Countdown

The Missouri Primary is a week from today. The weaker candidates have begun, or in the case of a couple, continue their mud-slinging, negative ads. It is interesting to note the most of recipients of that mud have not responded in kind.

I don’t like mudslinging, especially by those who initiate it or take advantage of 3rd party attacks on their opponent. For me, it makes my choice of candidates easy. Easier still when I vet the claims personally (it’s easy with Google and internet search engines) and find them false.

I wonder why, in this internet age, more voters don’t do the same. I also wonder why my establishment ‘Pub friends don’t vet their candidates better when all the facts are readily available with only a few minutes search. Apparently one county office candidate not only does not live in the county, he doesn’t even live in the state! How did he get approval by the party to run? Good, unanswered question.

It reminds me of an old science fiction novel.  A planet is colonized by three groups. One group consists mostly of fundamental Christians (this novel was written in a time when Christian-bashing was not in vogue,) another group was anarchists (what we’d call dyed-in-the-wool libertarians today,) and the the last group was Amish.

When the planet is visited centuries later, the society on that planet is viable and growing. There is no government as such (some local committees are implied,) no money nor coinage, and…no poverty, no illiteracy, no crime.

When I said there was no money, I didn’t mean to say there was no medium of exchange.  In a nutshell that medium was…”You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Obs or obligations was that medium. If someone needed a pair of shoes, he went to a cobbler and got a pair. In exchange, he agreed to perform an obligation to the cobbler. That obligation could be tilling a field or helping with a harvest or teaching someone a trade.  Obs could be major or minor…and could be traded.

Obs are much like politics. In exchange for support, obligations are given, or traded. That ob can be called immediately, such as campaign support, or at some future date.  In today-speak we some times call this compromising. A distasteful word that—compromise. A weakening of a personal, philosophical or moral stand to gain some advantage.

I have to question the values of a person who would violate their personal values for gain in some form. That gain usually is ambition.  The old you support me, I’ll support you. Yes, I may be naive, but I find it difficult to compromise my values at any time.

That’s why I’ll never run for office.

I’ll close this segment with a question. When you vote next week, what obligation have you given…or received for your vote. Will your vote be given because you truly think your candidate is the best of all those running? Or, will your vote be given to one who owes you an obligation, who has purchased your vote. For me, it will be the former.

***

Remember the New Black Panther voter intimidation charge from 2008? The New Black Panthers were found guilty of intimidation. The penalty phase was in progress when Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dropped the charges allowing the New Black Panthers to go free.  There was a lawsuit filed over the interference of the DoJ during that process and a Judge has ruled.  Last week in fact.

Federal Court finds Obama appointees interfered with New Black Panther prosecution

July 30, 2012

A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.

The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watch dog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys’ fees.

Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.

In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.

The New Black Panthers case stems from a Election Day 2008 incident where two members of the New Black Panther Party were filmed outside a polling place intimidating voters and poll watchers by brandishing a billy club. Justice Department lawyers investigated the case, filed charges, and when the Panthers failed to respond, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the Panthers defendants. But after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department reversed course, dismissed charges against three of the defendants, and let the fourth off with a narrowly tailored restraining order.

“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”

The Fat Lady has yet to sing on this case.

***

I have never been a Romney fan. I thought, and still think there are better, stronger candidates in the field. But Romney is the chosen one by the ‘Pub establishment and he has the committed votes to insure his nomination. That said, the following news item brought a grin to my face.

Mitt Romney Spokesman Tells Reporters ‘Kiss My …’ at Polish Holy Site

WARSAW, Poland – A Mitt Romney spokesman reprimanded reporters traveling with the candidate on his six-day foreign trip, telling them to “kiss my a**” after they shouted questions from behind a rope line.

As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions from the line where campaign staffers had told them to stay behind, prompting traveling press secretary Rick Gorka to tell a group of reporters to “kiss my a**” and “shove it.”

It seems the “reporters” where shouting questions such as, “Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” and “Governor Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip.”

The questions were not about Romney’s visit to the Polish War Memorial but were designed to cause embarrassment. Romney’s PR guy responded appropriately, in my opinion. In fact, he deserves a bonus.

And the MSM complains about losing business and the approaching bankruptcy. Newsweek is dropping their print magazine in favor of a website. By subscription, I presume.  That won’t help.  It’s not the medium that is causing their problems, it’s biased content. People recognize bias treatment of the news and out-right lies when they see it. The MSM is doomed. In a decade there will be only a handful left.

And few of us will care. It’s another example of Evolution in Action.

Short Post

I have an appointment this morning. So this post will be short.

Supreme Court Justice Scalia said this week that the 2nd Amendment allows regulation of firearms. Something that disheartened many 2nd Amendment supporters and gave hope to gun-grabbers.  We must understand that the various gun control acts from 1935 until today have met a number of court challenges. Tt behooves us to be very diligent whenever a gun-grabber tries to slip one past us. An amendment to ban large-cap magazines to the Cyber-Security bill is an example.

Now the gun-grabbers are trying again.

Two Democratic Members of Congress are introducing legislation today that would place new regulations on the online and mail-order sale of ammunition. — The Hill.

These acts by dems/libs/gun-grabbers will not stop. We must understand that and be ever vigilant. Yes, there are avenues we could take to strengthen the 2nd Amendment but frankly, I think the next time the dems gain power in Congress they will ignore those laws, like they are ignoring DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) now.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

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Friday Follies for July 27, 2012

It’s been a hot week here at Casa Crucis.  Outside temps have been 100°+ until yesterday when it only reached 97. It’s been hot, too, for another reason. Our A/C is acting up and last night croaked completely. There’s a new coil (under warranty, Thank You) on order but it won’t arrive until Monday.  In the mean time it’s…sweat ‘n drip. 

Our cats are spending more and more time downstairs keeping me company. There’s noting more disconcerting to be writing and have a cat bump your elbow with her head. I expect we’ll spend a lot of time out this weekend in cooler climes.

***

I was scrolling through the Washington Times this morning and glimpsed the mug of John McCain (Spit!) next to an article. John McCain, like Obama, is a prophet. Whatever he favors, do the opposite. Usually. In this case, McCain is right.

The subject of the article is a bill before Congress to regulate utilities, about water and power providers. I can speak about telecommunications providers.

Telecoms employe hundreds, thousands across the entire industry, to secure their networks. They build monitors and watch-dog systems across the entirety of their company. From core, backbone switches, to the doors on remote, unmanned facilities, it’s all secured. Every equipment building from the smallest to the larges had wet and dry, fire, smoke and heat alarms.  It the fan quits on a single server waaaay down at the bottom of the server stack, it will be noticed.

Telecom security rivals and often is more secure than those used by the military and the federal government.  Just who do you think provides those secure military and governmental networks? From the telecom companies and usually via lowest bid.

The danger to secure systems is not the system, it’s the user. I remember an incident a number of years ago, it may have been pre-911 but the example still stands. A government manager wanted to work at home outside of the usual hours. He had a direct line to his office that by-passed the building’s switch-board. It wasn’t an uncommon situation where someone needed to connect with outside networks or the internet.

This manage installed a modem into his office PC and connected it to his outside line. When he got home he would dial into his office, connect to his office server and continue working.  His office server also had access to a number of restricted databases including some confidential documents that were being examined.

A routine security scan of the phone lines picked up the answer tone of the modem. The manager’s password was easily hacked and they security team found they had access to a number of restricted databases.  The manager was immediately fired and may have faced  charges.

The bottom line to all this is that telecoms, and I suspect the other utility providers, already have excellent security. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t hear about all the attempted break-ins that were countered.

Now the government wants to get theirs fingers in the security business. We all know what happens when the government gets involved. Right, noting good.

Senate to take up securing U.S. telecom, power, water

Measure faces opposition from business, GOP leaders

By Shaun Waterman – The Washington Times, Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Senate on Thursday agreed to debate a long-delayed bill to secure the nation’s power grid, water supply and telecommunications system from cyberattack by hackers or foreign enemies.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has supporters from both parties, but it is unclear whether it will garner enough votes to pass in the face of opposition from Republican and business leaders.

They oppose provisions of the proposed law that would give the Department of Homeland Security authority to set standards for computer security at thousands of private facilities such as power stations and oil refineries.

“In its present form,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, “the bill before us would do more harm than … anything else.”

Mr. McCain is one of a number of Republican committee chairmen who backed an alternative proposal, which would make security standards purely voluntary.

After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, promised to allow an open amendments process, the Senate voted 84-11 to proceed to debate.

The open amendments process means that opponents of the Cybersecurity Act will have a chance to offer their alternative bill as a substitute, and that the chamber gets to vote on replacing or striking the most contentious provisions of the proposed law.

Several Democrats said they would offer amendments strengthening privacy protections in the bill.

The bill’s backers, led by Sens. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Susan M. Collins, Maine Republican, said they had already made major concessions to their critics in the latest draft of the bill.

The changes were “very substantial,” Ms. Collins said. “This shows a willingness to adopt changes. We’re still open to changes.”

The new version of the bill offers market-based incentives, such as liability protection, to owners of vital infrastructure who voluntarily agree to meet government-defined cybersecurity standards.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the bill’s most vehement opponents, was urging a “no” vote, even on the revised bill Thursday.

Rest assured, if the government gets involved, they’ll screw it up and endanger us all.

***

Rasmussen just released some end-of-the-week polls. Obama and dems continue to slide, Romney and the ‘Pubs rise. I’d say its nice to end the week on a positive note if it weren’t from the gravity of the situation.

Presidential Tracking Poll: Friday, July 27, 2012. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney attracting 49% of the vote, while President Obama earns support from 44%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

Election 2012: Nevada Senate: Friday, July 27, 2012. Nevada’s U.S. Senate race is little changed this month, with Republican incumbent Dean Heller holding a nine-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Nevada Voters shows Heller with 51% support to Berkley’s 42%. Two percent (2%) favor some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

Election 2012: Nevada President: Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The presidential race in Nevada is a little tighter this month, with President Obama now leading Mitt Romney by five points in the Silver State.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Nevada shows the president drawing 50% of the vote to Romney’s 45%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

Remember, Nevada is the state that re-elected Harry Reid and went solidly (due to the unions) to Obama in 2008. If we can believe these polls, and that is always a pertinent question, Nevada has had a dose of reality and has changed.  Maybe. With unions involved, you can’t assume anything.

***

Y’all have a great weekend. Our A.C folks just called. They are getting the part and should arrive around 1:30pm to install it.  Ahhh, coolness!

Sheila Stokes-Begley liked this post

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.

So you’re thinking about Concealed Carry… Part I

I have heard some folks say that the Aurora, CO, shootings have made them consider getting a concealed carry permit.  It’s a pertinent question. Many people, probably the majority across the country, never think about self-defense until something like this occurs.  It’s just human nature, unfortunately.

Probably 90% of the people who say they’re thinking about concealed carry won’t. It’s just talk and by the end of the next workday, they will have forgotten about the subject and fallen back into their old rut.

This column is for that other 10%.

If you are serious about concealed carry there are a number of tasks to be done.  The first and most important is not about the process of acquiring a permit, nor about which weapon would be best for you, nor about which is best, a revolver or auto-loader, nor about how to conceal a weapon once you have acquired it and the permit.  No, the first and foremost question is this: could you actually shoot and possibly kill someone in defense of yourself or your family.

Most men would probably say, “Yes,” without much thought. For men, it’s almost an automatic response whether it is true or not. For women, the answer is frequently the opposite. Women have been taught, it’s almost a cultural dictum, that women are the nurturers of the family while the men are the supporters and protectors.

Both sides of that dictum are false. Woman can be just as protective of their family as men. Why is the dictum false? Because people just don’t think about the issue—that they may have to actually kill another person—a living breathing person, to take everything they have and everything they will ever have, until it is standing before them when they have seconds or less to make a decision.

At that point, hesitation probably means being severely injured or killed.  That last second is NOT the time to be thinking about whether you can shoot or kill someone.  That time should be used to judge the situation, draw your weapon and putting rounds into the place where they will do the most good for your defense. Those last few seconds should be an automatic reaction.

This question, can I really shoot, is one you must answer, after long deliberation and prayer, before you take another step. All good CCW instructors will discuss this issue. It is not a frivolous subject.  Some people just cannot shoot or kill another.  It’s not shameful, nor a matter of weakness. It means that you must use other options for your self-defense.

But those options are for another column, not this one.

If you are truly serious about self-defense and concealed carry, and you are married, have a family, or just a close friend you spend a lot of time with, you must discuss the issue with everyone in your immediate circle. Some of them will react negatively. It is imperative you understand their reasoning, valid or not, and reach an agreement. Failure to do this could destroy your relationship.

For me, when it came to the defense of my family and friends, it was a short decision. It was not frivolous. But I realized that yes, I could shoot if it was necessary. I don’t know how I’d react afterwards. It’s never occurred. I’ve had a concealed carry permit since they were available in Missouri, some eight years I think. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve drawn my weapon.  There have been a couple of times when I placed my hand on the pistol butt and was prepared, when I’ve been charged by dogs, to draw but the dogs were stopped by their owners before reaching my go/no go line.

If you cannot answer this initial question—could I shoot if necessary, then you should not buy a defensive weapon nor seek a permit. It would be a waste of time and money.  It matters not if you are a hunter, if you get a deer every season. Deer are not people. For some, it is a critical difference.

I have, in another forum, recommended Kathy Walker‘s book, The Cornered Cat. I would strongly suggest that you read her book before going further towards a CCW permit.  It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman. Kathy has points to ponder for you both.

Tomorrow, Part II: Does it have to be pink?