Monday, November 22, 2021

New Defensive Pistolcraft Post

 Jon Low published a new roundup of articles and commentary this past Wednesday. Jon began his post with one of my favorite Bible verses:

     “Then Jesus said to His disciples, whoever does not have a sword should sell his coat and buy a sword.”

– Book of Luke 22:36, New Life Version of the Bible

     This is a transliteration of an ancient text.  The sword was the standard sidearm of the time.  Jesus is saying that self-defense is more important than staying warm in the winter.  A modern translation would be, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, whoever does not have a pistol should sell his smart phone and buy a pistol.” 

 My only quibble is with his choice of the pistol as the modern equivalent of a sword. The common civilian self-defense arm of the period--one that could be carried at all times and carried concealed--was the dagger. It was also the "backup" weapon for soldiers. On the other hand, the sword was the standard infantry weapon of the Roman legions, and too large to conceal, and so I would suggest that the modern equivalent would be an assault rifle. 

    Speaking of being armed, Jon cites an American Handgunner article that states that more than 10% of adults in 15 states have a concealed carry license. The highest rate is in Alabama by quite a long shot, followed by Indiana and Iowa. Of course, as the article notes, with the passage of "Constitutional carry" in 21 states, there is no way to know how many persons regularly carry a concealed weapon.

    Jon notes that has upgraded their servers so it is easier and more pleasant to watch their videos on defense topics. And, speaking of videos, Jon has linked to a nice little 2017 video on the history of "assault rifles" by Liberty Doll, which also discusses how deceptive are politicians in the way they use the term and the claims about the semi-auto AR-15 style weapons.

    Jon repeatedly points out throughout his post that there is no "one right way" but that we need to learn, practice, and figure out what works for us. (This doesn't mean that there are no "wrong" ways, though!). As a good example of this, Jon writes that he had read the book Be Fast, Be Accurate, Be the Best by Bill Rogers, much of which deals with reactive shooting. Jon goes through certain points and gives his thoughts and critiques that are worth the read. One thing he raises that I did not know is that "[t]he checkering on the front of [pistol] trigger guards is a design feature to appease the U.S. State Department import requirements.  Pistols have to have so many 'features' in order to be imported into the U.S." I know that placing the forefinger of your offhand over the front of the trigger guard was popular at one time, but I didn't realize the design was to satisfy the "sporting purposes" provision. Not a surprise though; the infamous finger grooves on Glock pistols were added for the same reason.

    Jon gives the same treatment to The Modern Technique of the Pistol by Greg Morrison. 

    Jon excerpts from an email from Mike Ox about some things that you should figure out to maximize your effectiveness in a real gun fight. 

    Jon cites a Pew article for the following: "The year-over-year increase in the U.S. murder rate in 2020 was the largest since at least 1905 – and possibly ever." This will only further drive demand for firearms as more and more people realize that the police won't--or can't--save them.

    Heh: "Racking the slide rather than pressing the slide release tab is because the slide might not be locked back, and it is essential to use a technique that works in all conditions.  Gross motor skill vs. fine motor skill has always been a silly argument." I have to agree. The fact that you can drive a car under stress is proof that fine motor skills don't have to evaporate in a real gun fight. (Heck, think of how complex it must be to fly an aircraft and that fact that military pilots can still do so while under fire). It's the practice that makes the difference.

    Jon gives a bunch of suggestions to make your pistol more user friendly in a defensive situation, including changes to a manual safety (if you have one), removing sharp edges, and more.

    A point that Jon raises is that " being a good shooter and being a good instructor are two entirely different skills.  They are not necessarily orthogonal, but they are usually independent.  A good shooter may not understand what he is doing.  So, he may not be able to explain what he is doing to a student." I'm not saying that I'm a good shooter, so please don't take it that way, but I've noticed many occasions when teaching my kids to shoot that I've had to take the firearm away from them and shoot or try something myself and actually analyze what I was doing before I could teach it to them. There are a lot of things we do subconsciously. My appreciation for my father's teaching ability has gone up over the years as I've realized how hard it is to be good at teaching firearm skills. And while I thought at the time that what he was teaching was probably "old-school," his handgun methods were actually cutting edge for the time.

    I think one of most important points raised in Jon's post: some "don'ts" in regard to self defense courtesy of the Tactical Professor:

  • Don’t go outside to investigate noises in the night.
  • Don’t challenge people who are not on your property.
  • Don’t shoot someone in the back when he is running away from you.
  • Don’t make comments on a public forum that you think this kind of behavior is justifiable and/or commendable.
The first one needs to have some additional context, in my opinion. The Tactical Professor's list was from all the wrong things that a man committed when he heard noises at night, went to investigate, saw some kid burglarizing a neighbor's car, and shot and killed the juvenile. The point isn't really that the guy went outside to investigate but that he decided he had to intervene; and, more to the point, the guy decided to intervene by using deadly force to stop a property crime. Although there are some states otherwise, most jurisdictions do not allow a person to use lethal force to protect property. Whether you agree with it, that is the law. That doesn't mean that you have to do nothing if someone is trying to torch your home or your car while you are in it, but someone trying to steal a car, vandalize a mailbox or whatnot, does not present a credible threat of grave bodily harm and, therefor, is not legally a target of lethal force.

    I would disagree with a hard rule about not investigating, although others think differently. If you have livestock, you definitely want to investigate so some predator doesn't kill your livestock. A canine might well get in a killing mood and slaughter a whole flock or herd. And even if it is just a property crime being committed, just yelling or shining a light on the perpetrators may be enough to scare them off--if nothing else, you might be able to get a description. Although the neighbors ignoring Kitty Genovese's cries for help was made up by the New York Times, I wouldn't want to be the type of person that could ignore such an incident. But that is where a hard "don't investigate" rule would lead.

    As to the last point--not making comments on public forums supporting the use of lethal force against someone committing a pure property crime--the reason should be obvious: such comments will be found and will be used to show intent on your part should you ever need to defend yourself. As it states in 1 Peter 3:10 (underline added): "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"

    Anyway, there is a lot more in Jon's post, so be sure to check it out.

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