Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 11, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

"Use Objective Standards To Improve Your Defensive Shooting!"--Active Self Protection Extra (11 min.). I've seen a lot of articles and videos lately about why it is important to use shot timers or other tools to measure your actual performance in order to help you improve. It's like the difference between sprinting a 100 meters and saying, "I ran that pretty fast," and actually using a stop watch. Nevertheless, as I've said before, shooting a gun is not rocket science, and there are a lot of things that go into a successful self-defense; and draw time or the length of your split time between shots is not even near the top.  Another example, Greg Ellifritz recently wrote an article about a drill--the Hateful 8--where a good score really depended on how fast you could reload your firearm. He observed, however, that "[t]he chance of an armed citizen or off duty cop needing a spare magazine in a gunfight is almost unheard of." Having said that, if you are serious about wanting to improve, you need to know where you currently stand, which requires objectives measures--just as pointed out in the video above.

  • Matthew 7:3-5 seems applicable here: "The 'Summer of Snitches'”--Active Response Training. The news has been full of stories and articles recently about people calling cops for trivial matters. The reason for the news coverage is because most of the incidents reported are instances where a white person has called police on something a black person was doing--like mowing grass, selling water bottles, and such like. The purpose of the news stories are something to beat whites with and make them feel even more guilty for the "original sin" of being white. However, Greg Ellifritz discusses in this article that these types of incidents--regardless of ethnicity--are actually quite common, and suck up police resources while interjecting police into situations that don't warrant law enforcement. It further has the ugly feedback of negative attitudes toward police because they are hassling people for trivial things. Ellifritz describes the types of people:
In every community, there is a significant minority of residents who are the self-appointed “guardians of the rules.” When a rule is broken, no matter how trivial, these people become outraged and call the police. It makes no difference if the rule breaker is not causing trouble for anyone.  Just the fact that someone is breaking the rules makes these people incensed.
Christ taught that the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. We no longer live in an "eye for an eye" world, and I think the Lord would look pretty well on how charitable are most Americans, so perhaps a better rendition of this commandment for modern day America is "don't be an a**hole."
        America has a greater tendency to self-organize and form spontaneous organizations.  This was very strange to me when I came to the US first: Everything from sewing circles to local civic organizations uses Robert’s Rules of Order.  And everyone belongs to some group that has self-organized to do something of mutual interest.
           More than that, when a disaster happens, people start taking care of it themselves before the official authorities arrive. The last one I experienced was a wind storm where well before the authorities started clearing the roads (we lived downtown Colorado springs) neighbors were roaming the streets with chainsaws, wanting to help you clear your driveway or side street.
              But I experienced the same when I lived through Hugo in Charlotte, NC and through other disasters major and minor.
                Yes, sure, I know there are people in this country who will sit and wait for the government.  We all lived through Katrina, okay?
                  Yes, I know, people in the comments will tell me that their countries have the same specialized organization, or someone will cite some study that says America lags behind in initiative and self-organization.  Take a powder, will you?
                   I have actually lived in, or still socialize with and have friends in other countries, and I can tell you this level of self-organization is not only unheard of, but it’s not understandable by most people in most other countries.
                      You might find pockets of it, like say in the island in Australia where my friend Dave Freer lives, but it’s not a society wide thing.
              • "Defensive Shooting: How to Find a Gun That “Fits” You"--U.S. Concealed Carry. Some may be dismissive at the notion that gun "fit" is a real thing, but the modern double-stack 9 mm are, in many cases, too large to be used to their maximum effectiveness. The Beretta 92 is notorious for having too large of a grip (especially in the wood stock versions) for most people to comfortably hold, let alone get the necessary leverage to work the long double-action trigger. (But, if you can, it is a great handgun). But many other firearms (thinking the Sig 226 here) have the same problem. Or, as the author of the article cited above writes:
                       Firearms instructors out there, have you noticed how many shooters these days have fat butts?
                         I’m sorry—I meant their pistols have fat butts. The proliferation of pistols with high capacity, double column magazines has created problems for many shooters, who have handguns that simply do not fit their hands. 
                    If the shooter cannot correctly hold his or her firearm, it may lead to more issues than simply that of being uncomfortable:
                      One often overlooked aspect of this problem is the compromising of mechanical reliability. Especially on pistols with plastic or aluminum frames, the shooter’s wrist bones and forearm bones need to be behind the frame to provide resistance against rearward movement of the frame during the cycling of the slide. If the frame moves to the rear as the slide does, the slide will not come back hard enough to reliably eject the spent round or feed the next one from the magazine. The term “limp wristing” is often used to describe the cause of this malfunction, but it is a misnomer. The shooter may have plenty of grip strength and a locked wrist, but if the bore line is significantly offset from the wrist bones and forearm bones, these malfunctions may occur.
                        Anyway, read the whole thing.
                                 “Immigrants -- legal and illegal -- are crowding out U.S.-born teenagers in the labor market,” according to the report from Steven A. Camarota, director of research at CIS, and demographer Karen Zeigler.
                                     In his analysis, Camarota found that employers are seizing on older immigrants, often over 20 and with some working experience, instead of U.S. teens to fill summer jobs. And another driving factor, he said, may be that immigrants are willing to work for a lower wage.
                                         While good for immigrants, he cited research that it can be devastating for U.S. teens. Shut out of a summer job, they often have difficulty in the workforce for years.
                                             “Teens employed in high school earn more than teens who did not work in the first year after graduation, with wage differences tending to increase over time. Also, teens who were employed in high school are more likely to be employed and work more hours during the year, with a significant relationship between hours worked in high school and subsequent hours worked and wages earned,” said the report.
                                                What's more, he added:
                                          "Researchers have identified several reasons why working as a teenager creates so many short- and long-term benefits. Holding a job as a teenager seems to instill the habits and values that are helpful in finding or retaining gainful employment later in life. This may include showing up on time, following a supervisor’s directions, completing tasks, dealing politely with customers, and working hard. Learning good work habits and values seems to become much less likely without holding a job at a young age. Once a person who has little or no work experience reaches full adulthood, learning these skills seems to become more difficult. Other factors also may explain the benefits of early employment. Teenagers may gain social contacts on one job that provide them the opportunity to find their next job as their career develops. In some cases, teenagers may even acquire specific skills that make them more employable, such basic auto repair or learning to be a short-order cook. Whatever the reason for the benefits of teenage employment, they are large and long-lasting."
                                                   Ancient humans appear to have reached northwestern China about 2.1 million years ago, and they lived there for hundreds of thousands of years, according to a new study published Wednesday in Nature. It suggests that hominins migrated out of Africa much earlier, and spread much farther east, than once thought.
                                                    Previously, the earliest ancient-human presence outside of Africa had been a Homo erectus fossil found in a cave in Dmanisi, Georgia. It was dated to 1.85 million years ago. This newly discovered community of early humans lived roughly 250,000 years earlier than that group, and did so 3,500 miles to the east.
                                                      “We need to rethink when hominins first left Africa,” said Robin Dennell, an archeologist at the University of Sheffield and one of the authors of the paper. “We have shown that the earliest evidence from outside Africa is at least 2.1 million years old, and therefore 250,000 years—or 10,000 generations—older than Dmanisi in Georgia.”
                                                        “It’s so old that the earliest members of our own genus, the genus Homo, may have migrated out of Africa,” said Michael Petraglia, a professor of anthropology at the Max Planck Institute who was not involved in the new study. These creatures would have likely been Homo erectus; or possibly even Homo habilis, the first ancient primate to be called Homo.

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