I was tied up all weekend with a murder case report, but couldn’t let Independence Day pass without a little fireworks. My brief time-out of trigger-pulling on the backyard range was with 10mm and .45 caliber 1911 pistols. While safe-diving for the ones I wanted, I spotted a little fancy-stocked, silvery stainless ParaOrdnance Companion .45 from Para’s LDA (Light Double Action) series. Realizing I didn’t remember the last time I’d shot an LDA, I threw it into the gun box for the short walk to the range.
And with the first five rounds of Remington 185 grain .45 hollow point I fired from it, two-hand standing at fifteen yards, I got an exactly one-inch group.
The Companion was a concealed carry design, with 3.5” barrel. Guns that size aren’t supposed to shoot that well, particularly in the 1911 platform. The light double action (about 6.5 pounds pull weight in this specimen) distributes over a long stroke, making it less likely the shooter will anticipate the shot. I was conscious of not having run an LDA in, oh, a decade or so, and was taking care with the trigger pull.
I found myself doing the same a week before, teaching a MAG-40 class for Thunderbird Tactical in Wichita with a Heckler and Koch P30SK subcompact 9mm that I’m testing for Guns Magazine. It gave me a 300/300 score on the pace-setter qualification demonstration, and I was happy with its performance. It has the LEM (Law Enforcement Modification) trigger, which like the LDA is a long, light double action stroke for every shot.
Many years ago, when the great Mike Plaxco was world speed shooting champion and The Man to Beat on the pro shooting tour, I took his advanced class. Therein, he commented that if you’ve hit a plateau in your shooting skills, you might want to try something new – different technique or even different gun – because it will make you focus more on what you’re doing.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Michael proven right. Now that that damn 30-some page report is done, I’m gonna spend some more time on this end playing with that neat little LDA. It’s a useful concept. I’m told ParaOrdnance has recently been bought by Remington; I hope they keep the LDA option.
While I’m doing that, you’re invited to chime in on any shooting experiences you may have had in a similar vein.
The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and there are safety concerns.
There are rumblings from ISIS that they are trying to instigate their minions and the mindless “lone wolves” they influence to do bad things to Americans on Independence Day. Ratchet your alertness level up one notch at least, and be ready to protect yourself, and yours, and those around you.
In commentary on another blog entry here, one of our readers asked about safety tips on fireworks. If it’s being professionally done in your community, my advice is to stand well back away from the damn launchers. A rearward perspective will probably give you a better set of “oohs” and “aahs” when they burst in the sky anyway. But it will also keep you and your kids more out of range of anything that could go wrong. The worst such debacle I know of occurred when a Chinese sky torpedo, which proved to have been defective, exploded in its launch tube in Michigan. Death and dismemberment resulted.
Be really, REALLY careful about fireworks at home. I’ve trained multiple one-armed people in self-defense shooting, who needed that special attention because in their younger days they were careless with home-made fireworks and assorted other incendiary/explosive devices. We can all learn from their suffering.
With all that said, I’ll be making noise on the Fourth one way or the other. I’m in the process of writing a pre-trial report in a murder case, where I’ll be speaking as an expert witness called by the defense for a young woman who saved her life with a gun when a man attacked her with deadly force. That, obviously, takes precedence over fun. If the report is done as soon as I hope it will be, this weekend I’ll be shooting an IDPA match with good friends. If it isn’t, I’ll take some time off to get out on my own home range and do some trigger pulling, to commemorate the armed citizens of 18th Century America who preserved my right to do so.
For many years now, I’ve been in my beloved home country to celebrate the Fourth. In my younger days, with kids to support, I couldn’t teach classes on holidays so July 4 usually found me in another nation earning money for my wife and children. Most often – before their handgun ban of 1996, which must have made the longbowmen of Agincourt spin in their graves – that was in one or another part of Great Britain. When I spent the Fourth in the British Empire, I would flush a teabag down a toilet in commemoration of the Boston Tea Party…and my British brothers and sisters understood.
This past week, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision that gay marriage was legal, and such a marriage performed in any one state has legal standing in all the other 49. I have no problem with gay marriage – why should we heterosexuals be the only ones to suffer?
This actually makes sense. It has always been anomalous that states would recognize one another’s pilot’s license, heterosexual marriage license, driver’s license, etc., but not one another’s permit to carry concealed and loaded handguns. If heterosexual marriage didn’t set a precedent creating national reciprocity on carry, I’m not clear on how gay marriage somehow will.
That’s why I waited for some facts to come out before commenting on the latest mass murder, by a 21 year old white supremacist in South Carolina. Early reports had us wondering what kind of crazy father would give a gun to a young man known to be troubled; turns out he bought it himself with his birthday money. The prohibitionists are using this as an excuse for universal background checks; turns out this monster PASSED such a background check.
The church where the atrocity took place was apparently a gun-free zone. Its pastor, one of the victims, had publicly spoken against lawful concealed carry. In that state, a gun can only be carried in a house of worship with the approval of the church authorities, which clearly wouldn’t have been granted in this case. In the days since the incident, we’ve learned that the killer had first planned to carry out his mass murder at the College of Charleston. What might have dissuaded him? Well, maybe when he scoped it out he saw a campus police car, like the one that appears so conspicuously here: http://publicsafety.cofc.edu/. The history of mass murderers is that they prefer helpless victims. That’s just what this monster found inside the peaceful, unarmed church, proving yet again that “gun-free zones” have become hunting preserves for psychopaths who stalk human prey.
Pro-self-defense attorney Charles Cotton was excoriated by the prohibitionists after stating that if some of the parishioners might have been armed, many innocent lives could have been spared in this incident. They claimed he was blaming the victims. That’s a crock of crap. I’ve met Charles Cotton, heard him speak, and am convinced he’s absolutely right. Compare the recent horror story with another mad dog killer who opened fire in another church with a largely African-American congregation.
Convicted criminal Kiarron Parker, 29, opened fire at the New Destiny Christian Center in Aurora, Colorado on April 22, 2012. He shot and killed the pastor’s mother. She was the only victim, because an armed member of the congregation drew his own concealed handgun and shot the killer dead, ending his rampage. It happened almost three months to the day before the notorious mass murder in a theater in the same city, now being tried in court, but the media has chosen the entire time to ignore the rescue at the Aurora church. A more comprehensive list of armed Good Guys stopping armed Bad Guys can be found here: http://americanhandgunner.com/the-false-hope-of-gun-free-zones/.