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)

The Seven Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry: Showing Your Gun Booty

A simple reach can out you when you’re carrying. Here, an inside the waistband holster, or a little more awareness, would have solved the problem.

When it comes to inappropriately showing your gun booty, there are really two different scenarios. One is a legal issue and the other a tactics consideration.

In most states, if you have a concealed carry permit, it’s against the law for your gun to show. It must be invisible to others, or concealed, at all times. That’s the legal issue. The other scenario involves whether your concealment strategy is obvious to people “in the know” or otherwise. For example, gun folks poke a lot of fun at what they call “shoot me first” vests – those bulky photographers vests with more pockets than talk show hosts recently fired from MSNBC. Others insist that fanny packs are a dead giveaway that the wearer is carrying a gun – assuming they’re not trying to win the award for Ultimate Disney Tourist. In these scenarios, your gun is completely invisible, but there are other cues that you’re carrying – at least to people familiar with concealed carry strategy. We won’t get into those discussions here. Instead, let’s focus on ways that you might be showing more than you know.

Bending over

People that sell those industrial back support belts you see at warehouse stores make a living talking about the dangers of bending at the waist to pick things up. People like me derive untold hours of free entertainment trying to spot other concealed carriers when they bend at the waist to help their child, tie shoes or pick up that heads-up penny in the street.

Why? Bending forward at the waist can not only put strain on your back, but on your concealed stealthiness. When carrying anywhere on the waist behind the three or nine o’clock position, the grip of your gun will show a picture perfect imprint as the back of your shirt gets drawn in towards your body.

So what to do? First and foremost, make a habit of bending at the knees – every time. You can also try a holster that is more aggressively canted – one that angles the rear sight forward, thereby minimizing the distance the grip extends to your rear. You can carry a gun with a smaller height, meaning the distance from the bottom of the grip to the top of the slide. Some guns like some Smith & Wesson eSeries 1911s have a rounded butt, which minimizes printing and improves firing hand comfort. A number of the new Walthers (and other models of course) also feature rounded butts. Eliminating a sharp corner at the rear base of your grip makes a surprising difference when it comes to hiding a giveaway imprint.

Reaching for the stars

Remember that scene in the movie Animal House when Donald Sutherland walked into the kitchen wearing nothing but a long cable-knit sweater and reached up high to get a coffee cup? Yeah, I know, that was really disturbing. But it provides a great example of the dangers of over-reaching. So bending forward isn’t the only activity hazardous to your concealment strategy. Depending on the type of holster you use, reaching up, or even forward, can out you.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

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

How To Choose The Best Handgun For You

The good news? There are lots of excellent handgun choices. The bad news? There are lots of excellent handgun choices!

The good news? There are lots of excellent handgun choices. The bad news? There are lots of excellent handgun choices!

What defines the “right” gun for you?

The “right” gun is the most powerful one with which you can hit your target consistently. If that’s a .22 caliber pistol, then so be it. A .22 pistol that hits your intended target is more effective than a .45 caliber that misses. Make no mistake, bigger and more powerful is always better for self-defense, right up to the point where you can still safely and properly handle the gun. But many new shooters need time, training and experience to reach their “full-power” potential. Start with what you can control and move up from there.

Bigger is actually better.

There is an assumed myth that large guns are too much to handle. First, let’s define two types of “large.” The first type is large size – as in length, height, width and weight. The second type of “large” refers to caliber or power. For the first type of “large” bigger is actually better. Here’s why. Remember that guy Newton? Not Wayne Newton, the older, English one. He figured that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So let’s consider an extreme example. If you fire, say, a 9mm bullet from a 1 ounce pocket wonder gun, the same force as the 9mm bullet going 1,200 feet per second forward will be transmitted backward towards your wonder gun. Weighing only 1 ounce, it’s probably going to fly at you like a drunk pterodactyl. Now, think about firing the same 9mm bullet from a 20 gajillion metric-ton pistol. The same force is being transmitted backwards, but you’re not going to feel that gun move very much. All this goes to illustrate that while the recoil force of a given cartridge is the same, a larger gun will “soak it up” a bit more and the shot will feel less forceful to the shooter. Here’s how it all nets out. A cute and portable 10 ounce pocket pistol will kick like an ill-tempered mule. The same cartridge fired from a full-size steel handgun will be quite comfortable to shoot. Make sense? So, don’t choose a smaller caliber just because you tried a pocket cannon that weighs 4 ounces. Try a larger gun in the same caliber first. As you become more experienced, you can reduce the size and weight of the gun you carry with your chosen caliber.

Choose your own gun!

Ladies, we’re generally speaking to you here. Husbands or boyfriends are NOT allowed to choose a gun for you! It’s important for you to choose your own. The very best way to do this is to invest in the last item on this list – spending some quality time with a trainer. Preferably without your significant other there.

Try it on for size.

Just because a gun does not have room for all of your fingers, that doesn't mean the fit is wrong.

Just because a gun does not have room for all of your fingers, that doesn’t mean the fit is wrong.

Just like a pair of boots or that cute little cocktail dress, you’ve got to try it on before you buy. It has to feel great in your hand. Even if you are not able to test shoot it, check to make sure that the grip fits your hand comfortably. Can you reach the trigger without stretching or changing your grip? Does your trigger finger rub along the side of the gun? If so, the grip is too large for you. Can you operate the controls easily with a normal grip? Can you rack the slide without weight training? If the answer is “no” don’t rule out that gun just yet. See our tips on racking the slide like a pro. Using that technique, just about anyone can manage just about any modern pistol slide. Check out our article on how to make sure your handgun fits you for more information.

Carefully consider whether the price is right.

Most consumer product buying decisions don’t have life and death consequences. Except of course Shake Weights. With guns, your life may very well depend on the quality of gun you buy. This is not a place to save a few bucks for the cheapest gun out there. The good news is that modern gun manufacturing techniques allow gun makers to produce fantastically reliable guns at very reasonable prices. If you stick with a big brand name, it’s hard to go wrong these days. If your friend’s cousin Cleetus bought a lathe and wants to make you a pistol, run, don’t walk away.

Think about ammunition availability.

You also may want to consider availability of accessories like these Crimson Trace light and laser products. More popular guns will have more accessory options.

You also may want to consider availability of accessories like these Crimson Trace light and laser products. More popular guns will have more accessory options.

We’ve run across a lot of people who have bought some super-cheap surplus gun for self-defense. At deal time, buying a gun that was used in the battle of Stalingrad sounds charming and pocketbook-friendly. However, when it comes time to find self-defense ammunition, things aren’t so rosy. Sure you can get 64-year-old crates of surplus war ammo, but finding modern expanding ammunition that is safe and reliable is about as easy as getting Dianne Feinstein to speak at the NRA Annual Meeting.

Try before you buy!

The very best way to buy your first gun is to hire an instructor for an hour or so and ask him or her to bring a few different guns. Any experienced instructor will have a variety of guns. If they don’t, look for a new instructor! Have them show you some of the basic shooting skills with a couple of different guns. You’ll quickly see what you like – and what you don’t. As an added bonus, having a qualified instructor supervise you will ensure that you are handling each type of gun correctly so you can make a fair appraisal. Many a fine gun has been tossed aside when a new shooter didn’t know how to handle it properly.

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

Flying With Guns? We Answer The Confusing Questions

Whether you have to fly with a firearm, for work, training or possibly the hunt of a lifetime, or you just want to bring your gun with you for personal security, you need to play nice with the feds.

TSA's worst nightmare? Not if you follow the rules and use a lockable case like this one.

TSA’s worst nightmare? Not if you follow the rules and use a lockable case like this one.Flying

When I travel to states friendly with my concealed carry permit, I almost always travel with a gun. Mainly because it’s my lifestyle choice – I choose to protect my family and myself wherever we are. But there’s an additional reason I choose to tote a gun through inconvenient places like airports. It’s my right and I want to keep the system “acclimated” to dealing with people having guns. If I do my part to make sure the airline ticket counter staff and TSA see guns moving safely through our travel system, day after day, then it continues to be no big deal – as it should be. If we all succumb to the pressure of our friendly, helpful and honest government making traveling with a firearm “too much trouble” then the “terrorists win,” so to speak.

With that said, let’s take a look at a couple of the more ambiguous questions about flying with guns…

Question: You mean I can fly on a commercial airline with a gun???

Answer: It’s shocking how many people are shocked by this. Why yes, you can. Provided of course that you are going from a point of origination where you can legally have that gun to another destination where you can legally possess that gun. Rather than regurgitate the basic process here, I’ll point you to the TSA’s own page for the latest regulations. Print a copy of this to bring with you the day before you leave as the page content changes frequently. Also, check your airlines policy before you go. I’ve linked to a number of airline policies later in this article.

Question: Can the TSA, or their contracted agents, inspect my guns in the secure area or back room – in other words, outside of my direct presence?

Answer: I don’t believe they can. Does that mean they won’t? Nope. If you haven’t learned by now that people who work for the federal government do whatever the heck they want until slapped silly until even more senseless, then you’ve been inhaling too much Hoppe’s #9. Case in point. I flew through Bend, Oregon last year – an airport accustomed to shooting industry folks toting around all sorts of firearms. At Bend, the security process calls for passengers to declare firearms with the ticket agent, then send it on back via the baggage belt. You’ll be advised to listen for your name over the speakers when TSA is ready to inspect your firearms case. At that point, TSA agents request your keys so they can go back into the secure area, without you, and inspect your firearms case. After inspection, they page you to return your keys.

Why do I believe this practice is illegal? Mainly because the internet says so, and angry mobs are occasionally right about stuff. I also find two direct references in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1540 – Civil Aviation Security: General Rules, Subpart B – Responsibilities of Passengers and Other Individuals and Persons, 1540.111 (c) (iv) – The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1544 – Aircraft Operator Security: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators,  Subpart C – Operations, 1544.203 (f) (iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination;

Federal regulations controlling the passenger and airline acceptance of passenger luggage both clearly specify that the passenger, and only the passenger, retains the key. There are no exceptions stated.

So what to do when flying through an airport like Bend? That depends on how badly you need to make your flight. You can respectfully resist. And you will miss your flight. Because the feds know they can afford way more lawyers than you. You can bring along some printouts from the Code of Federal Regulations for show and tell. You’ll probably still miss your flight. I suggest respectfully  raising the issue and pointing to the regulations. They just might accommodate your request to be present during inspection. Or they might tell you to pound sand, because they have way more lawyers than you.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

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

Students Not Expelled For Playing With Guns

Lots of guns? Yes.

Expulsions and/or Suspensions? No.

“L” shaped Pop-Tarts? I’m not sure, but if there were, no one had a meltdown over it.

What universe am I in? That would be the Jacksonville Skeet and Trap Club in Jacksonville, Florida for the Southeast Collegiate Invitational Shoot.

Students shooting guns everywhere! Panic? No. Respect, determination and safety? Plenty of that to go around.

Students shooting guns everywhere! Panic? No. Respect, determination and safety? Plenty of that to go around. Clemson shooter Libbie Sabo busts some skeet.

Dozens and dozens of college students competed from institutions including Clemson University, Jacksonville University, Florida State, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Emmanuel College. If your school was there and I missed it, my apologies – shooters were everywhere.

This is what a clump of lead pellets flying at 1,200 feet per second looks like. Mad photography skills? Nah, I just got lucky!

This is what a clump of lead pellets flying at 1,200 feet per second looks like. Mad photography skills? Nah, I just got lucky!

The event was a mixed discipline format with every shooter completing 50 targets each of trap, skeet and wobble trap.

Another lucky shot! Mine, not the shooter's. Note the breaking clay upper right.

Another lucky shot! Mine, not the shooter’s. Hunter Baughman’s shot was all skill. Note the breaking clay upper right.

These competitors are a fine example to all. I don’t think I’ve been called “sir” so many times since my last arrest.

The agony of De-Miss.

The agony of De-Miss. Collin Clemons expresses some frustration on behalf of the team.

Rivalries? Sure. Even though the Florida State / Clemson football game started about three hours after this event, I hardly saw any fist fights between the two squads.

And a 25-straight celebration.

And a 25-straight celebration.

One of the neat things about the shotgun sports is that men and women compete together. Some events specify mens and ladies winners, but everyone shares the same field. The ladies shown here were taking names. A word of advice – don’t make any side bets against them.

This is a shotgun technique called "intense focus."

This is a shotgun technique called “intense focus.” Don’t interrupt Clemson shooter Cat Blankenship when she’s working.

Generally, with this many schools, each potentially fielding multiple squads, the meet is an all day affair. In the event of ties, a shoot off is held to determine the winners. First one to miss a target is out.

There sure are a lot of Team Clemson photos here. That's my prerogative as I've got two students there.

There sure are a lot of Team Clemson photos here. Hey, that’s my prerogative as I’ve got two students there.

 

Strictly business.

Strictly business. Alex McHale moves to station two.

 

One of the best things about these events is the respect, and pride evident everywhere.

One of the best things about these events is the respect and pride evident everywhere.

 

I believe this is an example of the rigorous pre-round concentration exercise used by many of the competitors.

I believe this is an example of the rigorous pre-round concentration exercise used by many of the competitors. Zach Wyatt is concentrating really, really, hard.

 

These fine young American students are all neat and tidy when it comes to picking up spend shells.

These fine young American students are all neat and tidy when it comes to picking up spent shells.

 

Another successful round.

Another successful round.

 

Just one of the wobble trap fields racked up over 3,000 targets thrown by the end of the day.

Just one of the wobble trap fields racked up over 3,000 targets thrown by the end of the day.

 

Gearing up a tie-breaker shoot off.

Gearing up for a tie-breaker shoot off.

 

University of Kentucky versus University of Florida for the mens trap individual title.

University of Kentucky versus University of Florida for the mens trap individual title.

 

The high overall individual shooters from University of Florida and host school Jacksonville University.

The high overall individual shooters Alex Rennert from University of Florida and Shelby Lopresto from host school Jacksonville University.

 

Team Clemson took top team honors.

Team Clemson took top team honors.

Gun Terminology of the Day: 1911

One of the reasons I started writing Insanely Practical Guides was to help acclimate new shooters and gun owners to the confusing world of guns, shooting and etiquette. Here’s a quick excerpt from The Rookies Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

If you talk to a couple of gun aficionados, you’re likely to hear about what sounds like yet another type of handgun – the 1911. No worries, it’s just a type of semi-automatic pistol. People tend to get pretty passionate about 1911 style pistols so they tend to get placed in their own category.

Gun Terminology Alert!

1911

You’ll hear gun folks talk in reverential tones about something called a 1911. Yes, it’s a year. It also sounds a little bit like a famous model of Porsche. But in context of this book, it’s a pistol design. Not a manufacturer or a specific model, but a design. Kind of like how a pickup truck is a design. Lot’s of car manufacturers make them, and you can get them with different size engines, but they all have some common features, like seats in the front and a cargo bed in the back.

Here’s a 1911 model pistol made by Springfield Armory. It’s the TRP Armory Kote model.

Springfield Armory TRP 1911 Armory Kote shown with Galco Miami Classic II

The Springfield Armory TRP 1911 Armory Kote shown with Galco Miami Classic II

It’s not a perfect analogy, but 1911’s are kind of like pickup trucks. They are all based on a semi-automatic pistol design, invented and brought to market in, you guessed it, the year 1911 by one John Moses Browning. 1911’s have a number of common design elements, regardless of which manufacturer makes them and often parts are interchangeable. For example, classic 1911’s are all single-action semiautomatics, have a thumb and grip safety, and a similar design to lock and unlock the barrel during recoil.

1911’s have a lot to live up to. They have been known to take down both a Japanese Zero fighter  and German Storch observation plane in World War II. In fact, some believe that a stray 1911 .45 ACP round inadvertently destroyed the city of Dresden. OK, the Dresden thing may be a slight exaggeration, but the 1911 has been a phenomenally successful and long-lived design.

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

The Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic M3 “Grease Gun”

The M3 Grease Gun. Photo courtesy of the NRA National Firearms Museum. Go there. Really.

The M3 Grease Gun. Photo courtesy of the NRA National Firearms Museum. Go there. Really.

This week, rather than talk about “This Goofy Gun” we’re going to change things up a little and take a look at “This Greasy Gun.”

Most folks think that the M3 “Grease Gun” submachine gun of World War II fame was created in response to the success of the German MP38, MP40 and British Sten machine guns. While partly true, that’s not the whole story. Here’s the rest of the storied, and musical, history of the M3 Grease Gun.

Many people know that the M3 was produced by General Motors’ Guide Lamp Division. What they don’t know is that the design was envisioned much, much earlier, or so I hear. By 1940, GM was getting a little worried about competitive pressure from AMC’s Gremlin impacting sales of their Cadillac LaSalle. That Gremlin was a beast of a car wasn’t it? Anyway, to add some kick to the planned 1941 model, GM hired long lost brother of the infamous Edward Hyde of Dr. Jekyll fame, George Hyde, to design some killa’ glovebox accessories for ’41 model sales incentives. Having the same family wild hair as crazy man Mr. Hyde, George took to designing prototypes of the M3. “Heck, I just wanted to amp up the “Boom!” factor for our customers. Most companies were putting a flashlight mount in the glovebox, but I figured a .45 ACP submachine gun would be way more spiffy,” commented GM Engineer George Hyde.

Alas, GM discontinued the Cadillac LaSalle in 1941 and the M3 Glovebox Submachine Gun was never marketed. But the story did not end there. In 1941, the Ordnance Department asked the Army to submit requirements for a new submachine gun. In addition to specification of .45 ACP caliber, inexpensive stamped-metal construction and  automatic fire control, the new gun must have a really catchy theme song.

Seeing opportunity to resurrect Hyde’s previous project, and do a little contract work with a very young John Travolta, GM’s Guide Lamp Division started stamping out prototypes of the M2 and finally M3. As for the theme song? That was Travolta’s job. And now you know the real story behind that catchy jingle from the movie GreaseYou’re the One That I Want. Not having been born yet, Olivia Newton John was not available for promotional campaigns. Besides, those skin-tight pants were way too risque for pre-war America.

Read the rest at Outdoorhub.com!

How To Deal With Gun Terminology Snobs

Half-Cocked: Gun Terminology Gone BadWe’re not going to get wrapped up too much in the specifics of proper gun terminology. It can be intimidating and quite frankly, it’s not all that important as long as people know what you’re trying to say. But we will try to be accurate most of the time so you have the full picture.

Right off the bat, we’re going to run into a problematic situation. You see, some gun folks are so darn persnickety about using the correct words that someone, somewhere, is bound to correct you on your use of a gun word. Maybe you’ll walk into a gun store and ask if they carry extra clips for your Springfield XD handgun. Or perhaps you’ll refer to your Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight as a “pistol”. Do they know what you mean? Yes. Is it really necessary to cop an attitude and correct you? No.

Here’s one way to deal with that kind of thing should you walk into a gun store and get the terminology treatment…

You: Hi! I have a question…

Surly Gun Store Clerk: (Ignores you and continues talking to the gun shop groupies behind the counter)

You: Ummm, hello! I was wondering if you could help me out?

Clerk: Yeah, what?

You: I need to see if you have some extra clips for my new Glock.

Clerk: (Slowly turns to friends and does a full-body eye roll…) No, sorry, we don’t.

You: Aren’t these Glock clips here in the display case?

Clerk: Nope, those are magazines.

You: Well, do you have any that fit a Glock 17?

Clerk: Yeah.

You: Bless your heart… Now will you be a dear and sell me some of those MAGAZINES?

See what you did there? Here in the south, the phrase “bless your heart” loosely translates into something along the lines of “you’re really a clueless jerk, aren’t you?” The beauty is that you can say it with a bit of an accent and dripping with more sweetness than an extra large Chick-Fil-A iced tea. It’s a beautiful solution to many of life’s challenges. While we’re on magazines, let’s define “magazine” and “clip.”

Gun Terminology Alert!

Magazines and Clips

You know how you can spot a high school prom couple at an exclusive restaurant? Like when the pimply mannish boy requests A-1 Steak Sauce with his Chateaubriand?  Well, there’s a similar thing in shooting – when people carelessly throw around words like clip.

Clips and magazines are both legitimate shooting related objects. While sometimes subtle, there are differences.

A clip is a device used to hold cartridges for the purpose of storage, packing, and easy loading into a magazine. Clips were a big deal back when the world had anger issues expressed by frequent large-scale wars. Five or ten rounds of ammo might be attached to a clip, which would allow a soldier to slide the rounds into the magazine of his rifle or handgun quickly and easily. Clips are still used today. Some .223 or 5.56 ammunition comes on clips to make it easier to load lots of rounds into a magazine at once.

A magazine is the container that holds cartridges for the purpose of feeding them into the chamber of a firearm. Magazines can be built into the gun, as with many rifles, or they can be removable, as with most semi-automatic pistols and AR type rifles. That thing that falls out the bottom of a Glock? That’s a magazine.

Confused? No problem. We’ve got a near fail-safe tip for you. These days you’re pretty safe referring to most things that hold bullets as a magazine. More often than not, you’ll be correct referring to it that way.

Read more about guns and shooting, in plain English, in our newest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.

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

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

I Do Not Like Guns Here Or There, I Do Not Like Them Anywhere

Dianne Feinstein Dr. Seuss I do not like guns

More on the LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act here.

LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act of 2013 Set To Launch Amid Defunding Fight

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

Tomorrow marks the go live date for the Affordable Gun Act of 2013, commonly referred to as LaPierreCare. Intended to make guns and ammunition accessible and affordable to all Americans, LaPierreCare levels the playing field by striking down capricious state laws that infringe on rights to bear arms. According to industry spokesperson, the late Charlton Heston, “This is a big flippin’ deal.”

The overarching goal of the LaPierreCare program is simple – help make guns affordable and accessible to the 152 million adult Americans who do not own a firearm. “Yes, Nearly 100 million people own a gun, but we hope to remove restrictions imposed by states like Illinois, New York and The People’s Republik of California that prevent all Americans from having the opportunity to enjoy their rights.”

House Minority Leader Fancy Pilates gushed about the new law’s possibilities. “Just think of an economy where people could be a trapshooter, action pistol competitor or 3 gunner without worrying about keeping their day job in order to afford guns. People wouldn’t be prevented from busting caps and vaporizing SPAM because of unfair inconveniences like jobs. The old system is racist.”

However, the LaPierreCare movement is not without controversy and flip-flopping. “Initially, I wanted to pass this bill so I could see what was in it. But then I found out it was about guns and that it would make it even easier for George Bush to buy another Perazzi. So now I’m opposed,” lamented Minority Leader Pilates.

Senate Democrats seem to understand the bill’s inevitability, yet are mounting an aggressive effort to defund LaPierreCare in hopes of stalling the program. “Obviously this is about guns, and those make me piddle my britches, so I’m opposed on principle. But it’s also really unfairsies,” groaned New York Senator Cluck Schmoozer. “Under the proposed LaPierreCare program, unemployment and under achievement is simply not rewarded. This who live with their parents well into their 20s have to find ways to pay for their own guns and ammo. It’s just not fair – one-percenters just need to step up to the firing line, so to speak.”

“Yeah, what he said,” President Obama echoed. “If LaPierre says owning a firearm is every American’s right, then just because someone goofed off through seven years of college and has to live at home, their weekend recreational shooting activities shouldn’t be impacted. That would be, ummm, racist.”

New York Mayor Mikey Silverspoonberg, leader of the group Mayors Against Legal Governing, has also emerged as a powerful force in fight to stop LaPierreCare. “I will fight to defund LaPierreCare until my interns can no longer bring me skinny Chai Lattes,” claimed Bloomberg during a marathon, fact-filled, 93 second speech from New York’s famous Monkey Bar restaurant. “Knowing what’s best for the American public, I will use gobs of my money to enforce my will. Now where the hell are my bodyguards?”

Others are jumping on the defund LaPierreCare bandwagon. California Senator Polyanne “I would appreciate if you would refer to me as Senator – I’ve worked hard for that title” Whinestein stated “I think your rights are all hot air. I do not like them Mr. LaPierre. I do not like guns on a range, and I think your views are somewhat strange. I do not like people questioning me, I don’t like that at all you see. I do not like guns here or there, I do not like them anywhere.”

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