Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nearly Armed and Dangerous


A radio ad for a handgun training class that bars Muslims and Obama voters has sparked an investigation in Texas.

"We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License]," the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: "If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."

And then: "If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America."

The ad ran for six days on KHLB, Mason's local station. It's also been heard tens of thousands of times on Youtube.

Last Friday, John and I completed our training for our concealed handgun license in Texas. One would have figured that in Texas, all we would need to do is fog a mirror and then we could pack heat (heh). No.. we had to do 10 hours of classroom instruction and firing range time. I aced the 50 question written test, and scored a 245 out of 250 on the firing range using a glock 9mm. I brought the target home.. should have John photo it so I can brag some more.

John also did well on the written test, and fired the weapon quite well.. I think he had a 235. Neither of us had fired a handgun in probably 20 years or more. The first few rounds, I didn't account for the recoil but once I started aiming a few inches low, it worked pretty well.

The instructor was rather red-necky as well but nice enough. It probably occurred to him that most of the 10 or so of us in the class were gay.. but he did throw in some references to "libruls" and "obama". No big deal - everyone gets an opinion. And just like that guy that was advertising to exclude liberals and muslims, that's cool too. We don't do business with that type of person.. we would never associate with them, and I'm a big advocate of actually segregating the ideologies by geography.. not just based on patronage.

So.. now we need to actually fill out the application to the state, and send in our paperwork in order to get the CHL. That's if we're actually going to do it. We're not paranoid, and the odds that we'll ever need a gun at the ready is exceedingly low. John has more use for it since his business takes him into rough parts of town. For me, unless some bitch goes crazy at a country club, I should be fine.

Interesting factoid that I did not realize about handguns and Texas. If you do not have a CHL - you cannot carry anywhere except your home and your car. Your car is treated as an extension of your home. I was very surprised by that, because where I'm from, Arizona, you can strap a 44 magnum to your hip and walk into a grocery store and it's all perfectly legal. In Texas, that's a Class A misdemeanor.

Seriously.. you can't just walk around in public with a gun in a holster in plain view anywhere in Texas - with very limited exceptions, such as battle re-enactments. You can, however, walk around with a "long rifle" in plain view - which includes semi-automatic assault rifles without a license. Texas is a very strange state.

The other odd thing about the CHL is that if you do carry a weapon per your concealed carry license, it always has to be concealed. It can never be seen by anyone else unless you're actually deploying the weapon to deter a threat. You can't even have the shape of a handgun be seen through your clothing, and you cannot have it visible in your vehicle. Our instructor told us that when he's driving, his gun is under a towel on the passenger seat, and when he leaves the vehicle, he uses the towel to mask the gun as he holsters it. Failing to conceal your handgun is.. once again.. a class A misdemeanor in Texas. Everything is a class A it seems, unless it's related to guns going off.. which generally graduate to felony levels.

The other consideration is the caliber of hand gun to carry. Obviously the larger the caliber, the larger the gun. A .22 just won't do the job. A .45 is huge and would be difficult to conceal. Most people seem to carry 9mm or 380s. At the range, I saw some rather small 380s that I could probably pocket holster in my jeans if they're a bit baggy. Something like a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard might do the trick. I'm just not sure what use there would be for laser sighting. In a confrontation, it's typically point and click as fast as possible.

As you can see in the picture, it has a safety on it. Our instructor, being the red-necky paranoid type, thinks that a CHL weapon should not have a safety, and further, a round should be chambered at all times. He thinks that the operator should have a finely honed ability and skill in handling, drawing, and deploying a weapon with a chambered round and no safety. He says that the holster must have the proper trigger guard so it would be impossible to accidentally discharge the weapon. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not so sure how much riskier it would be to yank the slide to chamber a round and flip a safety off before shooting someone to death.

Of course, being a librul.. I'm also aware that having a firearm is far more likely to result in an accidental injury or death than it actually be used in a life or death situation successfully.

I think the real trick would be to constantly evaluate circumstances and test your ability to judge situations of when force or deadly force is allowed. If you use deadly force in a situation that the law defines only force be allowed, you could end up convicted of a homicide. I'm not sure how well a 10 hour class prepares a person for that decision making.

Someone attempts to rob you by demanding your wallet. They do not appear to have any weapon. Can you draw your weapon and shoot them if they do not retreat?

It's also highly important what you tell a 911 operator after an incident, and what you say to the police when they arrive. What I've always said about cops applies in all circumstances - even when you had to confront a bad guy. Imagine the emotional distress of being in that situation and then being faced with the police immediately afterwards. Of course, the worst case situation with the police is better than the worst case situation with a bad guy. Still - the moral of the story is that even when you did everything exactly right, just state the very basics of the situation, say only that you had to stop the threat, and politely decline to an interview at the police station without your lawyer. Then give the statement as per the lawyers advice. The police and the D.A. will not hold that against you, nor attempt to cook up some nefarious plot.

To see a fun example of how not to do it, see Joe Horn. We actually listened to the entire 911 call during class and I was astounded by it.

Another fun video we got to watch was

Badass DEA agent.. legendary skillz.. total "professional".

Knowing whether or not a gun has rounds in a clip, or a round in the chamber is obviously a big deal.

Anyway.. pretty sure John is going to be carrying. I haven't decided yet. I have a natural aversion to guns, but firing at the range was rather fun. There's some thinking to do about it.. and once you get your CHL, you have a CHL and that is pretty serious shit in Texas in terms of the law and all that.

Fun question on the test.

You attend a Cowboys football game and when approaching the entrance gates, you realize you have your firearm with you. You should.

A. Make sure it's loaded.
B. Tell the attendant that you are carrying.
C. Say nothing about your weapon.
D. Immediately return to your vehicle to safely store the weapon.

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