Clint's author blog, where you can see original articles as well as life updates and general ranting
|Posted on July 8, 2017 at 10:10 PM||comments (0)|
It may come as a surprise to you, but there are a lot of stories and ideas about James Bowie's famous knife that are complete nonsense, Texas tall tales, if you will.
One legend is that the Bowie knife was made from a meteor. There is no evidence anywhere to support that. Now it's not impossible as meteorite contains a lot of iron and nickel and they have been used to make tools and weapons, but if this were the case for Bowie's knife, no one ever mentioned it.
Like a lot of men, story tellers tended to exaggerate its size as well. I've read stories of the knife having a fourteen inch (ha. you wish) blade or having been similar in size to a short sword (that's what she said). In fact, the blade of the original Bowie was nine and one fourths inches. Hell, that's pretty substantial, but definitely not a sword.
Here's one you may not know about. It's probably the biggest fuck up of them all and damn near every knife maker who has made a "Bowie" is guilty of this inaccuracy.
Most people think a Bowie has a big guard and a clip point like this...
Well, most people are wrong as hell. It actually looked nothing like this. So what did it look like?
How 'bout this, Tex?
No I'm not kidding. Bowie's original knife was a hunting knife designed by his brother, Rezin Bowie, that resembled a large butcher knife with a straight, single edged blade, almost no guard and definitely no pronounced clip point. It was designed, according to Rezin Bowie, as a hunting knife and was used as such for quite some time before James Bowie took it to the infamous duel on the sandbar. It had no fancy silver bolsters or brass guard. It was just a basic big knife for butchering and skinning game. It wasn't until James Bowie butchered the fuck out of two guys on the sand bar that it began to change.
After that fight, Bowie and his big ass knife became famous and everyone wanted one.
And that's how things got all screwed up.
You see, every blacksmith and cutler on the planet was besieged by people wanting a "knife like Bowie's", and they would make you one...for a price. The problem is, almost none of them had actually seen Bowie's knife. All they had heard were peoples' bullshit stories about a seventeen inch super blade, made from meteors with a brass spine and huge guard to help parry attackers' blades and perfectly balanced so that you could throw it at a buffalo and kill it. No shit. People actually thought that.
So a bunch of enterprising blacksmiths and cutlers made a bunch of ridiculous nonsense and called them "Bowies" and a bunch of suckers paid for them.
OK so now you are getting all red-faced and angry cause granpappy bought his *cough* Bowie off'n Jim Bowie himself who certified it is real and now he has passed it down to you. "An granpappy ain't no liar!"
Well granpappy may not be a liar, but he is a sucker.
The good news is, there are actual real Bowie knives out there, that were commissioned by the brothers Bowie and given as gifts to different people. They retained the basic butcher knife design, but added some silver hardware, ebony handles and fancier sheaths. You will probably never stumble upon an antique outside a museum, but you could have a historically accurate Bowie made for yourself that in terms of steel and construction, could be better than the original.
This is the Shively Bowie. One of the earliest existing commissions by Rezin Bowie.
The Searles-Fowler Bowie was another Rezin Bowie design that looked pretty cool. There are a few modern companies out there today that make reproductions of this one.
There was also the Stafford-Searles Bowie, which looked a lot like the one above.
There are other pieces claimed to be "original Bowie knives" or "Bowie's Alamo knife" but for those I will leave you with this quote by Rezin Bowie himself.
"The improvements in its fabrication and state of perfection it has acquired from experienced cutlers, was not brought about through my agency."-Rezin P. Bowie
|Posted on April 24, 2015 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
April 24, 2015 at 5:41pm
I know what you're thinking.
"Hey Clint. It's supposed to be 'Damsel IN Distress' not 'OF Distress!"
Well then you must not have met the girl I'm talking about.
In Dungeons and Dragons, the table-top Role Playing Game that every geek has played at some point, it is important for your character to be able to carry large amounts of loot without becoming encumbered and losing the ability to move effectively. This is where the "Bag of Holding" comes in. All players make sure and score one of these as quickly as possible. What it does is store all your stuff in hyperspace so you can carry ridiculous amounts of gear without it weighing you down.
If you've played more than a couple of campaigns, you or another character has probably encountered a "Bag of Losing". This works in a similar way, but anything you put in there gets lost and you don't get it back. It's a mean prank DMs like to play on some players who get too uppity.
The Damsel of Distress is a lot like the second one.
This chick is ALWAYS in distress of some type. She's always having a breakdown, being the victim of some kind of trauma, one day past her rent and someone stole her money(which she could have used to just pay it last Friday instead of waiting), psycho-stalker ex is following her again (never mind she texted him like 46 times the night before). It's always goddamn something. Guess who gets to "save" her every time. The lucky knight in shining armor boyfriend, that's who! If you are a codependent idiot male, this works out great! You get to save her over and over from all of her mostly self-inflicted problems and you get to finally have some self-esteem.
True, you're running in circles, wearing yourself down to a nub and accomplishing absolutely NOTHING productive, either in life, or the relationship, but it FEELS like you're doing something right? Of course you're doing something! Otherwise you wouldn't be broke or exhausted all the time.
Plus the sex is great. You are getting laid aren't you? Well, if she ever runs out of problems long enough to get down with you, it's going to be awesome. Trust me.
OK enough bullshit. Dude. She's manipulating you. Have you noticed that every time "something comes up" it requires a little more than you were really prepared to offer? I'm sure you noticed that she gets all crabby when you insinuate that she needs to take some responsibility for her actions? No? Of course! It's not her fault, is it? And have you noticed feeling a little resentment yourself, when after the 50th time you "rescued her" she just hopped along to the next thing without really appreciating what you did? Maybe you got in a fight over it? Again?
Yes sir! What you got yourself is a Damsel of Distress! She is a human Bag of Losing.
Before you ladies get your knickers in a knot and call me a sexist, let me assure you I'm not done. You see the Damsel of Distress has a male counterpart.
He is the World's Unluckiest Man. Normally you'd just call a guy like this a fuckin' bum, but that's not fair, because nothing that ever happens to him is his fault.
He lost his job. Again. Because he doesn't have a ride. This is because he crashed his car. Because he was drunk. Again. And it really doesn't matter anyway, because his driver's license is suspended. What??!! Oh yeah, there was that DWI he got a few years ago and he never bothered to pay his fines. Wait. It wasn't that he never bothered. He just didn't have any money. Why? He lost his job. Again.
So you take him in. You're gonna "fix" him, right? Because you're Super Girlfriend! Not like his other 27 exes who all threw him out before he could get things together and just abandoned him, broke and owing back Child Support on 3 kids...
Oh yeah, he had 2 kids with ex number 3 and 1 with ex number 15. But they were terrible people. So he had to keep changing jobs so the Attorney General wouldn't catch up with him and send him to jail.
Uh-Oh. He just called you from jail. He got caught driving with a suspended license, after crashing YOUR car and then the Attorney General stepped in and now he's facing charges if he doesn't pay $10,000 in back Child Support.
But you have some money stashed away, right? For your kids' college? He'll pay you back, of course...Riiiight.
The sex was good, though, right?
Human. Bag. of. Losing.
Anything you invest in these two people is lost. FOREVER.
So how do you avoid these people??
First you should talk to a psychologist about your own codependency issues.
Normal healthy people don't waste time with these assholes. They give them one chance, two tops. If they get fucked once, they don't let it happen a second time and the don't extend themselves to the point that they will get caught up in this kind of mess. They don't allow those people to impose upon them like that. They say things like "Sorry, dealing with this shit is outside my ability to help". and "No. You can't move in with me. I really don't know you that well." and "No. I don't date bloodsucking leaches."
To sum it up, they have boundaries. Healthy boundaries. Boundaries that prevent people from screwing with their emotions.
If this kind of talk is alien to you, or sounds really insensitive, because you HAVE to help people, or you JUST KNOW you can fix them this time, you are a walking target for these people. They are emotional vampires and you are a walking sack of O Negative.
If you want to know where to start. Start with this one word: NO. (It starts to feel good when you learn to say it to people).
|Posted on February 28, 2015 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
February 28, 2015 at 1:21pm
Every time there is a mass shooting in the United States, there is a new push for gun control. The families of victims are paraded in front of cameras and every last ounce of their grief is redirected by politicians at the American people like a cannon. How could YOU be so insensitive as to insist upon your so-called rights, when people like THEY are suffering? We can never allow tragedies such as this to happen again!
Taken on its face value, it makes sense. Why would anyone want these horrible events to continue to happen if they had the power to prevent it?
The question is, do we have the power in the United States to stop gun violence, using gun control? Let's crunch some numbers.
There are 318,000,000 people in the United States of America, according to the US Census Bureau. Though there is no solid way to determine how many guns are in the country, a Pew research poll revealed 37% of Americans report either owning a gun, or knowing someone who does. That makes about 117,660,000 gun owners. Why this is important, I will mention further on in this article.
For the purpose of this article I am not going to focus specifically upon mass shooting deaths. The reason for this is because those only account for only 80-88 deaths a year (source The Nation article 2012). This accounts for only about 0.83% of all homicides. Also, because of the Bath School Massacre in 1927, which killed 38 and injured 58, and the more recent Boston bombings, which killed 3 and injured 264 it can be said that restricting access to firearms would have little to no effect on individual mass murder attacks. Why? Both of those mass murders were perpetrated with BOMBS! Let's also not forget that the worst mass murder in U.S. History, killing 2,996 people was carried out with box cutters and fake bombs. That was on September 11, 2001. Instead, I am going to focus on the total number of homicides by firearm.
In the United States there are roughly 12,000 homicides annually (Source FBI.gov). Roughly 67% of these were committed with firearms. That is a little more than 8000 firearm homicides. If the number sounds low to you, it is because most gun control groups cite sources from the 1980s and early 1990s, where the numbers for gun homicides were closer to 10,000. Most gun control groups also include suicides, which makes it closer to 30,000 but I'm only discussing homicides here. We will look at suicide later on.
This is the first red flag. Out of 117,660,000 gun owners, total annual firearm homicides are only 8000. This means that gun homicides fall in at 0.0025% of the total population. But there is an error here.
According to the FBI, about 70% of firearm homicides are convicted felons. Now we have to do the math over. 70% of 8000 homicides is 5600. This is important because:
1. The bad guys are already not allowed to own firearms.
2. Because of this they obtain firearms illegally in the first place.
3. New laws aren't going to stop someone who has already decided to use illegal means to obtain a weapon and commit murder.
4. The bad guys already have the firearms available on the black market (If you happen to be a Mexican drug cartel, you can just get them from the U.S. Government).
OK, so removing convicted felons trying to kill each other from the equation, we have 2400 (approximately) non-felons murdered with firearms every year. This includes school shootings. That's 2400 "innocent" people killed.
Sounds terrible, anyway, right?
Sure, until you realize even with 117,660,000 gun owners, you only have about 2400 "innocent" victims every year. If you want to know how many of the total U.S. population are innocent victims of firearms, the statistic is 0.0007547% That's a lot of zeros on the right side of that decimal, pal.
What I gather from this is that we asked the wrong question in the beginning of the article. We asked if we could solve the problem of gun homicide with gun control legislation. The answer to that is "kind of". We may be able to stop some of the 2400 from becoming victims, but we aren't going to be able to stop the felons who already have the guns.
Being that almost 40% of our population has guns and fewer than eight ten thousandths of one percent are impacted;The question we should have asked in the beginning is "Are guns a big enough problem in this country to limit the rights of over 117 million people?"
For me, the short answer is NO.
25,000 people die every year as a result of accidental falls. Over 30,000 people die every year in motor vehicle accidents.Over 30,000 die every year from accidental poisoning. 610,000 people die from heart disease. (Source CDC)
Up against these numbers the 2400, Hell, even the 8000 a year that includes the convicted felons is a paltry number by comparison.
If, after all this you still feel the need to do something there ARE ways you could reduce the rate of gun deaths in this country, and without violating the rights of more than a hundred million people.
1. You could end the War on Drugs (Why do you think the 5600 felons are killing each other?). This would eliminate the black market and the criminals would have to go legit or else find another illegal item to fight about. Either way, the drug turf wars will decrease exponentially. Also, there will be more room in prisons for violent felons, instead of 1/6 of prisons being occupied by non-violent drug offenders. This benefits everyone, except the bad guys.
2. Suicide Prevention. About 150,000 people will try to commit suicide annually. about 20,000 of the successes are by firearm. If we can create an avenue by which we can circumvent peoples' willingness or ability to commit suicide as a whole, the number of firearm deaths will shrink accordingly.
3. Information Campaigns for Responsible Gun Ownership will reach more people faster and even hard-core pro-gun people will jump on board. As long as the campaigns are genuine and do not conceal an attempt to demonize guns or gun-grab, Pro and anti-gun people can work together to reduce accidental/negligent firearm deaths.
If, after all this you still hold the idea that we should infringe upon the rights of almost 40% of the population because guns make you uncomfortable or because "Saving just one is worth it", you have a right to believe that. But don't lie to yourself that the facts and statistics support the "Greater Good" and don't pretend that your views are not extremist. Because by definition, they are.
|Posted on December 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
December 22, 2014 at 1:31pm
If you’ve spent any amount of time on gun forums or on YouTube looking at shooting videos, you will inevitably run into discussions on how much gun is sufficient for defensive use. This is one of what I call the Never Ending Arguments that always occur among gun owners and end up going nowhere. Other versions of this are the classic 9mm vs. .45ACP argument and the dreaded “Stopping Power”discussion.
In order to find the answer to the question, we first have to define the word “need”.For the purpose of this essay, I’m going to define “need” as that which would be reasonably sufficient for use in situations consistent with the average defensive encounter in which a firearm is involved. We have to rule out what is extreme, because self-defense situations have a lot more to do with where you’re going and what you’re doing there than what kind of weapons are available or needed. I’ve been in more defensive encounters with weapons than most civilians(meaning someone whose job is NOT to run at the source of incoming bullets). I’m not some kind of street warrior. The truth is that growing up I had a tendency to go into places I had no business going in order to have fun. Usually survival just meant obeying the rules of whatever environment I was in.Occasionally, it meant I had to be a bit of a bastard.
To avoid the gun forum “what if” bullshit, complete with mall ninja stories and the fictitious exploits of people like Gecko45, I’ll stick to what available data I can find on defensive encounters and dispense with feelings, paranoia and tactical monkey nonsense. The problem I face with that is that the “data”about these things is usually collected and reported by barking moonbats. Simply put, the data is gathered by people who are only gathering data to support a pre-conceived conclusion. The National Crime Victimization Surveys only considered a short amount of time, six months as the focus for their surveys.This leaves no room for fluctuations in crime over several years or the fact that 20-40% of people who use a firearm in self-defense don’t report it. It also only counted as self-defense incidents,where the criminal also had a gun. This leaves out an untold number of incidents where a home invader was repelled or the criminal had some other weapon. The 2.5 million statistic most gun owners are familiar with , as reported by Kleck and Gertz, have the problem that a slight classification error, even one as small as 1% can cause the mistake in the statistic to be larger than acceptable margins. Then you have the problem that the sources for all of this data was from surveys taken in the 1990s.
For the purpose of this article I’m going to go with the 2.5 million statistics.Not because it’s gospel truth, but because this is the one recognized by the majority of gun owners; those for whom this article is written. It being the more generous statistic, it will help me to better make my point. Also, since there has yet to be any actual proof of bias errors in the surveys as alleged by its critics, it’s good enough for now.
The adult population of the United States is approximately 200,000,000. This means that self-defense incidents, in which a firearm is, used account for about 1.25% of the adult population. This means that out of every 100 people you know, you would have to roll d100 (in nerd speak) and hit a natural 1 in order to find yourself at the end of this problem. This is assuming you are not going somewhere stupid and being an idiot. Anyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons and hit a natural 1 against a really badass enemy knows that critical 1s do happen and they suck, so there is a good enough reason to possess a means to defend yourself.
But as the title of this essay asks, how much gun do you need? John Lott, famous pro-gun guy and author of More Guns-Less Crime conducted a survey in 2002 which estimated that 95% of the time, simply brandishing a weapon was sufficient to stop the crime. This means that 95% of the time you need 0 rounds of ammunition if a defensive firearm incident occurs. The chance of you having a defensive firearm incident at all is a whopping 0.0625%. But since carrying an unloaded gun is dumb, we’re going to decide to put bullets in it anyway. If they call your bluff, an unloaded gun is nothing but a very expensive club. There are still about 125,000 of you that will need to fire your weapon and that’s a lottery you don’t want to win.
OK,you say, but when those 125,000 guys have to shoot, how many rounds do they need? According to a 2007 report, 62% of the time six or fewer shots were fired, with the 1/2 of those shots being two of fewer. This means that .002375%of you need a weapon that fires more than six shots. This is the lottery that 47,500 out of 200,000,000 are going to win this year. This is not a significant number of people, statistically speaking and does give pause to the thought that a more intimidating gun may actually be better for you than ones that hold more rounds. If you are willing to gamble that you are one of the “lucky” ones, more power to you, but you can probably stave your chances by just not doing stupid things and going places where you don’t belong.
My recommendations for self defense are as follows. For home defense, I recommend a .12 gauge,pump-action shotgun. There are even pump shotguns that hold more than six rounds if you are worried about that. For carry, I recommend either a large caliber revolver (.44 S&W and on up) or a .45 caliber semi-auto. I carry a 1911. I choose these not because of any magic caliber or stopping power bullshit. Using quality, modern self-defense ammunition will make more difference now than bullet diameter. I chose these because a bigger barrel means better intimidation factor and failing that, what’s behind it will be just fine for defense. Learn safety and marksmanship and never fire warning shots. If your life is in danger, you shoot. If not, you have no business firing a weapon.
Naturally,you should assess your own individual risk as well. If you have a dangerous job, a stalker or live/work in a bad neighborhood these risk factors mean more than any statistics ever will.
As always, these are my OPINIONS and not gospel truth. Just remind yourself of these figures the next time some guy says you need to take some tactical ninja class or wants to sell you some foo foo to put on your weapon or some bozo on an internet forum tells you that you are vastly under-powered and can’t survive a “real” gunfight without a bayonet and 200 rounds of ammunition
|Posted on October 20, 2014 at 7:25 PM||comments (0)|
October 20, 2014 at 7:47am
Here is how I explain the "Gateway Drug" issue with Cannabis legalization opponents.
Is it a Gateway Drug? In the U.S. it is, but not in places where it's legal. Why?
When I was in my early teens I lived in Germany. Like most kids, I played video games. In the U.S. video games were a kid's thing. We had huge arcades, Showbiz Pizza (later Chuck E Cheez), roller rinks and a host of other fun safe places to play. Not so in Germany.
In Germany in the early 1980s the only places you found video games (aside from American military posts) were bars, whore houses, peep shows and the like. They had no arcades or Showbiz Pizza.
So guess where I was hanging out on the weekends? Not at the library, I can tell you that. Liking video games put me in the Red Light District on a regular basis and this put me into contact with pimps, hookers, junkies, gangs and houses of ill repute. My favorite game was now a video version of Strip Poker and I used to see if I could get the girl naked before the owners of the place figured out I wasn't 18 and threw me out. I got pretty good at it!
Had there been arcades and whatnot, I never would have seen the inside of those places.
This is Marijuana in the U.S. In places where it's legal, you can go to a cafe' or a store and go somewhere safe to indulge in a drug that is itself far less lethal than alcohol. Where it is not, you get to hang around the guys who are selling crack, meth and heroin.
So is it a gateway drug? No. We have a "Gateway System".
|Posted on September 22, 2014 at 1:55 AM||comments (0)|
September 21, 2014 at 12:53pm
As a gun owner, there are things that are said about various firearms in the media that just burn my ass. Mainly because, either out of ignorance or willful fear-mongering, they are spreading garbage information that makes it impossible to have intelligent discussions with people about guns. In some cases, I am positive that this is intentional, but I'd say 90% of it is just ignorant people being ignorant. Here are some examples.
Making a big deal out of a rifle being "semi-automatic":
This is often accompanied by a completely unrelated video of someone firing a machine gun full-auto. Why this burns my ass is that being "semi-automatic" doesn't make a firearm more powerful or deadly. In fact, if you go to any given gun store, the vast majority of all the weapons minus the shotguns in there are semi-automatic. All it means is one trigger squeeze=one bang without having to manually cock the hammer in between shots. That's it.
All black guns are "Assault Rifles/Assault Weapons":
No. No. No. There is one distinction between "Assault Rifle" and "Just another rifle". This is a selector switch that allows the operator to fire either in full-auto or burst mode, in addition to semi-auto. If you go to your local gun store, you will likely find very few to no Assault Rifles. The only way a civilian can own one is buy paying a huge ass tax and subjecting his or herself to law enforcement scrutiny and red tape. It is cost prohibitive for most people and honestly, most gun owners don't care to own one because they are relatively useless for anything other than a range toy.
Calling an SKS an "Assault Rifle": Despite a superficial resemblance to the AK-47, the SKS rifle was NEVER issued with the capability to fire in full auto. In fact, it is a semi-auto only weapon with a 10-Round magazine! You can't even call it "High Capacity" unless you modify it by removing the spring-loaded/clip fed box and buy special detachable magazines designed to fit in the goofy magazine well. Even then you only have 2 of the necessary 3 requirements of an assault rifle.
Calling a rifle or pistol a "military weapon" or "military-grade": You may find this hard to believe but virtually EVERY pistol or rifle you can buy, including semi-autos, single/double action revolvers, all shotguns and even flint-lock muzzle loading rifles either were themselves used or employ a design used by the military at some point. EVERY WEAPON either is or was formerly "military grade". This extends to calling 9mm or .45ACP "Military Ammunition". Rounds as similar to and small as the .22 Short were used by the military. The BIG cartridge at one time was the .38 Special!
"Clip" vs. "Magazine": GRRRRRR! Don't even get me started.
Calling an AK-47 or AR-15 a "High Powered Rifle": Nope. Despite the scary image, these are not high-powered rifles. The AK and AR both use an INTERMEDIATE cartridge (Ones adapted to shoot .300 Win MAg or .50 Beowulf may be an exception). The whole reason they were adapted by the military to use intermediate cartridges was because High-Powered cartridges like the 7.62x54 Russian and the .30-06 were not very useful in close-range fighting. Try firing a Mosin-Nagant inside a building at a target 25 feet away and you'll see why. Wear hearing protection. Lots of it!
Referencing "Armor Piercing Capability": Sometimes also phrased as "Cop Killer" Ammunition, MSM sources often refer to various rounds, usually rifle rounds, as Armor Piercing. This is a huge misnomer. In military terms, "Armor Piercing" usually refers to Tungsten or Depleted Uranium cored rounds designed to pierce the armor on TANKS and ARMORED VEHICLES. There is no ammo you can purchase easily or inexpensively that can do this in the civilian world. "Armor Piercing" is occasionally used in reference to rifle rounds, but these are also usually tungsten cored rounds used to pierce light armor, including plate-enforced body armor. It is fairly uncommon. When the MEDIA uses the term, they usually reference the ability to pierce Police body armor. EVERY RIFLE ROUND BIGGER THAN A .22 LR ALREADY HAS THIS ABILITY. Police body armor is designed to stop handgun and shotgun rounds. Even grandpappy's deer rifle is "armor piercing" by this definition.
Hollowpoints "Explode" on Impact?: I've actually had someone ask me this. No. A Hollowpoint is designed to EXPAND quickly upon impact, causing the round to dump the majority of its energy in a shorter, but wider wound cavity. The purpose for this kind of ballistic performance is to cause incapacitation (note: I said incapacitiation, not death. Civilians and Police do not "Shoot to Kill". They shoot to STOP THE THREAT) using fewer rounds. This is to REDUCE the threat to bystanders by preventing over-penetration and too many rounds flying through the air.
I'm sure I will edit and add to this note as time goes on. Let me know what aggravates you about firearms in the media!
|Posted on June 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
June 29, 2014 at 7:54pm
"Fuck yeah, I know how to use it. What's to understand about swish, swish, stab? It's... Not a fighter jet".- Pfc. Tucker Red v. Blue
The first bullshit knife technique I ever learned was in Tae Kwon Do when I was about 11. Basically how it worked was when someone stabbed at you really slowly in a way that only a training partner in a Tae Kwon Do class would try to stab you, you were to intercept the blade and torque around on their arms in some fashion. All the while they cooperate while you drive their own knife into their chest. Super. Now if my Tae Kwon Do partner ever takes a bunch of Xanax and tries to knife me I got his ass!
The next one I learned was in a Gung Fu class when I was about 16. It was called knife tapping. Again, someone tries to stab you in the fashion of a martial arts student. This time it was a little more advanced in that it wasn't slow and he could stab from any direction, because the instructor had noted that the guy trying to kill us may actually be an expert and know how to stab from more than one direction.
My job as a young grasshopper was to intercept his arm Jeet Kune Do style and simultaneously redirect his attack while battering his hand and arm in an attempt to either knock the knife out of his hand or draw him in to where I could "defang the snake", which was another bullshit martial arts move that sounds like some kind of S&M hand job you'd get at one of Lady Gaga's private parties.
We also learned how to "fight" using the traditional "military" grip and reverse grip, using wooden practice knives.
Since at 16 I'd only had someone try to stab me one time and I'd ever only stabbed one person, my limited stabbing experience didn't give me any reason to doubt that somehow this crap would someday prove useful. But over the years, the more times people had tried to stab me or threaten me with a knife and the more people I knew that got stabbed up, the more I realized how utterly stupid and pointless all of that crap really is.
So before you waste your money on some "Fighting With Tactical Folders Training Camp" horse shit, read this.
1. There's no such thing as a "Tactical Folder". That's a marketing term. It's called a pocket knife. It's a knife that you put in your pocket. It may be black or camouflage and it may have a clip to hang on your pocket, but it's still a pocket knife. You may be able to deploy it really fast because of some kind of assist. BFD. I can do that with a Buck 110 with no pocket clip. There is such a thing as a combat knife. If you are in combat and you are stabbing someone, you now have a combat knife. Before that it was just a knife.
2. You taking a special class will not help you stab someone up with a knife any better. What martial arts classes train you for is (the fact that it never happens aside) dueling with knives. Remember the knife fight from the movie version of Dune? This is what martial arts instructors and so-called "knife masters" are training you for.
Unless you live on Planet Dune or unless you are Captain Kirk, you're not going to have a fight like this. Why?
3. Because if you can see the knife, it's probably a threat display and not a knife attack. The guy who attacks you in your house is going to get a steak knife out of your kitchen drawer and you are going to wake up to being stabbed. The guy who stabs you in a "real fight" is either going to hit you from behind or you're going to wonder why a couple of his "punches" that connected are making you bleed so much. Or, like me, you'll go home and find a random hole in your pants and one of your socks full of blood because someone shivved you in the leg while you were wailing on someone else. I still don't know who did that.
The guy who pulls a knife and goes "AARGH!" is warning you that you need to do something- like leave, give him your money, shut up, get away from his girlfriend....Something that you should just go ahead and do RIGHT NOW and GTFO. That's basic being streetwise stuff. If a guy threatens you with a deadly weapon and you don't have a dog in the fight, GO THE FUCK AWAY NOW. The reason for this is because if he's giving you a threat display it means that he DOESN'T want to stab you right now! If you don't take the easy out, you are risking dying for something stupid, like a few dollars. Worse yet, if you take Captain Knife Master's advice and go into knife duel mode, you stand a real good chance of going down for Murder 2 if you "win". You weren't "defending yourself" stupid. He GAVE you an out. YOU chose to have a fight with deadly weapons. It was at the least MUTUAL COMBAT in the eyes of the law.
4. If you buy all sorts of deadly combat knives and spend thousands of dollars training how to kill people with them, what do you think the prosecutor's going to say to the jury when you go all fruit ninja on somebody and you're on trial for "defending yourself" against a guy who now looks like he walked into a sausage grinder?
Am I saying you shouldn't carry a knife? No. Am I saying that it's impossible to use one to defend yourself? No. What I'm saying is know the law and use some damned common sense. Study how knife attacks actually work. Once you've done that, you will find out that there are people who are cut out for stabbing and people who aren't. I go inside dead peoples' bodies and get covered in their blood piss and shit for a living. I've put a bear hug around a naked 250 lb body, picked it up off the floor and forced it onto a gurney, while all of that vileness just went everywhere and he belched and drooled on my shoulder. If the thought of that makes you ill, you probably won't like stabbing people either, because basically the same thing happens.
This is my pal Marc again, he likes stabbing. Maybe a little too much. Imagine what I just wrote above happening while this is going on.
Captain Knife Master probably won't like his technique. Probably won't fight him either.
If you want to spend money and train for something that will never happen, buy a fast motorcycle and some race gear and go to track days. You can fly around the track at 150 mph and pretend you are in the GP Moto race. It's a hell of a lot more fun and probably cheaper than spending years in pursuit of some knife master training bullshit. And you REALLY get to go 150 mph and NOT get a ticket!
|Posted on June 22, 2014 at 7:25 PM||comments (0)|
June 22, 2014 at 6:24pm
It's no secret that I lawfully carry a handgun. I've been around guns my whole life. I first shot a rifle when I was about 11 or 12. I first fired a fully automatic rifle at 14 and by the time I was actually old enough to buy a handgun I'd fired everything from black powder to antitank rockets and heavy machine guns, courtesy of Uncle Sam.
As a guy who holds a license to carry, I have to obey the rules. The criminal doesn't give a shit if there is a little round sign with a crossed out gun on the door that says "No Guns Allowed". I have to give a shit because a law-abiding citizen has to play with both hands on the table.
This burns the asses of some gun owners. Aren't we supposed to be the ones with the rights? The law-abiding? Why are we being penalized leaving the criminals to run around willy-nilly doing whatever the hell they want?
I was going to write my opinion on this, but then I ran into a random post by one Marc MacYoung. For those unfamiliar, Marc is something of an expert on all things violent and messy and has lived it, on both sides of the law. He's probably one of the most dangerous people I know. Not just because he's seen almost as much of people's insides as I have, but because he's intelligent to the point of being diabolical. For my fellow geeks, imagine if you put Hannibal Lecter in Wolverine's body and gave him ADHD. I'm just glad he works for the good guys.
Below is his post about businesses that have the no-guns allowed signs and whether we as gun owners should either ignore the sign, take off our weapons or just avoid the business entirely. He says what I was feeling much better than I could have said it. And yes. I asked his permission to use this. DO you think I'm crazy?
Usually I don't carry a distance weapon these days. If I do carry, I avoid places where they are disallowed. Mostly it's a courtesy and out of respect for the property owner's rights. Fortunately I live in a state where if the government says 'gun free' they must provide protection. (In short, my safety is on their dime -- which normally limits their willingness to try to disarm people.)
Fact of the matter is up close I can kill a man faster with my bare hands than I can with a gun. I carry a knife because up close, I can incapacitate more people faster. What's more important though however is I have other levels of force options than just lethal. Which coming from a place were lethal force was not uncommon, I assure you that many more levels of force are needed. It's not just nada or lethal.
Simple statement is you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you make choices there are going to be consequences and limitations. If I choose to carry, I can't go into Starbucks (no great loss because I don't like burnt coffee). If I decide it's my right and do so anyway, the only thing I'm doing is showing what a self-centered prick I am. Because, I'm demanding my rights and ignoring the rights of others. Specifically the property rights of the owner -- which I got news for you people is a bigger issue than you think. Like the basis of our way of life bigger.
A point that I have is that there is a strong contingent in the anti-gun camp that wants to take away people's rights because of their feelings.
#1) Don't become like them
Don't piss on their rights because you feel it is your right to carry anywhere and with anything. Worse, you're doing the same thing. If you insist that nobody can tell you what to do, your feeling of fear (and why you need to carry every where) is just as much a trampling of other people's rights as you claim is being done to you.
#2) We do need to take other people's feelings into consideration.
I'm not a fan of open carry for a lot of reasons. Do you have the right? Yes. Do I think it's a good idea? No. Mostly because it makes other people uncomfortable -- and realistically it intimidates a lot of people in this modern world. As such people who insist on it being their right to do it outside socially acceptable boundaries are mostly saying, "Fuck you I don't care about your feelings. The only ones I care about are mine. And I'll hide this by calling it my right." Again, how is this significantly different from what many in the anti-gun movement are doing?
#3) By carrying concealed you don't scare or intimidate others who choose not to be armed -- and your decisions don't need to be public.
This is a big one. There is no sturm und drang about anything you do as an armed citizen. My decision to respect the rights of others is no more spectacular than me walking up to a door, turning and walking away when I see the sign. In places were I am allowed to carry, nobody in the room needs to know I'm armed. Do I personally have to hold myself to a higher set of standards about my behavior? Yes I do. The legal consequences of using my weapon will be great. To say nothing of the fact that I might not survive being involved in a situation where I was legally justified to use said weapon (Quit your whining. You knew the job was dangerous when you took it) At the same time, me being armed is not a power trip. I am not a superman because I alone am -- most likely -- the only armed person in the room.
This brings us back to my ability to cause mayhem and death at any range. I've found the best way not to have to use those skills is by being polite, considerate and willing to work with others. Insisting on my rights above everything else -- especially other people's rights, feelings and needs -- is a fast way to find yourself in conflict. And simply stated, no matter how much you tell yourself you are, you ain't the good guy.
|Posted on June 19, 2014 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
June 19, 2014 at 8:08pm
I recently helped a female friend make a decision on whattype of a handgun to buy for self-defense. She was a victim of domesticviolence and she feared that the other party may have plans of revenge aftershe embarrassed him and got him arrested by the police.
Since she would need it both for home and to carry around,and was comfortable carrying a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, I recommended theRuger LC-9. I own one and I think it’s great. It has a smooth, easy to workslide, a long, but easy double action trigger and can handle +p loads (for theuninitiated, +p means cartridges that are loaded at slightly higher thanstandard pressure). The LC-9 also can be bought equipped with a laser sight,which is something that she wanted, in case she needed to use it at night.
When we got on the subject of ammunition, I mentioned that Ifavor the SPEER Gold Dot Hollowpoints. I like the 124 grain +p, specifically.They show a pretty good energy dump in ballistic gel even from a shorterbarrel. I use the Gold Dot brand in everything because I saw some that werepulled out of a dead body and they performed impressively (There’s anendorsement for you), meaning of course,that they expanded properly, didn’t fall to pieces and didn’t over-penetratethe target. That’s when the lady said something that raised my eyebrows a bit.
“Oh! Those are the ones that explode inside of people!” Shesaid with her eyeballs bugging out.
Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, I thought. Do people still reallybelieve that shit? Apparently they do.
Of course, she is from California, so she probably believesin Ghost Guns and God knows what else, so I decided it’s time for a littleballistics education. The following is basically what I explained to her.
Essentially, the way bullets work hasn’t changed since the1700s. A trigger gets pulled; a hammer falls on some type of striker, whichignites a primer, which in turn ignites a gun powder charge, which creates asmall but powerful explosion that sends a tiny ball of lead screaming down ametal tube and through the air.
The difference now is that the whole explosion part occursinside a ready-made metallic cartridge with the bullet crimped into the tip andthe lead bullet is usually coated to some degree in copper for greater velocitythrough the barrel of the weapon and they are more torpedo shaped to make themmore aerodynamic.
The bullet most of us recognize is the Full Metal Jacket round,or FMJ, otherwise known as “ball” ammunition or “hardballs”. This is just aplain, round nosed bullet, cased entirely in a copper jacket. It is used by themilitary, primarily due to the Geneva Convention banning ammunition that wouldcause “undue suffering”. Ballistically speaking it normally will punch a clean,straight cavity through whatever medium you choose to shoot it. It is normallynot preferred as defense ammunition, oddly enough, as its design is lesseffective, both in terms of bullet design and in ballistic performance asmodern defensive rounds.
Here is a link to avideo of a .45ACP FMJ passing cleanly through a block of clear ballistic gel inslow motion. Brass Fetcher has lots of videos like this. He gets all sciencyabout it too.
The bullet that had the concern of my lady friend is thedreaded Hollowpoint, usually abbreviated HP when using gun lingo. A hollowpointbullet is simply this, a FMJ with a hole in it. Specifically, it is a conicalhole that makes a wide volcano-like shape at the nose of the bullet and tapersdown toward the center of the bullet. You can get hollowpoints in virtually anycaliber of bullet, from the tiny .22 all the way up to .50AE if you want.
HOLLOWPOINTS DO NOT EXPLODE
That would be incendiary rounds and that is somethingcompletely different. Incendiaries are used for destroying equipment andpenetrating armor. It is NOT the same thing.
What hollowpoints do is expand. When they hit somebody, theybasically turn into a mushroom- The bullet, not the person. If you shoot aperson and the PERSON turns into a mushroom, you have found some type of alienweapon I cannot describe. Either that or you are on some serious drugs andshould not be handling any weapons at all.
The whole idea behind a hollowpoint is to create a short butdevastating wound channel(limiting over-penetration and possible danger tonon-combatants) , cause a massive temporary expansion cavity (the disruption inthe tissue caused by the shock of the impact), and cause sufficient centralnervous system shock to result in a one-shot stop (incapacitate the bad guy).
The idea is to hit him hard enough one time so that he can’tfight and you can end the conflict as quickly as possible. It’s not a magic explodingbullet of mass destruction.
Here is a link to Brass Fetcher’s Channel where you can seea 200gr +p Gold Dot HP bullet in .45ACP hit a ballistic gel block. Notice thedifference in energy and the shorter penetration than the FMJ.
The FMJ goes peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew
The HP goes PEW!
At the end he shows you the mushroom shape too!
|Posted on May 5, 2014 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
May 5, 2014 at 8:37pm
Originally titled, "That's Not a Machine Gun, Dumbass" In this note I explain some basic stuff about different types of firearms so you can discuss them and not sound like an idiot (like Piers Morgan and 99% of the talking heads on the news).
Since I'm running into more and more people lately who know less than dick about firearms yet somehow think they are qualified to tell me what is wrong with mine, I decided to clear up a few misconceptions about firearms that I frequently encounter. If you read this and understand it you will already be 100x more informed than your average media drone. Gun guys will accuse me of oversimplification here, but in light of recent conversations I've seen, I'm doing well not to resort to crayons and a puppet show.
I'll start with the basics.
Bullet- Originally just a round lead ball, the bullet is the actual projectile that goes flying down-range when a weapon is fired.
Cartridge- This is the entire unit of the bullet, the gunpowder and the cartridge case (the brass thingy that holds the bullet), along with a primer that is used to ignite the powder when the weapon is fired. Sometimes cartridges are referred to as "rounds". After the round is discharged, the leftover spent cartridge case is not dangerous and is not a weapon. You'd be amazed at how many people are freaked out by an empty cartridge case.
Calibre- In firearns, calibre refers either to the Internal Diameter of the weapon's barrel or to the approximate external diameter of a bullet in inches. A .22 calibre bullet has an external diameter of .223 inches. Notice the decimal. A .45 caliber bullet is a much fatter bullet. The relationship of calibre to the amount of pressure generated by the gunpowder in a cartridge help determine the round's capabilities in terms of muzzle velocity and transfer of energy.
Stopping Power- If you want to watch a bunch of gun guys get in a tizzy, start a stopping power discussion. It's a bit of an erroneous term and it refers to the ability of a particular type of round to incapacitate (stop) a particular living target.
Muzzle Velocity- Essentially how fast the bullet can fly. Rifle bullets are typically much faster than pistol bullets.
Clip- a metal strip with cartridges attached, designed to assist in loading them into a Magazine. A clip is not a magazine and the terms are not interchangable. If you call a detachable magazine a "clip" you are wrong.
Magazine- The weapon's magazine is the place inside the weapon where rounds are stored in preparation for firing. A magazine can be attached, as is in the case with many rifles or detachable, in the case of semi-auto pistols and carbine type rifles. Detachable magazines do not make a weapon more dangerous. It is just easier to drop an empty magazine and insert a full one than to have to load each individual round one at a time into the weapon.
Gun- A large piece of artillery, such as a cannon or the main guns on a battleship. It is improper to refer to small arms, such as pistols and rifles as a gun. In the military, calling your rifle a "gun" can get you in trouble and hilarity often ensues.
Rifle-A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves ("rifling") cut into the barrel walls. Also called "long guns", a rifle fires a single bullet over a longer distance with accuracy than a pistol. Rifles can be semiautomatic, automatic or manually cocked using a lever or bolt action.
Shotgun- A shotgun (also known as a scattergun and peppergun, or historically as a fowling piece) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. It is generally, used for high power and wide coverage at short range, such as hunting for birds, where the scattering of the shot gives the shooter a better chance at hitting a small, flying bird. Shotguns are also popular for home defense because a short-barreled shotgun can be quickly pointed at an intruder, rather than aimed like a rifle(which takes time) and the shot will cover a greater area (such as a hall or doorway). They are also preferred because smaller shot will be less likely to penetrate a wall than a bullet, thereby reducing the risk of harming an innocent person in an adjacent room or building.
Pistol- A handgun. Usually this is a short firearm that is designed to be fired with one hand. Usually refers to semiautomatics, but can be used for revolvers, too.
Revolver- a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. Sometimes called a "wheel gun" or "six shooter". In modern revolvers, the rotating cylinder that holds the cartridges is hinged to the frame and can be manipulated to extract spent cases and reload with new cartridges after they have all been expended. Typically, the two types are Single Action, which require the shooter to pull the hammer back into a locked position (cocked), and rotating the cylinder before the trigger can be pulled, expending ONE round. This must be repeated each time the shooter wants to fire. Think Clint Eastwood's revolver in the Spaghetti westerns. There are also double actionrevolvers in which pulling the trigger also draws the hammer and simultaneously cycles the cylinder, placing a new round into firinf position. Think dirty Harry for this one. Most Double Action revolvers can be fired in single action mode, though, if desired.
Semi-Automatic- This is where people get all fucked up. A semi-automatic, or self-loading (autoloader), firearm is a weapon that performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon's firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon. This is true in terms of both pistols and rifles.
A fully automatic firearm is a firearm that will continue to fire so long as the trigger is pressed and there is ammunition in the magazine. Both "semi automatic" and "fully automatic" weapons are "automatic" in that the firearm automatically cycles between rounds with each trigger pull. the difference there is with a true automatic, rounds continue to fire at a rapid rate until either the trigger is released or the weapon's ammunition supply is exhausted. NOTE: iT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL TO PURCHASE OR OWN A FULLY AUTOMATIC FIREARM IN THE UNITED STATES. tHE ONLY EXCEPTIONS ARE PERSONS WITH A FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE AND THE PROCESS IS EXPENSIVE AND RIDDLED WITH RED TAPE.
Automatic Pistol- When a shooter refers to his pistol as an "auto" or "automatic", it typically is a Semi-Automatic, not full auto. Confused yet? The media are because they fuck this up constantly. The Colt 1911 and Glock handguns are popular semiautomatic pistols. Not to be confused with a machinepistol or sub-machinegun which is a short carbine-type rifle or pistol designed to fire in fully automatic mode.
Assault Rifle- An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies. Assault rifles are categorized in between light machine guns, which are intended more for sustained automatic fire in a light support role, and submachine guns, which fire a pistol cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge. THESE CAN NOT BE PURCHASED BY CIVILIANS IN GUN STORES! IT IS AND HAS BEEN ILLEGAL FOR A LONG LONG TIME! The AK-47 and American M-4 are Assault Rifles. Although you can buy and AR-15 or an AK-47 in a gun store, they are civilian models that are only capable of semiautomatic fire. Those weapons are not assault rifles, because they are not capable of automatic or burst firing.
Assault Weapon- There is no such animal as an assault weapon. This is a term dreamed up by the media to describe ordinary civilian firearms that are cosmetically similar to actual assault rifles. Other than looks, the two have nothing in common.
Machinegun- A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute. Machine guns are generally categorized as submachine guns, machine guns, or autocannons. Submachine guns are hand-held small portable automatic weapons for personal defense or short-range combat firing pistol-caliber rounds. A machine gun is often portable to a certain degree, but is generally used when attached to a mount or fired from the ground on a bipod, and generally fires a rifle cartridge. Light machine guns are small enough to be fired and are hand-held like a rifle, but are more effective when fired from a prone position. The difference between machine guns and autocannons is based on caliber, with autocannons using calibers larger than 16 mm. The Browning M-2 and the M-60 Light Machinegun (think Rambo) are examples of machineguns.