Clinton A. Love

Writer, Musician, Mortician

Clint's Author Blog

Damsel of Distress and the World's Unluckiest Man

Posted on April 24, 2015 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (43)

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).

Bring Enough Gun?

Posted on December 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (21)

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

Video Games- The Gateway Drug?

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (2)

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".

Idiot Media and Firearms

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (27)

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!

Why "Tactical Knife" Training is Hogwash

Posted on June 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (8)

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!

No Guns Allowed? (How to Stand up for Your Own Rights Without Being a Total Asshole)

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (22)

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.

Exploding Bullets and Other Bullshit

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (22)

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.


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!