Sunday, September 21, 2014

History of IPSC/USPSA: The Divisions

According to the 2014 USPSA Handgun Rule Book (February, 2014), there are 6 Divisions in USPSA competition, which are defined by the characteristics.  These divisions are extremely varied in their permissions and their limitations.  The following is a summary of the six divisions, which may be useful to people who are interested in competing in USPSA matches but are not familiar with the Division definitions:

*(I'm posting this because I often teach New Shooters who are not familiar with the choices available to them when the register in a mach in a specific division.  The problem is that they have often been advised to compete in "Production Division" even though they might be self-imposing a competitive handicap by their choice.  Also, it seems that some 'experienced' competitors in USPSA are not completely aware of the consequences of their choice.
Not that I care,  As long as they are showing up for matches, they are enjoying themselves.   Sometimes, though, if I am NOT informing them of the competitive consequences of their choices, I am not fulfilling my obligation to inform them.)

Why IPSC can't use METRIC targets in Europe

The Goofy and Cool Shooting Targets Used by the World's Armies | WIRED:
(By Margaret Rhodes - August 04, 2014)
Years ago, on a cold, dark morning outside of Munich, Herlinde Koelbl noticed a shooting target that had been battered with bullet holes. “In a way, you could see death and aggression and power in it,” she remembers. But Koelbl, a professional photographer, couldn’t help but notice the eerily beautiful way the early morning sun filtered through the punctures. She snapped a photograph.
 That image was never published, but it stayed in the back of Koelbl’s mind. Eventually, it inspired her new series and recent book Targets. Over the course of six years, Koelbl traveled to 30 countries and took thousands of photographs of shooting targets used during military training. Seen as a series, the images are a fascinating and somewhat unsettling window into how militaries around the world use visuals to groom their soldiers for battle.

One of the most INTERESTING things about IPSC is the way a couple of years ago (okay, more than that), when the sport of Practical Pistol Shooting became a worldwide interest, it sort of ... morphed.

The thing is, as soon as this became an International Sport, European (and other) countries began to complain the they couldn't practice it in their home countries.

The fact is: some countries had laws which prevented people from shooting at "humanoid" or "Human Shaped" targets.  And that was that.

There was also the expected national rules which prohibited their subjects from owning "powerful semi-automatic firearms with high-capacity magazines", but there were work-arounds for that.

Examples: Japanese participants practice with paint-guns and air-soft guns; Canadians practice with diminished-capacity guns; British practiced with God-Knows What, but these and other subjects had one thing in common ... they stored their REAL "competition" guns in neighboring, more enlightened countries, and only used them in those countries where the national gun regulations permitted more freedom.

But one thing was universally clear:  "IPSC teaches people how to kill people!"

So they couldn't use the classic .. now called the "Metric" target.  Instead they now use the stop-sign ... now called the "Classic" target.

The first (Metric) target is roughly rectangular (about 3' tall x 2' wide), with a 4" x 4" tab centered on the top, which critics have chose  to call "A Human Head", which makes the target "Humanoid" in nature.

Hence the accusation that "IPSC is teaching people to kill people".  Which is clearly an evaluation which is in the mind of the beholder.  We're shooting Cardboard, folks.  And .. okay .... sometimes we shoot at steel targets, too.

However, people in Europe go right on shooting targets which are not only 'reminiscent' of humans, but are clear depictions of humans.

At this time, no recent Internet searches complain about targets which are obviously intended to teach people how to kill people.

"People Targets", Shooting, and the Olympics:
However, it is worth considering that the singular issue of "humanoid targets", which has caused a schism in the noble sport of Practical Pistol Shooting, has proliferated.  People continue to want to shoot at targets that look like people, and although this issue has been the reason why IPSC competition was rejected as the candidate for International Olympics several years ago, (2005)  with some comments from shooters, which seemed to go nowhere, it seems odd that .. well, people will be people.  And that they want to shoot at targets that look like people even though the International Olympics Commission considers this to be .. TERRIBLE!

Never mind the facts: We Deal In Feelings, Friend! 
Ignore that fact that there are several shooting sports gladly accepted by the IOC:  Skiing and Shooting; Small-bore target shooting (both pistol and rifle) are accepted without comment.  Trap and Skeet (shotgun shooting at flying targets)?  No problem.  Air Rifle?  The same skill sets, except using 'reduced power ammunition"?  Fine! Javelin?  Teaching people to throw spears at people?  No problem.

So why not IPSC competition?

Because it is teaching people to shoot people.  Bad.  So the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) introduce a new target, which they call the CLASSIC target:

Notice it doesn't look anything at ALL like a person.

Well, but yes it does. If you use your imagination ...  it MAY define the human torso, with the A-zone in the approximate area of the heart/lungs/spine, the "C-zone" as the lungs and other semi-vital organs, and the D-zone as "non-fatal but otherwise sometimes debilitating and painful hits, maybe".

The good news is there is not "Upper A/B-Zone" area, which would define a brain/spine hit on a human.

And so, the IOC is unlikely to accept this target, either even if IPSC is willing to accept a minimal position as a "Demonstrations Sport" at the Olympics.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NEWS OF THE WORLD: Scotland still in UK!


It has come to my attention that Scotland decided to NOT deprive itself of UK Membership.

Gee .. if this had been an "OPTION" 230 years ago, imagine how much simpler life could have been.  Americans and British both could have saved lives, and saved themselves the 'bother' of 2 wars (1775 & 1812) ... and Dolly Madison wouldn't have had to risk her life to save her picture.

And BTW ... isn't it about time we talk Reparations?

Maybe not.  As long as the Scots are willing to forgive the Civil Rights deprivations of William Wallace, I guess I can forgive the Sassanach.

And there's that whole Haggis thing ... yech!  Maybe it is too soon to loose the Scots upon the world.

BTW .. my Paternal Grandmonther's maiden name was Dildine (Irish), and my maternal Grandmother's maiden name was Cruikshank (Scots).

They married  Germans, and Englishmen  ... respectively.

Sometimes it's difficult to carry on generational wars, when your wimmin insist on consorting with the enemy.
Go figure.

Besides, the English have at least one thing to their credit:  They're Not French!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dreams From My Father

Public statements by President Barack Obama:

This will be the most transparent administration in history.

If  you like your health care plan, you can keep it!
(Repetitive admonitions here ... "pants on fire!"; "... as clear as we needed it to be ...")

"I am not going to take your guns away.  That just ain't true."

I'm not happy with confronting the president of my nation.

But when he's all about "Dreams", and not about "Truth", I lose respect for him.

"Nobody wants to take your guns away", according to the Liar In Chief

Obama renews call for gun control on anniversary of Navy Yard shooting | TheHill:
By Justin Sink - 09/16/14 10:46 AM EDT

Our President renews his push for "Gun Control" and "Common Sense".  His statements cause most legal firearms owners to assume that he conflates both legal and illegal firearms owners as people who are inclined to commit 'atrocities", and that efforts to restrict firearms possession as a step toward "rejecting atrocities".  Words are more powerful than guns, when you're The President.
President Obama called on Americans to renew the push for gun-control legislation in a statement Tuesday marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. "One year ago, 12 Americans went to work to protect and strengthen the country they loved," Obama said. "Today, we must do the same — rejecting atrocities like these as the new normal and renewing our call for common-sense reforms that respect our traditions while reducing the gun violence that shatters too many American families every day."

But  be assured, nobody is trying to take your guns away.  If the President seems to be working toward extreme 'gun control measures' (read: confiscation), it's only because gun owners are "fearful" .. otherwise they wouldn't be so extreme in defense of their 2nd Amendment Rights.

And congressmen who are more concerned with the Constitution than their Presidential leadership WILL be punished!

The Pathway To Violence.

The .. 'etymology' of "Mass Shooters" is bizarre, frightening, But perhaps not beyond understanding.

 One author attempts to explore the phenomenon.  Whether he is successful is subject to your interpretation.

But one thing is clear ... if anyone offers a way to predict mass murderers, it bears closer examination.

Everything We Think We Know About Mass Shooters Is Wrong - Esquire:
By  on September 16, 2014

Mass shootings are not unstoppable, and there are people trying to stop them. They are not even inexplicable, because every time Trunk hears of one he understands why it happened and who did it. We have come to believe that mass shooters can't be stopped because we never know who they are until they make themselves known. But Trunk was almost one of them once. He was a heartbeat away. And what he understands is that shooters want to be known, not through the infamy of a massacre, but before they have to go through with it. They want to be known as much as he, years later, wants to remain unknown, walking to the bus stop in the rain.

Want to win a gunfight? Train under pressure

Want to win a gunfight? Train under pressure:
September 16, 2014:
Psychological in Nature Pressure is a compelling sense of urgency that forces you out of a normal mode of operating.
 Pressure puts you into a higher state of arousal. It’s psychological. Pressure changes your mental state and forces you to deal with challenge over arousal, fear, doubt, and other emotions. If you want to reach higher levels of competency and skill, learn to stay calm in dangerous situations; make good decisions while under duress.
You absolutely have to have pressure on a regular basis and learn to thrive under it. Pressure is created by making a test of your skill, your will, and your self-image — a test that you care about and that matters to you. It forces you to question your abilities, skills, and your self-confidence.
 There should be risk of failure and reward built into this test. It can be light, moderate or heavy; depending on what level of training you are at. Above all, it must be appropriate to the skill level of the participants and they must be agreeable to the test. If they don’t want to do it or complain about it all the time, it won’t work out too well.
This post by Ron Avery (one of my personal heroes of Shooting Excellence) provides some valuable insight into the process of developing excellent shooting skills.

My emphasis is on Competition, but in fact this training technique is apparently positioned in the "Self Defense" area.


One of the primary reasons why I became involved in IPSC competition was that .... well, I bought a gun.
I own several guns, but this was a 1911 style pistol which I though would allow me to be 'competitive'    But I had no idea how well I would compare with other people, so I got into USPSA just so I could learn if I was as good as I thought I was.

I was not as good as I thought I was.  I'm better, now, but still not really very good.

The thing is, when you are shooting under pressure, the whole shooting thingie comes down to one thing:

You're not prepared When Things Go Wrong.

I've been competing for over 20 years now (okay, 30 years ... but who's counting?) and the one think I've learned is that something ALWAYS goes wrong.  Your individual performance doesn't depend on how accurately you can shoot, nor how quick you are on the draw.  It depends on how you react when the situation goes into the crapper.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

USPSA’s accountant resigns over un-accounted for expenditures | Gun Nuts Media

For people who didn't happen to see the news in Area 6 website or or Caleb's "GUN NUTS" website,
this is provided as a means of circulating information of interest to USPSA members.
The Geek

USPSA’s accountant resigns over un-accounted for expenditures | Gun Nuts Media: NEWS USPSA’s accountant resigns over un-accounted for expenditures
by Caleb September 17, 2014
 The following was provided to me by an anonymous source, and has since then been posted on the Area 6 FB page as well as other forums. USPSA’s accountant resigned from USPSA, with an effective final day of September 30th because corporate funds were not being properly accounted for. Here is the entire text of her resignation letter:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BREAKING: Prosecutor in Shaneen Allen Case Asks to Delay Trial, Might Back Off Charges Against Single Mom
From "Guns Save Lives":
The prosecutor in the Shaneen Allen case has asked the judge to delay the trial while he reevaluates the charges against her.

Read more:

We're glad to hear that.   Yes, this was a victimless crime.  Except, of course, for Ms Allen who was to be persecuted (not just 'prosecuted') for her honesty, and for her exercise of her 2nd Amendment Rights.

In earlier articles, I had mentioned that it seemed a miscarriage of justice that she be imprisoned for 'crossing a bridge".  Comments on the article seemed "indignantly smug" when declaring that ignorance is, in fact, no excuse.

The End of the Hiatus

Regular viewers may have noticed that I haven't report about USPSA (Practical Pistol) matches I have attended lately.  The reason is simple:  I haven't been to many since "I Blew Up My Gun".  Over a year ago.

I did try to shoot a match at the Dundee club a few months back, but as I reported at the time, that came to No Good End.  Ammunition fizzled because it was reloaded with 'old' gunpowder which had apparently drawn moisture.   It was, of course, the best USPSA match I even attended in which I fired less than a single magazine.

Today, after months of encouragement from my good friend (and fellow Linguica Pizza Aficionado) The Homeless Brasser, I took advantage of the Bi-Mart sale on .45ACP ammunition ... "$19.97 per box of 50, as many boxes as we have" ... and took my Beloved Kimber to a match at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club!

More Guns/Less Crime: Confirmed

Disarming Realities: As Gun Sales Soar, Gun Crimes Plummet:
(May 14, 2013)
A couple of new studies reveal the gun-control hypesters’ worst nightmare…more people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing. What crackpots came up with these conclusions? One set of statistics was compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. The other was reported by the Pew Research Center.
(H/T: The Hobo Brasser)

I had heard this claim parenthetically, but not having the gumption to do my own research I have never bothered to confirm it for myself (although I have bought, and read, John Lott's book).

Now I am informed of a May, 2013 Forbes article which provides links to the source material. (There is an accompanying May, 2013, CNN article which addresses the PEW report.)   The study covers the 20 year period between 1993 and 2013.

Something that surprised me;  the report also discusses briefly a few sociological issues which are parenthetical ... but vitally important ... factors in the murder/suicide rates which are the key elements:

Friday, September 12, 2014


New York Times readers are a funny bunch.


That's the upshot of Reader Comments in a recent NYT article which begins with the question:
"Will a gun retailer get away with negligence?"

(An alternative title might be: " Gun Control and the New York Times Mindset".)

Thanks to David Codrea, I just spent an interesting evening reviewing an August 28, 2014, article on Gun Control in the New York Times.  The link is provided below.

The author's presumptions were 90% lucid, until the last paragraph of the article.

The comments were ... illuminating.