11 November 2013

Veterans Day


Veterans Day. What do you say? Happy Veterans Day? Is that the appropriate greeting? Are some of us supposed to be happy because we have lost friends in battle? Are some of us happy to have escaped with our lives and made it back home safely? Are some of us happy that we were able to serve but never experienced the horrors of war?

What is the correct salutation for the day? This isn't a birthday or Christmas. I don't think this is a joyous occasion for most of us. Veterans Day may bring on the worst memories and nightmares that a person can have or it may be just another reason to get drunk and have fun. 

What are we supposed to say and how do we respond? I think maybe the correct salutation for the day might be something like...

"Thank you. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices, whether here or abroad, in times of war for your blood, sweat and tears or in times of peace for standing ready to face the Beast. If you have put on the uniform, taken the oath, upheld that oath and battled for us or stood ready to do so, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for my family's safety. I thank you for my country's well-being. God bless each and every one of you. God bless your families for the personal sacrifices that they have had to make while you do your duty to God and Country. Thank all of you, past, present and future. The time will come when we will have to battle the Beast again, here. Thank you for fighting the evil that others pretend does not exist."

The appropriate response? "You're Welcome"

In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
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25 October 2013

Shooting children with toy guns

A recent, tragic shooting incident in California found a 13 year old boy dead at the hands of local police. His crime? Being armed with a very realistic-looking AK-47 air rifle and a plastic pistol. The rifle did not have any markings or colored parts to distinguish it from a real gun. The boy was wearing a hoodie and turned towards the cops when ordered to drop the gun resulting in his death.

The comments that come from the ignorant about defensive shooting never ceases to amaze me. There are so many "experts" out there, some that don't even own guns, that seem to have all the answers when it comes to what someone would or should do under the stress of a deadly force situation. "Why didn't he fire a warning shot first?", "Why didn't the officer shoot him in the leg?",  "Why did he shoot to kill?".
  
The "shoot to kill" issue has been an issue since guns were invented and people that have never had any professional defensive firearms training just don't get it. Police, like civilians, are taught to shoot to stop, not shoot to kill. Unfortunately, the largest and easiest target to hit under stress is the torso or "center mass" as some like to call it. Unknowledgable people often ask, "Why couldn't they have just shot him in the leg/shoulder?" or (I love this one) "Couldn't you just shoot the gun out of his hand?". Um, no. It is virtually impossible to do either under the stress of a lethal force scenario, whether real or perceived. I've seen dozens of people fall apart and make the wrong decisions even under the stress of a training.
 
Listen, I'm one of the most vocal opponents of the many jack-booted thugs out there.
I also strongly support those peace officers that uphold their oath. One has only to listen to my radio show once to figure out where I stand on this kind of thing. However, I am also a professional defensive firearms trainer and have been involved in several altercations involving firearms throughout my life.  The time factor involved between making initial contact with a gun-wielding individual and having to make that decision to shoot often is only a few seconds. The person with the gun is generally an adult and knows what he is doing. That person has only 2 choices; drop the gun instantly on command or test his skills and speed against one or more LEO's that probably already have their gun drawn, on target and their finger on the trigger. Unless you are exceeding well trained and experienced, you have little chance of surviving that scenario. 
 
Unfortunately, a child sees his toy gun for what it is and that command may be confusing to him as he turns to face the sound of the command. Unlike most movies and the fantasy world that liberals live in, a cop or a civilian in a self-defense scenario doesn't have all day to figure out all the details of what the person they are facing is actually doing. Viewing a 13 year old with a hood over his head with a realistic-looking gun is his hands from the rear doesn't really offer much information. When that individual turns towards the cop, the cop at that point has maybe 2 seconds MAX to make the decision to shoot or not. In this day and age, the chances of encountering a real threat vastly out-weigh the chances of encountering some stupid kid with a real-looking gun. Crass as it may sound, the cop or the armed civilian sometimes has to instantly process a minimal amount of information and then play the odds. Sometimes, they make the wrong choice. Usually, there is no way determine that until its too late.

 
Having not been there, I will not speculate on what the cops COULD have done but I know what the kid SHOULD have done. Having not been there and only a news article to go by, the cop made the only reasonable choice that he could. When it comes down to it, I blame the parents. What kind of a moron would allow their kid to walk around in Kalifornia carrying a real-looking illegal weapon with a hood on his head nowadays? As I said earlier, in some areas you might get away with it but with the liberal mindset of the average person in KA, I really wouldn't have expected this to turn out any other way.



In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating at Living Liberty

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!







10 June 2013

WHY I CARRY OPENLY

  WHY I CARRY OPENLY

So, here we are in an age where carrying a gun has become increasingly both necessary and socially unacceptable. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Or maybe it should be "frowned on if you do and DEAD if you don't". Some of us are so eager to please others or at least reluctant to offend them, that we either don't carry at all (unless we're with a certain group of friends) or are paranoid about someone seeing it or finding out about it. Carrying concealed or openly is, for the most part, purely a personal decision but I would like to try to clear the water a bit for those that are struggling with this decision.

I carry both openly and concealed, depending on the circumstances. Openly about 99.975% of the time and concealed for those few times when I think it would be prudent. I am not against carrying concealed (CC), I just don't usually see the point in it where I live. When I go to some larger cities or areas where I am in close proximity to hordes of people that I don't know, I may carry concealed. When I go to the theater, I conceal. Not because it’s law but because it’s common sense.

I simply cannot believe the excuses and hype that I hear from some folks when this subject comes up. I guess carrying a gun is something relatively new for lots of folks. In many places, especially out here in the West, putting your gun on every day and wearing it openly is no different than putting on your hat or a pair of gloves or a tool-belt. The never-ending drivel about tactical advantages and disadvantages and making yourself a target sickens me. Certainly there are times and places where carrying openly may not be the best thing but come on!

How in the world can one believe that we should have a right and then, in the same breath, say that it is one that should go un-exercised? That is one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever heard. Like any other right (or muscles), if they are not used, they will be weakened or lost.

Some say there could not possibly be a single tactical advantage to OC. Is that because your favorite gun-writer says so? They say it very definitively like it was some kind of proven statistic. It is not. I've heard this statement many times and it still doesn't make any sense. You cannot possibly have a clue as to how many crimes or attacks have been prevented because the would-be perpetrator saw someone with a gun in the area and changed his mind. If you were intent on robbing a store or a bank, would you go ahead with your plans if you saw someone standing in line wearing a gun? Of course not! Yes, I have no doubt that a "team" or a small country that wanted to knock off Ft. Knox would not let one civilian with a gun slow them down but the fact is, most people that perform these kinds of crimes are punks and cowards or too smart to want to get involved in a shoot-out. It MIGHT hold true in a very few isolated instances but that is for you to decide when the time comes.

Then there are those that claim that carrying openly makes you a target and that you'll be the first one taken out. I say balderdash. Is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? About as likely as getting hit by lightning twice I think. If someone just wants to kill someone, they will. There are hundreds of interviews of convicted felons where they have said that they would not or did not carry out a plan due to employees or occupants or customers being armed. Can you count on not being a target? Certainly not. Nor can you count on not becoming a target if you are carrying concealed or not carrying at all. Possibly, the perpetrator, upon seeing a gun, changed his mind and a shooting was averted. Possibly not. Possibly, because you were carrying concealed, the crook was a little braver and you were forced into a shooting. To exclaim that you are certain of either is the height of arrogance and cannot be proven.

It's a personal choice and you are taking a bit of a chance by doing either. It comes with the territory.

I think the biggest difference in some folks' opinions and mine is our locations. If I lived somewhere that I thought it was as bad as some make it out to be, I would move. Nobody cares here. As I mentioned above, I have carried openly every single day from 1994 to present and I’ve had maybe 2 or 3 negative comments, in nearly 20 YEARS! Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, etc, etc. Same story. I guess the bottom line is, I will NOT live where carrying a gun in the open scares people as bad as some claim that it does. If I lived in St. Louis, maybe I wouldn't carry but I WOULDN'T live there so it doesn't matter.

No, I don't intentionally TRY to offend folks. I just don't care if I do. I don't fart at the table and I don't say certain words around women and kids. When I am in someone's home, I do as they wish. If that bothers me, I leave. When they come to my house, I expect them to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with how we live. However, I don't think exercising a right can be compared to fartin' and cussin' but common sense has to factor in somewhere too. People are offended by guns because of emotion, not morals or scruples. As far as I'm concerned, when we worry about how much we offend them, they have won.

This is the reason that we will never win all of our rights back without bloodshed. Because the gun-grabbers all agree on one thing and we can't agree on anything. Some gun owners think it's OK to own pumps and lever guns but not semi-autos. Some say it's OK to have shotguns but not black rifles. Some say 10 round mags are OK but not 30 rounders. Some say it's OK to carry a gun as long we don't offend anyone and others don't care. As for me and my house, it's all or nothing. I'm tired of compromising. It's not working.

Be that as it may, you may be interested to know that I addressed this very thing on a radio show that I hosted in New Mexico some years ago. I said even though it was legal and we had a right to carry openly just about anywhere, it wasn't necessarily the right thing to do in some cases. I said that those that wave the Constitution in everyone's face and say the 2nd amendment is their carry permit are going to eventually disarm all of us. I admonished those that were so inclined to either carry concealed or don't take their gun in places like theaters, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. NM’s CCW law states, as most do, that if a business or individual puts up a sign saying "No Guns" that means no guns, openly or concealed, permit or not. So, if we walk in someplace that is NOT posted and try to force our right to carry on them, all they have to do is put up a sign and your right to carry is gone without changing the law. At least in that particular place. THAT's why I don't open carry in the theater.

To that end, I very much encourage people to carry concealed under those circumstances. I never encourage people to carry openly except by saying that it is your right and if you want to, you should exercise that right. As far as just walking down the street and tending to my normal business, I absolutely will NOT carry concealed just for fear of hurting someone's feelings.

The difference here is that a lot of folks don't seem to support my right as I have clearly supported theirs. If some of you think that there is some perceived tactical advantage to being concealed, that's OK with me, I just don't agree. I won't call you dumb or disparage you in any manner. As I have said more than once, there may be a handful of cases out there where that has proven to be the case but to say that carrying openly has NEVER given an advantage is ridiculous because it cannot be proven either way.

As I also said, location has a lot to do with this. Some are afraid to carry openly even where it is legal because of what the cops MIGHT say. THAT is where I have a problem. I was pulled over in a little town in NV late one night by a female officer. She asked me to get out and, since I was carrying openly, I told her that I was wearing a gun and asked if that was OK. She got kind of smart and said, mockingly, "You're wearing a gun and is that OK?" I said , "Yes, Ma'am". She told me to get out and keep my hands where she could see them (like that would do her any good if I had less than honorable intentions) and called in my information. She called back-up and when he got there, we discussed the finer points of the Glock vs. the 1911 and he finally left when he decided that she didn't really need any back-up. When she handed my license back, she said, "So why are you carrying a gun?" to which I asked, "Why are you?". She said, "Because I'm law enforcement and I HAVE to". I said, "Well, I'm a citizen and I GET to". She had nothing on me and we both went our merry ways.

I was stopped another time by a State cop in NM for a faulty tail light. I told him that I could fix it on the spot if he would allow me to. He said OK, and I told him I was carrying before I got out. He said that for his safety, would I unload the gun and give it to him and I told him, "No, sir" and then went to explain that my vehicle was considered an extension of my home in this state and that I would be glad to leave it in the truck while I got out to fix the light. I didn't give him time to reply and he was in a position of advantage so I turned the inside light on and slowly and deliberately took the gun out and slid it between the seats. When I got out, I locked the doors and left the keys in the ignition so NO ONE could get them. Once I fixed the light, I thanked him, took the spare key out of my wallet and unlocked the door and left.

There is rarely any issue with LE in the southwest if you conduct yourself properly and confidently.

There are a select few states that allow it's citizens to carry their weapons out in the open but there is a select FEWER that choose to exercise that right for fear of hurting someone's feelings.

There are quite a few establishments nowadays that choose to post signs that prohibit the carry of firearms, openly or concealed, within their walls. This is another of the many things that gives me deep and lasting indigestion. If you don't want to be robbed or have a disgruntled employee take out his frustration on your patrons, why do you create such a hazard-free environment for those that might perpetrate such a crime? Do you seriously think that a guy intent on robbing your store, or worse, is going to walk up to your door, see your "No Guns" sign and say, "Oh darn , I sooooooo wanted to rob this place but the sign says I can't even bring my gun in so I guess I'll just have to go somewhere else?". No, by posting that sign, you have pretty much assured the criminal that there is little, if any, chance that he will be confronted. When trained, credible, responsible citizens carry their weapons in your store and give you their business, you should be grateful that, at least for the time that they are present, your business is protected, at least from violent crime. Most of us will not shoot someone for stealing money as it is replaceable and probably insured. However, I have never met a legitimate gun-toter that would not intervene if someone were to threaten innocents or start shooting.

I think that many post those signs because of fear of the image that some of the patrons might get, not for liability reasons. Obviously, some are for insurance reasons

It is my opinion that if those who do carry regularly WOULD carry openly more often, it would help to desensitize those whom some people are afraid they are going to offend. Well, it offends ME when someone is offended by my carrying (which, as I said, is RARELY an issue here in the Southwest). I have my rights just like they have theirs. They have the right to get up and go eat somewhere else if they happen to come into a restaurant where I am eating. They have the right to run home screaming if they see me walking down the street and I am armed. I, on the other hand, have the right to do anything that they can do and their being there doesn't affect me one way or the other. The reason that gun rights are in the shape that they are in is because we gun owners continuously pander to them and try to compromise to a point that is OK with them. We walk around and hide what we do or give certain rights away to retain others. That's not freedom to me.

I don't flaunt it as a few have said. I think that if one is going to carry openly that they should dress neatly and wear your gear professionally and conservatively. I don't think that it's appropriate to wear a 7.5” Super Blackhawk downtown in cheap nylon Wal-Mart holster. Yes, occasionally when I come in from hunting or something and I'm carrying a .44, I may stop to get a Coke or gas or something and I'm not going to take my gun off just because someone else may not approve of it but what I wear daily is a Glock 23 in a kydex belt holster with my shirt tail tucked in. I dress neatly and there is nothing threatening about my appearance (unless you feel threatened by someone that is 6’4”, 250 pounds and wearing a gun ). Once in a while, I get a question or two but I have yet to experience the fear and panic that some claim is going to happen.

Occasionally, someone tells me how much that they value the 2nd amendment. Well, so do I...as it was written, not as they would have me to accept it. Having said all that, I do believe that there are a very few places where it may be grossly inappropriate to carry openly like church or some business meetings or picking the kids up at the Boys and Girls Club. In those few places, I do carry but it is concealed. If it's an impromptu occasion, I simply un-tuck my shirt and let it cover the gun. If it's planned, like for church or some similar event, I wear a Glock 27 in a Blade Tech IWB holster and a jacket or vest.

I don't flaunt it, make a big deal out of it nor do I handle it in any manner when in public and I have NEVER had any problem.

I WILL NOT CRAWL AROUND AND EXERCISE MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS ONLY WHEN IT IS ACCEPTABLE WITH SOMEONE ELSE OR WHERE THEY CANNOT SEE

There are those who will not stand up for a passing flag unless a few people around them do. Well I am the one around them that is first to stand. I couldn’t care less what everyone around me does. I have a man to face every day in the mirror and someone else to face when I leave this world. I plan to be able to walk uprightly before Him and say that I have done the best I could to uphold and exercise the rights and freedoms that I was blessed with at my birth.

Open or concealed, I WILL carry. I don't ever want to have to say, "My little girl would have been 15 years old today if I had only had my gun with me that day"... No sir, somehow I just don't see that happening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating at Living Liberty

Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon thru Fri, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnight Eastern

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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!








04 June 2013

The Target Conspiracy

Sigh....

OH MY, the feds are training their agents to kill innocent, pregnant women!

This just won't go away!  

These targets are not a threat to anyone. I am one of the biggest conspiracy theorists out there is but this is just silly. I can't believe that there are mature, supposedly educated adults, MEN, worrying about these silly damn targets.

During WWI, it was determined that many soldiers were missing their targets because men don't like bullseyes which is what they all trained on to start with. After going to a little more realistic humanoid silhouette, things started to change for the better. The same goes for current times. Things evolve, usually for the better. The more realistically we train, the better we perform on the street.

Photo targets of REAL people have been used in professional and LE defensive firearms training for years. My first experience with them was in 2003, 10 years ago. Since then, I have shot hundreds of them and have stacks of them in my training supplies.

Someone said earlier, "I have yet to see "gangbanger" targets, "middle east" targets, "black targets" "politician" targets, or "muslim" targets."


We have hundreds and hundreds of the very targets that you list. ALL of them. They are not new either.
Muslim/terrorist? http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=10RT


Muslim terrorist? http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=13RT


A black man? Dayton, OH PD uses this one...
http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=DPD-03


Not to pick on blacks, how about Asian? Dayton PD uses this one also... http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=DPD-11


Gangbanger?
http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=USV-11


Politician? Maybe...
http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=WV-5

I did a very short, 3-minute search online yesterday and quickly found 2 instances where a police officer was forced to shoot a pregnant woman who was attacking him. Stuff happens gentlemen! There are instances where an injured woman attacked the cop who had just shot her husband...WHILE HER HUSBAND WAS BEATING HER! People do very strange things under stress. Drugs, depression, mental illness, desperation causes people to react in unpredictable ways.

The targets in question (and why I don't know) are being used by a LOT of agencies right now. However, they are no longer being produced and when current stocks are depleted, they will be gone forever until someone wises up and creates some more. You may be interested to know that these targets were created by a FEMALE police officer. Not DHS, not NMDPS, not the target company.

We have 4 levels of defensive handgun training, two rifle and two shotgun and we use photographic targets of real people in certain stages almost every class. Every LEA dictates what targets their training programs will use. WASHINGTON CRIMINAL JUSTICE uses a stupid little silhouette with an image of bowling pin in it. How realistic is that? How realistic is ANY solid silhouette?

Every hostage rescue target out there has one hostage taker on one side. What happens if your hostage taker is on the other side? Most folks shoot the hostage. I designed a target that has a hostage taker on both sides to practice realistically. You can see it here: http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=BT-10H2

Professional, reality-based training is a hell of a lot different than standing on clean gravel on a square range with birds singing and the sun shining. Step out of the box. Don't be a statistic.

This conspiracy crap can eat us up if we don't throw a little common sense in with it.




In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating at Living Liberty

Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon thru Fri, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnight Eastern


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Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!












06 May 2013

Phoenix 2nd Amendment Rally

Thanks to George Dean and the rest that made this rally possible and for inviting me to speak. I appreciate the hell out of everyone that showed up but attendance was kinda low for such a population base to work with. I'm gonna guess that we had around 300 there.
Here is the speech I gave.... 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd0BgLPaByc
 
Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)

Southwest Shooting Authority


Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon thru Fri, 8 to 9 pm Pacific

"The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench


Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!