Fan Friday—All Over the Place

Yes, yes. I missed a post . . . or two . . . last week and this and have been late, as per usual. Or often. My point is that I have a lot going on and my little ol’ brain is being taxed trying to keep up with it all.

By request, I’m not posting any more of REPEAT until we’re ready to go to press and, speaking of which, send me all your good energy and maybe a few brain cells so I can get that all finished up, nice and neat.

RHP has a new release coming out, Kindle today and print next week. It’s called AO, Alpha to Omega, by a dear friend, Amy Adams Squire. You will love this—Amy has such a way with words, you’ll laugh until you cry, and I have to also mention her incredible art that is scattered throughout, as well as the cover itself.

Buy it, right away, and read and review it—you won’t be disappointed!

And now I’m going to get up on my soapbox:

Missouri just changed some gun laws and this has folks all up in arms. Ha. So to speak. Here’s the thing: I’ve spoken to many people about the CCW classes they’ve taken, and while many seem to think that this constitutes “training,” they seem to be sorely wrong. To be clear, those who think this class is “training” are usually the ones who haven’t taken the class.

Some instructors allow you bring your own handgun which is what a new gun owner needs to be practicing with and learning on in the first place. Most do not, and you have to use a weapon that is provided. Whether or not the class covers familiarity with that weapon and loading and firing, it doesn’t make much difference if you aren’t you using the gun that you would use under normal circumstances.

They do teach you the rules of the range, which is handy if that’s where you’re going to be practicing, but ranges may have different rules. They also teach the ins and outs of the legalities of gun ownership and usage.

From what I hear, there is very little actual shooting.

Missouri is an open-carry state. That means, in many places but not all, you can walk around like a wild West gunslinger if you want to; the exceptions are businesses that do not allow this, like banks, churches, schools, and so forth. If there’s a “no gun” sign, you can’t bring it in the door.

The new law says that anywhere you can open carry, you can conceal carry, without a permit. Some people are upset because now there will be no proof that the individual is “trained” in using his weapon.

Let’s stop and think about this:

You go out and buy a shiny new handgun—yes, you will still have to pass a Federal background check. You sign up for a class where you learn about gun laws and dos and don’ts and safety. You might get to shoot your gun, but will likely shoot a different one. After that, you’ll soon receive your permit.

How does this make you a safer gun owner compared to someone who purchases a gun, just like you did, and becomes familiar with it by handling it, unloaded and with the safety on because that’s just common sense, dry firing, practicing loading, taking it apart and cleaning it, and actually firing it. Someone who’s read up on gun laws and knows what he can and cannot do, legally speaking. Someone who studies shooter situations.

Missouri has long said that YOU would be the safest shooter because you took a class and the state has documented that by issuing your permit. And, of course, collecting a small fee.

What do you think?

But here’s the thing:

When you are in public, you can, of course, see anyone who is open-carrying. But you don’t know who’s conceal-carrying; that’s the point, right? So you don’t know who’s had this “training” and who is self-trained. Neither before nor after the change in the law would you know who had done nothing but purchased a gun.

And this part won’t change—those with no training or practice or experience, even those without background checks, will still be carrying concealed because officers aren’t going to check every single person.

In other words, you’ve never needed a permit to carry a gun, unless you get caught. Criminals don’t follow the laws in the first place . . .

Anti-gunners seem to think that’s not a valid argument. They also seem to believe that a permit fixes everything and makes a person an instant expert.

Neither of these things are true.

Sure, with the law changes, we could have a new motto, which I saw online earlier: Missouri, The Shoot-Me State. Cracked me up, actually. But we could have done that before, too. Why? Because anyone can buy a gun, either legally or otherwise, and anyone can carry one around in the open or concealed, law or no law.

Think of it like driving—and yes, I’m opening myself up to the standard arguments of “you need a license to drive a car.” But you also take a test that covers the basic situations of driving, in your own car, and you must still practice on your own. You think teens and parents don’t fudge on reporting the number of practice hours? Heck, even a driving permit assumes that the person hasn’t yet been behind the wheel—is it suddenly safer just because a licensed adult is in the passenger seat? If you think that’s safer, you’ve never taught a teen to drive.

If you did take a CCW class, good for you. But you also need to know your gun, practice with it, contemplate scenarios in which you would use it. Having a permit itself doesn’t make anyone safer.


Prep Monday—Everyday Carry or Not?

This is liable to be a hot topic, especially in light of recent media coverage. Many advocate everyday carry, concealed or open depending on your state’s laws, but relatively few people practice this.

Some carry all day long, indoors and out, everywhere they go; some only when they’re traveling in a “bad” area or out in the woods, and some, of course, have weapons available at home for defense.

For myself, I’m do a little of all of these things: in town, I have Bob—that’s his name—next to my bed, unless there’s rioting going on in the area. Hey, I live in the STL metro area, it happens . . . if it’s going on, Bob moves around the house with me, usually sitting on my desk when I’m working in the office. He definitely travels with me to certain areas, but not to the grocery store or on most errands.

Out at the farm, Bob sits on my desk or the kitchen table, or he goes to the barn or garden or out in the woods with me. Not because I’m afraid of people, but we do have a good-sized snake population. If it’s a venomous variety, it dies.

In either location, if someone comes to the door who I’m not expecting, Bob comes along for the ride.

And you might laugh, but I don’t carry loaded. See, my Glock’s safety is in the trigger and I really don’t want to accidentally shoot someone—or myself. But I practice changing out that mag constantly and I’m very, very fast.

I don’t yet believe that we’ve come to the point where carrying a weapon all over town is necessary. Concealed or open. In fact, I’m not real big on open carry—to me, that’s kind of like having a huge, jacked-up truck. We all know what you’re really concealing there, dude.

The odds of being in a situation where you need to have your weapon, out in public, are really quite small, at least for the time being. And if you’re in a situation like that, you might want to think about where you’re traveling and why and even when. Statistically, if you’re walking down a dark alley in the middle of the night, you’re much more likely to be attacked. So, um, don’t do that, ‘kay?

Sure, there are incidents, recently, where a weapon may have come in handy—and I say “may” because this isn’t Hollywood. Not the movies, ‘kay?

You can practice for and mentally prepare for a situation such as San Bernardino, but until something actually happens, it’s very hard to say how you’re going to react. Believe me. Unless you have a military or LEO background, you’re just a person with a weapon that might make you feel safer, but again, the odds of having to use it and being able to do so are pretty small.

Think about it: a guy jumps in front of you, a big, hulking type, and waves a weapon in your face. Are you really going to be able to pull out your own gun and shoot first, or are you going to be hoping that he doesn’t notice you just peed your pants?

Or what if you’re at the movies and someone starts shooting? Duck and cover, right? Would you really have the presence of mind to pull out your gun, look over the back of that seat and fire back? Think of all the noise, all the confusion . . . I’m not saying you couldn’t, but a real situation is much different than daydreaming about the potential scenario.

It takes a lot more than merely being armed to be effective in an active shooter situation.