On Sunday, November 2, 22-year-old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither was abducted by Delvin Barnes in Philadelphia, PA. Barnes has an outstanding warrant for attempted capital murder, assault and malicious injury with acid, explosives, or fire in Charles City County, Virginia, and police did not provide any details as to why he was free at the time of the abduction. Earlier this week, CNN ran a story with a video captured by a nearby camera that shows the whole abduction taking place . . .
Over the weekend, Democratic operative and CNN contributor, Paul Begala penned an opinion piece for CNN on Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, entitled, “Candidate’s Gun Remarks Should Scare Us.” In the article, he focuses on a statement made by Ernst during a 2012 address to the NRA: “I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from a government,should they decide that my rights are no longer important.” To which, Mr. Begala’s learned response is . . .
The Federal Air Marshal (FAM) Service has existed in one form or another since 1962. Originally begun under the auspices of the FAA as the FAA Peace Officers program, their basic role has not changed much in the last sixty-plus years. While the FAA originally started the idea of armed agents on planes, it was the U.S. Marshall’s Service that started a “Sky Marshal” program out of the Miami field office in 1969 to combat air hijackings, many of which took place out of Miami. This was totally separate from the FAA’s program. In the early 1970’s the programs were merged into a formal 1970’s “Sky Marshal” program run as a joint project between U.S. Customs and the FAA . . .
Dan’s recent post on body armor and the attendant comments got me thinking. Most of the commenters complained about how the armor was uncomfortable for daily wear and furthermore many people seemed to consider daily body armor use a level of paranoia that was beyond reasonable. What amused me is that many of the negative comments were similar to the excuses used when People of the Gun are asked why they don’t carry daily. Granted, many carry a firearm every day, but many others (including myself) don’t. Frankly, I have not found a solution that is comfortable and completely concealable in every situation therefore while I often carry concealed; it’s not a daily thing for me . . .
I can anticipate the responses – “How can you know if you are going to need it or not?” “Wouldn’t you rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it?” “Get over your laziness and figure out something that works then use it daily.”
I can’t argue against any of these points – they make good sense. Seems to me that all of the comments in the paragraph above could apply to daily body armor wear. If you feel the need for daily concealed (or open) carry, why aren’t you wearing body armor? Let’s face it, if you have to deploy your firearm in a gun fight, there is a really good chance that some rounds are going to be headed your way. Given that, wouldn’t it be a lot better to be wearing some protection?
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that adding body armor to your daily carry kit certainly ramps up the paranoia factor. But let’s not kid ourselves. We carry guns against that terrible, (and for most of us) extremely unlikely event that we’ll need to use them. Since we plan for a gun fight, shouldn’t we go all the way and plan to protect our bodies? Why not invest in a good suit of soft body armor?
Today, options exist that offer relatively lightweight and concealable choices for a reasonable prices. The one pictured above is $460 – about the cost of a decent handgun and looks reasonably comfortable. Granted, the smartasses might suggest that if you’re going to go with armor, you should go with hard armor to protect against rifle rounds. The fact is though that the likelihood of facing assailants armed with rifles is so unlikely (unless you are police) as to make it not even worth considering. No, a good set of Level II or Level IIIa would do fine for most people.
In the final analysis, all of the good reasons people can offer to carry a gun daily arguably apply to daily body armor use. If you are expecting the gun fight, it pays to be fully prepared if it comes. So, my question is, if you carry daily, why not armor up?
In my last post in the “Shoot Like the Pros” series, I covered the old FBI Qualification course of fire that every agent had to complete annually with an 85% or better score. It was a decent test of skills at various distances and even included a couple of situations where the agent needed to reload and get back into the fight. The problem is that it did not represent the kind of gunfights that FBI agents actually saw. Study after study has shown that most gunfights happen up close. It is rare to have a situation where an agent needs to fire his/her pistol at 25 yards. Instead, they need to be able to deploy and use their gun in close quarters, so a new standard was developed and implemented in 2013 . . .
Over time, I find shooting at the same old targets to get a little bit boring. I wanted to find something that would hold my interest and at the same time give me some sort of gauge as to how my skills were coming along. Sure, I could keep shooting at those old bulls eye targets trying to get higher scores, but let’s face it, I don’t compete (just yet) and my interest in firearms is more on the defensive side of the house as opposed to the target shooting side. With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to compare my skills to the professionals . . .
The first time I held a SCAR 17S, the thing that struck me was how light it was as well as the convenience of the side-mounted charging handle. I’ve been a fan of left side charging handles ever since I got my hands on a LWRC REPR and I really appreciate the fact that when shooting this gun in the prone position, I don’t have to come off the scope to charge it. Shooting it was also a pleasure as the muzzle brake was very efficient and produced less perceived recoil than my SIG SAUER 716 despite its lighter weight. The only real drawback that I noticed . . .
We received an email from our local school last week telling us that our kids would be participating in the “I Signed The Constitution” program which is sponsored by the National Constitution Center. The explained that it will take place on Wednesday, September 17 (Constitution Day) and “encourages citizens of all ages to deepen their understanding of our nation’s founding document. This program has provided millions of Americans with the chance to publicly acknowledge their dedication to the ideals of our Constitution by signing their names alongside the signatures of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington” . . .
A couple of years ago, I purchased one of those gun safes that claims to hold 30+ guns. After many months of trying to get my gun collection to fit, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are only two ways to get 30+ guns to fit into this safe: 1) lay it on its back and start piling the guns in, or 2) make sure all 30 guns are pistols. Suffice it to say, option two doesn’t work for me and option one ain’t gonna happen either. Instead, I’m left with a gun safe that looks like this . . .
The recent kerfuffle in the Lone Star State over Open Carry Texas activists and the seminal picture of the “Chipolte ninjas” got me thinking a bit on the OC situation. I’m of the mindset that OC is tactically a bad idea, but I understand that is a heavily debatable topic. I’m fortunate to live in a state where open carry is available to anyone who can legally own a gun. You need a permit to carry concealed, but open carry is unencumbered. That said, I also happen to live near a couple of states that prohibit open carry and, in fact, can prosecute you for brandishing or even assault if one of your fellow citizens so much as sees your gun tucked in its holster. In those states, concealed means concealed and if you accidentally flash someone a view of your holstered gun, you may have problems . . .
I finally finished reading Radley Balko’s book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. RF did a brief preview of the book last year when it came out, but never got around to a full-blown treatment. I figured that since I was also reading it, I might as well step in and get it done. This is one of the more enlightening books that I’ve read in the last year or so, a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how we went from this . . .
Last week’s post by BlinkyPete discussing how we would re-write the background check process generated a fair amount of commentary. That’s fairly nsurprising as whenever a post appears on this site from someone within the gun community that suggests any kind of restrictions, a firestorm usually follows. There were a lot of good points raised in favor of BlinkyPete’s proposal as well as a lot of good comments discussing its weaknesses. Once comment that stood out in my mind was MarkPA’s challenge to the “absolutists” to propose a solution that would pass muster with the country. I think this point is important enough that it deserves its own discussion . . .