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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

 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Is self defense the most important thing you ever invest in?



I am often asked "what is the best gun for my money?" Now there's a subject all of it's own!! Some guns are better at some things than others, for instance, would I conceal carry an 8" SW460? Conversely, If I were camping in bear country, would I pack my P238? There are so many answers to that question it makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

But what is the real answer? If I buy a $1400 Sig Sauer Legion, took it home, and locked it away, and never fired it, is that the best gun? Sure it's a valuable gun, but best? I would think that like classic and exotic cars, expensive guns are only of any use when they are used for what they are good at, and the person using them has trained to get the very best they are capable of from them. Most guns are capable of accuracies that far outweigh the abilities of a person to repeatedly hit the same spot, and I include the cheaper guns in that statement.

So the only difference in accuracy effective use is the ability of the person using that gun. And that is where the lesson is to be found. Having the right equipment is only the 1st stage in a process. It's great having a Ferrari F12, but unless you either possess a HUGE amount of natural talent, you will need training to avoid finding yourself a passenger on the way to the scene of the accident you can't avoid.

As you all know, I preach safety and the fact that I believe you should be prepared for reasonable eventualities at all times till you are all sick of me doing so! There is little point in having very expensive equipment if you have idea how to get the best from it, and don't then make that equipment available to yourself in a situation where you may need it.

There are tragic stories everyday of people being injured and killed in circumstances where even the most basic training would have stopped the tragedies. There was a 2 year old toddler wounded "playing with a gun" only last week.

Take the terrible events last night on the 51. Whilst all the facts are not yet clear, a woman it seems was chased across Phoenix by 3 guys in a truck, and SHOT as she tried to get away on the 51, in a moving car, and all this at 7.30pm! Perhaps some training in self defense and how to deal with being followed in in a vehicle and road rage would have helped?

If you don;t have a plan of how to defend yourself in a variety of situations, now is the time to sit down, and consider making one. Take the classes that we offer, and are out there. There's no need to goto work in a bullet proof vest, with a hand grenade in each pocket, nor do you need a 45 in every room, and steel doors on your house. Just a range of very simple precautions would help you to simply be prepared, and to be able to help yourself until professional help can arrive.

Don't want to waste money on it, because it will never happen to you, do you have a fire extinguisher in your house?

Think about it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Do I need training?



In the words of a British soccer commentator, "it's a funny ole game". By game, I of course mean the firearms "game. Running a range like Caswells, you soon learn to expect the unexpected. From a customer returning to the store with his receipt from 1996 asking if his special order magazine had come in yet, to people pulling the trigger again in the hope the speeding bullet will clear a squib, we see a great many things that make us smile, gasp and sometimes even wince a little!

But, what is always a shock is the difference in views to training. We have all types of people that come here, but with training there tend to be 2 camps which most people fall into, namely "all" or "nothing" with little in between.

There is no compunction to take training, apart from basic training for the CCW, but is it a great idea to take no training? Lets see, if you were lucky enough to be given a McClaren P1, and were offered training at a fraction of the cost of the car, but that would mean you could actually get the best from it, would you do the training? I suspect you would.

Now think about a nice new Sig Sauer, best part of $1000, would you spend $100 on some training so YOU can get the best from your new and shiney Sig? I know I did when I first started to get involved in firearms.


But, even more important that getting the best out of your gun, safety. There are SO many tragic stories in the press of injuries and deaths from negligent discharge situations. A 2 year old toddler was wounded when a gun that HE WAS PLAYING WITH went off and wounded him in the leg. A man was shot in the neck a few weeks ago by his friend who was cleaning his gun in another room!

On the range, we are often critised for asking people to unload thier guns outside the store. But the case of a gunshop owner in Ohio who was killed by a customer taking in a class in another room, who suffered a negligent discharge with a gun that should not have been loaded serves as a warning and an explanation of why following such rules is essential for both customer and staff safety, we don't just make them up for fun.

What's the answer, ban guns, universal background checks, AR bans, ammo bans? Of course not. Training and good sense are the key. Guns do not simply leap up and shoot people of their own accord when they are bored on a Thursday afternoon, they have to be manipulated to make that happen. Children access bleach left in cupboards they can reach an drink it, with obvious consequences. Do we seek to ban bleach, no we try and educate people to store it safely. Would I be any more appalled to find a child playing with bleach or a gun I wonder..

Both are the result of poor decisions made by those responsible for keeping the child safe, and failing to do so. The guy cleaning the gun didn't follow the golden rules, clear any firearm you pickup, treat every gun as loaded. The student in the classroom broke the golden rule, no ammunition in a classroom


When we see attacks daily on guns and the shooting sports, don't give them an open goal to shoot at. Every one of the incidents I describe would have been avoided by following the most simple and basic gun handling routines, taught in in every class. Caswells runs classes from Family safety classes to the P300 class, and many in between, all of which can be found here on www.caswells.com

Lets be safe and responsible, and don't give those who would ban your sport and your means of defending yourself and loved ones anything to throw at us. Lets see an end to 2 year old playing with loaded guns hurting themselves. The answer is in our hands!


Toddler shoots himself
Man shoots freind
Gunstore owner dies

Friday, July 15, 2016

Why France?



It seems to happen almost every week. An extremist attacks innocent women and children and their families in the places they go to enjoy their time off, and time together. What appalling and horrific acts, Paris, Belgium, Florida, Dallas and now Nice. No matter who the perpetrator, no matter what their ridiculous reasons, I simply cannot fathom the mind that thinks their cause will be furthered, their hatred as-waged, or their "god" pleased by such wanton slaughter of people just going about their lives.

And of course, after the Dallas massacre, the same tired and discredited people crawled from the woodwork to try and push their tawdry anti gun agenda while the media shines the spotlight once more on a tragic event.

Thing is, as you watch the coverage of Nice - an event I have to say that bought me to tears, a VERY rare occurrence - and the previous coverage of Paris and Belgium, the one thing that categorically links those appalling attacks is one very simple but obvious fact, guns are not available to the public in either country.

This one simple plain fact is, broadly speaking, left out of pretty much every newsfeed I have watched thus far. Why is this, why are people allowed on TV saying that gun control is the issue that must be tackled? As the POS in Nice has proved with appalling obviousness, you can do a LOT more damage and hurt a LOT more innocent people with a truck or as in Boston, with a pressure cooker.

But there are no calls to ban trucks or cooking implements, why, because it doesn't fit the gun control agenda. Twist it as they may, they simply have to concede that in the face of terrorism the like of which the US has never known, and on a scale even Europe has never seen, the answer is not what they would like it to be.

The answer is that the people perpetrating the act are what need dealing with, their motivations examined, and ways found to prevent their "success's" in the future. Unpalatable though it maybe, we simply have to profile the people likely to carry out these attacks as best we can, and take steps to ensure our safety.

RIP those killed in Nice, and the injured are in our thoughts.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How many world events can you pack into a couple of weeks!



Since my last posting it seems that there have been more world changing events than anyone could have thought possible! Florida seems to have been on the wrong end of fate a little to often, with 3 tragedies in quick succession. The presidential race continues unabated, events in the UK and and Europe seem to be taking the UK away from the EU, and perhaps closer to the US.

And as all this is happening, amongst the turmoil in the world, and huge issues being faced by leaders the world over, what to the leaders of this fine country do, how do they rise above the political in fighting and baiting? They decide to hold a sit-in!

That's right, a sit-in! Whilst there are those who want draconian action to stem sales of "assault rifles" (although their use in crime is actually minuscule) and others who would I am sure support a bill mandating their ownership, and people prepared to throw civilized debate, negotiation and compromise under the bus, and sit on the floor till they get their own way, there will never be any progress.

As you can no doubt tell from the posts in this blog, I am an ardent gun supporter, and a supporter of the right to own them, but even I realize that there are contradictions that could and should be addressed in the gun laws as they stand. Universal background checks is something that has been mooted on many occasions, and something which, if you accept that background checks for new firearms are acceptable, is very difficult to argue against.

And then we arrive at the current issue of no fly lists. I have to say that if someone has been placed on a no fly list it's probably for a good reason. I struggle to understand why if someone is deemed enough of a risk to be prevented from flying, they are somehow not enough of a risk to suspend their ability to purchase firearms. I understand that there is a constitutional issue surrounding due process, but I don't really see what the argument is if the person concerned is immediately offered an appeal in court, and was suggested by the republicans in congress.

Sweeping "we got to control guns and ban assault weapons" statements are ridiculous to the point of being childish. fact is that even if there was the will to 'ban' guns, there are simply to many out there, and the only ones handed in will be from law abiding citizens, leaving the vast majority in the hands of those who dream of an unarmed population.

We really need to get a grip of this argument, and find some ground where we can all agree. This 'debate' has dragged on for as long as anyone can remember, and it's time to actually find a reasonable solution.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Seems even the courts disagree with each other!!



So, we have the happy situation in that we live in Arizona, where the firearms laws are the least restrictive of any in the country. But will that always be the case? There have been some interesting and apparantly contradictory decissions by various state supreme courts recently that almost guarantee that the US supreme court will take up the matter of concealed carry in the not to distant future.

On May 17th, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon handed down a judgement that Washington DC police's requirment for "individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital" violated the "“core right of self-defense” granted in the Second Amendment".

The judge based his ruling on previous case law from 2008, and it seems that the city, after a request to have the decission held was denied, are preparing an appeal. The original long standing ban on carrying any firearms in public was overturned by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr in July 2014. Subsequently, he issued a further opinion in May last year, saying the District’s recently passed “good reason” requirement still “impinges on Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment right to bear arms,” because it did not target dangerous people or specifically how or where individuals carry weapons.

And that would seem to have been that, or was it? Today we have a ruling that would seem to go directly against these prior rulings. In California (where else!!) a 7-to-4 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court. California law requires applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a weapon, like working in a job with a security threat, which would seem to be exactly the same position as Washington residents had found themselves in.

It would seem that some district courts do not agree with others, that people have a fundamental right to defend themselves. It seems that in states like California, you are only allowed access to proper self defence if you are ALREADY in danger, or are rich or important. Is that really what the 2nd amendment was/is all about?

In a wider context, it would seem that this issue is destined to arrive at the US supreme court in the not to distant future, raising another disturbing prospect. At the moment, the Supreme Court could spilt 4 vs 4 on this issue, and that would seem likely. But what happens after the election. If the democrats win in November, and appoint a more "progressive" justice, will they uphold the intent of the 2nd amendment as they have done by a margin of 1 vote in the past?

All this only becomes an issue of course if the state attempts to institute draconian CCW laws, probably unlikely in Arizona, but does that mean we should rest easy? I would suggest that sitting back and discussing how lucky we are, and how they suffer in California, we do something now to prepare for what I would suggest is an inevitable attack on your right to carry a concealed firearm in the not to distant future.

But the $64,000 question is what do we do? How can we protect our rights and the 2nd amendment? I would really like to hear your thought, what do YOU think we should do? 

Todays ninth circuit court ruling.

May's Washington ruling.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fair, who said life was fair?



Fairness, what does that mean to you? Interesting question with many answers, depending on a great many thinks. What is fair to 1 person, is an outrage to the next. Is it fair that if I get on a bus, I should give up my seat if an old person needs it, even if  - as will probably be the case - I paid more for my ticket? No, it's not fair, but it's probably the right thing to do. This logic extends to lines that people have been waiting in, even parking lots. But get it wrong, and there'll be hell to pay!!

And get it wrong they certainly seem to have managed in California! It would seem that California's draconian gun laws are only for the seething masses of unwashed. It would seem that whereas CA legislators suffering an issue need to be able to defend themselves immediately, you and I must simply use very strong language and exercise patience while the police wing their way to us, hot foot through the Los Angeles rush hour traffic. "But they are important people" I hear you cry.

That is of course true, but of all the rights someone should possess, surely the right to defend yourself is one of the most important? This extends to the rhetoric of the liberal left. Invariably, after a huge rabble rousing speech about the horror of guns and gun violence, you can watch the speaker being escorted from the building, flanked by armed guards a plenty. Are the general population somehow immune from violence that would fall upon the speech maker, to the point that they have no need to protect them selves in a similar way to those that would attack them?

Something else crossed my desk earlier this week that made me smile. It seems that local manufacturer Patriot Ordnance Factory, or POF has made "The Donald" an offer, via psychic medium, and videographer Ben Philippi  it seems he would he will be unable to resist! It seems that POF are willing to "put a free rifle in every guard tower" on the wall of Trump!!  Just some figures I am lifting straight from the article,

The wall would apparently have to be 3.5million yards long, so with towers 1200 yards apart, that's 2,917 towers. If we assume a POF AR15 comes in around $2k, that would cost POF a smidge under $6 million. Not a bad gesture!

With the NRA now also backing "The Donald", and it seems momentum building, what do you think lays in store for the shooting fraternity in the event of a ceremony ending in the words "here are the keys to the Whitehouse President Trump"?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What are you doing this weekend?



What is your family favorite activity for Memorial day? Watch a parade, nice family dinner, perhaps visit a park, or go for a hike, maybe take the 4 wheelers for a spin? Sounds like a great all American weekend to me. But as with anything, you have to make sure you remain safe, and can deal with most of the situations you may encounter.

So you have packed a first aid kit, compass, maps, sunscreen, a hat, copious quantities of water, a phone, spare phone battery, and you've let someone know where your going, and when you are expected back. But hang on, is that all you need?

There are a variety of animals out there that see you as their memorial day dinner! It also seems that the immigration problem is spreading from normal border areas, further North towards the valley. This has lead Pinal county Sheriff Paul Babeu to issue a warning to anyone hiking, camping or exploring the desert wilderness in the Western part of Pinal county, that they might want to consider carrying a a firearm.

There have reportedly been a number of gun battles between drug and people smugglers in the southern part of Pinal county over the last few months. There are apparently drug smugglers, people smugglers, other 'crews' looking to rip off the 1st 2 groups, look outs and assassins all there just waiting for the opportunity attack each other.

While I completely and totally 100% agree with Sheriff Babeu, and for the record, every time I have been out exploring, I have been somewhat prepared in case there was an issue, I am left with the image in my head of Mr and Mrs Average, from number 12 Acacia Ave, hunkering down behind their 2015 Cadillac Excalade, loading up their shiny new DPMS AR15, with the 4 magazines of PMC they bought with the rifle, looking through the as yet un zeroed EoTech site, and dutifully taking on the massed ranks of the finest hit-men, smugglers, drug traffickers and other assembled masses of the criminal underworld that exploit Arizona's open border, certain in the knowledge that their CCW, and Introduction to Rifles P100 class will see them victorious!

Now, as I said at the start of this piece, I 100% agree with Sheriff Babeu, always be prepared if the worst should come your way, and I would certainly be armed if off to the wilds of the Arizona desert. But remember this, having the right equipment does NOT mean that it's a great idea to use it when a better remedy is at hand. When faced with the cream of the illegal border crossing underworld, I know what I would do, seek a way to turn 180 and depart at speed, and do pretty much anything to avoid an entanglement with them, unless I have literally no choice what so ever.

What I am trying to say is that is this, and many other situations in life, know your limitations, know your abilities, and do everything you to can to stay within them. That really is the brightest and best choice every time.


Darwin awards

Sadly I did not come up with that title, but it's a fine title for an occasional section I shall put in when the news story is just to good to miss.
So the police in that quiet backwater of Guadalupa were called to what they thought was a house fire. When they arrived, they discovered it was a man on fire.

"It's something we don't see every day especially in the town of Guadalupe," said Detective Doug Matteson with MCSO. It transpired he had been examining a flaregun, and it "went off" in his face!

It is said that the gentleman was intoxicated, no, I find that hard to believe! Lets remember that old saying, some of the best stories start with "here, hold my beer"!


Lets all be careful, and remember the 5 rules of gun safety!



Interview with Paul Babeu on ABC15 news.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The world is a very very strange place



With every passing day, my newsfeed makes me shake my head in disbelief. The stories from not only here in the US, but from around the world not only make me worry about the human race, but I also worry about those who think they have the solutions!

Take this story from the UK. 2 people, a couple in their 60's in a quiet town about 40 miles south of London are sitting in their house, minding their own business, when their door is kicked down, and 3 men invade their home. They are then tortured (there is no other word for it!) for sometime, with threats to kill other family members, and having "life changing injuries" inflicted on them, with the wife fighting for her life. Why, so that they would reveal any valuables they might have had!

"Why is this relevant?" I hear you cry. I have always felt comfortable legally carrying a firearm, concealed or otherwise, and at the very least, having one available. It's not that I want to take on the world, want to bring justice to where there inequity, peace to troubled lands etc etc etc, it's being happy in the knowledge that should there be a situation where my life, or that of my family are threatened, I have the means, and hopefully the opportunity to defend myself and my family. All other things being equal, I have a means to level the playing field.

What chance did these poor couple stand? In the UK, as far as makes any difference, ALL firearms are banned, with a few exceptions. So what chance does this poor couples stand when confronted by people who will commit bestial acts to deprive them of what they have worked for all their lives, and indeed their very lives! This is where the 'ban the guns' argument falls away. Those who wish to take what YOU have earned, and do you harm, they don't abide by the law. They don't worry about gun laws, theft, assault, torture or what the law says about minimum force, they will simply do what it takes to take everything you have!

Without a means to level the playing field, what is your response? More locks, on a door that is so easy to break it may as well be, and probably partly is, made of paper! Burglar alarm perhaps, great if you want to spend $50+ a month, and the crime happens to be in your house. Pepper spray, possibility, though you are just as likely to incapacitate yourself! A firearm is a force multiplication tool, like a hammer, or a wrench, nothing more nothing less. When used properly, it can and will give you peace of mind, do it's job flawlessly and keep your and yours safe, that's what it's for.

To seek a blanket ban on firearms is as nonsensical as banning aircraft because some crash from time to time, and almost always because of the fault of the human in charge. Are you willing to accept pilot less aircraft? The comparison stands up as you are afraid of a mechanical object that has no human input, as you are afraid of a gun, whilst ignoring the human input. In both cases, incidents are very rare, but only in the case of a firearm does anyone blame the mechanical object rather than the person in control of it.

But then of course, we have this brain donor! Ask yourself this, have you ever crashed your car to see if the seat belts work? Perhaps set a fire in your house to make sure the smoke alarms work? No, thought not! So what is the 'thought' process these guys used I wonder when deciding that testing a bullet proof jacket, buy wearing it, and having your friend shoot at you was a great idea!

Lets not give the anti gun lobby any more fuel to throw at us, keep safe out there, and if you have a though, that at 1st glance seems to be not the brightest thing you've ever done, STOP, because your 1st thought is probably the right one!!

https://www.facebook.com/bluematters/videos/508832762642836/

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sevenoaks/news/familys-disgust-after-boiling-water-95593/


Friday, May 6, 2016

Smart phones to smart guns?



I have an interesting story. Last night was Cinco de Mayo, a celebration I think that as an Englishman I can share with the Mexican nation as it involves a celebration of a victory over the French! I was enjoying an ice cold beer or several with my friends and neighbors, when someone suggested we should listen to the dulcet tones of Pink Floyd.

What a fine plan we all agreed, and as a full sound system in our garage is a little beyond our means, a 'smart' phone was located, along with a Bluetooth speaker, more usually found residing in my bathroom, where it thankfully does a great job of drowning out my attempts to re-create Pink Floyd. There then ensued much head scratching and annoyance as the assembled group made many fruitless attempts to made the 'smart' phone speak to a speaker, mere inches away, the same connection having been made last week.

After much bad language, cursing and frustration, a second 'smart' phone was located, and when finally my neighbors 13 year old son was sought and asked to see what he could do, Pink Floyd made a triumphant appearance in Maricopa.

Is there a point to my little story I hear you ask, well yes there is. 'Smart' guns have been making the rounds of the firearm industry for some years now. Many have tried to produce a practical weapon, that will protect people from accidental discharges, stolen guns etc. But are they as smart as people would have you believe, or are they TOO smart?

Taking my example above, a popular way to make a gun 'smart' is to have it communicate with a device held by the firearm's owner, maybe like a wrist watch. This communication is by Bluetooth, a great system used to connect devices like your phone to your car, or your headset. Another method is a fingerprint reader, used to identify authorized users, and allow the weapon to be used.

This would seem to throw up a number of issues. How many chargers do you have in your house already? It would seem that even the most basic system will require at least 1 more charger,also leading to a further issue of how do you charge your gun's system when it's in it's secure safe?

So assuming you have charged you gun, and are wearing your Bluetooth enabled 'smart watch', and you have cause to have to defend yourself. leaving aside fingerprint readers, which is a while new discussion, you draw your weapon speedily and safely, and it becomes clear you need to actually discharge your gun, you pull the trigger, having followed everything you were taught in your CCW class and your pistol classes, and low and behold nothing happens! Your Bluetooth device has locked onto another source, and suddenly, you are looking ar the wrong end of a assailant, who you have rightfully pulled a firearm on to defend yourself, that you now have no defense against!!

Not withstanding the above, if a firearm is stolen, does anyone believe that given time, and a little know how, electronic systems that are being described cannot to worked around, making the argument about making stolen guns worthless a little less easy to believe. As for safety (and this is where it gets controversial!) nothing is 100% safe. If you want to stop car accidents and deaths the only way to guarantee that is to wrap every car in expanding foam, and sealing the doors to prevent entry. Perfect solution, but now, you have something that that is useless to you in the role you bought it to perform.

Put simply, a car, gun, knife or motorcycle is as safe as the the people who control it. Properly trained people, who care and who act properly, will remain safe, those who dismiss risk and are haphazard about safety will continue to be hurt, and will hurt others, whether with a Glock or a Ford.


Friday, April 29, 2016

What happened to personal responsibility?


We live in interesting times. The debate about personal liberty, and the right to express it in the way you choose seems to be a daily feature of a great many people's lives. I think there is a pressure group for pretty much every cause, and for all facets of every argument. The thing that links pretty much all of them is that they are all claiming to be 'standing up for the rights' of the individuals whom they agree with, and demonstrating which parts of the constitution are being breached if their argument isn't accepted.

Where these various pressure groups seem to have fewer answers is when you put to them the fact that in a great deal of these cases, to uphold 'the rights' of the people they represent, they unashamedly call for the rights of the people they disagree with to be curtailed. There are many examples of this, and I want to preface my remarks here with the rider that I hold no specific position on any of the issues I comment on here, with the exception of the gun issues obviously.

We have Christian bakers being told whom they have to bake cakes for, organizations being told they must rethink the whole where one goes to the bathroom 'issue', states being boycotted for reasons unclear to most, utterly irrelevant to the vast majority, people being shunned for views that only a few short years ago were not uncommon, and others being held responsible for the actions of their dim and distant relatives from 1 or 2 centuries ago, whom they can't even name.

And that brings us neatly to the firearms debate. There are some out there that would seek to inflict their will or opinion on those of us who choose the shooting sports as a pastime, and who chose to carry a weapon to defend ourselves, our loved ones and each other. They claim they don't feel safe seeing someone walking the isles of Walmart with a 45 safely holstered, as they might shoot them! I wonder how they would feel if they were in that same Walmart, and someone with less than legal intent entered the store and began randomly shooting at staff and customers, would they be a little more happy to see the 45 come out of that holster?

And there for me is the issue. I believe in live and let live, If someone doesn't want to make a cake for someone, hey if it was me, I would find someone who wanted my business, ever made an enemy of a chef before he/she cooks your food, BAD plan!! Do I care who uses what bathroom, though I would suggest that we have managed just fine with 2 bathrooms and no confusion as to who uses which one for as long as there have been public bathrooms. The same can be said of firearms.

Me carrying a firearm effects nobody else's rights, or ability to go about their day. Their insistence on trying to impose their opinion on me, now that can and does have consequences on how I go about my day. If you can see someone open carrying their gun, it's unlikely in the extreme that they have anything less than self defence in mind. If I am concealed carrying, the anti would never know, so no issue there. So we come down to perception, or to put it another way, profiling is a dangerous thing. We are told we cannot profile people, that to do so is wrong. Various court cases have supported this argument, as Sheriff Arpaio will no doubt confirm.

But what happens when there is a shooting? Those of us who do enjoy our sport, and who DO carry to defend ourselves again fund ourselves on the defensive. Maricopa City is taking a positive step, and allowing firearms onto city owned property, and rightly so. To accuse a large section of the community of being dangerous, and potential mass murderers, who should have their guns taken away makes as little sense as saying that car drivers are all murderers, and because a drivers of Fords killed the most last year, all Fords should be taken away!

Fact is, people kill people, they USE hammers, knives, cars, drugs and all manner of other exotic ways to achieve that end result, but to blame the tool is as pointless as blaming a vending machine company for the 3 people that will die as a result of vending machine accidents in 2016.

If we are going to defend peoples rights, we need to defend them ALL, not just the ones that affect us.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Gun control by the backdoor?



You may remember that a few weeks ago we spoke about gun control, and that I put forward the view that nobody would attempt an all out frontal assault on the 2nd amendment, but that they would attempt to outflank those people who choose to own firearms, and get legislation in place making gun ownership very difficult before anyone knew what was happening?

It would seem that various states and territories are introducing taxes and other measures that make owning a gun prohibitively expensive, or legally impossible. Remember when DC was forced by the supreme court to enact a mechanism that allowed people to carry a concealed firearm? They complied, but the qualifications required to hold the license included a qualifying class which hadn't been written, whose content hadn't been defined, and yet, you had to pass to apply for a CCW!!

Lets look as some other examples;

Seattle Gun and Ammunition Tax: On Jan. 1, 2016, Seattle’s $25 per gun tax took effect, as did a two cent to five cent tax per round of ammunition. The new taxes have already forced at least one major gun dealer to leave the city.

Cook County, Ill. Gun and Ammunition Tax: On June 1, 2016, Cook County’s new ammunition tax takes effect, at a rate of one cent to five cents per round of ammunition. The ammo tax comes on top of the existing gun tax regime of $25 per gun.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A $1,000 per gun tax should serve as a “role model” for states, according to the governor of the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, which imposed the $1,000 gun tax earlier this month


    Unsurprisingly, this gun tax, detailed above was endorsed by Democrat front runner, Hilary Clinton in 1993, seems little has changed, apart from the realisation that they cannot achieve 'gun control' through the front door, and must find other less obvious, and less attention grabbing ways of achieving their aims.


    Hillary Clinton’s 25% Gun Tax Endorsement: In passionate testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in 1993, Hillary Clinton gave her strong personal endorsement to a new national 25% sales tax on guns and endorsed a steep increase in the gun dealer fee, to $2,500. "I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that,” said Clinton at the conclusion of her endorsement.
    Seems fairly cut and dried where she stands!

    But what can we do to stem the tide? Personally, I believe we need to pick out battles, and fight them to win, gaining public support as we go. I will take a lot of flack for this I know, but we have to accept that we cannot win every battle. For instance, if we accept, as we have the principle of background checks, it makes little sense to fight against universal background checks. It only weakens our case when important battles rear their heads, and hands a PR victory to those that seek to 'control' firearms.

    You cannot win every battle in any war., but some are vital. Let's remember, Al Capone went to prison and died there for tax evasion, and if we are not very very careful, we will find ourselves with a fatally damaged 2nd amendment not by legislation, but by taxes, and seemingly innocuous regulations, while our eye was off the ball, looking at where we think the problem is.

    What do YOU think, I would love to hear your views and opinions, no matter whether you agree with me or whether you think I am as wrong as the guy who decided Titanic was unsinkable!

    Source material for this article



     

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Lawsuits are interesting things.


    It seems that the judiciary are joining the seeming liberal landslide to attack the gun industry when someone miss uses their products. But it seems that this maybe an issue to far.



    In the court of Connecticut State Judge Barbara Bellis, a motion to throw out a court case against the manufacturer, distributor and the retailer in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook in 2012. It appears that there is legislation that protects manufacturers from law suits such as this, but that has been ignored by this particular judge.

    The the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), or PLCAA for short is a 2005 federal law that provides gun businesses general immunity from civil lawsuits. Now far be it from me to agree with Berni Sanders, but it seems that even he agrees with the principle that lawfully selling a legal item to someone, who then uses it for an illegal purpose should not expose the seller to a lawsuit for someone else's actions!

    He voted for the legislation when it passed, and is quoted in the article. When asked whether he thinks the victims of a gun-related crime should be able to sue the manufacturer, “No, I don’t,” he said, explaining that he doesn’t think a dealer should face a lawsuit for selling a gun legally to a customer who then misuses the weapon in a crime"

    Now lets get something straight, if someone comes in, says they want to buy a gun for a friend, gives you that friend's ID, tries to pay with a stolen credit card, fails a background check then pays in cash, and you allow him to buy a gun from you, frankly, you deserve all you get!!

    But in this, and MANY other cases, the gun store, follows the law, to the letter, every part of it, yet is attacked along with the makers for the actions of someone they have no control over once hat transaction has taken place.

    To attempt to sue a retailer, manufacturer and distributor in a case like that is akin to suing Earnhart , the truck company that brings them the cars, and Buick/GMC for the actions of Lakeisha Holloway who deliberately drove her Oldsmobile into a crowd in Las Vegas in January, killing 1 person, and injuring many more! What if it had been a Hummer? Would the contention in the court of Judge Barbara Bellis that "They argue the rifle shouldn’t have been entrusted to the general public because it is a military-style assault weapon that is unsuited for civilian use" apply in this case?

    Of course not. Sadly the realization that it really is people that kill people, no inanimate objects acting by themselves as a result of their production by the greedy out to make a few bucks gets lost in the sadness, and almost and desperation to try to find a reason for, and a way to prevent actions such as that of the low life who perpetrated such an appalling act in the future.

    Sadly, the human condition dictates that from time to time, 'people' will seek to kill many of the people that surround them. To attempt to ban the items they use to carry out that act would seem to miss the point somewhat, as well as achieving little to nothing.

    I leave you with this thought, on the 3rd anniversary of the appalling attack by the scum that were the Tsarnaev brothers. There has been no call to ban the equipment they used. Where people seek to do evil, they will find a way, be it bomb, gun, chemical or any other number of twisted methods they may come up with. Your best defense, be ready, be armed, and train train train!

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to comment. Apart from use of bad language, no comment is a bad comment!

    Newsweek article from Conneticut






    Friday, April 8, 2016

    Self awareness is what REALLY keeps you safe.




    I cannot claim this one sadly, my wife surprised me with it a while ago on her Facebook page. What it highlights is that it's not just about what you carry, it's about how YOU train and how you conduct yourself, that's what matters, and that's what keeps you safe. I've said enough, read the text below, and I would be fascinated to hear your thoughts.

    I've had a couple things happen to me similar in severity to this. Not going to go into it, that's not what this post is about.

    I think the wording in this ("white" and "male" and "terrorism,") is a bit extreme, and screams feminazi. But the stories aren't off base. Like I said, I have a couple. The article is not a good example in my opinion but it's what is setting me off.

    My stories are from years and years back. But now I understand the behavior that men (and women, honestly) /may/ exhibit and I can prepare for it and protect myself and others. The hard truth is that it is more likely that the behavior will continue than be resolved any time soon, and until then it behooves me to be prepared for it rather than sit around whining about the way things are.
    If you are a female, you should be prepared. If you are a male, you should be prepared. That's just the way the world is. It's a shame, don't get me wrong. But just because it's a shame doesnt mean it's going to stop happening. These stories make me just as angry as the next person, but some of this can be avoided.

    Stop being victims. Be more aware. Travel with others, watch your surroundings, take classes. It's work at first but after a while it becomes second nature. I am entirely aware of everyone that enters the 21 foot circle around me, even when I'm unarmed. I make eye contact with people that make me uncomfortable so they know I see them. I walk shoulders back and head up because that demonstration of confidence is enough to act as a deterrent. I dont look at my phone unless I am stopped against a wall or in a corner where I can see whats going on around me. And I plan to be attacked. I know I won't be prepared for it because it's never happened to me (ie, a mugging, not my previous encounters). But mentally I feel that I am at least at an advantage over someone who doesnt think about it at all.

    Crimes are 99% opportunity. The more opportunities you present, the more likely you are to have someone take it. This applies to everyday life. Zip your purse closed, dont park next to large vehicles like vans, dont look at your phone while you walk through a parking lot. I go as far as to try and think of how I would attack me, how I would attack others during their normal routines. Not because I'm crazy or I'm gonna do it but because then I have some sort of clue. I can get into the mindset and prepare further.

    This is a huge mental shift for some. It doesnt have to be as extreme as what I do, but you need to do something. And I encourage any of my female friends to message me with questions, or to tell me your stories, because it's important.

    Stop. Being. A. Victim.

    Friday, April 1, 2016

    Dangerous streets?



    People from back home in the UK often ask me "does it feel odd carrying a gun" or "do you really need to carry a gun with you?

    I remember when I 1st arrived in the US 4 years ago, I was stunned on going to my 1st Crossroads of The West Gun Show, to see people armed with every conceivable weapons that could possibly be carried, and simply walking around, no problem, no hassle, just going about their business. A few weeks later, I found myself in Crown King, up in the mountains near Mayer, after a long and eventful journey in the snow (long story for another day!)! In the saloon, there was a wedding reception going on, and everyone almost without exception, was sporting a loaded .44, and nobody batted an eyelid.

    That was real eye opener for me, coming from a country that has no guns, and where carrying a small knife will land you in jail for at least the night. Over the next few months, it began to surprise me less and less to see ordinary people carrying, what until now, I had only seen carried by specialist police units, as very few police in the UK carry guns either!

    But here's the thing. People will ask "why do you need to carry a gun" and when given the response "to defend myself" try to come back with all manner of reasons why you shouldn't. Looking at a few of those, with the benefit of learning from my experiences, and coming from a country with no guns, I feel well placed to comment.

    When there are no guns, people will claim, you are safer, because you won't get shot. Now coming from London, that claim quickly falls away. Muggings in the UK with knives, bats, sticks etc etc are endemic. If you go to certain parts on London, you WILL be mugged, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. Co incidence?

    If you carry a firearm here in the US, you can actually defend yourself and your loved ones, a firearm
    in the correct hands is a leveler, a way to actually be able to have a chance of retaining your health and wealth. In the UK, pretty much all you have is harsh words! Which cities in the US are the most dangerous, and have the highest murder rates? The top 3 most dangerous cities are in states that have some of the tightest gun restrictions in the US?

    Fact is that those that want to take want you have sweated to to earn, don;t care whether it's legal to carry a gun while they commit crime, it's just another charge. What about Brandon Jenkins? Thankfully this ex marine was able to fight off a guy trying to hijack his motorbike. What if the guy had tried to hijack a car driven by you, maybe with your family in it, would you be able to fight him off?

    People say they have never been in that situation, and therefore don't need a gun.
    Do you have a fire extinguisher, an airbag in your car, seat belts, shall I go on? I have never needed to use my firearm to defend myself, and I sincerely hope I never do.

    Am I more comfortable, and do I feel safer than I ever did living in London, yes, absolutely.

    What are your thoughts, do you feel safer carrying a firearm?

    Friday, March 18, 2016

    The election comes to Arizona



    Have you all noticed that the political ads started in earnest over the last few days? It seems that the parties have discovered Arizona as next week's primary fast approaches.

    With all the hype and bluster surrounding the Republican nominees growing almost daily, and the Hilary vs Sanders race looking more and more like Titanic vs the iceberg, what does that mean for gun owners and those who enjoy the shooting sports?

    I think it's a given that if Sanders/Clinton get into office there will be an assault on the shooting fraternity, but what form will it take? The more I think about it, the more I think that unless there is a landslide in congress and the senate, not to mention a HUGE vote for the Dems, they will not attempt an outright ban on firearms, and probably not even on "assault" guns.

    I think it's way more likely that they will attempt a death of 1000 cuts approach. Bans on hi cap magazines, ammunition limits, bullet buttons etc etc is the way I think the attack would be made, as they know that anything more would be unlikely to go anywhere.

    Universal background checks I think would also be likely to make another appearance. Is it wise to try and fight ALL these challenges? We were asked about universal background checks last year, and what was our opinion, and as you can probably imagine, got a few interesting comments when we said that we didn;t really have a problem with it. When you bare in mind that if you buy a new gun, it's accepted that you will do a background check, does it make sense that it would be any different for a used firearm?

    I certainly wouldn't sell a firearm to someone I didn't know via backpage, I would go through a store like Caswells or another FFL, and sell it by consignment, why? Because I want to know that the person I have sold it to is not prohibited from owning that firearm. To me, it's all about responsible gun ownership. Can we win every battle, or should our eye be on the big picture, and the wider and far more important issue of defending the 2nd amendment?

    What do YOU think, how should we go about defending our rights?

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    Do you carry at work?

    There have been some great news stories this week, and not all surrounding the bun fight that is the republican nominations!

    Unusually, the story doesn't revolve around attacks on the 2nd amendment, but more has more to do with when it's acceptable to carry a firearm at work.

    Following an armed robbery attempt in Minnesota, that was foiled by citizens legally carrying concealed firearms. This lead to a guy who owns an insurance brokers deciding that all his employees should be compelled to carry a concealed firearm, obviously having completed the training I harp on so much about!

    In his case, having polled his employees, all of them agreed, and thus everyone is now carrying at that particular workplace. The owner stated that the move wasn't to protect goods or money, but so people could protect themselves and each other in a life threatening situation.






    How would you feel about being compelled to carry a firearm at work? The interesting dichotomy here is that we have a complete reversal of the attacks on the 2nd amendment. When these attacks are made, the obvious and of course completely correct counter is that peoples rights are being infringed if they are prevented from carrying a firearm. Could it be argued that the people who don't want to carry a firearm, would be having their rights infringed in that situation?




    Personally, I am far happier carrying at all times, but some are not. Should they be compelled to train, and carry concealed in a work environment, so they are able to defend themselves, and their colleagues? What do YOU think?

    On a slightly different note, you may have seen stories this week about a lady in Florida called Jamie Gilt. She recently made statements on Facebook about her 4 year old son being proficient at shooting, and making many statements about right to carry responsibly.

    She then managed to get shot in the back, by her 4 year old, whilst driving, with a .45 that she obviously left within his reach as she drove!!

    As I said in my piece last week, PLEASE don't give the anti gun/2nd amendment people ammunition to shoot at us with (if you'll pardon the pun). This really is an open goal that CNN have gone to town with.

    Train train train, and practice safe gun handling ALWAYS, and follow the rules, be safe!!

    Friday, March 4, 2016

    Can gun owners be their own worst enemy?



    We here all the time about assaults on the 2nd amendment, attempts to change the law, and make firearms more difficult own. This normally follows some kind of appalling attack by someone who would have had the weapons they had, no matter what laws were passed. But sometimes, the stories are a little different, are usually the most tragic, and usually the most easily avoided.

    The absolutely tragic story from Missouri a short while ago is a case in point. It's one of those tragedies that those that seek to make gun ownership more difficult shamelessly exploit to highlight how "dangerous guns are in the home", you've all heard the arguments. When a 5 year old finds a loaded gun, and accidentally shoots his baby brother in the head, with a gun left lying around, you have to ask some searching questions.

    The most basic education, for the parent and/or children would have avoiding this tragic incident. If
    the gun was secured, if the child had been educated in gun safety, if if if, so many things could and should have prevented this. But would have banning the gun have had any better effect than training the child or parents?

    When there is an accident with children and bleach, cars, electrical outlets, water, swimming pools and many others, are there calls to ban swimming pools and electrical outlets? Are pressure groups formed, trying to show that swimming pools are inherently dangerous, and should be subject to onerous controls, or banned altogether? Of course not, but that is what the gun control lobby would have the government do.

    And that's the point here. Tragedies such as the one detailed above are so so easily avoided, with simple no/low cost approaches and strategies, even some basic training! Whilst training is not compulsory, wouldn't it be a a good idea to have training in the safe use, storage and handling of a firearm? Gun owners would not only be protecting themselves, their families and friends, but also their rights.

    The more stories like this that appear, the higher the anti gun fire is stoked, and the harder it is to
    resist New York like regulation of your firearms. To a great extent, I think it's fair to say that the future of gun rights, and the 2nd amendment lies with firearm owners.

    Just contrast the story detailed above with the one I detail in this link. Can there be ANY reason not to train, and make sure the way you handle your firearms is safe, and the and the same for other family members?


    Original story from CNN

    Friday, February 26, 2016

    Is Arizona THE place to live and own firearms?



    A very interesting article popped up in my newsfeed this week from New York, and it made me think. You read stories about the "assault on the 2nd amendment" and how people fear that "they" are coming for your guns, but is that already happening?

    Many of our customers have extensive collections of firearms, from .22 pistols, to .50 cal Barrett's, not to mention copious amounts of ammunition. But how many guns is to many? 2, 3, 5, 10, 100, is there such a thing as too many, and if yes, is that an assault on your 2nd amendment rights?

    A Mr Guo Shou, 33, of Rego Park New York, came to the attention of the police during an
    "administrative pistol licensee review" at Mr Shou's apartment. They spotted some ammunition and gun powder laying "in plain sight which is apparently an issue in NY, and therefore sought and were granted a search warrant for the whole apartment.

    When it was searched, they found 225lbs of gunpowder, reloading equipment, 14 licensed handguns, which were not properly secured in a safe; two loaded licensed shotguns; one licensed rifle; approximately 45,000 rounds of ammunition for multiple weapons; two Kevlar body armor vests; and six Kevlar armor plates, and he apparently lived within 2 blocks of a school. This resulted in his arrest and being charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

    This raises many questions for me. 17 firearms would appear to not be a vast collection, certainly not in Arizona terms. the 45,000 rounds, whilst somewhat plentiful, again would appear to be something that might cause comment amoungst shooters, would not be something you would expect to goto jail for upto 7 years, something Mr Shou is facing. The 225lbs of gunpowder might raise an eyebrow, but not when considered in conjunction with the reloading equipment.

    So what is the issue here? Does the 2nd amendment mean that you should be able to arm yourself with as much weaponry as you choose, and whose rules dictate how you can store them? I would certainly agree that firearms should always be secure, and access restricted, but should that be enforced by law?

    The point here is that we in Arizona worry about creeping gun control, but I would argue it already exists at state level all over the country. Are the measures suggested recently re background checks, and gun shows, in enacted across the US a sign of creeping control, or are they a small step to stop those who shouldn't have access to firearms getting possession of them at source?

    We have had a higher than usual denial rate from the NICS recently, would those people if they were at a gun show simply have bought a firearm from a private seller, will they now goto Back page, and make their purchase there, with the seller none the wiser?

    The New York case is clearly laughable to us, but is that something which maybe enforced in the future if nothing is done at the initial sale of a firearm to address problems associated with illegal possession of firearms?

    What do YOU think? I for one am very happy I live in Arizona not
    New York.

    Read the New York Daily News story here

    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Guns on campus?



    This has always be a question that has given rise to a great deal of thought, not to mention high emotion, and heated argument.

    Should guns be allowed on college campuses in Arizona? The Arizona Regents recently voted to oppose 2 bills which would have allowed properly qualified students and faculty to carry concealed firearms on campus. One those present, Regents Vice Chairman Greg Patterson is quoted as saying "My fundamental concern with both bills is this is our jurisdiction"

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that not really give a useful opinion either way, it merely says "this is my turf"?

    This will never be an easy subject, and it's very difficult to remain emotionally detached when thinking about the issues, when those at risk are children, and the vulnerable, and there are certainly arguments on both sides that have merit.

    But I would suggest that to say I am against guns, and therefore there should be no guns in colleges to defend the people using those facilities belies the fact that guns exist, the genie cannot be put back in the bottle, and people who wish to harm others can and do from time to time, get possession of a firearm, and set out to hurt the innocent.

    To ignore that fact, and to stick to a position of "I don't like guns, therefore they should not be allowed into the hands of those who would use them to defend my loved ones" is akin to not teaching a child to cross the road, because you believe cars are destroying the planet.

    You could be right, you might not be right, but the FACT is that guns, and cars exist, and sometimes, innocent people need to be defended from both.


    Your thoughts?

    Regents vote to oppose guns on campus bill

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    What would your ideal gun list look like I wonder? There was an article on 'The Well Armed Woman' website recently that was very interesting.

    There were a number of guns that I was expecting to find there, Sig 238's, 938's, Bodyguards and the like. All very unremarkable. Until I thought about it a little bit more.

    Every gun on the list is a small concealed carry gun. I don;t know if I find that surprising or not, or whether women are simply more practical than men, buying guns that they can easily carry in their purse or pocket, and are not necessarily buying guns for enjoyment or sport shooting.

    It's true that here at Caswells, we have seen a HUGE rise in women buying handguns in recent years, and thinking about it, the conversation is usually a practical one, can I carry this comfortably etc, whereas the conversation with guys usually goes "can I MAKE this work, because I love the gun".

    What would your list look like? Lets compare lists and see if there is a gender divide in firearms, or whether I am just dreaming :)

    Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Is AZ the best state to live in if you value the 2nd amendment?

    This popped up on the Cheaper than dirt blog a few days ago. Seems us AZ gun owners are a lot luckier than we think we are!! This piece is about changes in MA.

    As gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment we are used to lawmakers and public officials coming up with new ways to subvert the law and enact defacto gun control. That being said, the Chief of Police of Lowell, Massachusetts, has set the bar to a new low.

    Massachusetts’ law mandates that it is an, “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit state. However, the police chief still has to issue the permit. In this case, the chief of the Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department has mandated that the residents of Lowell submit a written essay to the chief of police that explains just why they want that particular right. To actually receive the permit, the applicant must receive a passing grade.

    The whole “shall not be infringed argument” is self-explanatory and needs no further explanation here, but how can anyone even conceive an essay requirement as a fair judge of whether to issue an “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit? I have read more than one report from police officers… based on their writing skills, more than a few would not have qualified to carry a firearm. However, that is not to say they were not good coppers. There is a lot that goes in to writing a report or an essay, including time, sleep, stressors, and education to name a few, but none of those have anything to do with the restriction of a Constitutional right.

    English, writing skills, grammar, they are all subjective to the interpretation of the reader. Even the SAT, the standard requirement to enter most four-year universities, requires multiple readers to grade an essay, but not in Lowell. In Lowell, the Chief merely makes up a rule and assigns a reader. In fairness, the Chief did not make the rule, he merely brought it up to the city council who approved it, but you get the idea. Adding insult to injury, in addition to the essay requirement, the residents of Lowell are also required to pay up to $1,100 for firearms training in order to obtain their permit.

    The Local Perspective Once the story broke, The Shooter’s Log immediately went to Mike Pelonzi, President of Magnum Anti Ballistic Systems Corporation. Beyond making some of the most innovative ballistic panels (Check back in the next couple of weeks for a story on Pelonzi’s ballistic solutions), Pelonzi is also a certified firearms training instructor in Massachusetts, which him an ideal candidate for a local perspective. Pelonzi said, to be certified as a firearms instructor, you have to submit all of your training certificates and a written lesson plan to the Colonel of the MA State Police. Once approved, you are certified to teach the course. Students seeking a CCW who successfully pass that course are and issued a MA certificate, which is supposed to be—and was until now—accepted through all police departments in the state.

    However, Lowell, MA, Police Chief William Taylor’s new plan calls for additional requirements such as the essay and fees up to $1,100. Although the details are a bit vague as the department’s website has not yet been updated, it is rumored that the increase in fees is due to the Chief’s requirement that citizens be required to take a class taught by the police department instead of private instructors. Pelonzi noted that the average firearms safety class costs between $75 and $125, plus $100 for the license application fee. Pelonzi concluded the interview by noting, criminals do not take firearm safety classes. We already have a system that requires training and an application that goes through a full NICS background check. Lowell’s new requirements add a burden to the law-abiding citizens and potentially denies them of their Constitutional rights, but does nothing to deter crime.

    Jim Wallace with the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts released this statement: “It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights. We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top. It’s like having a college professor say, ‘I’m going to read your essay and if I don’t like it, I’m going to give it back to you.’” “We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses,” he said, in the Lowell Sun.

    More time? More time for what? How is more time than the law dictates and burdensome, unnecessary requirements anything more than discrimination and an unlawful requirement to enact backdoor gun control by either denying citizens of their Constitutional rights or at a minimum delaying those rights?