The Potential Problems With Open Carry

inside-chipotle630

 

*Disclamer1* – This is being filed in the “Guns” and the “Police” categories. I am not a police officer, in fact my experience in LE is limited to watching “Cops” reruns, the movie “Super Troopers” and a ride along I did with my buddy where I was instructed to “Stay in the car, unless I start getting my ass beat, then I need you to give me a hand.” I am a career firefighter, 13 years of service and other than a gun lover, that’s all I clam to be. I am writing this as it is an issue that I see LE face and it is being caused by a group of gun owners, however it effects us all, so here we are.

*Disclamer2* – I am extremely pro 2A. Probably more so than you are. True story!

I am writing this because of a misunderstanding on our Facebook page over this post:

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I had a disagreement with a follower that I don’t think really was a disagreement, I just don’t think our points were clearly enough drawn-out. I am writing this post here because I feel this is actually a very common issue and here is a great chance to air it out. You see the first thing that many pro 2A people see is someone having an issue with a particular open carrier, and they assume that you then have an issue with all open carriers. That is not the case! I will go on to explain below.

First, let me start by saying that there are 2 different types of open carriers. The first type is made of true Patriots who bleed Red White and Blue and piss Freedom. These are people who know their rights are God given and recognized by the United States Constitution. Their intentions are simply to open carry, and are usually (I hate painting with a broad brush, but this isn’t profiling, it is statistics) very down to earth people who are pleasant to talk to. There is no agenda here with this group. A tell tale way to distinguish this type of Open Carrier is that any run in they might have had with the law will usually be retold verbally. These are the folks I have no issue with.

Now lets talk about a second type of open carrier. This type is a different breed with different motives. They are attention whores who publicly give most all of us responsible gun owners a bad name, let me explain. This second type is out for one thing and one thing only and that is conflict. Their guise is that they are doing it in the name of education, or to rub their rights in the faces of the general public. You see, these guys walk around in public not with a handgun on their side (which in most places can be carried in the ready to fire condition inside of a holster) but instead with a rifle over their shoulder which is usually, in accordance with law, unchambered. Their primary choices are AR-15 rifles and AK variants as those are publicly recognizable and they know that the typical brainwashed non pro-gun bystander will assume it is of course fully automatic and dial 911 in a full panic. They don’t choose to do this with a shotgun or bolt action rifle, because that won’t get the reaction they are looking for, which leads me into the second thing these guys are armed with. Somewhere on their person in the ready to go position is a video camera, ready to record conflicts with LE. These guys brush up on the ins and outs of the law, things like when they have to produce identification or answer questions. No matter how friendly or polite the cop they encounter is being with these guys, they always reply in very frustrating way reciting lines over and over vs engaging in actual conversation.

Now you might be one of the aforementioned second types, if you find yourself getting frustrated as you read this, you are probably who I am talking to. I’ll answer your question that I already know you are asking, “If I’m not breaking the law, then what is the issue?” Well, for starters you are setting out with a loaded gun in search of conflict. Now you aren’t planning on using that gun in said conflict, instead your weapon of choice is a video camera and YouTube. The gun in your case is simply being used as bait. And that ladies and gentlemen is the problem, you are knowingly using a gun to look for trouble. This goes against everything I as a member of the responsible gun owner crowd stand for. I carry a gun every day of my life outside of work, and do absolutely everything in my power to avoid conflict. Being armed should NEVER be a basis for seeking conflict, this is in every way stupid and could end up getting someone killed.

You are probably shaking your head and thinking: “But, but, but, it is my right!” Well, here is the thing about freedoms, they aren’t without consequences. You have freedom of speech, walk up to the biggest guy you can find and tell him that his mother took real good care of you last night. You will become quickly aware that your actions do in fact have consequences. The reactions you get from police while walking down the sidewalk wearing a kilt (backwards mind you, pleats go in the rear, apron goes in the front) with an AR strapped to your back is a consequence of you choosing to be so careless with your rights. The police have a responsibility to investigate calls that are made to 911. The public safety community simply does not have the luxury to decide which calls they respond to, and are responding blindly sans the information the caller(s) provided.

I want to also point out that this second type of open carrier, in their quest to seek attention, is the type that will flood a business mistaking a “guns not prohibited” policy with a “these guys love guns just as much as we do” policy. Time and time again their actions have forced the hand of these establishments to pick a side as they were being thrust into the spotlight being hailed as “pro-gun” when in fact they were neutral. These businesses honestly had no stance on the subject, they did not and probably still would not care about guns as they were not causing a problem for them. That is until you and your Facebook/Call of Duty buddies invaded the place, dressed in your fresh from Ebay, made in China Airsoft tactard gear, and started to hurt their wellbeing as you were driving away their customer base. Yes, you were making it hard for some of your fellow Americans to provide for their families. Once again, your freedoms do not come without consequences, and in this case the consequence effects anyone who carries a gun, not just some jackass who wants to have a gun circle jerk party at a coffee shop.

In conclusion I want to say this, I have argued time and time again with anti-gunners stating that they were simply uninformed and members of the gun community were some of the most genuine, good people they would ever encounter. I still stand by this comment, as most of the people I encounter exemplify that opinion. However the majority are easily drowned out by a small but vocal minority who go out of their way to show off how big of an asshole they can be by posting videos of their shenanigans on YouTube. I mean, if someone else wanted to publicly “exercise their right” of freedom of speech by walking down the road shouting insulting words, you would probably label that person as a _________(insert your word of choice here). While this is one way a person can “exercise your right” of freedom of speech, you could also do it in a way that isn’t so abrasive to others by showing a little thing we call respect, and (gasp) still have all of your freedoms intact. Here is the thing guys, if you are hell bent on making a point, I’ll give you a piece of advice. You can still make your point without being a total douchbag in the process. Yes, it is possible to talk in a civil manner to your fellow man and still stand your ground, maintain your rights, and even educate others. If those things were ever your true intent it shouldn’t be a hard thing for you to do, unless of course you are just looking for conflict, and hoping for a chance to cash out in a lawsuit, in which case I honestly hope reading this helps you realize what a piece of shit you really are.

– Stache

My Rebuttal to a Anti-Gun Author’s Own Rebuttal

jiFfMEver notice how quick folks from the anti gun crowd are to insert their foot in their mouths after making a dumb comment? With the exception of some exceptionally hard heads, the first one that came to my mind would be Piers Morgan. Some of the most level headed and responsible arguments I have heard come from people who are in fact pro gun, while a few exceptions aside most of the argument that comes from the “ban guns” crowd relies heavily on over inflated, missing, or skewed numbers, a gross misunderstanding of how guns work, emotional response, inciting mass hysteria and phobias, demonizing those who they feel are supporters of only the rights they have issues with, and outright lies. You see in today’s digital age too many people fall for the bait on the shiny hook when it comes to information, that’s why The Box O Truth, Mythbusters, and Snoops do so well. For some folks doing “research” on a meme they see on social media involves heading over to Snoops.

The latest such example comes from an otherwise unknown opinion piece writer of The Gazette Newspaper out of Iowa. Lynda Waddington had a terrifying experience at a book store. She saw the print of what she believed to be a gun under a mans jacket. Immediate paranoia and hysteria (notice a trend here folks) followed as she immediately began to scan this gentleman top to bottom hoping to see a hint of a badge. Now I’m going to pause for a moment here to surprise everyone and give her credit. In today’s anti cop society it is actually in a very awkward way a breath of fresh air that she hoped the armed man was a police officer not a law abiding citizen with a CCP. Pause over, game on. In her fear she then reaches for her purse going as far to pat it as she feels this is a tell tale sign that she too is also carrying, which is obviously an outright lie (I hope you guys are keeping count here). Some how this bluff makes her fell safe when she is faced with what could be a person with a not so well concealed gun who may very well be a LEO, as she says many times she has no clue who he could be as different scenarios kept playing out in her head. She also goes on a bit of a lecture about the psychological wellbeing of someone who feels they need to carry a gun in a store, which I find funny considering I question the psychological wellbeing of someone who pats their purse to give the impression that they are carrying a gun. This outright lie of course is fueled by an emotional response (OK, I’m done spelling it out).

She then goes on a tangent about gun laws. She notes that there is a sign that says “no weapons allowed” on the door to this book store. Which depending on exactly where she is in Iowa she is, that sign could have as much merit as a unicorn, and could have even less if the gentleman in question was a LEO. She also attacks Iowa’s CCW permit process stating that there is no required range time. But of course responsible gun owners everywhere are to be held to blame for that, not her elected political figures, but I digress. Fact is, most people who own firearms, and go through the hoops of getting a permit to carry enjoy shooting them. While there are some LEOs out there who are also “gun people” for a majority of them it is just part of the job. Much in the way that an accountant probably doesn’t go home and play with a calculator just because he enjoys pushing the numbered buttons. This is a generalization of course just as I expect to be hammered by some LEOs who are “gun people” I halfway expect to get a nastygram from an accountant posing for a selfie with his favorite calculator. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t say something that everyone agrees on, and you ought to have thick skin when speaking on a platform that will be heard by a large number of people.

Her bantering continues to include wanting to see maintenance records of the firearm being carried. I’m sure she would get a kick out of some of the creative ideas folks have had when they do the Glock Torture Tests on YouTube. I am pretty serious about the physical working conditions of my guns, but I’m also a realist. My guns show wear from use, but not abuse, and all function flawlessly. If they don’t they get repaired or they get gone. Lets be honest for a minute, even guns in need of repair are pretty safe in a holster, pointed at the ground. I’m not sure where her fear comes from, perhaps there is a gross misunderstanding of the way guns work (cough, cough) kinda like the way people look at a burning car and just assume that it is going to blow up like in the movies (but only in one of those slow motion sequences where someone is running away from the car and gets blown away towards the camera like a flying squirrel).

I find it funny that her piece is titled “Why Your Gun Makes Me Nervous,” because as a law abiding citizen who carries a gun every waking day of his off duty life, I could care less how my gun makes you feel. My God given right as recognized by the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution trumps your feelings in every way shape and form. The anti gun crowd is mighty quick to demonize groups like the NRA and sing praises to groups like Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety or whatever Bloomberg named it. These groups are quick to point out the NRA’s budget and lobbying ability but one funny thing is they will never admit that the NRA’s budget comes from a very LARGE group of supporters, whereas MDA and Everytown is mostly funded by a single rich guy who hates guns.

Now let’s look at the backpedalling shall we. In an attempt to justify herself Lynda writes a new piece stating she writes from a “centrist position.” I still feel the burning in my sinuses from the hot coffee I intended to drink as I read that. She is still “sticking to her guns” (or at least patting her imaginary one) about her stance on her state’s gun laws. Writing in her newspaper she feels is more effective than writing to her elected officials. In fact she isn’t “advocating Iowa raising the bar” at all for the curriculum, which brings me to the conclusion that the way I was raised must differ from the way she was raised. I was always told to have a solution to bring forward with the problem you are bringing forward, otherwise you are just complaining or as my own dad (the Drill Sergeant) so elegantly put it “being a whinny little bitch.” But I would never call Lynda that, because I was raised better.

In her own rebuttal she also goes on to say her first piece wasn’t “anti gun.” Remember that coffee incident I told you about earlier? It is a good thing it happened then otherwise it might have happened as I read that. Of course Lynda goes on to say she was raised around guns and has no problem being around most people who own and use them. It is the people who are disrespecting firearms, carrying it incorrectly, or who are being “sloppy with their holster” she gets concerned with. Apparently wearing too tight of a jacket while carrying a CCW is on the long lost missing third tablet on what we thought was the 10 commandments of gun safety. And I surely hope all of you responsible gun owners out there aren’t being “sloppy with your holsters” because I hear mustard stains are a bitch to get out. Of course nowhere in her assault on Iowa CCW permit holders does she mention anything about how changing ANY gun law will impact on the criminals who are carrying illegally to begin with. She also has a surprisingly noticeable lack of any numbers that backup any of her fears, because skewing or omitting actual statistics and instead typing with raw emotion is right up her kind’s alley (I swear I’ve heard that somewhere else). Don’t feel bad Lynda, even after issuing an illegal executive order, the CDC couldn’t even agree with your side.

I want to thank you for reading my rant, I hope it sheds some light for some of those out there. As always,

Till next time

– Stache

Accidental Discharges DO Happen

Although it is truly a rare event, there are honest to God accidents that take place without negligence being a contributing factor. We, being the gun culture, tend to be an “eat our own” breed to begin with, so when news breaks about an unintended discharge the automatic response is to correct folks who might call said unintended discharge “accidental.” For the majority of incidents, this is a correct assessment. Guns don’t typically just “go off,” though if your finger (or anything else that fits inside the trigger guard for that matter) pulls the trigger it will in fact go bang, hell, that’s what it is designed to do! But what about the times when there was no fingers near the trigger at the time of the “unintended” discharge? Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways this sort of thing can happen! And at it’s most basic principle this is why we always keep our bore pointed in a direction that we deem safe.

If you are having a busy day at the range, a cook off can be a potential example. During a cook off a chamber is left with a live round in it after it has been shot enough times to produce enough heat where it can, over a short period of time, ignite the powder in the gun without the primer needing to be struck. This can happen when the gun’s safety is on, and nobody is touching the gun. There can sometimes be defects that are to blame, such as a “high primer”, an occurrence that takes place when the primer is not fully seated into the primer pocket during the manufacturing process. In a semi automatic design it is possible for the face of the bolt to hit this exposed primer hard enough to cause an out of battery discharge. Many of you have probably at some point experienced a similar situation with a semi automatic rimfire, which is usually noticed as a very quickly fired pair when the trigger was pulled only once. On the rimfire gun this can often be linked to the gun being dirty and the firing pin sticking.

A reader asked about the accidental discharge I witnessed. I was working at a small shop as an apprentice gunsmith. We had a few customers in the shop and both myself and the shops owner/chief gunsmith went to assist on the sales floor. During that time a gentleman brought in a small Bersa chambered in 380ACP and simply said it wasn’t working. The salesman first checked the firearm to ensue it was unloaded. By the time the shop’s owner could get over to take a look at it the traffic in the shop had died down significantly. I was about 4 feet away as I watched him asking the guns owner questions as he began to trouble shoot the problem, which started with him also checking the firearm to ensure it was clear. This was a visual inspection of the chamber, and from my point of view I would have agreed this gun was in fact clear. After a series of questions and answers that narrowed down the guns symptoms greatly from “it doesn’t work” to “it will not fire or eject.” we asked him if he had any of the bullets he was using. He produced a box of 32ACP and immediately we knew where the issue lied. I loaded his empty magazine with red “snap caps” in 380ACP and handed it to the gunsmith. Here is where things went a little crazy. Mind you the Bersa had been checked by 2 people and had been laying with the action open right in front of us the entire time. The gunsmith picked up the Bersa and gave a quick glance at the empty chamber as he inserted the magazine loaded with the solid aluminum dummy rounds. Keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction with his finger nowhere near the trigger he pulled back on the slide and released it attempting to chamber one of the snap caps. What was heard next was a loud pop. A round had just fired out of the gun.

On further investigation we found exactly what had happened. One of the 32ACP rounds had gotten itself lodged in the chamber, the rim of the cartridge head was physically stuck at the very end of the chamber where the rifled barrel began. It was stuck in there so well that even as the gun was pointed almost straight up with the action locked back as the magazine was inserted, it didn’t budge. The point of the snap cap hit the primer with enough force to set the round off. Now, between the unsupported chamber and the amount of gas that blew by the bullet as it was fired, the energy was extremely low. Did it have enough power to kill someone? Probably not, but I’m not volunteering to find out. This was a true accident, and it was without injury because despite everything that happened by a freak accident, the most fundamental rules of gun safety were still followed. Here we had a gun that was physically checked, twice by one person and once by a separate person, and for that matter I was looking right at an empty chamber from my point of view. I feel confident when I say that 99% of the people out there would have concurred with that assessment.

So where am I going with all this? Nowhere I guess, I was asked about a story and in a longwinded and hardly on topic way I answered that question. What I can tell you is that from that day forward I physically ran a dowel down each gun that came across my bench, rather it be in for a cleaning or for something completely unrelated to the operation of that gun. They say every gun is loaded until YOU prove otherwise, but I guess the question you got to ask is “loaded with what?”

Until next time

-Stache

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*Notice on the bullet a lack of deformity. It wasn’t going fast enough to hurt itself. Also notice the flared casing as the .380 bore was significantly larger than the outside diameter of that cartridge. Lastly notice the primer and it’s lack of a typical primer strike. The dome shape came from the solid aluminum 380ACP dummy round that was forced into it as the pistol went into battery.

 

Complacency, The Silent Killer

Here we have a classic case of complacency in the world of firearms. You see, when you work on the other side of the gun counter it can be easy to get out of the habit of safe firearm handling procedures. Handling new, unfired (other than the factory’s single proof) guns day in and day out, it can be easy to fall into the trap of forgetting exactly what you are handling. The same thing unfortunately can be said for a person who carries a gun on their hip everyday of their working career. It can be easy for a professional to view a firearm as any other piece of equipment they carry on a daily basis, radio, handcuffs, ect. When this police officer went into this gun shop to checkout a new handgun, you would think between the two of them you would have had a shining textbook example of gun safety. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. What you DID have however, was a series of failures which resulted in the officer shooting himself in the hand after a negligent discharge on his part. Notice I said negligent discharge over “accidental” discharge. I once witnessed a true accidental discharge, and it didn’t look anything like this.

 

The rules broken here were the most basic and fundamental.

  1. The first mistake is that ammunition was even allowed near a display gun. This should have never happened, but in truth it isn’t truly a contributing factor here. Had the other rules been followed, this would have been caught before the firearm was handed over to the customer.
  2. I kinda gave this one away, but the first thing the salesman should have done is cleared the gun. This should be more than simply running through the process of cycling the action (even several times as if the first time didn’t “get it”), but you should physically look in the chamber to ensure it is in fact empty. Extractors can and will fail, and the soft brass of a cartridge can get very stuck on even the smallest of imperfections.
  3. The salesman shouldn’t have had the gun pointed at his own hand. Take a look at the hand off and you will see that this story could have just as easily ended with the salesman catching a bullet. There is a correct way to hand a firearm off to someone grip side out. Sandwiching the meat of your palm around the muzzle isn’t how it should go.
  4. The officer did not ensure he was not holding a loaded gun. Had the action been locked back by the salesman, this would have taken less time than he spent reaching for the gun in the first place. All guns are loaded until YOU prove otherwise.
  5. The officer probably shouldn’t have pointed the gun his own hand while dry firing (firing) the gun. If you stay in the habit of always keeping a firearm pointed in a safe direction, this kinda stuff is much harder to happen.
  6. Here is where you could also say he wasn’t aware of his target. We can all agree that he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger knowing he was about to shoot his own hand. Imagine if he had been pointing the muzzle in the general direction of the customers and staff at the other end of the counter.

As you can see, there should have been many times for this to have been caught. Complacency is a killer! The purpose of this short article isn’t to beat up on these two, but instead use it as an opportunity to learn from others mistakes. Never assume anything when it comes to firearm safety! Treat it as if it is loaded, keep it pointed in a safe direction, keep you booger pickers off the bang switch until you are ready for it to go boom, never trust mechanical safeties as they can and will fail, when you finally do make the decision to shoot know your target and what is behind it. Bullets can miss, and they also can pass through a target and keep on going. I want to stress that the purpose here isn’t to preach to the choir, but remember these two folks probably just the day before considered themselves part of the choir and should have known better…

 

Till next time

– Stache