A little while back, in this post, we all had fun with some of the “gun bloopers” from TV and the movies. I have now been authorized to tell you about one movie that’s gonna get it right.
Panteao Productions is a producer of high-end tactical training films, as a quick scan of their website at www.panteaoproductions.com will show. In the interest of total disclosure, three of those films are mine, and like the others are all downloadable to computer or available to you on DVD. I also shot on his pistol team for many years. So, he’s a friend of mine…but I also know the guy, and when he says he’s going to produce a film, it gets produced.
Now, Panteao is going to expand into movie theater entertainment with the film “Alexander’s Bridge.”
You can check it out here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/alexander-s-bridge. Their quick synopsis is: “Alexander’s Bridge is a science fiction/action film about an elite team of US Army Delta Force Operators accidentally sent back 150 years to the middle of the Civil War. Finding themselves where a battle is about to take place and where thousands of Federal and Confederate soldiers will be killed or wounded, they must decide what to do. Can they make a difference? Who will they try to help? Will they get back home?”
I’ve read the script. This ain’t “Guns of the South” with M4s instead of AK47s. Panteao CEO Fernando Coelho has real Delta Force operators like Paul Howe and Tom Spooner on his team, and many more top-notch people from whom to draw technical advice. The movement patterns, the tactics, and of course the gun handling are all gonna be real. The Civil War battle scenes won’t consist of Hollywood extras dressed in blue and gray and given rubber guns to run around with: they’ll be made up of hard-core Civil War re-enactors who are absolutely authentic down to the threads of their clothing, period-correct boot-laces, and of course, the guns.
I hope I’m not letting a cat out of the bag here, but my favorite part of the script is that it ain’t just about 21st Century dudes rockin’ M4s and kickin’ butt on dudes with muzzle-loading single shots (though some of the players will be using period-correct lever actions like you’d have somehow found the money to buy for your son if he was going off to fight in the War Between the States back then). The most moving part of the film will come when bone-tired battle surgeons of the 1860s watch America’s Finest apply modern tactical emergency medicine to wounded soldiers. I like it because it shows the world that Our People care more about saving lives than extinguishing them.
It will be entertainment…but it will also be “enter-train-ment.” With the “indiego” thing, you get to chip in for a piece of the production action.
And once it comes out, the next time you and your friends are joking about how movies and TV always get this stuff wrong, you’ll be able to say…”Well, they got it right on the movie I helped to underwrite and produce!”
We who travel with firearms need to be careful not to run afoul of the fifty-piece patchwork quilt of United States gun laws. This goes double on commercial aircraft and triple when we travel to other nations. Take it from someone who regularly has to go up to airline ticket counters and say, “My name is Massad Ayoob and I have two handguns,” though I try to phrase it more diplomatically than that.
A case in point follows, submitted by one of my friends and graduates. Names are deleted to prevent embarrassment:
An interesting story I thought I would pass forward. My Dad, Wife, Mother, and I went on a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands. We had a great time and did some scuba diving. Dad has some property there and we enjoyed the week with great food and company.
On the way back, Dad got pulled aside after the screening. To make a long story short, the coat he had was one we used to go shooting in Oct of 2013. It had a hole in the pocket where one live round (.38) fell into the liner of his coat. The Caymans have a zero tolerance policy for firearms related offenses. He was immediately arrested from the airport, taken to jail, and booked. We had to get the US Consulate involved in this process from the Embassy and he had significant legal fees etc… A mess. They consider a bullet the same as a gun generally.
The lessons we learned were many, but one is …. check your coat. Despite the fact he had flown several times (2 different trips in the US with that coat) he had a bullet in the liner the entire time. The second and most important detail to share is that he had his concealed carry permit with him in this wallet. This single item, while causing a fuss in some restrictive states with over-zealous officers, saved his ass in Cayman. This made the difference between a day or two of inconvenience and a large fine vs. a week long ordeal and possibly worse! They saw the permit as plausible reason for him to have a bullet in the jacket and also proof he was not a felon in the U.S. either. I’m sure the fact he is a doctor and owns land there and has been there 20 times in the last 35 years didn’t hurt either. Thought I would share…
Thanks for sharing, bro. I shot Saturday’s qualification with a 1911 .45, which is going to be my companion for some weeks to come, with seven-round magazines. Reason: one jurisdiction I’ll be going through limits people to that cartridge count. I won’t have my usual backup gun, which mounts a laser sight, with me either: another city I’ll be visiting on that trip has a local ordinance which makes such accessories a crime.
Todd Louis Green, one of the brightest stars in the handgun training world today in my opinion, made this excellent point recently on his blog.
I totally agree with Todd. I learned early that if you don’t read you can’t write, and if you don’t learn you can’t teach. The person who thinks he has it nailed and will teach without continuing education has doomed himself – and his curriculum – to fossilization. That’s why lawyers have CLE (continuing legal education) requirements annually, and docs have CME, and cops have mandatory in-service training.
Sometimes, though, the schedule gets in the way. For me, February was a case in point. Pistol champ Mike Seeklander ran a course tantalizingly close to me, but by the time it was announced I was committed to teach elsewhere. By all accounts, the course was excellent – half of the people I shoot with regularly went, and loved it – but I was trapped in the front of a classroom in the frozen North. I’m hoping to catch Seeklander’s program later this year.
February also saw one of the best training smorgasbords ever served to law-abiding armed citizens, Tom Givens’ Polite Society conference in Memphis. I had been scheduled to teach for half a day and soak up learning from top people in the field for the rest of the Friday-Saturday-Sunday event. Alas, I had to cancel because I was scheduled to appear at a trial which would encompass that Friday, and it would take me all day Saturday to drive to Memphis. My teaching slot (and classroom slot) were quickly filled by others. The trial postponed at the last minute, too late to get into the seminar. Significant Other and I went to a pistol match as a consolation prize.
I’ll be taking a solid week of training in March, long since locked into the schedule, and plan to make that one come Hell or high water. I hope to wallow in new ideas like a shark in a feeding frenzy.
Just ‘cause I’m old enough to look like a fossil don’t mean I gotta be one.
Mike Seeklander coaches Terri Strayer on a weak hand shooting technique.
Blatant misinformation about Stand Your Ground laws and principles continues to abound. Sometimes, when you have to tell someone “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” it’s not an insult, but simply a statement of fact.
Knowledge is the only cure for ignorance. However, when you have metastasizing willful ignorance – sometimes complicated by long-festering intentional deception – it takes repeated and massive doses of truth to fight the infection.
The verdict is in – Guilty on four of five counts, but a hung jury mistrial on the fifth and foremost – yet State v. Michael Dunn is far from over. The sentencing phase is still to come, and State’s Attorney Angela Corey has promised a second trial in the death of Jordan Davis.
We’ve now heard from two jurors, both of whom emphatically said race was not an issue in their deliberations. It certainly is to the media, though, and thanks to the media, it’s a huge issue in public opinion.
Pundits are saying that Dunn will spend the rest of his life in prison with multiple twenty-year sentences for attempted murder, including Florida’s mandatory sentencing for crimes committed with guns and shots fired. I won’t be counting those chickens until they’re hatched. That outcome presumes consecutive sentences. The judge, who strikes this writer as having been very fair and impartial throughout the proceeding, has the option of giving the sentences concurrently. By some estimates, that could mean only twenty years total. One pundit expected 80% service of sentence before eligibility for parole: down to sixteen years. Credit for time already served in jail awaiting trial, and Dunn might be down to fifteen years, getting out of prison when he’s still younger than me.
Re-trial? Ms. Corey might want to rethink that. We know now that three people on the jury held out for self-defense in the shooting death of Jordan Davis. 25% of the jury. That smells like reasonable doubt to me. Some of Dunn’s advocates claim the teens were seen removing something from their SUV and hiding it before returning to the shooting scene. I don’t recall any such witness testimony actually going before the jury. However, if such a witness surfaces and proves willing to testify in the second trial, the “phantom shotgun” Dunn claimed Davis wielded is going to be a whole lot more solid, and his story a whole lot more credible, and it could turn into a Not Guilty.
If you haven’t already, go to legalinsurrection.com and read the incisive commentary by Andrew Branca, an attorney and lethal force law expert who sat in the courtroom throughout the Dunn trial, as he did throughout the Zimmerman trial. It’s simply the most bullshit-free analysis of the issues in each case as they unfolded in court. Don’t neglect the extensive reader commentary found with each entry, much of it from seasoned criminal lawyers.