Why We Must Train The Next Generation

Dealing With The Front Door - The Family DiscussionIt is obvious that the gun control factions in Washington and at the state level are not going to take their recent defeats at the national level as final. They continue to press their agendas, especially at the state level, and will likely do so without ceasing.

Consider a couple of recent events:

By now their goal is clear. They intend to so stigmatize guns and gun ownership that the next generation of Americans will agree to, if not demand, the anti-gun faction’s final goal, complete confiscation.

That is why is it up to us, law abiding gun owners, to raise the next generation to resist and reject the anti-gun agenda. If we don’t, we risk losing it all in less than a generation.

What can we do to resist? How can we raise and train our own children to see that the Second Amendment protects American liberty at its core?

  • Teach them to shoot. That’s easily the most simple thing we can do, because it will reinforce to our children that the messages they hear from the ant-gun side are false and misleading.
  • Support youth organizations that support shooting. Sebastian writes of the Boy Scouts in his area who are expanding their program. Make it work in your area.
  • Encourage them to take up shooting sports. The Dauphin, shooting in the picture above, is going to start competing with me this summer, shooting my G19.
  • If you hunt, take them hunting. Passing that on to the next generation is a time honored, tested way to pass along our way.
  • Speak out against the lies that the anti’s spread, and make sure your children know the difference.
  • Above all, be a responsible owner. Stay safe, and teach safety. When our children feel comfortable around guns, the lies will be obvious.

What are some of the things you are doing to pass along our liberty?


What I Just Sent to Groupon

Over the last couple of years I have used Groupon for discounts at restaurants and attractions. However, Groupon recently decided to cancel all its deals for gun ranges and shooting activities, based on “performance and customer feedback.”

So, in what seems to be a recurring theme, I just sent this message to Groupon’s customer service feedback center:

Because of Groupon’s recent decision to stop selling Groupons for shooting activities, once I use my outstanding deals, I will never buy another deal, and I am unsubscribing from your notices.

People who shoot guns are engaging in a legal activity. The fact that they do so at companies who use your service, such as gun ranges, means they are also doing so in a supervised and safe manner. Your discrimination against an activity is unacceptable.


Seconds later I received this email:

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your submission! Although we typically respond to most emails in less than 24 hours, we’re running a little behind right now. You should hear from us in about 48 hours. Sorry in advance for the delay!

Groupon Support

I doubt if I will get a response.

Thoughts On Caliber Selection

You can probably infer from my use of this image how I feel about the whole topic of caliber selection. But, recently, I have read a lot of postings elsewhere that make this topic rather hard to understand.

Personally, I prefer to stay out of the “.45 versus 9mm” argument. That’s why I include that in my Pledge.

Having said that, here is what I tell people who ask me which gun they should buy, or which caliber they should pick.

The purpose of a handgun is to make holes in an aggressor, and, hopefully, make them stop doing whatever it is that is threatening me or my loves ones. Handguns aren’t going to blow anyone across the room, or rip anyone’s arm off, no matter what the movies or the trolls on the interwebz want you to think.

The purpose of shooting someone, then, is to put holes in them. How big do the holes need to be? This big? (    )  Or this big? (     )

Personally, my plan is to make as many holes as I need to, which will let blood out, which will make the aggressor stop, either by breaking their will to continue, or by making their brain stop working. I will leave how big the holes are to the coroner.

So, it then comes down to how many holes I can make, in an area that will cause the aggressor to stop, and how fast. Thus, the defining specifications in a handgun, for me, becomes magazine capacity and recoil control.

Thus, everyone should choose their handgun based on how well they can control the gun, and how many shots they can deliver accurately and quickly. For me, my .45ACP Glock 21SF is as easy to control as my 9mm Glock 17 or my 9mm Glock 19. That isn’t to say that the recoil is the same, or less. Quite the contrary. But I don’t have any problem controlling the .45ACP round, because I’ve shot it enough to get good at it. Actually, I find I shoot the G21SF more accurately than either 9mm, because I pay more attention, and use better trigger control.

But, my G17 holds 20 rounds, while the G21SF holds 14, and is about twice as heavy, and about twice as expensive to practice with. So, for me, that makes my G17 and G19 a better choice.


Interestingly, this debate isn’t limited to handguns. For some time, the merits of the .223 rifle cartridge versus others, notably the .308, has been beaten almost to death.

I found this account in Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries (Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1997) that I thought was interesting:

We have never been enthusiastic about the use as a battle round of the 223, which is essentially a varmint cartridge, and our view is shared by most of the people who have used the M16 in close combat. However, we ran across an amusing anecdote from Vietnam which suggests that there are two sides to most questions. It appears that this marine sergeant became involved in a short-range daylight firefight in which his people were supported by two M48 tanks mounting 90 millimeter guns. As things developed the sergeant noticed a gook a short way off armed with a bazooka (RPG), which was aimed precisely at one of the supporting tanks and well within rocket range. The sergeant assumed a classic offhand firing position, right elbow high, left elbow under the piece, and with his weapon placed properly in the semi-automatic mode, he squeezed off his single round. At precisely that moment, the other tank, having noticed the same gook, touched off one round of 90 millimeter main battery ammunition, but there was so much going on at the time that the sergeant was not aware of the tank round. The gook was totally scrambled, and our marine looked wonderingly down at his little poodle shooter in amazement.


Finally, for more on stopping power and caliber specifications, check out this article in American Rifleman and the website Ballistics 101.

If you want to base your decision on some other factors than I do, that’s okay.

Howdy, Pardner

Over on the right sideboard you will notice “For Stuff That Works,” and a picture of a sketchy guy, maybe breaking in.

That sketchy guy is Ron Larimer, blogger at When The Balloon Goes Up, and purveyor of the new When The Balloon Goes Up store. I am proud to announce that this blog is now an official partner of WTBGU.

If you’re in the market for great accessories, holsters, sights, and other stuff that just works, please click on over and check it out.



FTC Disclaimer: I get consideration from WTBGU from those who click through.

Gun Control From A Simpler Time

When I was young, probably age 14, the boys in our neighborhood went through a BB gun phase. Prior to this, I had never had any exposure to firearms at all, beyond cap pistols.

I got a lever action Daisy gun, from where I don’t remember. Others in the neighborhood had pump pellet guns, and one guy, the rich kid on the block, had a CO2 powered semi-auto.

In the afternoons after school, we would meet at John’s house, a couple of houses down from mine, and choose sides, the head into the woods to do battle.

Full on BB wars. The rule was, one hit and you were out, and it was on an honors system. Not too difficult to enforce. I can still remember being shot. Ouch.

Late one session, as it was getting almost too dark to see, I was trying to flank the other team’s position, and I heard movement behind me. I turned, and there, probably 30 yards away, through the trees, was the captain of the other team. John.

John was large. That is, while I, at age 14, was probably 5′-8″ tall and weighed 140 pounds, John was easily 6 feet tall and probably weighed over 200 pounds. We all thought he was fat, although we didn’t say that to his face.

But there he was, and he didn’t see me.

So, I raised my gun quickly, and fired.

John cried out, and put a hand to his face.

To his eye.

I almost fainted.



“You okay?”

“No, man. You shot my damn eye.”

I rushed to his side, and sure enough, even in the fading light, I could see that his eye was red, although there didn’t seem to be blood on him anywhere.

“We gotta go get you some help.”

So he and I made our way through the woods, back to his back yard, where some of both teams had come to retire, and they could all tell right away what had happened.

“Wow, man, you shot John in the eye!”

“Shut up! Do you want his Mom to shut us all down?”

We took a couple of minutes trying to decide how we were going to handle this. We quickly came up with a plan.

First, yes, this sounds like what happened to Ralphie in A Christmas Story. But we thought of it first.

In the woods we had an old metal sign, and, as dumb as it sounds, we would tape pictures of animals to it and shoot it for target practice. We all thought it was funny when BBs would come back and hit near us, or fly off into the woods. So the story was that the BB had come straight back and hit John’s eye. Easy.

Well, John’s Mom didn’t panic when she saw him, but quickly swept him off to the doctor’s to be sure.

Those who remained, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers, we breathed a sigh.


The next day, Friday, when we got home from school, all our Moms had some news for us, courtesy of John’s Mom.

The BB had struck John’s eye just below the iris, and had almost penetrated the eyeball. But it didn’t, and that was the good news.

From there, it had skidded along the surface of his eyeball, and gone under his eyelid, lodging up under his cheek. They almost couldn’t find it, but X-rays are a wonderful thing.

They didn’t know if he would have any permanent eye damage, but right now, his eye was full of blood, and he couldn’t see. (Now you see – my image of a fat guy with an eye patch goes back a long way.)

There was no joy in the neighborhood, because we were all sure the BB wars were over, as much as we were scared of John’s prospects. John didn’t want to hang out with any of us, which was understandable, because he had been forced to take the blame for shooting himself.

The next day, Saturday, when all the Dads were home, was sure to be the worst.

Yet, as the day dawned, there were no lectures, no confiscations, no gun raids.

Instead, one of the Dads went out to Sears, and brought back a whole bunch of work goggles, and made sure all we combatants had a pair, and that we agreed not to shoot, anywhere, any time, anyone, without them. And the BB wars continued, at least until about the time a bunch of us got our drivers licenses and discovered girls.


From that point, everyone in John’s family started calling me Deadeye, and it was then that I knew that John had told the real story. Years later, when I visited the old neighborhood, John was there, visiting his parents, and the topic got around to my nickname, and he admitted it. I asked him why he chose Deadeye, and he explained that I had to be the best shooter in the neighborhood – given the size of his eye in comparison to the rest of his body, that was some fine shooting.

John recovered full use of his eyes, and never held ill will toward me. I guess the nickname did a lot.

And thanks to the calm response of the parents in the neighborhood, nobody got their eye shot out again.

The Big Yawn of Gun Culture 2.0

I just read this interesting article from AmmoLand about the state of saturation of the AR market (H/T RomeoTangoBravo).

Granted, this isn’t the first article about the over-saturation of the AR market, but it is one of the more interesting, in that it actually talks about what AR makers could be offering that wouldn’t put the AR market to sleep. In fact, I like the suggestions offered, and I don’t even own an AR.

But what struck me most was the first line of the article:

Ho-hum. Yet another AR rifle is being introduced to the market place…. Seems like we are getting to the point where this is happening all the time, aren’t we?

It struck me, because this is the same thing I think every time I read about the latest and greatest bolt action hunting rifle, or $1000 scope. Heck, almost those exact words came in my mind the first time I heard about the Ruger Scout Rifle. I mean, forgive me Colonel Cooper, but a bolt action “tactical” rifle, in the 21st Century? Really?

I guess this confirms my membership in Gun Culture 2.0. I honestly have no interest in hunting rifles, or optics, or tactics. Yes, I realize there are men in Afghanistan right now who are using those rifles and tactics and optics. My brother is one. It’s just, I’m not there.

But hey, it’s a big world, and you’re welcome to your side. That’s also the reason our founding fathers put that amendment first. Knock yourself out.

Just don’t expect me to stay awake for it.

New Show on Outdoor Channel Tonight – Gun Stories

Courtesy of Outdoor Channel

If you’re part of Gun Culture 2.0 like me, you may not know a lot about some of the guns you’ve heard about. Michael Bane, producer of such shows as Shooting Gallery, Best Defense, and Cowboys, has addressed that with what some are calling the best show on the Outdoor Channel, Gun Stories.

Hosted by actor and gun enthusiast Joe Mantegna, the show premieres today. The first airing is at 2:00 PM ET, and another at 7:30 PM ET. Check your listings for all the times. If you don’t get Outdoor Channel, I don’t know what to tell you.

Bane said in his podcast this week that his goal is to bring guns to life for those of us who may not know all their history, and to breathe fresh life into them for those who think they already know all about them. The first episode is about the 1911, and next week they talk about Mausers.

I’m going to watch the 10:30 PM ET showing, and I’ll let you know my thoughts live on Twitter.