Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 11, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Team Patrol Formations"--Max Velocity Tactical (21 min.)

"Team Patrol Formations: Position of the Team Leader"--Max Velocity Tactical (28 min.)

  • Be sure to check out this week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Greg Ellifritz. Lots of good stuff on survival, self-defense, and firearms training in this one. Be sure to check it out.
  • I was going to use this article even before reading Ellifritz's post, so bear with me: "Concealed Carry and Using Public Restrooms"--Range365. The author begins by noting how common it is for people (CCL holders and police, even) to forget a handgun in a bathroom stall, and he links to several articles as examples. He then moves on to some practical tips: don't leave it on the back of the toilet/the toilet paper dispenser/handicap rail/etc.; don't hang it by its trigger guard on a coat hook; and use a holster that it can't fall out of when you drop your trousers. And he adds: 
Now that you have a proper holster, keep it attached to whatever it was hooked onto in the first place. If it’s on your belt, keep it there. By applying some tension to your belt as you drop trou [sic], you should be able to maintain the gun in an upright position, in its holster, while you lower your pants or skirt.
Also, he warns: 
          When you release your belt buckle, the weight of your gun will unwind your belt. Quickly. Under those conditions, even the best gun belt in the world will flop and your holster will probably flip upside down.
            If you carry a semi-auto, most of the weight is in the grip area because of all those cartridges in the magazine. When the belt goes slack, gravity does the rest. As long as you’re prepared, that’s no big deal. Just get in the habit of either keeping pressure on the belt or supporting the holster when you loosen the belt.
      Finally, the author warns about people being able to see under the stall door or walls, or through a crack, and spot your firearm. He suggests using a stall that is adjacent to a real wall and furthest from the entrance, or using one of the individual "unisex" or "family" restrooms that are becoming increasingly common.
               I've tried pinching the belt between my legs when sitting to keep it from coming undone, but the most effective way I discovered to keep the belt from unwinding and falling was to use a belt with a buckle that was too big, or almost too big, to go through my pants loop, and feed the belt so the buckle is on the same side as the holster. Thus, the belt can't simply unwind from my pants and fall to the floor due to the weight of the holster and gun.
             As a general rule, when a barrel is stamped “223 Rem,” it has a SAAMI-spec chamber, and as noted above, it is intended only for non-serious purposes. Tight chambers boost accuracy but have no place on high-capacity, military rifles.
               Conversely, when the barrel is stamped “5.56×45,” it has a looser NATO chamber, with adequate leade, or freebore (this is a short section of bore just ahead of the chamber that is not rifled, allowing the bullet to jump off the case before it engages the rifling). The combination of generous chamber dimensions and adequate leade is intended to prevent stuck cases, broken extractors, and pressure-spikes in autoloading rifles, particularly when they get hot.
                Of course, loose chambers yield slightly less inherent accuracy than tight chambers. However, for serious purposes, this accuracy compromise is insignificant.
              The author then goes on to the 7.62 NATO versus .308, which is actually the opposite of the .223/5.56; that is, "[m]ilitary chamber dimensions for 7.62×51 NATO are actually tighter than the those for the original '308' chamber dimensions." Thus, the author recommends that if you have the opportunity to pick a barrel for a defensive rifle, you get one in .308 over 7.62x51 (NATO) to give you the most flexibility in using ammunition.
              • "First Look: CMMG 9 ARC Magazine"--Shooting Illustrated. I mentioned these recently as a good option for a 9 mm upper on a standard AR lower, because the ARC magazine is a standard size AR magazine and doesn't require a magazine well insert. This article, however, indicates that the ARC magazines will only work with CMMG's proprietary 9 mm upper. If correct, that is disappointing.
              • "Best Wood Splitting Maul: Getting The Best Bang for Your Strike"--Survival Mastery
                       A maul, also referred to as a sledge axe, block splitter, block buster, and axe is a heavy, long-handled hammer/axe used to drive stakes or wedges and splitting. One side of this cutting tool takes the shape of a sledgehammer while the other side takes the shape of an axe. Usually, the best wood splitting maul is equipped with a head that weighs approximately eight pounds.
                       As far as splitting wood is concerned, this tool is superior to a typical axe. The weight of the head plays a bigger role when cutting wood because it helps to prevent the axe from being trapped in wood. Usually, the difference between a sledge axe and a normal cutting axe is clearly observed on the wedge. The wedge is somewhat convex to circumvent jamming. 
                    I made the mistake of buying a cheap Harbor Freight maul years ago which was pretty much unusable because it came to such a dull, rounded edge. I tried to sharpen it, which helped somewhat, but to get it the proper shape was going to take too much time at the grindstone to be worth it.
                            Payne's biggest mistake was deciding to act like she was a police officer, because it started the sequence of events. If she felt she needed to get involved, she should have simply gotten the license plate number of Herring's vehicle and a description, and notified police. If you start to do something stupid, you need to stop before it gets worse.
                             This also appears to be a situation where the CCL holder faced off against someone that would not comply with her orders. This is just a guess, but I suspect that her default was to go for the gun. 
                        • I've linked to this article before, but since summer is right around the corner, it behooves us to revisit this subject: "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning"--Soundings. The author writes:
                                 ... Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.
                                    The Instinctive Drowning Response, so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect it to. When someone is drowning there is very little splashing, and no waving or yelling or calling for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents). Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.
                            * * *
                            • Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is a secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
                            • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
                            • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
                            • Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
                            • From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response, people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs. (Source: On Scene magazine: Fall 2006 page 14)
                                     This doesn’t mean that a person who is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble — they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long, but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, reach for throw rings, etc.
                                       Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
                                • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
                                • Head tilted back with mouth open
                                • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
                                • Eyes closed
                                • Hair over forehead or eyes
                                • Not using legs
                                • Hyperventilating or gasping
                                • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
                                • Trying to roll over onto the back
                                • Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder
                                  So, if a crewmember falls overboard and everything looks okay, don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look as if they’re drowning. They may just look as if they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all, they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents — children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you need to get to them and find out why.

                                  Note: the manufacturer has not submitted the plates for NIJ testing, so take that into consideration. On the other hand, in the test conducted in this video, the plate defeated everything thrown at it, including the M2 AP round from a .30-06 at 15 ft (which is basically what the NIJ requires). Because it is a composite ceramic and polymer plate, the weight is fairly light.

                                  Can you spot the differences?
                                  If nothing else, you might want to save his list of scholarly articles that support the theory that Diversity + Proximity = War.
                                  • Speaking of the Left's mantra's about diversity: "Is diversity strength?"--American Thinker. From the article:
                                           ... Racial and other quotas are used by universities and professional schools for admissions and by corporations and governments for employment.  These policies are said to augment the laws against discrimination.  But ironically, they end up actively discriminating, typically against white males. 

                                             An insidious form of forced diversity is the lowering of standards for its own sake.  For example, if not enough of certain minority groups can meet the requirement for the police or fire departments, the standards are defined ispo facto as discriminatory and adjusted downward.  The same applies for the acceptance of women in combat military service.  Ditto with college admissions.  It's a given that forced diversity leads to lower standards, and lower standards invariably lead to poorer performance. 
                                      [F]our films, all in Arabic, were made on behalf of the Foreign Office, and all begin with a mosque skyline and melodic chants of “Allahu Akbar”, the start of the Muslim call to prayer. They are unapologetically religious, eager to show Arabic-speaking Muslims how welcoming Britain is, how Islamic institutions exist in Britain to cater to their cultural and religious traditions, as a friendly home from home.
                                      But she laments the country's supposed intolerance now. If I were to answer her question, I would say that in the 1960s, the English did not know what was going to happen to their country, but now they do. On the other hand, they were warned.
                                      The Boomer Age is drawing to its close.  When one speaks of this group, it tends to mostly focus on white Boomers (not that others are outside the group, but to such a great extent, it really does mean those of mostly European background, if for no other reason than they have been the largest demographic group).  When that age does end, we will see an ever dwindling European demographic majority in many Western nations (Canada and the USA are almost certainly the first, soon followed by a variety of European nations).  That significant point of majority will be fading, as the numbers precipitously drop until below 50%.  The question looming then is, what is next?  Will it be the glorious Brave New World of harmonious multiculturalism or an uneasy balkanization that trends ever more to tribalism and violence?  Based on existing evidence and studies, I believe that it will be closer to the latter.
                                      I don't think it will be as long even as the author describes, because he is only looking at demographics on a national level. That 50% threshold was crossed long ago in many of our largest cities, and some of our most populous states (e.g., California) are about to enter minority/majority status. Because of our federal system, these states will be able to exercise greater and greater control over the national fisc ... unless a bloc of smaller states forms to stymie the larger states' ambitions. On top of this, the author is only considering racial demographics, without considering other social and political factors. The Left loathes the Right and rapidly moving to the position that the only acceptable outcome is to have all political power in their hands.
                                      By analyzing the volcanic rocks at Yellowstone, researchers discovered that rhyolite lava flows were “highly clustered in time,” with eruptions taking place in episodes. In one phase of activity there were seven eruptions over a period of around 1,000 years. The team now hopes to further refine these episodes—including the timing and length—and build this into volcanic hazard assessments for Yellowstone.
                                            'What has happened at STEM is awful. But it’s not a statistic. We can’t be used as a reason for gun control. We are people not a statement,' one said in footage broadcast by KUSA.
                                               Another added: 'We wanted Kendrick to be mourned. We wanted all of you to join us in that mourning, but that was not allowed here. We all walked out. We were not kicked out.' 
                                        Mental illness certainly seemed to play a role in this. For instance, one of the shooters was 16-year-old Maya McKinney, who is "transitioning to a male" and goes by the name Alec. In another twist, it also appears that the shooters would bully younger students, and had "joked" on multiple occasions about shooting up the school.
                                        According to a new study published in The Lancet, the reason is partly because of travelers. The large volume of international flights arriving daily makes L.A. the second most vulnerable county in the country to the measles outbreak. 
                                        It appears to be the case that the majority of white immigrants into the  American British colonies between the years 1630 and the American Revolution in 1776 were slaves or indentured slaves who often remained slaves beyond their term.  In other words, depending on the death rates of white slaves, most white Americans today are descendants of former slaves.  Jordan and Walsh report that two-thirds of white immigrants from the British Isles were slaves for life or for a contracted period. It is an American myth that the colonies were settled by free men and women. “The truth could not be more different,” write Jordan and Walsh [authors of the book "White Cargo"]. “The freedoms of modern American society evolved only gradually from enforced labor and penal servitude.” 
                                        I was aware of the use (and abuse) of the indentured servitude providing slaves for the New World. Heck, that was the background for one of my favorite books, Rafael Sabatini's novel Captain Blood. And most students of American history are aware that Georgia was originally established as a penal colony. But I was not aware that such a high percentage of the "colonists" were, in fact, indentured servants. Unfortunately, given our current racial tensions and conflicts, the European slaves had trouble with the hot and humid conditions of the Southern and Caribbean colonies, and tended to die quickly. This is the reason that the plantation owners eventually turned to Africa as a source of slaves.
                                        Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services—the state agency that provides child protective services—has a practice of obtaining blank emergency custody orders pre-signed by judges. Social workers then fill out the documents with the necessary information after they've been signed by a judge and then use them to take custody of children from parents who have come under investigation. Let me repeat that: no judge actually reviews these orders, or the evidence used to justify separating a family, before signing them.
                                        I could see this happening with Red Flag orders.
                                        • "Immigration Idealism"--by Matthew Schmitz at First Things. Schmitz notes that Western leaders have idealized (or, perhaps, idolized), immigrants while concomitantly holding the native (generally white, I would add) working class in contempt. He continues:  
                                               It is impossible to understand the Western response to migration without understanding its basis in a certain form of liberal Christianity: a Christianity that reduces the gospel to an abstract law of love, ignoring much of Scripture—and reality.
                                        * * *
                                                In the run-up to World War II, men inside and outside the Church invoked the gospel to justify appeasement and pacifism. After his own flirtation with the idea, Reinhold Niebuhr came to believe that pacifism was “unable to distinguish between the peace of capitulation to tyranny and the peace of the Kingdom of God.” In the name of an abstract “law of love,” pacifists abandoned their duties to God and man. They refused to recognize that a fallen world can never be free of conflict. This was bad politics—and bad religion. 
                                                We are making a similar mistake today. Faced with a historic surge of migration, Christian leaders have misread the gospel and misjudged human affairs. They have done so with the best of intentions. Just as Niebuhr’s contemporaries were correct to say that Christians must be peacemakers, today’s churchmen are right to say that we must welcome the stranger. Each theme is inescapable in Scripture and demands the Christian’s obedience to the point of pain. But obedience is never so simple as renouncing violence or refusing to defend national boundaries. In an imperfect world, peace must be protected by strength of arms, and welcoming the stranger entails preserving the society that might welcome him. 
                                        * * * 
                                                 Immigration idealists fear that any distinction between citizen and alien, national and foreigner, will revive the bloodiest ideologies of the twentieth century. Just as fear of past mistakes motivated Niebuhr’s contemporaries to veer from Christian militarism to an equally disastrous pacifism, our churchmen risk going from a malign nationalism to a well-meaning but disastrous anti-nationalism. In both cases, a deficient understanding of citizenship is to blame. ... By invoking their heavenly citizenship, Christian pacifists shirked their earthly responsibilities. 
                                                Immigration idealists do the same. Along with Church and family, the political community is one of Leo XIII’s “three necessary societies, distinct from one another and yet harmoniously combined by God.” Our possession of a heavenly citizenship is no reason for disdaining the political community, ...
                                               Rather than acknowledge each man’s need for a political home, immigration idealists valorize a kind of homelessness. ... 
                                            * * * 
                                                Christians need a response to migration that does not merely baptize liberal ­pieties. The richest resource is in Question 105 of the Summa, where Thomas Aquinas discusses the justice of the Israelites’ laws governing the treatment of foreigners. He observes that certain commandments, such as “The Ammonite and the Moabite, even after the tenth generation, shall not enter into the church of the Lord,” may strike us as cruel and seem to conflict with more universalist statements in the Old and New Testaments. But for Thomas, God’s commandments are never arbitrary or unjust. 
                                                 Thomas makes several distinctions. The first is between travelers and migrants. Both should be treated with respect, but people seeking to settle in the community can only be welcomed as citizens if they fulfill certain conditions. They must, first of all, have the common good of the community at heart. It is for this reason, Thomas says, that certain people who had settled in the land were not given citizenship until after the third generation. 
                                               Thomas also distinguishes among migrants based on the nation and culture from which they come. Those whose nations of origin had “close relations” with the Israelites, such as “the Egyptians, among whom they were born and educated, and the ­Idumeans, the children of Esau, Jacob’s brother,” were to be admitted to the Israelite community after the third generation. Those who came from historically hostile peoples, such as the Ammonites and Moabites, were never to be welcomed as citizens. 
                                                Unlike today’s immigration idealists, Thomas makes a sharp distinction between the spiritual and political communities. The former was open to all comers. The latter was not. “The Law excluded the men of no nation from the worship of God and from things pertaining to the welfare of the soul,” he writes. “But in temporal matters concerning the public life of the people, admission was not granted to everyone at once.” Grace knows no boundaries, or distinctions between nations. A just immigration policy follows a different logic. 
                                                 Our Christian leaders take neither Scripture nor political reality as seriously as Thomas did. Conflating the openness of the Church with the openness of society, they imagine that immigration preferences based on shared history and culture are unjust—though their justice and prudence are demonstrated in Scripture. They conflate the welcome given the traveler with the different and more demanding welcome given the aspiring citizen. 
                                               A just immigration policy will recognize that whereas the Church welcomes all comers, no nation can. It will insist that migration policy give preference to those who share the history, culture, and creed of the welcoming nation. It will recognize that those who are, by reason of history and belief, hostile to the host culture cannot really aspire to join it. European states should not forget that they are, in Pierre Manent’s phrase, societies “of a Christian mark,” impressed with an indelible character. The same is true of America.  
                                                Above all, a more realistic immigration policy will recognize that not everyone can or should be ­admitted to any political community. Despite what some seem to believe, neither the United States nor Europe is a Celestial City from which no weary pilgrim can be turned away. Sentimentality about ­migration should be rejected as firmly as anti-­migrant bigotry. 


                                        1. Starts with Heartiste, ends with you and me.


                                          Happier thought: google "wood grenade" - those are far superior to wedges. Or wedgies.

                                          1. Good idea. Thanks. I had to take down an old fruit tree this spring, and the wood is dense and still drying out, but I would like to be able to split it so it dries faster.