Tag Archives: Firearm

Do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?

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Do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?

I have found in the years I have been involved in the firearms and 2nd Amendment community that often times gun owners are their own worst enemy.

From that statement you might assume that I mean open carriers metaphorically shoot themselves in the foot because they make waves.  Unless you are an open carrier, then you might assume that I mean that close minded concealed carry only folk are causing a fracture in the firearms community.

It should be no surprise to those who subscribe to this site and those who know me personally where I fall in the OC vs CC debate.  Back in July I penned an article entitled:  Open Carry Should Not Only Be Legal, But Encouraged.

Of course, open carrying is back in the news because Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz recently came out saying that guns are no longer welcome at the coffee shops.  The vitriol I see from gun owners who hate the idea of open carrying is as prevalent and heated, if not moreso, than that coming from gun controllers.

So did open carrying cause this move?

Yes and no.  I never attended a “Starbucks Appreciation Day”, gun on hip.  I just simply went to Starbucks on occasion with my gun on my hip and ordered my Chai Tea Latte, drank it, then left.

So did I and the tens of thousand other open carriers force Starbucks to quasi-change their policy? (remember Starbucks isn’t banning guns, just telling you they aren’t welcome but won’t kick you out).

Doubtful.  What did it, were the big to-do’s about it.  The pomp and ceremony of making a big deal out of it.  Which of course caused the gun controllers to try and match it.  They failed of course, but still got media coverage for their anemic efforts because that’s the way the press works.

So yes, the in your face, i’m armed and i’m proud, pushing the envelope attitude of some open carriers probably made Howard Shultz’s left coast hippie friends push for him to do something and so he did.

Kinda blew up in the OCers’ faces.

Fortunately (sarcasm) we have the CC-only crowd waiting in the wings to dog pile on and fracture those who support the 2nd Amendment.

It’s funny, as I started writing this article I was fully prepared to side against the in-your-face OC activists.  I open carry because I prefer it, because I am against the need to have a permit for a Constitutional right, and I believe in passive activism.

Yet, the more I thought about it the more I realized that sometimes you need to push the envelope.  You need to make some noise and some waves and push some buttons.

For those hating on the OCer’s for doing so I imagine them as the southern blacks who 50 some years ago decried Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr as uppity and were happy at the back of the bus.

Sometimes. in the course of demanding what is right you have to make noise in order to be heard.

Was Starbucks the right venue to hold this proxy war between Pro-Gun and Anti-Liberty parties?  Probably not.  But i’m not gonna cut down those willing to be vocal because it rocks the boat a little.

Speaking of Starbucks, maybe neutrality isn’t good enough.  Welcome gun owners and accept our money, ban us and lose our business…but make a choice.

So do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?  I guess…the same way Rosa Parks ruined riding the bus.

 

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Sending heat rounds downrange with a bun in the oven

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Sending heat rounds downrange with a bun in the oven

Got wind of a story from our friend at GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns.com, Regis Giles, about a young pregnant woman who used a handgun to shoot at and scare off two home invaders who busted down her door.

“Alex” (named changed for safety) didn’t like the idea of her husband buying a gun and having one around the house.  Fortunately for her, her husband would not be swayed about protecting his family and he properly instructed her on how to use the sidearm.

In her own words:

A few funny things I take away from that, not funny haha mind you but funny hmmmm.  These burglars were in her home and 911 was on the phone.  Without that gun that she was so against when her husband bought it 7 months earlier this scenario ends differently.  As they say, when seconds count the police are minutes away.  I’m glad “Alex” came around and learned how to use the gun.

I challenge some gun grabbing zealot to tell me how this ended badly for. “Alex”.

That’s the feel good story for the day.  But then I got thinking about shooting while pregnant in general.  Just the existence of sites like girlsjustwannahaveguns.com pretty much clues people into the fact that firearms are not only a male dominated activity.

But women may face a situation completely apart from their male counterparts and that is pregnancy.  Does it mean they should give up or avoid learning an activity they find enjoyable for safety reasons?

SHOOTING WHILE PREGNANT

I looked at three possible hazards that shooting may have on the baby.

  • Lead
  • Noise
  • Stress

LEAD

Lead is bad for anyone but especially so for pregnant women as the toxicity of lead has been associated with decreased birth weight, head circumference, miscarriage, premature delivery and pre-eclampsia.

To avoid exposure from lead a few simple steps can help immensely.  They include where to shoot, what to shoot, and what to wear.

First an foremost, I personally avoid indoor firing ranges as I lean away from trusting the air filtration system of a building because they cannot compare to the natural openness of the great outdoors.  Opting for an outdoor range when it is not crowded is a great way for any blowback from your firearm to dissipate into nature and not cling around an enclosed space waiting for some machine to moderately suck it away.

As for what to shoot, simply buy lead free ammo with a lead free primer.  Now, these “green” bullets are more expensive and are less effective so I will not recommend them for use in your home defense or carry weapon.  But if you want to blast through a hundred rounds or so while pregnant it is a precaution that might be worth it.

Another thing, just to cover your bases and be super extra careful while shooting outdoors with your lead free ammo is a simple respirator.  While perhaps more necessary in an indoor range, if you’re worried about baby a solution to assuage your fears, $20 buys you a good lead HEPA filter Air respirator.

NOISE

As for noise, guns are loud.  If you can get a silencer all the better.  Though the Federal Government apparently hates hearing and pregnant women thus making getting a silencer both expensive and difficult, if you happen to have access to one it is a great little addition to have for the protection of your great little addition your going to have.

Of course, unlike the movies, silencers are a misnomer and should be referred to as noise suppressants.  It won’t exchange the sound of your hand cannot to that of a soda bottle popping its top.  But it will take the 160 db level shot and knock it down about 30 db.  To put that in comparison chainsaws, rock concerts, rocket engines, pneumatic drills, small firecrackers, and ambulance sirens are rated at 100 to 140 dB.

Mommy will throw in a pair of ear protection that will knock the noise down another 30 db to a relatively negligible level comparitable to a garbage disposal or vacuum cleaner.

But what about the baby on board?

The  fetal response to sounds begins around 16 weeks, and the ear is structurally complete by 24 weeks. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “the hearing threshold (the intensity at which one perceives sound) is approximately 40 dB at 27-29 weeks, and decreases to a nearly adult level of 13.5 dB by 42 weeks of gestation.”  So they can hear what is going on outside.

Some layers of clothing, a foam piece or gel cutout, body armor over your belly etc are all added layers of noise dampening. Plus, depending on the outdoor range they may have seating or low walls which divide your lower body from the handguns discharge thus reducing sound even more for your baby.  Not holding your handgun literally at your belly and having the recoil jab your unborn child does help 😮

STRESS

Finally stress.  If you are one of those people who irrationally fear guns and the sight or thought of touching or shooting ones makes you have a breakdown, maybe during your pregnancy isn’t the best time to overcome that.

However, if you enjoy shooting or are excited about learning the sport can release a happy dose of endorphins once heat rounds are heading downrange and feel good endorphins make for a happy mommy and baby.

 

Conclusion?

I’m not a doctor so I won’t recommend one way or the other.  What I will say is that with the proper precautions, attire and equipment, going to the shooting range to practice or learning how to defend yourself and the life inside of you is no more dangerous or harmful than any other activity your are going to do during a normal day.

 

Be it the noise level of a vacuum cleaner, or the trace contaminates when you are going about in a city.  Hell, with these recommendations your baby will be SAFER with you at the range than with you walking down a busy street filled with load traffic, contaminates and germs and whatever else is crawling around unseen to the naked eye.

In that case…for the health of your baby…spend MORE time at the range. 🙂

But on a serious note, learn to use a firearm to defend both yourself and your child.  You are their mother and there may come a time when it’s not an imaginary boogeyman in the closet or under the bed that needs to be defeated but rather the wolves at the gate.

Bulletproof objects are only a half-measure at best

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Bulletproof objects are only a half-measure at best

If someone was coming at you with a sword would it be better for you to have a sword or a shield?

The answer is the sword.  Why?  Because the sword can be used for both offense and defense to a greater degree than a shield can be.

The same goes with the choice between a sword and hiding behind something.  While hiding may avoid the man with the sword it will ultimately be useless if you are found.

Of course, in this modern era the need to defend yourself from sword wielding ninjas and brigands is dramatically less than in times gone by, yet the rationale behind the need for an offensive weapon for defensive actions is still as true today as it was in the way back when.

Though in some places, like the University of Maryland, the thought is that giving the faculty bulletproof white boards is all that would be necessary to stop an on campus shooting.

These whiteboards are 18 by 20 inches.  At best it will cover 1/3 of a small adult woman.  And crouching down behind it doesn’t seem all that practical if you aren’t a contortionist.  Plus, unlike in the movies, that apparently is the sole basis that people unfamiliar with guns draw from, a person cannot go blocking bullets like it was some game at a family picnic.

Getting shot while wearing a bullet proof vest holds similar force to being hit with a sledgehammer. Blunt force trauma and broken ribs is often a result of being shot while wearing a vest.  How exactly is someone suppose to hold onto a whiteboard?

So here’s a scenario; an active shooting comes into the classroom, the faculty holds up the whiteboard to protect his or her vital organs (apparently the students are on their own) and what can the shooter see?  The teachers legs of course, probably even the lower stomach.  So even if the shooter doesn’t just shoot the whiteboard out of her hand, after a round or two in the gut or leg that whiteboard is dropping to the ground.

The inventor of the whiteboard has the notion that the whiteboards buy faculty “time”.  To me it seems it might buy the amount of time from the first trigger pull to the second.

The University of Maryland would have been better served if they allowed their faculty to carry a firearm so that an active shooter on campus can be stopped rather than peddling this false safety blanket of bulletproof whiteboards.

And seriously, one 18 by 20 inch whiteboard for the professor and the students are left high and dry?  Even if the thing worked you basically have offered up your students to the slaughter.

If anything, give the students the whiteboards and the teacher a firearm.  If an active shooter comes into the classroom the students can hide behind their shields while the professor tries to neutralize the threat and the kids will be offered some protection in case of wild shots.

If the professor fails in stopping the threat the students at least can go all 300 phalanx on the shooter and bumrush him.   Might have a chance then.

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Enough about silly squares that peddle the false feeling of safety.

There’s another product that I read about that actually holds some purpose.  The bulletproof couch.  A combination of sword and shield if you will.

Now HERE is something that, while not necessarily practical is at least effective.  The couch costs a hefty $8000 with each bulletproof cushion running $500 a piece.

But on top of being bulletproof, beneath the cushions the couch also doubles as a gun vault.

CouchBunker-1

Scenario; armed intruders enter your house looking to murder/rape/plunder.  If you are like many gun owners who don’t carry while around your house you might find yourself away from your means of defense.

If you are near your couch you AND your family (again U of M, shame) can hide behind it while the bad guys are shooting up the place.

<break> see…at this point if it was only a bulletproof couch the bad guys would simply walk around it and then do the evil that is in their hearts, i mean it’s a couch not a tank <end break>

While the bad guys are making their way toward you, you’ve opened up your safe and now have the firepower to repel the intruders and protect your spouse and children.

Like I said, the couch might not be the most practical thing given the cost but at least it will work because it couples both defense and offense into the equation.

Besides, how cool is it that a couch cushion fort can actually be effective.

The lesson to the University of Maryland and other gun averse institutions and people…half measures are a good way to feel safe until they are put to the test and you die losing that feeling.