Paid Training

I started my students off focusing on safe gun handling, firearm storage, marksmenship. You know, the bare basics. It was all I could do, all I had time for, and it used up what resources I could spare.

I’ve always urged my students to seek out formal training courses, if they were able. Most, unfortunately, were not, either due to infirmity or lack of money.

I just read an article in WIRED magazine, where they sent one of their reporters to Gunsite Academy for training. She described entering a shoot house, where the scenario was the rescue of a small child named Timmy who had been kidnapped by those of ill intent.

” I still had a bad habit of jerking the trigger in anticipation of recoil, but at certain moments, like when I stepped across the threshold of the fun house’s final room and saw a swarthy man holding a gun to little Timmy’s head, my focus narrowed and my hands and eyes and weapon synced up in a benevolent conspiracy, and I shot the bad guy right in the ocular cavity. It was hugely satisfying, and it felt—I don’t know how else to describe it—like being right. “

Well, it was right! And good for her.

Check the article out. Worth a read.

A Word About A 2016 Shooting Outside The White House

ABC News has posted video of the shooting that occurred on June 29, 2016. A single male approached the White House on foot, openly carrying a gun in his hand!

What in the world did that idiot think was going to happen? That he’d be invited inside for tea? As it is, I think the Secret Service treated him with the greatest of gentleness. They only shot him once, after all.

The gun appears to be a Ruger Mk IV, the target model.

This is a handgun chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. It is a rugged and extremely durable gun, and it is very useful for anything you might want to do with a handgun chambered in .22 LR.

By the phrase “… anything you might want to do with a handgun chambered in .22 LR…” I mean hunting small game or target shooting at the range. I don’t think it is appropriate for walking up to the White House while openly displaying a gun. But, then again, I don’t think any gun on the planet is appropriate for that!

I used an earlier version of the gun during my charity self defense course. It was a Mk II, and was similar in many respects to the Mk IV.

It was an essential training tool, and thousands of people were introduced to the shooting sports via this gun.

Of course, the guy who got shot outside the White House used his to get introduced to prison and life after a potential felony conviction. I don’t recommend using them for this purpose.

UPDATE – Robert Evans very kindly points out that the date stamp on the video was 4 years ago, and he has my thanks. I have updated the essay to indicate the correct date.

Finding Ammo

Riots, murder, burning and destruction!

People interested in self defense have taken note. Firearms and ammunition are tough to find nowadays.

I was in the local big chain sporting goods store and decided to take a walk down the ammunition aisle. So sad, nothing but bare shelves.

Oh, there were a few offerings. I managed to find 500 rounds of .22 Long Rifle, but it was bare lead bullets instead of the copper wash I prefer. There was a supply of 12 gauge shotgun shells, but they were loaded with 7 1/2 birdshot and so were unsuitable for self defense. Oddly enough, I also found several boxes of .32 ACP.

I suppose there just aren’t that many people who favor .32 ACP for defense in west Texas. Go figure.

Did any of this cause me woe? No, not really. I always keep a stock of ammunition on hand just in case something like this happens. I measure the amount I have by how many layers are stacked on the shelf, and don’t bother keeping track of how many individual rounds are left. I can wait out the shortage, even if it takes a few years for the situation to resolve itself.

For those of us who are of the buy-it-when-you-need-it sort, I have two suggestions if you are looking for ammunition.

The first is Lucky Gunner, an online retailer of ammunition.

Keep in mind that they don’t have endless supplies of ammunition so you are certain to get what you want. They are suffering from the same bullet drought that everyone else is trying to overcome. But they are worth a look because they show you exactly what is in stock, and process your purchase almost immediately. They might not have what is needed, but if they do you can buy it before anyone else gets to it.

The second suggest is an online utility called

Gunbot is not a website per se, but is instead a no frills utility that looks for ammunition that is for sale online. The list can be sorted by price, so you can only choose to look at ammo that is in your price range. It is the easiest and quickest way to scour the Internet for bullets to buy.

Keep in mind that Gunbot only shows that sales offered on other websites, and those retailers are often sold out. But if you show some dogged persistence then you will eventually be rewarded with some gun food delivered to your door.

So what happened at the big chain sporting goods store? I bought the .22 Long Rifle ammo, of course. Why wouldn’t I? It’s .22 Long Rifle! Can’t have enough of that.

Inside The Kidnapping Business

Really interesting article concerning the money side of kidnapping. Some criminal gangs and terrorist groups run it like a real business, and legitimate companies have arisen to help mitigate risk to those who may be taken.

Worth a read. Further information for those interested in purchasing insurance to help in case they are kidnapped should start with this excellent essay on Investopedia.

Lost Dog Update

Katy at the vet

Remember the little puppy I found, crying and alone next to the crushed body of her Mom? Remember how she was so heartbroken that she would just sit still and stare at nothing? At least, that is, until I introduced her to Pete the Dog?

Katy and Pete

I thought you might be interested in an update. This is Katy as of today.

Pete and Katy

She was 5 1/2 Lbs (2.5 kilos) when I found her. Katy is now 35 Lbs (16 kilos), all in a little more than 4 months. Kids! Seems they always grow really fast.

In case you are wondering, Pete was 50 Lbs (23 kilos) when Katy first arrived. He is now 55 Lbs (25 kilos). He chunked up a bit due to the high energy puppy chow I put down in front of Katy. He just gets regular kibble, but they always switch bowls a bit more than halfway done. I suppose dog food is tastier if stolen.

Notice their tails, the dark blur? Currently forming an X behind both dogs? That is because I was bribing them with treats to pose for the camera. Their tails were moving so fast that I could determine velocity or position at any given moment, but not both. Their back ends have entered the quantum realm.

One thing that is readily apparent to anyone who comes to visit is that Pete really, REALLY loves his treats.

Security In A Digital Age

Cast your mind back a few decades. It was 2000 AD, and wifi was all the rage.

Wireless router.

It was more expensive than the standard wire coming out of the wall, so just about all of the early adopters were people with money. A couple of computer geeks I knew at the time, guys that were really savvy about all this internet stuff, decided to make a play for the brass ring.

Their idea was to load up one of their cars with computer equipment, and drive around the swanky neighborhoods. If they detected a wifi signal, they would park on the street in front of the house and listen in. Almost always, they would get loads of personal information with virtually no effort on their part. Not only would the majority of wifi customers never bother to change their default passwords, a fair number would have no encryption at all!

So my buddies would record all this. Bank account numbers, bank balances, loan and mortgage information, credit card info, retail purchase history, a list personal friends and relatives, phone numbers, addresses, employment history. You name it, if it was on the computer they could get to it.

Armed with these sensitive and personal facts, the two would ring the doorbell and introduce themselves.

Door to door salesman.

They would explain that they were internet security experts, and that the people living in the house really needed their services. Why, look at all the info they sucked from the ether just by parking in the street!

So they demonstrated that the residents of a wifi equipped house needed to guard against unauthorized access, and that the financial or personal damage could be immense. What kind of reaction do you think they received?