- TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Links and comments to articles on safe dry fire practice, TSA security theater, how pocket .380s are coming to dominate the small pistol market, shooting from the ground/on your back, surviving nuclear fallout, and more.
- Related: Given the popularity of .380 pistols: "What's The Best .380 Ammo?"--Alien Gear Holsters Blog. Although it doesn't necessarily do as well as other defensive rounds in ballistic gel tests, I was very impressed with the Federal HST's performance on Paul Harrell's "meat target," and decided to use it for my .380.
- "The 21-Foot Principle (Not Rule!)"--The Truth About Guns. Key point:
What was Dennis Tueller trying to teach us with this 21-Foot Principle? By reading the original article and watching subsequent interviews with him, one can easily glean what Mr. Tueller had in mind.
His first point was “tactical alertness,” or what we might call situational awareness today. The quicker the defender recognizes the threat, the sooner he can take some soft of defensive action. Next, the ability and awareness to be able to move yourself to cover. That might mean an obstacle or anything between you and an advancing threat. Next, draw the firearm as soon as possible. Don’t wait any longer than necessary to get your sidearm in play. Issue verbal challenges immediately. Powerfully delivered commands may be enough to deter an assailant and will certainly aid in the officer’s justification to use deadly force if it comes to that. Finally, Mr. Tueller recommended, “consistent, repetitive practice,” in one’s draw stroke. The more skilled an officer is with his or her equipment, the greater their reactionary gap.
- "Skills Check: Lever-Action Demi-Presidente Drill"--Shooting Illustrated. A practice drill for those of you that are intending on using a lever-action carbine or rifle for home defense. The author writes:
Start by loading the carbine with four rounds in the magazine tube, chamber empty and hammer down. You’ll need two additional rounds in a pocket or in cartridge loops on your belt. Starting from a muzzle- depressed position, run the lever as you point in and fire two shots on the first target and two on the second. Now here’s the interesting part: You have to load two more rounds and fire them on the third target. Do you want to load them in the magazine or drop them in the open action and load and fire them one at a time? Which way is quicker? Which way is easier? Try both ways and find out what works best for you.
The author suggests a par time of 10 seconds with targets at 15 yards.
- Related: "Cowboy 101: How To Run A Lever-Action Rifle"--Gun Digest. The basics of using the lever action for defense or hunting, including the topics: Condition; Loading and unloading; How to mount; Firing; Preventative maintenance; and Clearing a stoppage.
- "'CASTLE' DEFENSE REVISITED"--Modern Service Weapons. The author is revisiting the topic because he had come across suggestions or guidelines advancing "the view that deadly force is usually to be rejected as the instinctual, pre-planned reply to the discovered presence of one or more home invaders in the 'castle.'" The author rejects this position for several reasons, not the least of which is that most homeowners will have little or no experience for dealing with violent criminals up close, and, besides the fact that they will generally have no legal duty to retreat, may not be able to do so. Anyway, read the whole thing.
- Castle doctrine in action: "Idaho officer killed in Utah in fight over ex-girlfriend"--KTVB. The Idaho Falls police officer was upset when a man began a relationship with the officer's ex-girlfriend. The officer decided to confront the man and was shot after entering the man's home uninvited. Police in Layton, Utah, are treating it as a justified homicide.
- "From the Library"--Mountain Guerrilla. Five book recommendations from Mosby.
- While you are at Mosby's website, check out his article on "Combatives Concepts." One of his insights:
Contrary to the ads in the back of 1980s adventure magazines like Gung-Ho, New Breed, and Soldier of Fortune, there really isn’t any martial art—outside of combat shooting—that will allow the 90lb woman to wreck her 225lb, ex-convict, powerlifting, Golden Gloves boxing rapist. It’s not gonna happen. It never has happened. It’s bullshit.
On the other hand, there are a whole lot of examples, including verified citation accounts, of 165-185lb cornfed Marines, beating 110# Japanese Imperial Army soldiers to death with rocks, steel pot helmets, entrenching tools, and Kabar knives. This, despite the fact that the IJA soldiers presumably had considerably more judo training (since it was part of primary school curricula) than the Marines had. Size and strength really do matter.
The same thing of course, can be said to apply to examples of big, athletic American soldiers in the GWOT, when they beat the shit out of an Iraqi insurgent and kill or capture him in unarmed combat. The current Modern Army Combatives Program’s emphasis on jujutsu sure doesn’t hurt, but it’s hard to specifically quantify how critical the MACP training was, when the GI outweighs his opponent by 40-50 pounds—before you add the weight of body armor and LBE.
Notwithstanding, Mosby recommends that a person have some combatives training. A lot of stuff in his article. Read the whole thing.
- "Practically Tactical: Maximizing the Common Shotgun for Defense"--The Survivalist Blog. The author discusses using the shotgun for home defense, and offers suggestions as to barrel length, some other modifications you might want to make, and choice of ammunition. If you have a bird hunting gun with a long barrel, I agree that you need to get a shorter barrel (18 or 20 inches). As far as ammunition, based on my research, I would avoid bird-shot or lighter buck-shot rounds; because of its availability (including lighter recoiling rounds), #00 is the overall best choice.
- "The Shotgun Slug"--Priority Performance. The author explains that because of the softness of the projectile, he doesn't look at slugs for increasing penetration, but wants increased range. In that regard, he writes:
My primary purpose for a shotgun slug is extending range. After that, I want the slug to be “shootable’, and allow for quick follow up shots if necessary. The slug that I have found to meet the criteria the best is the Fiocchi 7/8th ounce low recoil Aero slug. Now, another cool thing about the Brenneke slug is that they do not have a traditional wad design that detaches from the slug. The payload stays together as it travels downrange. Fiocchi uses a similar wad design. It is attached to the slug and does not separate after leaving the muzzle. The Fiocchi slug being light for caliber (most 12ga slugs are 1oz) and low recoil, means it shoots really soft, but still really flat. There is not any significant difference in my POA/POI from 25yd to 50yd. So while perhaps not the most mainstream choice, I have found the Fiocchi slugs to shoot really well out of my shotgun and it seems to check all the boxes I look for in a slug.
- "More Second Amendment Tea Leaves From the Supreme Court"--The Truth About Guns. Hints that SCOTUS may be preparing to slap down lower courts that treat the Second Amendment as a third-rate civil right. I'm not holding my breath, though.
- "India to cut water to Pakistan as Kashmir conflict escalates"--DW. Given the flooding in Pakistan, it may have plenty of water ... for this year. But if congenial farmers and ranchers can turn into murderous fiends over water disputes, how are two nuclear armed countries that hate each other going to act?
- The wages of
sinsocialism: "One dead and 12 injured as Venezuelan troops open fire on civilians as they step in front of Maduro's army convoy to try and keep the Brazilian border open for aid"--Daily Mail.
- "The Constitution, Star Trek, and Threats to Freedom . . ."--Wilder, Wealthy and Wise. A discussion on the First Amendment and a question: "Are there ideas that are so insidious that they are dangerous to the liberty that the Constitution is supposed to protect?"
- In partial answer to the preceding question: "What's Wrong With Britain?"--PJ Media. From the article, lots of questions:
Have they really -- 1984 style -- developed a blindness to the evils of Islam and a perverse conviction that it's their own native culture that's the menace? Are they so devoted to multiculturalism that they're willing to be complicit in the destruction of any number of girls' lives -- and willing, too, to sell out centuries of British freedom, fairness, and justice -- in order to see it flourish? Are they so imbued with that famous British politeness that they dare not speak up against even the most blatant of evils? Are they just plain cowards? Or is the difference between the Brits and their burka-forbidding neighbors rooted in British imperial history? In other words, is it post-imperial guilt, fed by anti-Western schooling and the poisonous BBC, that is leading the British, in remarkable numbers, to grovel to Islam even more shamefully than their counterparts in most of the rest of Europe?
- "Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance"--Chicago Magazine. This is a 2011 article, but still worth the read. An excerpt:
At some of the meetings, the politicians arrived with campaign materials and occasionally with aides. The sessions were organized much like corporate-style job fairs. The gang representatives conducted hourlong interviews, one after the other, talking to as many as five candidates in a single evening. Like supplicants, the politicians came into the room alone and sat before the gang representatives, who sat behind a long table. “One candidate said, ‘I feel like I’m in the hot seat,’” recalls Baskin. “And they were.”
The former chieftains, several of them ex-convicts, represented some of the most notorious gangs on the South and West Sides, including the Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Cobras, Black P Stones, and Black Gangsters. Before the election, the gangs agreed to set aside decades-old rivalries and bloody vendettas to operate as a unified political force, which they called Black United Voters of Chicago. “They realized that if they came together, they could get the politicians to come to them,” explains Baskin.
The gang representatives were interested in electing aldermen sympathetic to their interests and those of their impoverished wards. As for the politicians, says Baskin, their interests essentially boiled down to getting elected or reelected. “All of [the political hopefuls] were aware of who they were meeting with,” he says. “They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was get the support.”
- The continuing chronicles of the decline of civilization: "Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically"--Wall Street Journal. From the article:
... a survey by Fusion Media Group found that half of millennials viewed gender as a spectrum. “These scripted ideas of what a man and woman should do are breaking down, and therefore what they’re wearing no longer has to follow those rigid lines either,” said Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director of Bloomingdale’s.
Translation: we hope to get men to buy large quantities of clothes like women do. But what happens if the opposite happens, and women decide that they can get by with just a couple pairs of jeans and few T-shirts?
- Instapundit linked to a couple of articles that seem an appropriate follow on to the foregoing:
- "Study: Physically Weak Men More Likely To Be Socialists"--Daily Wire. It's an r/K thing.
- "Tip: Low-T Men Are Angry and Moody"--T Nation. Sorta like women?
- "American Democracy in Crisis: The Fate of Pluralism in a Divided Nation"--Pew. Notwithstanding the title, the survey shows that Americans are pretty tolerant of diversity in most of its flavors. One big change, though, was increased intolerance for people of different political beliefs:
When faced with the prospect of their child marrying someone who identifies with the opposite political party, Democrats are likelier than Republicans to say they would be unhappy. A plurality (45%) of Democrats say they would be unhappy if their child married a Republican, while 35% of Republicans say they would be unhappy if their child married a Democrat. This is a stark difference from 1960 when fewer than one in ten Republicans (4%) or Democrats (4%) said they would be displeased if their son or daughter married someone of the opposite party.
- "China’s illegal ‘white monkey’ foreign models paid to bare skin and be gawked at as marketing prop"--South China Morning Post. From the lede:
Professional foreign models and performers can make a good living working in China.
Securely employed, with contracts and work visas organised for them, they are eagerly sought out by big brands and other businesses, and enjoy all the benefits of expatriate life in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou.
In the wilderness of smaller provincial cities, however, the picture is different. There, another breed of foreigners, working illegally, appear at bizarre promotional events mockingly called “monkey shows”. The foreigner is essentially a marketing prop – exhibited to be gawked at and photographed, like a monkey in a cage.
- Not monkeying around: "US Air Force F-35s wrecked their enemies in mock air combat — even the new pilots were racking up kills against simulated near-peer threats"--Business Insider. Apparently the F-35A can do all that its proponents claimed.
- "Be Careful When You’re Writing about Evil"--MFA in a Box. The author writes:
People of the Lie is a good book until about halfway through, when Peck starts ranting about some of his evil patients. They would never do what he told them to do. They were pathologically lazy. They lied when it would have been easier to tell the truth. Everything that they said or did was in essence perverse and grotesque and malignant.
I didn’t doubt Peck’s sincerity when he diagnosed these patients as evil, but to my reading, when he had stopped seeing evil as a condition that could be cured, he lost the ability to deal with it. Instead he saw it as a poisonous substance, and once it lodged in a human heart there was no getting rid of it. When Peck saw it, he didn’t want to cure it. He wanted to destroy it and the people who had been tainted with it.
That thought frightened me. I had liked to consider evil as a reflex, a striking back at a world that had wounded. Children aren’t born evil, was the way I looked at it. They had to be taught to be evil by being damaged by people who had been damaged in their turn. Somewhere back there was original sin, and original sin simply began a long line of people who hurt other people after people had hurt them.
But after People of the Lie, I began to think that M. Scott Peck had seen something in his consulting room that he couldn’t explain away with rational psychoanalytic theory or even cause-and-effect, and it had shaken him to his core, and that his book was his way of throwing words at something unnameable. He had stared at it for as long as he could, notebook in hand, but then he had lost control and started screaming.
- His future is so bright, he needs to wear shades: "'Youngest person' to ever build a nuclear reactor: Boy wonder, 12, made a working atomic fusion experiment in his parent's spare room using $10,000 worth of parts from eBay"--Daily Mail.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced"--MIT Technology Review. From the article:
The twins, called Lulu and Nana, reportedly had their genes modified before birth by a Chinese scientific team using the new editing tool CRISPR. The goal was to make the girls immune to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Now, new research shows that the same alteration introduced into the girls’ DNA, deletion of a gene called CCR5, not only makes mice smarter but also improves human brain recovery after stroke, and could be linked to greater success in school.
“The answer is likely yes, it did affect their brains,” says Alcino J. Silva, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose lab uncovered a major new role for the CCR5 gene in memory and the brain’s ability to form new connections.
“The simplest interpretation is that those mutations will probably have an impact on cognitive function in the twins,” says Silva. He says the exact effect on the girls’ cognition is impossible to predict, and “that is why it should not be done.”