Subtitled “The Art and Science of Close Quarters Battle Pistol,” “Rattenkrieg” draws its main title from a word the Germans coined for the vicious “rat war” of the Stalingrad campaign. The author, Bob Taubert, is better known by his pen name of “Bob Pilgrim” because he began writing when he worked for the FBI. Anyone who has worked for a large organization – dot-mil, dot-gov, or commercial – understands how that goes. Today, well into an honorably earned retirement, he is out of that particular closet.
I’ve met Bob, and shot with him, and I can tell you he’s awfully good. In a long, “been there/done that” career, he has absorbed a great deal of advanced training from authoritative sources, and he distills it well in “Rattenkrieg.”
This book is an excellent compendium of current pistolcraft doctrine from many sources. Bob takes a very analytical approach, explaining where each technique comes from, and dispassionately listing its strong points and weak points. The book is an excellent overview for new shooters, and a very useful review for the master shooter. Few books can encompass both ends of the bell curve as well as this one.
What I particularly like about Taubert’s approach is something a lot of writers can learn from, whether or not they have any interest in firearms. That approach is to explain the technique clearly, along with how and why it was developed, and to present it non-judgmentally. Clearly, Bob Taubert has his own preferences…but instead of touting those and dissing the others, he explains them all without prejudice and lets the reader decide.
It’s a writing approach that serves the reader well, whether the book is about fighting with guns or how to raise prize-winning roses.
Recommended reading. Source is Saber Press, which offers other titles by qualified authors which many who read this blog will find of great interest.
I hate it when this happens, but…I made a mistake.
In the last blog entry, we had a video clip of me at Glock a few weeks ago, discussing the then-as-yet-unveiled Glock 43 pistol. I remarked that it was not as short in trigger reach as the Baby Bear size Glock 42 .380, nor as long as that of the thicker-gripped 9mm Glock 26, designed more for Papa Bear size (i.e., average adult male) hands. Being in between, I compared it to Mama Bear’s porridge…just right.
While I think I had the paw hand size issue biologically correct, I blew it on the fable comparison. A brother officer, Sergeant John Parsons, reminded me that in the Goldilocks story, the porridge and stuff that was “just right” was Baby Bear’s, not Mama Bear’s. So did one of the 33,000-plus people who saw the video on YouTube.
Mea culpa. You’d think someone old enough for second childhood and still vividly remembering the first would have a better memory for Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I owe an apology, delivered herewith:
Forgive the sound effects. That’s just me, bound for some time by a legal non-disclosure agreement scheduled to time out at 12:01 AM on March 20, 2015. Another publishing entity disregarded the NDA and released it early, so Glock took the time leash off the rest of us.
For many years now, the Glock has been the best-selling pistol in the United States, and the gun Glock fans have most demanded is a slimmed-down version of the 9mm with a single-stack magazine, the better for discreet and comfortable concealment. Official announcement is now, official revealing to the gun owning public to handle will be at the NRA annual meeting and show in Nashville, TN next month.
Hear about it from the people who make it, here, at the ProArms Podcast (Scroll to the bottom for audio.)
Neat little gun. More in common with the little Glock 42 .380 that garnered enormous sales after its introduction in January 2014 than with the “baby Glock” G26 of 1996. Shot straight and reliably during the time I had with it, though I hope to put my already-ordered test samples through more strenuous paces.
The last entry here, on “in your face” open carry versus concealed carry or discreet open carry, caught interest with a three-digit comment count. I also raised some new issues I hadn’t discussed here previously.
Basic truth, folks: economic rhetoric has never fed the hungry, and Second Amendment rhetoric has never armed the helpless.
The gains the gun owners’ civil rights movement have made can be attributed to decades of legal scholarship, working within the system, and reforming anti-gun laws which largely trace back to anti-black bias in the antebellum and Reconstruction-era south, anti-immigrant bias in the industrialized north, and culture war at multiple levels.
Gun-banners will never convert most who read this blog, and we who support a responsibly armed citizenry will never win over the Pelosis and Bloombergs of the world. The battleground lies with the vast majority of people who are in the middle on this polarized issue. I am old enough to remember when Massachusetts and California each held a referendum on whether possession of handguns should be banned in their states. Neither state had a majority of gun owners in the voting pool, but in each case our side won the referendum, because “the people on the fence” didn’t want to go that far.
Doing things that alarm those people in the middle will do nothing to help the pro-gun side. Fear is the key ingredient that creates hatred. Doing things that put the general public in fear will cause more people to hate us, and anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.
Please, don’t compare the heavily armed guy who video-records himself confronting police to Rosa Parks on a segregated bus. Ms. Parks did not put anyone in fear of their lives. Don’t tell me that “a right not exercised is a right denied,” when we’ve seen confrontational open carry result in stricter laws in California, and hamper the responsible open carry movement in Texas much more recently.
This blog post, like the most recent one, grew from a fellow prancing around a school with a visible rifle and handgun. Even gun experts will tell you that handguns are carried holstered, in case they’re needed for a life-threatening emergency, while long guns are traditionally carried only when their immediate use is anticipated. For us, that’s hunting, response to an already identified emergency (think “Rodney King riots”), or a target shooting range. To the general public, that image instantly calls to mind Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown. When an otherwise obviously smart and articulate poster says the officer confronting such a person with hand on service pistol is the one being provocative, I can only say “Wow…just…wow.”
Some open carry advocates hope for test cases to go to courts and validate their cause. I wouldn’t be betting on that outcome. When someone’s behavior is sufficiently frightening that the school in question goes to lockdown, I don’t expect the courts to say that’s just fine. Depending on the jurisdiction, the mood of the court, and the mood of the prosecution, some of the cards on the table may include “disturbing the peace,” “trespass after warning,” and “going armed to the terror of the public.”
But, the people who want to traipse around schools with visible military rifles and camcorders will have had their fifteen minutes of YouTube “fame.”
On this discussion thread, a poster by the username of “usagi” said it better than I: “Open carry of long guns to advocate for 2A rights is exactly the same as blowing smoke directly in people’s faces for smoker’s rights.”
Open carry is the practice of wearing a presumably loaded firearm, visibly. It normally takes the form of a holstered handgun. It occasionally takes the form of someone carrying a rifle or shotgun into a restaurant, which has a history of causing restaurant chains to ban or at least decry the practice. There is also what gun writer and blogger Tam Keel calls “Open carrying at people,” which I think is the province of those colloquially known as “attention whores.”
A few years ago, Mark Walters hosted a three-way debate on the topic on his show “Armed American Radio.” The “pro” speaker came, IIRC, from Georgia Carry. The “anti-open carry” speaker was a cop from the Midwest who, though generally pro-armed citizen, thought open carry was counterproductive to both the public peace and the Second Amendment cause. I took the middle ground, which I still hold. One the one hand, I would like for every state to allow any citizen who has a clean record and hasn’t been adjudicated mentally incompetent to be allowed to open carry a holstered, loaded handgun. First, because there are some jurisdictions where if the wind blows your coat open and reveals the gun you are legally carrying concealed, a genuinely frightened citizen or vindictive anti-gunner can combine with an anti-gun prosecutor to create a perfect storm of criminal charges for illegal open carry. Second, because if a good person suddenly becomes a stalking victim or the target of death threats, I don’t want them to have to wait up to 90 days (gun-friendly Florida) or six months (the time it takes before a new resident can even apply for a concealed carry permit in California, which for the most part is decidedly non-gun-friendly). But on the other hand, I don’t think we win any friends for gun owners’ civil rights by flaunting deadly weapons in the face of a general public conditioned to fear guns and their owners by generations of anti-gun media and political prejudice.
I do open carry a few times a year in public, just to gauge typical response, and have done so in jurisdictions from New Hampshire and Connecticut to Washington State. Most folks don’t even notice. I just got back from a class in Tucson, hosted by Dan Southard and his Gator Farm Tactical training group. There is no more open-carry-friendly state than Arizona, though Tucson is pretty much “blue yuppie central” on firearms issues. At the airport hotel, about a fifth of the students open carried, while a majority of the rest were packing concealed. There were no incidents or complaints. Interestingly, if you look at the class photo below, you’ll be hard put to spot even the openly carried handguns, including the Glock on my own hip. Yes, open carry can be discreetly performed.
Now, contrast that with this YouTube video, taken by a true attention whore and cop-baiter. Ask yourself just how much of an ambassador this guy, trolling a school while wearing an openly carried handgun AND a slung long gun, is for the cause of responsible armed citizens. Note that at the end, he and his flaunted guns walk right up to the door of the school, doing a remarkable imitation of Adam Lanza approaching Sandy Hook Elementary School. Note that it was the Bloomberg anti-gun-owner forces who made it go viral.