Saturday, February 27, 2016

When It’s OK to Kill

Inside the School Teaching Cops When It’s OK to Kill - Bloomberg Business:

 Forty cops are in a classroom, watching recent footage of protesters in San Francisco denouncing the police. “Your children are ashamed of you,” a black woman in the video tells a black officer, who looks away. “Coward!” others shout. A young demonstrator walks up to a cop and sticks out his middle finger. A female officer trips, and the demonstrators laugh.
The volume is way up, and the cops in the room are leaning back in their chairs, crossing their arms, getting tense. Jim Glennon steps to the front of the room and stops the video. Glennon, 59, spent 29 years as an officer in Lombard, a suburb of Chicago, at one point running county homicide investigations. He’s 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and has the gravelly voice and bearing of the desk sergeant on the 1980s TV show Hill Street Blues who told cops to “be careful out there” before the squad cars rolled. “Welcome to our world,” Glennon says. “It’s as bad as it’s been since the ’60s and ’70s.”

I spent a few days on Whidbey Island this week, visiting my son and his family.

Said son (aka "The Squid Kid") is a Master at Arms in the U.S. Navy.   He was recently promoted to E6 (Petty Officer Something ... I never was any good at Navy Ratings, but that's the equivalent of Staff Sgt. in the army) and in part my visit was an opportunity to again tell him how proud I am of his hard-earned promotion.

We had a chance on the last day of my visit to chat in private, without his wife and children listening to our conversation.  It was a bit of a letting-down of the hair; shared war stories, and he described many of the training operations he was becoming responsible.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

0.83 seconds ... reloads during competition

Nobody is perfect, but we should be perfect; and that's a goal that all of us who compete in shooting sports which reward a fast "first shot A-zone hit" (IPSC, et al) strive to achieve.

And that is the reason why we practice.

Paying attention to your draw technique – Notes from KR:
At 0:07 seconds, the shooter has a full firing grip on the pistol and the support hand is close to the body. That’s good. His support hand is really low on his body though, compared to where it eventually needs to be.
I once spent an afternoon at the range, with an observer running the timer, where I tried to get first-shot A-zone hits at a standard IPSC target at 7 yards in the fastest time possible.

My experience was that when I used the standard two-handed grip, I couldn't get the desired hit in much under 1,5 seconds.  It was only when I quit trying to get the weak hand on the gun that I managed to get a best-time hit in 0.83 seconds.  Once.

The thing is ....  I'm not sure that I was very safe in doing so.  (Which is why I don't recommend this kind of testing; the time may not be impressive to most people, but I felt as if I was "pushing the edge".)

The "Draw Technique" video cited emphasizes safety, and when we compete we should always keep safety as the most important criteria in any shooting-sports criteria.

Most of us don't have the advantage of a slo-mo record of the way we draw, and how/when our finger actually curls onto the trigger.  Trying to beat some kind of arbitrary 'best time" is a good way to find ourselves in an "I JUST****** SHOT MYSELF!" scenario ... and that's obviously not the very best way to learn that we have just put Performance above Safety.
(Thank you, Tex, for performing a public service .. however unintended.)

(This section specifically  applies to shooting sports which allow reloads with un-expended magazines, such as USPSA: YMMV):

When it comes to action-shooting competition, the best way to save time on a stage is to minimize the 'time-wasting' activities:

  • Plan reloads; a "standing reload" is the greatest 'time waster' in competition;
  • always reload when the stage requires you to do something else, such as moving to another shooting area or when you are waiting for an appearing target to start moving;
  • If you are competing in a "Limited Capacity" division (eg: Production, Single-stack, Limited 10, etc.) always plan your stage attack so that there is a logical point where you have PLANNED to make a reload ... that reduces your need to think about doing a reload.  A Decision Matrix is something which should have been evaluated, and decided upon, before you start shooting the stage.
  • You can never have too much ammunition, or too many magazines:  In some competitive games, you are allowed to reload when it seems appropriate to you; in other competitive games, you must abide to arbitrary rules which only allow you to reload when you have expended all of the rounds available in your magazine.   In the more 'permissive' games, it's often competitively advantageous to drop a magazine which has remaining rounds because you can do so in 'dead time' and avoid the time-penalty inherent in doing a "standing reload".  The option to reload to competitive advantage is significant.   I won't spend much time discussing forced-reloads, because I think it's even less "practical" than USPSA has become.  Essentially, reload when it is to your advantage.   In a real-life self-defensive situation (where you might typically carry no more than 1 or 2 "extra" magazines) it would be a good idea to retain partially filled magazines; in competition, you may have a LOT more magazines, and so it would may be competitively advantageous to drop partial magazines, 
In a 'real life' situation, you would probably carry no more than 2 or 3 magazines; in that case, it would be exceedingly advantageous to retain partial magazines.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Abortion Rights vs Gun Rights

A recent article at POLITICUSUSA.COM argues that Right To Life Measures conflict with Right to Bear Arms issues.

Gun Owners Need Roe Vs. Wade: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act),
... a law created under the Clinton Administration, which is an outgrowth of Roe vs. Wade explains the law regarding mentally ill patients and firearms. If a person is ordered by a judge to seek mental health treatment, the person is banned from purchasing a firearm. So, people like: John Hinckley, Jr and Mark David Chapman are banned for life from purchasing firearms. Yet, what of those who were not adjudicated? People who slipped through the cracks or those who are depressed and need medical treatment for mental illness and voluntarily seek treatment on their own free will? They can purchase a firearm legally ...
I can't follow the logic, but it sounds like a "Catch 22" attempt to use Conservative "Right To Life" priorities to simultaneously confound "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" priorities.

As nearly as I can tell, the author assumes that people use the 2nd Amendment to justify killing people, and that conflicts with anti-abortion priorities to protect life.

I may be wrong as hell in my (admittedly cursory) evaluation of this confusing logic.  Or perhaps I'm just too stupid to understand the logic.

But I always thought that there was no conflict between one drive to preserve life (anti-abortion) and another drive to protect live life (self defense, via the 2nd Amendment).

AGAIN ... I accept that I'm either over-simplifying the original argument, or completely mis-understanding it.

My hope is that someone who is better at parsing a complex statement ... which is NOT completely defined in the truncated quote presented here (please go to the original statement for the full text!) will take the time to translate it into "**** FOR DUMMIES" terms.

I'm reluctant to dismiss the argument ... whatever it is.  I suspect that there is a legitimate point being made, but either it is too complex for my immediate understanding or it contains a logical fallacy which I have not identified, or it's all political.

[updated 92/28/16 to correct spelling errors]

She Still Lives!

E.R. Boroughs, in his "John Carter of Mars" series, epitomized the phrase "I STILL LIVE!"

That seems an appropriate tagline for this article.

New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat who sponsored a state law which supposedly required that as soon as a "smart gun" was sold ... it would be the only firearm which would be legally sold in NJ ..... is still around, and is insistent that her bill be the "law of the land"; at least in New Jersey.

That was, we all assumed her (political) death knell.
We were wrong.

She's back.  And she brought at least one ape with her this year.

Two new gun control bills hit Christie's desk | POLITICO:
In 2002, James McGreevey signed a law that would have required all guns sold in New Jersey to be equipped with “smart” technology designed to be fired by just one person, using fingerprint scanners, watches or items things intended to verify the owner. But the law has been criticized as holding up the development of the technology. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat who sponsored that law, has introduced a bill to repeal it — but only if New Jersey gun dealers sell at least one firearm equipped with the technology within three years of it becoming available on the market.
I have a LOT to say about this, but as a personal favor to the four or five folks who actually read this scribbling, I'll resist the urge to drill down for a few thousand words.

However, I will mention that at the time this controversy came to a political head, the ONLY pistol which provided this technological wonder was only available in .22 caliber.  It was only offered by one firearms dealer, and the outrage was so vehement and so widespread that he actually only sold ... none of them.  (Poor guy, I don't know if he's still in business, but he has had his moment in the sun.)

Keep a weather eye out for Loretta Weinberg, though.  She's a crusader, she has a cause, and although I absolutely reject her political stance, I can't help rooting for her to stick to her guns.

uh ... perhaps that was an unfortunate choice of words.


Top 10 Gun Headlines You Will Never Read Anywhere But Here:

Oh, yeah.  I'm loving this.  Nice Satire


#3 Potential Mass Shooter Drops Gun and Runs after reading "GUN FREE ZONE" sign

What's the difference between IPhone Security and Firearms Security?

Forget iPhones, let's require passcodes on guns - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram:

Why is it a 6-year-old child can pick up an iPhone and be prevented from accessing its contents because of a passcode, but that same child can pick up a gun and shoot his 3-year-old brother in the face and kill him by accident? If a judge can order Apple to create software that can unlock phones that are now impenetrable, why can’t Congress order gun makers to lock their guns?
Where do we start?

(1) A child should not initiate a fatal firearms accident ... parental responsibility.   Does it sound too simplistic to suggest that cell phones and firearms should not be subject to the same security protocols?   If you own a firearm and your minor child has access, the consequences are YOUR fault!

(2) "Passcodes" are intended for access restrictions of electronic devices; they are not intended for access restrictions for defense firearms.  ANY protocol which delays immediate access to a defensive firearm cripples the 'defensive' capability of a firearm.  Good people die when artificial restrictions cripple an honest citizen's access to a defensive weapon.  Cell phones .... not so much.

(3) The role of Congress is to uphold and defend the Constitution, which includes the 2nd Amendment.  Too often the Liberals think that the job of Congress is to enact "feel-good" laws.  There is a technical term to describe people who conflate personal physical security with cell-phone security.  That technical term is "IDIOTS!"

(4) The job of legislation is to protect private rights, not to limit them.