Friday, May 02, 2008


*THANK GOT IT'S FRIDAY IN THE DEAD OF WINTER! Next couple of years, I gotta move down down down!

First, a little more on the issue of carrying guns in national parks, an idea whose time has clearly come:
Supporters of the proposal contend the existing rule violates the constitutional gun rights of U.S. citizens and argue that law-abiding individuals should be allowed to carry weapons for self-protection.

"It is important that we provide consistency in firearm regulations and recognize states' rights in this matter," said Senator Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican and leading advocate of the change.

Other lawmakers, however, remain unconvinced.

The proposal is "appalling" and would create "an incoherent, ineffective and inconsistent patchwork of policies," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Demcorat.

"The American public consistently rates our national parks at the top of federal government programs that work well," Feinstein added. "There is no need to 'fix' a system that our citizens tell us is not broken."
As the author of TRAIL SAFE, a book that addresses being safe in the backcountry, I'm going to weigh in...guess which side I'll be on? BTW, I meant to link up Anarchangel's listing of the odds last week, especially his analysis of firearms deaths:
Each year in the United States, there are 26-30,000 deaths by firearm. As of 2006, Roughly 55% of them are suicides (the number varies greatly year to year, between 40% and 60%).

Of the remaining 10,000 to 18,000, somewhere between 60% and 80% (depending on the year) are one felon killing another (according to the FBI).

The number of non-felons killed (other than suicides) using a gun in the US is anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 a year (again, highly variable year to year). About 20% of those are accidents, and 80% are murders. Of those murders approximately 80% were committed by people with felony records.

It is, and has been since 1934 federally (earlier in most states), unlawful for a felon to own or possess a firearm. Since 1994, a background check, conducted with the FBI and usually the state police of the state the gun is being sold in, has been required for all firearms purchases from a dealer to prevent felons from purchasing firearms legally.
I wanted to touch on a couple of points from the recent post on carry guns...there are several of the new generation of small .45 ACP semis that are very appealing and that I have enjoyed shooting — the Sig 220 Compact, the Taurus 24/7 Compact; the S&W Chief's Special (a personal favorie of mine); the Springfield XD Compact .45; the Para USA Carry/PDA .45s with the LDA system; the P and PM series Kahrs and some I've forgotten. I have an early Para Companion LDA .45 (also equipped with XS Sights) and an S&W Chief's Special redone by Novak...both are excellent guns. However, little .45s bark loud, and there is no way to make them easy to shoot (IMO, the Chief's Special and the Sig 220 Compact are the easiest to shoot of the batch).

In my own self-defense mental planning, I favor the multiple shot-school of life — that is, I am going to keep pulling the trigger until the threat has stopped. I know for a fact that I can run a small 9mm faster than I can run a small .45. A 9mm carry gun allows me to place 2-3 aimed shots in the same amount of time it would take me to place a single .45 ACP. I have said before that 9mm bullet design has made quantum leaps in the last decade, and I'm comfortable carrying the caliber. Re .40s, my opinion is that little .40s are nastier to shoot than little .45s. The only thing worse are the little bitty Glock .357s...eeeech...

The exception to this theory is backcountry carry, where in general a prefer a revolver in .44 Special/.44 Magnum, since I may have to shoot something big with a lot of teeth.

RE: Sponsors, given my druthers, I will default to a sponsors' products...after all , they support me and my projects; I should by all rights support them. There also rarely a situation where one gun is so overwhelming that it swamps the competition. There tends to be an equivalency across certain layers, which means that it's more a question of what an individual likes as opposed to "X better than Y." They're also used to me falling in and out of love with guns.

CZ 2075 RAMI


Jim Manley said...

Post your comments to the rule making here:

Every voice in support of ccw counts!

Anonymous said...

The murder analysis is interesting but not really relevant as I see it. No more than say cars hit in the left front quarter on Monday. It is only one end result of gun usage. Kind of the hysterical view of life.

What would be useful is a breakdown on total firearm shootings. Does anyone have those numbers?

John Richardson said...

The thing to note about the proposed regs is that the NPS and FWS are proposing to allow concealed carry - but not open carry - in those states that allow concealed carry in their state parks. Many, many states including mine prohibit all firearms in state parks yet we have a shall issue CCW. The damn NPS bureaucrats are trying to say "see, we changed the regs" when in reality NOTHING is going to change and those (fill in the appropriate expletive) know it.

John in NC

Anonymous said...

Regarding your comments about carry guns: I think x is, sometimes, better than y. A trained monkey can work on a Glock. Not so an XD. The Smith M&P has a better trigger than an SR9 and isn't handicapped by a too small safety lever. True, most guns offered today are boringly reliable. But little things do make a difference. The too small safety lever on the SR9 disqualifies it as a serious auto for me. The XD is disqualified because a trained monkey can't work on it, etc. YMMV.

Anonymous said...

Had rangers at both Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mtn support carrying. What with bears, cougars - and wolves - and the two-legged predators. OldeForce

Anonymous said...

Michael, don't forget the small Colts, the Defender and the New Agent. Both excellent .45s. Colt will be introducing the DAO New Agent later this year. If the trigger is decent, it could be a real winner.