How Very French!

August 24th, 2015

Remember the terrorist wannabee that shot up the train in France, only to be beaten into unconsciousness by three Americans?

This news article reports that the crew of the train barricaded themselves in their staffroom when the shooting started, and refused to help as passengers banged on the door and begged for aid.

welcome to france we surrender

Gotta Catch Them All

August 24th, 2015

Police in Boston, Massachusetts claim to have foiled a pair of misfits who threatened to kill attendees at the Pokemon World Championships, which was held just this past weekend.

james stumbo 27 years old arrested on weapon charges

kevin norton 18 years old arrested on weapon charges

Seems the event is by invitation only, and the two were slated to compete in the Masters Division.  They drove to Boston from Iowa, and tried to enter the convention building the day before everything started.  Police were waiting, and turned them away.

It took a few hours, but police then obtained a search warrant that allowed them to check the interior of the car the two were driving.  They found guns and ammunition, as well as a lone hunting knife.

guns the alleged pokemon shooters were going to use

Since the state of Massachusetts has some pretty restrictive gun laws, the authorities were then able to arrest the pair.  Near as I can tell their offenses were that they had magazines for the AR style rifle which could hold more than ten rounds, and they didn’t have licenses for their guns which would allow them to transport them inside the state.

The police say that they foiled a mass shooting, saving a bunch of innocent Pokemon players from the attentions of some depraved terrorist wannabees.  But what did the pair do to justify such harsh claims?

Well, for one thing, they had been so incredibly stupid that they posted a picture on Facebook of the weapons they were bringing with them to the convention.

the guns the pokemon attendees brought to boston

Police also pointed to a single line where one of the two doofi said they were going to kill the competition.

single line appearing on facebook that the police treated as a significant threat

I don’t know, this seems to be pretty weak tea for the police to be high-fiving each other and crowing about how they stopped a mass slaughter.  They have to take every threat seriously, and they did good work, but I don’t see the slam dunk they claim.

Couple of gamers want to play tough guys, so they take their guns with them when they go to the big city for a convention.  They try to get inside the convention hall the day before the event so they will know where everything is before the swirling crowds get on the way.   And no one in history has ever posted something unwise on Facebook?

One factor that gives me pause is the rather large ammo cache they brought with them.  Kind of an excessive amount of gun food if all they were doing was an ego stroke, but it could be that they were worried about being caught in more race riots.

On the “innocent prank gone wrong” side of the scales, the police found the guns and ammo inside the car when they served their search warrant, not inside the hotel room where the gamers were staying.  Wouldn’t they want their murder tools to be close if they were planning on killing innocents by the bucketfull?

Keep in mind that I agree with the actions of law enforcement.  These two morons from Iowa took guns into a state which boasts one of the heaviest infestations of anti-gun freaks in the nation, and they bragged about it on the Internet!  The cops are there to enforce the law, not to pick and choose which laws will be upheld.  The suspects have only been charged with weapon offenses, not intent to commit terrorist acts, which is exactly what one would expect if the authorities were playing it straight.

That having been said, I think that there would have to be a lot more evidence of a plot to commit mass murder before I’d sign on to the idea that the cops foiled an active shooter event in the making.  Maybe they have such evidence and it never made it into the press release, but right now it looks like the police are bigger braggarts than the people they arrested.

Cthulhu Door Knocker

August 21st, 2015

cthulhu door knocker

For the person who wants their front door to say “GO AWAY!”

What Is A Safe Queen?

August 17th, 2015

fancy dress sword 1

fancy dress sword 2

My oh my!  Ain’t that the prettiest thing ever!

Of course, I’d never carry something like that around for my own personal defense.  It would be locked up at home, only to see the light of day if I was going to a formal dress ball or costume party.

So what would I carry about my person so I would be a hard target for evildoers?

plain unadorned cutlass

Not fancy at all, but really serviceable.  Try to attack James and you get the chop-chop!

Swords are not the only thing to get the bling treatment.

engraved 1911

My oh my!  Ain’t that the prettiest thing ever!  All that gold leaf and mother-of-pearl grip panels and all.

I bet the gun is fully functional, but I would still never carry it for defense.  My personal arm would look something like this.

plain unadorned 1911

Hmmm.  Looks like I need to give the old warhorse a good cleaning!

A reader had heard the term “safe queen”, and was wondering what that was.  It refers to guns that are never used, and are instead locked up in the gun safe.

Fancy firearms with engraving and hand wrought grips are but the most common examples.  It could be a antique bought as an investment, a rare gun that the owner wanted to acquire because they thought it was neat, or even a plain-jane gun that once belonged to a beloved family member that is kept for sentimental purposes.  The reasons are legion, with the only common trait being that the guns are squirreled away and almost never used for their intended purpose.

If someone talks about a safe queen it is usually in a tone of derision and scorn.  It is not a polite thing to say about another person’s firearms, unless they use the phrase first.

Suicide By Cop

August 7th, 2015

It seemed to be yet another crazed gunman looking to kill as many innocent people as possible.  The venue for the attack was a movie theater known for their anti-gun policy, which would ensure plenty of helpless victims.

The suspect was reportedly well armed.  He had a gun, pepper spray, and a hatchet.

taurus millenium pro

defensive chemical spray


He was also carrying two backpacks, and no one knew what was tucked away inside.

two alpine canvas backpacks

So all of the basic elements were there for an active shooter who had spent months planning his hellish last stand, but the details rang false.

The movie had been out for months, long enough for interest to wane, and was shown at 13:00 hours (1:00 PM).  Only seven people were in attendance.

sparsely attended theater

The suspect started to attack other people with the pepper spray and hatchet, but didn’t shoot anyone.  Although one patron suffered a hatchet wound on the shoulder, and a total of three were doused with spray, everyone managed to run out of the theater without getting killed.

It makes sense that he wasn’t trying to shoot anyone because he wasn’t armed with an actual firearm.  The gun he had was an airsoft toy, a gun that shoots soft plastic pellets.

airsoft handgun with red tip barrel

A lone police officer entered the dark theater after the terrified ticket buyers made their escape.  He initially reported that he exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

This might seem rather odd to some.  Wasn’t the suspect shooting off a toy?

It was indeed a toy but some of them are made to make a fairly loud noise, which aligns with the goal of making the replica as realistic as possible.  The noise produced is not as loud as an actual firearm, but that little detail would probably be lost if one thought they were in a life-or-death situation.

The officer left the theater, other officers took up positions at the rear of the building in case the suspect tried to leave by the back doors, and the SWAT team was called in.  They apparently gave the suspect many chances to give up, but he refused to cooperate.  He was finally killed by officers outside when he tried to leave by the aforementioned back doors with a backpack strapped to his chest.

It looks to me like the police did the best they could under the circumstances.  Surprising no one, the suspect turns out to be a mentally disturbed young man with a long history of bad behavior.  Goodness only knows what was going through what was left of his mind, but it appears to me that he was given multiple chances to accept the help he needed.  The pity is that nothing worked.

Some Thoughts On Dual Wielding

August 3rd, 2015

I was watching a few YouTube videos where the subject of dual wielding swords was discussed.

dual wielding swords

The consensus was that it certainly was a very prevalent technique back in the day, but it was useful only in very limited circumstances.  There was a reason why people didn’t haul around two swords all the time.

So what about dual wielding handguns?  Do I address this in my charity course?

Most of my students are, shall I say, of a certain age.


They tend to be extremely down to earth.  Practical, realistic, logical.

This is generally not the case with younger students.  Instead of a wealth of past experiences to draw upon to make decisions about the real world, they tend to filter reality through what they have seen and done on their computers.

video game fan

That is why I sometimes get questions about dual wielding.


Read the rest of this entry »

Five Of The Most Powerful Handguns In The World

July 24th, 2015

It seems as though my past post on hunting dinosaurs is still causing some to consider the premise.  A quote from an email I received …

“So you have written about which rifles you would use to shoot dinosaurs.  What sidearms would you carry?”

Handguns fill many roles, but their main purpose is to provide a portable, go-anywhere self-defense tool.  Long guns will do better in just about every other job.

Still, it is prudent to consider what will happen if your long gun fails in some way.  Best to have a handgun holstered at your hip in case you really, really need it.

leather flap holster with magazine carrier

Since the premise is to go toe-to-toe with extremely dangerous game, it would be a good idea to invest in high powered handguns that pack a respectable punch.  But where is the line between “powerful” and merely ordinary?

The most common military and police caliber in the free world today is the 9mm Parabellum, and a standard pressure load with a standard weight bullet produces around 360 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.  A cartridge much admired in the United States amongst shooting sports enthusiasts is the .45 ACP, and it produces around 395 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

And so we have a baseline for ordinary, which is a handgun producing a bit less than 400 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle.  If we want to protect ourselves against large and dangerous game animals, we will have to do better than that.

(Please click on the handgun name for the Wikipedia page discussing that particular gun, and click on the ft/lbs numbers for ballistic information.)

Tokarev TT Pistol ( 511 ft/lbs)

worn tt-33 with holster

When the Communists took Russia over after WWI, they looked to modernizing the armed forces.  Revolvers, which had been the mainstay of most officer sidearms, were replaced by the Tokarev starting in 1930.  Millions were produced over the next 25 years, manufactured not only in Russia but also in just about every other country with a Communist government.  A large number of these firearms can be found on the surplus market for a surprisingly low price, with examples of perfectly functional guns going for less than $300 USD (£200).

This design has earned a reputation of extreme reliability and ruggedness, which sounds like just the thing if one is going to go running around in a sweltering jungle during a dinosaur hunt.  Most of the reliability comes from the bottleneck cartridge, a shape which is much less prone to jamming.

762x25 tokarev cartridges

The gun fires a small .30 caliber bullet at very high speed, which has advantages and drawbacks.

The advantage is that the bullet will have very good penetration, so the chances are good that the internal organs will be reached.  The disadvantage is that the hole punched into the hide of the dinosaur will be small, so it will take longer for the animal to pass out from blood loss.  Glass half full, or half empty?

Impressive though the performance of the Tokarev might be, there are better choices out there.  The main advantage is the low cost, so an eager safari hunter can still afford a powerful sidearm even after spending tens of thousands on a fancy big game rifle.

Read the rest of this entry »

WARNING : Bad Language Alert!

July 20th, 2015

(EVERY LINK ON THIS POST IS NSFW!!  You have been warned!)

Someone going by the name Michael Sonmore has published a confessional op-ed that has made some waves.  The thrust of the article, if “thrust” is the correct term, is that he is completely fine with his wife going out to have wild animal sex with other guys because he is a “feminist“.  (Hat tip to Glenn.)

barbie sitting on ken

Gay writer Milo Yiannopoulos thinks is just great news!  Since feminists are turning what would otherwise be straight males into submissive homosexuals, the time has never been better for men who are attracted to other men.  It is like being a kid in a candy store!

man in a candy store

(A top, obviously.)

There have been a mountain of pixels spilled concerning how Mr. Sonmore, the author of the original tell-all article, is such a milksop girly man that the human race owes him a big thank you for voluntarily removing himself from the gene pool.  But what is his wife thinking?  What is her grand scheme?

The best explanation I have ever heard can be found here.   I don’t want to steal any thunder from the Monkey, so you are going to have to just clickety-click your way over to his lair and give a listen.

There Is Still Much To Learn

July 20th, 2015

The reason I keep this blog going after more than a decade is to provide a forum for people to ask questions concerning self defense and home security.  I have given advice to people from all over the world, including those who hail from places where private ownership of firearms is forbidden by law.  Right or wrong, I count that as being one of my greater contributions.

I received an email from a reader who I will call Chris.  It seems that he had painted the main room of his dwelling a blood red hue, and had hung crucifixes upon the wall.

crucifex wall

(Click pic to enbiggen.)

That might keep the living room safe from non-traditional home invaders, but Chris was looking to create a safe perimeter.  He packed thick sections of PVC pipe with salt, joining and bending the tube into a single unbroken unit.

pvc pipe bent into shapes

(These are not the pipes Chris actually used.)

The salty pipe was buried around Chris’ home, never coming closer than 20 feet (7 meters) to the outside walls.

old rusty mobile home

(This is not where Chris actually lives.)

Next to the front door rests a shotgun, loaded with rock salt.

rusty single barreled shotgun

(This is not the shotgun Chris keeps next to the front door.  Um, actually.)

At this point, I made a profound error.  I wrote Chris back!

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Revolvers Are Scary?

July 17th, 2015

It seems that every news article I read that supports gun control features a picture of a revolver.

j frame and standard cylinder revolvers

The standard practice is to send a photographer to a gun store and have them snap a shot of some wheel guns in a display case.

revolvers on a gun store shelf

Just about every one of those signs advertising a gun free zone features a drawing of a revolver.

gun free drug free zone sign

The recent incident where a crazed terrorist killed some US Marines occurred right where those signs are prominent.

gun free zone marine shooting

federal gun free zone sign

This seems rather odd to me, as the handguns which gun control advocates find most alarming are of the semi-auto breed.  (“So many bullets!  Catch me while I faint dead away!“)

So why the images of a revolver?  Do the people who go in for gun control think a drawing of an autoloader will be ignored over a revolver?

I just don’t get it.