Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tacticool. You can have it.

I find myself becoming more reclusive by the day, especially in the gun world. Maybe a better word would be "selective" in terms of choosing who I befriend or shoot with.

In a nutshell, I'm sick of black gun attitudes and the endless string of know-nothing wannabe numbnuts who are convinced that by owning an AR-whatever and wearing tacticool cargo pants, tacticool shooting glasses, having tacticool haircuts and tacticool beards, wearing tacticool polo shirts that have tacticool logos on them, using tacticool movements and speaking in tacticool phrases somehow makes them a bad-ass tacticool shooter.

When Eagle Gun Range announced their plans to build and open a range in our suburb, the wife and I were elated. We bought a family membership well before the completion of the construction and have not regretted it. The facility is other-worldly superb, safety is strictly enforced (more about that in a moment), the staff is friendly and courteous and it almost brings a tear to my eye when I see shooters literally lined up to the door, and often times, OUT the door waiting to shoot.

But on the other hand. . . I'm seeing too many of these black gun tacticool shooters that leave me shaking my head in a mixture of contempt and disgust. I see these yo-yo's bringing their pimped out ARs to indoor ranges, most of which have a max of 25 yards distance to shoot, and not even setting their targets up at 25 yards, but often setting them up as close as TEN YARDS.

Even at THAT range they can't score a group, but instead spray the rounds everywhere. But they smile and nod in their tacticool serious ways at each other, give the tacticool  thumbs up, slap another magazine in and continue on until they have a jam--which is frequent. Then all pretense of tacticool is gone and an RSO then has to help them figure out why their $2000 tacticool gun doesn't run so good on third-world POS ammo. Sometimes a few tacticool curse words are in order.

Most military and former military folks I know, especially those of my generation, have little use for tacticool black guns seeing as how we all had our fill of them while in uniform. To us, they were one of the tools of our trade, much how a sidearm is to a police officer. I've also yet to see a former military shooter ever set up their target at ten yards in order to shoot at it with ANY rifle.

But  you can't tell these tacticool shooters any thing--they already know it all because they watch YouTube and spend a lot of time on tacticool internet forums. But the proof always comes out in the shooting.

Recently the proof came out when someone was so clueless as to know that they were shooting tracer ammunition in their tacticool rifle. Don't know about you, but I ALWAYS know for certain what ammo I have in any given gun at any given time. Being a reloader and handloader, I have a lot of different spec'd ammo (even in the same caliber) and I still know right down to the tenth of a grain and make of primer what I'm shooting.

A longtime gun range here in the Dallas area burned to the ground because some tacticool numbnuts military wannabe was firing tracer ammunition. A day or so ago, my little slice of heaven-on-earth nearly caught fire because of another of these wannabes.

With rights come responsibilities. If you're a wannabe, that's your right. But it's also your responsibility to ensure that your behavior does not endanger those around you or the property/facility you're shooting at.

I realize that doesn't sound very tacticool, but too damned bad. That's the way it is.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tactical marriage counselors

I know, I know, I know. Don't let things like this bug you. It's not good for my blood pressure and I have a bi-annual flight physical coming up in a few months.

But still. . .

A reader e-mailed me a link to a story from some online gun rag about the pros and cons of open carry. The beauty of the internet, much like YouTube, is that it offers every delta-alpha in any given community the opportunity to suddenly become an expert by virtue of having posted and built their own website or video. And then like the mindless lemmings they are, the unwashed and uneducated and uninspired and unmotivated entitlement crowd who doesn't want to actually THINK for themselves or actually learn and PRACTICE the trade can come along, read the rag or watch the broom-closet produced video and then consider themselves as part of the great washed masses. 

We have those same idiots in the gun world. But even more dangerous than that are the supposed experts, the "unmarried marriage counselors" if you will, who collect acronyms behind their name that impress the great unwashed among us and made the unknowing actually think that the instructor with the alphabet soup behind his (or her) name actually knows what the hell they're talking about.

So I'm reading this article and the quotes from all the "instructors" and "gun school" owners/founders (in which the majority of cases is some yahoo showing up at a local gun range with a firearm, a briefcase and a wheelbarrow load of BS) about open carry.

As I'm apt to do, I begin googling and researching and e-mailing my old military and LE friends to see if they've ever heard of these yahoos. Zilch in most cases, and in two, they HAD heard of the yahoos and it was not flattering.

BUT. . . these "instructors" all use the tacticool language such as "situation awareness," or better yet, the beloved acronym "SA," and "engage" and "conditioned response" blah blah blah blah.

To read the drivel these people write (and undoubtedly spew), one would think that these "instructors" have more kills than Wyatt Earp and Chris Kyle combined. The reality is they have more mouth than Jesse Ventura. In looking at their pictures, a majority have the required and requisite "special forces beard" which is a joke because the REAL special forces professionals I've known and continue to know. . . first thing they do when they get home and discharged is shave that sucker off. Most let their hair grow a little, but I've only known a couple that kept the beard--and they lived in the great white northern climates. Don't know of too many that kept the big heavy beard down here in the South.

And then there are the pictures of them and their students on the firing line. Always pictures. Students have the special forces beards and tacticool sunglasses and tacticool gloves and tacticool hearing protection and using a tacticool shooting stance and using tacticool movements.

I'll wager a BBQ dinner that if 95% of these tacticool instructors/students were to ever find themselves in an honest-to-goodness real life "I've got to shoot and NOW, no time to think or ohmygodI'mgoingtodie" situation, a six-pack of squeezable Charmin and Mr. Whipple himself wouldn't be able to clean the mess in their britches they'd make.

I wonder if these "instructors" and "schools" teach tacticool crapping?

The people I know, at least in my generation, who've had the unfortunate experience of having to point a weapon at another human being and pull the trigger don't talk about it with glee, nor do they particularly relish the memories. The snipers are a little different. But the cops and military people I know of my generation and older. . . they did what they had to do and moved on.

My father-in-law was a Marine in WWII in the South Pacific. He was a machine-gunner in the original Raider Battalion according to his discharge papers. Won some medals, caught some Japanese lead in the process, and lost a helluva lot of friends along the way--friends he grew up with in Waterville/Winslow, Maine because back then, entire towns would sign up to go to war and the Army or Marines would often keep them together for obvious reasons.

When it came to schooling my wife and her sister on firearms, my FIL spoke gently and quietly and from a position of experience. Nothing "tactical" and no words like "Honey, when you engage the perp as he breaches your apartment door, you'll need to do an evasive tactical roll to your right, follow the tactical flashlight I've duct-taped to your tactical .25ACP assault pocket-pistol and then proceed to discharge your firearm until empty then make a tactical reload and re-engage the perp while still maintaining a high-level of SA because you are now in Condition Nuclear."

Instead, he told the girls something like "hide behind the bed, call the police and then shoot the SOB as many times as you have to to get him to stop threatening you."

My FIL, like most decorated combat veterans and LE professionals I know, would've made a lousy instructor at today's gun schools. He didn't talk and act and dress cool enough--and he didn't have the special forces beard, although he did have some pretty cool large wrap-around sunglasses he picked up after his cataract surgery.

How I miss the days of Bill Jordan and Jeff Cooper. . .