What Not To Do

From the Arizona Republic:

David Walter, a 30-year-old Surprise resident, entered the Walmart near 129th Avenue and West Thunderbird Road around 1 a.m. While in the store, witnesses told police he repeatedly fidgeted with a holstered semi-automatic pistol.
[…]
At one point, a clerk working the electronics section told police that Walter took the gun out of its holster and then removed and replaced the gun’s magazine.
[…]
He removed the gun from the holster again, causing the magazine to come loose and fall to the floor. Walter re-inserted the magazine and continued manipulating the gun when it fired, sending one round into the ceiling…

Sweet hog of Prague, this is precisely what one should never, ever do.
If you’re going to carry, either openly or concealed, do so safely and responsibly. If you absolutely must handle your firearm, do so safely in a discreet place. Unholstering a gun and removing/replacing the magazine in the electronics department of a Wal-Mart is neither safe nor discreet. Drawing the gun a second time and, somehow in the process dropping your magazine, is even worse. Fiddling around with the loaded gun is a surefire recipe for disaster.
Don’t be like this guy. Please.

Woot!

The Arizona House of Representatives just voted to approve SB 1108, the “Constitutional Carry” measure that was up for voting.
Now, it goes to the governor. If she signs it (or it passes without her signature), Arizonans will be able to carry firearms concealed without a permit (e.g. Alaska/Vermont-style carry). I’m pretty sure the governor will sign the measure.
Big day indeed.

One Step Closer to Permitless Concealed Carry in AZ

From AZCDL:

SB 1108, the Senate version of the AzCDL-requested Constitutional Carry bill, passed in the Senate Third Read, by a 20-10 vote, on Monday, March 29, 2010.
From here, SB 1108 will be sent over to the House.? Since the House has already voted for an identical bill, HB 2347, during their Committee of the Whole (COW) debate, we are expecting SB 1108 to be substituted for HB 2347 during the House Third Read.? We are also expecting the House Third Read vote to be as early as Tuesday, March 30, 2010.? This will be “the” final vote on Constitutional Carry to determine if it will be sent to the Governor!

Things are moving quick on this.
Of course, I think it’s rather silly that so much legislative time (even as fast as things are going) is spent to make it legal for people to untuck their shirts while carrying (permitless open carry is already legal here) while people could carry without a permit so long as their shirt is tucked in. Permitless concealed carry should be a no-brainer.

On Prohibitions

As many readers may know, Costco prohibits the carriage of firearms within its stores. As a private entity, they are perfectly within their rights to do so, and while I may disagree with their decision, I respect it.
Naturally, there are those who do not agree with their decision and will carry anyway. This is prohibited by Costco’s policy, and Costco can ask them to leave (and failing to do so is trespassing). Even so, I’m sure there’s not a few people who think “concealed means concealed” and don’t worry about it. I may disagree, but I understand.
Then, there’s the guy who walked in to the local Costco tonight: baseball hat on backwards, tag still attached to it, oversized t-shirt, with a Ruger semi-auto pistol (exact model unknown) openly carried in a cheap, nylon holster with no retention other than a small velcro strap. Oh, and he’s there with his wife and four kids. He totally took “classy” to a whole new level.
It’s one thing to carry discretely where it’s not permitted, but it’s another thing entirely to do so brazenly and openly.
Don’t be “that guy”.

ASUA Public Forum After Action Report

Here’s a video of the proceedings from the ASUA meeting tonight.
Sorry for the poor quality video and audio — I recorded it with my cellphone video camera, which is clearly not the best recording tool. Such is life.
I’ll go through the videos and add annotations/captions in the future.

At several points, I wanted to say to the pro-gun people, “Stop it. You’re not helping.” — we’re not talking about the Second Amendment, nor guns in parking lots, nor anything else. We’re talking about whether the ASUA, the University of Arizona student government, should support or oppose a state senate bill that would allow faculty with valid CCW permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. Your efforts basically confirm every negative stereotype, though most of the pro-gun females who spoke were clear, articulate, and made some good points. This is a matter of giving responsible adults — professors, specifically — the choice to carry a firearm on campus if they wish.
The ASUA is holding a voting meeting tomorrow in the Ventana Room at the Student Union at 5:00pm. They’ll allow a brief period of public discussion on the topics (the gun issue is the first thing on the schedule, so show up promptly), but then the ASUA Senate will have their own discussions and vote on the matter. I highly encourage decent public speakers (i.e. not like those who spoke tonight) to attend and speak tomorrow. If we get good public speakers, particularly those who don’t fit into classic stereotypes of gun owners (e.g. women, disabled, professors, etc.), that could go a long way toward getting the ASUA to support this measure.

Campus Self-Defense Club

The University of Arizona’s daily newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, printed an article today regarding a new self-defense club available on campus, primarily for women.
They discuss how this club teaches situational awareness, which I support wholeheartedly, and self-defense “techniques”, which I support somewhat less so. I note a distinct lack of firearms training, possibly due to the fact that it’s against state law and university policy to for CCW holders to possess firearms on campus.
If self-defense gets to the hand-to-hand stage, things have gone Very, Very Wrong. Better to avoid it where possible (hence situational awareness) or, if unavoidable, deal with it decisively.
A 110lb female college student, even with some self-defense training, is likely to be at a considerable physical disadvantage compared to a 180lb male attacker (a majority of attackers are male). A firearm — and the training and will to use it if needed — corrects for that disparity.
But no, they instead put up more “blue light phones” around campus and hand out free cans of pepper spray to female students (with no training on the proper use of it), as well as teaching self-defense “techniques” that are unlikely to work when confronted with a real attacker.
While I’m hardly an expert when it comes to self-defense firearm use, I’d be happy to take any UA student, male or female, at my expense, to the range to learn the basics of shooting. From there, I’ll happily point people toward instructors and programs that teach armed self-defense far better than I could.

Gun Free Zones

From the Brady Campaign:

America has seen an epidemic of horrific gun violence at churches and synagogues, workplaces, health clubs, high schools, universities, police stations and now Army bases.? This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places.? Enough is enough.

Take a look at that list of places. Notice a common “feature” of these places?

  • Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship are almost always listed as “gun free zones” in firearm-related legislation, overriding the choices of the individual attendees, the congregation as a whole, and the leader of that particular place.
  • The majority of workplaces prohibit employees from possessing firearms on their property, under penalty of being fired.
  • Health clubs, while perhaps not prohibiting firearms, are essentially “gun free zones” as people are more focused on exercise and carrying a gun while lifting weights or doing cardio can be impractical, if not dangerous.
  • High schools and universities are near-universally declared, either in law or policy, to be “gun free zones”.
  • It’s often illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a police station.
  • The carriage of loaded arms on military bases is prohibited, except in very limited situations (e.g. MPs, soldiers undergoing training [and then, the guns are only loaded while at the range and soldiers are searched for ammo and brass prior to leaving the range], etc.). CCW is strictly prohibited.

Basically, all of the places where such horrific violence has taken place are places where it’s prohibited or extremely impractical for ordinary people to possess firearms for self-defense.
I noted the decided lack of violent crime at the NRA Annual Meeting, even though thousands of people were carrying guns. Violence at gun shows is essentially unheard of; I think there may actually be more violent crimes committed in courthouses than there are at gun shows.
Even so, violent crime can occur anywhere. Fortunately, a prepared person can fight back and defend oneself, even if they don’t end up firing their gun. An unarmed, unprepared person cannot.
To summarize,

  1. Be prepared. No need to be paranoid, but being wary and prepared is key to staying safe.
  2. So-called “gun free zones” are completely ineffective at stopping criminals. To put it bluntly, they Do. Not. Work.

Fortunately, I think that more people are catching on to the fact that gun control doesn’t affect criminals and helps enable these terrible massacres. When the only examples of terrible violence that the Brady Campaign can list are places where guns are already prohibited by lawful people, that says a lot about the effectiveness of their proposals.

On Getting Mugged

Caleb got mugged.
Threatening a competitive shooter with a knife is almost certainly a bad idea.
Fortunately, it ended with no shots being fired, Caleb being unstabbinated, and the bad guy suffering from HotCoffeeToTheFace Syndrome.
It also goes to show you that a Beretta Jetfire in .25 ACP is a “gun that you carry when you can’t carry a gun” — Caleb wears business casual to work, so concealing a full-size pistol is a bit difficult. Nevertheless, his Jetfire saved the day.

Observations of a Gunfight


(Video courtesy of CBS News)
Evidently there was a gunfight in Toledo, Ohio on October 8th.
According to the police (as reported by CBS), there were five gunmen involved in a fight. The fight was evidently sparked when the barman asked a patron selling marijuana to leave.
I’ve made a few observations:

  • Security cameras always seem to produce video inadequate to identify people depicted in the image.
  • The barman rapidly produces his cellphone, presumably to call the police, after the first fight starts.
  • Many people fled immediately. This is smart.
  • Some people remained to engage in a gun battle. This is stupid, particularly if the police are on the way.
  • Running back into the building to engage in further gun battle is really stupid.
  • There were no observable weapon malfunctions. Whether this is due to regular maintenance by the gunmen, luck, or some other condition is unknown.
  • It is illegal for people to carry firearms in establishments that serve alcohol in Ohio. They did so anyway. Clearly, criminals are not deterred by nor do they obey such laws.
  • If you wish to hit your target, aiming is important. These individuals did not aim well.
  • Very few objects in a bar offer cover, rather than concealment.
  • All participants in the gunfight used semi-auto pistols, rather than revolvers. According to the police, 17 casings were found at the scene. This is a substantial amount of evidence for police.

Based on these observations, I’ll be bold enough to make? a few recommendations:

  • Avoid gunfights wherever possible.
  • This can usually be accomplished by staying out of seedy places and staying away from seedy people.
  • You should be aware of the mood in a bar. If things start getting tense, seriously consider leaving.
  • Once things go tits-up (e.g. a fight starts), it’s time to leave. Now.
  • If, for some reason, you decide to stick around after the barfight, be aware of patrons drawing guns. Once this happens, there is no possible way that the situation will improve. Get out. Now.
  • Gunfights are like fires: you should flee in the most expedient manner possible and remain out of harms way. I can’t think of a single reason why an everyday person should ever consider returning to a gunfight. You should absolutely not, under any circumstances, return to the gunfight to continue fighting.
  • If you are deploying security cameras, get good ones. High-quality video and sound recording is very useful.
  • If it is necessary to call 911, it’s preferably to do so from a landline phone. This has the advantage of immediately displaying the exact address of the phone that placed the call, which can speed police response considerably.
  • Violent criminals do not obey the law, and violent crime can occur anywhere.
  • If you are willing and able to carry in a safe and responsible manner, do so. While fleeing to safety is almost always the best thing to do (and fortunately seemed to be possible for every innocent bystander in this incident), it’s not always possible — a gun can give one a fighting chance of surviving and escaping if left with no other option.

Of course, the best advice of all is to simply avoid fights and, by extension, gunfights.

Man With A Gun

A man, openly armed with a Glock 19 and accompanied by a female friend, went to Lowes Home Improvement this evening.
He purchased a $4 tube of epoxy.
He and his friend then went to IHOP, where they had tasty pancakes.
When paying the bill, another patron waiting to be seated inquired if the man “was an officer”, to which the man replied, “no”. The other patron then asked if the man “just carried a pistol around”, to which the man replied, “Yes. It’s a free country.” The patron laughed pleasantly, said “That’s cool.” and the two bid each other good night.
No further incidents were noted.