Friday, March 30, 2018

Irrational Fear and Gun Education

Years ago when I was teaching an “understanding violence” course in the military I told the students a couple of things.
1. Forget any and all “education” you have received from T.V., video games, and movies. These forms of entertainment are NOT REAL. Not real means they are false in whatever they teach. Some are actually accurate, most are not. Remember the old cowboy movies where the “6 shooter” never ran out of ammunition? We all joke about that now. Because it was laughable. Well so is hiding behind a car door when someone is shooting at you. Also, do not believe the media about guns. Most are woefully wrong. Sadly, like movies and entertainment, some reporters don’t go to the right source for their gun information. Most don’t really bother even researching. Some things on the internet are biased or wrong. So where do you get your information about guns? Believe it or not, the NRA is a good source. I’m not talking about opinion of gun rights, even though I do feel they are a good authority. The NRA knows guns and gun safety. They know the difference between clips and magazines. They do have an agenda, preserving gun rights. But their knowledge of guns surpasses any organization I’ve ever heard of. Certainly over any anti-gun organization.
2. There is little sense in being afraid of an inanimate object. Some people, even in the military, are afraid of guns. It’s as silly as being afraid of a chain saw. Both can be dangerous or deadly, but only the gun has something attached to it that scares people. My Mother grew up on a farm yet she was scared of guns. What quells that fear is education. Actual hands-on education is the best.
There is a quote from a professor who perpetuated this fear at the University of Kansas.
“Try to forget I’m wearing a bulletproof vest and I’ll try to forget that you could be packing a .44 Magnum,” the professor told students.
What a rube. Fear shows great ignorance. There’s nothing wrong with ignorance as long as you are trying to change that ignorance with education. If you are happy with you ignorance, I’d call that stupid. This professor wasn’t trying to change his or others fears, he was feeding them. Actually he probably just has an agenda and is trying to get concealed carry on his campus removed. The thing is, he doesn’t know the discomfort of wearing a vest all day. I wonder if he wears that vest today? I seriously doubt it. But I’ll bet someone in his class is still carrying concealed though.
If someone is serious about not being afraid of guns then they would be actively trying to change that. I’m not saying they should become gun lovers, but just trying to get over a fear of a thing. It comes down to this, there are people who don’t like guns and don’t like people who do like them. They don’t like the people. That’s pretty sad. I think abortion is wrong but I don’t hate the people that are pro-abortion. I’d just like to change their minds.
Years ago I met a great gun advocate named Jeff Cooper. He was a wonderful guy and a real friend of gun rights and gun owners. Jeff talked about something that is real, hoplophpobia. This is the irrational fear of weapons. The whole thing hinges on the word “irrational”. Having a fear of a thing that has no life, that cannot harm you except when used by a living person, is irrational. If I had an irrational fear like that I would want to change that. The problem is, many of those fears are displayed in political ways adding to the hysteria. I don’t have a problem with someone having a political view that doesn’t match my own, but when you add an irrational fear with that, it makes the whole political view look irrational! Add to that, ignorance of guns and their gun terms and how they operate and you have what I see as a large part of the difficulty between gun people and anti-gun people trying to work out their differences. I have talked to people that sound so ridicules that I end up laughing at them. I don’t really mean to but they sound so silly. I wish that we could have an intelligent debate about guns but I have such a hard time trying to take someone serious who is irrational.
I also have such a problem with children, teenagers, trying to change legislation. I have no problem with them having an opinion, but why would I listen to them over anyone else? They are referred to as “children” all the time. They are irritating teenagers. They are not children. I find it difficult to take seriously kids that are so obviously coached and want to change just gun laws. They don’t seem to be interested in securing our schools. They talk of being traumatized during a shooting but all they talk about is guns. This myopic view of a real problem angers me. Why do they not want secure schools? Mainstream media has made these obnoxious kids their little darlings. This alone ruins their credibility. These kids also show their ignorance of guns in their demands. The March for Our Lives list of changes that they want reads like Nancy Palosi legislation. I can tell you for a fact that limiting magazines to 10 rounds will not change anything. This is how I know they have no knowledge of guns. Anyone who does know that changing 10 round magazines is a 2 second problem. The original M-16 in Viet Nam came with a 10 round mag. And their idea of weapons of war is ludicrous. Shotguns were used in Viet Nam so I guess they are banned with AR’s. Their holophobia is showing. Their immaturity shows in the way they present themselves. The same rhetoric that comes from many anti-gunners comes from these kids. They profess to care. So why are they not demanding security in schools? I’m not talking about arming teachers, although I advocate such a thing. I’m talking about making a school a hard target. This is why I don’t take these kids seriously. They are only another bunch of ignorant anti-gunners.
People with irrational fears of guns express those fears in several ways. They may imagine guns as having lives of their own. They think a gun will jump off the dark shelf and attack on its own.
These exaggerations can seem funny to gun owners. Many of us take our friends shooting. We start them with low powered .22 rimfire weapons. These come in every size from child to adult. If they want more, there are mid-power firearm such as the .223. Originally designed to shoot small pests, this rifle throws a light bullet with little recoil. It can fit most adults when outfitted with an adjustable stock.
Perhaps you caught on: we’ve just described the dreaded “assault rifle”.. as well as dozens of other firearms we’ve had for a hundred years. The hoplophobe sees them as death-dealing murder machines, though it remains a “girl’s round” to many of us. Unfortunately, hoplophobia doesn’t end there.
Condemnation plays an important part in their battle against irrational fear. The more strongly they exaggerate the power of firearms, the more energetic their attacks against gun and gun owners, the less they feel controlled by their fear. They empower the monster in order to vanquish it. That sounds irrational to most of us, but hoplophobes can’t address firearms logically because of the overwhelming irrationality of their relationship to these devices of plastic and metal.
If someone realizes that they are a hoplophobe they need not worry. The key to this is not medication, counseling, or shock treatment, the key is education. Find out about weapons, not just guns, but several kinds of weapons. Find out about violence. I can teach anyone how to be accurate with a gun. But dealing with violence is a much more difficult thing to teach. If you’ve never experienced violence in any form (intentional or accidental), then it’s a hard thing to understand without the experience to reference. Learning about fear and violence is something that everyone should know. A few books that I would recommend that may help are:
“On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” By: Dave Grossman and “The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence” By: Gavin de Becker. You can find both of these on Amazon.
These fears need to be faced in ourselves and others. Only then can we make healthy decisions and live safer, less fearful lives.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Overwatch: Drill of the Month for March

March 2018
Pick Your Poison (pistol, 30 rounds)
This is a great accuracy drill that allows shooters of different skill levels to compete with one another.

Three firing lines: 25, 15 and 10. Shot on IPSC target. Prior to shooting, shooter will determine if his target is worth 150, 140 or 130 points and write it on target. Shooter may outline his target area with

If the shooter chooses 150 points – only A zone hits will count (anything outside A zone is -10)
If the shooter chooses 140 points – only A and C zone hits will count (anything outside A or C zone is -5) If the shooter chooses 130 points – anything on target will count (misses are only -1)

From the 25 yard line, shooters will slowfire 10 rounds free style
From the 15 yard line, shooters will slowfire 10 rounds strong hand
From the 10 yard line, shooters will slowfire 10 rounds support hand
Tie break: most shots closest to “A” on target (use target paster circle or something)

From Pat McNamara
Founder of TMACS, Inc

Monday, March 12, 2018

Renewing Your Carry Permit Early

Why would anyone want to renew a license early? Well you might if it is your concealed carry weapons permit. Depending on your state, you may be in for a reminder. Some states do not send reminders so be proactive. One of my permits is from Arizona. Arizona will send a reminder packet and allow renewal 90 days before expiration date. Some states may give you more time or less. Whatever is your criteria, you should be well aware of the process, the cost, and the time involved. That is part of being a responsible concealed carrier.
How many of us would want our CC permit to lapse? In most states you have a certain time after the expiration date you can renew and not start the whole process over again. So a good reason to renew early is no lapsing permit. If you start the renewal process 2 weeks before your concealed carry permit expires and it takes the state or county 6 weeks to process the renewal then you will be without a valid permit for 4 weeks. Most states/counties process renewals with greater priority than new applications, but that doesn't mean they will turn it around in a few days for you just because you were slow to get the ball rolling. It's always a good idea to get your carry license or gun permit renew done as soon as you can, before it expires.
Another good reason to renew early is training. Each state is different but often a recent valid training verification is needed to renew. Since training certificates tend to expire after a certain number of months or years, the sooner you get the renewal process going the more likely you will be able to leverage one of those training certificates in your file. Otherwise you have to plan and schedule a new training course prior to being able to get the renewal process started.
I would recommend attaining more than one license. How does this work? Well for me, I live in one state, but have family in 2 or 3 other states. I’ve set up classes and courses at times I’d be visiting family. That’s how I started out several years ago, but now days there are other ways. Several states can help.
A Virginia non-resident concealed carry permit is likely the easiest one to get on this entire list. While it doesn't offer up as many states as some others on this list, the ease makes up for it. Whereas other states require in-person training, Virginia is different in that it allows you to take your training online.

Any existing permit or virtually any in-person firearm safety class qualifies. The cost is only $60 sent via mail.

It is easy to get a Utah permit. The biggest thing for many folks is locating a UT certified trainer, which can be located on their website. They do require that extra bit of training, but it can be done in your home state.

New Hampshire
You can acquire your concealed carry permit through the mail if you're a non-resident for the cost of $100. And, as of 2016, you no longer need to prove that you can carry a gun in your home state. This is great for states where you don't have to (or cannot) get your license/permit to carry a gun.

I encourage anyone who can legally get a concealed carry license to do so. But like many things, carrying is not for everyone. You must be very responsible if you decide to carry. That means being safe, getting training, and practice. You must also come to grips with the chance of shooting another human being. Like I said, it’s not for everyone.

If you do carry take the steps to not let your permit lapse. You never know when you will need it.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

School Security: Opinion and Ideas

I was shooting at the range the other day and I was thinking about what I would do if I were in charge of security at a school. Here’s what I came up with:
Single point of entry
Funneling traffic
Avoiding large clusters of people (obviously cafeterias and classrooms are a concern)
Bulletproof glass and walls
Automatic locking doors
Classroom shelters
Resource officers (armed guards)
Training (mandatory for faculty and workers)
Armed and trained adults (teachers and others)
Weapons search dogs. Firearms detection K9s can detect firearms in student vehicles, lockers, and public areas. There are now canines that can be used to detect firearms in large crowds.
Metal detectors
Changing the design of buildings and offices to give better control of visitors and students
My thoughts then drifted to a friend of mine who worked in Israel for several years. He worked with the IDF (Israel defense force) in many areas but also with Israeli police in school protection. He has, and still does, consult with law enforcement, government, and the private sector in security measures and matters. He’s done this for 22 years. These are some of his thoughts. (Thanks Dave in advance for your comments!)
“One of the first things that comes to mind in comparison of Israel and the U.S. concerning school security is mindset. In the U.S. citizens have not had actual war on their soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Even though several terrorist bombings have happened, including 9/11, these are considered terrorist acts. Relatively speaking, U.S. citizens feel pretty safe barring any crime that may occur. With this wonderful 77 years of safety and security we have become lax and non-security minded. We have law enforcement and a strong military that takes care of business in protecting us. Consequently, we don’t think of security so much and many Americans have not been touched by violence or crime at all. This is a good thing except it creates a normalcy bias that can overwhelm us in the face of violence. In my opinion this is why we have haphazard “we have to do SOMETHING!” panic when something does happen. People need to be trained and informed. Teachers and staff in schools need to understand protocols and plans in place. Being overwhelmed by violence only gives away control to the attacker. Law enforcement, legislators, and schools have known about these attacks for decades though they are so rare that little or nothing was ever done about security.
Israel has been under attack for so long that they understand the need and the urgency of school security. I’m not sure the U.S. will ever wake up. In Israel they do not focus on guns, they focus on people and their intent. This is true at schools or at the airport. The Israeli military (where every 18 year old boy or girl must serve for two years), the Israeli law enforcement, and the Israeli people are their first line of defense. Guns are not prevalent like the U.S. But Israel does not have a Constitution guaranteeing rights of the people either. Carrying a gun is a privilege not a right. Yet guns are all over the place. The IDF is everywhere and it is common to see military with automatic weapons. The Israeli people are not scared by this. The American people seem to be intimidated by the sight of a gun. Also, there is a law called Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. This act essentially means U.S. military cannot be used as law enforcement or in civilian roles. National Guard and Coast Guard are exceptions. So it is not often that the general public sees an armed military member. Some of my children have grown up on military bases. They are used to seeing military with not only side arms, but slung rifles. They are not bothered by this like some people. This is a difference between Israel and the U.S.
Israeli schools are not fortresses. They have underground shelters for rocket attacks or natural disasters. They practice for many contingencies all the time. The students have done this their entire lives so it is not new or scary to them. Their drills are interactive, not just kids running to shelter. They have one controlled entry point and the entire campus is fenced. Parking lots are away from buildings to avoid vehicle bourn improvised explosives. The Israeli Police force is in place wherever Israel civilians are in power. They take care of typical police work but also assist in anti-terrorism and are border guards. They have a close working relationship with the military. The school guards work for the police department though they are sub-contractors in a sense. It can be said the civilian law enforcement is civilian, but because of mandatory military service most all have been trained in the military. U.S. has about 19% of law enforcement with military service. Each school gate has a guard house and routine duties are performed by the guards. They log in vehicles and people. They patrol the perimeter. They are the eyes and ears of security. The guard also ensures that buildings are locked and secure. These guards also accompany students on trips away from the school which are limited. They provide a security presence.
Guards are in close communication with teachers, staff, and students. If an alternative plan or route is needed it is discussed with all involved. Even the students are aware of certain parts of the plan so they know what to do if something were to happen. It’s a big team effort. I’m afraid if that were to happen in the U.S. you’d have a lot of scared kids. The only way to change that is to try and change the attitude of parents and adults.”

I appreciate Dave’s comments about Israeli schools and the way they look at security. I do not agree with some who say we should have the same attitudes about guns that the Israeli’s do however. Like I’ve said before, the U.S. had to fight and die for the freedoms that we enjoy and often take for granted. The reason we are a free country is because of our affinity with guns. Many would argue that citizens do not stop government. Some say that our military would crush the armed citizens. Often these are people who have never served in the military. It would be difficult to get U.S. military members to fire upon U.S. citizens. I think you would see a wholesale joining of military members with civilians to fight a tyrannical government. But that would be an extreme case. There is an alleged quote from an officer in the Japanese Navy that Japan did not invade mainland U.S. because of a “rifle behind every blade of grass.” Many dispute that quote but it’s not far from the way it would be in the event of an attack here. I know many would not agree with me, and that’s OK, but I think we’re not all “snowflakes”. This is certainly only my opinion and I don’t expect anyone to go along with me. But if we want a true solution that will actually make a difference in our schools we’re going to have to get serious. Up until now I don’t think very many school districts have even come close. But most are trying. Hopefully they can get up to snuff and soon. I’m sure with the current debate most schools have looked at their security. Changing policy and physical measures is good, but changing the way people think and their mindset is a longer, harder road. But it’s one road every district should go down.

I do admit that I know little about securing schools. But I do know a lot about the security mindset.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, March 2, 2018

Monthly Read: Book Review For March

Once a month I will review and recommend a book. I know in this digital world that paper books are a little out dated. Most hard copy books are now in digital form, often in PDF. I would recommend a good well rounded hard copy library in your home. Some of the best books are old and out of print. There are certain publishers and authors I really like. This will be books I like and really only my opinion. If you’d like to recommend a book for me to review e-mail me and we can make it happen. The subjects will be varied but will have to do with the theme of this website, LDS Gunsite. Guns, preparedness, LDS History, security, self-defense, and patriotism are just a few examples. I have a big library of mostly reference books so I will draw heavily from that. Some books may be old and out of print. But most will be books you can find on Amazon.

March 2018

“Righteous Warriors: Lessons From the War Chapters in the Book of Mormon” By: John Bytheway

Publishers review:
Why are there so many wars in the Book of Mormon? Could it be that a book written "for our day" would have to prepare us to survive in a time of "wars and rumors of war," a time when Satan is at war with everything that is good?
What we often call the "war chapters" in the Book of Mormon give us important insights into how to defeat Satan in our day. The pattern is clear: When the children of Lehi are successful, it’s because they make covenants first and swords later. Here are great lessons for how to live well now and eternally!

My review
I know this is a book about scripture. But this part of the Book of Mormon can teach us things about defense that we can’t learn anywhere else. I have taken the lessons of the “War Chapters” and implemented them in my training program, and philosophy for defense. I often refer my defense philosophy as “OPR philosophy” (Orrin Porter Rockwell). But much of it comes from Moroni and his philosophy of defense.
John Bytheway explains in simple terms a interpretation of what we learn from these scriptures. I highly recommend this book!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Background Check Questions: Can You Pass?

I have had the opportunity to go through many background and security checks. In fact, I’m in the middle of a security check right now. I hold a Secret security clearance at the moment but have held a Top Secret clearance in the past. It sounds much more cool than it is. It’s the level of security material that you are able to view and work with and the level at which you are checked. Every 7 years this clearance is redone. But I also have a few concealed carry licenses from different states. Then there’s my commercial driver’s license. That required a background check. Any more, you can’t rent an apartment without a background check! So I feel I’m no stranger to being fingerprinted and someone interviewing my High school teachers. I’m used to it. That does not mean I’m not careful with my personal information, I’m just not worried about the government having it anymore.
So what is the background check associated with buying a gun?
Well let’s start with how you can fail a check.
Anything that makes a person too high-risk to possess lethal firepower, in the eyes of the law. Those includes criminal and mental health history, dishonorable military discharges, unlawful immigration status, an open warrant, a documented history of domestic violence, and drug use.
Felony convictions are the most common reason for the gun background check system to reject an applicant, resulting in 785,984 denials during the 19 years (as of 2017) that NICS has been in operation. More than 178,000 fugitives, 136,000 domestic offenders, and 131,000 unlawful drug users have also been blocked. The bar for denying someone on mental health grounds is very high, requiring that a person has been declared unsound or involuntarily confined to a psychiatric institution by a court or other authority. Fewer than 32,000 people have been denied under this criteria.
The DOJ’s form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record asks these questions:
“1. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s)?
2. Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year?

3. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have you imprisoned for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?

4. Are you a fugitive from justice?

5. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

6. Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or are incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?
7. Have you been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions?

8. Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner?

9. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

10. Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship?

11. Are you an alien illegally in the United States?

12. Are you an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa?

13. Do you have a valid government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license?”

These are the questions
• Proceed: If NICS indicates the seller can proceed, then the sale can continue.
• Canceled or Denied: Should NICS mark the form as “canceled” or “denied,” the seller cannot legally sell the firearm to the buyer. There are some gun dealers who generally provides the customer with contact information for a local lawyer who handles restoration of firearm rights in case the failed background check is erroneous. There have been times police have arrived at a gun shop to arrest the customer who legally cannot purchase a gun.
• Delayed: If the background check elicits a “delayed” response from NICS, the seller cannot complete the transaction for at least three business days. Unless a specific “denied” designation is issued, the seller will be able to complete the transaction with the customer after that period elapses, under federal law.
This is the system to “weed out” undesirables who try and get a gun. To be honest, those that work in gun stores or counters where guns are sold are usually a big help. Any employee can refuse to sell a gun to anyone. So they are our last line of defense. If I were a gun shop owner or a manager, I’d give some training to employees on what to look for and who to not sell to.
Background checks are really nothing to fear. Unless you have some of the problems above. Most people don’t have these issues. But everyone has a past and specific circumstances that may keep them from buying a gun. If you do, talking to a lawyer would be a good advice.
So don’t be afraid, buy a gun!
Semper Paratus
Check 6