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—Weapons

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Tuesday. Our move to the farm has taken an unexpected turn, so that’s my excuse. Tune in Wednesday for all the details . . .

Weapons. Everyone should have one for defense.

Before you freak out over this statement, consider how many things could be USED as a weapon: canned good—yes, we all had a laugh over this Internet sensation, but think about this in the context of your home, not a classroom—heavy knickknacks, sharp knives, a large hardcover book.

Take a look around you. What if someone broke in to your home right this minute? Or what if you answered the door, expecting a religious treatise or something, and it was, instead, the bad guy?

The old baseball bat by the door is almost a cliché, but it could be effective. So, too, could a heavy object. Or a kitchen knife, if that’s the location of the break in. Almost anything can be used as a weapon, if you’re willing to grab it and get up close.

First, you have to have that mindset. Naturally, it depends on the situation—the intruder might just be annoying, or maybe he didn’t expect to find you at home and he’ll run. On the other hand, perhaps he IS bent on destruction, robbery, or death. Your death.

Mentally prepare, and have something at hand at all points of entry.

And practice. You might feel silly, but really, it could save your life or at least minimize injury; and no one has to know.

Then, of course, we have your standard weapons: guns, knives, hatchets, arrows, and so forth.

Practice daily or weekly, but practice. With firearms, you need to become familiar with the handgun or shotgun or rifle; you need to learn safety procedures and practice those EVERY TIME you bring out your weapon.

Ammo can be pricey, but you still must practice on a regular basis. Forget a quick-draw—just be ready to use it, slow and steady, if necessary. Defense consists of two prongs, if you will: mental prep and skill/ability. Even if you don’t “like” to use your firearm, you may, at some point, need to.

While handguns have less range than long guns, knives are typically used for an up-close encounter unless you become proficient at throwing. Throwing knives are, of course, different than a kitchen knife or a hunting knife; know the different and practice often. Start close to the target, and when you become consistent, move back and keep practicing. Same goes for hatchets. These are mid-range defenses.

Whatever your weapon of choice, you should strive to become proficient, and this means practice. Just like with common, everyday objects, you first need to mentally prepare to defend yourself and then have the weapon at hand—and then practice until it becomes second nature.

I know some of you will be concerned with who is to be accorded “bad guy” status. Sometimes, yes, this can be difficult to discern; pick up a psych book and do a little reading and research on signs and clues.

Most of the time, however, in spite of TV and movies, you’ll know right away that this intruder means you harm. After all, he’s already entered your home, or your space, uninvited, and he seems determined to come at you or steal from you or attack you.

This is not the time to wonder if he’s the “bad guy” or to run down a list of clues in your mind. This is the time to go on the offensive. Sure, you can wait until he makes his move, but that might be a fatal decision.

And sometimes, just a show of being well-armed with any kind of weapon is enough to deter the “bad guy.”