Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Texas, Open Carry and PSH

*My* friends in Texas are generally above average in cluefulness. I'm just blessed that way. They are not anticipating blood in the streets come the wee hours of New Years 2016 as Open Carry (the crippled pusillanimous version) becomes the law of the land in the Lone Star State.

Regrettably, many Texans are not nearly as well-informed and could not be bothered to actually look at how Open Carry actually works in the 45 states where it is already legal - in many cases for decades. Others are just anti-gun and, having lost their argument in the Texas Legislature, seek to re-hash it in the press amidst great hand-wringing and public pants-shitting hysteria - some going so far as to advocate "Swatting" persons lawfully engaged in Open Carry in the Great State of Texas.

For this second crowd - whether of the stupid faction or the malignantly evil faction - I have but a simple suggestion: "Knock it the fuck off!"

Texans just aren't that unique (Sorry, folks). They aren't uniquely evil, stupid nor incompetent. They have not discovered exciting new ways of cranial rectal infarction. In fact, Texans tend to be a bit friendlier and more direct than similar folks in the damp and soggy NW. It may be that the rain makes folks grumpier, passive-aggressive and foolishly lib-prog - but that is another discussion.

Yet, out here in Washington we've had Open Carry for decades - not the neutered Texas version turning up on Friday where someone needs to hold a concealed pistol license and have training - but the real deal where if you can own it you can carry it. It only requires a license (with no training requirement) to carry concealed.

Surprisingly enough there hasn't been blood in the streets, nor has there been mass hysteria. As with any other lawful practice where someone will buy themselves an invitation to go away, a stern talking to by local gendarmes or in truly special cases manage to stupid themselves right into a cell.

I'm not aware in the period where I've been present and cognizant (30+ years) of an Open Carry critter getting ventilated by a cop that couldn't tell the difference.

The main difference between carrying out here and back in Tx under the pre-1/1/16 regime is that I don't need to fret if my shirt gets blow open in the wind out here. It's the same gun, carried in the same holster, with the same number of spare magazines. There is *no* functional difference, unless I'm being consciously showy and using a Hollywood style buscadero holster (a darned rare occurrence, as playing ambassador eats time).

So. If you are honestly ignorant, stop wringing your hands and educate yourself on how Open Carry has worked in 45 other states. If you are a malice-filled SWAT-monkey eager to risk getting folks killed to push your toxic agenda of harassing law-abiding gun owners - I hope every single misfortune you wish on us strikes you, thrice over.

Falling forward....

In contemplating the tragic circumstances in Roseburg, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs and elsewhere - where terrorists, loons and terrorist loons went on homicidal rampagesone is faced with multiple choices in how to react.

You can tear at your hair and gather sack cloth and ashes for a rousing session of emotionalism with a strong theme of "there ought to be a law!" and "we need more gun control!" This lacks a certain amount of rationality, maturity or likelihood of actually accomplishing anything in terms of preventing shootings, mass shootings or the heat death of the universe. Murder is already very, VERY illegal (as is assault with a deadly weapon) and yet another law seems dreadfully unlikely to deter bad actors from acting badly.

You can campaign to address parts of the problem. While overall violent crime is down, mass murder is never a good thing and worthy of extra effort. This approach is somewhat more productive, if a bit long term and speculative. In this model you can work to improve immigrant screening, better fund domestic intelligence efforts, improve the availability of mental health care (and reduce the practicaly and perceived stigma of seeking out such care), seek to limit over-criminalization and work to isolate demonstrably violent bad actors - all this is to the good.

Despite the generally worthwhile nature of this approach (and I'd argue that if naught else, you score moral brownie points for such efforts), such long-term efforts fail to address the immediate "crap happening right here, right now" range of situations. These longer term efforts fail to address "What is the right action should it all go south right there in front of me?"

"Can't happen to me..." really kind of sucks as a plan. It may be unlikely, but the fates may make the choice to crap in YOUR hat one fine day and assuming that you are magically immune doesn't really prepare you for a better outcome than dying messily. Thinking it through and talking it over with folks you respect might at least allow for the chance of a substantially improved endgame.

Sometimes the very best option left on the table is to decide to die falling forward - the exits are blocked, the bad actors have numbers and logistics on their side, and life just generally sucks and appears to be a short term phenomena. A "sucks to be you" kind of day, if you will. The best option you have is to take down as many hostiles as you can on your way to the funeral parlor - if nothing else, every hostile you take down is one that is unlikely to ever get all anti-social with someone else in the future.

The key to doing this successfully is having made the decision, far in the past, just what the bar is for your personal final charge to glory - how bad does it all have to be before honor outweighs survival?

Give it some thought, and then some prayer you never find yourself in a situation so fouled up that it becomes a practical consideration.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

GC's Rules of Serious Social Interaction

Let's be really clear - I come at this from a lay perspective and my rules are based in that, not in years of gun-fighting, training, brawling or any of that other fun. I've been largely content to observe and learn from those who HAVE had those experiences, and the below is based on THAT and my own eccentric system of ethics and goals.


1) Be where the trouble isn't.
2) Failing #1, RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
3) If, having failed at #1 and #2 being impractical for medical/moral/practical reasons - swiftly prepare to open fire at the center of what you can hit.

4) Repeat as needed until threat abates. 

Saying bad words with greater or lesser vigor at any point in this ritual is entirely your choice.  

Often #1 is fouled by other considerations ranging from "the only decent cheese shop in town is in the middle of the hood!" on up to "I'll be damned if I'll be intimidated out of my own city." How rational those motivates may be is a question left for the reader. 

If one MUST violate #1, try to avoid playing Lady Godiva. Don't go skipping naked through the crime zone with a bag of gold in one hand while singing "tra-la-le, please victimize me." Either be the visually baddest of the badasses on the block (and able and willing to back that up), or strive to fade into the background or as C/W singer Ray Stevens puts it "I just lead a quiet little life, sing my little songs, and don't do anyone harm" as you do your thing and get the hell out. 

Option 2 is fairly self-explanatory. Running away doesn't work terribly well if you are medically fouled up, aged or are entangled with mini-humans (or other critters) you cannot morally abandon. Using offspring and elders as bear food ("you don't have to the fastest - you just have to be faster than the next one the bear is chasing") is frowned on in most societies. 

The third option is best employed when things have gone thoroughly to hell, quite possibly to the point where survival is no longer a likely option. At this point, MANY considerations go right out the window as the goal shifts from de-escalation and conflict avoidance to conflict termination and acquisition of a sufficient honor guard. *

A gun isn't a magic wand. Some folks take a whole lot of persuading when you are trying to educate them on the virtues of non-aggression and require repeated high velocity lessons. Sometimes hostiles bring their friends, who ALSO require additional education. Thus is the lesson of GC's rule #4.

*The notion that ones status in hell is determined by the number of enemies that one slays in ones final battle - your "honor guard." Often attributed to Robert A. Heinlein.