Random thoughts from flyover country

Sunday, August 31

McCain/Palin 2008

I'm as happy as a mosquito in a nudist colony! I think Senator John McCain hit a home run in naming Governor (AK) Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential pick. It sure took the wind out of the DNC's coronation of Senator Obama and makes the selection of Senator Biden as the Democratic Party's VP candidate look pitiful.

That said, I'm also disgusted by the reaction of Obama's proxies in the media and in the DK crowd. The attacks on Governor Palin's daughter and baby boy are inexcusable. I'm waiting for the good Senators to disavow any connection with those attacks and those who make them. I'm not holding my breath.


Saturday, August 30

What to wear; what to wear?

This isn't about clothes, and it isn't about guns. It's about what clothes you have to wear to conceal the gun[s] you want to carry. For example, today I carried a four-inch S&W Model 681, a two-inch Taurus 85SSUL, and a KelTec P32 concealed in 95ºF heat. How did I pull this off without suffering heat stroke? It's really pretty easy.

I carried the "big gun," which is equipped with Crimson Trace laser grips, in Bianchi Model 7 thumb break holster using the slots for a strong side FBI carry. I carried the box stock "medium gun" weakside in a Bianchi Model 105 Minimalist. The "little gun" I front pocket-carried in a Blackhawk holster.

My clothes for the day? I wore a Hanes Pocket-T, Levi's 501 jeans, and a photographer's vest, and my self-defense suite was undetectable. However, my former neighbor, a DEA agent, had he seen me, would have asked what I was carrying. Why? The vest. He remarked on more than one occasion that I looked like a "Feeb." No, that's not a derogatory term for someone who is mentally challenged, it's what he called FBI agents. (Hmm. I'll have to give that some thought.)

Later in the day, my wife and I went to the grand opening of the new BOK Center in Tulsa to see my mom's tax dollars at work. Since my wife really gets tired of the vest, I made an adjustment in my concealed carry battery to fit the situation. I left the M681 in the pistol safe, removed the Minimalist from the belt, and moved the 85SSUL to an IWB strong side holster. Because the temperature outside had increased, I changed the Pocket T for a regular t-shirt and wore a Hawai'ian shirt over it. Downtown Tulsa was crawling with police officers in cars, on foot, and riding bicycles, and, again, my self-defense suite went unnoticed/undetected.

Earlier in the week, I joined fellow scooterists for our regular Thursday evening group ride and dining out activity in 90º+ weather. (Actually, it was around 86º when we started.) My S&W Model 13 rode IWB strongside, the Taurus Ultra-Lite IWB weakside, and the KelTec, again, in my front pocket. I wore a graphic t-shirt under my FirstGear Venom mesh jacket and Levi's. Due to the breathability of the mesh jacket, no one thought my wearing it in the restaurant was unusual. In fact, the A/C had the place pretty cool.

The point I want to make is that you can conceal handguns up to full-size service guns like the Smith & Wesson 681 if you take the trouble to get a decent holster and dress appropriately. If the situation prevents you from wearing a cover garment like a vest, a coat, a jacket, or an untucked shirt, you need to carry a gun that you can conceal in your pocket or a push-up holster. My choices will probably not be yours, but take the time to examine your carry options and your clothing options.


Sunday, August 24

Bad news for the Democratic Party or the American people.

Presumptive Democratic Party Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama named Senator Joe Biden as his Vice-Presidential pick. Given the anti-gun history of both these gentlemen, the Republican Party and every gun rights organization in the nation should make a big deal of this to the American people. Even with Senator John McCain's luke-warm support of the Second Amendment and the First Amendment (remember campaign finance reform?), the presumptive Democratic ticket's record is ripe for exploitation. If we can create enough noise about this to get the attention of the MSM, it can be bad news for the Democratic Party.

The flip side is that if the Obama/Biden ticket wins, given their anti-gun rights records, the American people and their individual right to keep and bear arms (as guranteed, not granted, by the Second Amendment) will face a minimum of four years of increasing pressure. Remember what Senator Dianne Feinstein said: if she'd had the votes she'd have had "Mr. and Mrs. America" turn in their guns.


Saturday, August 23

Concealed Carry Thoughts 2

I prefer revolvers for concealed carry in the main. If I thought I was going into combat, my choice would be different due to the differences between self-defense and combat, and I probably wouldn't be too concerned about concealability. Since personal self-defense generally doesn't involve laying down a base of fire or suppression, I don't need what some commentators refer to as "firepower." What I need is something that works every time, is concealable and has sufficient power to stop an attacker. What I want is something that works just like every other gun I might carry. My solution is revolvers.

The big questions are, "What kinds of revolvers? What caliber revolvers? What barrel length/frame size revolvers?"

As much as I love single-action revolvers, concealing one tends to be a problem especially since most of mine are .45 Colts. So, that leaves double-action revolvers. While I really like Colt Detective Specials, they have moved into the realm of collectibles. That leaves any number of other makes. Since Smith & Wesson and Taurus use the same basic system of cylinder release (push forward on the latch), that's what I elected.

Caliber is a subject where everyone has an opinion. My primary defensive caliber is .357 Magnum with 125 grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets. My reasoning is that not only do the Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow statistics from Handgun Stopping Power: The Definitive Study show that round to be right at the top and whenever a new defensive pistol round is introduced the developer compares it to the .357 Magnum, but this powerhouse is available in readily concealable handguns
. My secondary defensive caliber is .38 Special +P with a 125 grain JHP bullets. It isn't the powerhouse that the .357 Magnum is, but it is adequate and can be used in .357 Magnum revolvers. It is also more controllable for someone who isn't a dedicated pistolero.

While there are those people who can conceal N-frame Smith & Wesson or Colt New Service revolvers, I'm not one of them. The choice for me is a K-frame Smith & Wesson or smaller. In particular the Model 13/65. My preferred barrel length is three inches. I can conceal a three inch Model 13 easily, and it doesn't get in my way performing normal movements like sitting in my truck or riding my scooter.

So we come to my concealed carry battery: (1) a .357 Magnum S&W Model 13 with a three inch barrel and Bianchi Lightning grips, (2) a .38 Special Taurus Model 85SSUL* with a two inch barrel, and (3) a .32 ACP Kel-Tec P32 (Okay, it's an automatic.). When away from the house I carry the M13 IWB on my right side, the 85SSUL IWB on my left side, and the P32 in my pocket. At home, carry the M85SSUL strong side and the P32 in my pocket. If going somewhere where the revolvers would be too intrusive (a rare occasion), the P32 goes it alone. The biggest change comes during the winter when my four inch S&W M681 replaces the M13 on my right side in a Bianchi #7. That moves the M13 to the left, and the M85SSUL moves to a coat pocket.

You may have different requirements and different solutions, but that's what freedom is all about.


*(Stainless Steel Ultra-Lite)

Concealed Carry Thoughts

Thanks to the great State of Oklahoma, I have a Concealed Handgun License. While I would rather not have the state involved at all in how and when I carry a gun, at least Oklahoma is a "shall issue" state, and the regulations are not onerous. So, I figure to live with 'em.

When it has come up in conversation (rarely), I have had otherwise reasonable and intelligent people ask me why I carry a gun. They ask me if I'm afraid or if I see myself as some sort of Rambo or vigilante. Or, they tell me they are afraid of guns. They then pontificate on the evils of guns, all the damage guns do to "our society," and how, if it were in their power, they would ban guns.

Well, for the record, I'm not afraid (most of the time) of anything (almost), nor do I see myself as Rambo or a vigilante. I carry guns (Yes, I typed guns.) for the same reason I wear a seat-belt; for the same reason I wear a helmet, armored jacket, boots, and gloves when I ride my scooter; for the same reason I have insurance on my house, car, truck, and scooter. If you need any of these, you're going to need them right now. I, for one, don't want to be looking for something to protect myself if someone attacks me or a member of my family, especially since I'm what they call a high-mileage model. (Hand-to-hand combat training was a lot of miles and a lot of wear'n'tear ago.) I'm not looking for trouble, but I intend to be as ready for it as I can.

For those people who are afraid of guns, my mother included, I can only ask if they are afraid of kitchen utensils, tools, cars, and their hair dryers. A gun is a tool. It won't go off by itself. It won't turn the person holding it into a slathering, wild-eyed, murderous monster bent on wreaking havoc amongst his family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. It has no motivation, morals, or ability of its own. That is not to say that a gun should not be respected, but a gun can't make anyone do anything.

(My mother has acknowledged that her fear of guns is irrational, but, when a woman down the street from her house was murdered in cold blood after surprising burglars in the middle of the day, she insisted that either my brother or myself, with our guns, come stay with her until the police apprehended the killers. This we did, because that's what family does.)

As for guns damaging our society, I would say that criminals damage our society. Criminals don't obey laws. Banning guns won't change that because criminals won't obey the laws banning guns, leaving the law-abiding defenseless. The gun banners, when I ask them what to do if threatened by an attacker, say that I should let the police handle it, "That's what we pay them for." They get a bit flustered when I say that their response to an immediate threat is to hope that people with guns come to their aid in time to save them. They get more flustered when I tell them that the police have no legal responsibility to protect any individual who doesn't have a pre-existing relationship with the police, i.e. a snitch...excuse me, a confidential informant.

It is a sad commentary on our "society" that people abdicate their responsibility for their safety, for their families' safety, and for their very lives to others.

So, I will continue to carry concealed handguns.