Tag: Firearms

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In 1974, a backhoe, digging a hole for a gasoline tank at a station on Galveston’s Broadway near Ashton Villa hit buried treasure. It did not seem like buried treasure. At first the diggers thought they hit a piece of cast-iron pipe. As they continued they discovered it was a nineteenth century cannon – buried […]

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I’m a conservative with carefully thought out positions on a range of issues, but I still don’t know what I should believe about guns and gun control. Guns are typically a loaded issue for citizens on the spectrum from gun collectors to those who equate gun ownership with impending murder. But this is not a trigger topic for me, […]

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2016 NRA Annual Meeting, Day Zero

 

Sig Sauer SuppressorsThe National Rifle Association annual meeting officially starts tomorrow and runs the rest of the weekend, but I received an invite to an event set up by the American Suppressor Association where I’d shoot a whole bunch of suppressed guns for free, with other people’s ammo.

Of course I went. I’d be crazy not to.

The American Suppressor Association is an industry trade group devoted to making firearms noise suppressors easier to obtain for American gun owners. Currently, suppressors can be purchased in some states (but not all) if you submit a photo, fingerprints and a special form to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with $200 for a tax stamp. And then you wait for a quite along time until the government says you can own a safety device for your guns.

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When hearing the words “naval gun,” one usually associates it with the big 12+ inch guns used on 20th century battleships, culminating with the 18.1 inch guns used on the Japanese Yamato class, which displaced over 70,000 tons. But big guns were relatively ineffective at the World War I Battle of Jutland, where only 3 […]

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I didn’t grow up around guns, and until I was 47 years old, I had still never so much as touched one. I was never anti-gun; but guns were alien to me, and even a little scary just because they were unfamiliar. Then, in December 2012, the Sandy Hook shooting sparked a new gun-control push from […]

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It was sometime after Grampa died that Gramma showed me the gun. I was maybe 12 years old or so. I don’t remember what prompted her to bring it out of the closet, but there it was, and honest-to-goodness handgun. Looked just a bit odd though. Turned out to be a single-shot .410 handgun. Grampa […]

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A stock theme for Civil War stories involves lone inventors developing new and revolutionary weapons, only to have them rejected by a Union Army bureaucracy blind to it merits. The inventor then takes the weapon to Abraham Lincoln, who appreciates the genius of the weapon, forcing the Army to buy and deploy the weapon. Union […]

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I grew up in a former British colony, and like most citizens of any good former British colony, I was raised to think of guns as a bad thing. Even to date, when I speak to people in my family or friends from back home, their first reaction is that firearms are bad. I encounter libertarian […]

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You are a warrior of your people, a people who have lived across the northern plains since time out of mind. In the last few generations, your people have been encountering a new people, people who supposedly come from across a far away sea. They have brought new things to trade for skins and furs. […]

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Concealed Carry, A Woman’s Perspective

 

shutterstock_294491978I’m not sure why it was that — when I moved back to Nashville after my two-year sojourn in New York — I suddenly became interested in guns. I grew-up knowing they were in the house, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I decided I needed to learn to protect myself. My dad had always offered to teach me how to shoot, and I finally took him up on it. When I went to the range for the first time, I was simultaneously intimidated and thrilled. And after that first real squeeze of the trigger… I was hooked!

I got my first gun — a Ruger LC9 — for Christmas that year and soon started the process of getting my concealed carry license. That was the easy part; figuring out how to actually carry concealed was the hard part. At the time, I didn’t know another woman who carried concealed, so I had to figure out on my own what worked and what didn’t, since the guys that worked at the gun store were about as helpful as titties on a boar hog. So, to save the other ladies of Ricochet some of the trouble I had to go through, here are the things that I’ve learned as a woman carrying concealed:

  1. The best gun to buy is the gun that you’ll actually carry everyday. I get a lot of flack from my bros at the gun store for carrying a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 because “It’s too small,” “You need something with more stopping power,” “You’re going to hate shooting it,” and “That’s not a real gun.” All of these things may be true. I do hate shooting it, and I wish I could carry a larger caliber, but facts are facts: As a woman, I’m not built to accommodate a .45 caliber handgun. Women’s bodies are curvy (something you gents are thankful for), but this means that a gun sits differently against our waist and hip. But the biggest obstacle women face in on-body carry is our clothes. Oy! Women’s clothes are not meant to conceal a gun, so it’s for this reason that I carry different caliber pistols at different times of the year. When it’s sweater and coat weather, I’m all about carrying one of my 9mm guns; but, as soon as it turns to t-shirt and tank top weather, the .380 is coming out.
  2. Clothes are a woman’s best friend … and our worst enemy. Women’s clothes really aren’t meant to carry concealed: Our jeans have stretch in them that doesn’t support a heavy pistol, the pockets on our pants are virtually nonexistent, and our clothes are tighter and often made of thinner fabrics. However, because we have so much variety and possibilities in our wardrobes, carrying concealed is easier than many women think… just not as convenient. I’m a big believer in dressing like a normal person. You don’t have to wear cargo pants and baggy shirts in order to on-body carry. I dress what I call “pseudo hipster:” skinny jeans, ankle pants, and maxi dresses. I wear all these things, but I do have to make modifications to carry. As a result, cardigans are my best friend. Light little cardigans in summer, and drapey sweaters in winter. With some wardrobe modification I can carry almost every day.
  3. A low-profile holster is essential. Every guy I know raves and raves about the Cross Breed holsters. I have one like it, but it really doesn’t work for me. Because women’s clothing has more stretch and is generally lighter, bulky holsters “print” really easily. I discovered the (don’t laugh) Pin-Up Collection from Looper Law Enforcement. It’s an entire line of holsters designed especially for women. I have a couple different holster styles from them — including their equivalent of the Cross Breed — but the ultra low-profile kydex Betty style is my favorite. It has a heavy metal clip that doesn’t require a big belt, which makes it easy for me to adjust the kant. I can wear it with yoga pants, bike shorts under a sundress, maxi dress, or skirt. And it allows me to reposition the holster easily. There are other products out there targeted towards women’s concealed carry, and the Internet has a wealth of resources on the matter.
  4. Don’t let the guys at the gun store bully or intimidate you. The only time I’ve ever experienced blatant sexism was at the gun shop. I can’t tell you how many times when I asked to see a particular model of gun, the guy behind the counter would hand me the pink or Tiffany Blue one. I even had one guy say, with a knowing twinkle in his eye, “I’ll bet you like that pink handle, don’t you?” to which I replied, “No, not really. I don’t feel the need for my gun to demonstrate to the world that I have a vagina.” Many times, the guy were genuinely clueless as to why they were steering me in the wrong direction. “You could put this holster in your jeans pocket,” they’d say. “Um, no, I can’t,” I’d say back. Eventually, the guys saw that I was a good shot — and could take their teasing in stride — and even came to see how, as a woman, I carry differently than a man. You just have to suck it up, and show them you’re made of stronger stuff.
  5. Carry the same way everyday. There are lots of ways you can on-body carry: ankle, back, hip, appendix, bra, belly, thigh. Just pick one, and carry the same way everyday. Much of the purpose of training and practice are to create muscle memory, so that we can react without having to think in a stressful situation. Carrying in a different manner everyday will obliterate that muscle memory.
  6. Purse carry sounds great, but… no. I can remember maybe five times in the past two years that I’ve carried my gun in my purse. I’m pretty vehemently against purse carry, because the last thing you want to do when confronted with an attacker is have to dig through your Mary Poppins purse to find your gun. And when was the last time you cleaned out your purse? It’s filthy in there! You don’t want that junking up your gun. Yes, I realize there are concealed carry purses with special pockets reserved for your gun, but — come on! — they’re hideous! But my biggest reason for not liking purse carry is how distant we are from our purses and how easily they can be snatched. We set our purses down on counters, on the floor, in the back seat, and the grocery cart. Purses are easy to misplace and easy to get stolen.
  7. Learning to protect yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. Feminists are missing the boat when it comes to real female empowerment. You cannot rely on others to protect you at all times and — if you want something done — you have to do it yourself. The other day, I saw the story of a very pretty nurse and single mom in Seattle that had gone on a date with a guy from Match.com (we’re pretty sure Whiskey Sam’s alibi is tight), and he murdered her on their date. Carrying a gun can’t ensure that nothing bad will ever happen, but it gives you a fighting chance if it does.

For some illustration of how this works, I’ve posted some photographs and videos on the Members Feed.

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We are trying to fill up our monthly group writing project, and we still have six openings. May’s Group Writing theme is Firearms. How easy is that? Look at all the folks at Ricochet who normally write about firearms. You can write about anything to do with guns. Your favorite firearm. A personal experience with firearms. […]

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May’s Group Writing theme is Firearms. Anything to do with guns. Your favorite firearm. A personal experience with firearms. Shooting hobbies.  Movies featuring guns. A piece on historical firearms. Anything. This is your chance to shoot off your mouth about shooting in general.  Never started a conversation before? Here is your opportunity. We still have eleven openings, […]

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It is the middle of the month again, which means it is time to start recruiting for next month’s writing theme project, better known as Group Writing. Every month we do a writing project on Ricochet. We seek a daily conversation on that theme, from a different Ricochet member. On a good month we will get […]

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The Road Behind, the Road Ahead

 

NRA-1Over the past few years, the National Rifle Association has become one of the most effective lobbying organizations in Washington DC. Gun rights activists have taken over from social conservatives as the foot soldiers of the Republican party, and support for gun rights has become a cornerstone of all the GOP candidates for President. After a deranged killer shot up Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun owners across this country prepared for their rights to be restricted because of one (insane) man’s actions. But those restrictions never happened, thanks in no small part to the NRA’s efforts.

This hasn’t always been the case. In 1994, Republicans were swept into power on the strength of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” but by 1996, in the wake of the bombing in Oklahoma City, the Clinton administration (with the help of John Kasich) passed a Federal Assault Weapons Ban, limiting the capacity of certain types of guns and banning other guns based on their appearance, not on their function.

After the “assault weapons” ban, if you wanted a magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle, you had to make sure it didn’t look too evil or you couldn’t buy it new and had to pay outrageous prices for something made before 1994. If you wanted a detachable magazine that held more than 10 rounds of ammunition, you had to scrounge around and pay a premium for a “pre-ban” magazine that held the correct amount of ammunition for your gun. But what was supposed to happen, that “assault weapons” were going to fade away along with the NRA, didn’t happen. Instead, the exact opposite took place.

The Issues That Matter to Gun Owners, Part Two

 

shutterstock_160407359Part one of this series, if you haven’t read it already, is over here. Picking up from there, here are four more issues that matter to American gun owners.

Liability Laws: This is the pet issue for one of the currently unindicted Democratic candidates for President. She is pushing the idea that gun companies are somehow completely free from the product liability laws which cover improperly made or dangerous products, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Gun companies can be sued for guns that are dangerous or are poorly built, which is right in line with every other manufacturer in America. What the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act covers is frivolous, inane lawsuits against firearms companies which are designed to put them out of business because of the fact they are gun companies. A prime example of this was the nuisance lawsuit brought by the parents of one of the victims of the Aurora theater shooting against the online ammo retailer Lucky Gunner, because they sold the ammunition used in that horrific event (Disclaimer: I know the people at Lucky Gunner pretty well, and consider them to be terrific people). The suit was thrown out of court and the family was ordered to pay the court costs of Lucky Gunner because it was patently obvious that Lucky Gunner had no idea that the products they sold would be used in such a manner.

The Issues That Matter to Gun Owners, Part One

 

Fshutterstock_3306466irearms owners are becoming an increasingly-important voting bloc in center-right politics, and it’s important to discuss and define what specific issues and laws are important to today’s gun owners in this upcoming election. With that in mind, I reached out to some of the people who defined “Gun Culture 2.0” in order to get their opinions on the legal matters of today which matter to gun owners, and this was their response.

The Supreme Court 
The recent ruling in the case of Commonwealth v. Caetano sent shockwaves through the gun community. In a stunning unanimous decision, the highest court in the land (literally) laid down the law, telling lawmakers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that yes, the Second Amendment applied to more than just muskets and it also covers the right of the citizens to own guns for their own use, not necessarily as part of a state militia. This ruling, an important win for the pro-gun rights movement, highlights the importance of who is sitting on the Supreme Court. With an open vacancy and the potential for more openings in the next four years, it is vitally important to gun owners that the next President appoints a person to the Court who will defend our innate right to self-defense and the heritage of firearms ownership in the United States.

The Question of the Second

 

Where do the remaining Republican candidates for president stand on our constitutional right of self-defense? All of them have recently talked about how they support the Second Amendment, but what have they said in the past about the right to keep and bear arms, before they were in the white-hot spotlight of the presidential race? Let’s take a look.

Donald Trump talks a good game now when it comes to guns, but it’s obvious he only recently switched over to the correct side of the issue. In 2000, in his book “The America We Deserve,” he wrote: