Leaders from around the world arrived in Paris and walked with a reported 5% of the French population in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and against Islamic terrorists. All the major leaders and countries were there—except for the US.

AWOL: Barrach Chamberlain.

Neither Obama, Biden, nor Kerry attended the march.  Attorney General Holder was in Paris at the time of the march. He didn’t attend either. He was in a ‘meeting.’ Not only did no one from the US government attend the march, the White House did not issue any press release in support. The Drudge headline for today is:


No ‘Pubs attended either. What an opportunity lost! Suppose John Boehner and Mitch McConnell had attended when Obama and his henchmen wouldn’t. Think of the political coup! Nevertheless, the opportunity was missed. In retrospect, I suppose it would have offended Obama and the dems if ‘Pub leaders had shown some spine.


There was a murder on the Kansas side a couple of days ago. She’s A Pistol was a small business training people, mainly women, how to defend themselves. Three armed men entered, attacked Rebecca Bieker, the woman co-owner and her husband, John Bieker, defended her. All three armed men suffered gunshot wounds. The fourth, the getaway driver escaped injury. John Bieker later died of his wounds.

Rebecca Bieker later issued this statement via her Facebook page. “I have lost my husband in this senseless murder,” she wrote. “Although tragic, he saved my life because he carried a firearm. Guns are not evil.”  

The Kansas State Rifle Association has open a conduit for donations to Rebecca Bieker. A second donation site is available, too.

What could you do?

South Kansas City was aroused yesterday afternoon to the sound of sirens, police and ambulances. In an upper-middle class neighborhood, five people were shot, three fatally in the quiet of the afternoon. The shootings occurred, if I understood the reports correctly, in five different homes. The five people were victims of a single invader, so we’re told.

It is a tragedy and it leads to a number of questions.

  1. Could it happen here, where I live? Yes, it could. No neighborhood nor home is invulnerable.
  2. Can the police protect me? No. I have no doubt the police desperately wish they could but there aren’t enough to post a cop in every home. The old adage, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away,” is still true. I live only a few hundred yards from the police station and it would STILL take minutes to reach my home.
  3. I don’t like guns, isn’t a phone call to 911 sufficient? No, see #2 above. First, you must have your phone on you, second you must dial 911…and wait for them to answer, and third, you must be calm enough to tell them what is happening. Few people, in a personal emergency, can do all that in the few seconds they have.
  4. I have a gun in the house, that should be enough. No, it isn’t. Do you know where it is? How quickly can you get it in your hands? Is it loaded? Many families with small children won’t keep loaded weapons easily on hand. Is it in a safe? Can you open the safe in a few seconds, absolutely in less than a minute?
  5. Well, what can I do? Carry a weapon and either keep it within arms reach or on your person at all time. Practice with it, get training in how to defend yourself and how to use your weapon, practice until you needn’t have to think in an emergency, you react.

I hear so many women claim, “I couldn’t shoot anyone!” Stop and think of the consequences. Could/would you shoot someone to protect your children? Your husband or family?

Some men say the same, with all the usual responses. The actual answer for both men and women is that you will do whatever is necessary to protect your family and yourself—or you and they will die.

It’s a harsh statement but that doesn’t change the reality. The world is not safe. It has never been and never will be. We can prepare ourselves for the reality. We can train, teach our family to prepare and train them how to defend themselves and others even if it is nothing more than to train your children to flee and seek protection. Know your neighbors, communicate with them, ask if your neighbor will watch out for you, your children and family, watch your home when you’re away and be a place of shelter if necessary.

I carry a weapon. It is something I put on when I dress in the morning, and it is next to me on the nightstand when I go to bed at night. If someone breaks in to my home, I have a weapon within reach in seconds. I am determined I will protect myself and my family. So can you. You needn’t be a victim waiting to be found.

If one of those five victims had a weapon close at hand and knew how to use it, perhaps one or more of the others would have remained unharmed. More and more police chiefs and sheriffs are admitting they are powerless to protect anyone. The first responder for your personal defense is you.


I wrote an article a week or so ago about the parallels with current events in the Ukraine and China to those just prior to WW2. Obama, like the bungling Chamberlain, is placing the United States into harm’s way and our military is woefully unprepared, undermanned, undertrained and underequipted. The democrats/liberals/socialists have been all too successful in emasculating the US armed forces.

Obama Authorizes Sending Additional Troops To Iraq

Posted: Updated:

President Barack Obama has authorized a State Department request for additional troops in Iraq.

Obama ordered approximately 350 additional military personnel be sent to Iraq “to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad,” according to a Tuesday statement from the office of the White House press secretary. The statement notes that the troops will not be serving in a combat role upon arrival.

The Defense Department confirmed that 405 troops will be deployed to Iraq, allowing for 55 military personnel who have been in Iraq since June to redeploy outside of the country and resulting in a net increase of 350 troops on the ground.

“This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defense after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President’s commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” according to the White House statement.

The numbers being sent are too few to be effective. In reality, all they can be…are targets. There are few good troops in the Middle-east. None of them are in Iraq.

But Obama isn’t placing our troops in harm’s way only in Iraq, he’s sending them to the Ukraine as well.

U.S., allies to stage exercises in West Ukraine as battles rage in East

By Peter Apps. WASHINGTON Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:41pm EDT

(Reuters) – As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies.

The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.

The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis in the eastern part of the country.

“At the moment, we are still planning for (the exercise) to go ahead,” U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U.S. Army’s European Command said on Tuesday.

NATO stepped up military activity in its eastern member states after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, and is expected to agree at a summit in Wales this week to create a new rapid reaction force of several thousand troops.

In addition to staging air force exercises, the United States is moving tanks and 600 troops to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for joint maneuvers in October, replacing a more lightly armed force of paratroopers.

But Rapid Trident will entail the first significant deployment of U.S. and other personnel to Ukraine since the crisis erupted.

President Barack Obama will visit Estonia on Wednesday to reassure the former Soviet Baltic states of U.S. support, and Estonia’s prime minister on Tuesday called for a more visible NATO presence in eastern Europe.

Washington has promised Ukraine $52 million in non-lethal security aid and has already provided combat rations, body armor, radios and other equipment. Pentagon leaders have met with Ukrainian counterparts to discuss a range of cooperation, but, for now, arms supplies have been ruled out.

“It is very important to understand that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming,” Obama told reporters at the White House last week.

Once again, Obama is acting, or rather reacting, too late with too little. Our troops in the Ukraine will be nothing more than targets, just as they are in Iraq.

What’s good for the goose…

I see that another government agency is building a private army, arming them, putting them in the universal government black uniform and buying body armor. Which agency? It’s not just an agency, it’s an entire governmental department, the Department of Agriculture. According to another website, the USDA soliciting bids for .40S&W submachine guns.

That begs the question that, so far, no governmental department nor agency has answered—why? What justification drives this solicitation? As before, that question remains unanswered.

A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns [in] .40 Cal. S&W.”

According to the solicitation, the Dept. of Agriculture wants the guns to have an “ambidextrous safety, semiautomatic or 2 round [bursts] trigger group, Tritium night sights front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore group) and scope (top rear), stock collapsible or folding,” and a “30 rd. capacity” magazine.

They also want the submachine guns to have a “sling,” be “lightweight,” and have an “oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.” 

The solicitation directs “all responsible and/or interested sources…[to] submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone.” Companies that submit information in a “timely” fashion “shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability.”

What use does the USDA have for these? Arming Meat Inspectors? Then add the body armor, what is the need? Is there an armed militia of Angus cattle who are arming themselves for protection from slaughter-houses?

Agriculture Department puts in request to buy body armor

Swat team personnel gather for a briefing before entering the the former Roth’s grocery store to investigate an armed robbery at School House Square in Keizer, Ore., on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. A Brinks employee was robbed at gunpoint when he was servicing an ATM machine, said Keizer Police Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Timothy J. Gonzalez)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in an acquisition request to buy body armor — specifically, “ballistic vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor,” the solicitation stated.

The request was put in writing and posted on May 7 — just a few days before the same agency sought “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns” equipped for 3-round magazines, Breitbart reported.

The May 7 solicitation reads: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, [seeks] Body Armor [that’s] gender specific, lightweight, [containing] plate/pad (hard or soft) and concealable carrier. [Also a] tactical vest, undergarment (white), identification patches, accessories (6 pouches), body armor carry bag and professional measurements,” Breitbart reported.

The solicitation also reads that “all responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact and telephone number,” the media outlet reported. And “timely” respondents “shall be considered by the agency for contact,” Breitbart said.

Add it to the list of federal agencies making requests for guns and ammunition in recent months.

The same article mentions the purchase of ammunition by the US Postal Service. The USPS, unlike the USDA, has long had an investigative component, Postal Inspectors. They are federally commissioned officers and has racked up a record of arrests for mail fraud. The USDA has neither the history nor the need for armaments like the Postal Service.

I read somewhere that the number of NFA purchases by citizens (to the uninformed, NFA purchases include full-auto weapons, suppressors, and short firearms, a legacy from Prohibition and the Gangster Era,) has increased dramatically. In line with that is the purchase of body armor by citizens as well, in some areas, more body armor is bought by locals than their law enforcement agencies.

These purchases of body armor has raised concerns for some municipalities and they’ve passed ordinances banning the purchase of body armor by law-abiding citizens. According to one website that sells body armor, they will not ship their products to Connecticut nor to New York for buyers who are not military or law enforcement organizations.

One of the purposes of the 2nd Amendment was to allow citizens to be armed—on par with government. Citizens who are armed—and protected, equally with the government are better prepared to resist governmental tyranny.

The bottom line? Buy body armor for yourself while you can. It’ll be another motivation to maintain your weight…and girth. Body armor is useless if it doesn’t fit. Prices for body armor is less than a new AR.

Condition One, Condition Yellow

Today’s title will confuse some readers. Others will recognize it as we lead into today’s topic—the epidemic of random attacks by thugs on the unaware. For the last week, news items have appeared on the internet on the subject of ‘knock-out’, a game by thugs who attempt to knock out a random stranger with one blow and then steal whatever the victim has.

Drudge has a story today about such an attack in New York, where self-defense is not allowed. The fear is that this ‘game’ will spread.

Teen ‘knockout game’ continues to harm innocent people

The worrying ‘game’ is played by choosing victims at random and trying to knock them to the ground with one punch. More and more people report being victimized by its callous ‘players.’

This disturbing game is a hit with goons.

“Knockout” is an emerging trend among unhinged teens that consists of targeting a passerby at random and trying to lay them out with one punch.

That’s it.

Participants call this — the game’s singular move — the “one hitter quitter.”

Their victims can be anyone: elderly men or mothers with kids are not exempt. This poor attempt at manliness — i.e. thinly veiled cowardice — has even ended in death.

Most of the knockout incidents have taken place in the New York metro area.

New York-based CBS 2 shed light on the fisticuff fad earlier this month with a report on the twisted game in Jersey City.

“You just knock them out. You hit them with a blow and you take their belongings,” one teen told the station.

Another youngster said that people participate simply “for the fun of it.” But another said wannabe tough guys are interested in whether their friends actually have the strength to strike somebody down.

Phoebe Connolly, of Vermont, told ABC affiliate WJLA that she was targeted while riding her bike in the Columbia Heights section of Washington, D.C.

“My whole head went flying to the side… it was a hard punch,” Connolly said. “One kid came from the side and pretty much cut me off. He threw a hook with his left hand and got me right in the face and he said, ‘Wapow!'”

The column continues with reports of fatalities, one in St. Louis, MO. The next question is why were these people so unaware of their surroundings and how could these thugs get so close and surprise their victims? I would guess it is due to the mindset, “It can’t happen to me!”

That brings us to the two conditions in today’s title. One condition is applicable to everyone. You needn’t be armed, just aware of your surroundings, being aware who is near you and to be prepared to take action, run, if you have no other options, if necessary.

 Jeff Cooper was a prolific writer on gun and self-defense issues. He, along with others at the time, created principles of defense, of being prepared. His conditions were color codes, from White, being completely unaware, to red, fight!

The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense.[5]

The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.[6]

  • White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.”
  • Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to “I may have to shoot that person today”, focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: “If that person does “X”, I will need to stop them”. Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
  • Red: Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will shoot that person” – ‘X’ has happened, the fight is on.

        — Wikipedia.

Cooper’s Condition Red is the condition of last resort. Your life is in danger. You must do whatever is necessary to survive. If you are armed, that is one means of defending yourself. If you are unarmed, you must use whatever is available, whether it is a rock lying nearby on the ground, a discarded pipe or piece of wood, or, if nothing is available, yourself.

The other condition, Condition One, pertains to firearms and CCW carriers. It is useless to acquire a CCW permit, to carry a weapon, and be completely unaware of your surroundings. What use is a personal weapon if you are attacked while in Condition White?

RemingtonRand1911A12Cooper developed codes for CCW carriers and others who carry weapons daily, law and security officers, for instance. The rules were developed with the 1911 .45acp single-action pistol in mind. The photo is of a 1911A1 .45acp pistol in Condition One, Cocked and Locked—hammer is cocked, safety is on—is locked.

Cooper favored the Colt M1911 and its variants. There are several conditions of readiness in which such a weapon can be carried. Cooper promulgated most of the following terms:

  • Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.
  • Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
  • Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
  • Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
  • Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.

Some of these configurations are safer than others, while others are quicker to fire the gun (Condition 1). In the interest of consistent training, most agencies that issue the 1911 specify the condition in which it is to be carried as a matter of local doctrine.

This firearm condition system can also be used to refer to other firearm actions, particularly when illustrating the differences between carry modes considered to be safe for various actions. For example, DA/SA is designed to be carried in Condition 2, which is not safe for 1911s without firing pin safeties. — Wikipedia.

If you possess a CCW permit and you carry (I know many who have a CCW permit but don’t carry. They acquired the permit because they could, as a political statement,) be aware and be prepared.

Are you aware of your surroundings when parking and leaving your car? Do you make a 360° scan around you? I do. Do you examine everyone coming towards you? I do. Are you aware of people approaching from your rear? I do. Do you constantly look around you when walking outside, or in a mall? I do. When inside or at a restaurant, do you sit where you have a good view of the room, of the entrance, do you sit where it is unlikely you can be approached from behind? I do whenever possible.

My wife now knows, when we go out, to sit where I can watch my surroundings. Sometimes it is difficult, sometimes not. More than once, while being seated, I’ve asked for a different table or booth to allow me a better view of the room.

I’ve had a CCW permit since they first became legal in Missouri. I’ve drawn my pistol once, while walking in a park and was charged by a dog running loose. I didn’t have to aim, nor shoot. The dog stopped when I didn’t run. He moved off and I reholstered while catching my breath. I don’t think I breathed until the dog was thirty yards away.

One time, in an underground parking lot in Kansas City, I may have been targeted by a group of teenagers, a gang, really. I was walking to my car when a half-dozen teen boys approached, yelling, asking for some change. I didn’t have cover, nor an exit. I turned towards them, put my hand in my pocket and said, “No, fresh out.” When I didn’t run, but instead just stood there, watching them with my hand, unseen, on my pistol butt, they decided to go elsewhere. I’m not sure what they expected, but I didn’t fit their profile, apparently.

I was in Condition Yellow, but I was still caught in a position that limited my options, I had no place to run, couldn’t really with my arthritic knees and being overweight, no place to hide where they couldn’t get at me. Sometimes, in the best of situations, your options were limited.

With the spread of the ‘knock-out’ game, we all must be aware of our surroundings, who are near us. In the end, your self-defense is still yourself. No cop will be there, guarding you. They have no legal obligation to protect you as an individual—that has been decided several times by the US Supreme Court. No, all the cops can do is clean up the mess afterward and attempt to find and arrest the attackers…not that that will do you, the victim, much good.

The saying, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away!” applies. You are your own self-defense. Be aware, be prepared. After all is over, be that one who returns alive and unharmed to your family.

So you’re thinking about Concealed Carry… Part IV

Today’s discussion will be about weapons. Most people who first consider CCW think of this first. Like most endeavors in life, choosing a weapon should not be a, “Ohh! Shiny!” moment.

If you read any of the CCW magazines and websites, you’ll think you need, for CCW, a primary pistol, the biggest caliber you can handle the better, a backup pistol, 2-3 reloads for each, a lock-blade knife, multi-tool, tactical boots, tactical pants and shirt plus a cover garment like a vest. I admit there are some CCW carriers who go to that extreme. The remaining 99.99% do not.

For this article, I will use this definition for handguns:  the term “Pistol” will refer to auto-loading handguns like the Glock, Sig, S&W and others that use a magazine in the butt of the pistol to store cartridges. A “Revolver” is…well a revolver. It has a revolving cylinder containing five to nine cartridges.

One CCW carrier I know, a woman who works in KC and a widow, carries a small .22LR pistol. The pistol is scarcely larger than the palm of her hand. She’s comfortable with it, and practices with it. From sunup to sundown, that .22 is always on her person or within reach.

Sig P220I know another woman CCW carrier who carries, on occasion, a Sig P220, a .45acp pistol on her waist in an OWB holster. The physical size of your chosen weapon is what you are comfortable carrying.

Some men like to carry a full-size 1911. Others will carry a .32 or .380 slightly larger than the Bobcat above. There is no rule that says men carry large pistols, women small ones.  Carry the size of pistol that is comfortable for you. When you need to defend your life, a .22lr is better than no weapon at all.

A revolver can be a good choice.  They’ve been around since before the Civil War. They are sturdy, well designed and have few problems, like Failure to Feed, or Failure to Eject, that can occur with pistols. On the whole, if you concern is reliability, will it go Bang! when you pull the trigger, then a revolver should be at the top of your list.

S&W M442A revolver can be large or small. Small ones, like this small .38Spl by Smith&Wesson, can be easily carried in a pocket or purse. S&W M13 with IWB Holster and speedloaderOr, it can be a bit larger like this .357Mag.

It is not unusual for an old revolver to be laying around the house…a leftover from prior generations or an inheritance. These, too, can be a suitable choice for a defensive weapon. I would suggest you have the revolver checked by a competent gunsmith. While there are few moving parts in a revolver, wear can cause some problems that would make the revolver unsafe to shoot.  Ammunition can be an issue too.  There were millions of revolvers sold in the .38S&W caliber. That cartridge is NOT the .38Spl cartridge common today.  The .38S&W shorter than the .38Spl and is harder to find. On the other hand, I have seen some on the shelf at Cabelas.

Now to pistols. There are many choices available for CCW. All, from reputable manufacturers, are good choices. There are some, like Jennings and the like, that are made of pot-metal. Many of these cheap pistols have been found to be unsafe.  If you limit your search to the reputable brands, like Ruger, S&W, SIG, Glock, Beretta, Colt, Kahr and many others, you should have no problems finding a pistol that fits uou and is safe.

Some shooters have a problem with pistols. Revolvers operate by muscle power. The strength of the trigger finger is used to move the cylinder and cock the hammer. When the cylinder (with a fresh cartridge) is aligned with the barrel and the hammer is fully cocked and released, the revolver will fire.

The pistol is different. The principal of operation for a pistol is inertia and momentum. Initially, the pistol’s slide is retracted. When released, it strips a cartridge off the magazine and chambers it.  A “Failure to Feed” is a condition when the cartridge is not fully chambered. It sits cocked in the chamber and causes a jam.

When the cartridge is fired, the recoil causes the slide to retract. While the slide is moving backwards, the empty cartridge, the brass, is extracted from the chamber and ejected. If, for some reason the cartridge is not fully extracted and/or not ejected, the condition is called a “Failure to Extract”. This, too, will cause a jam.

I said that pistols operate by inertia. There is a shooting (or really a shooter-caused) condition known as “limp-wristing” that can cause either or both of the failure conditions above. A pistol requires a solid grip to operate. A loose grip, allowing the pistol to move excessively when fired, reduces the momentum of the slide that is required for the pistol to extract the fired cartridge.

I’ve been appalled watching gun handling on TV. A common stance is to hold the pistol at eye level (correctly) with both elbows bent (incorrectly) and the pistol position about a foot to a foot and a half in front of the face.  Unless the shooter has very strong arms, this position will, sooner or later, cause a jam, most likely a failure to eject. Why? Because the cocked elbow stance allows too much movement of the pistol robbing the slide of the momentum it requires to fully move to the rear, eject the cartridge and strip a replacement off the magazine. Limp-wristing is an object lesson in physics.

The down side of pistols is that some women don’t have the strength to handle a pistol in the larger, 9mm and up, calibers.  In older women, my wife for example, some don’t have the grip strength to fully retract the slide for the initial chambering of a cartridge.

For this reason, I strongly suggest women try out several different weapons, pistols and revolvers, before making a choice for a personal weapon.  What is suitable for one may not be suitable for another. If you visit a gun store and the clerk directs you to some “lady’s” pistols or pink ones, leave. That clerk is ignorant about shooting and gun handling.

Instead, visit a shooting range that has a variety of rental weapons available, or ask a friend who has a variety of handguns to take you to the range to allow you to sample a number of different handguns.  It is permissible for you to buy or replace any ammo expended during that range trip.

I would also suggest you attend one of a number of NRA training sessions on safety and gun handling. You can acquire more knowledge and practice that will help you choose your personal weapon.

This is the last of four articles concerning CCW for the new or non-shooter. I am not an “expert” nor do I pretend to be one. I hope these articles have provided some answers to questions and discussed issues that will help you if you decide to continue towards a CCW permit. If you have any questions, you can send me an e-mail. My address is available here on this website.

So you’re thinking about Concealed Carry… Part III

Today’s discussion about concealed carry is accessories…holsters. Men will think that covers belt holsters and maybe magazine/speed-loader holders. For this discussion that is correct…for men.  For women, it’s a bit more involved.  Why? Because women are…curvy. Curvy that is usually opposite from men.

Before we go further, why are holsters needed? Why can’t we, like movie gangsters from the 1930’s, just drop a pistol in a suit or coat pocket and go about our business?

A number of reasons. One, pistols are heavy. A pistol in a suit or jacket pocket will sag. It will be obvious you have something heavy in that pocket. In many cases the outline of the pistol will also be obvious. The holster will distribute the weight of the pistol and allow you to be comfortable when you carry for an extended time.

Second, the purpose of the holster is not just a place to hang a pistol. The holster is a safety device. It allows you to carry a weapon and to keep objects…and fingers…away from the trigger. Holsters are designed to cover the trigger on purpose.

There are some old holsters from the early 20th Century that did not cover the trigger.  DON’T USE THEM! I had a high-school friend who used one while hunting. Something snagged the trigger when he was walking through a thicket and the pistol fired. The bullet went into his leg, through his knee and on out.  His leg had to be amputated at the knee.

Finally, the holster provides a stable platform if you need to draw quickly. A floppy holster is useless and could make you fumble if you need to draw quickly to defend you life. That is not the time to be fumbling with a holster.

The common holster attaches to a belt and the holster and pistol is in easy reach at the waist. With a few exceptions, holsters are designed for men. The holster is designed to tuck the pistol or revolver close to the body.  Works great for men. For women, curvy women, that same pistol means the butt digs into the woman’s ribs. I would suggest any women readers check out Kathy Jackson’s website on holsters. There are some options available for women, like carrying pistols in purses, that aren’t suitable for most men.

Getting back to holsters…there are a wide variety. The most common are the OWB (Outside the Waist-Band,) the IWB (Inside the Waist-Band,) the Shoulder Holster and the pocket holster.  Each can be a solution in most circumstances. Few, if any, are suitable in all circumstances. The usual result is that most CCW carriers have a number of holsters that are used during different parts of the year. What would be suitable in the Fall, Winter, and Spring when jackets and outer wear are worn, the OWB or IWB holster is common. Those same holsters, in the summer when shorts and t-shirts are common, aren’t as suitable.












There are still more holster options.  You must remember that you will still need some cover garment even if it is nothing more than a baggy t-shirt. The purpose of the pocket holster is to break the outline of the pistol, cover the trigger for safety and to reduce the accumulation of dirt and lint from inside the pistol.

I know some CCW carriers who carry small pistols or revolvers in a pocket without a pocket holster. They believe that it is more important to be able to draw quickly than to conceal the outlines of the pistol. The problem with that theory is: 1) the trigger is exposed. When you reach for the pistol, you could accidentally hit the trigger. 2) dirt and pocket lint can get into the pistol causing a jam when you need the pistol most.

The lesson of all this is NEVER CARRY A WEAPON WITHOUT A HOLSTER.  Holsters are cheap compared to have an unintended discharge of your pistol. There could be legal consequences if you do have an unintended discharge.

The bottom line concerning holsters: Don’t be cheap. A good, well-designed, well-made holster can save your life. Most of my holsters are custom-made by a friend in Washington state. He charges $100 and up for one of his holsters and each one is hand-crafted and designed to fit your specific weapon. I’ve had him made holsters for new pistols when there were no commercial (GALCO) holsters available. A good holster is worth the money you spend.

I would strongly suggest the women to read Kathy Walker’s commentary on holsters before they go shopping.

Tomorrow’s discussion is about weapons

So you’re thinking about Concealed Carry… Part II

Or, why does it have to be pink!?  That was directed to the ladies but it has an overtone applicable to both men and women.

You can scan websites that cater to female shooters. Invariably, you’ll see something in pink. The assumption is that colorful accoutrements attack women. If you believe that, you must be a democrat to swallow such drivel.  What escapes these vendors is that when selecting weapons and accessories for concealed carry, the primary feature is…concealability.  You do not want colors or textures that attracts the eye.

For concealed carry, black is good.

Why? Because subdued colors and finishes are less visible in case a gust of wind blows your outer garment momentarily revealing your weapon. Or, if you are a women with a weapon in your purse, that weapon won’t be obvious then you open the purse to extract your wallet or whatever.  The point is to enhance and maintain concealability.

Some states have prohibitions against “branding.” Branding is allowing your weapon to be perceptible, such as the outline of the weapon, even though it is concealed.  Missouri, fortunately, has no such prohibition.

Case in point about branding.  I was at a local Wally World and met a friend. I knew he had a concealed carry permit. We have a number of discussion about the subject, weapons, holsters, and a number of other items.  He carried a 9mm pistol in the small of his back—under a polo shirt in this case.  It was warm outside and he had just entered.  His shirt stuck to his back—and to his pistol.  It was perfectly outlined. There was no question whether he was carrying. He was. It was obvious to all.  I told him he was branding and he pulled his shirt away from his back. Issue resolved.

In some states he could have been ticketed for branding. Some states could have also charged him with “intimidation” for displaying a weapon.  Like I said, we’re fortunate that Missouri has no such prohibitions.

Pistols come in a number of colors and finishes.  There are Pros and Cons for all.  Many prefer stainless steel because stainless steel is resistant to corrosion from sweat. In summer when you are carrying in a holster covered by a shirt or outer cover, your pistol is often nestled next to your skin. Sweat is a real enemy to continued operation of your weapon.  A corroded weapon may not work when you need it.  It’s like having a flat and discovering your spare is flat as well.  You can walk away from the flat. You may be carried away if your pistol jams or fails to fire if you need it.


The picture above is similar to one of my carry pistols. It has a stainless steel finish and a 3.5″ barrel. The edges have been rounded to enhance comfort and concealability. It is also shiny and heavy.  After a full day, my belt is digging into my hip, my pants are sagging and I have to constantly hitch up my belt. The shininess does make it more visible in low-light conditions. Visibility is not our friend. 

On the other hand, it is a .45acp and a very effective weapon.  I owned and used .45s for a long time. It is my favorite caliber and easier to handle than many others.  It just fits me.

That “fitting” is very important. If your pistol doesn’t feel comfortable, you are less likely to practice with it and then lose proficiency.  Being comfortable with your weapon can be the difference in surviving an encounter or…not.

Black anodized stainless steel is another option. I have two pistols with this finish, one a revolver, one an autoloader.  This finish has all the benefits of stainless steel and is also black and thus enhancing concealability.

The image above is a Smith&Wesson 9mm.  It is small and specifically designed for concealability.  The slide is black anodized stainless steel. The frame is polymer…plastic as it’s commonly described. Physically, it is the same size as my .45 above but, due to the polymer frame, much lighter.

Unlike my .45, there is no safety with this Smith&Wesson.  Or, more correctly, the safety is keeping your finger off the trigger. Consequently, do not carry this pistol without using a holster.

However, if you ladies insist on a pistol with a fashion statement, here is a finish you make consider.

Yes, that is a pink pistol. There are pink rifles as well. I would remind you that the purpose of a concealable pistol is for it to be…subdued and less visible.

There are many weapons available on the used market that are blued.  Bluing was intended to be more rust and corrosion resistant than earlier finishes.  And, to a point, there are.  But such finishes must be cleaned after every use. Even fingerprints had mar the finish and lead to rust.  That said, I like them and one of my favorite carry pistols has the original blue finish.  I wipe it down after every use with a Breakfree wipe and then another wipe down with Remington gun oil. I found this rare pistol at a gun show and jumped on it.

This  pistol was designed for concealed carry. It has a rounded butt, a 2 1/2″ barrel and a bobbed hammer to prevent snagging. It’s also a .357mag if I need some extra penetration. Usually, I just load this with 158gr, lead semi-wad cutter hollow-points in .38Spl +P. Older 38s were a bit under powered. Modern loads, the +P, have improved the performance of 38s to make them comparable with modern 9mm cartridges.  A good .38Spl is still a good concealed carry weapon and can be much cheaper than buying a new pistol. It you are on a budget, it is something to consider. Blued pistols are still good alternatives for a concealable weapon.

Tomorrow’s post will discuss holsters and accessories.