Friday, January 19, 2018

A New Weekend Knowledge Dump for January 19, 2017

Greg Ellifritz (Active Response Training) has a new "Weekend Knowledge Dump" up for this week. Among the various articles to which he links, he also has a link to a free PDF download of Stephen Wenger's Defensive Use of Firearms. Because of Paladin Press closing its doors, Wenger has decided to make his book free for download. Anyway, check it out, as well as all the other great articles.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

From Survival Russia: "Helping Out Survival Lilly With Saws And Safety" (17 min.)

  • "How to prepare for — and survive — a nuclear bombing"--New York Post. Whereas I posted a link to the "duck and cover" video, which teaches how to survive the blast effects of a nuclear weapon (assuming you aren't in the kill zone), this article describes methods of surviving nuclear fallout and radiation. Not an in-depth discussion, but it provides some of the basics.
Kanyon [the weapon's codename] is designed to attack coastal areas, destroying cities, naval bases, and ports. The mega-bomb would also generate an artificial tsunami that would surge inland, spreading radioactive contamination with the advancing water. To make matters worse there are reports the warhead is “salted” with the radioactive isotope Cobalt-60. Contaminated areas would be off-limits to humanity for up to 100 years.
Although the article suggests that development of the weapon system was spurred to avoid any ballistic missile or bomber aircraft defenses that the United States may have, the semi-autonomous nature of the weapon reflects another issue of such a weapon: getting far enough away that the crew delivering the weapon would not be killed by their own weapon, which would be the case if it was dropped from an aircraft.
Barrels with a very smooth interior tend to foul less than those with a rough interior. The goal for shooters here, is to create a bore condition that will produce less fouling. Accomplish this by micro-burnishing any radial tooling marks left in the barrel in the direction of bullet travel. This is where the “fire, clean, fire, clean” method (for many shots) helps make the barrel smoother.
Tancítaro represents a quiet but telling trend in Mexico, where a handful of towns and cities are effectively seceding, partly or in whole. These are acts of desperation, revealing the degree to which Mexico’s police and politicians are seen as part of the threat.
It goes on:
        It began with an uprising. Townspeople formed militias to eject both the cartel, which effectively controlled much of Michoacán, and the local police, who were seen as complicit. Orchard owners, whose families and businesses faced growing extortion threats, bankrolled the revolt.
            This left Tancítaro without police or a government, whose officials had fled. Power accumulated to the militias that controlled the streets and to their backers, an organization of wealthy avocado growers known as the Junta de Sanidad Vegetal, or Plant Health Council. Citizens sometimes call it the Junta.
              Nearly four years in, long after other militia-run towns in Michoacán collapsed into violence, the streets remain safe and tidy. But in sweeping away the institutions that enabled crime to flourish, Tancítaro created a system that in many ways resembles cartel control.
                 Their rule began with a purge. Young men suspected of involvement in the cartel were expelled. Low-level runners or informants, mostly boys, were allowed to stay, though the cartel murdered most in retaliation, a militia commander said.
                 Though violence eventually cooled, the wartime power structure has remained. The militias now act as the police, as well as guards for the town perimeter and the avocado orchards.
                   Cinthia Garcia Nieves, a young community organizer, moved into town shortly after the fighting subsided. Idealistic but clear-minded, she wanted to help Tancítaro develop real institutions.
                      But lines of authority had “blurred,” she said in a cafe near the town center.
                        Ms. Nieves set up citizens’ councils as a way for local families to get involved. But militia rule has accustomed many to the idea that power belongs to whomever has the guns.
                         She has high hopes for community justice forums, designed to punish crimes and resolve disputes. But, in practice, justice is often determined — and punishments administered — by whichever militia commander chooses to involve himself.
                    Note that the situation follows the maxim: political power flows from the muzzle of a gun.
                              Much has been said about China’s growing nationalism but little attention has been paid to its increasing assertion of something akin to sovereignty over ethnic Chinese who are citizens of other countries.
                                 While this is particularly noteworthy in Hong Kong, it is also true in the United States, Australia and other countries.
                                   What China wants is for foreign citizens of ethnic Chinese background to be loyal to the “motherland” – meaning China – regardless of their citizenship and to work to further the interests of China.
                                    This was disclosed in the People’s Daily a couple of years ago when it encouraged “more and more overseas Chinese to participate in the local political life”.
                                      It referred to specifically to Congresswoman Judy Chu of California, who was born in the United States of immigrant parents, as someone “participating in politics in foreign countries”.
                                        The Chinese government wants to make use of foreign politicians who happen to be of Chinese extraction to support its causes, such as in its territorial dispute with Japan.
                                           The Chinese consul general in San Francisco, Luo Linquan, at an annual reception last December for American families that had adopted Chinese babies, reminded the young American girls and women that China was the land of their birth and that China would never forget them.
                                             “You grow up speaking English,” the Chinese diplomat said but then added, “Yet your black eyes, black hair and dark skin all remind you that you are Chinese.”
                                                He encouraged them to learn Chinese and to develop a “Chinese spirit”.
                                                  Being able to win the sympathy and support of this large group of Americans would be a great boost to Chinese influence in the US. About 100,000 Chinese babies have been adopted by American couples in the last 25 years.
                                                    In Australia, there have been charges that official Chinese propaganda was being used to influence the opinion and behavior of Australians of Chinese background.
                                                     “Beijing’s clandestine intrusion into our local Chinese press will have an impact on national security if it is not rooted out,” The Age reported in 2014.
                                                        The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda bureau, the newspaper reported, was “buying up radio stations and newspapers across the country and channeling the voice of Beijing into them from editorial offices in China”.
                                                           Of course, this would primarily influence immigrants rather than native-born Australians, but such an influence should not be discounted. China clearly considers this to be important.
                                                             What all this means is that China is trying very hard to extend its influence abroad by using ethnic Chinese overseas, appealing to their sense of being Chinese, even though they are foreign citizens and had left the country of their birth.
                                                            Why is this important? Generally, it is important because it represents a group that seeks to retain its separateness from other Americans--to not fully integrate. We see this all the time, such as Hispanics that march with or wave Mexican flags, or, just the other day, Haitian immigrants that apparently forget that they were American and criticized Trump for supposedly calling "their nation" (i.e., Haiti) a  "s***hole." 
                                                               More specifically, however, it is a national security threat because the loyalty to the home country or culture may override loyalty to the United States. For instance, just today, there are reports that a former CIA officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested on espionage charges. "A naturalized U.S. citizen, Lee faces up to 10 years in prison on charges of 'unlawful retention of national defense information.'" What he did, however, is much worse: he turned over to China the names of dozens of the United States' top informants in China. As The New York Times describes it:
                                                                More than a dozen C.I.A. informants were killed or imprisoned by the Chinese government. The extent to which the informant network was unraveled, reported last year by The New York Times, was a devastating setback for the C.I.A.
                                                                 Officials said the number of informants lost in China rivaled losses in the Soviet Union and Russia during the betrayals of both Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. They divulged intelligence operations to Moscow for years.
                                                            Although this may be one of the more egregious examples, it is not the only one
                                                                     To me, a big argument in favor of Christianity is that it basically is an owner’s manual for the K-selected human being. Eons before anybody ever contemplated the idea of reproductive strategies, there was the Bible, explaining how to be K-selected.
                                                                        Now, we can look back, and see how all of these traits are logically and scientifically sound. We can see the mechanism behind them. We can see how science supports every aspect of it. We can even see the Apocalypse, complete with the four horsemen, warming up right before our eyes. But way back before all of that, there it was, truth revealed and ascribed to by decent people the world over because there were just enough glimpses behind the curtains every so often to let people know it was truth.
                                                                        The Creator gave people just enough of what they needed to help them find their path.
                                                                  Well, as I like to point out, God is a really smart guy.

                                                                  Thoughts Regarding Concealed Carry and Grappling

                                                                  A reader sends:
                                                                          I had a couple thoughts that I wanted to share w/ you [regarding] the issue of concealed carry and grappling.  The late Paul Gomez was a friend of mine and we discussed this at some length on a couple of occasions.  He was working w/ Craig Douglas ("SouthNarc") at the time teaching the ECQC course.  Paul said that, while grappling with a student, if he could get his hand on a handgun in a Kydex holster he could take it.  He felt that the most secure holsters were leather holsters worn IWB and said something like "They're the toughest to get.  If a guy even halfway knows what he's doing, you're not taking it from something like a MIlt Sparks Summer Special or a Kramer holster". 
                                                                         More recently, in a discussion on TPI [Total Participant Involvement training], Craig wrote of the Safariland 537 holster (link below) "I like it. No issues at all gun grappling. Not the most concealable holster but for wintertime or a looser fit jacket it'll be just fine. It's certainly the MOST concealable holster I've personally found with a worthwhile retention device." 
                                                                          https://www.amazon.com/Safariland-Concealment-Slide-Holster-537-83-61/dp/B01FSOEMD8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515957047&sr=8-1&keywords=safariland+holster+537 
                                                                  (Brackets added). Also, in response to comment I made about Fobus holsters, he noted:
                                                                          [Regarding] Fobus.  Their holsters are garbage.  I've seen them come apart in gun grappling exercises.  This IS NOT typical of Kydex holsters many of which are well made/ solidly constructed (e.g., BladeTech, Raven, Spencer Keepers).  I don't think Fobus holsters are actually even Kydex. 
                                                                          The issue [with regard] to retention of Kydex vs. leather is the way that Kydex releases all at once.  The same thing that makes Kydex slightly faster (consistently .25 seconds or more in tests friends and I have done), to draw from makes it less secure.  It's a trade off, speed vs. security. 
                                                                         If I were a cop who went "hands on" w/ bad guys I'd absolutely wear leather (some high percentage of cops are killed w/ their own guns and I'd hazard a guess most lost them tussling w/ a suspect).  If I was taking a class @ Rogers Shooting School, I'd choose Kydex.  For most armed citizens it doesn't much matter as both needing the .25 second or losing their weapon gun grappling are extremely unlikely and one would never know which one of these unlikely events would occur.  I wear leather because I find it more comfortable to wear all day.  
                                                                  (Brackets added). He also highly recommended Craig Douglas' Extreme Close Quarters Concepts class. 

                                                                  Tuesday, January 16, 2018

                                                                  New Church Presidency

                                                                  My LDS readers probably already know, but just in case: Russell M. Nelson has been named the new President of the Church following the death of Thomas S. Monson. He has named as his First Counselor, Dallin H. Oaks, and as Second Counselor, Henry B. Eyring. If you missed the video broadcast from this morning, you can watch here (at the Church's website) or on YouTube.

                                                                  January 16, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                  The Firearms Blog has conducted a ballistic gel test of Federal 9mm +P 124gr HST from a 3.1″ S&W Shield, and it did remarkably well in both bare gel and through heavy clothing (5 layers of denim). The video is above, and the article (if you just want to see the results) is here.


                                                                  • A new Woodpile Report is out.
                                                                  • "A Closer Look at the Earth Pak Dry Bag – 55 , 40 and 10 liter bags"--Security & Self-Reliance. These appear to basically be waterproofed stuff sacks--except that they have shoulder straps. The two larger sizes reviewed have a pair of shoulder straps similar to what you would find on a backpack, while the 10 liter bag had a single shoulder strap (like a messenger bag). The current models do not have waist belts, but the author indicates that Earth Pak is working on adding them to the next generation bag. The MSRP for the 55 L bag is $38.99, the 40 L is $34.99, and the 10 L is $17.99. Anyway, check out the review for more information and detailed photographs of the stitching, straps, buckles, etc.
                                                                  • "Jeff Gonzales: The Truth About a One-Handed Draw"--The Truth About Guns. Some tips on drawing from concealment: using a consistent draw stroke for all types of clothing by hooking your thumb under the jacket, shirt, etc., to catch it and draw it up or back allowing you to reach your pistol. He has photographs illustrating the steps.
                                                                  • When advertising hype jumps the shark: "First Look: DoubleStar Lite-Fighter EX Combat Utility Knife"--Shooting Illustrated. The knife in question has a 4-3/4 inch single-edge, hollow grind blade, and G-10 scales. In fact, it is remarkably similar to SOG's Field Pup II, except for the G-10 scales. But this is the part that made me laugh, though: "The Lite-Fighter Combat Utility Knife is inspired by the famous Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife used by commando units in WWII ...." I'm not sure how the Lite-Fighter was inspired by the Fairbairn-Sykes knife, since the latter  was a double-edged dagger style knife with a 7-inch blade and a completely different style guard and handle. 
                                                                  • Back to the basics: "Rifle Fundamentals: Breath and Hold Control"--Shooting Sports USA.
                                                                  • "Time To Prune Fruit Trees"--All Outdoors. You want to do it before the sap returns and the trees begin to bud. 
                                                                  • I've been waiting for this headline ever since I first read of the initial "attack": "Toronto police say scissor attack on a girl's hijab 'did not happen'"--BBC News. Like most publicized incidents of "hate-crime" it was made up by the supposed victim. In this case, the girl claimed that a man had come up to her on the street and tried to cut off her hajib. The police appear to have dropped the case (i.e., no charges for making a false report) while the r-select girl has moved to a different means of protecting her victim status, claiming that she is afraid to go back to school.
                                                                  • "Oh, Spare Me!–Should You Even Bother to Carry a Reload?"--Recoil Magazine. The author argues that the statistical likelihood of a civilian needing a fast reload in a self defense situation is so low that it is unnecessary to carry a reload. He writes:
                                                                  Reloading a handgun mid-gunfight, outside of a military or law enforcement context is pretty unlikely. Although he’s talking about carbines rather than pistols, a great quote from trainer Randy Harris springs to mind: “If you empty one 30-round mag in civilian-world USA, you’re going to be on the news … if you empty two, you’re going to be in the encyclopedia …”
                                                                  Read his article and see what you think. I disagree, especially if you are talking about a firearm with less than 10 rounds on board ... which is most defensive pistols. 
                                                                         For the past few months, rubbish has been piling up in the streets of the Cameroonian city of Douala, filling the air with a nauseating smell. While hygiene has always been a problem in the country’s economic capital, our Observers say the situation has become much worse now that the government owes a large amount of money to the country’s only trash collecting company.
                                                                            "Soon, we won’t be able to move around anymore!” ....
                                                                    • "Black Death 'spread by humans not rats'"--BBC News. Researchers that modeled the spread of bubonic plague by rat borne fleas, airborne, or by fleas and lice that live on humans, found that the latter model most accurately matched the extant records from several cities hit by the "Black Death." Frankly, the rat borne theory has long been suspect, not the least because it couldn't explain the fact that the bubos reportedly first formed in the neck and upper extremities, rather than the lower extremities as is generally the case with rat-borne plague.
                                                                    • "Climate: Cancel The Boiling Oceans"--Power Line Blog. The author notes a couple new papers regarding ocean temperatures. The first looks at historical ocean temperatures and concludes that during the Younger Dryas, which occurred about 13,000–11,500 years ago, ocean temperatures rose by 1.6 C over a period of 700 years--which is 1.7 times the rate which it is estimated to be rising today. The second found that ocean temperatures are not rising as fast as estimated. In fact, the temperatures appear to have risen only 0.1 C; but the margin of error is 0.2 C, so the 0.1 C rise may be imaginary.
                                                                    • "The 50 most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian: List reveals the nations most likely to persecute religion's followers, with North Korea at the top"--Daily Mail. The inclusion of Muslim and Communist countries on the list is not surprising. However, flying under the radar of most Westerners is the not-exactly-peaceful Buddhists and Hindus: India comes in at number 11, and is part of the list of nations holding the distinction of offering "extreme persecution" to Christians. Another reason to question the value of importing all the H1-B visa holders from India.

                                                                    Monday, January 15, 2018

                                                                    January 15, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                    "US Spring Forecast"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
                                                                    The outlook is for more cold and snow in the Eastern U.S. Also, a brief discussion of some climate articles indicating that (1) there is a large body of cold water in the Arctic that could spell a colder climate for Europe, and (2) climate modelers have severely underestimated the cooling effect of clouds.


                                                                    Case No. 2: Penetration Is Important, but It’s Complicated
                                                                              The 17-year-old young man presented to my clinic complaining of penile discharge. He was found to have good old-fashioned Chlamydia — the “Clap” in the Vulgar Tongue. His medical history reported a gunshot wound, so I inquired as to the details.
                                                                                About six months prior this young man had run afoul of his drug dealer. When confronted with his inability to pay for some illicit pharmaceuticals, the unlicensed pharmacologist terminated their professional relationship with a single .22 LR to the head.
                                                                                  The round impacted at the medial aspect of his left eye, tracked along his skull base, and exited just to the left of his spine, leaving him minimally inconvenienced overall. He healed completely without surgery and even retained his vision. Thankfully we got his newfound STD treated so that he could go forth and spread his seed yet further.
                                                                                   Wind, the most common cause of avalanches, can load snow 10 times faster than snowfall. Add the weight of just single skier or snowmobile to this and damages to the buried weak layer occur rapidly; not in a couple hours, but in a couple tenths of a second. According to the U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche Center, avalanches are responsible for more fatalities in our national forests than any other natural hazard.
                                                                                      The last 10 winters in the U.S. saw an average of 30 fatalities due to avalanches. These deaths are not limited to extreme athletes in remote stretches of mountain ranges.
                                                                                         Snowmobilers and backcountry tourers are the most likely to be involved in an avalanche. But anyone—hunters, hikers, and people just driving through the mountains—can be caught in an avalanche.
                                                                                          One of the biggest myths surrounding avalanches, often perpetuated in movies and on television, is that noise can trigger one. This is simply not true. It takes an extremely loud concussion, like that of a mortar shell used by trained snow mitigation teams to break a slab loose, to cause an avalanche. What really causes the snow to let loose are people.
                                                                                  Yet the Saturday fiasco, and the explosion of emotion that ensued, revealed that a culture of preparedness will only go so far in protecting the Aloha State from the ravages of nuclear war. It was also a raw reminder of Hawaii’s geopolitical role in the United States—a role that, for many in the kingdom-turned-territory-turned-state, is a source of deep resentment.
                                                                                  As if not being part of the United States would change the strategic importance of the Islands, or reduce the threat to them. 
                                                                                    About those "Third World s***holes" . . . allegedly described as such by President Trump:  allow me to say, I've been in far too many of them for comfort.  They are precisely as described:  s***holes.  They smell of s***.  All too often, the food tastes of s***, and/or is prepared in circumstances so unhygienic I have no doubt whatsoever that it is actually full of s***. 
                                                                                      Interestingly, Europeans seemed the most outraged about the alleged statement, yet I saw at least one story reporting on Britons upset over the crime rates in the UK being compared to those of s***hole countries, such as the Congo. (The UK does have an overall violent crime rate higher than any other European or Anglo country--including the U.S.). If those countries are so great, why would the English object to the comparison? 
                                                                                              Berlin fears the European Parliament's planned amendment to the so-called Dublin Regulation could see many more refugees settling in Germany, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.
                                                                                                 The Dublin Regulation requires people seeking asylum to register in the first EU state they enter, and for that state to assume responsibility for processing their claim. But if the proposed reform is passed, responsibility could shift from the arrival state to the EU country where any of the applicant's relatives live.
                                                                                                  Under such a change, "Germany would have to accommodate significantly more asylum seekers," said an Interior Ministry memo, quoted by Der Spiegel. Any caps on refugees would be "nullified," the memo added.
                                                                                            In other words, the immigration was fine as long as Germany could force other countries to bear the burden, but not so wonderful if Germany, itself, has to be accountable for its invitation to the third world to move on in.

                                                                                            Saturday, January 13, 2018

                                                                                            Open Carry of a Handgun -- Pros and Cons

                                                                                            (Source)
                                                                                                   It appears that the issue of whether to open carry a handgun in a holster versus concealed carry has become one of the contentious issues in the firearms world, ranking up there with .45 ACP versus 9 mm.

                                                                                                   As an example: I had posted recently about an incident in a North Carolina Walmart where a customer openly carrying a pistol had said pistol stolen ... from off his person! Fortunately, the thief apparently was only interested in the taking the handgun, and no one (yet) has been injured as a result of the theft. However, the incident prompted a short article at Bearing Arms urging gun owners to carry concealed. That article, in turn, gave rise to a scathing critique (and defense of open carry) by Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal. After reading these and other articles on the topic, and reflecting on the practice, I decided to inject my own 2 cents into the discussion and discuss the pros and cons of open carry versus concealed carry.

                                                                                            Open Carry: Pros and Cons

                                                                                                  The primary advantage of open carry is ease of access. You don't have to dig for the firearm because it is not in a pocket, under a shirt or jacket, or tucked under the cuff of your slacks in an ankle holster. The advantage of this mode of carry is even more obvious in cold weather when you would be wearing a buttoned or zipped coat. While it is not difficult to pull up the bottom edge of a t-shirt to grasp the butt of your pistol, it can be difficult or impossible to do the same with a winter coat. Drawing is (in theory) easier and more sure because clothing generally will not hamper the draw stroke. This (again, in theory) allows for a faster draw.

                                                                                                   Another advantage of open carry is that it can allow for carrying a larger handgun, such as a full-size service revolver or pistol. (Que the song, "Big Iron"). Basically, this all comes down to fact that the handgun does not need to be small enough to easily conceal under clothing or in a pocket. This may be an important consideration if you think you will need to deploy considerable firepower, be it better one-shot-stop capability (like from a .44 Magnum) or volume of fire (like a 17-round 9 mm). You can see again that colder weather favors open carry for the reason that you will want a handgun that can effectively penetrate winter clothing.

                                                                                                   The final advantage often touted for open carry is that it will (again, in theory) deter potential criminals. Frankly, I believe that this advantage is somewhat dubious. Yes, if a criminal sees the firearm where one was not expected, it may deter him from committing a crime. On the other hand, the firearm may be what attracts the criminals. I started out this post by noting an incident where an openly carried pistol was stolen. Unfortunately, while not common, this is not an isolated incident. Massad Ayoob  has noted incidents of police officers being waylayed so that some criminal could steal their weapon. And just a quick Google search turned up a few more instances from this past fall on the first page of my search results ("Off-duty Cleveland police officer attacked, gun stolen while working security at Taco Bell"; "NYPD Officer Jumped on Street by 4 Men Who Steal His Gun: Officials"; and "Gang member took cop’s gun, used it to steal car in Long Beach, police say"). I'm sure that I could have easily found more. While it is not clear that the Taco Bell incident was initiated for the purpose of stealing the firearm, the latter two incidents clearly where incidents where the officer was specifically targeted because the criminals wanted his or her firearm.

                                                                                                   That segues into what I consider to be the primary disadvantage of open-carry: loss of operational security (op-sec) and the fact that it draws unwanted attention. It is possible to open-carry discreetly: I've removed an outer jacket at family events, thus exposing my formally concealed carry pistol, and not had anyone notice. Mostly, this has to do with the firearm being carried so that it is obscured by the arm, and the color and size of the weapon and holster not sticking out. Grays and blacks seem to do a particularly good job of blending in and not attracting the eye. But by open carrying, you make it very likely that someone will see the weapon. This can result in a criminal specifically targeting you to steal the weapon or making a fuss about the weapon. (See "Open Carry Part II: The Case Against"). It also advertises the fact that you own firearms, and someone might follow you to see where you live to plan a later burglary. But, most importantly, it reduces your options should you be tangentially caught up in a crime, and immediately elevates the possible force.

                                                                                                   In his article cited above, Herschel Smith proposes that the speed advantage to open carry would be invaluable in a hold-up, such as at a convenience store. However, unless you were the specific target of the criminal, I would suggest that it elevates your risk. First of all, if the firearm is noticed, it forces you into playing a role in the event where you otherwise may have simply remained a bystander. Second, it heightens the tension of the situation, where it is more likely that lethal force may have to be used. Smith, for instance, imagines an situation where lethal force is needed to stop the criminal from shooting someone during a robbery. However, the more common scenario is that the robber(s) enters the store, demands money from the cashier, and hastily leaves. I, personally, would like to have the option to intervene rather than being forced to intervene.

                                                                                                   And this ties into the second problematic issue of open carry, which is that because the weapon is openly carried, a thief or attacker may specifically target the weapon and try to take it. Thus, you have a greater need for an effective retention holster, not to just keep the weapon from falling out as you move around, but to prevent someone from purposefully removing the weapon from the holster. There are many different types of retention systems and levels of retention (see "What cops need to know about 'levels' of holster retention"). I have a holster for a service revolver that not only has a thumb-break strap, but is stitched up in such a way behind the trigger guard that the firearm cannot be pulled or inserted from a rearward or straight upward angle. I would consider this the minimum for an open carry pistol. Certainly the passive retention offered by most Kydex style holsters, or a simple retention strap such as on a holster used by sportsman, is insufficient for open carry in public. On the other hand, if it is harder for someone to snatch a weapon from a holster, it necessarily becomes harder for you to draw the weapon as well. An extreme example of this are the holsters that use a flap to cover and protect a handgun. Thus my comment that open carry is, in theory, faster for the draw. In practice, you holster and its location can significantly slow a draw.

                                                                                            Concealed Carry: Pros and Cons

                                                                                                   The advantages and disadvantages of concealed carry are almost the opposite of open carry: a generally slower or awkward draw to clear clothing or jackets, typically a smaller weapon to allow concealed carry, but that the weapon is not displayed for all the world to see. Although most concealed carriers can get away with a holster with a low retention level, it is important to remember that in a physical tussle it will quickly become apparent to your opponent that you have a firearm. Thus, you still need to learn retention techniques and have a holster strong enough not to be torn loose or allow the handgun to come out.

                                                                                                    Another disadvantage, in my mind, is that, realistically, concealed carry generally requires different modes of carry, and perhaps even different weapons. For instance, on some occasions you can carry in a belt holster of some sort under a loose shirt; other occasions may allow a bigger weapon or more comfortable holster under a loose jacket; and yet other occasions may dictate carrying in a pocket or a belt pouch or purse. Conversely, open carry generally allows a consistent mode of carry.

                                                                                            Final Thoughts

                                                                                                   Obviously, if you want to make a statement by open carry or to exercise your right to open carry, you should. But I believe that concealed carry offers significant advantages for the person carrying a handgun for self-defense. Where open carry excels is in the forest and field, where a larger weapon is desired, or in cold weather where a concealed weapon may be extremely slow to reach.

                                                                                            Friday, January 12, 2018

                                                                                            Free Download: "Survival & Austere Medicine: An Introduction"

                                                                                            AusPrep is currently offering "Survival & Austere Medicine: An Introduction" (3rd Edition) as a free PDF download. The book, which is illustrated, runs 614 pages and is about 22 mb.

                                                                                            (H/t The Modern Survivalist).

                                                                                            Trump Shifts the Overton Window As To Third World Immigration

                                                                                                    Reports have come out that, during discussions between President Trump and various Congress-critters wanting to keep open-borders, President Trump supposedly questioned the wisdom of importing people from third world sh!tholes. (Originally, it was reported that he used the term in reference to Haiti, but it has been clarified that he used it in reference to Africa). 

                                                                                                   Of course, the press viciously condemned the observation, apparently reasoning that it was somehow racist and beyond the pall, notwithstanding the general approbation of similar comments directed toward white Americans--"deplorables," anyone? (See, e.g., this op-ed from The Atlantic and the comments to it). Thus, I was pleased that, instead of a universal "how dare he" there were many comments similar to this from Charlie Martin at PJ Media: "Third, no matter what Trump actually said, Haiti really is a shithole." Or this from Liz Shield:
                                                                                                    ... Congress reacted to the remarks and Tucker Carlson defended the president. 
                                                                                                     “The idea that you are not allowed to say that they’re pretty crummy countries, Haiti for example or El Salvador, I’ve been in both of them — that’s why people are leaving them to come here,” Carlson said. “So I don’t understand what the sin is. You’re not allowed to point out that other countries aren’t as good places to live as America?” 
                                                                                                     That's right. There are sh!thole countries. If you live in a country with an unstable electrical grid, crumbling infrastructure, or people dying from medieval-era diseases, that's a sh!thole. I wouldn't want to live there and that's why people in those countries want to GET OUT and come to America. The former president of the kleptocratic, corrupt country that looks the other way while its criminals traffic human children, weapons and drugs that kill Americans across our shared border responded to Trump on Twitter: “Your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world,” said Vincente Fox.
                                                                                                 The reason I'm encouraged is because it shifts the Overton Window--the range of acceptable political dialogue--so now we can consider whether the United States should function as a lifeboat for the dysfunctional third-world, or if we should limit immigration to those nations that are similar to us and to those people that would offer a positive contribution to America.

                                                                                            Thursday, January 11, 2018

                                                                                            January 11, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                            "Prepared Defender Takes it to Attackers"--Active Self Protection (2-1/2 min.)
                                                                                            Some carjackers had to quickly decide whether the victim's car was worth their lives, when the victim opened up with his handgun.

                                                                                            • "Concealed Carry: Inside the Waistband"--Loadout Room. This article by Destinee addresses some peculiarities of IWB carry for women and women's attire.
                                                                                            • "Review: DFNDR Armor- We Shoot Up Their Body Armor & Backpack Armor"--The Firearms Blog. So they tested rifle armor (level III) and pistol armor (level III+). Here is the key point, however: the rifle caliber rated plate weighs only 2.875 lbs.; and the pistol plate only weighs 1.3125 lbs.
                                                                                            • "Urban Camping"--Blue Collar Prepping. Tips on "camping" in an urban environment without having to shell out for a KOA Campground, including how to make sleeping in your car more comfortable, where to park your car or trailer (or set up a tent) so you aren't harassed by police or locals, etc.
                                                                                            • "Choosing the right kit"--Loadout Room. A discussion of plate carriers and load bearing vests. One of the important points:
                                                                                            Plate carrier, chest rig, battle belt, load barring vest? This is where you have to really look at what the kit is going to be for. If my “shit hit the fan” plan is to bug out on foot or I’m part of a long-range reconnaissance patrol, a plate carrier with 12 magazines is not what I want or need. Conversely, if I plan to bunker up and wait out the apocalypse or if I’m going to take part in a direct action CQB raid, I’m definitely going to want some form of armor and not a chest rig. Everything is subjective and can primarily be categorized as covert or overt at their respective starting points. From there, we break everything down into sub categories and individual needs. Just remember that situation always dictates the specifics.
                                                                                                    If I call, I expect your ass to show up, sober, trained, professional. I expect you to wade in with me or in place of me, and drag a child out of a hole, or out from a burning room, or actually stand up and block bullets from hitting said child, because by the time you get there, I'll have already done all that. And there will be field dressings, chainsawed trees, buckets and empty brass scattered about.
                                                                                                      I don't want to hear some drunk and confused guy squirming on the ground playing "Simon Says" terrified you so much you had to blow him away.  I don't want to hear that some random guy 35 yards away who you had no actual information on "may have reached toward his waist band. Or that "the tree might fall any moment" or that "the smoke makes it hard to see."
                                                                                                        Near as I can tell, I don't hear the smokejumpers, or the firefighters, or the disaster rescue people say such things.
                                                                                                          But it's all I ever hear from the cops. If you and your five girlfriends in body armor, with rifles, are that terrified of actually risking your life for the theoretically dangerous job you volunteered for and can quit any time, then please do quit. 
                                                                                                            You can get a job doing pest control and go home safe every night.
                                                                                                      In many states, cops aren’t statutorily designated as “law enforcement officers.”  They are more properly classified as “Peace Officers.”  We are charged with keeping the peace in the community and protecting our residents from both hazards and criminals.  We use the law as a tool to help us accomplish the goal of keeping the peace.  Cops who mindlessly “enforce the law” may or may not accomplish the goal of “keeping the peace.”  It’s a crap shoot.
                                                                                                        Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                        • "The Birth of the Professional Veteran"--Breach Bang Clear. The author discusses the rise of firearm and self-defense experts whose only qualification is that they served in the military, but lack the maturity and/or skill to teach. He notes, for instance:
                                                                                                          The assumption that every operator can teach is a huge misconception. Would every NFL player would make a good coach? Another thing to look at is the number of coaches who never actually played professionally. Being operational is merely a part of the resume that can help a good shooting instructor. I’ve seen guys who were powder burning, hard charging operators who could not teach a kid to tie his shoes. Everyone wants to learn from the pipe hitter, but you may end up spending more time listening to him sell himself to you rather than teaching you anything.
                                                                                                          • Related: "How Does Technology Affect Which Men Women Choose?"--Selonomics. Key point: "Given that women are primarily interested in status, which is a positional good, then any technology that amplifies [women's] ability to be noticed by high status men, will also increase mating inequality."
                                                                                                          • Interesting: "High doses of vitamin D rapidly reduce arterial stiffness"--MedicalXpress. The article reports: "Participants taking 4,000 international units - more than six times the daily 600 IUs the Institute of Medicine currently recommends for most adults and children - received the most benefit, says Dr. Anas Raed, research resident in the MCG Department of Medicine and the study's first author." The participants taking the 4,000 units had the greatest benefit, while there was still a benefit at 2,000 units. However, participants taking only 600 units actually saw their arterial stiffness increase slightly.
                                                                                                          • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Israeli mastermind behind organ trafficking ring is arrested in Cyprus"--Deutsche Welle. From the article:
                                                                                                                     Police in Cyprus have arrested an Israeli man described as the ringleader of a world-wide organ trafficking network that operated out of the tiny Balkan country of Kosovo several years ago.
                                                                                                                        Moshe Harel is accused of luring donors from eastern Europe, Turkey and the former Soviet Union to Kosovo, promising to pay them €12,000 ($14,500) for a kidney. He then allegedly charged people (most of them Israelis) in need of a kidney as much as €100,000 for the implant.