I wrote earlier this month regarding my two years of formal training in martial arts. Not much, I know. About 15 years later, I actively shot in I.P.S.C. – style competition for about a year. There is a similarity in these disciplines.
Most martial arts training (I’m speaking of Asian-based) begins with a set position. A formal stance from which one begins – either ‘sparring’ (usually play-acting as through striking one’s opponent), or kata (aka forms), going-through-the-motions as if encountering an opponent. Shadow boxing. Responding to an imaginary adversary.
And I.P.S.C. (and it’s later permutations) of active ‘combat’ shooting competition usual does the same thing. One starts in a particular place, with particular equipment, in a particular position. Then the whistle blows. (At least U.S.P.S.A. and I.D.P.A. have done some evolution!)
The problem in both these situations is muscle memory. We revert to that which we were trained to do. One responds to a fist to the face by an outward-extended block, trapping the arm and stepping in with a counter strike. One sees one’s adversary present a pistol in one’s direction, and the response is immediate – Grip, Clear, Click, Smack, Sight – or some variant, as one moves into Isosceles or Weaver – feet into the ‘correct’ position to respond.
WRONG. At least wrong in the real world.
Training is good. Dry practice, repetitive presentations, trigger control, sight alignment, the compressed-surprise break. Even practiced stances and grips. All good. Competition is good, especially active competition as opposed to just punching holes in paper, dueling-style. But, those are not enough, and can set in some dangerous muscle-memory habits!
Remember they used to say in malfunction clearance drills Tap, Rack, Bang? They changed it to Tap, Rack, Assess, because some folks had malfs, cleared their firearm and came out shooting. Reflexively.
The same thing applies in our training. If we train to respond with B follows A – bad things are happening, we must attain our proper stance and grip, and use both hands, and have our feet correct – we won’t have the time to find cover and respond appropriately. We will be dead.
The venerable Bruce Lee called kata vertical death – because it set a pattern of muscle memory and took unneeded time. Don’t just practice B follows A – try presenting and shooting weak handed, from prone and supine, and in a chair; and holding a heavy sack in your strong hand. If someone send a fist to your face, don’t automatically do a ‘standard’ response. Dodge the fist simultaneously doing a stop kick.
Think outside the box! Armed or unarmed.
On the street, no one will announce, “Shooter ready?!”
Fill Yer Hands recently blogged regarding a minor phenomena I’ve seen more and more of. And, frankly, have heard about for years.
You’re a gun owner – why don’t you join the NRA or the SAF or some other pro-rights organization and put your money-where-your-mouth is?
Because I don’t want to be on a list.
You think that mouthing off in your local watering hole about the President or his policies, or buying firearms and ammunition, or prepping, or posting comments on the Internet haven’t already gotten someone’s attention?
It’s been widely reported that the ‘temporary’ NICS background check files have been (illegally) saved by the FBI, and every time a licensed gun shop goes under, they are required to ship all their filed Federal Forms 4473 to the BATFE. We suspect there’s a huge database, although we’ve no positive proof.
How about the DHS Watch Lists when flying, or taking a train, or traveling abroad? Or the NSA monitoring all the email traffic electronically, looking for key words like ‘guns’ in messages?
Personally, I suspect there has always been a list, and I involuntarily was added to it upon my first ‘papered’ firearm purchase. And my ranting in this blog (and as a commenter on other blogs) about libertarianism, the Constitution, Gun Rights, Civil Liberties and various government abuses probably has made my file thicker.
But, I don’t care. Why? If indeed there are concerted efforts to monitor the actions and locations of possible threats (e.g. gun owners and free-thinking people) I’m probably at the head of the line. Not only am I a gun owner and speak out about it, I’ve spoken publicly about the JFK assassination.
If there indeed IS a list, and we as a nation cross the Rubicon, I’ll never make to the camps…
(quietly removes tin-foil hat and skulks away…)
Many bloggers have been posting of late regarding the ongoing elimination of rights by the government. I’ve been one of the folks posting. And, with the exception of the occasional ‘troll’, I’m pretty much preaching to the choir.
And sometimes that’s appropriate. We need to support and reaffirm one another.
BUT, what does one do with the community outside the ‘church’? Friends, co-workers, family who are not gun owners, who don’t participate in the gun culture, who either are neutral about firearms or just a little uneasy with them?
We need them, as well.
Those people who don’t see that when some folks rights are taken away, all rights are on the table for removal.
I’ve one friend, a libertarian, who understands The Constitution and The Bill of Rights and all that. I’ve even taken him shooting. Just doesn’t interest him. He’s not anti, just not a supporter. A close relative who knows I’d be happy to bring her into the world of guns; to train her and help her to be more self-protective. But she fears her own temper, so she won’t consider it.
We need these folks, if not in our gun corner, in our political corner.
How do we do that?
Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly have walked a long path together. With the Nation watching.
She was shot and seriously wounded (and six others killed) in a Tucson assassination attempt. Her recovery has been brave, to say the least.
Now she and her husband are launching a group to “launch a national dialogue and raise funds to counter influence of the gun lobby.”
“In response to a horrific series of shootings that has sown terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of Americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a Tucson parking lot, Congress has done something quite extraordinary – nothing at all,” the pair wrote in an editorial published Tuesday on their site and in USA Today. (emphasis Guffaw)
If they were indeed looking for responsible solutions, a national dialogue, wouldn’t including the NRA and other like-minded organizations in the discussion be appropriate? Isn’t that what the Left is always touting, discussion before taking action? Inclusion?
To me, responsible sounds an awful lot like reasonable when it comes to Gun Control. As in “we need reasonable gun control”. As if the previously-enacted thousands of laws and regulations aren’t enough. If we can pass just one more law…
And, of course, criminals don’t obey laws!
They’ve certainly a right to their opinion. They’ve been on a public tour; went to Newtown, Connecticut; met with NYC Mayor Bloomberg – an anti-rights freak if there ever was one. Had a Big-Gulp, greasy fries or a smoke in NY, lately? Nanny Bloomberg is watching you!
And we’ve a right to our opinion. No thank you, Ms. Gifford and Mr. Kelly. “Include me out” as film mogul Samuel Goldwyn is to have said.
h/t NBC News
Much hullabaloo has been made since Bob Costas made an ill-advised political statement during Sunday Night Football. I’d not seen it; I’m not a football fan.
As I understand it he said both the NFL football player who killed his girlfriend, and she would still be with us, if it weren’t for the tool used – a gun.
Tell that to Nicole Brown Simpson.
A good friend of mine passed suddenly, almost a year ago. While his wife and I were never close, I check in with her from time-to-time, to make certain she’s ‘okay’. At least, doing as best as she can. Holidays are always tough for such folks. I know.
Mark loved guns, and loved shooting. I was proud to have him for a student and a friend. But his wife just never understood the appeal of firearms. They frightened her, and she had no desire to educate herself to work through her fear. After his passing, she gave Mark’s guns and gun stuff to her gunnie son-in-law. A good choice, except, of course, now she has none.
Both Mr. Costas and Mark’s wife have the right to their opinions, as we do to ours. The ability to have differing opinions is one of the things which makes our Nation great. It’s too bad neither person took the opportunity to educate themselves past their fears.
I fear for Mark’s wife, living alone in a large house, with no protection at all. Their ridgeback died a couple years ago. I’ve no such fears for Mr. Costas – the network probably provides him with armed security, so he’ll be alright.
The Smallest Minority shares with us a tale…
Old Aviators and Old Airplanes….
This is a good little story about a vivid memory of a P-51 and its pilot, by a fellow who was 12 years old in Canada in 1967. It was to take to the air. They said it had flown in during the night from some U.S. Airport, the pilot had been tired.
It is a tale as described above, told with heart, and with truth. Kevin’s friend Dave further states:
I know we still retain the possibility to be again what we once were, but I’m afraid that entropy will win in the end. The culture of a nation reflects the philosophy of that nation, and ours is no longer that of John Locke and Adam Smith, but rather Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx, when it isn’t just “…a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind’s wings should have grown” as Ayn Rand put it.
Please visit the TSM link above and read the whole essay. And perhaps get a little misty, as did I.
Thanks, Kevin (and his friend Dave)!
Washington’s Blog ‘suggests’ that a false flag scenario may be headed our way. (for the uninitiated, a false flag is a reported inflammatory action by another, warranting a response, usually ending in military action. It turns our that the inflammatory action never actually happened – The Gulf of Tonkin incident which precipitated the Vietnam War is a good example. Saddam Hussein proceeding toward nuclear munitions has been held by some as another, although that debate continues).
What I fear the most is a false flag – something happening where one of our ships goes down, or there’s a plane that goes down, and of course it HAD to be the Iranians, you know, for sure, for certain. – Ron Paul
Daniel Ellsberg – the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower – said “if there is another terror attack, “I believe the president will get what he wants”, which includes war with Iran.
Former high-level CIA officer Michael Scheuer – who was the head of the CIA unit tasked with capturing Bin Laden – says that Israel or Saudi Arabia could be setting up Iran as a way to foment war 3
Of course, Iran isn’t the only issue ripe for exploitation. Immigration? The Drug War? Gun Control? (oh, wait, they already used Fast & Furious as an excuse for more gun control!)
Go to the link and read the entire post.
The question then becomes, in this instantaneous Internet age, if ‘something’ appears to have come down the pike, is it real, or something gamed-up to force our hand? And, if a false flag, by whom? Will we have the time for educated second-guessing?
And whose agenda is being served?
(I was originally going to title this Better Late Than Never, but I’m Pissed!)
WELL, it’s been an interesting day @ Guffaw in AZ to say the least!
Minimal (or no) Internet connectivity – which meant no email accounts, no news, boredom…
And for the first time since March 6, 2011 no daily blog post! I’ve been doing this as part of my routine – and I missed it! I’m not going to post something this late, only to post more in the morning – assuming things are working correctly then!
The good part is the World kept spinning in my absence; the bad part is I kind of like the routine.
T-Mobile, to whom I switched because Verizon was just getting too expensive, is the culprit.
Hopefully, this will be an isolated incident.
I have my doubts…
Collective Delusion aka Mass Hysteria!
Pick a subject: The Kennedy Assassination, 9/11, terrorism, the economy, our perverse government, our perverse corporations, gun control, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
There is a propensity in the human condition to look for reasons why things happen. And, to punish the people responsible, if those things are bad.
I, for one, subscribe to the Conspiracy Theory of History. This means that while we may only see the titular head of the iceberg (John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald) there were less-than-obvious forces behind the scenes, involved in the giant ongoing chess game about control (see my previous post How it Really works). Both pre and post the event(s).
And as we know, the winners write the history books.
Of course, this doesn’t mean everything is the result of some dark conspiracy. Sometimes individuals are just koo-koo. Or evil. Unto themselves.
But today, more than ever, with rapid electronic communication and the Internet, disinformation gets out of bed and makes it’s way around the World before the
truth facts have their socks on!
It’s even easier when one is predisposed to believe what is presented. If the President or Bernie Sanders is said to have made a collectivist statement, I tend to believe it, as they are collectivists. The same for Rush Limbaugh if he is alleged to make a right-wing statement. And, of course, if I already think poorly about the person and their opinions, statements attributed to them seem automatically true:
“Our main agenda is to have ALL guns banned. We must use whatever means possible. It doesn’t matter if you have to distort facts or even lie. Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” - Sarah Brady
The only problem is she never said that! And it keeps getting re-attributed as proof of her beliefs.
We need not to keep passing on disinformation as fact – not buying into the collective delusion.
For more on this phenomena, please go read The Great Seattle Windshield Epidemic.
Trust, but verify, before passing along information.