about this?”
Okay, good point. I should answer that question first. The reason I’m talking about it,is because a growing number of non-crazy, non-radical Americans are also taking about it. It’s not just conspiracy theory stuff anymore. The people at large are starting to believe the following:
1. People are really starting to believe that the US Government is setting up internment camps and will soon be snatching up US citizens without due process by virtue of the power granted to them in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
2. People are starting to believe that UN troops are already here on American soil and training to assist the US Government in suppressing a violent uprising of American citizens by either killing them militarily or imprisoning them in FEMA camps.(I had a call just a few minutes ago by a man from out of state who told me he’s seen 3 UN convoys on the Turnpike already this year. He wanted me to explain it to him. I couldn’t.)
3. People are starting to believe that it doesn’t matter who they vote for. They are always voting for the lesser of two evils, so they revolt by not voting at all. Of course when good people refuse to vote, this does nothing but hasten the greater of two evils, thereby becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
4. People no longer believe what they see on the news. This is disheartening, because the media has always been considered the accountability partner to the government. But what happens when the government is no longer held accountable by the media, but, rather, is enabled by them?
In my opinion, the stage is set for the second American Civil War. The powder magazine is full and all we need is a spark to set it off.
Here’s how it could happen.
1. Hillary Clinton is elected in November.
2. In February she nominates the missing Supreme Court Justice.
3. Over the next year all cases brought before the Supreme Court will be ruled upon in a way to erode away our freedom.
Here’s what we’ll lose:
1. The Second Amendment will be restricted to a point of insignificance.
2. Home schooling will be controlled and monitored by the Government.
3. Religious freedom will be gone.
4. The alternative media will be banned from the air waves.
All this will happen by 2018.
You’ll recall that in my fictional novel series “The Shadow Militia, ” a secret militia had been formed over the course of decades in order to, as Colonel MacPherson explained:
“The Shadow Militia was formed decades ago in the event society collapsed, or, God forbid, our government needed major realignment.” He let that sink in before continuing on. “We are a small, but well funded and equipped group of highly trained, elite individuals, dedicated to the continuity of a constitutional society.”
Of course, that’s all fiction. You can find it in my novel “The God Virus.” But that hasn’t stopped people from asking me how they can join the Shadow Militia. They are always very disappointed when I explain to them that the Shadow Militia does not exist. Some people refuse to believe me and are offended because I won’t let them join the club. But the truth is “There is no club. It’s just a story.”
But let’s get back to my original question. “Can the people of America win a war against the United Nations?”
I recently read an article by Dave Hodges (and you can read it here) which asked similar questions. In this article, the author analyzed citizen uprisings since 1775.
“An analysis of past conflicts featuring guerrilla war reveals that only 25% of guerrilla forces, out of 443 such conflicts since 1775, were successful. The government prevailed almost 64% of the time with the remainder of the conflicts ended in a stalemate. Conversely, since the end of WWII, the percentage of success for guerrilla forces has indeed gone up to 39.6%. Yet that still means that government forces have continued to prevail 51% of the time.”So, what that means is this: According to the stats, if the American people engage in a guerrilla war in the upcoming years, the people have less than a 40% chance of success.
Personally, I think that’s low. And here’s why.
1. Americans are different than the rest of the world.
In all other industrialized nations, such as Australia, England, Germany, France and Belgium, when faced with the physical threat of mass shootings, the people allowed their respective governments to disarm them. Juxtapose this to America’s response to not only the threat of active shooters, but also to terrorism, crime and the threat of disarmament and you can see an attitudinal differential. When faced with danger, Americans prefer to buy more guns, arm themselves, and get trained instead of contracting out their personal protection to politicians.
2. Americans are armed to the teeth.
How many guns in America? Who knows? Not even the Department of Homeland Security can answer that question. Sure, they can tell you how many background checks are run, but that number is going to be low. It accounts for only “legal” firearms.
3. Americans are more afraid of their own government than they are anything else in their lives.
Are you afraid of the IRS? Are you afraid of a no-knock raid in the middle of the night? Are you afraid the government is monitoring your computer right now as you read this article? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the mainstream media will instantly and without thought or evidentiary support label you as a conspiracy theorist.
But here’s the rub. Americans will only fear the government for so long. Once they start to “believe” in their heart of hearts that the government is evil and will either enslave them or kill them, they have no recourse but to fight back. At that point Americans kick into survival mode.
I believe if the present course of human events continues to unfold, there will be a civil uprising in America. I believe the UN will be called in to quell the uprising. I believe millions of Americans will die at the hands of their own government while being aided by foreigners.
I give America a fifty-fifty chance of survival.
But, of course, this is all just conspiracy theory and fiction. I’m just supposing for the sake of argument. Because, after all, there is no “Shadow Militia.” It doesn’t exist except in the hearts and minds of a few disgruntled patriots. So please, don’t send me a membership application to The Shadow Militia. I’m just a novelist. For all you know I’m just a greedy author trying to market his books.
Skip Coryell lives in the Midwest with his wife and children. He is the author of 11 books, including “The Shadow Militia” and “Civilian Combat The Concealed Carry Book.” Skip is a Marine veteran and the co-host of Frontlines of Freedom, America’s #1 syndicated military talk radio show. Skip is an Adjunct Professor of Writing at Cornerstone University as well as the owner and Lead Instructor for Midwest Tactical Training.
We are the people of a divided nation. I feel less safe than I have ever felt before. There is a chill in the air.
I’m worried. I’m worried that we as a nation are further apart than ever. The gap keeps widening and we begin to collapse from within. I’m worried that the actions of some police officers will lead to distrust amongst our protectors.
Law enforcement is our watchmen but who watches them? I’m worried as a young black armed male that if a police officer pulls me over will I be safe?
I have been pulled over before by a police officer for a routine traffic stop. I immediately grabbed my license from my wallet and placed it above my visor. I then placed my hands on the steering wheel until the police officer approached me and instructed me to obtain my proper documentation.
I didn’t feel complied to tell the officer I had a license to carry permit and that I was armed. I want to be as cooperative with law enforcement as possible and allow them to do their job. Just like me, law enforcement officers just want to do their jobs and go home. Because of the recent tragic events involving the deaths of two black men and the deaths and injuries of law enforcement officers nationwide as a direct result, we as a nation need to stand with law enforcement.
Law enforcement officers need our support right now. They are not our threat. As a young black man, I also have to protect myself against the savages of my city. The savages are the ones that seek to commit crimes and cause harm. The savages of my city are a bigger threat to my family and I than the police.
They are the real predators not our law enforcement. The nation has become colder. People are angry. People are frightened. I’m angry but that’s why we have communities to help make changes.
“Common blood flows through common veins and common eyes all see the same”
Lyrics from Gill Scott Heron still hold value today. Now more than ever we need to stand together.
With the warm summer months upon us, I recently decided to put away my Sig Sauer 9mm P239 for a more compact, and lighter pistol for conceal carry. There have been numerous subcompact pistols released that are lightweight, and can be concealed easily. I opted for the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm.
I personally prefer all steel pistols over polymer frame pistols because I enjoy the feel steel pistols have when shooting them in comparison to polymer pistols. But when searching for a new everyday carry gun for the summertime, the Smith and Wesson Shield fit my requirements. The Shield is a thin handgun. It has a 3.1-inch barrel, with an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded weight of 19 ounces.
The Shield can be equipped with a seven or an eight round magazine. I have a few seven round magazines and one eight round magazine. I usually carry one or two spare magazines in my pocket. When wearing it with a belt clip holster, I hardly can tell it’s on and it is barely visible with a t-shirt on. Of all the handguns I have carried, it is the best concealable handgun I have owned, that does not sacrifice stopping power for concealment. I have owned a Smith and Wesson M&P Bodyguard in 380acp and although it fit perfectly in my custom ostrich pocket holster an it was barely noticeable, I did not like the snappiness when firing and I wanted a 9mm instead of 380acp caliber pistol.
This summer, the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield will be on my hip wherever I go. I’ll still be able to wear a t-shirt and shorts without compromising my dress when carrying a pistol. After taking this firearm to the range and having multiple range sessions with it, I feel comfortable carrying this pistol on me. In your comments let me know what you’re carrying in right now and your thoughts on the Smith and Wesson Shield.
My eight year old daughter saw me cleaning my Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp and said “Dad that’s a nice cowboy gun.” I never looked at this revolver as a cowboy gun but after she said that I smiled and thought yes it is a nice cowboy gun. This isn’t a six shooter that the likes of Billy the Kid would use nor is it trying to be that. My first handgun I carried concealed was a revolver. I liked carrying it but at the time I want a firearm with more ammo capacity that I traded in my revolver for a high capacity polymer pistol. I didn’t realize until a year ago, that revolvers are not outdated and with proper training can save your life in a self defense situation. After firing and carrying this revolver, it makes for a great conceal carry weapon for personal defense.
This all-steel, 25 ounce 5-shot snub nose revolver has a lot going for it. This is similar to the standard 2.25-inch model, but in place of the fixed sights, the Wiley Clapp SP101 has a drift-adjustable Novak rear sight and brass bead front sight. It also has a nice set of textured wood inlays on the grips, and a tapered cylinder. I have fired a Ruger SP101 before and the one thing I wanted to change on the firearm were the sights. The sights on the original were hard to acquire the target and I did not shoot that firearm accurately. The Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp edition aids in acquiring the target faster by adding a brass bead front sight. From my experience shooting the revolver, it makes getting on target faster. When shooting this firearm from twenty yards away, I found it very accurate and and recoil light. I shoot 300 rounds of Winchester 38 special ammo and the revolver was precise and the recoil was hardly noticeable. Other than the aesthetic additions, this is the same Ruger SP101.
Shooting the Ruger was a pleasure. As mentioned before, the recoil was light and very easy to get back on target. The sights make it very easy to shoot. It is not a heavy firearm but neither a lightweight revolver. I like the weight and feel. It has a very good balance. It is also capable of shooting 357 Magnum loads, but during my outings I have not experimented with shooting 357 rounds out of this firearm yet.The grips are comfortable in the hands. The wood inlays add a unique look to the revolver. The double action trigger pull is smooth. I found that I shoot this firearm better than some of my other automatic pistols.
The Ruger SP101 is comfortable to carry. I carry it in a IWB holster and it is barely noticeable to me. I brought Corbon 38 special +P 110-gr self defense ammo and a few speed loaders to carry extra ammo. If you are lucky and can find one of these you will not be disappointed. I brought mine used for a reasonable price but new this firearm can be found around the mid $600 range. Aesthetically this is a beautiful firearm, but with the addition of the Novak brass bead sight, this is more than capable at being a great self defense revolver that I would recommend.
Six pack or a revolver? That was an easy choice for me. When I turned 21, the last thing I wanted to do was spend my day at a bar. I wanted to spend my day at my local firearms dealer. My father accompanied me when I purchased my first gun, the same place he purchased his first gun. Together we spent months looking at all the handguns. I saved my hard earned cash up and couldn’t wait until I was able to purchase my first handgun. I have been around handguns since I could remember and been shooting since I was 12. I was even on the high school rifle team, but this was my own gun. With it not only came great responsibility but also great fear. I brought my concealed carry permit that same day, but was I ready to carry?
Life changes when you carry a live gun on your hip and you’re out in public. It’s different from getting your first car. You get your first car and drive off the lot. You can’t wait for your friends to see you in your new car. Your excitement is running through your body but you buy your car and forget about what it is capable of doing. You forget that your new car can instantly become a weapon and can take you or someone else’s life. When I carried my gun for the first time I felt it on me. It was awkward and heavy.
I reminisce at times when I recall my first time carrying a firearm. It felt weird and wrong because I was the first person my age who I knew that carried a gun and in the beginning I felt like I was breaking a law. As a minority, I felt even more cautious. I never saw stories of black concealed carry people defending themselves in the newspaper or television but I saw black people committing crimes with firearms. It also illustrated a stereotype that black people who had a gun were criminals. I knew that wasn’t true but most people see a young black male carrying a gun as trouble.
Most firearms related crimes committed in my city involve minorities killing other minorities (black on black violence.) Other than my father my godfather, and a few minority policemen, I didn’t know any black people who carried a firearm in my city. I live in a city with a population of about 14,000 people and an increasing amount of violent crimes and a drug epidemic.
As a young boy, I rarely saw anyone except police, military, or criminals with guns and was taught in school guns kill people. It wasn’t until I became a teenage and my father started to educate and teach me about firearm education, safety, and marksmanship, I knew that school was spinning me an incorrect narrative. In high school, I joined the rifle team and continued learning marksmanship. The rifle team furthered my firearm training but I also learned that there was a lot about shooting I still didn’t know. I found out that in the urban high school I attended, the vast majority of the team never shot a rifle in their life. The suburban teams we played against the majority of the team had been exposed to firearms before joining the team. I realized that minority families were less likely to expose their children to firearms. My school and my community were not educating young minorities about gun safety.
I carry a firearm daily and educate myself on laws. I train consistently and love exploring the firearm culture. I recently brought a precision rifle to start training long range shooting and I plan on going deer hunting for the first time. Since carrying my first handgun, I don’t feel awkward anymore. I just wake up, take a shower, get dressed, put my gun on and head out the door. My conceal handgun has become an extension of me. With the increase in violence and the backwards politics in my city, I fear that people will restrict firearms from law abiding citizens but not restrict the criminals from obtaining firearms. I plan on being a firearm activist and to be a positive influence in the firearm community. I plan on trying to bring gun education to the inter city schools and working with pro gun groups to get young minorities.
When I wake up and begin my day, the last thing that crosses my mind is worrying if I have to use my firearm. I do not live in a very high crime area of town nor do I venture to more high crime areas. I occasionally frequent bars or lounges but since carrying a firearm, I try not to venture to areas where there is a higher probability of confrontation. As gun owners, when the time arises when we are out and things go from casual to downhill, we must determine when to use our firearm and when not to and at times this can be hard to determine. It’s not always a black and white situation as I myself have had to make quick thought out decisions when it came to using my firearm.
I recently went to Ohio with my girlfriend for her cousin’s birthday party. I live in Pennsylvania, and before leaving for Ohio I researched and studied the firearm laws for conceal carry in Ohio. In 2015, any out-of-state concealed carry permit holder became recognized in Ohio. So before venturing to the Buckeye state, I happily included my handgun and a couple speed loaders with me on my trip.
We attended the party and everyone was drinking and having a good time. There were approximately seventy people at the birthday party. It was located in a quiet suburban area. I was an outsider but conversed with my girlfriend’s family and friends. As the party dipped into the evening hours I noticed two drunk men at the party start to argue with each other. One of the guys shovel the other into a fridge and soon people started to separate the individuals. The argument continued out into the street of the suburban neighborhood. The guy who was shoveled pulled a knife out and made a threat to stab the individual who pushed him. My girlfriend and I are about 200 yards away from the altercation and she suggested that I go over there and try to deescalate the situation. I replied that I’m not getting involved because my life nor her life was not in immediate danger. I told her to call the police and it is their job to get involved and keep the peace. As we walked back to the car to leave, I heard someone cock back the slide of a gun and saw some more people head over to the conflict.
The guy with the knife fled but eventually he called the police. The police eventually arrested him and ended the party. No one was injured. On our way back to the hotel that night, I explained to my girlfriend that if I would have pulled my gun out, I could have been arrested and been in legal trouble trying to deescalate the situation. I told her that carrying a firearm isn’t about saving the day, it’s a responsibility. Often times you have to make a judgment call. The situation might have been different if he had someone at knife point, went on a stabbing rampage, or was threatening my or her immediate safety. But I was in no way in danger. I was always taught to use your firearm as a last resort when you cannot escape. I had an out and I took it. I got away from the danger. As a gun owner, I hope I never have to pull my firearm out for a self defense situation. In the case I have to, I want to be justified in my decision to use it.