Do Guns Protect Us From Crime?

              Now that the reaction to last week’s mass shootings has become yet another Twitter battle between Trump and the Democrats, the real issue behind the gun-control debate has receded into the background but I’ll try to put it front and center again. The real issue is not whether Americans should be able to own guns. The real issue is what kinds of guns should they be able to own.

              We suffer more than 125,000 fatal and non-fatal gun injuries each year because we are the only country with a gun-regulatory system which allows people to own weapons which were designed to do one thing and one thing only – kill human beings. You don’t shoot a bird out of a tree with a Glock. You don’t shoot Bambi with an AR.  But the guy who comes into my gun shop and buys some rusted, old shotgun to shoot a squirrel that’s eating his tomato plants jumps through the same legal hoops as the guy who walks in and buys a Glock 19 and a couple of high-capacity mags. And if he also buys an AR with some 30-round mags, we still do only one, 30-second background check.

              The reason that this absurd regulatory system continues to be seen as the cornerstone upon which we can somehow create policies that will reduce gun violence is because a majority of Americans are convinced that they need to own one of these man-killing guns in order to protect themselves from something, whatever that something happens to be. Is your home safer with or without a gun? The public opinion surveys indicate that the most frequent answer to that question will be ‘yes.’ 

              Another indication of the consensus about the value of gun ownership has been the growth of concealed-carry licenses, as well as the number of states which let people walk around with a gun without having to undergo any licensing procedure at all. There are now 15 states where anyone who can pass the FBI-NICS background check can walk around with a concealed gun. As for concealed-carry licenses, or what is usually referred to as CCW (concealed-carry weapon), the number is now somewhere above 17 million, and if we assume that there are (for the sake of argument) that there are at least 20 million gun owners in the ‘Constitutional-carry’ states, this means that probably somewhere around 40 million Americans can wander the highways and byways toting a gun.

              Our friend John Lott has calculated the per-capita number of CCW licenses and you can see a list of the 13 states where at least one out of every 10 adult residents has a license to carry a gun. I have compared the per-capita number of CCW-holders in those 13 states with the gun-homicide rate in those same 13 states and the results are here:

              Note that of the 13 states with the highest per-capita rate of  CCW, seven of them also have a gun-violence rate which is higher than the national gun-violence rate of 4.46. With the exception of Washington and Iowa, the states with lower gun-violence than the national average are all Western states whose CCW numbers obviously reflect a long history and tradition of personal gun ownership. On the other hand, the high rates of gun violence in states like Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, etc., all reflect the overwhelming incidence of gun violence in inner-city zones within those states.

              To me, these numbers may indicate that Americans who consider owning a gun for personal protection may not just be buying into some clever marketing scheme (read: scam) of the gun industry. Many live in states where gun violence is more of a daily event than what is covered in the national media, and the opinions of these folks might be more sensitive to local news reports that hit closer to home.

              Thinking about guns as a response to fear may strike some as odd but we need to understand those fears if we are really committed to talking about gun violence with people who own guns.


Who Says Guns Can’t Protect Us From Mass Shooters?

              There’s a story going around the alt-white/right network that el Shlump-o is going to propose a national registry of all AR owners that will be managed by the FBI. I’m hardly surprised that Newsmax and other venues which push their content to the paranoids amongst us would trot that one out, but it may also be the work of some clever guy who does marketing for the gun industry since the events of the past weekend will surely result in a spike of assault rifle sales.

              It’s no secret that whenever the tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a Democrat, gun sales go up, just as when the tenant is a Republican, gun sales go down. And the reason is very simple, namely, that both political parties depend on support from groups and individuals who either do, or do not like guns. In this respect, I have to say that the pro-gun gang is more honest in their intentions and beliefs, because they make no secret about the fact that they really do want to hold onto their toys. On the other hand, I cringe every time that some gun-control proponent starts off by saying that he or she ‘supports’ the 2nd Amendment because that just happens to be a load of crap.

              Yesterday the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington’s National Cathedral, issued a statement in which he asked, “How long will we tolerate this epidemic of gun violence?” He then went on to note that he grew up hunting birds and target shooting with family and friends, so he was addressing his letter to all his fellow gun owners, since he claims a kinship with them.

              The National Cathedral has an active gun-control group. I am privileged to work with this group and have appeared at one of the public conferences on gun violence which they hold from time to time. Let me break it to the Very Rev. Hollerith as gently as I can: The Cathedral has never asked a bone-fide gun nut to show up and explain why he loves his guns and why he is opposed to every ‘reasonable’ gun-control measure that the Cathedral leadership supports.

              Yesterday our friend John Lott was informed that his Twitter account had been closed down because it was decided that an op-ed he wrote for The New York Daily News somehow violated the guidelines of what Twitter believes is proper content for their site. Lott’s op-ed was a comment about a manifesto published by a mass shooter in New Zealand which somehow tied his anti-Muslim feelings to support for environmentalism – go figure that one out.

              Let me say the following as directly and bluntly as I can, okay?  I am opposed to censorship of any kind. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who censors the writings, statements or public appearances of anyone else forfeits their right to exist (rhetorically speaking) in the public space. Frankly, my liberal friends who decry gun violence on the one hand but applaud attempts to muzzle someone like John Lott on the other should be ashamed of themselves, no matter what.

              Whether we like it or not, people who really believe that the Democrats, the liberals and the gun-grabbers of all stripes just can’t wait to take away their guns aren’t just a bunch of paranoid nuts. They are reacting to real fears, even if those fears are then exploited by the paranoia hucksters on the alt/white-right. If nothing else, these mass shootings will make the gun argument more toxic on both sides.

              A week after the 2008 election, I walked into a gun shop in Houston and the place was mobbed. I asked someone why there were so many people trying to buy guns and he replied in a completely serious tone, “Haven’t you heard? Armageddon’s coming, we have to be prepared.”

              The guy in the Houston gun shop wasn’t buying a gun to go out and shoot up the town. To the contrary, he really believed that he needed a gun to protect himself from some nut. Was he so wrong?

Mass Shootings Are Now The Norm.

              I bought my first assault rifle in 1978 – a Colt Sporter AR-15 with a ten-round clip. Since I lived near the big army base in South Carolina, Fort Jackson, I was able to get my hands on plenty of.223 ammo. So from time to time I would take a sack of ammunition and go down to a sand pit with the gun to have some fun.

              I also owned two lever-action rifles, a Winchester 30-30 and a Marlin in 44 mag.  These were the guns which knocked down deer aplenty, the 30-30 probably bring the most versatile hunting caliber ever devised.

              Anyone who tries to pass off an assault rifle as a hunting gun has drunk too much kool-aid to have a serious discussion about guns or anything else. On the other hand, the AR-15 is lots of fun to shoot. And the reason it’s so much fun is precisely the reason it has now been used in three mass shooting rampages in just over a week.

              The AR loads its ammo magazine from beneath the gun, which means that no matter how big a magazine or how many rounds it holds, it won’t get in the way of the shooter looking through the sights and aiming the gun. Most AR rifles come with a 20-round magazine, 30 round mags are commonly found, and if you tape two 30-round mags together, you can get off 60 rounds with an AR in a minute or less. The kid who shot up the Sandy Hook Elementary School popped off more than 90 rounds in five minutes, most of that time spent moving from room to room.

              Shooting an AR with a hi-cap magazine is like playing with a shooting video game. Except all of a sudden it’s not a game if the targets are real people rather than some cartoon figure on a screen.

              Of course the minute Trump got done demonstrating once again his leadership by schlepping out the old ‘thoughts and prayers,’ he then went back to the other standard narrative about how mass shootings are the work of the mentally ill.  I’m surprised that the mental health network hasn’t yet made their usual noise about how mentally ill people shouldn’t be castigated for violent behavior, but that messaging will no doubt come before the day is out.

              As for the physicians who deal with physical, as opposed to mental health issues, this morning’s CBS broadcast of their ‘Sunday Morning Show’ brought seven docs together to talk about their reactions to this weekend’s events, and they all agreed that physicians need to do a better job figuring out who is capable of committing this kind of carnage before the event occurs. The fact that the shooters in Texas, Ohio and California all purchased their guns from licensed dealers was somehow ignored.

              What all these mass shooters have in common is that most of them planned their events in a very deliberate and painstaking way. They built up their arsenals over time, they practiced at the range, they checked out various locations and escape routes. All of this behavior was and is very different from the impulsive and immediate way in which a street guy yanks out his Glock and goes – bang!.

              The point is, that if anything, people who want to commit mass carnage go out of their way to appear ‘normal’ to other folks precisely so that they can make their plans in an organized and efficient way. To deny that such people are not mentally ill is really silly unless you want to define mental illness as being totally and completely deranged.

              I would love physicians to develop some kind of evaluation profile that would allow them to identify people at risk for committing mass murder with guns. But in the absence of such research, I simply don’t understand why the medical community has so much difficulty responding to gun risk by saying clearly and loudly that the one way to end gun violence is to get rid of the guns.

              You really don’t need more CDC research funding to figure that one out. 

8 Ways The Electric Hunting Bike Is Changing The Way We Hunt.

Black electric bicycle with sunset on light green meadow in spring color evening

Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular.

Indeed, 40 million e-bikes are expected to be sold around the world by 2023. Clearly, the demand for powered bikes is growing by the day.

One particular niche market that’s gained traction in recent years is the electric hunting bike.

Hunting has been around since the dawn of time. Each new age has heralded novel technology that has changed the way it’s done. E-bikes are the latest invention to be impacting the way people hunt.

Are you interested in learning exactly how it’s making a difference? We wanted to help.

Keep reading to discover 8 ways electric hunting bikes are changing the way we hunt.

1. Go Further, Quicker

The best hunting spots are usually far out of the way.

They’re a long distance off the beaten track, away from civilization and in amongst the bush.

Getting to these locations is rarely straight-forward! It can be a tough slog on two feet, hauling all your food and gear with you. Many hunters choose an ATV to navigate the terrain and get into position quicker.

Of course, that comes with its own set of challenges. For one thing, they’re noisy- an obvious disadvantage when you’re after stealth.

Taking an electric bike mitigates all of these problems. Hunters can travel significant distances with minimal effort and time elapsed in the process.

2. Easier Access to Harder to Reach Places

We just mentioned how hunting spots tend to be off the beaten track.

They can also require navigating challenging terrain.

Thick scrub, significant hills, and muddy paths make life hard for the average bipedal hunter. Sometimes you don’t have to walk a long way to have a tough slog on your hands.

Using an electric hunting bike helps make life a breeze. Get to the top of hills without a problem. Get off the track without issue. Get through muddy sections with ease.

Suddenly, the opportunity to novel exploration into harder areas becomes possible. Hunters can get in amongst the rough to scout out the territory.   

3. Spend More Time Hunting

What happens when you get into place quicker and more easily?

There’s more time to hunt.

Hunters have more time on their hands. it means less time and effort spent getting into position. Tasks like checking for scrapes and rubs can be performed in a fraction of the time.

Tracks that take 2 hours to take by foot can be covered in half the time (or less). That means far longer proportions of the day can be spent on the hunt itself.

Get your positioning wrong and need to move on? No problem. Hop back on the bike and find a new spot. Life is far easier with a set of thick, powered wheels to call upon.

4. Carry More Gear

Strength is often a limiting factor.

There’s a host of gear the average hunter can’t take, simply because they can’t physically carry everything. It might be possible on flat, solid land. But to take everything through forests and over hills, for days at a time, the task becomes untenable.

The same goes for food.

With just a backpack to haul everything in and out, there’s only so space for food.

Being able to carry more means a) life on the hunt is inextricably easier and b) you can go hunting for longer periods of time.

That’s what an electric bike offers a hunter. A 5-day hunt becomes a 10-day hunt because you can finally take everything you need.

5. Leave Less Scent

Moving by foot can be an effective means of getting into position.

Indeed, for thousands of years, it was the only way!

Hunters are more likely to leave their scent behind like this though. Making direct contact with the ground is a recipe for leaving traces of your presence. Remember, walking takes significant effort; sweat and body odor ensues.

It doesn’t take much for an animal to pick up on your presence. Get the positioning wrong and a hunter can give the game away. A whole day stalking can be for nothing.

Using an electric bike requires less effort on the hunter’s part; it leaves less scent behind as a result.

6. Make Less Noise

The best hunters make very little noise.

There’s no room for error. One snapped twig can spook an animal and send it running.

Electric bikes are naturally quiet. It’s pedal power, after all! They’re also lightweight and easy to manoeuver. All told, they can be exponentially quieter than a clumsy person hunting on foot.

Want to know how the work? Here’s a link where you can learn about these bikes.

7. More People Can Get Involved

Young and old alike can now enjoy hunting more easily as well.

Some people may have hunted their entire life. Upon getting to a certain age, their bodies may no longer be able to take the strain. Those pack marches and days on the trail become physically unrealistic.

As we’ve seen, an electric bike takes much of the strain. Those hard to reach places are easier to get to. People who thought their hunting days were behind them can get back out there!

Likewise, young people can keep up and come along for the ride too.

8. Easily Transport What You Catch

Lugging a 300lb buck home is no easy task.

On top of everything else a hunter is carrying, that extra weight can be a serious energy sapper.

Electric bikes make this less of a problem. The extra power would make it an easier task anyway. However, some clever people have designed trailers to attach to the bike too. Simply put your catch on the back, and ride off home.

Final Thoughts on the Electric Hunting Bike

There you have it: 8 ways the electric hunting bike is changing the way people hunt.

Hunting has been around since the dawn of time. E-bikes are a relatively new invention that is just taking off. Combining the two is starting to revolutionize the sport. It makes the life of the hunter exponentially easier in all manner of ways.

Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly how.

Like this article? Read more hunting-related articles right here on our blog. Just search ‘hunting’ to get started.

Gun Violence And 2020: The Candidates Speak.

              Now that some of us (not me) have sat through two debates by the folks who want to take over the Oval office in 2021, we can see two basic groupings emerging on guns. I’m going to label these groupings as the T-group for ‘tough’ and the NST-group for ‘not so tough.’ But before we get into the details of which candidate wants what, I have to say that I agree with the NRA‘s statement this morning that “not a single one of the many gun control schemes proposed by the anti-gun Democratic candidates for president would make Americans any safer.”  Well, maybe we would be one percent safer. Anyway, here’s how it breaks down.

              Everyone in the T and NST groups backs an assault weapons ban and comprehensive background checks, the idea here being that even though the kid who turned the Gilroy garlic festival into a shooting range underwent a background check, he was still able to buy an AK-47. So if we have both comprehensive background checks and an assault weapons ban, that takes care of that. No more Gilroys, right? 

              It goes without saying that both groups also support ‘red flag’ laws and other measures to protect victims or possible victims of domestic gun abuse, although I still don’t really understand how asking a judge to issue an order taking away someone’s guns is really any different than walking into the local police station and telling the chief that so-and-so is acting crazy and happens to own guns. Oh well, I must be missing something in that regard.

              Where the two groups diverge is on the issue of licensing. The NST group appears to have no issue with gun licensing conducted at the state level as long as the process includes using the feds to conduct the background check. In this respect, the T‘s include the two old men, Biden and Bern, along with Pocahantas who hasn’t yet released an official policy paper on guns, but she’ll get around to it as soon as she finishes all her other policy papers. [Does Liz actually think that anyone gives a rat’s damn about policy papers?]

              The T group, on the other hand, led by Cory and seconded by Kammie, wants the entire licensing process taken over by the feds, who will issue gun licenses after the applicant takes a gun-safety course, undergoes the background check and blah, blah blah. Cory has yet to be asked to identify which federal agency would administer the safety course or, for that matter, would actually oversee the licensing process. Let’s not forget that the ATF regulates dealers, not gun owners, and oh, by the way, Kamala want anyone who sells more than 5 guns a year to become a licensed dealer. So the ATF can now figure out how to inspect millions of new dealers.  Right now they inspect less than 5 percent of all dealers.

              I hate to keep bringing this up again and again, but there’s a very simple way to get rid of gun violence. All you have to do is get rid of the guns which cause the violence, namely, the small, hi-powered, hi-capacity handguns. And despite everyone’s reverence for the 2nd Amendment, the government can decide that certain kinds of guns are too lethal for sale to the general public. Is there any difference between an AR-15 with a 30-round magazine and a Glock 19 with a 20-round magazine?  Yea, ten rounds. The AR takes a military round known as the .223. The round in a Glock 19, the 9×19, also happens to be a military load.

              If my friends in Gun-control Nation would get behind a realistic plan to end gun violence by getting rid of the cause of the violence, the NRA would bitch and moan but so what? Gun-nut Nation will bitch and moan no matter what the other side says. For all the wrong reasons, what the NRA said about last night’s debate happens to be correct.

Why Do People Believe In Armed, Self-Defense?

              There’s a guy out in Gun-nut Nation named Chris Bird, who is regarded as one of the patron saints of the concealed-carry movement, and I have just finished reading his book, The Concealed Handgun Manual, which is considered a must-read book by all the noisemakers who believe that we are a safer country because we have access to guns. And since Chris may think that some of the things I’m going to say about his book aren’t all that positive or nice, I’ll give the book a plug because you can buy it right here.

              As a matter of fact, I strongly urge my friends in Gun-control Nation to read this book, because if there’s one thing that strikes me about activists who want to see us reduce the violence and injuries caused by guns, it’s the degree to which they seem to have little, if any awareness of what is said or believed by the other side. Ask the average gun-control true-believer to explain the difference between an ‘internet’ sale and a ‘personal, sale of a gun and you’ll get the deer-in-the-headlights look. Then ask the same person to explain the difference between an assault rifle and a semi-auto long gun and you’ll probably get much the same look.

              I wouldn’t recommend Bird’s book were it not for the fact that the issue of concealed-carry basically defines the entire gun debate. Why? Because everyone (except me) seems to believe that the 2nd Amendment gives Americans the ‘right’ to own a gun. But where the break occurs between the two sides is explaining why someone should or shouldn’t own a gun. And the gun industry has been selling its products for the last thirty or so years by telling customers that a gun is an essential ‘tool’ for self-defense, even though there is absolutely no valid research which shows this argument to be true.

              So what we get down to here is a mind-set in the heads of many Americans who as a group form the market for continued gun sales. And Chris Bird happens to write books which appeal directly to that mind-set, whether there’s any reality behind it or not. If my friends in Gun-control are really serious about coming up with ‘reasonable’ gun restrictions which will appeal to ‘reasonable’ people on the other side, reading Bird’s book might give them some insights into why those gun owners believe they should own guns. 

              Bird begins the book with a lecture on ‘situational awareness,’ a self-defense concept first developed by Jeff Cooper (whose widow passed away yesterday at the age of 99) back in the 1970’s, which is when, thanks to Glock, the idea of owning and carrying a small, concealable, hi-powered and hi-capacity handgun first took hold. The argument made by Bird is both simple-stupid, namely, that all of us are at all times possible targets of predators who can only be repulsed with personal armed force because the cops never arrive on time.

              The book then goes through a whole series of episodes where armed citizens saved themselves from a criminal attack; it then covers how to choose a handgun, how to practice with your gun, and how to ‘win a gunfight’ with references all the way back to the OK Corral. If you’re a bone-fide member of Gun-control Nation and read this book, you’ll quickly decide that it represents nothing more than a marketing scam designed to mislead delusional people into believing they really need to own a gun.

I disagree. I know many of the folks who take seriously what Bird has to say, and their views might run counter to the prevailing liberal orthodoxy on gun violence, but there’s no reason to believe that what they think about armed, self-defense should simply be considered the product of deranged minds. These folks choose to be gun owners with the same degree of diligence that many of my friends believe that gluten-free foods will prevent chronic fatigue syndrome or worse.

Want to reduce gun violence? At least try to understand what the other side thinks.

The Assault Rifle Ban In Florida Heats Up.

              Things are heating up in Florida and I’m not talking about the temperature which today hit 94 degrees in Palm Beach. I’m talking about the attempt by Florida’s Attorney General to behave as if she’s on the payroll of the NRA. And since Granny Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, is right now laying low until the sh*tstorm about Wayne-o’s profligate spending goes away, at least Gun-nut Nation has AG Ashley Moody to carry on the good fight.

              And the good fight involves an attempt by the relatives of several Parkland victims to put a citizen’s initiative on the 2020 ballot that would amend the State Constitution and ban assault rifles in the Gunshine State. The backers of this initiative have collected enough signatures to get their petition approved by the Florida Supreme Court, which would then allow them to collect another pile of signatures required to put the amendment up for a statewide vote.

              You can read the Constitutional amendment right here, and then take a look at Moody’s attempt to block the amendment right here. Her statement that any semi-automatic rifle with more than a ten-round capacity is just another standard sporting gun, is right out of the playbook that the gun industry has been using for years.

              I have owned and hunted with semi-automatic rifles and shotguns made by Remington, Browning, Winchester, Benelli and a few more, and none of them took a magazine which held more than ten rounds. You don’t go out into the woods to shoot Bambi by spraying ammo all over the place. When the hi-flyers come over on their way to Florida, you’re lucky if you get off two shots before the birds disappear out of sight.

              What makes an assault rifle so dangerous and lethal is the fact that the magazine attaches from beneath the gun, which means that no matter how large it is or how many rounds it holds, it can’t prevent a shooter from aiming the gun. The venerable M-1 Garand rifle, which George Patton called “the greatest battle implement ever devised,” was a top-loading semi-auto that only held 8 rounds. When the military decided to go to a full-auto gun, Gene Stoner designed the first M-16 to take a bottom-loading magazine thus increasing the firepower of the gun. And before you start screaming at me about how the gun-grabbers don’t know the difference between a full-auto military gun and a semi-auto sporting gun, the current battle gun known as the M-4 shoots in semi-automatic mode.

Believe it or not, I happen to find shooting an assault rifle to be a lot of fun. You set up a  bunch of bottles down range, you bang away 30 rounds without stopping to reload. It reminds me of the old-time shooting gallery at the circus or the county fair. So I understand that gun nuts will be plenty pissed off if they have to give up this beloved toy. But no matter how you slice it or dice it, a bottom-loading rifle that can take a magazine which holds thirty, forty or even fifty rounds is a killing machine. 

Yesterday a young man cut a hole in a fence, walked into a garlic festival in Gilroy, CA, and used an AK-47 to shoot 15 people, of whom ‘only’ 3 died. He was nineteen, he bought the gun legally a few weeks previously, and other than some suggestive internet rants the day of the shooting, nobody has yet come forward who claims prior knowledge of the event.

So the battle is now joined between the gun industry and their self-appointed public relations director Ashley Moody on the one hand, and the gun-control ‘nuts’ in Florida on the other. The truth is that Gun-nut Nation is terrified that a state like Florida might actually decide that certain guns are simply too lethal to be sold. After all, we’re not talking about a Communist state like Massachusetts or New York. We’re talking about a state which understands that the most sacred duty of every citizen is to protect hearth and home with a gun.

Maybe The NRA Isn’t So Crazy After All.

Along with fundraising appeals from Kamala, Bernie and the Wilderness Fund, yesterday’s mail also included a lovely letter from Wayne-o asking me to join a very exclusive NRA club – the Golden Eagles.  In fact, I have been pre-selected for membership by the NRA Honors Committee, and all I have to do is send back my acceptance form and I’m in. It’s really a great honor and I can’t turn them down.

Oh, I forgot. I also have to send a check or credit card payment for $250.

Now considering the fact that yesterday I walked into Dick’s and Titleist has the nerve to want almost $500 for a new driver which won’t get my tee shot any further down the fairway than the driver I have been using for the last ten years, I can hardly be upset that the boys from Fairfax want half that much to induct me into the Golden Eagles club.

But what I found most interesting about this appeal was how it seems to me that the Fairfax bunch may have actually decided to go back to being what they have always been before a combination of phony Trump flattery, candy-ass video personalities and cockamamie marketing schemes got them to briefly lose their minds.

Let’s start with Trump. No other Presidential candidate had ever made gun ‘rights’ the centerpiece of a national campaign. Schmuck-o Trump never made a speech without reminding everyone that he was infatuated with guns. Now the fact that he never even owned a gun or used a gun – so what?

As for NRA-TV, it was one thing to have bores like Grant Stinchfield droning on and on about the Socialist threat to gun ‘rights,’ but spicing up the video airwaves with Colion Noir prancing around or Dana Loesch giving us the tough, ‘f-me’ look? If that was the best idea cooked up by Ackerman-McQueen to promote gun sales, the agency should have been canned long before they got into a fight with the NRA Home Office over who was going to pay Wayne-o’s clothing bills.

The dumbest move made in Fairfax was when they tried to replace their traditional training approach (and the 100,000+ certified instructors) with an online training and insurance program which went nowhere fast. The trainers (I having been one of them) were the organization’s shock troops. Most trainers engaged in little actual training activities, but they were always the roots which held the grass together and could be counted on to show up in large and noisy numbers every time gun ‘rights’ faced any kind of threat.

Here’s where things stand now. Trump has stopped pushing the 2nd Amendment at his Nuremburg rallies; NRA-TV is temporarily shut down (although you can watch reruns which are even more boring than the original shows) and last month Wayne-o sent out a letter to all the trainers telling them that he was grateful for their continued support.  This was the very first communication I ever received from the NRA which didn’t ask me to respond by enclosing a credit card number or a check.

When the annual meeting turned into an exercise in the veritable sh*t hitting the veritable fan, I assumed the NRA would respond by ramping up the volume, becoming even more extreme and using the bad news about its management practices as proof that the anti-gun campaign had reached a new and dangerous pitch. But it’s pretty tough to accuse someone like Ollie North of being opposed to private ownership of guns.

On the other hand, North and his supporters may have done the NRA a great service because perhaps without realizing it, their attacks have forced Wayne-o and the remaining leadership to stop pretending that every anti-NRA message is somehow the handiwork of Mike Blomberg, George Soros and their Socialist pals. Nothing would make me happier than to see the NRA get back to its traditional role as a supporter of using guns the way they should be used.

Josh Montgomery: Guns as Fashion Pieces. Why Not?

Best Looking Small Guns to Fit Every Pocket

Usually, a gun is purchased to provide protection. But is there anything wrong with taking other aspects into consideration, such as the size and look? Well, as long as you have the funds to buy something more unusual and unique, it’s really not a problem. It’s your own money into play, after all.

But it’s often hard for us to find something visually pleasing and effective at the same time. It’s not impossible, though – you just need to research more. Don’t worry, because you’ll see some beautiful and well-performing models below. Who knows, you may even find your next handgun in this list.

  1. Bond BullPup9

Who wouldn’t love this small-sized, Texas-styled gun? It’s eye candy, and apart from the attention-grabbing aspect, the handgun itself is very good.

This little gun works with most ammunition, but you really need to be careful when you make the selection. If you use uncrimped ammo, the force of the pull may actually set the bullet and casing apart. This could result in the malfunction of the firearm, as the gun powder will be spread into the magazine.

But overall, the design of the gun is what makes it so special in the first place. Unlike other semi-automatic guns where the ammunition is pushed forward into the chamber, the BullPup9 has its rounds pulled from behind.

The handgun has a short barrel and a 9mm chamber. The whole gun only measures 5 inches, out of which 3.35 is only the barrel. It was quite challenging for the designers, but it will be easy to conceal and carry around for you. And rightfully so, you’ll be proud to have it on you thanks to the wonderful design.

  • Kimber Micro

If you want something even smaller than the BullPup9, you have the option to choose a Kimber Micro. It only measures 4.07 inches in length, and it is 1.06 inches wide. That’s really small and makes it easy to hide and take with you.

This little guy may not be the best choice for target shooting, but you can rest assured it will do its job when you need to defend yourself in a risky situation. The recoil is moderate while the trigger can be pulled smoothly, ensuring a nice yet secure feel when shooting.

A Kimber Micro is a great choice if you want something small and easy to conceal while being a pleasure to look at.

  • Beretta Pico

This one is certainly one of the smallest handguns to come across, if not the smallest. It only has a 2.7 inches barrel, with the whole length being 5.1 inches, and the width being 0.71 inches. But the fact that it’s so tiny is what makes it a very useful alternative if you want a defensive pistol.

Aside from its 6+1 capacity and the .380 capacity, the gun was also provided with an ambidextrous magazine release, adjustable sights, and low-recoil system. But that’s not all there is to it: it’s also beautiful thanks to its rounded profile. You’ll surely love it.

  • Colt Mustang XSP

The Colt Mustang is yet another .380 that will be easy to conceal. The bullets it uses are enough to cause harm, and the coolest thing is that it can be hidden very easily. You’ll surprise your attacker when they think they have the upper hand.

Colt has come back into business with two new models that contain some components from the old Colt Mustang. The Colt Mustang Pockelite is one such model – in addition to the .380, it has a length of 5.5 inches, with a .757-inch slide width and a capacity of 6+1.

Do you think that’s all that makes this gun such a gem? Because it’s not. The design will make you fall in love with the weapon on spot. Basically, it has a Commander-style hammer, while the frame is of aluminum alloy, which has an electroless nickel finish. Likewise, the slide has a brushed gloss that adds to its charm.

  • Ruger LCP II

What you’ll love about this LCP is that you will find it in most gun shops. It’s quite popular, so it’s not really a surprise that you’re very likely to stumble upon it.

The appearance will please your eyes. It’s black, but the compact design adds a lot of detail to it. The curves and iron sights make it breathtaking, and you’ll most likely be very proud to pull this pistol out of your pocket when you need to use it. It is also quite small, so don’t worry about it taking too much space.

The pistol is 5.17 inches with 2.75 inches being just the barrel. Additionally, it has a caliber of .380 ACP, whereas the capacity is 6+1. It’s very practical and comes at a good price for the reliability it’s able to provide – so, you should consider it when looking for a concealed gun.

  • Walther PPK

If you want to feel like a new James Bond, it’s not difficult, not as long as this gun is in your possession. The luxurious design lets you stand tall in front of potential attackers and shoot with style when deemed necessary. Of course, the gun itself is not exactly new. In fact, the first time it has been seen was in 1930. Nevertheless, it has been redone recently.

Its controls are meant for right-handed people. It has a .380 caliber, with a 6+1 magazine. It is small and easy to conceal, and that’s a very important aspect when it comes to pistols for self-defense.

The design is easy to recognize and distinguish from that of other small guns. It has a stainless-steel frame that catches the eye of every gun lover.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing wrong with caring about the look of your self-defense pistol. You need to find the best one to suit your tastes – and that means a small gun that fits in your pocket, works smoothly and looks the part.

How Do We Get Guns Off The Street?

              One of the strategies most favored by gun-control advocates to reduce gun violence involves personal interventions with people who are most at-risk for using guns in ways they are not supposed to be used.  These at-risk individuals tend to be men between the ages of 16 and 30, many are minorities and most of them live in poor, inner-city neighborhoods.

              The strategy usually involves identifying the at-risk kids or young adults, mentoring them on the risks and dangers of carrying guns, and in some cases involving the target population in programs and activities that will help them get jobs or learn skills because otherwise they will just continue to ‘hang out’ and sooner or later gun violence will again rear its ugly head.

              Probably the best-known of these programs is Cure Violence which approaches the issue of gun violence as a contagious disease, and seeks to limit the contagion by first figuring out where the pathogen can be found, then sending troops to those specific locations to wait, watch and then intervene at the beginnings of conflict between two small groups which starts with a few ‘fuck-you’s,’ then escalates into violence, ultimately resulting in the gun or guns coming out and – bang!

              The street-level intervention model sometimes works well and sometimes doesn’t work so well. Evaluations of the program tend to be positive except that in just about every case, the work is limited to a specific, geographic area (usually a particular neighborhood identified by the cops as being extremely ‘hot’) where the decline in violence may or may not change the violence rate for the city as a whole. It is also difficult to assess whether a successful social service type of intervention can be achieved without increased attention to that area paid by the cops. Right now, New York City runs Cure Violence programs in multiple neighborhoods and as everyone knows, gun violence in the Big Apple, has almost completely disappeared. But how much of this decline is due to Cure Violence as opposed to the stepped-up anti-gun efforts by the NYPD?

              Philadelphia has just announced the adoption of an interesting twist to the Cure Violence approach, in this case a program out of Boston known as LIPSTICK – Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing. This programs counsels women to refuse requests from husbands or boy friends to buy a ‘straw-sale’ gun and then hand it over to the man who is legally unable to purchase a gun for himself.

              Several years ago I asked a LIPSTICK staff member whether they also counsel clients to contact the cops if or when they learned that their husband or boy friend possessed an illegal gun. She basically told me that such an idea was an invasion of the couple’s privacy and that it was something that LIPSTICK would never tell its clients to do.

              Guess what? The same refusal to alert the cops when a kid on the street has a gun but walks away from a confrontation because of the intervention of a peacemaker is SOP for Cure Violence and other, street-level programs aimed (pardon the pun) at keeping things under control. To alert authorities to the presence of a gun would probably result in the street peacemaker losing his creds or worse, might provoke a retaliatory attack.

              There is no greater risk to community health than a teenager walking around the neighborhood toting a gun. And maybe if an adult is carrying an illegal gun it’s not quite as much of a risk, but let’s not waste time trying to decide which is worse.

              I am hoping that my friends in Gun-control Nation will stop trying to convince gun owners of their fervent support of the 2nd Amendment and start telling gun owners and everyone else that certain types of guns are too lethal to be in anyone’s hands. And you don’t get that message across to a fifteen-year old by letting him walk away with a gun.