On March 29th, 2019 CA gun owners were finally vindicated in a huge victory regarding our 2nd amendment rights. This landmark decision ruled that: “California Penal Code § 32310 is hereby declared to be unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.”Read More
The changes in gun laws that we have seen recently in New Zealand reflect the attempts by some US legislators to criminalize the ownership and possession of firearms by responsible, law-abiding citizens in our own country. This serves as a sober warning that we must maintain our fight to ensure that our right to “keep and bear arms” is not infringed.Read More
As promised on our Gadget Radar, here is a video of me testing out this new product called The Bolt Blocker. The Bolt Blocker is an answer to some of the new restrictions here in CA which define semi-automatic rifles as '“assault rifles”.Read More
Middle schools in two different districts in rural Iowa have announced that they will begin mandatory firearms safety courses this spring. The courses Will focus on how to safely handle firearms, what to do if you encounter them, and will apparently address the concern the firearm-related violence at schools.Read More
A Chicago teenager is dead after attempting to rob a woman at gunpoint. While waiting for the bus, the woman was surprised by a man who threatened her with a gun, to which she responded by drawing her own firearm which she had a permit for and shooting him once. The authorities credit the training she received from her Concealed Carry classes to likely saving her life. A local man who was interviewed by the local news agency applauded her bravery saying that the situation there is a “kill or be killed” scenario.
This woman’s training and quick thinking saved her from what could have been a very different story.
The term “Gun Control” can be heard in all demographics of American society. Teenagers use it in reference to school shootings. Protesters demand it after a mass shooting. Neighbors beg for it in high crime neighborhoods. And social media is launched into a frenzy when it comes to #guncontrol, often leading to fierce and emotional debates fueled by uninformed but well-meaning advocates on both sides, and frequently ending in heated exchanges, lost friendships, and not one mind being changed one way or another.Read More
You've thought about it dozens of times. You've laid awake at night planning, visualizing each step that you would take if the unthinkable happened. What if you encountered an intruder in the middle of the night? What if there was a house fire? What if an unpredictable natural disaster struck(tornado, earthquake, wildfire, etc..)? Would you know what to do? Would everyone else in your home know what to do? If you thought about these questions, congratulations. You have taken the first step towards emergency preparedness.Read More
Being Situationally Aware in our daily lives means being intentional about how we perceive the world around us, realizing that the best way to win a "fight" is to avoid it in the first place.Read More
In the wake of the horrific tragedies that have occurred recently in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, along with violent crimes taking place throughout our nation on a daily basis, there has been a lot of talk about "gun control" in America. It has been a hot topic on every news station and invokes intense debates where proponents from both sides argue passionately as they present their cause as being "right". Apparently, the case has been made... or has it? "Gun control" has been defined to me in at least a dozen different ways by well-meaning people who care about saving lives, which, as a responsible firearms owner seems like an irony. It appears as though this controversy has created more confusion and misinformation than it has clarity on any level. The general media has gone as far as to demonize law-abiding citizens for owning firearms in any amount or capacity. But what does "gun control" on a national level even look like for us in CA, the state which already has some of the strictest firearms laws in the country? Many of the regulations proposed by "gun control" activists are either already enforced in our state or would have little-to-no effect on firearm crimes nationally.
I'm choosing to use quotations around the term "gun control" because the term itself is so loosely defined and created around an ideology that is anything but controlled. The pervasive problem is not the weapon with which a criminal choses to use to inflict harm, but rather the mentally unstable person behind the weapon. When a person has the intent to injure innocent people they will find a way.
It is important to note that a large percentage of firearms used in homicides or violent crimes are illegally obtained which would negate the need to enforce stricter "gun control" laws, laws which would only apply to law abiding citizens. How can we regulate firearms bought and sold on the streets? Creating "gun free zones" in private residences is like putting out billboards in our front yards saying "we have no way of defending ourselves if you force your way into this house and try to rob us or injure us". One survey found that *60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. 40% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed. These are very frightening numbers! By denying law-abiding citizens the right to purchase and own firearms for self-defense in their homes or on their person, for the safety of their family, and potentially (for CCW) other innocent citizens who might be targeted, we are essentially taking the guns from the good guys and putting them in the hands of the bad guys.
Another common tool used throughout the media for the purpose of promoting gun control is a general number of deaths caused by firearms each year. But when looking at statistics about the number of firearms deaths in the US, the numbers are rarely broken down to show how many were gang-related, police intervention, accidents, or suicides. These categories add significant meaning to the numbers that are often thrown around in heated debates or "gun control" propaganda. A disturbing number of deaths caused by firearms are suicides, followed by homicides (a large percentage of these are gang-related), and then legal intervention (police involved), "accidents" come in 3rd, and an undetermined cause is the smallest percentage of firearm deaths. Even though these statistics are from 3 years ago, they have largely stayed the same in the years since. Looking at the numbers in this way makes it difficult to argue the point about widening restrictions on legally purchased firearms.
Firearm Deaths in 2014
"Gun control", in general, is not the answer to curbing violence. Although there is room to improve upon the existing laws in order to close the loopholes through which would-be criminals can obtain a firearm, vague and sweeping regulations added to our already restrictive laws would do more harm to law-abiding citizens than it would to lower crime rates. We need to make it more difficult for the bad guys to get firearms, not more difficult for the good guys to be able to defend themselves.
*Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms, James Wright and Peter Rossi, Aldine, 1986
Size most definitely matters when it comes to the grips on your handgun. Working in and around the firearms industry for the last 13 years there is a common trend I've seen over and over again: The assumption that certain people who might be smaller in stature need smaller guns and smaller calibers - "The smaller the person, the smaller the gun", right? Wrong. Whether you're 6'8" tall or 4'10" tall there is almost no handgun that would be impossible for you shoot comfortably. Except maybe for the massive S&W 500 revolver or the tiny derringer that fits in a belt buckle... those aren't fun to shoot no matter what size you are.
The fact is, the most effective firearm to keep for self defense is the one you will practice with. Having a large caliber handgun for self defense is not ideal if you are too afraid to practice with it regularly. And if you feel like you'd feel safer at home having a .44 Magnum but can barely wrap your fingers around the grip it's ok - just because you might want a smaller "gun", it doesn't have to mean a smaller caliber. The same goes for those who have large hands, you don't necessarily only have to choose large calibers. There are so many options now that will accommodate any hand size without sacrificing the ammunition size. Also, you will need to assess what your intended use will be. Will you be using it for home defense, concealed carry, or just recreation - or all three? Where do you live? Are you in an apartment surrounded by walls which would potentially have people on the other side of them? Do you live in a house alone? Do you live in the country with acreage? Are there kids in your home? How often do you plan to practice with this firearm? Can you afford to practice regularly with the caliber you chose? All of these questions are important when choosing a firearm for you.
As far as handguns are concerned, the grip is a critical aspect of selecting the right size for you. When you can get a firm and comfortable hold on the grip then the size of the caliber and the length of the barrel are both secondary. Having the proper grip is very important when practicing accuracy and consistency and also makes a huge difference when countering the recoil associated with larger calibers. For a lot of handguns you have the option of switching out the factory grip for smaller, more custom grips to fit your hands. Take this option into consideration when looking at firearms to purchase, if you like the size or caliber of the firearm but the grip is too big for your hand ask about switching them out.
You'll hear it discussed at many different ranges, pro shops, or shooting events - "knock down power" or "stopping power". And while it is true that my .45 ACP can cause exponentially more damage than your .380, your .380 can cause infinitely more damage than using nothing at all if it is what you are comfortable shooting and practicing with. A large caliber handgun in the hands of somebody who is uncomfortable with it is a lot less effective than a much smaller caliber in the hands of a skilled and confident firearm owner.
One of my most preferred handguns for home defense is the .357 Revolver simply because of the effectiveness and versatility of the caliber, as well as the simplicity-of-use of the Revolver. The .357 Revolver comes in many different makes, models, calibers, and sizes. You can find one with a a short, stubby barrel, a long barrel, or anything in between based on your preferences and needs. It is nice to have the option of shooting .38 Special ammo at the range for practice, which has less recoil and is more affordable, and then keep .357 Hollow Points in it at home for protection(the .357 can shoot .38 Special OR .357 Magnum). IF you ever do have to use it to defend yourself, grabbing it and shooting it is quick and simple. You don't have to think about whether the magazine is in it or loaded, is there a round chambered, whether the safety is on or off, what to do if it jams or misfires... you simply pull the trigger and if it doesn't go "bang", then pull the trigger again and it will. I recommend a Revolver for people who want a handgun but struggle with having the hand strength to manipulate the slide on a semi-auto, or for the person that can't practice enough to be completely familiar with the semi-automatic handgun in any scenario.
The caliber for you is the caliber you need based on what you intend to use the firearm for. If plinking away at the range is all you want to do, something mid-sized like a 9mm might be a good match. If the cost of ammunition is a concern for you but you want to practice often, then something versatile like the .357 Magnum mentioned above, or small and economic like a .22 might be a good fit. If all that matters is stopping somebody who is intruding and intending harm in your home, then a larger caliber is preferred as long as you can practice enough to be comfortable and proficient with it. If you walk into any Firearm shop and take a look at the variety of ammunition you will notice that there are many different calibers, most of which can be comparable in size or price if you're looking at the mid-size rounds. Like I've mentioned, the most effective caliber is the one you are most comfortable practicing with.
In November of 2016 CA voters passed Prop 63 which would require background checks for ammunition purchases(effective January 2019), make it illegal to buy ammunition online(effective January 2018), and ban the possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds(effective July 1st, 2017). As concerning as all of these new regulations are, lets discuss the magazine ban.
Prop 63 states that anyone possessing a high capacity magazine(meaning any firearm magazine holding more than 10 rounds) needs to "get rid of it" by the deadline. People in possession had several options, some of which were turning them over to law enforcement to be destroyed, sending them out of CA to a state where they're legal, and selling them to a licensed firearms dealer. In June 2017 several San Diego county residents along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association filed a lawsuit claiming this new law infringed on their constitutional rights. Federal Judge Roger Benitez temporarily blocked the new ban in his strongly worded 66-page ruling where he expressed concern that this new law would violate firearm owners' 2nd and 4th amendment rights. He stated that unless he issued the injunction that "hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property." This measure of Prop 63 has been suspended until it can be further reviewed and ruled on.
In 2000, magazines holding more than 10 rounds were(with very limited exceptions) made illegal to buy or sell in CA, but not illegal to possess. For over 20 years law-abiding citizens have possessed high capacity handgun magazines, the overwhelming majority of these people have not gone out and committed crimes with these magazines. The reason this ban is considered a violation of law-abiding citizen's rights is because citizens have the "right to bear arms"(2th amendment) to defend themselves and their families and are protected against "unreasonable searches and seizures"(4th amendment) by the government. Prop 63 would essentially take law-abiding citizens and potentially turn them into criminals by forcing them to hand over their property without any compensation.
A criminal, by definition, does not abide by the laws and statutes our government has put in place. So then it is unreasonable to expect that these criminals will follow the same laws that we must abide by. It is illogical to think that, by taking away certain rights from law-abiding citizens the criminals are just going to hand theirs in too, or that they won't continue to be able to still have access to finding these illegal items by unlawful means. It is irrational to think that by putting further limitations on the "good guys" that you'll be in any way restricting the "bad guys". This doesn't make us safer, this instead puts us at an unfair disadvantage when it comes to defending ourselves and our families.
A common argument of those supporting the ban is that high capacity magazines are often used in mass shootings, causing more casualties, and that "common citizens don't need all of those rounds to protect themselves". Who determines that what an individual needs or deems necessary to defend themselves is acceptable? The question has been asked: "why do you need more than 10 rounds at a time anyway?" Well, the question isn't about "need". Why does your car's speedometer say it can go 180mph when you can't legally go over 65mph on most highways? A speeding 2-ton vehicle can cause massive damage and casualties when not used safely and responsibly, should we then regulate all vehicles and cap all speedometers at 80mph over a concern that not all citizens will be safe and responsible with them? After all, look at the statistics of deaths caused by vehicles in crashes, DUIs, and even(more recently) terrorist attacks. But again, the majority of drivers are abiding within the law when out on the roads and it would be unreasonable to enforce strict regulations on lawful citizens because of those who choose to use vehicles recklessly. In the US we have certain rights we can enjoy simply because it is our right to. It is part of what makes this country great. These are things our constitution continues to protect for those of us that chose to abide by our nation's laws.
At the end of the day a law-abiding citizen will still abide by the law and a criminal will still break the law.