Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Firearm Is to Toilet Paper as…

 

Remember that kind of question for standardized tests?

Those questions kind of smoked me, because I had lived overseas for most of my life, then moved back to the States about the time that it was appropriate for me to start taking standardized tests. I didn’t get it. My word association came mostly from experiences gleaned in the third world. The gears didn’t mesh.

Then I got it, gears meshed, I was good for standardized tests.

Now, I see articles and memes of people ransacking stores for toilet paper. Okay. We all want to keep our tooshie clean.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of articles about people surging to gun stores. And articles about states and municipalities wondering whether gun shops were “essential” and could stay open. All kinds of folk want to purchase a firearm in these days of uncertainty.

Check it out, brethren: If you started to become concerned when COVID-19 raised its hoary head and then decided, upon our mostly universally cooperative decision to huddle in place like little furry prey animals in their den, to purchase a firearm “just in case,” then you are already on the losing end of the curve.

Okay, you got yourself a firearm. Kudos. Do you know how to load, clear, and reduce stoppage on that firearm when your heart-rate is through the roof, your breathing is like the bellows in a forge, and your hands are shaking like you’ve been snorting crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string? No? Then you’re most likely screwed, and more of a danger to yourself and those you love than any rampant COVID-19 purveyors of mayhem.

But putting out effective fires is not why people ran out to purchase firearms. Or toilet paper.

People want a talisman, a symbol they can hold before them and believe that they have some small modicum of control over their lives. Whether that talisman can actually help them impose control over a chaotic universe is not a central consideration.

Firearms, maybe. Toilet paper probably not so much.

A weapon you haven’t taken to the range, run a coupla/three boxes through, done misfire drills with; also probably not so much. Okay, definitely not so much.

Don’t look for talismans or totems.

Look for tools.

Then get through this.

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  1. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    • #1
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:17 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    350 spitballs per roll, they tell me. With ammo this cheap, the neighbors should board their windows. 

    • #2
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    Yes!

    I’m pretty sure that the Great American Public could build effective field-expedient masks. But, because we have a garbage media. Americans are not getting the best data on how to do this.

    Sorry. The MSM have me on a slow boil, here.

    • #3
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  4. Blondie Thatcher

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    Yes!

    I’m pretty sure that the Great American Public could build effective field-expedient masks. But, because we have a garbage media. Americans are not getting the best data on how to do this.

    Sorry. The MSM have me on a slow boil, here.

    Man, you said it!

    • #4
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When snow is in the forecast it’s milk and bread, with disease it’s guns and toilet paper? 54 years into this game and I still don’t understand people.

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    350 spitballs per roll, they tell me. With ammo this cheap, the neighbors should board their windows.

    I like how you combined the two topics. Back in simpler times I would use my leaf blower to shoot TP at kids. Went through 24 rolls in about 10 minutes. Can’t afford that kind of waste today.

     

    • #5
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:47 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Boss MongoPost author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    Yes!

    I’m pretty sure that the Great American Public could build effective field-expedient masks. But, because we have a garbage media. Americans are not getting the best data on how to do this.

    Sorry. The MSM have me on a slow boil, here.

    Exactly. Fortunately, good info is all over the interwebs. Hmmm. Let me fix that right here.

    • #6
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    54 years into this game and I still don’t understand people.

    About the same, and the same self assessment.

    Maybe it’s not us…

    • #7
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    Yes!

    I’m pretty sure that the Great American Public could build effective field-expedient masks. But, because we have a garbage media. Americans are not getting the best data on how to do this.

    Sorry. The MSM have me on a slow boil, here.

    Ricochet answer: Roll your own . . . mask.

    • #8
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Doug Watt Moderator

    Okay, I’ll admit it I’m somewhat of a no nonsense guy when it comes to firearms. I had to qualify quarterly with my LE agency. I also purchased 3 inert plastic 9mm rounds so I could practice clearing my Glock for double-feed, and stove-pipe jams. I practiced clearing those jams while looking at a picture on the wall, rather than looking at the Glock. A never take your eye off the target type of drill. I also drew my Glock from the holster about 10 or more times to reinforce muscle memory before a shift.

    I’m also a no nonsense guy when it comes to firearms safety. I emptied all 3 of my magazines when I practiced clearing a jam so I wouldn’t insert a magazine containing live rounds by mistake. Practicing drawing from the holster for muscle memory was done the same way. Practice empty at home, and never after consuming multiple adult beverages.

    I believe in private citizen firearm ownership, you will find that most real street cops believe as I do. I would strongly urge a first time firearm owner to get proper instruction, and the first time owner will find that learning lessons on the range are a ton of fun.

    • #9
    • April 8, 2020, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Mark Camp Member

    I totally agree with your point about masses of people thinking they can buy security by simply purchasing a defensive weapon they don’t know how to maintain, nor operate under live threat situations.

    In those communities where there is enough public interest, school boards could possibly put the currently idled public school facilities to good use for adult education in proper care and use of defensive weapons.

    A set of standard weapons and ammo (say, for rifle, open carry, concealed carry certifications) could be selected through a cooperative interstate association of local school boards so that the public would know what to buy, confident that basic and continuing education, ammo, and supplies would be available if they moved to a different community or state. Township or town councils could ensure that adequate stocks of standard guns, ammo, repair parts, and other supplies were locally available through gun shops.

    If news of one successful program in one school district went viral on the social media, the idea could reach critical mass. Those who were inclined to arm themselves responsibly would basically be immune to the inevitable propaganda counterattack by the reactionary press, which has severely damaged credibility after the Russian Collusion and Impeachment hoaxes.

    Costs, already reduced by using public ed infrastructure, could be held down by use of volunteer instructors. Teach-the-teacher would be a paid professional post for current firearms instructors and current Guard, Reserve, and former active duty guys who could become teach-the-teacher guys quickly.

    • #10
    • April 8, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. JimGoneWild Coolidge

    Boss Mongo: like you’ve been snorting crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string

    I … I a find this …, I find this interesting. 

    Of course, every time I see a homemade mask on someone, I think, is that a G-string?

    • #11
    • April 8, 2020, at 3:48 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief

    This is one of the reasons I love Ricochet: You’re not going to get a line like “snorting crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string” on some effete think-tankers blog. Great piece. (The article, not … something else.)

    • #12
    • April 8, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  13. Doug Watt Moderator

    When it comes to expertise concerning using toilet paper cats are hard to beat.

    • #13
    • April 8, 2020, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  14. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Boss Mongo: People want a talisman, a symbol they can hold before them and believe that they have some small modicum of control over their lives. Whether that talisman can actually help them impose control over a chaotic universe is not a central consideration.

    So the face masks, in addition to making us all look like we are living somewhere in Asia, are simply the latest talisman. An unwashed mask—and I guarantee that 95 percent of wearers (who will wear them incorrectly or remove them at inopportune times) will amount to nothing more than the same kind of virtue-signalling that goes along with reusable grocery bag at a Whole Foods checkout.

    On the firearms portion of the program, given the generally draconian gun laws here in Illinois, I’m still going to get me one of them FOID cards and learn to shoot. It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I love eye-hand coordination drills.

    • #14
    • April 8, 2020, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    How much do y’all estimate you spend monthly or annually on materials for firearms training?

    One can, of course, adjust the amount of practice to one’s budget. But I suspect the recurring cost of ammunition and range access discourages some people from making the practice a priority. 

    • #15
    • April 8, 2020, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    350 spitballs per roll, they tell me. With ammo this cheap, the neighbors should board their windows.

    I like how you combined the two topics. Back in simpler times I would use my leaf blower to shoot TP at kids. Went through 24 rolls in about 10 minutes. Can’t afford that kind of waste today

    The funny thing is that I had never seen or heard of a TP gun. But this is America! Of course such a thing exists. 

    • #16
    • April 8, 2020, at 4:21 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Judge Mental Member

    Boss, as an American citizen, I have a God-given right to a grenade launcher. Dammit.

    • #17
    • April 8, 2020, at 4:36 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    Mass public training could be less expensive if the de facto standard in communities across the country included weapons that could be chambered for .22LR, for basic training and some other aspects of training, or in a defensive round that was only used as much as necessary.

    A low income person could learn a lot without buying at all, use loaners supplied by the school district. Someone who wanted to learn but not commit till he saw if he liked it could do the same.

    You could learn some basics, including gun safety, with a rifle, an open carry firearm, and a compact, all with .22LR for under 10 cents a round.

     

    • #18
    • April 8, 2020, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Skyler Coolidge

    The really wonderful thing about firearms and why every military in the world prefers them to Spears and swords is that they are really easy to use. Very little training is needed, naysayers be damned. It takes only a few minutes to learn how to load and operate a firearm.

    Learning to be a sho’nuff gunslinger takes longer. Pointing and shooting at a burglar, not so long. That’s why we have them.

     

    • #19
    • April 8, 2020, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Richard O'Shea Coolidge

    If the quarantine continues much longer, I might be tempted to try snorting crystal meth through a G string.

    I have a violin at home…

     

    • #20
    • April 8, 2020, at 6:39 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I was really, really good at standardized tests. A firearm is to toilet paper as tear gas is to kleenex.

    Fun post, Boss.

    I can’t tell whether or not I’m in trouble, though. I never snorted crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string, so I don’t know if my hands have shaken that much. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen either crystal meth or a hooker’s g-string. Maybe I gotta get out more, but then, there’s the whole martial law thing.

    I did get attacked by killer bees the last time I went shooting, a few weeks ago with my son. That got the heart rate up, at least.

     

    • #21
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I never snorted crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string, so I don’t know if my hands have shaken that much. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen either crystal meth or a hooker’s g-string.

    Jerry, I don’t even know if one actually snorts crystal meth. I have no clue what the undergarment of choice for hookers is. But it seemed like two things I know nothing about would work well together.

    • #22
    • April 9, 2020, at 3:25 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m seeing a lot of the same talisman thinking with masks right now too. People want something, anything, they can hold onto for magical reassurance. Nevermind if your facemask won’t keep you safe. Nevermind that you have to keep it clean or it will make you sick. Gotta have it anyway.

    The face mask serves another purpose: It keeps the Virtue Signal Corps from glaring at you with a “You’re going to kill us all” look.

    • #23
    • April 9, 2020, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    Boss, as an American citizen, I have a God-given right to a grenade launcher. Dammit.

    @judgemental, concur.

    But not knowing how to cycle the “ghost round” before you can consider your Mk19 up and good to go, could have tragic consequences.

    Actually, I’ve seen more tragedy from cycling the ghost round, forgetting you did so, re-cycling (with the inherent firing sequence) and sending an unintended round downrange.

    I know the guy that had the first “direct fire” shot into Iraq during the first Gulf War. That shot (unaimed) came out of the M2A1’s 25mm chain gun unintentionally, because he forgot he’d already cycled his ghost round.

    • #24
    • April 9, 2020, at 7:36 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Mark Camp Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    Boss, as an American citizen, I have a God-given right to a grenade launcher. Dammit.

    @judgemental, concur.

    But not knowing how to cycle the “ghost round” before you can consider your Mk19 up and good to go, could have tragic consequences.

    Actually, I’ve seen more tragedy from cycling the ghost round, forgetting you did so, re-cycling (with the inherent firing sequence) and sending an unintended round downrange.

    I know the guy that had the first “direct fire” shot into Iraq during the first Gulf War. That shot (unaimed) came out of the M2A1’s 25mm chain gun unintentionally, because he forgot he’d already cycled his ghost round.

    Based on this, if I am school board president, I’m just going to issue an executive order.

    25mm chain guns and Mk19’s will NOT be considered for our adult education program.

    • #25
    • April 9, 2020, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    This is one of the reasons I love Ricochet: You’re not going to get a line like “snorting crystal meth through a hooker’s g-string” on some effete think-tankers blog. Great piece. (The article, not … something else.)

    Those more prurient discussions are saved for the sister site Ricochet: After Hours.

    • #26
    • April 9, 2020, at 8:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Vince Guerra Member

    An advantage of living in Alaska is that we have several cans of bear spray laying around, and kids who know how to use them. Also, wasp spray has a stream that’s accurate up to 30 feet.

    • #27
    • April 9, 2020, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    An advantage of living in Alaska is that we have several cans of bear spray laying around, and kids who know how to use them. Also, wasp spray has a stream that’s accurate up to 30 feet.

    Yeah, except that your wasps are as big as bears, and your bears fall into the category of Holy Mary Mother of…

    • #28
    • April 9, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    54 years into this game and I still don’t understand people.

    My opinion: affluence. We are a society that is so affluent, we do not need to wait for anything. We do not need to sew and reap. We do not need to store up our grain. And we do not, normally, need to plan for this sort of thing.

    • #29
    • April 9, 2020, at 12:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):
    54 years into this game and I still don’t understand people.

    Yes. Yes, you do.

    • #30
    • April 9, 2020, at 12:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes