Scenes From A Gun Show

gun show 2-1

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to ingest a super-sized slice of Americana.

Is it legal to sell shooting books without a background check?

Is it legal to sell shooting books without a background check?

I got a bug up my butt to rent a table at a local gun show for the weekend to sell some of my books. Obviously my primary goal was to break my back for a weekend to provide for the family. Hanging out at a gun show for a couple of straight days was purely an unplanned fringe benefit, and I’m sticking by that story.

You hear a lot on the news about gun shows, and how delightfully evil they are, right? Criminals buying guns, thermite grenades and TOW missiles for sale and not a background check to be seen for miles around. While I’ve attended dozens, OK, hundreds, I’ve never invested the time to do some good old-fashioned crowd watching.

Being a lousy journalist, but somewhat good at stalking, I decided to make some notes throughout the weekend on my observations. This is quality science folks, because I was an Economics major in college. Real numbers economics, not home economics, so I can count reliably to nearly three digits.

Here’s what I saw…

31%

Percentage of people wearing hats. As one might expect, about 75% of all hats were ball cap types, but a surprisingly low percentage were camo or emblazoned with things like “don’t tread on me” or “molon labe.” Most were logoed with the wearer’s favorite sports team. I looked hard, but did not see any hats promoting Poysippi, Wisconsin’s Legion of Broom curling team. Rounding out the hat community were a good number of floppy jungle hats, Panama Jacks and bandana head wraps.

14.9%

Percentage of attendees what were children.

23%

Percentage of attendees that the Brady Campaign refers to as children when they recite crime statistics. This demographic actually represents people aged 17-25.

Fortunately, these were the only guns pointed at me this weekend.

Fortunately, these were the only guns pointed at me this weekend.

22.2%

Percentage of women attending the show. Yes, I did numerous aisle counts and averaged the results. I was that bored. Guys, if you saw me looking at your wife or girlfriend, it was all in the name of science. Really.

20%

Percentage of women working in booths at the show.

2

Number of (obviously) pregnant women.

1,143

Number of men who appeared to be pregnant.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

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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!

The Chicken Little Diaries: Close Encounters of the Neighborly Kind

 

Food Lion Shooting Range-1

Last time, I relayed the first part of the Chicken Little Diaries: A Shooting Range Zoning Saga. It was about a neighborhood and town council reaction to the proposed opening of an indoor shooting range. This week, the saga continues…

Every neighborhood has one of “those guys”, right?

Ours is a very left-leaning political activist. He’s so far left-leaning that he regularly tips over while walking in counter-clockwise circles. He’s so active that we frequently see large numbers of alfalfa-powered adult trikes parked in front of his house.

At first, I assumed these were gatherings of the Sedona, Arizona fan club. You know, when they plan the annual communal building of a happy-thought-powered rainbow bridge connecting the local Whole Foods wheat grass juice bar and Brown University. Later I found out he’s really Mini-Me-Obama, in charge of the local political regime. You would think these political gatherings are harmless, but I nearly wrecked my bike the other day, almost rear ending a departing Prius with a low battery charge.

Anyway, one day after circumventing what I believe to be the local Venezuelan consulate here in our neighborhood, I exited my car, in my driveway, only to be approached by the aforementioned guy.

I knew he wanted to talk about some activist thing, and I was feeling particularly spunky, so I decided to engage. I’ve been assured by my esteemed Editorship over at Bearing Arms that any bail and/or legal fees directly related to my work are fully covered. It’s mentioned right after the clause guaranteeing that I can sign up for Obamacare on my own nickel. It’s all right there in my Bearing Arms contract. Umm, I do have a contract, right?

In the interest of education, and to see if I can actually make any readers physically nauseous just from reading, I’m recreating the ensuing conversation here to the best of my recollection. I was speaking with my neighbor the whole time, but given all the sound bites he as throwing my way, sometimes I wasn’t quite sure who I was talking to…

My Tilting Neighbor: I’m glad I caught you. Do you have a minute to talk?

Me: Oh, really? [I already knew why he was there, but couldn’t resist engaging in the discussion from scratch. I’m sorry. But not really.] Do you want to borrow alfalfa sprouts? Or a cup of wheat grass juice? No disrespect, but as I keep trying to tell you, I don’t have any hippie food. I eat bacon, wrapped in bacon. Usually with a side order of bacon.

Hugo Chavez: No, not that. Some other neighbors are signing a petition, and I wanted to see if you would sign it too.

Me: Oh? A petition to tear down the golf driving range and replace it with a clay target course? Great! Where do I sign?

Wolf Blitzer: Well, no. They want to build a shooting range in the old Food Lion store.

Me: That’s even better! I’d love to have one there! That old Food Lion never had ammo in stock anyway. Where do I sign?

Ted Kennedy’s Suit: Well actually some people are concerned about it.

Me: What, that it won’t be big enough? That’s okay, I’m sure we’ll find a way to manage. We can share and all that.

Susan Sarandon: Well actually, we’re concerned about the kind of people that type of business could attract.

Me: Oh. You mean people like me, my wife, my son, and my daughter?

Rachel Maddow: Well… We’re also concerned about children. There’s a dance school and a karate studio in the same strip mall. Children will be walking all around there. And people will have guns going back and forth to the shooting range.

Me: Whew, that’s a relief. I’ve been worried about all those kids walking around unprotected forever. Glad to see they’ll be safer now.

Timothy O’Leary: Umm, but we don’t want all those guns near all those children!

Me: You do realize that we live in South Carolina and 119% of the homes in our neighborhood already have guns, right?

Cher: (Blank look)

Me: So if one of the homes in our neighborhood has children in it and that home doesn’t have guns, that means the houses to the left right and behind all have multiple guns. And their guns have guns. I’m just sayin’.

Sean Penn: But what about the crime? Having a gun range so close by will be a crime risk!

Me: More than the Food Lion? The one that had an armed robbery just before it was closed by the health department? [Uncontrollable laughter] I guarantee you that parking lot will be the safest one within 20 miles of here.

Bill Maher: I hope you’re right…

Me: When was the last time you heard about an armed robbery in a gun store?

Cindy Sheehan: [Crickets…] Well, I ‘m guessing you won’t be signing the petition then?

Me: I’m guessing you don’t want to go to the range with me later?

UPDATE: The Town Council vetoed the indoor range as it required a zoning variance. But we get the last laugh. The space is already zoned appropriately for a retail gun store (without a range) and construction begins soon with a grand opening 90 days later.

Wait for the shrieks of panic. Wait for it…

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

The Chicken Little Diaries: A Shooting Range Zoning Saga

Presumably, some attendees donned life preservers as a protective measure. Because the discussion involved talking about guns!

Presumably, some attendees donned life preservers as a protective measure. Because the discussion involved talking about guns!

You remember the Chicken Little story, right? That was the one where a chicken went into apoplectic hysterics, causing premature delivery of a large egg which subsequently fell off a wall, injuring a large number of king’s men. I might have some of the details wrong, but the gist of the story is that it never pays to get hysterical about imagined scenarios with no basis whatsoever in fact.

Much to my amusement, I’ve got a real-life Chicken Little saga going on in my town. There’s an outdoor shopping center adjacent to my very suburban neighborhood, previously anchored by a Food Lion grocery store.

We all know how Food Lions tend to attract the classiest of customers. This particular one was so classy that four upstanding citizens (that I know of) are currently volunteering in the state rock-breaking facility for a period of not less than 15 years for armed robbery of said Food Lion. I think, because their quality standards were simply too high for even an affluent neighborhood, the store went out of business a few years ago, and the space remains empty.

Now, a fast growing firearms retailer, Palmetto State Armory, has expressed interest in opening a retail store and shooting range in the budget grocery store / armed robbery bait trap formerly known as Food Lion.

As you can imagine, the possibility of a shooting range moving in to replace the Food Lion is creating quite a stir in this relatively quiet community. At the first town planning committee meeting, a number of nearby residents expressed concern about the range being so close to a neighborhood. Comments from the public record include the following. Names have been redacted to protect those suffering from baseless hoplophobia.

“She suggested that this would not enhance the neighborhood and should not be located near any neighborhood.”

“He suggested that the shooting range should be located in a more secluded location away from residences and children.”

“stated that he is opposed to a shooting range, particularly because of safety for the public and child safety.”

“expressed concern with child safety.”

“expressed concern with child safety with a shooting range in proximity.”

“expressed concern with the potential sound issues associated with a shooting range and safety issues. She stated that they are a family business and expressed concern with having a shooting range in proximity.”

“She expressed concern with child safety…”

“expressed concern with the safety of the facility, particularly what would prevent stray bullets. She expressed concern with having the shooting range in a shopping center as opposed to a stand-alone building. She suggested that children should not be exposed to possible stray bullets and sales of ammunition.”

“expressed concern for child safety and the pedestrian path in proximity to the shopping center and amenity center. He expressed concern with carrying guns from the parking lot to the shooting range.”

“stated that she is opposed to the shooting range, particularly in proximity to a bar. She expressed concern with stray bullets and sale of ammunition. She stated that when the shopping center was established it was noted that it would not support bingo parlors and other uses such as a shooting range.”

I have to agree with some of these comments. Who in their right mind would want a bingo parlor near homes, families and pets? We all know those are notorious for violent senior citizen gang initiation rituals. Next thing you know, we’ll have a chinchilla rescue moving in, and that would be tragic indeed.

When you filter out the fruit salad of huff-puffery, the concerns boiled down to two predictable, yet entirely baseless issues:

Because Children!

A number of residents expressed concern that children are frequently in that same strip mall, either walking home from school or attending dance or karate classes. I had to agree with this point because there’s not much more dangerous than a bunch of primary schoolers with mad karate skills. Can you imagine the bloodbath if we were to allow bands of martially trained munchkins to roam free like packs of rabid meerkats? Worse yet, they would probably be wearing gang colors like those yellow and green belts.

Later I found out that these folks were not actually worried about the danger from hordes of “Youth Lee” but rather the danger to kids from the gun store and shooting range. No one clarified on exactly how this business might endanger children, but that’s beside the point. You know why. Because children!!!

I did some fact checking and looked on Google, but I could find no record of other Palmetto State Armory locations abducting children for ritual sacrifices. But maybe I just missed the story.

Because Ammunition!

A number of folks seem concerned about the sale of ammunition near homes and a restaurant that sells alcohol. I for one was glad to hear someone raise this issue because before now I didn’t realize that ammunition, left unsupervised, was prone to multi-day drinking benders. Heads up people!

This objection really stumped me for a bit. Across the street is an Ace Hardware store that sells a wide variety of ammo. Better yet, a Wal-Mart a couple of blocks away sells truckloads of ammunition. Oh, and they sell beer and wine in the same store! And toys! Gadzooks! Because ammunition AND alcohol AND children! Fortunately, this particular Wal-mart built extra durable deep foundation supports so the bloodbath wouldn’t erode the building over time.

Predictably, the overlords of the planning committee voted unanimously to deny the zoning variance. But there’s a second reading coming up, and after that, the first reading in front of the full town council. The project is not dead yet, just wounded.

If the whining continues, I’m going to see if I can lure an indoor lawn tractor racing league into leasing the space. That’ll show ‘em.

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

5 Million Freakin’ People vs. Moms Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks

NRA-Millions-video

Breaking news! The White House released a new report suggesting slight statistical corrections to previous figures. Earlier this year, Vice President Biden claimed that 90% of Americans support increased background checks. The new findings indicate that 90% of Americans actually ATTENDED the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. You heard it here first folks.

Speaking of 75,267 people, and yes that’s the actual number that attended the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend, the NRA’s new ad campaign makes it abundantly clear the difference between the anti-gun effort and the Second Amendment rights preservation effort.

In the words of a new NRA membership video called Bloomberg’s Millions, “He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

That. Is. Brilliant.

As a career marketing puke, I know it’s a brilliant campaign because it doesn’t spin, fool, or exaggerate. It hits the crux of the issue harder than that Mike Tyson punch where he swacked Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. In case you didn’t see the movie, that punch was painful to watch, but entertaining for all except Zach.

The issue is simply this. The NRA has no power. None. None whatsoever.

You know what has power? 5 million freakin’ people who voluntarily send $25 a year to the NRA because they believe in the NRA’s position.(Tweet This!)

Power comes from 75,267 men, women and children who spend a whole lot of their hard-earned money (thanks Indianapolis, you were wonderful hosts!) to travel across the country to visit, talk, see products, hear speeches and vote.

On the other hand, astroturf, or lack of power comes from…

Protest Prostitutes.

As you may have heard, there was a protest by Moms Demand Something Or Other For Baby Emus, no wait, I think it’s Moms Demand Salaries From Michael Bloomberg, hang on, I’ll get it in a minute. Moms Demand Every Town Install Free Pillow Spray Dispensers. I think that’s it, right? Sorry, they keep changing names so frequently I lose track.

Anyway, Mom’s Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks came to Indianapolis to “confront and challenge” the NRA. Fortunately, there are cheap flights to Indy because Bloomberg had to foot the bill to fly the couple of dozen men and women holding identical, organization provided signs. That’s right; they had to be paid to protest.

If your sign and t-shirt are issued when you clock in for your protest shift, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If your convictions are for sale for $8.50 an hour, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If the energy level of your protest won’t melt butter on a hot day, you’re a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

While entertaining to watch, protest prostitutes have no real power, they’re just the hired help.

Once there, and between union-mandated coffee breaks, they “confronted” the NRA from a safe distance of about a mile away. You know, because we’re all gun totin’ savages just raring to shoot people and shout things like “I was in fear for my life!” Especially moms.

Heck there was no need to confront. If they had bothered to come to the convention, they would’ve found 75,267 of the most polite and respectful people around. Well, in all honestly, it was only 75,266 because of that one guy who failed to say “excuse me” when he stepped in front of me at the Wall of Guns exhibit.

Let’s get back to the whole power thing.

Groups like Moms Demand Piers Morgan for President constantly refer to the NRA as if it were some autonomous organization that derives its power from an obelisk buried deep within the moon.

In fact, the only power that the NRA has comes from those 5 million freakin’ members who contribute 25 bucks a year to fund its efforts. Those are voluntary partings with hard-earned money by the way. Voluntary. Not one rich elitist with a couple of unemployed protest prostitute sycophants.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for the gun control movement to understand. They continue to speak of the NRA as if it had a will of its own that disregarded the will of the people.

If I hear one more person talk about the political clout of the gun lobby and NRA, I’m going to strap on a meatloaf suit and jog through the African Lion Safari exhibit at Busch Gardens.

The NRA has too much power? 5 million freakin’ people are SUPPOSED to have political clout. Lots and lots of it. (Tweet This!)

It’s part of that whole constitutional republic democratic process thing. Remember?

It’s a simple concept.

“He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

If you’re reading this, and are not a member of the NRA, you need to join now. If 10% of the people who agree with the NRA would simply join, we wouldn’t be having these silly discussions about preserving our rights.

 

Grab a copy of Tom’s free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

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!

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!

Phil’s Phobias, Urticating Caterpillars and the Gun Debate

One of the joys of publishing written diatribe for public consumption is the comments and feedback from the… internet. Consider this recent example.

Phil from Australia writes…

I’m glad I live in Australia, with controlled gun ownership, where all guns must be locked away. EG. I read a story where a 3 year old boy shoots himself…….go figure.

Well there you have it. A random anecdote trumps decades of factual data, at least in Phil’s mind.

But when you step back and look at a comment like this, it just illustrates the real challenge behind the gun debate. You see, Phil is not alone. Think about how many people have their views about gun policy shaped by random “I heard that…” anecdotes.

I heard about a shark attack once. But that didn’t stop me from taking showers. For long.(Tweet This)

If one invests about four minutes to research the gun debate, it becomes pretty darn clear that guns themselves aren’t the driving issue for crime. Gun ownership is way up. Crime is way down. When folks aren’t robbed of their rights of self-protection, crime falls. Accidents are at an all time low. The vast majority of gun-related crime involves convicted felons. Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. Let me repeat that.

Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. (Tweet This)

In other words, a rational look at the data to examine the pros and cons of gun use yields a clear result. Guns save lives.

So what has so much power to trump decades of historical data and cause people to hold so dearly to viewpoints that have no basis in fact?

Hint: It’s fear.

You see, the power of fear is mind-bottling. You know, just like Chazz Michael Michaels so eloquently explained. “You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?”

Phil is a perfect example of the power of the fear mentality.

You see, Phil lives in a country where children are 94.3 times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than win a regional spelling bee.

Well, maybe I made that statistic up, but I’m sure it’s happened at least once, so that pretty much settles the argument.

Conclusion? If you don’t want to become croc-lunch, practice spelling the word “insouciant.”

I decided to consult famed behavioral psychiatrist, Dr. Emil Shuffhausen, to explore Phil’s case further. Based on preliminary analysis, there are a number of other things that frighten Phil.

Australian Phil's Fears

Australian Phil’s Fears

 At risk of causing Phil more undue stress, I want to point out some other hazards of living in Australia.

  • 715 people died tripping, slipping and stumbling, which makes one think Fosters Beer should be locked away.
  • 26 Australians fell off chairs to their earthly end. Consider working in the Lotus position. Yoga is all the rage right now.
  • 58 people died just falling out of bed, although there are not footnotes on which activity immediately proceeded these tragic accidents.
  • Australians are equally susceptible to death from human bites as dog bites. No comment.
  • More venomous arthropod warning signs might be in order, as urticating caterpillars are more likely to kill than crocodile attacks or earthquakes.

But here’s the thing. People like Phil aren’t really concerned with all these other potential hazards. Why?

Fear dominates attitude towards guns because people don’t assign any potential benefits to gun ownership – they only consider the negatives. (Tweet This)

That’s right. When subconsciously evaluating the cost / benefit of various life activities, which might kill us, people always consider the benefit side of the equation for things like swimming, walking, sitting, sleeping and even keeping pet urticating caterpillars. Yes, any of these activities can be lethal, but that’s OK because a larger upside is perceived to balance the risks.

We all just assume there are plenty of benefits to sleeping, sitting and caterpillar husbandry, right? (Tweet This)

So Phil, and others like you: Be intellectually honest about the debate. There are always two sides to any decision. Even a fart has benefits, so consider the other side of the scale before opining on gun control.

Oh, and Phil. One more thing. Nine people died in Australia last year as a result of horse-drawn vehicle incidents.

I sure am glad I live in a country with controlled horsepower transportation, where New York’s new Mayor is banning horse-drawn carriage tours. (Tweet This)

 

Be sure to check out our book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Be sure to check out our newest book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Boiling Frogs, Gun Allergies and How To Influence Enemies

Starbucks gun debate

Having spent decades in the marketing field trying to convince people to buy things they don’t want, I get it.

I get that people become acclimated to ideas and new concepts as a result of continued exposure. So when open carry advocates claim that their aim is to desensitize the public to the presence of guns, I understand the logic. Look how well it’s working with the gutting of our Constitution.

Bend a fundamental rule of law here and there and before you know it, you can achieve some real progress! (Tweet This)

What I don’t understand is the rationale behind an “instant desensitization” strategy by staging “in your face” open carry gun parties in an attempt to influence the non-believing community.

Let’s consider a recent example.

Starbucks had a long-standing “gun policy” of… following local laws. If local law allowed open carry, fine. If local law allows concealed carry, fine. That’s a win for us folks. I don’t want businesses making individual decisions about my rights. I want them to worry about whatever their business is and to just follow the law of the land when it comes to constitutional issues. If they want to dis-invite me as a gun owner under their private property rights, that’s OK. It’s also my right to shop elsewhere.

But then idiocy reared it’s ugly head. The “other” side adopted a strategy of trying to force Starbucks to become anti-gun. Even though they were never pro-gun. They were, and are, pro-coffee. That’s it. And all it should be. Gun control proponents staged protests and media events to force Starbucks to take a political position that had absolutely nothing to do with their business. While I think that was a stupid move, I understand it. After all, they’re idiots. And desperate. Well, in fairness, they’re not all idiots. They’re just choosing to make decisions from a fear-based emotional perspective. Like NBC executives.

In response, some in the pro-gun community decided that the right defense was to be offensive. So they staged “Bring your arsenal to Starbucks” days and showed up with rifles on the backs, a pistol or twelve and perhaps a couple of MK-19 automatic grenade launchers. Because Starbucks would be thrilled to have the Internet Ninja Militia show up in their stores, fully armed, and spend five or six bucks on some coffee.  Boy did we show them!

The response from Starbucks was predictable. While reluctant to outright ban guns, they did issue a statement that they politely request gun owners don’t carry in their stores. What did we expect?

So why did this happen?

The short answer is that our side orchestrated and achieved a colossal failure of desensitization.

Think about it.

If you’re allergic to guinea pig dander and head to your allergist for treatment, they’re probably not going to lock you in a chamber with 12,000 of the squeaky little rodents and hope you get used to it.

That would be an epic failure of desensitization and would cost a fortune in guinea pig food. Instead, the doctor will give you a weekly injection of guinea pig pheromones, in gradually increasing doses, until your body learns to cope, or you start to become romantically attracted to guinea pigs. The process may take years. Eventually, you won’t break out in hives when sharing a bowl of timothy hay with a couple of abyssinian guinea pigs.

On a similar note, I’ve yet to see a frog jump into a pot of boiling water. All the boiled frogs I know chose to desensitize themselves by jumping into nice, lukewarm crock pots. Then they would hang out, have a glass of champagne and enjoy a gradual rise in water temperature. Another classic example of gradual desensitization.

The point is simple. If you want to acclimate someone to a new point of view, you need to do it gently over time.

No one decides they like liver and onions or Season 8 of The Bachelor after just one sitting. (Tweet This)

Our unworthy opponents in favor of gun control are masters at the desensitization strategy. It’s rare to find a public spokesperson calling for outright gun confiscation. But that’s what they all want. Instead, they propose bit-sized nibbles that are digestible by the uninformed. “Let’s implement just one common sense measure to increase public safety.” Or perhaps “We agree with the right to own guns, we’re just asking for more thorough background checks.” Unless you’re whacked out on Mighty Putty fumes, you know exactly what their long-term goal is. If you are whacked out on Mighty Putty fumes, please don’t drive. Or vote.

Heck, I’m in favor of legal open carry as much as anyone. If I see someone open carrying, I know they’re generally the least of my worries. But I’ve been properly de-sensitized. But someone like Piers Morgan? Or the average Starbucks customer? Not so much.

When a business is being extorted by the anti-gunners, just stop by, dressed in your normal fashion. Buy something. And tell them you appreciate them focusing on their business – not the yahoos boycotting for their cause du jour.

Remember folks, we can be right, and still lose. Just ask Sarah Palin. (Tweet This)

2014 – The Year of 2nd Amendment Goblins, Trolls and a Few Fairies

Proving that few people have sense or good judgement, I’ve been invited to contribute articles to Bearing Arms. You might know them, along with 1.1 million other people, as 2nd Amendment on Facebook. Check them out. Subscribe. Get involved. Sign up for an Appleseed event in 2014, and better yet, bring a friend!

Here’s a link to today’s article at Bearing Arms

2014 is going to be the year of relentless attack on our Second Amendment rights.

His Royal-ness the Dishonorable Nanny-pants Bloomberg is now unemployed, and will be able to devote his full and undivided attention to helping us understand what’s best for us. We have a President in office, who, while not otherwise occupied vacationing, seems to believe that his lack of experience qualifies him to make unilateral decisions that no one else wants or agrees with. And last but not least, Vice President Grumpy McCrankyPants has not yet been distracted by a new Cracker Jacks trinket, so he’s still on a gun control rampage. Oh yeah, and Piers Morgan still lives here.

With all that looming in front of us, it’s time that everyone understands the real history of the Second Amendment.  You heard it here first folks…

A Second Amendment Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…

In a faraway land called Murrica, there was a great struggle, lasting many days and nights. You see, the settlers of Murrica were tormented by an insatiable and covetous evil troll known as George Threepence. While George lived across the great waters, in the hinterlands, he insisted on taxing the settlers with many fees and regulations. After all, he did not get the name George Threepence for his generosity.

Fed up with overzealous overdraft fees and parking tickets without representation, the villagers of Murrica were desperate to be free of the troll. They called upon a new leader, George Chiseled-Face for help. George Chiseled-Face had a plan. He knew that the good people of Murrica were well schooled in the use of magic kablooey powder and many of them maintained stores of it for their personal protection and other uses.

Without delay, George Chiseled-Face rode throughout the land of Murrica, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Militia! Militia! That means you – all you settlers of Murrica!” And it was in this way, that the people of Murrica had determined to organize themselves into a fighting force to oust George Threepence, the troll. For the people did not trust big armies like George the troll had. They preferred to call themselves up to service and yell “Militia!” with great enthusiasm as needs arose. It was most exhilarating!

Using their wits, a collection of farm animals and copious quantities of magic kablooey powder, the good people of Murrica, led by George Chiseled-Face and many fair and white-wigged princes, fought battle after battle with troll George’s Red Socks, until finally forcing them out at home plate.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

5 Reasons Concealed Carry Laws Are Ridiculous

I’ve started another new venture and am writing regular columns for Bearing Arms. It’s a great source of news, opinions, and how-to info for all things shooting and Second Amendment related. You can find them on Facebook also. Here’s this weeks rant…

Gun free zones

Every day there’s something in the news about someone or other campaigning to restrict concealed carry.

For example, the newly-formed group MDASININE (Moms Demand Action Supporting Irrelevant Nonsensical Insane Nanny-like Edicts) is frequently on the warpath to shame businesses, who want nothing more than to just sell stuff, into the gun debate.

And they’re not the only ones. Federal and state officials – you may know them as bamboozlers in training – are constantly dreaming up new restrictions, laws and public proclamations. All these rules are just as ‘guaranteed’ to make us safer as the rock-solid ‘guarantees’ that health insurance will be cheaper and we can keep our own doctors.

Restrictions vary by geography. If you have a fast enough computer, you can calculate the number of restrictions by multiplying the number of politicians by the number of media microphones within a radius of 97 miles. Some examples of “no carry” restrictions include…

Restaurants. Churches. Public bathrooms. Sporting events. New York City. Political conventions (think about the number of criminals per square foot there!) Medical facilities (even though doctors kill far more innocent people than guns.) Post offices. Buffalo Wild Wings. Staples – or maybe not Staples. Schools. Movie theaters. The St. Louis Mass Transit System that delivered most people to the NRA Annual Meeting. 7-11 stores? Canada. Military bases. My house. Ha! Just kidding with ya.

I can’t for the life of me understand the logic behind restricting concealed carry to reduce crime. To believe that, you also have to believe that those who carry concealed are the root cause of crime. There’s no other way around the logic.

Not surprisingly, the concealed carry community has been proven over and over again to be the safest measurable population group around. More so than priests, active duty police officers, Hollywood intelligentsia, politicians and Amanda Bynes. The crime rate of Mayors Against Illegal Guns membership (sorry, I meant Mayors Against Legal Governing) is orders of magnitude more than that of concealed carry citizens. I can’t prove this, but I hear you have to provide photographic evidence of extortion, fraud or preschool fight club gambling to become initiated into the exclusive MAIG crime syndicate.

A number of states have compiled data on the lawfulness of concealed carry holsters. For example, in Texas, the average citizen is 7.7 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a concealed carry holder, and 18 times more likely to commit a non-violent crime than a concealed permit holder.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition