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Teachable Moments – Mag fumble

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There’s always space for improvement, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

In this video, we see the shooter go for his mag to reload and fumbles it. Twice! What can we work on here to make sure it doesn’t happen?

Use your hand, not your fingers

The first fumble is due to the shooter losing grip on the magazine through his fingers. When it comes to motor skills in gun handling, we want to use gross motor skills over fine motor skills whenever possible. Using your hand versus using your fingers. While fingers are dexterous and can perform all sorts of tasks, they may not be as reliable in a high stress adrenaline dump situation.

Drive the palm of your hand to the butt of your magazine while lining up your index finger along the front of the magazine.

Index the front of the magazine with your finger

Your hand-eye coordination is very good at lining up your index finger with whatever you want to point at. We line up the front of the magazine along the index finger to indicate to our brain where the front and top of the magazine is. This helps us aim the magazine into the mag well and guide it in smoothly.

Check out the post on our 3 basic handgun manipulations for a video demonstration and tips. Mag in, mag out is one of the basic skills that shooters should master.

Set your gear up for success

There is no best mag pouch or gear that we recommend as gear is a highly personal choice depending on your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing how to carry your magazines.

How many magazines to carry – It depends on how you want to train. If you want to train concealed carry with one extra mag, then that’s the way to go. When training on the range, we do recommend carrying a few extra mags and rounds in your pockets to refill/replace your mag when you’re off the firing line. That’s purely for efficiency of training at the range.

Firmly secure, but not too tight – You will want your magazines to stay put as you run and move into different shooting positions, but not so tight that it is difficult to get out.

Leave room for your grip – Make sure you’re able to get a good firm grip with your hand when you go for your magazines. Test our your gear at home with a few repetitions.

Thanks Kim for this photo!

Orient your magazines in the same direction – When you put your magazines in your carrier, orient them in the same direction so you know how to go for them each time. Even if you only have one magazine in your pocket, be cognizant of how that mag is oriented so it is consistent.

Store your empty mags – ON THE GROUND. Mama Earth will hold them for you until you’re done fighting. There’s no need to retain empty magazines. Just drop them on the ground when they’re empty if you’re in a fighting situation. Tactical reloads have their time and place.

Bonus tip! Mark your magazines so you can tell yours apart from everyone else’s.

About the Teachable Moments series:

When Brian blows the whistle and brings the class in for a teachable moment, we get a chance to learn from someone’s mistake. We’re hoping to encapsulate those moments in posts so more people can learn and improve their firearms safety, handling, marksmanship and overall understanding of self defense. These posts are not meant to shame or ridicule those who make mistakes. Instead, lets take a moment to say “thanks for the lesson in making that mistake. Now I don’t have to make it myself.”

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

Have a teachable moment to you’d like to share? Whether it happens in a Monarch Defense class, on your own training time or in real life, we’re up for an opportunity to learn! Send your story and a photo/video (if possible) to media@monarchdefense.org

 

Training tips – 3 basic handgun manipulations

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We’re working on bringing training videos to the blog! Let’s start at the very beginning with the most basic 3 handgun manipulations that you should learn, practice and know very well as you advance in your gun-fighting skills.

For left handed shooters, don’t feel left out! There are instructions for left handed manipulation as well.

Mag in, mag out

An empty magazine is of no use to us and getting it out of the gun efficiently is an often overlooked skill to practice. Depending on your hand anatomy and the gun, you will need to discover the exact amount of shifting and button pressing to release the magazine. Also, get used to the idea of the magazine dropping and hitting the ground. No need to spend precious energy and time retaining an empty mag while you’re shooting on the range.

When inserting your magazine, use your finger to index along the front of the magazine to help guide it into the right place. This is also a good time to think about how to orient your magazines in your mag pouches on your gear or in your pocket.

Roll and rack

This manipulation can be tricky for those who are new and unfamiliar to semi-auto handguns. Where do I put my hand on this thing? Why is this so hard to pull? Argghh errghhh.. The next thing we know, the student has the gun pointing all over the place trying to rack the slide. No. We don’t want that.

When practicing this, remember to push the gun away from you while holding the slide firmly. Use both push and pull to rack the slide. Facing the ejection port to the ground will allow gravity to help you clear the chamber when you do this manipulation as part of a simple malfunction clear.

Slide open and lock

By being able to properly clear your gun and lock your slide open the first time, every time, without fumbling, it demonstrates that you’re familiar with your gun and can show that the gun is clear when called upon.

We hope this was helpful and gives you guys something to practice on at home to prepare you for a successful training day on the range!

If there are any topics you’re interested in and would like us to cover, send us an email at media@monarchdefense.org!

Teachable Moments – How to hold your gun

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This week’s teachable moment comes from this photo of what happens when the shooter has poor grip on the pistol. Note the separation of hands. It is important to hold onto the gun by using force generated by both the strong and support hand.

With a weak grip, the recoil energy doesn’t travel through the arm to be absorbed by the body and instead flips the muzzle, making subsequent shots difficult to place on target without taking a lot of time to re-aim and adjust. This can also cause malfunctions if the gun isn’t able to harness the recoil energy properly to eject the spent casing and load a new round into the chamber.

How do we fix this? To maximize grip strength on a handgun, observe how the human hand applies the greatest amount of grip strength. A closed fist or grip around an object will have the thumb bent and strength applied through the thumb pad.

By using what is called the crush grip, the strong hand grips the gun with the thumb bent, applying pressure through all five digits. The support hand wraps around with the thumb pad pressing on top of thumbnail of the strong hand. This locks the hands together and allows both hands to be able to apply pressure through the thumbpad.

This also means that there is increased grip strength while using just one hand, either strong or support. Shooting with this grip one handed will offer a more stable platform and you can pick up speed and accuracy.

The crush grip is different from the two thumbs forward grip that is popular in firearms training for being faster and more accurate. Your speed and accuracy will depend on the time you spend training regardless of grip style. We’re not here to poo-poo other grips. Especially if you have spent a significant time training a certain way and have had good results, there is no reason to change (unless you want to. Don’t let some words on the internet tell you what to do!)

When we see shooters have trouble with grip, we teach the principles of crush grip as it offers more retention and better grip strength for those with weaker hands. With a more stable grip, other issues like poor marksmanship and malfunctions are easier to resolve.

About the Teachable Moments series:

When Brian blows the whistle and brings the class in for a teachable moment, we get a chance to learn from someone’s mistake. We’re hoping to encapsulate those moments in posts so more people can learn and improve their firearms safety, handling, marksmanship and overall understanding of self defense. These posts are not mean to shame or ridicule those who make mistakes. Instead, lets take a moment to say “thanks for the lesson in making that mistake. Now I don’t have to make it myself.”

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

Have a teachable moment to you’d like to share? Whether it happens in a Monarch Defense class, on your own training time or in real life, we’re up for an opportunity to learn! Send your story and a photo/video (if possible) to media@monarchdefense.org

Video

Dynamic Drills Day tips – how to prepare

We want to help you guys prepare for a great Dynamic Drills Day (or any other Monarch Defense class, really) We recommend starting to prepare at least a week in advance so you have time to test your gear and if needed, buy what you need.

Prepare for the weather

In the summer, wear light, breathable garments and plenty of sunscreen. Bring water, water and more water. Bring a bucket of ice in a cooler. Bring shade and seating if you wish. Heat stroke on the range is no joke and we’ve seen it happen.

In the winter, wear long underwear and layers. Wool and synthetic materials work best. Wear a hat, scarf and thick wool sock. As for gloves, make sure you wear them and test them out with your guns.

Prepare your body

Your physical shape will dictate how much you will be able to get out of the day on the range. When the body starts to become fatigued, the mind will exhaust as well preventing you from learning new skills and benefiting from training. Students who are under stress both physically and mentally will start to make mistakes and we don’t want that.

Stretch daily. Sleep well. Eat well. Exercise.

Holsters

Buy a holster that is fitted to your gun. One-size-fits-all nylon holsters do not secure weapons well and make it difficult to safely draw and reholster the weapon. If you have any questions about holsters, contact us and we will give you some suggestions.

Slings for long guns

A holster is to a handgun as a sling is to the long gun. For those who are unfamiliar with slings, we recommend two-point slings as they are very versatile and are a good starting point. Students have brought three point and one point slings in the past which work well too. Though, one point slings tend to bang around when movement is involved in drills

No steel core ammo. No green tip.

Do not use steel core ammo on our steel targets. They rip holes in the steel targets and wreck them real fast.

Feel free to bring frangible ammunition if you’d like, but not required.

Mark your magazines

On the range, we will not be training for you to retain your magazines. Empty magazines will end up on the ground to be collected after your turn or when instructed. Your mags may be mixed in with other students’ so mark your magazines to distinguish them from others. Especially Glock and GI mags. Very popular, everyone has them. Use tape, mark them with sharpies, paint ’em pink, up to you.

Test your gear at home

Try on your gear at home as if you’ll be on the range. Put all of your gear on and adjust straps and pouch positions as needed. Crawl around on the living room floor, get into and out of different shooting positions and make sure your gear doesn’t bind you up at any point. We’ve seen students lose guns out of holsters, fumble with magazines, or see stuff simply fall off.

Ask questions before class

We are accessible to you before class day. Feel free to message us on Facebook, Instagram, call us, email us. We will help you the best we can to make sure you will get the most out of Dynamic Drills Day!

Facebook – Monarch Defense

Instagram – @monarchdefense

Call Brian at (408) 892-5460

Email Brian info@monarchdefense.org

Choose To Live!

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Click the image above to play video.

Friends and students, I want you to sit down and carefully watch this video from start to finish. It’s hard, but please, for your own sake and the sake of those you love, watch it, and dispel denial from your mind. Bad things happening to good people for seemingly no reason. What you see here boils down to a simple question: When faced with your last choice, do you choose to not choose, or do you choose to live? This victim wasn’t willing to do what it took to live, or in other words, she chose to let someone else choose her fate. Don’t be like her.

Folks, in the world there are predators, criminals, and those who just don’t care about your well being as much as getting what they want, be it revenge, as it appears in this case, your possessions, your body, your livelihood, or your life.  Who is coming to save you? Nobody. Don’t expect to be able to simply call someone for help, or to have bystanders save you, or that your attacker would have mercy on you. All of those thoughts are simply obstacles in the way of accepting the truth.

You have no right to live, no right to be safe, and no right to feel safe. Anyone who tells you that is a fool. The only thing that you have a right to, is what you are willing to fight for, to die for. Unless you are willing to die fighting for your life, what authority do you have to demand someone else to stop attacking you? Unless you’re willing to use the necessary amount of force to back it up, no amount of pleading or reasoning will stop someone determined to do you harm.

Take a good look at that old lady who tried to convince him to stop. Don’t you think she saw the risk of approaching this man? It’s not difficult to believe that she fully recognized that if the man turned and chopped her to pieces too, that she was at peace with her age and her own mortality, she was willing to accept the consequences.

If that was you, and you had no other means of defense, or the means necessary to stop someone by force, would you attempt to reason with a mad man in the act of murder? If that was you, watching from afar and filming for the world to see, pretending to stay un-involved, could you live with yourself or sleep peacefully at night knowing you did nothing?

For those friends who disagree with the civilian ownership of firearms. Open your eyes and stop deluding yourself. As you watch this film what is the one thing you find yourself pleading? “Please let someone, anyone come and stop him!” How many unarmed witnesses there in that housing complex thought to intervene but had neither the tools nor the training to do so? Violence has nothing to do with the weapon, and only to do with what is in the heart of the individual. Someone who has committed to a life of violence can only be stopped in the act by force. Guns are not your problem, get with the program. Apathy and the decay of morality is what plagues us today. Those of us who still do care, who train and live an armed lifestyle are good, peace loving people…so much so that we are willing to do necessary violence to ensure it. Are you?

When faced with your last choice, do you choose to live, or do you choose to not choose?

Common Sense Gun Laws Part 5: No One Needs an AR15

 

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It’s true. We can live perfectly well without the Armalite AR15. Common sense will tell you that the Armalite AR15 is out of patent, which means anyone can make a facsimile of it, so go ahead, make the AR15 illegal. We will use the LMT Defender2000, the Noveske N4, the the Colt 6920, or any of the hundreds of similar brands of AR15 pattern rifle for our sporting, hunting, self defense, and civil defense needs.

The argument that a ban on the AR15 would mean all “AR-type rifles”. So be it. How about the Ruger Mini14, Keltec SU16, Saiga, M1 carbine, SKS, or Springfield M1A? Can a criminal choose a legal and less scary looking firearm in the commission of a mass murder? Of course he could. Could a criminal decide to not comply with an assault weapon ban and make or import something illegal with which to commit his crime? Of course he could. Remember, compliance with the law is a choice that law abiding citizens make, and mass murderers are an intelligent, resourceful and determined lot.

What then is the benefit of such restriction?

“If it saves one live, then it’s worth it!”

If that is so, then let us count up how many lives lawful defenders have used such a firearm to protect. By this logic, if it saves one life, then they are worth keeping! That would be common sense, no?

“If we take these weapons of war off the street, bad guys won’t be able to get their hands on them as easily.”

Study history and you will see this is false. Look at Charles Whitman who used a bolt action hunting rifle to murder innocent students and faculty at University of Texas in Austin.

Look at the Virginia Tech shooting, where Seung-Hui Cho used only handguns which are in common circulation everywhere in the country in private ownership. If he could commit the largest school shooting of US history without an AR15, so could anyone else.

Look at the terrorist attacks in Europe that we have seen over the last few years. Did strict legislation regarding firearms stop those attacks? No. Either the attackers stopped on their own volition, or brave men and women in the right time, at the right place, armed with the right tools, and trained in the right skills stopped those attacks. These are the facts.

In fact, if most mass murderers stop on their own, such as in the examples of Columbine and Douglas high school, then common sense tells us that the most effective means of stopping a mass murder attack, would be to ask the attacker to kindly stop! If we are unable or unwilling to put in place the aforementioned brave people in the right place-time-tool-and training, then that is our only option.

Herein lies the answer to why we have AR15s. Conflict is a fact of life. Whether it be conflict between political factions, religious sects, ethnic tribes, foreign invaders, tyrannical government, or domestic terrorist, the solution is the same: Either you accept the consequences of inaction, relying upon the mercy or incompetence of the enemy, or you fight tooth and nail for your desired outcome. Those who are willing to fight for what they want, will eventually get what they want. If you want peace, stability, freedom, safety, you must be willing to fight for it. There is no easier alternative!

4387523896_bc096f54f7_oTo summarize, there is nothing special about one design of rifle, when there are dozens of other suitable and competing contemporary weapons. To make one illegal would simply push both good guys and bad guys to get creative and work around the law, such as by using older technology designed for the same purpose, or sourcing them illegitimately. Frankly, if all guns and knives were made illegal, humans would simply revert back to using rocks and sharp sticks as weapons of conflict. We don’t “need” AR15s. Nonetheless, as tools of conflict resolution, they are technologically superior than sticks and stones, and they happen to be the overwhelmingly the design of choice of Americans.

This is why we have them.

Laws that ban the sale or possession of certain types of weapons do not stop criminals from committing crimes. The solution instead is to focus our energy on understanding and accepting the inevitability of crime, and to work productively to put the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right tools, and the right training in order to mitigate the damage that one crazed attacker can do.

 

 

Common Sense Gun Laws Part 4: A Well Regulated Militia

the second amendment

Everyone has heard of the Second Amendment, yet many people don’t know what exactly it means. Let’s dissect and define the components of the second amendment together.

In its entirety, it reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

What did the founders mean by “well regulated”? What exactly is a militia?

Well regulated

In the two and a half centuries since these concepts were formulated by our forefathers, the English language has evolved somewhat as different words take on new cultural meanings.

Well regulated means “functioning as it should”. Imagine the air regulator on a diver’s SCUBA tank. The airflow is well regulated, not too much, not too little, providing the air that the diver needs to stay alive under water. “Regulation” in the modern context connotes rules, laws, and restrictions, but in essence those rules and laws are so that  whatever is to be regulated can function as it should. A militia that is armed, trained, and ready is one that is “well regulated”.

Militia

What then is a Militia? The militia is not the military, even though our modern day concept of the National Guard does trace its lineage back to the American colonial militias. The difference is that a militia is a local, part time, and self equipped collection of normal every day citizens who are decentralized in their leadership, but can band together and take up arms in defense of the community, should the need arise. This is in stark contrast to the various components of our current military, who go through formal training, wear official uniforms, are issued taxpayer equipment, take orders from the executive branch of our government, and are on state payroll.

In contemporary understanding, the militia would have been comprised of white males typically between age 18 and 45. Today, post feminism and civil rights, the militia encompasses all able bodied men and women without regard to skin color.

We can finish defining the remainder of the Second Amendment at a later date, but today let’s look to history for why the militia is still important today as it was 250 years ago.

Importance and history of the militia

Our country is very different in its origins from otherwise comparable countries today. For example, Australia began as an expedition under British authority to use prisoners in establishing a colony for economic gain after Britain had lost the American war. In contrast, North america was pioneered by pilgrims from many countries seeking freedom from oppressive governments. From the get-go, Americans as a breed were independent do-it-yourself-ers who mistrusted centralized power, and sought to trade the stability of government oversight for the risks and rewards of the new world.

Militias from a very practical standpoint were the backbone of pioneer settlements. For centuries they defended the communities against Indian raids, bandits, and competing colonial powers. It is only natural that as Britain brought in soldiers to tame it’s rebellious colony on the wake of the Boston Tea Party, that militias shifted their attention to fighting a protracted war against our own tyrannical government.

While most colonists then still saw themselves as Englishmen, they were astute enough to recognize the pattern of tyranny, which begins with the confiscation of personal arms. As history has it, the colonist’s fears came to fruition on the morning of April 19th, 1775 when General Gage, then acting governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay ordered redcoats (The Army) to sneak out of Boston harbor under the cover of darkness to seize and destroy militia weapons cached in the nearby countryside. This was a clear act of war, and the rest is history.

You might ask, how does this pertain to me today? If I may remind you while we live in a period of relative peace, Yemen is at civil war, Libya is at civil war, Iraq is at civil war, Venezuela is amid civil unrest, Ukraine just had a revolution, Russia took the Crimean Peninsula by military force, Thailand just had a crisis, and the list goes on.  During all of the hubbub of the Trump vs Clinton election, did we ever have a military coup, assassination, or civil war? When was the last time you saw American government forces firing upon members of the public at a rally or protest? Which minority can you think of  that is subject to genocide? When was the last time a highway patrolman pointed his weapon at you to demand a road side bride?

Our nation is stable to this day because of the balancing and moderating influence that an armed populace provides against the sway of political corruption. Power corrupts all men, but by maintaining a balance of power throughout the population, we have a government which is decentralized and in check. We as a nation are stable because of gun owners and their AR15’s, not in spite of them.

Comment on Bump Stock Type Device Proposal

Below is the comment which I submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regarding the proposed legislation that would classify bump style stock equipped rifles as machine guns, thereby forcing current owners to surrender or destroy them without compensation upon penalty of death or incarceration. Please take a minute out of your day and submit a comment here in opposition of this proposal.  (https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=ATF-2018-0002-0001)

To whom it may concern,

I am a professional educator and seek to spread knowledge in combat of ignorance. Lawmaking in our republic is a matter of deciding what is best for our society, not in implementing what some people like or dislike, want or not want. Our responsibility is to use logic and data, rather than opinion and ignorance, to support our decision making. Bump fire type devices have been in production for decades before they came into the spotlight when a resourceful sociopath used one to fire upon the crowd in Las Vegas last October. In those decades, thousands of lawful owners have used them harmlessly, so you must understand that this one incident is a statistical outlier. It is our duty to formulate policy based upon how it affects the greater society, not how it affects the sub one percent deviant population.

As a trained sniper, I will attest that normal semi automatic fire could have just as easily resulted in the same 500+ wounded, 50+ fatalities. In fact, it may be fortunate that the attacker was an amateur with firearms and did not aim his shots at the 20,000+ concert goers below. It is rather a miracle that of so many vulnerable and exposed innocent people below, the shooter only managed to kill .27% of them in his attack.

As evidenced in Charles Whitman’s attack on University of Texas Austin in 1966, a bolt action deer hunting rifle is at once nearly impossible to ban and perfectly deadly in the hands of the motivated. Tools are not the problem at hand.

I urge you to exercise Common Sense, that is to not blame the novelty gadget that a bump fire stock is for the actions of one individual. Do not waste our national resources, and your time on legislation that amounts to nothing.

You see, unlike true machine guns, bump fire is quite useless. It is only good for wasting ammunition and “shits and giggles”. Anyone who has shot a rifle in bump fire will attest to two things: That it is nearly impossible to aim, and that the action of bump fire can be done without the assistance of a special stock.

If you make bump fire stocks illegal, it neither stops sociopaths from killing the innocent using other means, nor does it stop people from being able to bump fire a normal semi automatic rifle. What exactly then are you accomplishing, other than wasting time and energy? The answer is, converting thousand of well intentioned, law abiding Americans into felons.

For every legislation, there is a cost. If the gain is meaningful, the the cost can be considered. In this case, the gain is nothing, and the cost to the american public is tremendous. Please considering this logic in your rule-making.

Thank you for your effort to read my letter.

Brian Wang

 

 

Common Sense Gun Laws Part 3: Weighing Consequences

Weighing consequences

Newton’s third law states that any action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is as true in the hard sciences as it is in public policy. Each decision has a consequence, and any solution to a problem will introduce new problems. “What do you give up to gain?” That was a phrase my mentor and instructor David Maglio used often. To compound the problem of weighing consequences, we often don’t have a full set of data, and cannot foresee the sacrifices or other potentially unanticipated aspects of a policy until it is too late.

Some examples from history

Vietnam War

In Col. James McDonough’s (ret.) book “Platoon Leader”, he offers us the example of a US Army policy during the Vietnam War to rotate Lieutenants out of their direct troop leading command after 6 months in the field, even though their men stayed on for 12 months. The goal initially was to allow more young officers a taste of combat during what was anticipated to be a short war, and to spread around the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.

The drawback as you can imagine, was that new lieutenants shuffled in and out of combat units where the men had more experience than their leaders. This led to gross inconsistency of leadership style, expectations, and effectiveness of those combat units. How many US soldiers died battle because they were led by officers who had no experience in the rigors of war? This is an example of the cost of a well meaning policy.

Prohibition

If we look to history, we can see that outlawing alcohol lead to the widespread illegal liquor trafficking industry, and spike in organized crime. This in turn lead to rises in violent crime, murders, government corruption, and a loss of tax revenue.

When our nation went to war on illicit drugs, we quickly overloaded our prison systems and law enforcement resources with non-violent offenders, which in turn lead to fewer resources to fight “real” crimes, and a higher cost to taxpayers to pay for government spending on the corrections industry.

American Revolution

Prior to and leading up to the American Revolution, British parliament sought to punish the colonies for their insolence during the Boston Tea Party by instituting laws that denied Massachusetts colonists self governance. British officials had gambled that by making an example out of one colony, order would be restored and the other colonies would fall back into line. As history has it, this plan backfired and angered american colonists to the point of sparking a war.

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In each of these examples, leaders instituted well meaning decisions hoping to generally bring benefit, but in fact benefited few members of society at the detriment of the vast majority.

Consequences of Today’s Proposed Gun Laws

In context of the national gun rights debate, for one side to fervently claim that their position is correct is to show ignorance for the complex balance and multitude of factors that form reality. For example, no one wishes for criminals and crazies to have access to immensely powerful firearms. Specifically, after the Parkland Florida shooting many have cried for greater police powers to seize the firearms from people suspected of being a danger to themselves and others. At face value this rhetoric makes sense, until you consider that if police can violate one’s freedoms without due process on a suspicion or complaint, how do the people maintain accountability from the police to not unjustly violate the rights of the innocent?

If we are to increase law enforcement powers to seize firearms from individuals deemed to be unstable, what prevents the police from abusing their “discretion” to remove firearms from law abiding citizens?

If we institute a broad “assault style weapons” ban, how do we ensure that the law actually affects a criminal’s access to weapons rather than just denying the freedoms of the majority?

If we raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21, what effect will it have on the population four or five generations from now? Will it actually deter crime? If so, how much?

What do you

Common Sense Gun Laws Part 2: Defining Deviance

You cannot legislate away bad apples.

By definition a criminal is deviant, an outlier, a small fraction of the data sample, an atypical specimen. Fortunately, the outliers are few and far between. In order to achieve effective use of our policy making resources, we have to focus our efforts on what influences the majority.

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The problem with outliers, especially ones such as mass shooters, or terrorists, is that they don’t respond to the usual forms of social control. Unlike religious institutions, which promise reward or punishment in the afterlife, our legal system is founded upon punishment of the physical body. It assumes that most people want to live and want to be free. For the majority of the human population, this assumption is correct and the system works.

A Profile of a Villain

For example, let’s look at the idea of an assault weapon ban. We can discuss this concept in much greater depth later, but for now look how it pertains to a simple bell curve. Norway for example is a very safe country with low crime and few shootings. Certain people can apply for a permit to own a gun, and they are restricted to using 3 round magazines. In the eyes of many pro-gun control Americans, they have a fantastic model.

Yet, when the shooter in Oslo carried out his enormously “successful” attack at an island youth retreat for the Labor party, he did so with a bomb diversion downtown, and with a .223 caliber Mini-14 that would pass muster under typical American assault weapon ban proposals. While he could not purchase 30 round magazines in his country, with some creativity he was able to order them from overseas.

He falls into the category of Villain. Bombs are illegal, high capacity magazines are illegal, massacring children is illegal, but none of those laws prevented him. Someone determined to carry out his work, regardless of the threat of punishment, will not be deterred by laws that will easily dissuade the common citizen.

Unfortunately, the problem here is that some people want to die, or are willing to die to achieve their goals. How do you stop this kind of person? Is he mad? I think not, he just cares more about one than the other. If you can’t threaten a citizen with arrest, incarceration, and execution, then what other motivational means do we have?

The Threefold Answer to Villains

Before the fact, the solution is upbringing. How do we structure the minds of our youth such that they grow up with a clear moral compass, value life, and care for their fellow mankind? This pertains to the complicated questions of parenting, the debate around violent video games, the influence of popular culture and our educational system. Everything in the intangible weave of human interaction has a consequence upon the formative mind of the next domestic terrorist. The topic of upbringing, as important as it may be, is not my professional specialty, so I will allow my peers in that field to make their judgement.

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Leading up to the attack, we as a society can dissuade and postpone a would be killer from taking action by denying him the guarantee of success. In other words, if you were to go to work today, you would expect to be paid, right? If tomorrow you go to work, and there was no paycheck for you, you would quickly change you mind about working for this employer. The same is true when a very logical “madman” is planning his attack. Deny him the reward and satisfaction, then the work and sacrifice (death or lifetime incarceration) may not be worth the payoff. How can we do this? By denying him access to resistance free target rich environments, aka gun free zones to start.

Secondly, deny him fame by refusing to speak his name in the media. A century ago, we would have tarred and feathered him, dragged his naked body from a horse around town, starved him of water in the scorching sun and fed his eyes to the ants before hanging his corpse from a tree for all to see, as an unglamorous warning to other who might follow in his footsteps. In today’s world we fawn them with media attention. Deny them the reward!

After the fact, once someone is set into his way of thinking, and has steeled his mind to one course of action, and begun to act upon his deadly plan, the only remaining option we have is to interdict him by force, to kill or disable him before his takes his toll. Banks, airports, power plants, courthouses, churches, and to some extent military bases have begun to figure this out. These institutions are logical targets for well planned attacks. Recognize the threat, have a solution in place when the assault comes.

I’m sorry folks, but reality is not about what you or I wish. It is what it is. It is for this reason why we see a push nationwide to staff armed police officers at our schools, just like how we hardened our airports with armed guards after 9/11.

Side note

In response to the multiple law enforcement interactions with the Parkland, FL school shooter, many people have asked why did the police fail to do something about him before the shooting. The answer to this is due process. Talk is cheap, and it is also legal. There are people who will say all sorts of weird and twisted things on the internet, but until they actually begin to act upon those intention, there is no crime. To arrest people for what they say, or think, is to violate one’s right to freedom of speech ala George Orwell’s 1984. To confiscate someone’s firearms because you suspect they may be crazy, but they haven’t done any crime yet, would be a violation of a citizen’s right to due process. If we as a society go down that path, then we are no better than the nazi’s, fascists, and communists that we fought so vehemently this last century.

Our system is not perfect, but if you wish to stop a school shooter or domestic terrorist, you can strive to mold them into healthy productive members of society through socialization and upbringing from birth, but know that there will always be outliers and violent, deviant sociopaths, we must logically be ready to use force in defense of what is most sacred.