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Friday, February 17, 2017

CCW holder going to PRISON!!

That got your attention as it should!!

But lets start at the beginning a great piece appeared on my Facebook feed earlier in the week, and below is a section of it.

It's not the police who need to be retrained, it's the public. We have grown into a mouthy, cell phone wielding, vulgar, uncivil society with no personal responsibility and the attitude of 'it's the other person's fault', 'you owe me'. A society where children grow up with no boundaries or knowledge or concern for civil society and personal responsibility. 
When an officer says "Put your hands up," then put your hands up! Don't reach for something in your pocket, your lap, your seat. There's plenty of reason for a police officer to feel threatened, there have been multiple assaults and ambushes on police officers lately. Comply with requests from the officer, have your day in court. Don't mouth off, or fight, or refuse to comply... that escalates the situation. 
Police officers are our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. They're black, white, brown, all colors, all ethnicities, all faiths, male and female, they are us. They see the worst side of humanity... the raped children, the bloody mangled bodies of traffic victims, the bruised and battered victims of domestic violence, homicide victims, body parts... day after day. 
They work holidays while we have festive meals with our families. They miss school events with their kids, birthdays, anniversaries, all those special occasions that we take for granted. They work in all types of weather, under dangerous conditions, for relatively low pay. 
They have extensive training, but they are human. When there are numerous attacks on them, they become hyper vigilant for a reason, they have become targets. When a police officer encounters any person... any person, whether at a traffic stop, a street confrontation, an arrest, whatever... that situation has the potential to become life threatening. You, Mr & Mrs/Miss Civilian, also have the responsibility of keeping the situation from getting out of control.
Many law enforcement officers are Veterans. They've been in service to this nation most of their lives, whether on the battlefield or protecting us here at home. They are the only thing that stands between us and anarchy in the streets. 
If you want to protect your child, teach them respect.
What does that tell us? I have seen a great change in society in various countries over the year, and not for the better. It now seems that there is a large element in society that hangs on everyone they disagree with's every word, looking for something with which they can be offended, and use that as a stick with which to beat that person, until they achieve their aim, usually the removal of the person with whom they disagree. If they are prevented from doing whatever they choose, they the ACLU turn up almost as an emergency service.

Yet. they think they can treat anyone they perceive as not agreeing with their cause, whatever it maybe, in anyway they choose, and drag in ordinary members of the public, and remove their rights for as long as they choose in the name of "protest". The way that law enforcement is treated by this element of society is beyond contemptible, yet they expect to be treated with kid gloves as they stop traffic on motorways, and throw abuse at anyone who dares to disagree.

Michael Aaron Strickland
We now have new laws making their way through various legislatures that provide for a defense for people who find themselves in the position of tragically hitting protesters who choose to try and block roads, but is that something anyone should have to go through, along with the inevitable protracted and expensive civil suit?

Take the case of Michael Aaron Strickland on Portland Oregon. Carrying a legal firearm, he was in what he deemed a life threatening situation whilst apparently doing his job as a radiographer and journalist during a demonstration. This guy drew his firearm having apparently been assaulted and verbally abused by a large crowd of protesters. Lets be clear, he didn't shoot anyone, nor did he he resist arrest, yet he finds himself convicted on various charges, that could see him in a state prison for some decades. Again, it seems that if a group is offended enough, they can change the course of someone life dramatically, simply because they disagree with them or their actions.

Where does all this lead I hear you ask. Well, it's a message I have put out there several times. Training is everything, whether it is how to use the resources you have available to you, to CRUCIALLY knowing WHEN you can and even more important when you can't use those resources. Even training with people who are ex law enforcement as many are at Caswells, can save not only your life, but your liberty. Know the law where ever you are. If you utilize the reciprocity that the AZ CCW affords you, don't think that the laws surrounding self defense or even how you carry your firearm are the same, they aren't, and it's VERY easy to be caught out.

Knowledge IS power!!

Get trained, PLEASE don't be the next news story! Follow this link, and you will find yourself on the Caswells CCW page, book into the CCW class on Monday the 20th, Presidents Day, and send me a mail with your confirmation number and "Presidents Day" in the subject line, and I will give you a free special offer voucher when you come to take your class on Monday! Just follow this link, and as spaces are 1st come 1st served, don't delay!

North Dakota passes law to protect motorists who accidentally run over protesters

Man who pulled a gun on protestors convicted, faces decades in prison, and permanent loss of 2nd amendment rights

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Desert or range?

The age old problem in Arizona. With desert all around us, why wouldn't you want to take a trip out into the desert, and shoot for free?

On the face of it, great idea, lots of space, you can do what you like, shot what you like, with what you like, take the family, and not be troubled by those pesky RO's, right?

Well lets think about that for a moment.Can you do what you like? Sort of is the obvious answer. For  parts of the year, the state, city, county close parts of the desert to shooters, with heavy penalties for those ignoring the restrictions, but do you know where to look to find out where you can and can't shoot? Safety can also be an issue in the desert when you are in locations that allow shooting.

Not withstanding the local fauna wishing to take a bite out of you if they get the chance (no I have yet to see a snake, and hope I never do, but they are out there!!) especially in rocky terrain that makes up a lot of shooting locations, do I want to come across one when placing/retrieving targets?

Targets, another consideration is of course targets. Can you just press a button and have your target run out 65 feet, and come back when you have shot a perfect 1" group, or is it time to send family members trudging over open group that others may shoot over?

But far more importantly, what is everyone around you doing? No matter how safely you behave, and how sensible your gun handling, do you know what everyone else is doing, and how they are going about handling their firearms? Have a look at this video, what you see is someone firing a .50 cal Barrett and yes, that is the bullet he firing that comes back. No matter how careful you are, do you know what others are doing?

With lane rental fees at only $15, is it REALLY worth the effort to drive miles out into the desert?

Friday, January 27, 2017

National CCW permit, possible or pipedream?

Writing this piece has been an interesting intellectual exercise. I want to address the changes that face the shooting community, the changes to laws and ways of doing things that it would seem are on their way to us.

As a British guy in the US, it took me a long time to get my head around how the laws of the US work, the differences between federal and state law, and how they interact, and to be honest, it still confuses me!! Take medical Marijuana for example, legal is a number of states, yet remains federally  illegal. I make no claims either way as to whether that is right or wrong, it's just very confusing that someone can do something which on the face of it is legal, but for which you can find yourself in hot water if caught be some agencies, but not others, and although ostensibly legal, means that you become a federally prohibited possessor of firearms.

Now lets move to where this kind of legal dichotomy really starts to effect your life and potentially safety, the concealed carrying of firearms. As we know, in Arizona, we are lucky enough to be able to carry pretty much whatever we choose, concealed or open, under the "constitutional carry" definition of the 2nd amendment. But as we know, various states don;t share that definition, and if you were caught with a concealed firearm, you would find yourself with all sorts of legal difficulties.

As the US's 45th President enacts executive orders with a speed never seen before, what do you think of his pledge to bring conformity to the states as regards gun laws, and concealed carry? As I look West to California, I don't see their politicians simply accepting that conforming to what the President has decreed on this issue without a serious fight.

But turning to the law as it stands today, it is a LOT easier to find yourself in jail, facing a felony charge that you may think, and for simply passing THROUGH an airport! Does it actually make sense that something you can do perfectly legally in one state in the country of the United States can see you facing serious charges in another state in the same country, even if you were simply passing through an airport that happened to be in New York, and you had studiously followed federal law, the airline's rules and all the relevant TSA requirements?

With 50 states, the rules that govern what concealed carry holders can and can't do in various other states they maybe visiting is a minefield that changes daily, and to keep fully informed about, you would have to have a staff lawyer present at all times. There are websites that I have listed below that will assist you to understand which states have reciprocity with your home state, but you still have to abide by their concealed carry laws when you are in another state, meaning many hours of reading state law!

Can that really be right in the 21st century, in a united country like the US? Personally I have the feeling that the 45th President will take the issue of conformity of gun laws forward, and make changes that could potentially improve lives of gun owners. It's now up to gun owners to show responsibility and good judgement in how they go about exercising the rights we in Arizona in particular are able to enjoy.

Training and knowledge are vital to any part of our lives where we have the rights that we have to exercise responsibly. Taking a CCW class in your home state, whether you are required to or not, is a great and VITAL 1st step, but don't stop there, train, take classes, and protect not only yourselves, and your families, but the sport of shooting that you have come to enjoy.

Train for the Arizona CCW permit, and learn about the sport of shooting

Passing through New York with your firearm? Read this.

What is Constitutional Carry?

Which states recognize your home states CCW permit? (reciprocity)

What is the law in Arizona regarding concealed carry of firearms?

Friday, November 18, 2016

To support or to not support, that is the question.

Interesting times in the US to be sure. After one of the most bitter and dare I say it, bizarre elections I have ever seen, there is now increased focus on law enforcement as riots seem to be cropping up everywhere.

Now to begin with, lets leave politics out of this piece, and simply talk about law enforcement. The cops out there up and down the country undoubtedly have a very difficult job to do. Over the last couple of years their conduct has been placed in very narrow focus by the news media and various groups, with every move they make, and every mistake they make minutely examined, often with the benefit of HD TV coverage, and 20/20 hindsight.

There was a saying that became a often (over)used cliche at home, altered a little to fit this subject, the police have to get it right every time every day, if they don't, it could mean their lives or a very long prison sentence.

What about doctors I hear you ask. I would agree, they also have a huge amount of responsibility, and of course as the cost of their liability insurance demonstrates, people aren't afraid to dissect every move they make several months later with a known outcome either. But there is a huge difference, that makes the police unique. Every interaction they have with a member of the public could be their last.

Do they know when they approach a motorist they have stopped that they won't be gunned down for no apparent reason? Does a person with that intent somehow look different from the rest of us? Of course not. The doctor in general is greeted as a friend, as someone looking to help. A policeman enforces the law, and by that very definition they interactions they have with the public start on a confrontational footing.

I have found through many years of dealing with the public in many different industries, that you tend to get the reaction that your actions dictate. If I am nice, people are nice to me, if I choose to be confrontational, I will normally get the same response. When dealing with the police, and calm, receptive and co operative attitude will rarely be unwelcome, and will nearly always lead to if not a wholly satisfactory outcome (is a citation ever satisfactory..) then an outcome that both can look back on as at least one from which everyone walked away.

The story from Florida of the motorist that stopped to help the cop that was pinned to the ground, being beaten, is actually quite uplifting after so many months of hard fought election. The fact that someone died is of course a tragedy, but the fact that someone sprang to the defense on the embattled police department is a cause for if not celebration, then at least an indication that the forces of law and order are not always seen as the enemy.

Ask yourself this, if you were in that motorist's position, bearing in mind the inevitable civil suit that will no doubt ensue would you do the same, or would you drive on by, hoping someone else will stop to help.

Interesting question, would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Can your method of self defence be a hobby?

Just last week, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple here at Caswells who I think it's fair to say are one of our most senior customers. I shall not name them for fear of making them blush, but they were 2 of the nicest people I have had the good fortune to meet in the store. They had done a little research, and wanted to buy a gun that they could both use, that wasn't a cannon, but would still be of use if they had to defend themselves.

We spent a great deal of time together, going through options and ideas, until we kept returning to the same gun, a Sig Sauer P238, in my opinion one of, if not the best concealed firearm currently available (if you disagree, please do post and let me know), which is eventually what the happy couple purchased, and are overjoyed with.

"Why were they such a joy to deal with" I hear you ask. Because they got the balance just right. They had done enough research to get them into the correct ballpark, and now, simply needed a little assistance to get them to where they needed to be. They hadn't made their mind up simply from online reviews, nor were their "wants" hard and fast, they were happy to think along different lines, and different ideas, until they found something that works for them.

Not only that, they have realized that they now have a very powerful weapon at their disposal. A 380ACP round is not to be ignored nor taken lightly. Again, they knew a little but were more than willing to learn, and signed up for a CCW, and took a lesson with one of our RO's a couple of days later. All the above is to me, responsible ownership, understanding what you have, how to use it, and how to keep yourself and others safe around it.

Contrast that story with the latest unnecessary tragedy in Phoenix a few weeks ago. A 5 year old tragically found his dads loaded gun, and ended up fatally shot. The family are devastated, of course and our heart goes out to them, but this happens far far to often. You wouldn't drive a car without training, so why is OK to own a gun, and not think that up to date training is essential? Did you take your CCW  years ago? Great, no class to take to renew, but don't you think that you should know all you can about about current legislation and practises?

Don't hand those that have a negative view of guns the ball and watch them run it in for a touchdown, don't give them them anything they can use us, because you can be certain that if you do, they WILL use it.

Be careful and look after your firearm, so if the time comes, it will look after you,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Is preparing wrong?

This little gem popped up in my Facebook feed during the week, interesting reading.

"Here's a question: Why is it such a bad thing to think if men need to "change so that they're not objectifying women" that women learn self defense, both mental and physical, for all the bad shit that will happen to them and the guys that managed to skip the "change societal norms" class? "

It got me to thinking a great deal about being prepared for eventualities which are not theoretical risks, but things that happen to people around us every day. For example, I have a very good friend, an older lady, who doesn't agree with guns, and thinks they should all be banned. Now leaving aside the rights and wrongs of banning guns, the fact is they exist, and will continue to exist no matter what legislation was passed. Now in that circumstance is it wise to stick to your views, and ignore the rest of the world where guns exist and and bad people have guns?

Now let's get something straight, I am not blaming the victim not excusing the criminal here. What I am suggesting is that it must make sense to take actions and take necessary precautions to protect yourself from people to whom what's right would depend on how attractive your pocket book looked.

An example I was given years ago would seem to be relevant. When I was teaching people to to ride motorbikes in the UK, a very old and wise instructor took me aside, whilst trying to calm one of my wilder streaks, and gave me this little thought. When you are at a set of traffic lights, and your light goes green, do you simply dive straight out into the junction, or do you check that the road is clear? After some discussion about breaking the law etc etc etc, he made me realize that if I pull straight out, without taking adequate precautions, and got flattened by a 44 truck, I would indeed be in right and the truck driver totally in the wrong.

However, no matter how in the wrong he was, and how in the right I was, I still suffer the appalling consequences. Is that fair, of course not, I should walk away uninjured, and the truck driver should go to prison for 20 years, but life doesn't work like that does it. Could I have helped myself, and taken some precautions, yes, I could, that doesn't make me any less right, but it does mean that I can deal with, and avoid the actions of others to whom the law and what's "right" is far less important.

Going back to my friend, if she were to be confronted by a person who wants to cause her harm, she can do very little to defend herself beyond shouting if she can. If I were to drive to a particularly sketchy part of the valley, wearing my nice new Rolex, there's a good chance that I could well be relieved of it, perhaps better not to have it on display. Is that right, or fair, no, but is it a realistic attitude that avoids me possibly losing my goods, and maybe my life, yes, and that's the point.

Life isn't fair, we have to realize that, and live our lives accordingly. There's is little point taking the moral high ground from a hospital bed, when by simply using a little common sense, we can do all that we could ever want to, just by taking a few simple precautions

Just ask yourself this simple question, would you fry bacon naked..

Some sources to make you think a little;

Trying to take the cell phone of an MMA fighter is never usually a good plan

Video of someone trying to take an MMA fighters cell phone

Friday, September 23, 2016

Is there a perfect gun?

I get asked on a regular basis "what gun should I buy?" What an interesting question. As you know, guns come in many forms, types, calibers and sizes. Lets start at the beginning.

1. What purpose do I want to put the gun to?
The 1st and most obvious question is "what do I want to do with my gun". The answer often tends to be "I want to protect myself/family". Perfect, and the most common reason for gun ownership. But we need to think a little harder. If you are simply looking for a device to keep you and your family safe at home, like having locks and alarms then your choice of guns is very large. From a Desert Eagle to a Derringer, pretty much any gun would fulfill that role. The question would be what's ideal?

If however, someone wants to widen the scope a little, and suggest that they also want to be safe outside the home, then a little more thought needs to go into the decision. Can that gun be carried comfortably and conveniently, and can I use it efficiently if there is a "situation"?

A S&W C.O.R.E. is a fantastic range gun, accurate, large magazine, and able to take all sorts of extra sights and enhancements. Excellent if you intend to take part in a shooting competition here at Caswells, but if you want to carry it concealed when you go shopping at Walmart, not an ideal choice. Conversely, if you have a shiny new Sig P238, probably not the best choice for the next IDPA match!

2. Come shooting!
There is a fundamental choice to be made before selecting a handgun, revolver or semi auto. They are as different as choosing between a bicycle and a BMW!! One is reliable, small, easy to use and a tried and tested design. The other, easy to use, tried and tested, reliable and tried and tested. Seem similar, that's because they are, not to each other of course, but each have very similar attributes, and whether they fit your requirements or not really depends on which one you can use most comfortably and reliably. It's no good having a $1000 44 Magnum Smith & Wesson, if the recoil makes the gun so uncontrollable for you, the location of your 2nd shot is a mystery! Equally, there's no point in having a Kahr PM9 if you can't pull back the slide.

It doesn't end there of course. You have to consider caliber, size, recoil, “Stopping power”, triggers, ergonomics, controls, ease of slide racking, external safety or no external safety? These are all things that go to making up the "perfect" gun for you, and what use you have for it.

How do you know which works for you, easy, shoot them!! You don't have to shoot every semi auto and every revolver, just 1 or 2 of each so you can make an informed choice as to what suits you best.
3. Don’t get married to your first gun

Sounds easy right? Your 1st gun is like your 1st car. You have done everything you can to make the right choice, taken advice from people who have more experience than you do, shopped around, shot some guns, and now you have your lovely shiny new gun in your hands, as you book up your 1st classes to learn how to get the best from it.

As you learn more, and shoot more, you will realize that just like driving, you are getting better and more confident. You have become familiar with your gun, and are realizing that there maybe other things you'd like from it, perhaps areas where you believe it could be improved, or where your shooting experience can be enhanced in an area where your current gun maybe lacking.

As your shooting experience expands and grows, and as your life changes, your requirements for your guns will change. There is no such thing as the "perfect" gun, merely the gun best suited to a situation. Make sure that as your needs change, so does your equipment.

Read the article this piece is based on here