The Common Sense Language of Gun Control

Words have more power than just about anything. Words can get us married. Words can get us thrown out of bars. Words (in the form of outrageous lies) can get people elected to political office.

In fact, words have the power to change a discussion to a completely different topic.

As an example, look what words have done to the pro-choice / pro-life discussion. If an extraterrestrial NSA analyst was listening in on that debate, they might assume that the argument was over whether women had the right to buy Flintstone vitamins since the language speaks more to “healthcare” than abortion issues.

We don’t have to look far to see what kind of impact words have had on the gun debate.

Using our advanced underground particle literacy accelerator laboratory, located in an underground complex in the foothills of South Dakota, I’ve completed an analysis of words and their impact on the gun debate.

Impact of words on the gun debate

I think the phrase “commonsense gun laws” might be the most dangerous of them all. Using the phrase “common sense” is like a preemptive nuclear strike. When you throw out a term like “common sense” in the war of words, you’re immediately claiming the high ground and establishing your position as a given. It’s up to the opposing party to knock you off.

Heck, you can preface the most ridiculous of arguments with “common sense” to win virtually any debate.

“We should consider common sense solutions to America’s weight problem by doing things like banning large Cokes.”

“We should think about common sense solutions to fairness in reporting by putting Piers Morgan in charge of the FCC.”

“We should pursue common sense solutions to population control by deporting everyone who likes turnips.”

Part of the reason “common sense” is so dangerous is that it sounds so disarming.

So how do you go about fighting common sense? How do you overcome being the bad guy resisting the warm and fuzzy argument that’s based on common sense?

I like to use a technique developed here in the southern United States. It’s called the “bless your heart” attack.

Contrary to the point of this article the phrase “bless your heart” has absolutely nothing to do with words. It has everything to do with demeanor, facial expression and a voice dripping with high fructose corn syrup.

Delivered correctly, “bless your heart” delivers 25 megatons of nuclear insult to your target. (Tweet This)

Said to someone with the correct technique, it translates loosely as “you’re a tiresome lout and have the IQ of a can of spackle.”

So take a lesson. When someone tells you about commonsense gun laws, give your best politician smile and ask them to help you understand exactly how it represents ’common sense.

Example: “You’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t had my coffee yet today. How is that common sense exactly?”

One of two things will happen. First, if your opponent is simply parroting a talking point, you’ll expose them for doing so. Second, if your opponent has any knowledge of the subject matter at all, you have deflected the common sense preemptive strike and started an actual discussion, at which point victory is assured for you.

What’s the conclusion? Guns don’t kill people, words kill people! That’s just common sense.

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

Shooting Myth: A Laser Will Only Give Away Your Position!

The benefits of surefire aim in low-light conditions and flexibility for shooting from unconventional positions far outweigh any realistic risk of "giving away your position" when using a firearm-mounted laser.

The benefits of surefire aim in low-light conditions and flexibility for shooting from unconventional positions far outweigh any realistic risk of “giving away your position” when using a firearm-mounted laser.

I’ve been a big fan of lasers on handguns for years. At first, this was because they sounded great on paper. After actually running around shooting in the dark at various training events and nocturnal competitions, my “fanboy” meter has maxed out.

But to be really clear, I want to stress that I am talking about gun laser applications for home defense and self-defense. Not door kicking in Afghanistan. Or serving no-knock warrants with the Department of Education’s new SWAT Team. Or anything else “offensive.” See what I did there?

I’ve had all sorts of responses to my discussion on lasers for home defense. One commenter informed me that a laser would clearly show my position and a sniper positioned 600 yards away, who would subsequently easily take me out. I don’t know about you, but I don’t anticipate this event in my home defense scenario—at least until civilization breaks down into a post-apocalyptic battle zone. I’ll take the risk that my burglar has not had the foresight to set up sniper overwatch in the nearest cell tower.

To put the discussion in perspective, let’s walk through a potential home defense scenario. It’s the middle of the night. It’s pitch-dark. You are sound asleep in your bedroom. You are awakened by the sound of crashing glass, which indicates someone has just entered your house. By the time you wake up and figure this out, they are probably already in your house. This is a defensive, not offensive, situation.

Now what? I don’t know about you, but my goal is simple. Get that person and/or their friends out of my house before they cause harm to me and/or my family. If that person happens to get hurt in the process of achieving the goal, then that’s an occupational hazard of breaking into peoples’ homes in the middle of the night. But that’s not my primary goal. Encouraging them to turn tail and leave is far easier for all involved than splashing them all over my new duvet cover.

Pretty simple goal right?

In order to think through my best plan for home defense, I’ll take this goal into consideration first, then apply the most likely scenarios I might encounter. Most likely scenarios. This is where folks get all wrapped around the axle when it comes to using gun-mounted lasers.

Stop and think for minute about the most likely scenario you could encounter in your home. Who is that person that just broke into your house? Is it a team of trained ninja marksman who intend to engage in a cat-and-mouse running shootout in your home, just like on TV? Were you waiting in your laundry room sniper hide anticipating their arrival? Maybe, but not likely. The more likely scenario is that some crackhead is looking to steal your Xbox to fund their next fix. And they woke you up. And they’re already in your house by the time you get your wits about you and get moving.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

How To Rack Your Handgun Slide Like A Boss

Rack [rak]
verb

  1. to torture; distress acutely; torment: (His body was racked with pain.)
  2. to strain by physical force or violence.
  3. to strain beyond what is normal or usual.
This Beretta PX4 .40 S&W has a strong recoil spring, so proper racking technique is important. First, Keep the gun close to your body to gain leverage.

This Beretta PX4 .40 S&W has a strong recoil spring, so proper racking technique is important. First, Keep the gun close to your body to gain leverage.

In the shooting realm, rack has a different meaning (although the classic definitions of torture, strain and torment still apply for some people). For shooters, rack simply means to cycle the slide of a semi-auto handgun manually. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, racking the slide is a source of pain, angst and frustration for many new shooters. Far too often, it causes people to make buying decisions that compromise what the really wanted for a model with an easier slide racking motion.

What if I were to tell you that anyone can easily rack most any slide using the right technique? Alright, that’s a pretty bold statement, and I realize there will always be some exceptions. Heck, right now I’m battling a shoulder injury that has me reduced to a whimpering puddle of whine and complain. But for the vast majority of folks, technique, body mechanics and simple physics make all the difference when it comes to successful racking.

First, let’s clarify racking, so we’re all on the same page. Racking the slide refers to the procedure of smartly (that’s a power word, isn’t it?) pulling the slide back in order to eject an empty cartridge case (if present) from the chamber. The passive part of racking refers to releasing the slide, allowing it to sling back into position, picking up and loading a new cartridge on the way. As you can tell by the description, racking applies to semi-automatic pistols, not revolvers.

If you use a semi-automatic pistol, effortless racking is a critical skill. Sure, it’s required to load the first round in the chamber. Just as importantly, it’s used to empty the gun after the magazine is removed. Racking is often required to clear a malfunction, and if you compete, it’s how you show the range safety officer that your gun is clear after completing a stage.

So why does racking the slide give so many people grief?

I think it’s a result of the curse of opposable thumbs.

Since we have them (opposable thumbs), we want to use them and pinch things between our opposable thumb and index finger – like babies noses, hors d’oeuvres and pennies. Unfortunately, we also want to pinch things like the back of pistol slides to draw them away from the frame. It’s only natural.

Here’s the problem. Thumb and index finger muscles are tiny and weak, at least compared to other muscles in the body.

Keeping that in mind, let’s walk through a simple way to use bigger muscles, the mass of your body and motion to rack even the most difficult slide. After all, we’re much stronger than recoil springs, so it’s just a matter of technique.

Read the rest at Beretta USA.

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

New Book! The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

When I started reloading, I made lots of mistakes. I learned the hard way by screwing things up on occasion. Yes, I had fun, but my learning process might have been more fun if someone had taken the time to explain the procedures and equipment to me. In plain non-engineering oriented English.

Fortunately, that’s what we do here at Insanely Practical Guides. Nothing would make us happier than to have a million or so folks start reloading their own ammunition.

This book is not a reloading manual. Great companies like Hornady, Sierra, Lyman and others publish those. They invest millions of dollars in fancy equipment like ballistic test barrels, strain gauges, piezo transducers and plenty of Cheezy Poofs and Red Bull for the lab staff — all to develop safe and tested load recipes.

The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition is an instructional guide that will walk you through the steps of reloading your own ammunition in a fun, and more importantly, easy to understand way. Reloading manuals are great resources for understanding safe and tested load recipes. While most include an introductory section that talks about the reloading process and equipment, none that I’ve found show you, step by step, exactly how to do it in an easy to understand way.

Think of reloading manuals as sheet music. And this book as Mrs. Clutterbuck’s piano lessons you took in third grade. If you develop a sudden urge to play Carnegie Hall, or even Bodean’s Wet Whistle Bar and Bait Shop, you could just order sheet music from the internet. But it probably wouldn’t be the most direct path to ivory key success. Take some lessons first, then order the sheet music. We’ll all thank you!

Although we think reading this book will be a far more pleasant experience than weekly lessons in Mrs. Clutterbuck’s den, the idea is the same. We’ll teach you how to do the steps. Then you’re off to fame, fortune and custom ammunition.

Loaded with pictures and simple and useful illustrations, this book will get you started reloading your own ammunition in no time!

Topics include: 

  • Why take up reloading?
  • Is reloading right for you?
  • What equipment do you need?
  • Cleaning and processing brass.
  • The reloading process: step by step.
  • Pistol caliber reloading.
  • Rifle caliber reloading.
  • Buying reloading components.
  • Advanced equipment options.
  • Introduction to advanced topics.

You can get the Kindle version on Amazon right now! The print version will be available April 14th!

Astroturf? Not. NSSF Breaks 10,000 Member Mark

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that it has recently surpassed the 10,000 member mark, reflecting strong industry support for its efforts.

No, these new members were not paid with a pack of cigarettes, bussed in to enrollment centers or counted multiple times. The best part? All of these new members are actually living. These are companies, media organizations and individuals who have made the effort to join, and pay dues, to support the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

“NSSF membership continues to climb because more industry connected companies, organizations and individuals are aware of the many ways NSSF works to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Such growth empowers NSSF to speak with a single, powerful voice on behalf of the industry inside the Beltway and in state houses across the country.”

To better accommodate the volume of membership renewals, the NSSF has changed their renewal terms. Now, renewal dates can be anniversary, rather than calendar date, driven. The NSSF membership team hopes that this change will speed up the process of distributing membership and renewal packets.

“We appreciate this incredible support,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director, Member Services, “and we similarly thank our members for their patience in awaiting their membership renewal packets. If a member has not received the packet and has any questions regarding this, they can certainly contact me.”

The NSSF offers a variety of membership types including voting, supporting, non-profit, retailer, range and individual media. Contact nssf.org for more information.

Mossberg FLEX System: When One Gun Is Enough

I’ve seen magazine ads for the Mossberg FLEX system for sometime now, but have not had the opportunity to kick the tires, so to speak, until now.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

If you’re not familiar with the Mossberg FLEX, the idea is a system of interchangeable parts, like stocks, grips, buttpads and forends, that allow you to quickly and easily reconfigure a rifle or shotgun. There are plenty of good reasons you might want to do this.

  • Seasonal clothing changes. If your shotgun or rifle fits you perfectly in the cold months when you wear heavy clothing, it might be a bit long in the stock during the summer t-shirt months.
  • You may want to share the same rifle or shotgun with another person who requires a different length of pull than you – a child for instance?
  • Maybe you want to use one gun for hunting and home defense. Why not mount a solid stock for hunting outings and a collapsible for home defense use?
Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Before I saw the system I had hesitations about the about how solid this the mounts would be. After all, the stock is the focal point for heavy recoil forces in shotguns and rifles. At the recent Professional Outdoor Media Conference (POMA) I had the opportunity to swap some stocks and shoot.

I found the locking system to be rock solid and here’s why. Mossberg uses zinc fixtures on both male and female sides of the locking mechanism between the stock and receiver. The locking mechanism is similar and appearance and function to AR style barrel extension and bolt carrier the way the two pieces locked together. A semicircular lever lifts out of the stock itself and twists 90° to release the mechanism. A quick bump with your hand and the two halves come apart. It’s a tight fit and I could detect no “play” at all between the receiver and stock.

You can also swap the butt pad for different sizes with a simple button release on the bottom of the stock. The butt pads are designed to snap in place and are available in small, medium and large sizes. Mossberg also offers different sizes of stocks blanks so you actually have two ways to customize. First you choose the stock you want, then select the desired butt pad. Couldn’t be easier.

Mossberg makes the FLEX system for 12 gauge 500 series shotguns, 7.62mm and 5.56mm MVP bolt action magazine fed rifles, 20 gauge shotguns and now FLEX-22 rifles.

Cool stuff.

Top 11 Bad Gun Cliches…

Bad Gun Cliches

Cliche  [klee-shey]
noun

  1. a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser,  or strong as an ox.
  2. anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.
  3. A truly annoying phrase or saying which inflicts physical pain simply by the number of times it’s needlessly repeated.

Actually I don’t believe in banning things, as that’s totalitarian and just plain mean-spirited, but hearing these phrases is reminiscent of brushing my teeth a Dremel tool. Maybe we should limit their use to certified Maury Show guests instead?

So let’s get started. I might stretch the technical definition of cliché just a little bit, as some are just words that make me want to do anything else, like put my tongue on a hot rifle barrel. But that’s okay, because this is going to be fun.

Common sense gun laws!

The problem with “common sense” is that it isn’t common.

The people who define “common sense” have less sense than spackle. (Tweet This)

In an era where politicians don’t read what they write and subsequently vote on, there’s no such thing as common sense laws.

I don’t dial 911!

If you don’t call 911, you’re an idiot.

In fact, if you don’t dial 911 you’re the sort not likely to beat Forest Gump at a rousing game of Wheel of Fortune.

Always, always, always dial 911 at your very first opportunity. Good guys dial 911 to request help and/or report what happened. Bad guys don’t.

Arsenal!

This one drives me nuts! When I hear some apoplectic, blathering broadcaster talk about an “arsenal” I find out we have very different definitions of the word.

To me, an arsenal is a building with more guns and ammunition than I can shoot in my lifetime. (Tweet This)

Not a baby-stash that is a tad larger than what Michael Bloomberg will shoot in his lifetime.

Operator!

When someone tells me there an operator I assume they’re either a surgeon or an OR nurse. What defines a “tactical operator” anyway? I don’t even get the origin of the word “operator.” Is it because they operate tactical things? Or because they send evil folks to the operating room? Or perhaps it’s because they use those cool throat mikes instead of phones?

I shoot all sorts of guns but no one considers me a tactical operator. On the other hand, since I manipulate goofy articles on the Internet on a regular basis, maybe I’m a typographical operator?

High-capacity magazines!

Part of the definition of cliché is something that has lost all legitimate meaning. When it comes to high-capacity magazines, I’m not sure there’s any meaning to begin with. What is high-capacity? Three rounds? Four rounds? 300 rounds? It’s one of those phrases that has a different meaning for everyone. To His Royal No-Longer-In-Charge Highness, Mayor Bloomberg, high-capacity is one round.

To me, high-capacity magazines hold 13,412 rounds. Really, I counted. (Tweet This)

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

Winchester Ammunition’s Long Beard XR: Turkey Hunting or Home Defense?

Note how the shot column is standing on it's own as a result of the "shot lock" resin.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR: Note how the shot column is standing on it’s own as a result of the “shot lock” resin.

While at the professional outdoor media conference range day I had the opportunity to check out some new shot shell loads from Winchester Ammunition. Winchester’s Long Beard XR is designed to create a tighter pattern at longer distances, resulting in twice the number of pellets in a 10 inch circle at distances up to 60 yards, according to the company.

Here’s what’s interesting about Winchester Long Beard XR: It uses a “shot lock” resin to bond all of the shot pellets together into a solid plug. As the load is fired, the resin disintegrates and turns to dust, leaving the shot pellets to fly on their own. The purpose isn’t that the pellets are bonded together in flight but rather that there’s no airspace between pellets at lift-off time.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

In a normal shot shell the pellets are just piled on top of each other and only held in place by the wad and walls of the shot shell. When you fire it, the pellets get all smashed around as they are pushed to supersonic velocity from a standstill. This somewhat violent process creates mis-shaped pellets. Pellets flying out of round tend to spread out more rapidly, thereby creating a larger pattern. Because physics and aerodynamics.

The shot lock resin fills the air space, so the sudden acceleration doesn’t create a mashing effect. The pellets don’t get all squashed and therefore fly straighter in a tighter pattern.

So what happens when the pellets stay round?

The Winchester Ammunition folks set up targets at ranges of 25, 50 and even 60 yards. As you can see the patterns were perfectly usable for turkey hunting all the way up to 60 yards.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR was designed for turkey hunters and is currently available in 12 gauge shot sizes of 4, 5 and 6.

I have to think this might also make an interesting home defense load for those concerned about over penetration inside. The 4, 5 and 6 shot sizes could help the penetration issue, while a tighter pattern might reduce risk of stray pellets. I’ll test this out against simulated walls soon and share the results.

You can find Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR at Cabelas.

How To Become A Better Pistol Shooter By Shooting A Wimpier Gun

Smaller caliber guns aren’t necessarily just for newer shooters. If you want to become an expert, practice with a light-kicking gun might be just the ticket.

Ammo Assortment

The classic example is a .410 shotgun. Folks assume that since the .410 is small, light, and shoots a low recoil round, then it must be great for new shooters. With some exceptions, I think the opposite is true.  The .410 is really an expert’s gun. If you see someone slinging a Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon on the skeet range, chances are they know what they’re doing. It’s hard to bust a moving clay target with a small shot charge. But if you can, then repeating the action with a 12 gauge will seem as easy as hitting water with a boat.

There’s a similar scenario with .22LR handguns. While it’s not harder to hit a target with a .22, I think a .22 pistol is just as appropriate for an advanced shooter as a beginner.

If you want to become an expert shooter, you need to master trigger press. Perhaps the best way to build outstanding trigger press skills is through daily dry fire practice, like the drills we explain in the Trigger Pull Drill article. Yet most new shooters are going to get bored with dry fire. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always encourage lots of dry fire practice, as part of your handgun training. The best professional shooters in the world practice dry fire drills every day. But let’s face it. New shooters want to shoot! So let’s skip the dry fire stuff for now and talk about ways to become a better shooter while actually shooting.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

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