Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Anti's Are At It Again: Starbucks Boycott???

I love guns.  As much as I love guns, I hate what they can do in the wrong hands.  However, I refuse to lay down and be punished for the actions of those wrong hands.  If some crazed idiot started screwing peoples front doors shut with a Makita so they eventually died of starvation, why would it make sense to start a campaign to ban cordless drills?  Sounds stupid, huh?  As much as that might be an apples to oranges comparison, it still illustrates the parallels and absurdity people resort to when confronted with the wrong people using legal tools immoraly.

I think it's all fine and dandy to dream of a world without gun violence, but when did that dream become getting rid of all guns?  "But Jason, guns were designed to kill!"  Yeah, and cars weren't.  Yet they take more lives than the gun violence any day of the year.  Maybe it's the violence you have a problem with.  I'm sorry, but society in general hasn't found an answer to that.  Until they do, as an American who is protected in the Bill of Rights, I will arm and defend myself.  I'm not a part of the problem, and taking my guns away isn't going to keep them out of the hands of those who can acquire them illegally, and use them for illicit purposes.

So, now that my rant is over, back to the story and the crux of the problem.  It seems the Anti's (God bless their misguided broken hearts) want to boycott Starbucks this coming Valentines Day, Thursday, February 14th.  Why?  Because the "powers that be" at my favorite coffee house believe in preserving peoples rights, and allow law abiding gun owners to openly carry in their stores.  That's hard to do here in CA since we're so 2nd Amendment backwards anyway, but you other states, you magically can.  Bravo to them.  It seems the misguided ones feel that Starbucks is bowing to the "NRA agenda" (Giving baby's guns and blowing up kittens, I think.), and want to show their disapproval by organizing a boycott.  Here's a link to one site.

So as a law abiding gun owner, what can you do?  As one bankrupt company slogan went, "Make it a blockbuster night"....or day.  This Valentine's Day go to your local Starbucks and spend a little more than you usually would.  Buy that coffee bag for the troops.  Reload that Gold Card you always seem to leave with a zero balance.  Buy a Bearista plush for a loved one.  The list goes on.  Heck, spend a small mint.  It's worth it to show the 1% 'ers up in that Seattle corporate office that, even though some may feel they're responsible for the Great Recession, we're still grateful they support our fundamental rights.  Show the Anti's you're proud to be a law abiding gun owner and help turn their boycott into a dismal failure.

Shoot safely,

Jason, aka TheExpertish

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Beginning: The 4-Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety

Hey Everyone,

So what better place to start my first official on-topic post than with the beginning; Gun Safety.  These four rules should be considered laws...., ney, Commandments!  If followed properly they can literally 100% guarantee your safety and those around you.  I think all too often we hear of what happens when these rules are NOT followed.  These are given in order of importance according to most gun-guru's and safety experts.


When handling a gun you need to treat it like it has a round in the chamber and can be fired.  Everyone around you should feel the same way.  It is perfectly normal to make the people around you uncomfortable until you have verified that a gun is indeed unloaded.  You should practice this at all times.  This includes looking at new guns at a shop, showing guns to a friend, or ALWAYS!  It's a little known fact among non-gun owners that if a gun isn't loaded, it cannot go off.

This unfortunately is a very common mistake with deadly consequences.  It also seems to affect those who are around firearms more often.  It's called complacency.  A feeling that you're an expert, you know what you're doing, so the rules can be bent.  WRONG!  This was made all too apparent just recently when a US Navy Seal accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun.

So, to remedy this, treat a gun as if it is loaded until YOU make it safe.  This is done simply by knowing how to "clear" a firearm.  Here are the 3 steps to clearing a firearm no matter what type of gun it is.  Follow this order to the letter.

1. Remove The Magazine. Often incorrectly called the "clip", this is the removable part of a gun that holds the ammunition.  This will make sure no further rounds can be chambered into the weapon.  For tube-fed guns like shotguns and lever action you simply need to look.  For revolvers release the cylinder.

2. Cycle The Action.  This will remove any round which is currently chambered.  This is accomplished by cycling the slide, bolt, or action of any gun.  For tube-fed guns continue to cycle until all rounds are ejected.  You don't need to do this for revolvers.

3. Make Sure It's Clear.  This is redundant, but you need to LOOK and FEEL to make sure the gun is clear.  This means looking into the gun AND using your finger to make sure there are no rounds in the chamber or magazine.  And yes, you need to do both.

Be redundant.  Redundancy is safety.  A good example and way to practice properly is at a gun store.  The guns SHOULD be unloaded, but what did I already tell you?  The clerk should clear the gun before handing it to you.  Sadly some don't.  After they do, clear it again.  The rule of thumb is that every hand that touches the gun should clear it.  Unless you KNOW it's unloaded, treat it as if it is.  Trust no one.  If you feel you cannot do any of this or don't know how to, then ask someone who is familiar with that particular gun.  Knowing is half the battle.


The long version of this is "Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire".  This is just as important as #1, but 99.99% as much which is why it isn't #1.  To some it is interchangeable, but I disagree.  Point being, if the gun isn't loaded pulling the trigger won't matter.  Secondly, if your finger isn't on the trigger, the gun CANNOT FIRE.  Hence, it's #2 in my book.  All guns require the trigger to be squeezed in order to fire.  What you do is rest your index "trigger" finger along the frame of the gun.  In the industry this technique is called "Indexing".  It looks like this:
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures
 Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

This is from the movie "S.W.A.T.", and the second pic shows Colin indexing beautify.  Unlike many movies, this illustrates the correct technique.  It use to be that every movie, TV show, and picture always seemed to show people with their finger on the trigger like it was suppose to be cool and show they were ready for action.  It's good to see even Hollywood taking a responsible approach to gun safety.  No fingers on the trigger people.  ALWAYS Index.


Like 2, there is a longer version of this as well.  It goes, "Never point your gun at anything you don't intend to destroy".  If your gun is pointed in a safe direction, and you ignore the other rules, you should be fine.  However, if you follow the other two rules and ignore this one, most that can happen is you'll get yelled at by the people around you.  This rule also requires active thinking.  You need to know what is a safe direction for where you are.  Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down, but mostly it's going to be DOWN RANGE, meaning the barrel should face where the targets are.

If you keep the gun pointed down range and the gun goes off, the bullet will go where it was intended to.  No harm, minor foul.  I will confess this happened to me.  I have a revolver with a "hair trigger" which I took to a recent trip at the range.  I had the barrel pointed down range, but my finger was on the trigger as I was getting ready to aim, and BAM!  I accidentally pulled the trigger and caused the gun to go off.  Fortunately, because I was following Rule 3 the only thing I hurt was my pride.  However, what do you do when going to and from the range?

For starters remember this: Outdoors down, Indoors up (ODIU).  And I mean STRAIGHT up or down.  NO ANGLES!  My saying goes, "ODIU", and say it like the French "adieu" for Goodbye.  If you follow it, you won't have to say goodbye.  Logic goes, a round fired downward outdoors will stop where it's fired.  Concrete will obliterate a bullet, and the shrapnel might hurt, but won't likely kill anyone.  Firing a bullet upward outdoors means you won't know where it will end up.  It's not uncommon for a rifle round to travel over a mile away.  Indoors at a range the roof is usually plated so it will stop the round, and you won't have to worry about pulling concrete pebbles out of your shins.  If you're not sure, ask the range master.

Lastly, this means DO NOT point the gun in the direction of people unless in a defensive situation.  Known as "muzzle sweep", it is caused by carelessly allowing your gun to point at someone although you are not actually intending to aim at them.  In the police academy we were taught to use "exaggerated movements" in order to show that we were consciously showing those around them we were not trying to "sweep" them.  ALWAYS know where your gun is pointed.


Last but not least, you've followed the other 3 Rules and now it's time to shoot.  So, know what you're shooting at.  "Know your target, backstop, and beyond".  You need to know what your target is and what it's made of.  Is it paper so the bullet goes through, or is it a metal plate that will stop it?  Next, whether outdoors, or at a dedicated range you NEED a backstop.  Ranges will have them.  They're usually dirt berms or a dedicated wall that is meant to stop bullets.  If you're shooting out in the desert with buddies this means using a dune.

NEVER, EVER shoot out into "space".  You don't know where that bullet might end up.  Which is why you need to know the last part as best you can.  What is beyond the area you're shooting?  How far away are areas that people might live or frequent?  If you're not certain, then don't shoot.  Like I mentioned earlier, rifle rounds have been known to travel miles when fired.  Sometimes with tragic results.  Just last year before Christmas a 15-year-old Amish girl in Ohio was accidentally shot by a hunter "clearing" his gun from over a mile away.  It could and should have been avoided.

Shooting is a great national pastime that can be shared by everyone in your family.  However, it can be dangerous just like driving a car.  There are rules to follow in order to make sure everyone is safe.  If you follow these rules 100% of the time you can be certain that you will be safe 100% of the time.

Shoot Safely,

Jason, aka TheExpertish

A Tale of Two Blogs

I posted in my introduction about my other blog, TheExpertish On Outdoors, that I will be maintaining two separate blogs about my passion towards the outdoors and shooting.  They often intermingle and should, but both subjects can carry TONS of material that I felt deserved their own attention.  Plus, not everyone is into the outdoors who likes guns, and visa versa.  Feel free to follow what interests you most, or hopefully both.

Shoot Safely,

Jason, aka TheExpertish

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guns Indroduction

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to my blog.  This is my opportunity to share one of my big passions with everyone who can read.   It's no secret to my family and friends that I love guns.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  Oddly enough I use to.  I use to have a fear and uneducated opinion on guns.  Even after I purchased my first handgun at 21 I still wasn't totally sure about guns.  I just knew I was drawn to them, I enjoyed shooting, and I knew they had a very practical application in life; whether that is for sport, hunting, competition, or home defense.  It wasn't till after I decided I wanted to try my hand a law enforcement at the age of 26 that I really began to understand guns and "gun people".

That transformation has been even more dramatic since just last year after stumbling across a website that Google said could answer a question I had.  That site turned out to be a God-send to me and has opened my eyes, ears, and mind to what is truly going on in the world around us.  That site has been CalGuns.  I'll post more on them in another blog.

The purpose of this blog is to force me to do something productive with my time and my guns.  I know there are many new shooters out there, and even more who are curious about guns.  I hope this blog will be useful to you.  I plan on doing reviews, Q&A, demonstrations, how-to, tutorials, and education on guns and current laws.  I'm not a professional or authority on any part of shooting, but I know enough to get people going in the right direction.  I'm no full blown expert, but kind of an  expert-ish on most any subject pertaining to guns.  If I don't know the answer, I'll search it out, and make it a learning experience for us both.  I hope you'll join me.

Shoot Safely,

Jason, aka TheExpertish.