Sooner Or Later Dana Loesch Will Shut Up.

Folks, I think it’s time to figure out what noisemakers like that idiot Dana Loesch is really trying to achieve on behalf of the pro-gun movement, because if we don’t, we’re going to waste an awful lot of time being concerned about something which I think has been completely misunderstood by our friends in the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media like The New York Times and MS-NBC.

dana              Of course the GVP needs all the help and allies it can get. But such relationships shouldn’t foreclose a basic responsibility we share to make sure that when it comes to the public debate, we get it right. And the reactions by many of my media and GVP friends to statements from Loesch which are usually referred to as being beyond anything which should be said in public simply are wide of the mark.

I’m talking about her new video trailer which has her about to burn a copy of The New York Times but then she pauses and says, “You know, I don’t even have to do this. You guys are doing a good enough job burning down your reputations all by yourselves.” Our friends at Media Matters posted this video and now the expected responses are coming in about how Loesch and the NRA are enemies of the press, the 1st Amendment, the usual bit. Home-school Queen Dana has been going after The New York Times for the past year, with this video being just her latest attempt to show her audience how outrageous, insulting and fascist-leaning she can be.

Want to know what’s really behind her continued attempt to say the most outrageous and provocative crap coming out of the mouth of any employee of the NRA? Take a look at the January NICS background checks which just came out.  Handgun checks were 501,638, which is the lowest January total since January 2014. Month-to-month long gun checks, 2016 to 2017, were down by 25 percent!  These numbers don’t represent just a little slippage in gun sales, they represent what could be the beginning of an industry-wide collapse.

What I find most funny in Dana’s continued attacks on ‘the old lady’ (a.k.a. The New York Times) is what has happened to the stock price of the ‘failing’ New York Times since Dana first began her rants.  A year ago the stock price was $14.80. Even after the big sell-off earlier this week, the current price is sitting at $24.80. Yea, talk about the paper failing away.

Now let’s compare the ‘failing’ New York Times to the recent stock history of a company called American Outdoor Brands, which used to be known as Smith & Wesson until the management, fearing that Hillary would be elected President and would shut down the gun business decided to rebrand themselves with a new name that would make everyone ignore the fact that 88% of company revenues still comes from the sale of guns.

When Dana first started spieling for NRA she presented herself as just another Mom who carried a gun in order to protect herself and her kids, the strategy being to open the female market to guns. If that approach is working, it sure hasn’t done much for Smith & Wesson or American Outdoor Brands or whatever they now want to call themselves.

Dana then set to work pushing the new NRA training and insurance program, Carry Guard, which has a whole big, two classes listed on the program website – two classes in the whole country? That’s right. Two.

Dana’s obnoxious rants against The New York Times are nothing more than a stupid and obvious attempt to retain some social media following now that the gun business doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of revival or long-term strength. Which is why the best thing my friends in the mainstream media and GVP could do is to should simply ignore her because sooner or later she’ll do us all a favor by shutting up and going away.


A New And Different Book On The 2nd Amendment.

I hereby issue an invitation to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a radical activist and author who has just published a book about guns: Loaded – A Disarming History of the 2nd Amendment – to attend my gun safety course that is required in my state – Massachusetts – before someone can apply for a license to own or carry a gun. The reason I want Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz to visit my gun class is I think she might gain some fundamental correctives about why some but not all Americans are so invested in the ownership and use of guns.

loaded             The author’s thesis is that today’s gun culture grows out of an amalgam of racist ideologies and practices which justified gun ownership as a necessary adjunct to the settlement and exploitation of the wilderness with the consequent destruction of Native American communities, followed by the subjugation of the few surviving indigenous peoples as well as African-American slaves. Since this process could only be accomplished by armed force, the 2nd Amendment was inserted into the Constitution to give legal sanction for the emergence of a nation state ruled by white men. I think that’s what she’s trying to say.

The reason I would like Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz to come to my class is because she will spend some time with some folks who may decide to purchase and own a gun after they finish my safety course, which means going to the local police department, getting photographed and fingerprinted and having their backgrounds checked. Is there the slightest possibility that a single person in this class gives one rat’s damn about how the Wampanoag Indians got chased out of the Bay Colony in 1676 by a bunch of white men who wanted more land? That may sound like a pretty heartless thing to say, but such thoughts are the furthest from anyone’s mind.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz would like us to believe that current-day gun ‘culture’ isn’t just a figment of the gun industry’s fertile imagination to create the idea that guns are necessary to protect us from real or imagined harm.  In that respect she critiques the study by Pamela Haag (The Gunning of America) of how Winchester marketed its products noting that this work too narrowly construes the importance of the 2nd Amendment in justifying the conquest of Native American lands long before the Winchester Repeating Rifle helped ‘win’ the West. What Dunbar-Ortiz ignores is the fact that the tool which wiped out Native American society wasn’t the gun, it was the plow. Hence, the decision by Winchester to concoct a marketing scheme.

I am sure the students in my gun safety classes would respond politely to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s attempt to make the 2nd Amendment the deus ex machina for everything and anything having to do with guns. I also suspect they wouldn’t really understand anything she says. Because the truth is that folks who decide they need a gun to defend themselves aren’t going to spend one second thinking about whether the gun they buy and the Constitutional statute which protects that purchase has any historical or cultural meaning at all. They are going to buy a gun because they believe in some fashion or another that having a gun will protect them from crime.

I support gun ownership but I don’t support the idea that anyone should walk around armed just because they think it’s the thing to do. They need lots of training and they need to meet a government-mandated proficiency standard before they can walk around carrying a gun. And none of those requirements in any way limit or threaten so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

I only wish that someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz had written about the 2nd Amendment in a manner that would make her book accurate and relevant when it comes to the issues of safe gun use that gun-control advocates deal with every day.

As for the final sentence of her book about ‘you’ll never have justice on stolen land.’ How profound.

Dave Buchannon – Make A New Year’s Training Resolution.

I hope you had a wonderful, peaceful and joyous holiday.  Now that you’ve digested all of those wonderful holiday treats, you’re probably ready to make some resolutions for the new year and I, for one, would like to see every gun owner make a resolution to train more frequently.

training2Now I’ve heard the complaint that it is expensive to practice your shooting skills frequently, but before you pick out your first class seat on the complaint train, let’s put “expensive” into perspective.

Back a few years I used to golf every Saturday morning with the same three guys.  We’d travel to different courses in our region because we’d always heard that some course “over there” was better then where we played “over here,” actually we just enjoyed playing different courses.  We didn’t play highbrow courses, we sought mostly nice municipal and private courses that were open to the public.  The point is, we usually paid around $35 each for a round of golf, which didn’t include the lost balls or the round of beers at the 19th hole.  We all considered thirty-five bucks a reasonable price to pay for a half-day of fun in the sun.  More importantly, our wives were all willing to pay that much just to get our butts out of the house for a while.

Today I can run down to my local sporting goods store or gun shop and pick up a box of 50 rounds of pistol ammo for about $12, and I do not live in an inexpensive region.  So for right around what I used to pay for a single round of golf I can buy 150 rounds of pistol ammunition… without any coupons or discounts.  Of course that doesn’t include the cost of my rod & gun club membership but that’s a sunk cost, meaning if I joined the club I’m paying for it whether I train once a year or three times a week.

So for about the same cost as a weekly round of golf I can get in at least two hours of training, even more if I’m pacing myself correctly.  The reality is that most of us get bored after an hour on the range, so in the future I’ll share some drills to help keep your range time interesting while building important skills.

But what if your limiting factor is time instead of money?  Or what if it’s difficult for you to get to the range, or what if you belong to one of those clubs with a range that’s so busy the only slot available is next week are at 2:30 am on Wednesday?  Find another club. Really.  Not all training though, has to involve throwing real lead downrange, there are some serious training alternatives you can use right at home.

If you want to improve your skills, laser pistols are great for training when you can’t get to the range.  There are a number of options you could cash those holiday gift cards on at one of your favorite online retailers for a reasonable price.  Avoid the temptation to go cheap.  As with all things in the gun world, you get what you pay for.  A well built laser trainer will give you years of service and you can even set up your own laser range with targets that respond to ‘hits’ and ‘misses.’  There are laser trainers that replicate the size and weight of most carry weapons fairly well.

You can get the same effect with a ‘laser bullet’ inserted into the barrel of your carry weapon.  These are like tiny laser pointers that fit into the barrel of your pistol like a cartridge would.  When you pull the trigger, the firing pin presses on a little switch and ‘fires’ the laser so you can see it ‘hit’ your target.

Want to practice your holster work?  Most ranges won’t allow it.  So spend a few dollars on a blue gun replica of your carry weapon and you can practice your draw and re-holster to your heart’s content without even the remote possibility of an accidental discharge.

So for 2018 resolve to train more, you really can afford it.

Dave Buchannon – Developing Muscle Memory.

You are walking down a busy city sidewalk when the world falls apart about 50 yards in front of you.  A sound like dozens of firecrackers going off causes dozens of pedestrians in front of you to part like the Red Sea.  A man with a large pistol in his hand is running down the sidewalk directly toward you.  You are armed.  As the bad guy approaches, he raises his pistol toward you.  What do you do?

buckyYou’re armed.  So what?  Can you put your hand on your gun safely? Quickly?  Do you know how to do it without looking or fumbling with your clothing, pocketbook, backpack, or wherever you’ve chosen to carry?  If you’re carrying a pistol, are you certain about how it’s loaded… is there ‘one in the pipe’ or do you need to ‘rack the slide?’  Where’s your extra ammo?

That’s a lot of questions, but if you require more than a split-second to answer them, you need to put the gun back in the safe.  I don’t mean to be rude, but you shouldn’t be carrying a tool capable of killing someone until you are solidly proficient in the most basic techniques, first and foremost is how to draw and present your weapon… safely.

Police officers learn to put their hands on their weapons, draw them safely, and move into any number of “ready” positions without taking their eyes off the threat or direction of movement.  Cops can’t hesitate or fumble around because even a half-second delay could result in serious injury or worse, mishandling might cause an accidental discharge.  They learn the same way you or I do, by practicing their “draw” over and over again.

Once upon a time I golfed every week, and even took a lesson or two to improve my barely mediocre game.  The lessons didn’t make me a better golfer, but they taught me that the average person needs 1,000 repetitions of a new movement to develop effective muscle memory.  So it’s reasonable to expect you’d need to practice your draw at least a thousand times before you no longer have to think about it.  Keep that in mind.

Begin with the unloaded gun you intend on carrying and the holster that’s most comfortable (most of us have more than one).  Did I say the gun must be unloaded?  You really only want to do this with a gun that is unloaded.  Have another person check to make sure the gun is unloaded.  Get the point?  Are you sure?  Good. If you live in an apartment, please find someplace else to practice this drill.

There are three rules:  the gun must always be unloaded, even though the gun is unloaded your finger must never touch the trigger, and there must never be anything between you and the ‘target’ or anywhere behind it.

First: place the unloaded gun in the holster and put it on.  Find a ‘target’ with no living things behind it – mine is a light switch that I particularly hate that’s on a wall with an acre or two of woods behind it.  Second: move any garments aside and put your hand on the gun, establishing a good, firm grip.  Third: draw the gun out of the holster and point it at the target (remember, no finger on the trigger).  Fourth: put the gun back in the holster and remove your hand.  Fifth: repeat for at least five minutes.

As you build repetitions with this drill you will quickly get to the point where you no longer need to look at the gun to draw it from the holster.  In short order you’ll get to the point where you won’t need to look it back into the holster.  In fact, try keeping your eye on the target – that’s what police officers are taught.

Keep going, and keep count.  By the time you get to 1,000 repetitions you’ll feel comfortable enough to begin safely carrying your gun outside the home if you so desire.




The Army Has A New Pistol But They Still Have To Learn How To Shoot.

Last year the U.S. Army decided to replace the Beretta M4 with a new battle pistol, the M17 made by Sig.  This is now the second time that the military has decided that no American gun maker can produce a handgun that works well enough to be carried by our troops in the field. Sam Colt and D.B. Wesson must be rolling over in their graves.

sig army              If we can’t design and manufacture a small arm that can make the grade, I would assume that at least the soldiers who will carry this new gun will at least know how to use it in the proper way. But thanks to a link in The Firearms Blog sent to me by one of our Contributing Editors, Dave Buchannon, I’m not sure that this is the case.

The 101st Airborne has released a video of some troops firing the new gun; they also have posted a bunch of pics on a Flickr site, with one pic (above) showing some kind of big-shot officer playing around with a gun. Of course he knew the gun wasn’t loaded, he’s only standing in the middle of a shooting range and everyone knows that guns are never loaded at a range.

But leaving aside the fact that Major Whomever-He-Is probably hasn’t held or shot a gun since who knows when, what I really found interesting are the numerous pics of soldiers actually banging away inside the range, in many cases with what appear to be firearm instructors telling them how to proceed.

I have to assume that these pics are going to show up in some kind of training manual for the men and women who have to learn the ins and outs of shooting the M17. And the reason I say that is because every gun manual that I have ever seen always comes with a chapter on the do’s of firing the gun as well as a chapter on the don’ts.  And I can tell you without fear of exaggeration that some of the photos of this gun being shot are definitely candidates for being put in the don’ts chapter; they certainly shouldn’t be included with the do’s.

There’s a pic, for example, of a Ranger holding his right hand around the grip and his left hand underneath the grip, what we call the ‘teacup’ style of holding a handgun, which basically means that you are trying to control the gun with one hand.  Now one-handed shooting works great in fast-draw contest at the turkey shoot held at my local range, but it’s not something you want to do when you’re trying to keep a military weapon on point of aim.

Then there’s another great pic, this one I really like, of a trooper whose left thumb is rubbing up against the slide. If he presses the slide hard enough with his thumb the gun might jam, if his touch is a little softer the felt recoil will basically result in his second shot going God only knows where.

If these pics represent how our armed forces have been trained to use a handgun I simply don’t understand why the military bothered to select and buy a new gun at all. The gun looks nice, it has a pretty sandy-colored finish and it comes in two sizes I guess because female soldiers usually have smaller hands. Actually, the smaller size is known as the ‘compact’ model, which will probably end up being worn by officers since the grunts are supposed to carry more weight. Either way, the U.S. taxpayer is going to be laying out $580 million bucks for a weapon which as far as I can tell, the troops don’t necessarily know how to shoot it straight.

For all we know, within a few years it won’t matter whether our military will know how to use any weapon at all because everyone’s talking about future conflicts being fought only with drones. If that happens, maybe we’ll see a lot of surplus Sig pistols coming on the market the same way that the Colt 1911 will be arriving soon.

Dave Buchannon – Why I Teach Gun Safety.


Don’t hate me, I teach people about guns.  More specifically I teach a state certified firearms safety course to people from all walks of life who want to own firearms legally and lawfully.  And I hope you won’t be offended, but the battle to protect “our Second Amendment rights”, politics, or gun violence prevention are not part of the curriculum – nor do I write about them.  Safety and responsible gun ownership are the primary rubric for this course, which everyone must take before applying for a License to Carry (LTC).

trainingIronically, in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country, students can pass the required safety course, get their LTC, buy a gun and walk around with it without ever having fired a single round.  Not in my class, where you have to fire five rounds at a target and I’m less concerned about your score than I am that you get a sense of what it feels like to actually establish a solid grip and stance, point the gun correctly, and pull the trigger to make it go BANG!  The sights, sounds, and smells aren’t for everyone, and that’s just fine.  But if you’re thinking of getting a gun, you need to know it feels like to shoot one.  A small handful of students have fired the first shot and put the gun down because they didn’t like it.  They didn’t like it one bit, and that’s okay.  At least they know what it feels like.

I teach, because I enjoy sharing my interest in guns with other people, especially those who are interested but haven’t been exposed to them.  On the other hand, I’ve been interested in guns since childhood – the first book I ever borrowed from my elementary school library was “Guns of the American West.”  Imagine that, a GUN book in a school library being checked-out to a second grader!  My father hunted with an old lever-action rifle but that and a snub-nosed 38 special were the only guns in the house until I got my Daisy BB gun on my 11th Christmas.  Despite being so sick I could barely get out of bed on Christmas morning I spent the next three days launching a whole milk carton full BB’s at a makeshift target set up in our garage.

Ten years later I was on the range in the Police Academy, for forty hours of extremely intense training and scoring.  What might sound like a lot of fun was really five days of grueling  work – ah, who am I kidding… it was a blast!  A ton of serious information that emphasized responsibility, skill building, instantaneous decision-making, focus, control, and responsibility, but it was also a lot of fun.  Yes, I did write “responsibility” twice, on purpose, because the responsibility for every round fired was emphasized constantly.  I still carry those lessons with me to this day, and I teach in hopes that every student leaves the classroom with a tiny sense of that same responsibility I felt after range week.

I also teach gun safety because a close friend of mine in junior high school accidentally shot his older brother while playing with the revolver their mother kept hidden in her nightstand.  The older brother died, the younger was horribly affected and lived a life haunted by that event.

I do not teach gun safety for the money, I worry a little bit about those who do.  Building a teaching practice sufficient to replace day-job income requires creating a sense of need. You “need” this training because it’s a dangerous world where attackers are lurking behind every tree and hiding around every corner.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Statistic after statistic and study after study have proven that you have a better chance of winning the lottery than having to defend yourself with a gun against a violent crime.  Want to protect yourself from a home invasion?  Don’t become a drug dealer… simple as that.  I cannot name a single time in 30 years when I needed to defend myself against violent attack, but if you think you’ll be safer with a gun, learn everything you can about the gun, and more importantly, the law.

I teach because I really enjoy teaching, and I really enjoy guns.

Be of good cheer!

When It Comes To The Armed Citizen, One Good Scam Deserves Another.

Once upon a time there was an organization called the National Rifle Association, started out by two Civil War veteran officers who were concerned because most of the troops they commanded in the war didn’t know how to shoot. In those days the Federal Government built a national army by calling up militias from the states and these militias were comprised of volunteers who showed up with their own guns. So the idea behind the NRA was to prepare civilians for military duty before they were called up because we didn’t yet have a military draft and we didn’t stick new draftees in boot camps in order to teach them how to march, fire their weapons and other military things.

CG             Once we began maintaining a ‘standing’ army either with draftees or volunteers, the whole idea that we needed to train civilians in the proper use of firearms disappeared.  But just around the same time (post-1900) that hunters like Theodore Roosevelt and naturalists like George Grinnell realized that hunting was inextricably connected to conservation, America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ began combining safety training and marksmanship with sport and preservation of the outdoors as its primary goals.

These themes predominated in NRA messaging until the 1980s when open range started to disappear along with the hunters who took guns out to the country to engage in sport. In fact, the whole definition of ‘outdoor sports’ veered away from hunting and fishing to embrace hiking, camping, trekking and kayaking down a whitewater stream rather than sitting in a rowboat and casting a line into the pond.

If the gun industry and groups like the NRA hadn’t discovered a new reason to buy and own guns, there would be no gun industry.  And the new reason, as we know, is the idea of using guns for self-defense which previously had been nothing other than a marginal issue basically to justify the manufacture of the little teenie-weenie pocket guns like the Baby Browning or the 1908 Colt.

This is not the time or the place to discuss why some Americans have recently decided that the only thing which stands between their survival and complete annihilation is access to a gun.  Suffice it to say, however, that the armed-citizen subculture is invariably promoted by Gun-nut Nation and certain pro-gun sycophants as being much larger and more vibrant than it actually is (the lack of attendance at the recent concealed-carry expo in Milwaukee being a case in point.) Nevertheless, since concealed-carry appears to be the only issue that is keeping the industry alive, there’s no end to the new products being rolled out to meet market demand.

And one of those new product lines is the concealed-carry insurance program, Carry Guard, being sold by the NRA.  Today I just received an email from Carry Guard which gives me the opportunity to download a ‘free guide to lawful self-defense’ basically a come-on for selling me the insurance package that will ‘protect’ me in case I have to pull out the old banger and bang away.

The guide, written by ‘experts in the field,’ offers advice on such issues as: What to do with my gun after I shoot someone; how much should I talk to the police; what should I say to bystanders, etc.  In other words, the information in this guide is designed to protect me after I used my gun to protect me.

This guide is so stupid that either the NRA believes its members would score below the idiot level on an IQ test, or they really believe that people will always respond to any ‘free’ offer, or maybe both. If anyone spends one second considering any legal advice from anyone other than their personal attorney, then they deserve to get scammed. Which is exactly what this Carry Guard product is – a complete scam. But since the idea that walking around with a gun will protect you is simply not true, one good scam deserves another, right?