- Because of body armor and suicide vests: "The Face Is The New Target"--Gabe Suarez. He writes:
All my pistol practice is to the face/neck area. I target the area we call "Center Of Face" or COF for short. I no longer worry about center of mass chest shots unless they are truly, completely unexpected, reactive shooting events filled with extreme surprise and close range emergency movement. And even then...my objective is to achieve a face shot as soon as possible. If there is even a tenth of a degree of preparation or proactive process, its a face/neck shot immediately.
- "OPINION: Remington 870 TAC-14 is BETTER than the Mossberg 590 Shockwave"--The Firearms Blog. The choice of which is "better" seems a little arbitrary to me, but it is a nice comparison between the two firearms. The primary difference which seems to have given Remington the "win" was a steel (rather than aluminum) receiver and better finish.
- "The Myth of GLOCK Perfection"--The Truth About Guns. Noting some of the downsides to Glocks (including the plastic factory sights). I think that Glock obtained its reputation because, when it was introduced, there were not too many guns that were reliable right out of the box. I never liked the angle of the grip on the older generations, but I like the Gen 4.
- Just a reminder that there is no such thing as a "be all, do all" cartridge: "300 Blackout – What are you good for?"--Fleeting Survival. The author answers his own question, which goes back to what the cartridge was designed for: suppressed SBRs and easy switching from sub-sonic to super-sonic (just switching the ammunition) on suppressed firearms with no adjustment of the gas system necessary. The .300 is not a long range cartridge and, as Nathaniel F. has noted at The Firearms Blog, is actually inferior to the 5.56 at medium to longer ranges in terms of speed and energy. Where the cartridge shines is from a short barrel (16 inches or less) or pistol length barrel at 150 yards or less.
- "JTT: The Ten Cent Solution to Over-Gassing"--Breach Bang Clear. One of the downsides to using a suppressed AR apparently is gas shooting into your eye from around cocking handle. The author presents an inexpensive solution (more than 10 cents, though) to make your own seal to stop the problem.
- The ATF's recent letter clarifying its position vis-a-vis the shouldering of pistol braces brings us around to this question: "AR-15 Pistols for Home Defense?"--American Rifleman. I think there are better options for home defense, but what about roadside/vehicle defense. I am, of course, thinking specifically of the incident a few years ago of the group of motorcyclists in New York City that chased down the driver of an SUV and beat him.
- "Three Items All Gun Owners Should Have (Aside from a Gun)"--The Truth About Guns. These being: (1) an understanding spouse (or partner); (2) money; and (3) living in a state with relaxed gun laws.
- Most of you have probably heard about Springfield Arms' and Rock River Arms' special carve out to a proposed Illinois law (SB-1657) which will require all gun dealers to obtain a license (atop their federal license) from the State, and impose other onerous requirements on gun dealers. The carve out, which excepted large manufacturers and retailers from the bill, was negotiated by the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA), a lobbying group whose only members were Springfield Arms and Rock River Arms. The bill only passed out of committee because IFMA withdrew its opposition, and won passage in the Illinois Senate by a single vote. Springfield and Rock River are claiming ignorance of what their lobbyist was up to, and have declared that they are leaving the IFMA and committed to defeating the bill when it comes before the Illinois House of Representatives. To them, this probably appears to be a win-win situation: if it passes the House, they will have their carve out, and if it fails, they can advertise how much they supported the NRA in attempting to defeat the bill. However, it has generated significant backlash--and there is the real potential it could result in a sales slump such as nearly drove Smith & Wesson into bankruptcy after its then owners made a deal with the devil on how it would sell its firearms (as you may remember, S&W's owners were forced to sell the company at pennies for the dollar). The Truth About Guns has had good coverage, some of which is linked below in chronological order:
- Must read: "Man Testifies Against Gang Member Who Shot Him, Gang Kills Him"--Anonymous Conservative. The relevant background, set out in more detail in the linked article, is that a businessman in Charlotte, NC, was going to testify against the members of the United Blood Nation (UBN) gang which had tried to rob him. Thinking that with him dead, the case would be dropped, the gang reconnoitered and killed the man. I'm not going to try to summarize it, but the Anonymous Conservative has some excellent IMHO tips and suggestions for recognizing and responding to such reconnaissance and a targeted hit. One point, however, sticks out:
Notice how his primary solution is to buy more guns. Guns are great, but you also need information to alert you to the attacker’s approach, and a plan to disrupt the surveillance on you. If you don’t see their attack coming, and if they are able to easily surveil you and plan an easy approach to attack you, your guns will be of no use. Guns are great, but with intel-gathering, if you do things right you will never need them and if you do things wrong, they may very likely be of little use.
Read the whole thing.
- "Number of potential terrorists in Germany on the rise, report says"--Deutsche Welle. "Citing numbers from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the paper reported that there are currently 657 people believed to be capable of carrying out a terror attack. According to the BKA, this number has quadrupled since the start of the war in Syria." These are just the "known wolves."
- "Iran Using U.S. Cash To Fund Unprecedented, Massive Military Buildup"--Weasel Zippers. As the author notes, this will be Obama's real legacy.
- Protests continue in Venezuela as opposition party members question whether imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is still alive (he hasn't been seen by anyone in a month) and Maduro moves ahead with changes to the Venezuelan constitution.
- Related: "Venezuela Is Heading for a Soviet-Style Collapse"--Foreign Policy. A look at how a country so rich in natural resources--especially oil--could be facing such economic ruin. Looking for a historic precedent, the author looks back at the Soviet Union and its collapse shortly after a steep decline in oil prices:
But the deeper problem for the Soviet Union wasn’t the oil price collapse; it’s what came before. In his book Collapse of an Empire, Russia’s great post-Soviet reformer Yegor Gaidar pointed out that during the long preceding oil boom, Soviet policymakers thought that they could walk on water and that the usual laws of economic gravity did not apply to them. Soviet policymakers didn’t bother developing a theory to make sense of their spending. They didn’t even bother paying attention to their results. The math seemed to work out, so they just assumed there was a good reason.
This is as true of the current Venezuelan leaders as it was of the Soviet leaders. The Venezuelan government, though it doesn’t claim to be full-fledged in its devotion to Marxism-Leninism, has been pursuing as absurd an economic policy mix as its Soviet predecessor. It has insisted for years on maintaining drastic price controls on a wide range of basic goods, including food staples such as meat and bread, for which it pays enormous subsidies. Nonetheless the Venezuelan government, like the Soviet Union’s, has always felt it could afford these subsidies because of its oil revenues.
But as the oil price has fallen by slightly more than half since mid-2014, oil incomes have fallen accordingly. And rather than increase oil production, the Venezuelan government has been forced to watch it decline because of its mismanagement of the dominant state-owned oil company, PDVSA.
- Islam's reformation: "Egypt and the End of the Secular Middle East"--American Conservative. In the last century, the traditional governments of many Muslim states were replaced with secular governments primarily as a result of a desire to Westernize or by being replaced with Communist/Marxist inspired leaders. These secular governments are being replaced one-by-one by fundamentalist Islamic groups. The author focuses on Egypt, but also notes the transformation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Although the Egyptian army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood backed government in Egypt, the growing attacks on Coptic Christians has the potential to undermine Egypt's military government. Writes the author:
In the new post-2013 environment, there are multiple reasons why Christians are such a natural target for Islamist terror. ... Given the strength of the Egyptian military and its strong intelligence networks, it is natural for jihadis to choose soft targets—poorly defended places and institutions—where the goal is to kill the maximum number of civilians. Once upon a time, Western tourists would have been the obvious targets of choice, but such visitors are no longer much in evidence. By default, then, Coptic Christian churches and communities are attacked.
But Christians have many other virtues as terror targets, fitting as they do into the Islamist global mythology. According to the propaganda vision of ISIS and like-minded groups, such attacks show the guerrillas to be Islamic warriors heroically struggling for the faith against its idolatrous enemies, who are also intimately linked with a corrupt and tyrannical regime. Moreover, anti-Christian terror serves to divide Egypt along religious and sectarian lines while offering the added bonus of infuriating the West. If attacks became sufficiently common, we might expect to see Upper Egypt sliding into overt sectarian conflict as Christian and Muslim militias battled.
But another agenda is also at work, as church attacks place Egyptian security forces in a dreadful quandary: How much repression can they properly launch against bloodthirsty terrorism, without appearing to take the side of Christians against Muslims? ...
- Because Africa was noted for its great universities and public schools prior to colonialism? "Kikwete: 'Africa inherited poor education from colonial masters'"--Deutsche Welle.
- Hell must have frozen over: "A common talking point about African Americans’ views on crime has been debunked"--Washington Post. The Washington Post is debunking a favorite leftist argument that the justice system is too harsh when it comes to punishing blacks. From the article:
- I've been travelling on business the past couple of days. Yesterday, while getting a quick bite to eat at a fast food restaurant, I happened to sit at a table next to someone that I discovered was a trucker, talking to someone I presume to be his wife or girlfriend. I hadn't intended to listen in to their conversation and, in fact, was doing some reading while eating my meal. But he was pretty loudly complaining to his companion about trucking companies, and it was hard not to overhear the conversation. His complaints had to do with trucking companies trying to squeeze out more profit by intentionally overloading shipments to transport more cargo on a given trip. The truckers knew it, the companies knew it, but they expected the truckers to simply break the law. Just something to keep in mind.
- "Why It’s Impossible For Any Group To Be ‘Inclusive’"--The Federalist. Inclusiveness is illogical, violating the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and the excluded middle. Thus:
When black activists and voters protest police shootings of African Americans, their conservative critics often respond that what African Americans should really be protesting is black-on-black crime.
That criticism runs afoul of basic facts. The assumption that African Americans are somehow “soft” on crime is sharply at odds with new scholarship suggesting that, in fact, African Americans have long supported tougher penalties for crime.
In his new book, Locking Up Our Own, Yale University Law School Professor James Forman Jr. points out that in national surveys conducted over the past 40 years, African Americans have consistently described the criminal justice system as too lenient. Even in the 2000s, after a large and sustained drop in the crime rate and hundreds of thousands of African Americans being imprisoned, almost two-thirds of African Americans maintained that courts were “not harsh enough” with criminals.
To be an inclusive community one must be a community in the first place; and to be a community in the first place, one must have certain definitional criteria that follow the most basic laws of logic. Otherwise, the value of inclusion is, quite literally, nonsense, and, if followed to its (il)logical end, means demanding that communities include even those who would destroy their distinctive identities.