Back in the grim days following the Columbine High School atrocity, I pushed hard for the “Israeli model” of armed school personnel. After the Maalot massacre, an all-volunteer program was put together for school personnel and family members of students who were trained by Israel’s civil guard and reported to school with concealed handguns. It was fabulously successful in both stopping and deterring armed terrorist attacks on schools. The concept has much in common with the hugely successful FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) program for armed airline pilots. (It matters not whether the “terrorist” in question is motivated by religious zealotry, politics, or madness. What matters is that a protector with a gun be in place to stop the evildoer with a gun.)
After the recent Sandy Hook atrocity, not only did the NRA come up with a plan for something similar here (while also pushing for more armed police assigned to educational institutions as SROs, or School Resource Officers), but we’ve seen similar plans actually implemented in places like Texas, Utah, and Arkansas. It is a solid, realistic approach to a genuine problem.
I call your attention to an excellent little book published in December of 2012, “School Administrators Guide To Practical Handgun Training.” The author is Richard Rosenthal, a retired lawman with an impressive 40-year career behind him. The first half of that was twenty years with the NYPD. There, he worked Homicide and Narcotics, served as a helicopter pilot, and spent many years teaching at the Firearms and Tactics Unit, which is where I first met him long ago. Retiring after putting in those twenty, he spent a like period as Chief of Police in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
Having dealt with school administrators as a chief of police, Rich understands their thinking. His credentials make it clear to them that he’s not some sort of right-wing lunatic, and give him credibility in certain circles where gun enthusiasts simply will not be listened to by decision-makers. Rich is not only a master firearms instructor, but a shooting incident survivor himself. His advice on vetting and training armed volunteers and managing such a program is absolutely spot-on.
I highly recommend “School Administrators Guide to Practical Handgun Training.” It’s available for $19.33 plus shipping here.
The final Presidential candidate debate of 2012 is done. Pundits are giving Obama a slight edge over Romney on this one, for impact and style points and such. That makes it decisive win for Romney in Debate I, pretty much a tie in Debate II, and a win for Obama in Debate III.
Huffpost seems to think they’re both lying SOBs. Sigh…I know the feeling. About four decades ago, I was the young Gun Editor of Jean Lavallee’s New Hampshire Outdoorsman, and interviewed the candidates during the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries. When I interviewed George McGovern, who died this week, it was apparent during the interview that he was going to say what he wanted our readers to hear. He told me then, to my face, that he felt there were enough gun laws on the books, and America just needed to enforce the laws it already had.
Less than a month later, if memory serves, McGovern told Look magazine that he was in favor of mandatory gun registration.
I ain’t the Political Editor of Backwoods Home, just the Firearms Editor. On the firearms side, Romney and the Republican Platform are against another “assault weapons ban” and in favor of national reciprocity, which would allow law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to carry their guns all over the country. Obama and the Democrat Platform are out of the closet in favor of another “assault weapons ban,” which would profoundly impact ownership of even “ordinary sporting and self-defense firearms.” That, and the realization that the next President will have multiple appointments to the Supreme Court, make it a no-brainer on the gun owners civil rights side of things: “Romney si, Obama no!”
As to Mitt Romney, I may owe the guy an apology: some sources say that Romney’s signing of an assault weapons ban law when he was Governor of Massachusetts actually was a compromise endorsed by the pro-gun folks, a modification of existing law which actually improved things for Massachusetts gun owners.
Ya wanna know who’s shooting people unlawfully in Cook County? Ask any Cook County deputy, or any Chicago cop. “It’s the gang-bangers, stupid!” If you don’t already follow my favorite police blog, Second City Cop, you can find it here: http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/. They’ll tell you the truth that so much of Chicago’s mainstream media pointedly ignores, out of political correctness.
But instead, we see a feelgood politician trying to tax the law-abiding people who are least likely to harm the innocent, ignoring the fact that it will be ignored by the people most likely to steal the guns and ammo they use to commit their heinous crimes.
They didn’t name it “the windy city” for what Nature blows in from across Lake Michigan, so much as they named it after the clueless blowhard politicians who flourish there.
I recently had the pleasure of touring the Utah facility where Silencerco and SWR sound suppressors for firearms are manufactured. I toured my first arms plant in the late 1960s and many since, and I’ve never seen a manufacturing facility cleaner or more modern than this one. Their approach to their product is just as clean and modern.
They want to make silencers more readily available to law-abiding citizens. I for one have no problem with that at all.
Before Silencerco absorbed SWR, those companies joined two other firms to create the American Silencer Association. Most of the general public, and even many shooters, are unaware that these devices are legal to own in most states, though it involves going through some legal hoops, and a $200 government fee.
ASA maintains a full-time lobbyist to work in several directions. At the state level, to make it legal for law abiding citizens to have silencers in the jurisdictions where it isn’t now. And, to make it legal to hunt with them, which is not the case in many states. At the national level, the association wants you able to buy one without having to pay $200 to the Federal government for approval, and hopefully streamline the whole process.
Suppressors can be life-savers in emergency shootings inside buildings. Police officers and citizens fending off home intruders are at risk for some hearing loss when they fire powerful weapons in close quarters with their ears unprotected. During the fight, loud gunfire can keep you from hearing something that might make the difference between life and death. Hunters firing high powered rifles without ear protection often notice their ears ringing for some time thereafter, a sign of hearing damage. Cleaning out pastures full of prairie dogs ruining good land, or herds of feral hogs doing the same, means lots of gunfire and multiplies that potential for hearing damage. Ear protection can help, but most types get in the way of hearing where the animal is, and all are uncomfortable for all-day wear in the field. Suppressors solve that problem nicely. I’m told ASA’s efforts have resulted in Texas and Arizona approving silencers for hunters.
In other nations – even anti-gun England – the use of silencers for casual hunting, pest eradication, and recreational shooting in the countryside is encouraged. It is considered the gentlemanly thing to do there, so neighbors are not disturbed.
If you live in the country or anywhere near it, you know the sound of crickets. It’s pleasant, and soothing.
That’s distinct from the soft “crack, crack” of Cricketts, which I for one find pleasant and reassuring.
The Crickett™ is a scaled down .22 rifle designed for kids. A single-shot bolt action, it’s today’s answer to the Chipmunk rifle of a generation ago, made light and with a very short stock for children’s arms. Military small arms expert Peter Kokalis said the Chipmunk was the most important rifle of its time, because it was designed to get The Next Generation into the safe appreciation of responsible firearms ownership. I have to concur. The Crickett carries on the tradition. It comes in plain grayish black, or camo for hunting, and even in pink, which my gun dealer friends tell me actually does appeal to little girls and those who buy guns for them.
A week ago I was at the Enfield Outing Club in Enfield, New Hampshire. In recent weeks, this extraordinarily civic-minded shooting club had hosted an Appleseed event and a shooting match to benefit Wounded Warriors, one of my favorite charities. They hold firearms safety courses for the public there on a regular basis. EOC exemplifies how a gun club can be a community asset.
While I was there, Dickie Crate dropped by with his eight year old son Owen, both on bicycles. Crate is Chief of Police in Enfield, a solid professional much appreciated by both his officers and his citizens. He and Owen get by the club often, and Owen enjoys shooting his own Crickett rifle there.
In talking with the grown-ups, Owen allowed that he’d like to try a telescopic sight on his .22. One of those present was Russ Lary, who retired three years ago after many years as chief of police in neighboring Grantham. He and Chief Crate had a short discussion, and Russ left with young Owen’s rifle.
When he met Dickie and Owen on the range again a couple of days later, the rifle had been to Rody’s Gun Shop in nearby Newport, one of my favorite places of its kind. Proprietors Bill and Henry Rodeschin had mounted one of Crickett’s own four-power scopes, and bore-sighted it. They did an excellent job: Owen’s first shots from a standing position centered spot on in the little “X” that Dickie and Russ had taped to the center of the target. Owen was one happy kid.
The crickets may be relaxing, but Cricketts gladden this old shooter’s heart…and so do the fine young men and women who shoot them, and the responsible parents who buy Cricketts for them. Info is available at http://www.crickett.com.
Owen Crate gets the feel of his newly-scoped Crickett.
From left: Chief Lary (ret.), Owen Crate with Crickett, and Chief Crate.