Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cracked Takes on Old NRA ads....

So... this Cracked article on crazy ads.

You may guess that it's related to gun control.  Something Cracked talks about... a fair bit.

So of course some NRA ads  are part of the list.  But they only get in at #6.    And in fairness they really are some pretty crazy advertisements.

(Sure Cracked being Cracked starts off with "The NRA famously advocates for gun manufacturers",  and then tries to be even handed with the issue."   Cracked also acts as if these are typical advertisements, though the link, to Mother Jones no less!  Shows a mess of far tamer ads.  But on the gripping hand the article doesn't really talk about how bad guns are or how great gun control is.)

And this late 80's  Washington Post article seems to confirm that the NRA really did engage in this, frankly, baffling advertising strategy.   Baffling not for the content of the ads so much as the way they're framed.

Still, it's somewhat noteworthy that Cracked put it so low on the list.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's no retrospective...

In fact it's another Cracked piece. This time Cracked goes back to their wheelhouse (used complementary in this case). Of interviewing a person with a unique experience.

Speifically someone who served on a grand jury on anofficer involved shooting. It's an interesting read as it covers issues of emotions, timing, information restriction while the trial is occurring, ignorance in media reporting, use of force procedures, and even a bit on the aftermath of someone who has been "cleared" in a shooting.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A retrospective....

As Erin mentioned on my last post.... pictures could have been nice.

So I'm thinking of doing a retrospective of my past carry pieces and holsters.  Also could be a fun bit down memory lane.  As I realize I'm nearing ten years of CCW...   Geeze.

With a few bits of lessons learned along the way.   I make no great claims of knowledge, but at least some people can learn from my mistakes  (first,  just don't buy Kimbers.  Even used, even if you get one that works well, they're not worth the price.  And I say this as someone currently using STI and Sig)

Friday, March 24, 2017


It's interesting.   I used to be one of those bigger bullet is best bullet.  So I carried a 45. And it was a 1911 because well...  that's what my father had and it seemed good enough for me.

And when it came time for a bug (backup gun)  I went "well I gotta have another 45". But I needed a jogging gun.  And that was a pocket 380 acp.

So that was two calibers for carry.

But then I decided... wait why have 8 rounds when I can have more.

And went to....  a 9mm (It was still a 1911 but doublestack!)

So... for those of you keeping score I was up to three calibers for a defensive use to keep track of.

But...  then I started looking at pocket nines.   Turns out a good one will be almost as small as a pocket 380.  But will have real sights, be 9mm and have more pleasant recoil.

Well... at least the Sig 938 does.   Which nicely replaced my pocket 45 and pocket 380.

Especially since for jogging I got a proper kydex holster for the Sig.

But yes... that brought me from 3 calibers down to 1.

And....  both were 9mm 1911's.

I don't exactly... recommend this journey on carry guns.  But it was interesting.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Smooth, Fast, Slow, What's the difference?

My friend Oddball has a post about the recent brouhaha of people not liking the idea "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast."

Oddball brings an interesting perspective to the discussion. 

While I’m not an IDPA grandmaster, ever even been in an IPSC match, or some high speed low drag firearms instructor, I am a martial arts instructor.  As such, I’ve used the term, and I’ve heard many other instructor state similar.

The real message behind the that mantra is to focus on technique.  When we try to go as fast as we possibly can, our technique tends to go out the window.  I’ve seen folks jump straight into trying kicks or hand techniques at full speed, and their technique was generously described as “flailing.”  Lots of movement that doesn’t do anything but waste energy and throws them off balance, no force actually landing on target, and, while their limbs my be going at high speed, the entire action is slow.

The solution to this is to slow down and focus on what you’re actually doing.  If you’re doing something in the middle of your action that doesn’t directly help that action, why?  There might be a good reason (like keeping your hands up), at which point, keep doing that.  If there’s not, maybe you shouldn’t.  Slowing down allows you and your instructor to make sure you’re not only moving efficiently, but that the maximum amount of the energy you’re expending ends up on target.  Once a student’s technique is good, then we move to actually speeding things up.

Now, I’ve only taken a few classes on firearms but it does seem that most of the critique of “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” that is the jab “slow is smooth, and smooth is still slow”...

Well they ignore the importance of smooth.
Being fast isn’t worth diddly if your stance is all buggered and you have a lousy grip, no sight picture and, most importantly, you drop rounds into the dirt. Heck, as a matter of training and learning… which makes seems like the better way to improve?

Getting the technique down first, making sure your motions are good and resulting in hits, and then trimming down the time to go faster.

Or focusing on doing whatever it takes to be as quick on the buzzer as possible, and then trying to reduce “flailing”, all /without/ slowing down. ( Because if you have to slow down to get your technique sharpened before you go back to being faster… congrats that’s Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast).

And yes, it is correct that starting slow *can* impart bad habits that will be a detriment later on. But so can starting fast and building habits when one doesn’t have the fundamentals down. Heck one should make sure that one can shoot a tight group, stationary, standing, at like 5-7 yards with a pistol, with careful fire as a bottom basement requirement. Then start worrying about adding drawstrokes, speed, and motion.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A cracked post I missed!

Thanks to Oddball,   and the vagaries of RSS feeds I have a cracked article talking about guns that I missed.

It came out in September and for reference was between an article where they admit  the futility and massive damage gun confiscation in the us would cause.

And one where they take gun control advocates to task for doing counterproductive things and  declare that gun control is a lost cause.

This was shortly followed by an article where they actually decided to talk to people who worked at gun shops to get their perspective.

Annnnnd then a two months later they went back to form with an article on why the NRA is bad for gun owners  Including such reasons as the NRA can occasionally defeat a gun ban.

But the article we're talking about, that I missed  was in that brief window when Cracked was at least talking about the problems of implementing gun control,  the counter productive actions of gun control advocates, and the difficulties they have in making their case.

In a somewhat dark article about why the Marvel Universe would be a nightmare to live in...
They mention gun rights.  As #1.  Specifically with regard to self defense.

Yes there is the obligatory, boilerplate opening swipes of "Mass shootings are happening all the time in the US" and "Gun companies profit off of mass shootings"

But after that....    they go onto:
  • People would want guns, not for glory of awesomeness... but just to protect their families.  
  • (With the unspoken admission that the goverment would not be able to protect everyone)
  • That even in the Marvel universe, guns would be pretty effective for self defense against most villains.
  • That gun bans would be a political dead letter given that the citizenry would want to defend themselves against the sundry threats.
  • Broaches the subject of if people with super-powers would be treated like those with CCW permits.  Including issues of duty to inform.
  • Where is the line drawn between super-powers,  innate skill, and gadgets 
  • Annd the difficulty the goverment would have on regulating new and weapons technology.

All in all a pretty sober assessment and a fair explanation as to why gun rights people want to have the rights they agitate for.

So, it's interesting to go back to the brief window when Cracked actually questioned the gun control dogma.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I'll admit...

I don't really watch the Cracked videos.

It's a mix of due to their stylistic choices being annoying and for a video you're attention is more captured.  Where for an article (especially their short articles) you can read it and be done with it.

Now when their vids do address gun control, that'll get my interest enough to mock them.
Like when they had a vid about how "nobody wants to take your guns" put up right after a vid about how great  Australia's gun control was.

Or when they tried to mock gun owners not trusting the state... right when they had an article admitting that militia folk are right not ot trust the goverment. 

Yeah, so when I see a new vid with this byline:

You know what.  Maybe Trump is after banning all the abortions (or restricting it to just the rich and connected via an expensive onerous permitting regime.   Maybe his court pics will overturn Roe V Wade.  (I have my doubts, and even if they did it wouldn't yet be a ban on abortion, but it would open up a massive can of worms on the state and federal level).

And the whole gun issue seems to be secondary.  As none of the comment-folk (youtube or Cracked) are (at this writing) mentioning guns.  At all.  Which is funny because normally when Cracked goes anti-gun it stirs up a predictable response (kinda like this.)

But you know what's really, really funny?    Cracked repeatedly does the "We don't want to take your guns,  you're just being paranoid." I mean yesterday they had an article saying that.

But today?  That little byline admits that they see the issue as binary choice between gun rights and reproductive rights.

I mean if one looks at the context of SCOTUS and fears that it's guns versus abortions...

then doesn't that mean that Second Amendment people's concerns of overturning a landmark pro-rights case and ushering in prohibitionist laws are just as legitimate of Reproduction rights people's concerns of overturning a landmark pro-rights case and ushering in prohibitionist laws?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cracked: City Living Turns you Liberal

Today they have 6 Big Differences That Turn City Dwellers Into Liberals
Or alternatively  6-ways-big-cities-turn-you-liberal-converts-perspective

Just... guess what number 1 is.
(That I'm writing this post should be a large hint).

Now, some the points are largely true... some are due to just having more people together requires more organization,  others are more artifacts of how urban people see themselves even to "outsourcing" compassion.

#6. Traffic Is A Nightmare
#5. Sick, Desperate People Ask You For Help Every Day
#4. Around A Quarter Of Your Neighbors, Coworkers, And Friends Are Probably Immigrants
#3. Minimum Wage Is A Ticket To Homelessness
#2. The Impact Of Good Government Is Easier To See

Of course number one is gun control

Take the rural perspective in the article itself;  Guns are used for practical reasons like food gathering, pest control, self defense until the cops show up, or plinking fun.   And gun control seems to by and large be because the goverment "they have something shady up their sleeve".  The most negative of the article is some "southern stereotyping" and normalizing drinking and plinking.

Now note:  This is the same Cracked that has been skeptical of police powers and highlighted how easy it is to abuse them many times in the past, has made a cottage industry of writing genuine articles about the villainy of the US goverment against the poor and oppressed.  And is currently talking about the dangers of Trump.

So keep that in mind when the article goes to the urban perspective:  Guns are for criminals killing people.  And the only time city folk see guns is when bad stuff is gonna happen.

Here's the funny part, it's those very gun control laws that have tried to directly or indirectly ban gun ownership in said areas.  DC and Chicago had complete handgun bans.  Many cities did everything they could to get rid of run ranges, and through May Issue made it so that common people couldn't legally carry guns.

All things to make it so that the only guns a normal person saw... were in the hands of a criminal.
How...  convenient.  (Well guns are also in the hands of the cops, the rich, and the connected. Which Cracked has also railed against)

And I'll just put in the whole ending paragraph:

So when the topic of gun control comes up, you start thinking maybe guys who've been in prison plotting revenge for the last five years shouldn't be able to buy a semi-automatic online their first day out of the big house. You had to take driver's ed in high school and pass a driving test -- maybe it's not so crazy to make people do the same thing before they can own a gun. If absolutely nothing else, at least they'd learn not to hold it sideways so they'd hit their target instead of innocent bystanders. Once you get on board with any kind of gun control, you're pretty much a card-carrying liberal.

At least the rural folks in this article aren't stereotyped as being ignorant scolds.  Yes that is a link to The Trace.  Yes it is freaking out over the non existent Online Loophole.   The article also omits that gun control advocates (including Cracked itself)  don't simply want those "loopholes" closed.

And that they don't object to any existing gun control laws, no matter how racist in origin or practice.
(If Voter ID is racist then how about letting NYPD, that paragon of race relations, decide who can and cannot get a pistol permit?)

And yes a publication that most recently freaked out about gun training (even the limited if you see a gun run and call an authority figure) is now presenting training as "common sense"

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oh Cracked... you just can't help yourself.

(Alt title 7-goofy-cartoon-mascots-for-truly-horrible-things)

So either way they're being very clear that these are "horrible things".

Just take a guess at what's #1.

Yup Eddie Eagle.

Keep in mind the Eddie Eagle program is literally:

1) Stop
2) Don't Touch
3) Run Away
4) Tell A grown-up. 

So a program telling kids to run away from guns, explicitly saying "This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire."

Is... well.. .let's see how the article describes it.

That's why the organization has a long history of finding ways to get kids interested in guns from as early an age as possible. Hey, if it's good enough for African warlords, it's good enough for the NRA.

You know... if you were gonna talk about the NRA getting kids interested in guns. There's plenty of other NRA programs to cite.  Maybe not the one that tells kids to Run Away.

Sure, having kids learn gun safety from the NRA is a little like asking Walter White to be a career counselor, but that didn't stop the organization from created their own cartoon mascot to help children swallow their bias:

How much gun safety do the gun control organizations teach?

Here's the thing, though: Eddie is the worst. For starters, his lessons didn't actually work on kids. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "existing programs are insufficient for teaching gun-safety skills to children" as when they tested a bunch of Eagle Eye schooled kids, none of them knew what to do when around a firearm. It's almost like the solution to protect kids from guns is to not leave guns lying around, a responsibility that should rest squarely on adults, not on schoolchildren and a smarmy cartoon bird. All Eddie seems to achieve with his awareness is to normalize the idea of being around firearms from a young age. 

Yes, parents are responsible, but what if a kid still stumbles on a gun. What should they be taught?
Also the Eddie Eagle program has for parents advice that deals with safe storage.

And hey the article does go onto some other NRA programs are are pretty questionable.

But then... "The same goes for Little Red Riding Hood, who makes great use of the "stand your ground" rule to take on that shifty, vaguely ethnic looking Wolf."

Uh...  huh?

Though a lot of the other mascots for "horrible  things" are....   not smoking,  train safety, anti-public dedication, and uh... fitness.   At least the prison warden and creepy president are mascots for questionable things.  Still...   2 out of 6.

But hey cracked has gotta cracked.