Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot. Hot. HOT!

Freaking freakity freak. Its hot here in WA. It hit 106 at yesterday.


Well, I used that as an excuse to go buy a nice 22 rifle. I kid. Honestly, I went into the gun shop just to see what they had...

They had a scoped Marlin Model 60 SN (synthetic stock) with an acceptable scope on it for a decent price, so after humming and hawing about for a while, I went for it. It looky like this. Except I have a better scope on it.

I have a Henry Survival Rifle in .22 LR that works great, but its not a great gun for plinking, so I was on the look out for a good, reliable and inexpensive 22. It will serve to teach my son to shoot, go plinking and maybe piss off a zombie or two when they invade.

I took it to the range and its a tack driver. This is the first time I can be accused of tearing a ragged hole in a target. The shots went a bit high and to the left, so after some dial time with the Bushnell scope, I was in business.

This is a 14 round tube fed magazine. And I think I like that more than a 10/22 with a detachable magazine - I'm growing to hate the magazine thumb I get from all the autoloaders I have.

I shot 100 rounds and had no issues feeding. So accuracy and reliability. Sweet.

PS. If you're counting, that is #6

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Two Things - Conceal Carry & Heathcare

Personally, I like the idea of concealed carry permits.

Let me state up front that I really get the whole "its a right, I shouldn't need a permit" idea. I know where you are coming from and I'm not saying your notion isn't without merit. But part of me still thinks that its OK to ask citizens to demonstrate our sanity before putting a gun in our pocket.

Honestly, I don't want felons to have guns. I don't want some dude whose been in and out of the institution and wears a tinfoil hat to carry a gun. I don't want that guy with a restraining order or who beats his wife to have a gun. That just isn't rational or safe.

I want it safe for law abiding citizens to carry guns.

So I didn't have much of a problem going down and submitting to a background check and some fingerprints. Personally, I wish they'd required a few hours of class time too. Honestly, not everyone is as thorough as I am (ahem) and spends beaucoup time looking into concealed carry before doing it. I spent hours reading, watching videos and discussing options and responsibilities before I took the plunge, and I probably still don't know everything I should. But I tried really hard and continue to. I think that anyone who wishes to carry a deadly weapon better be clear on many things first, and mandatory training is probably the best way to do it.

With regard to the national reciprocity bill that got nuked this week: I was all for it because traveling is such a pain now (as I've discussed over the last week). But at the same time, I can see the argument from those opposed that the state with the least restrictions will force others to have to accept this, even if the people of said state want a bit more from their own carriers.

I guess the states with no permit (Alaska and Vermont, any others?) rely on the other gun laws to keep the nutbars out? Maybe that works. Thoughts?

Secondly, healthcare. I love the gun blog-o-sphere. But I'm really getting sick of the healthcare crap getting thrown in all the time. Ugh.

Honestly, I'm a big fan of a more rational approach to healthcare. Our current system sucks. And before you get all uppity, consider that I know what I'm talking about. I've lived with Canadian healthcare for half my life and it is a really great system.

No really. Its always been there for me and my family and all the doomsday crap I hear about it is just silly fear mongering and ignorance.

Oh, and a good conservative friend of mine once outlined his fears by stating it wasn't *any* government healthcare program that he feared, just a US-based one. His opinion was that the US government is just too inept and corrupt to do it right, even if others can and have done a better job of it.

That kinda floored me. Of course, he was more than happy with the MIC and them having keys to the nukes, but healthcare was right out.

Really? Is this a common thought?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Got a response from Senator Murray already:

Dear Mr. Morganthen,

Thank you for writing to me regarding S. Amdt. 1618, Senator Thune (R-SD)'samendment to provide for uniform reciprocity for concealed weapon possession across the country. It is good to hear from you.

Senator Thune's amendment would allow gun owner with a right to carry concealed weapon in one state the right to carry a concealed weapon across the United States. Like you, I am concerned about the level of violence in this country, and its effect on our families and communities. Legislation to regulate the use of firearms is and should remain primarily a state issue. I believe that our national crime-fightingstrategy should include reasonable measures to control firearms that strike a balance between reducing street crime and maintaining individuals' rights.

As a U.S. Senator, I have supported common-sense measures to reduce or restrict gun violence while posing the least possible inconvenience to law-abiding gun owners. Please know that as the Senate considers this and other firearms legislation, I will keep your concerns regarding this important issue in mind. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at Thank you again for writing, and please keep in touch.

ha ha. It almost seems like they missed my point...

Vote on Natioanl Conceal Carry

I just got done emailing my senators from Washington to suport the Thune/Vitter amendment to the DOD authorization bill. I used some text copied from a template I found somehwere on the internet and added some of my own recent history traveling thru 5 states and doing the gun juggle.

So I'd urge you to contact your sentaor with your support as well...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Armed Again

I'm back in Utah. It was sure nice to pop that Kel-Tec back into my pocket after a week without. Peace of mind.

I have my two older boys with me and we did some shooting in the desert a few days ago. I also shot my Mosin Nagant for the first time and was pleasantly surprised at how it handled. The action isn't smooth by any stretch, and that is slightly annoying - you gotta pay attention to the action to make sure it opens, loads the round and closes properly. I'm sure it will get more normal as I do it. The rifle is certainly heavy and I'm sad to report the new resin stock didn't change the weight much at all. I was hoping to take off a bit of the weight. The kick of the gun was totally manageable and I've decided to scope it - I already have the parts, just gotta find a gunsmith to put it on.

We also shot some .22 and had quite a bit of fun plinking with cans and the like. My older boy was quite accurate with his shooting overall. Proud papa.

I'm slowly trying to introduce my kids to the guns, their safe use and right now I'm really drilling in the 4 rules. I made them repeat them like 20x - between each mag change and the like. I sure wish I would have had this when I was a kid.

My 12 year old son shot the Glock with 22 LR kit from Advantage Arms and I even let him shoot a magazine of 9mm just so he could see how it handled. He did a great job of keeping that gun under control and was hitting what he wanted to at 25 ft or so. Not bad.

Now back to work...

Friday, July 17, 2009


I loved this:

Joe Huffman points out the irrational feeling many in our society have for guns.

A man in the parking lot adjusting his concealed carry piece is a "gruff, dangerous man" who is ready to kill everyone.

A woman talking on a cell phone from, gasp, out of state has a pistol in her purse with children present!


The poster on "The Gun Guys" (who, btw, didn't fool me for a minute when I started reading the gun blogosphere) is either truly terrified of these scenarios or trying to add a bit of melodrama around the scenes to scare the rest of us. The latter is a time-honored technique, honed and polished to a shining turd in the national discourse. Bush and his cronies were very effective and have made their little friends billions of dollars using this tactic. And if you think the left is going to sit by and not learn from their, ahem, little advancements, you're fooling yourself.

As for me, I recognize the fear here. I used to feel it when I saw a gun in public, as I detailed a few posts ago. Guns are equated in the modern media with rapid-fire death. Guns are shown as the "way to solve problems" in 99% of the situations we see portrayed on TV and in the movies. I like a good shoot-em up as much as the next guy, but honestly, the depictions are far from reality. Bam bam! Problem solved and I get the girl. Uh huh.

So consider this:

There are millions of people carrying responsibly each day around you. On your next trip to Starbucks or Nordstrom, consider that someone in your immediate periphery has a legal handgun tucked away for self defense. How many times have you seen a shoot out? Pools of blood at the park or in the restaurant because someone had a gun around children!

Not often. It does happen, and criminals will continue on occasion to perpetrate their evil.

But for the law abiding citizen like myself, that gun is there only to defend myself and my family. And unlike TV, it will only happen as an ultimate last resort. I'll get myself out of most every predicament, even dangerous ones, without having to draw it.

And personally, I've decided that I will only do so to save myself or my family. If I were in a supermarket and a shoot out happened in front, I'd take myself out the back. No heroics. I just don't want to pay the price for mistakes if I shoot the wrong person or a ricochet hits a bystander. If they come at me in said supermarket, different story, but that is my current thinking. I hear that there is a $10K price tag attached to each bullet I shoot. Ouch. I'll only spend that when absolutely necessary.

So unlike that terrible crime drama you shouldn't watch on TV (read a book, please) I won't go looking to solve every problem with a gun. Blood will not run in the streets. Kids are perfectly safe around me (mine are) and that won't change because some misguided person tries to scare everyone else into thinking otherwise.

How about you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still Disarmed

I'm still in the four corners region and I'm still disarmed.

After just getting used to carrying all the time, and liking the extra reassurance that it gives, I really hate not having my Kel-Tec on me.

Stupid, stupid.

On the positive side, we were out in the desert a few days back and I got to try two new types of JHP self defense ammo in the Kel-Tec. Self Defense .380 has been impossible to find for the past 6 months, so I was happy to visit a few stores with some MagTech and Corbon JHP stuff in stock.

I bought a few (expensive) boxes and took it out for some shooting. I learned early to make sure to test your ammo before it becomes your carry load, for obvious reasons that if it causes a misfeed, then you're SOL and might as well not have the gun in the first place. Makes sense.

So I put 20 rounds of both thru the gun with zero problems. And it was amazingly accurate - shooting both close up targets (7-10 meters - yes the metric system is better) and stuff farther away at 25 m. I setup a man-size target at that latter distance and was able to put 6 rounds into it quickly - center of mass with an acceptable grouping size. This *is* a pistol for close in distance, so I was happily surprised at the results.

The ammo was:
  • CorBon DPX- 80 grain JHP - solid copper bullet intended to minimize penetration and maximize expansion. This stuff was expensive at $30 a box for 20 rounds. Ouch. They claim it retains 100% of bullet weight and has a higher fps. Mostly greek to me, but ok.
  • MagTech Guardian Gold - 85 grain JHP +p load (technically) - traditional HP design, and much cheaper at $13 a box.
I'm just happy to have self defense stuff again. I've been carrying around the same 6 rounds of Remmington Golden Sabre for 8 months.

Anyone have any thoughts on their preferred .380 loads for small guns like this? How many rounds do you put thru in testing? At $30 a box, I was hesitant to do more with the CorBon stuff, but maybe I'm being cheap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Open Carry

Ok, so someone suggested that Nationwide open carry was the way to address my conceal carry query from the other day.

Honestly, its a good thought, but in the end, I think Open Carry in normal, everyday routine, is a complete non-starter.

Concealed carry is by far the best thing to happen to gun owners in the past 20 years. We get to arm ourselves legally and the malefactors don't know which of their intended victims is really to strike back. With open carry, they know immediately, and its like an invitation to being the fist one shot. With concealed carry, random as it is, the criminal mindset is reinforced negatively - it can work like slot machines, where random reinforcement is enough to drive people to peeing in change buckets rather than go to the bathroom.

Think of that flawed 20-20 episode intending to bunk concealed carry. You know, where the guy with the gun in a classroom was set in the same spot so the armed intruder could come right in and pop him - no guessing, no wondering, just pop pop (simunitions) and they were dead. Oh look! Conceal Carry does not work.


And open carry is likewise. I'm all for open carry in the wilderness - that rattlesnake or cougar won't do a double take and slink away if they spot that XD on your hip.

But in the real world, that gobshite criminal will just pop you first...

PS. I noticed on the gun blogs that there is some sort of national conceal carry law making the rounds. Would love to see this pass if it does just that and nothing more...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Selling with a CCW?

Just noticed this:

And I think it kinda reinforces my thought that if I ever sell a gun person to person, it will only be to a CCW holder.

Speaking of Concealed Carry

So I've been on a road trip for the past week. We left about a week ago and headed down to Utah to visit some relatives.

I always carry my P3AT in my back pocket (pocket holster, of course) and do so especially when traveling. I always was very suspicious of people at rest stops etc. when traveling - probably because I'm out of my element.

What I do like about my WA permit is that I can carry in many other western states I visit. My WA permit is good ID, UT and MT, which is where I spend 90% of my time.

But what really pisses me off is reciprocity is fickle and hard to track. For example, on my trip to Utah, I had to disarm thru Oregon. About 4 hours later, I could arm again. Oh, and I can't pump my own gas either, but that isn't a huge deal.

Utah was great, and I carried the entire time there. Now we took a side trip down to the Four Corners area and I can't carry my pistol again in Colorado. Not sure about AZ. Or NM. What a freaking pain in the rear.

Now I know that many libertarians and conservatives chafe at any sort of federal control beyond the military (which is a big exception in my mind, but they never seem to care), but this state-by-state approach is just silly.

Sometimes federal oversight is better than having to arm/disarm a bunch of times in a single day depending on what state you're passing thru.

And each state has different laws on where I can/can't carry. Restaurants that serve alcohol? I don't partake (ahem) but in some places I can/can't carry there. Not that I'd ever want to eat at, say Applebees, but I never know without spending 10 min on my iphone if I can or can't. And no, I'd never willingly eat at Applebees or most other chain restaurants in that vein.


Personally, I'd like to see federal oversight over the mess so I can just learn once and forget about it. And I could get my permit once and be done.

Maybe there is something I'm not thinking of? I'm sure my loyal readers will let me know all about it ;-)

So, anyhow, greetings from southern Colorado. Its beautiful down here and I'm just happy to be alive and to share this with my kids.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Concealed Carry is for Crazies...

Well, that is what I used to think.

The idea that someone would *need* to carry a gun around was something straight out of an old western movie.

Consider that Canada had a pretty smooth history of westward migration compared to the US. The government had the foresight to send out the RCMP *before* the settlers really came en mass - and a result, they managed to keep the western part of Canada much more tame and civil. The rule of law before the rule of the gun - the latter seems to have been much more prevalent south of the border. In fact, the most trouble we had was from whiskey runners coming up from Alberta. Trust me, I grew up near a place called "Whiskey Gap" and "Fort Whoop-up" which were both places where whiskey traders plied their trade.

However, consider that my history also dates back to the forced migration of Mormons from the east/midwest to Utah. As a result of our unique heritage, we Mormons tend to have a self-reliant streak a mile wide. Or at least a history of it - many of us are getting as fat and lazy as the other sheeple thinking that Albertsons and King George will provide.

We've had times where government was out to kill us (extermination orders, Invasion armies heading to Utah) and others when we worked quite well with them (Mormon Battalion, Railroads etc). I'm actually quite proud that this duality - we've worked well together and we've walked away from tyrants and mob rule.

In short, we've shot back and we've walked away when it was the right thing to do. Consider also that our scriptures (The Book of Mormon) have tales of both as well - we've got great soldier leaders who fought against oppression and other great examples who vowed never to shed blood and buried their weapons in the ground. Very cool.

Anyhow, back to the idea of concealed carry. I live in Washington State and I looked into the whole process almost from an academic exercise. I wanted to see what it took to be legal to carry a gun.

As an aside: part of me has grown to see the silliness of asking the government to "authorize me" to carry a gun for self defense. I mean, the 2nd amendment is pretty clear on the whole "Bear" part. I know I'm not alone, and there are a few states who do this.

But part of me realizes that there are *alot* of rubes out there. Morons. Idiots. Goofballs. Tools. People who don't put thought into their actions. Do I want them carrying a gun around endangering me if I'm in the next bathroom stall? Remember that dude who blew up a toilet in Utah at a Fast Food restaurant a few months ago? His conceal piece fell out of his belt and discharged, shattering the toilet bowl. He was lucky no one was injured.

Carrying a gun is a HUGE responsibility as you have the ability to protect yourself or harm others thru negligence. I know that lefties tend to get all in knots over both of these - the police can protect you and the odds of you using it to defend yourself are slim, while the odds you'll make a stupid mistake and hurt someone else are probably up there. I do note that few really know the actual statistics when they opine about this - I sure don't.

That dude in the Utah bathroom was careless and could have killed someone. You can't dismiss it easily.

So anyhow, I went to the local Sheriff's department and setup my appointment. I had to wait a few days and I was back - all I needed to do was fill out a form, get fingerprinted and wait while they ran a BG check on me.

Honestly, I was expecting more. I mean, to drive a car (which can also be dangerous or helpful - and both are definitely more significant statistically speaking) one has to jump thru all kinds of hoops - practical test, written test, eye test. Hell, I can't serve hotdogs (not that I would, I'm a vegetarian) to kids at a baseball game without a food permit.

So in about 30 days my permit showed up. To be honest, all I really wanted it for was so I didn't have to wait when I purchased a handgun.

In fact, soon after I decided to get a carry gun in case I wanted to do so - and I decided on a Kel-Tec P3AT. Buying this tie was much nicer and I walked out with my new tool 30 min after going in.

Honestly, I do like the idea of a CCW permit because it proves I've gone thru a BG check and was clean - at least when it was done X years ago. A rational lefty would argue that this might be the best way to make sure person-to-person sales (i.e. the gunshow loophole) are legit. Personally, I'd never sell a firearm to anyone without a CCW - and I know from what I see in classifieds that I'm not alone.

So, have I carried?

I certainly didn't start out doing it. Before the Kel-Tec, the Bersa was just too big, and being new, I was too self conscious of it. I didn't even consider the Glock. The Bersa is slim and small, but the Kel-Tec dissapears in your pocket.

At first I tried IWB in the small of the back. It was annoying as hell. Couldn't sit down, I felt it was printing all the time. Just hated it. So I only did it on occasion. And often it went into bags I was carrying rather than on me specifically.

A few months ago, I decided to really try to carry ever day. I have expensive cameras and like to wander around a lot, and it gives me a bit of added security - there has been several times where I've been in dicey situations with 10k worth of camera equipment around my neck. Gunnies, photographers have it worse than you, trust me.

Even the Kel-Tec wasn't working IWB, so I got a pocket holster and fell in love with it. I ended up going out and buying some BDU style shorts (needed some new ones anyhow) and found them perfect for carry. I'd plop the gun in its holster into my back pocket and I was good. I could drive, work, play and it just felt right. The size of the P3AT and that holster are perfect in my book.

I now carry every day. Even at home while working or messing around in the garden. Washington is pretty good about letting you carry most places - I just have to avoid post offices, schools and municipal buildings. And yes, I think its pretty silly to have gun free zones. It seems to me that criminals, by nature, will ignore that rule, but I have to? Stupid. And I hate having to disarm to go into the post office, which I have to do daily because I live in a rural area without home delivery.

I guess if something goes bad, we can all run to the post office and let the magical forcefield protect me and my family from danger.

Yeah, that is the plan...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FWIW, I just ran into a store that had those value packs of .22LR ammo!

I have seriously not seen those on the shelves since, oh, say October of last year. And they had some .380 JHP in stock too! I've been low on SD roundage as well. Score.

Bought 4 boxes and added 2000+ rounds to my stash.

Ahem, I mean, arsenal.

One Becomes 4. And some Ammo...

So I was pretty happy with my Bersa. It worked great, shot well and was pretty much what I wanted.

I had mentioned recently that I had purchased a Henry US Survival rifle online just after buying the Bersa. It came not long after I got the Bersa and I ran down to Wade's Guns in Bellevue to pick it up. I was chagrined to see that they dinged me something fierce for buying it as I did - they charged me something like $30 for the FFL paperwork (which is fine by me and expected) but then added on a percentage fee for the $$ they feel they lost by me not buying it there. Say what?

Funny that because I tried to buy one from them. The moron kid at the counter tried to sell me a .270 rifle when it was very obvious I wanted this specific rifle. I kept coming back to it, then finally left in disgust when he didn't get it. He didn't offer to order it, just kept going on about stuff I wasn't interested in.

Lesson learned. Either I gotta find a different FFL or just buy local, which really isn't a problem for me anyhow. But not from Wade's Guns in Bellevue, you can be sure of that.

Anyhow, I got the Survival Rifle home and checked it out. It works great for what it is - a survival rifle. If you need to take small game in a survival situation, it will work great. Its light, its compact (it folds up into its stock) and its simple to operate.

The key thing about this rifle is its light. One can carry a lot of .22LR ammo and this rifle in your backpack. Much more than larger calibers. If I'm getting out of dodge, this will be a great rifle to have along for the ride.

I'd heard about concerns with reliability and build quality, and it isn't the most refined rifle on the block, but it works (and I hear Henry's takeover improved things over Armalite versions).

Happy enough.

So now that I had the hardware, it was time to get the ammunition. I ran into a few sales on bricks of .22LR ammo, so I quickly added several thousand rounds to my personal storage (aka, an 'arsenal' to those who don't own guns). I also bought a few cases of .380 ammo - I figured that a few cases would be good for starters.

This was all last August, and I'm sure glad I put this stuff away as both calibers are largely absent from the shelves today (and have been for the past 6 months at least).

Ok, so I had a small handgun and a small survival rifle.

Someone once and mentioned that guns were a bit like crack. And they are. No sooner had I gotten done with these purchases that I decided that for my purposes, I really needed to fill my arsenal out a bit. I don't regret what I had, but once I began this journey, I realized that I would need heavier duty weapons that would actually serve as self-defense weapons should I need them. This always happens to n00bs. No matter how much you research, you end up spending $$ to learn the hard way. Cameras, bikes, and now guns. Shrug.

So I went back to West Coast Armory and bought a Glock 17. It was high on this list because 9mm is an eminently available round, it has high capacity magazines and what I'm told is legendary reliability.

I was a bit off-put by the lack of a manual safety, and it took me awhile to really get over it. Every gun I'd owned had one. It just didn't seem safe. I thought alot about it, and decided that the Glock was ok in this regard. This was to be a defensive pistol, not a carry piece (way to big for that IMHO) and so it sits in the safe or is on my hip in a holster as the world comes down around me, ready to go.

So I bought it. And waited again for the week to pick it up.

I then bought a few cases of 9mm ammo to add to my growing pile stored in plastic food-grade buckets in the storage room.

Next was a rifle that could really reach out and touch someone. I had spent a fair bit by this point, and so I decided to go surplus for my rifle. I noted that a local sporting goods store had Mosin Nagants on sale for less than $100 and that seemed to be great. Its shoots a heavier cartridge, its reliable (so I'm told) and wouldn't cost me an arm/leg. So I picked that up too. Process was easier for rifles - no waiting period.

Then I added a couple of cases of sardine-tinned 7.62x54R ammo from some ex-communist country. Corrosive joy, I hear. I have not shot it yet because I keep hearing about how I gotta get the headspace checked. Ugh.

My safe was filling up already and I was only 2 months into this new journey.

What I'm glad about is that I did all this last fall before the ammo shortage. If I had waited 5 months, I would have been outta luck. Its still pretty much impossible to find .380 or .22 ammo. The russkie stuff is available, as is 9mm, but its more expensive.

Whew. I love it when a plan comes together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A few words on safe storage...

So, after that first trip, I continued to go to the range about once a week. Putting ammo thru the gun wasn't much of a chore, and I quickly picked up on the proper behavior for a range citizen.

I'm not much of a social person anymore (by choice), but I do talk with other gunnies. I'm always looking to learn, and those around me are great places to look for knowledge.

One discussion really stands out in my head; I was talking to this guy about the proper ceasefire procedures at the range, and in the course of his response, he referred to my Bersa as a "weapon". It really caught me off guard. I mean, I know its a weapon. Everyone knows this. Duh. Its a gun, a tool made for one specific purpose. But it was then that the realization that I now owned a deadly weapon kinda hit me. A weapon. Oh yeah.

As it is a weapon, I decided nice and early to have a set of SOP's for dealing with it. I present them to you for your edification and potential additions:

1. Never ever leave the gun out thinking you'll store it securely later. The gun goes into the safe when you don't have it explicitly on you. Back then I didn't have my conceal carry permit, so it was mainly in the safe.
2. Learn and live the 4 rules. Really. Seriously.
3. Practice enough to be competent. Know it like the back of your hand, and you'll make less mistakes.

I've followed these to a T since day one. Owning a gun is a huge responsibility and I intend to take its seriously.

Rant time.

It really pisses me off every time someone forwards me an accidental death news story because its just an example of some idiot not defining and living by the proper operating procedures for having a deadly weapon.

Frankly, as I mentioned earlier, my Grandpa (NRA life member, staunch gun supporter) was not being responsible with his guns when I was a kid staying with them. He didn't do much to teach me to handle them safely, he didn't store them safely and this is a problem. 7 year olds should not have unrestricted access to a gun cabinet. Regardless.

My Dad did no better either.

Every time some kid gets into his dads nightstand and shoots a friend, a bit more weight of the world shifts onto the shoulders of responsible gun owners. Every time some moron gets lazy or flippant with his/her weapon, the rest of us lose a little bit. The anti-gun crowd, to which I was once a full fledged member, sees these stories and it just reinforces their mindset - guns are owned by redneck morons who can't rub two brain cells together.

They learn to vilify the irresponsible and the tool too. They animate the tool because the owner wasn't. There is lots of blame to go round when an accident happens, and in then end that is how "sensible gun laws" come about. The reasoning is simple: if you can't manage to put your gun away from the 5 year olds, we'll do it for you.

So please, if you have not defined a rigid set of SOPs (standard operating procedures) for your weapons, do it now. Learn it, follow it and be rigid as hell about it. Take care of your guns. Respect them. Store them safely. If it isn't on your immediate person, it should probably be put away. That, my friends, is common sense.

I'm proud to say that I've never made the mistake (so far) of leaving my gun out of its safe by accident. I adhere to those rules every time. No variations. No exceptions. I realize accidents do happen, so being cognizant of everything you do with a weapon is a must.

Double and triple check. If you don't, you do the rest of us a huge disservice.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I'm going to take a break today and spend time with the family.

I love the first week of July.

I get to spend July 1st celebrating Canada and its awesomeness.

I get to spend July 4th celebrating the United States and its awesomeness.

I'm truly blessed to be a citizen of both. I just smile when someone talks about how one their country "is the best" in the world, because I know better. I've lived in three and visited scores more for extended times, and I find something special in each. Truth is, there are many wonderful places to live, and God has given us much to be thankful for.

So lets hear it for good healthcare, education and the RCMP. Lets hear it for gun rights, the desert southwest and the Marines. Lets hear it for the prairies, our melting pot heritage and the Rockies. Lets hear it for being able to say what you want, go where you will and standing up for what's right.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pickup Time!

Wow, quite a rush of people. Thanks for listening to my story.

So, as I was on my weeklong trip, I remembered something I really wanted when I was a kid - one of those cool survival guns. I knew that .22 LR guns were the perfect survival weapon - cheap, ammo was abundant and inexpensive and I could carry a lot in my backpack if I needed too.

I remember lusting after the Armalite gun - the one where you stowed everything in the stock. So I looked it up and found that Henry now made them and that reliability was much improved. So I looked at a few online shops and bought one that night - sending it to a local gun shop (not Westside) to pickup. I knew I'd have to pay a bit extra for that, but I'd checked their inventory and they didn't have one. In fact, when I'd asked, they tried to talk me into a 270 or something silly. So I figured this was the way to go.

So here I was, a few days from my first purchase and buying another. Foodgates: open.

When I got back, I rand down and picked up the Bersa. It felt cold in my hand, but it was mine. And I was now capable of at least some level of self defense, although I was extremely leery. Probably not a bad thing for a deadly weapon.

I now had a nice list of stuff to do:

One: storage. One of my biggest fears was that my kids would hurt themselves with it. The news is awash with those stories you know. Obviously I wanted to have access to it quickly, but wanted it safe from the kids. So I bought a small wall safe and bolted it to my wall with big lag nuts. Done and Done.

Two: buy some of ammo to break it in. Done.

Three: read the manual and clean it. Done

Four: shoot.

First, I knew training would be a good idea. But I looked at classes locally and they were more than I paid for the gun. I'm a quick learner, and I devour information when I get fixated on something, so I figured I start by myself and see where that went.

I'd already started reading gun blogs, read a few books/magazines and asked lots of questions at the gun store/range and of gunnies I knew. Its always worked for me in the past.

So off to the range I went. We have a local range that is pretty inexpensive, so I joined and lined up for my first session with my new gun. The people at the range were nice enough, but I was certainly more than a bit nervous as I loaded the first magazine, inserted it and racked that slide back. Pushing in bullets hurts the thumb, I thought.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. I can tell you I didn't know what to expect that first trigger pull. I knew .380 wasn't the most powerful round. I knew it was barely adequate for self defense.

It wasn't a big deal. The guy next to me was shooting a 9mm and let me try his (and XD if I remember correctly) and it didn't feel much different. Then he had me shoot is Mac .45 and some crazy belgian rifle. He kept pulling them out of those mysterious aluminum briefcases that nobody but gun owners really buy. The one thing I was concerned with was getting shot by accident at the range - note that sometime around then that kid with a full auto uzi killed himself at some machine gun event.

It was nice to pull the trigger on a few other guns without renting. I realized that the recoil issue wasn't a big deal and I could easily control whatever I wanted.

I shot 2 boxes and went home. I wasn't a bad shot. Everything was on the paper, and the groups were good enough for me at different ranges.

When I got home I cleaned it out really good and put it into the safe.

I pondered that first shoot for a few days. I noted that the gun really was just an inanimate object. It was completely safe if I respected it. If I followed the rules properly.

As I proceeded to shoot more (to break it in like I'd read) and cleaned it, I got to know it. And most of my fear evaporated.

At one time I'd been incensed that someone had a gun on their hip near my kids. Now I had a gun and was handling it responsibly...

PS. I realize I'm a moderate. Only those *waaay* to the right think of me as a lefty, but being that far in right field can alter your perspective.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome even more readers. Gun bloggers are cool. And they've taught me much.

So anyway, back to my story...

When I last left you, I was headed to the store to buy my first gun.

I had never looked into it before, but a quick check on my iphone revealed a nice shop close by - West Coast Armory.

I headed down and was greeted by a small store chock full of weapons. Lots of pistols. Lots of what at the time I would have referred to as "assault weapons" on the wall.

The staff was a bit off-putting at first - I think more because I was in over my head than anything - but I managed to talk to him. I confessed I was bit out of my league and he pushed me towards a 9mm taurus something or other. It wasn't very big, but it was a double stack and felt thick and a bit unwieldy. I asked to see the Bersa Thunder .380 and it felt just right (with appologies to the thee bears). It fit my hand (I'm not a particularly big guy) quite well and seemed just to be the right thing for me. And the price was right.

So I plopped my card down and signed the papers. I was told it would take a week to get approval. Not a big deal for me really, I wasn't dying to have it. I figured that if it kept crazies from guns, that was OK. And I still mostly feel that way (although I get around it now by having a concealed permit).

I'll admit to having quite a big pit in my stomach. I can certainly see why noobs feel on the outside of something (be it guns or computers or anything) but this was a deadly weapon and I was quite apprehensive. I was doing it. I'd mulled it over for years, and something was telling me to take care of it. Inspiration if you believe in that.

I was out of town for the next week, so off I went...