Tag Archives: Guns

Fr George critiques shooting skills of el Sicario for new American gun owners

There’s millions of new American gun owners in just this past year. I’m wondering how many are practiced up, how many pay attention to stupid representations of gun skills such as we see in the Sicario films. Mind you, I haven’t seen those films, just some YouTube clips. But with that little exposure even I, also a fairly new first time gun owner (Glock 19), know that what happens above should not be imitated by anyone ever, not only the extra-judicial “justice” wrought by our Sicario friend, but also his grip. He’s held up as being the best of the best, but if you take lessons in, say, how to grip a pistol from him, you will die the first time you try to defend yourself or others, say, in a church setting, from unprovoked, mortal aggression being actively delivered against the innocent by a mass shooter, so to speak. No offence to you, Benicio del Toro, sir! I’m guessing that you’ll agree with me that your advisers on gun use baited you into doing stupid things.

If you follow the fiction of the film above, you’ll get off your first shot, sure, maybe even on target (I doubt it), but because of the stupid grip pictured in that “front picture” chosen for the video above, you’ll not be able to get off a second shot before you are shot yourself. Your gun will jam, no matter what. It makes me think that our Sicario friend has never shot a pistol in his life. Notice the thumb of the weak hand pressed super-tightly against the slide? That cannot work in real life. Cannot. In fact, in the last two seconds of that video above, when he takes out the cartel boss, you see that his thumb is pressed hard against the slide, and the slide only slightly and slowly moves back, like 1/2 inch. If it was like that for the first shot of el Sicario against the wife of the cartel boss in the video above, the gun would have jammed, the boys would still be alive and the boss man would have shot our Sicario guy quite dead. The slide has to be completely free to slide, not only to eject the used casing, but to load up the next round. Don’t be the thumb on the slide guy.

Even worse, don’t be the guy who takes advice from cool special ops guys who condescend to tell you stuff while downing beers and thinking you’ll never be in a situation to use the information anyway, and so they are not careful about what they say about scenario usage. For instance, in the video below get a load of this most stupid use of a pistol that may have come from mis-taught or misinterpreted but otherwise in any other situation good training. It’s looks cool because in the situation its use is super sarcastic and likewise condescending. But this is all going to make for the death of the shooter when he runs out of bullets before even once hitting his target even at point blank range. Shooting with the mistakes that are made by our Sicario friend will mean that you won’t be able to hit the broadside of a barn from inside the barn. Watch the insane gun-flip and where oh where the strong hand trigger finger goes:

It’s not because there’s anything wrong with this style of shooting. It’s because he himself gets a number of things totally wrong.

  • Know that in real life, in an immediate justified defense of the innocent from an active shooter actively killing people, you’re not going to have time to use two hands in this clumsy fashion. No.
  • Know that your strong hand trigger finger shouldn’t be on the slide like el Sicario. That’s going to inhibit the slide when the pistol is fired by the other hand, meaning the first shot will fire (likely off target), but that the gun will jam before you even get to the second shot. And you’ll be shot before you clear that and load up again. El Sicario tries not to hold that strong hand trigger finger hard against the slide, but it is belted around as the gun is fired, so that it’s hard pressed against the slide, or not. But it’s all wild. There is no muscle memory for the trigger finger of the strong hand to be on the slide…
  • Know that your normal trigger finger is going to “get nervous” and start curling under the slide to get in the trigger well where it normally is when firing a gun, in this case, interfering with the other trigger finger already there. That’s what happens above to el Sicario. That makes for zero hits.
  • Know that you have almost zero grip on the gun with just three “weak” fingers on the grip because you have your normal trigger index finger on the slide. Bad, that. This makes for insane flip, and that’s exactly what happens to el Sicario above. Don’t use this style of shooting unless you must.

So, why would this style of shooting ever be used?

Because when you lift up to aim at someone, your hands on your gun are center-x for the bad actor. Injuries, say, to your strong hand trigger finger are not uncommon because of this. So, yes, this is a legitimate exercise for which to practice a bit, with the strong hand thumb and three weak fingers holding the grip of the gun, but with the strong hand trigger finger curled up against the grip, not on the slide or messing with the trigger well. The video directly above is one of the worst examples of gun-slingerry in the entire history of Hollywood. Don’t follow that bad example, but go ahead and practice this the right way.

For your very first practice mag-dump you might get something like what I did the other day just for fun, but likely better, putting out 15+1 shots from my terribly hard-pull, grindy-trigger Glock. I tried this as fast as I could get the trigger pushed with a weak hand finger. This is not bump-firing. No. You are pushing clumsily from the side of whatever finger of the weak hand (the side bit being a stabilizing factor). El Sicario does this with the gun pushed up to the palm of the weak hand, a good idea – I didn’t do that – but he does this with the wrong angle, causing wildly off target results. You want that weak trigger finger to be perpendicular to the trigger, not at any angle at all. I made that mistake as well the first mag-dump over against a 7″ foam pie plate.

You’ll notice that most all hits are left of center. That’s because of being pulled to the side by a weak hand finger over the trigger at the wrong angle. That’s so very correctable. You’ll also notice that this was at point-blank range, something like under ten feet. Can you see the powder swirl burns on the foam plate?

Warning! Don’t try this at any range other than a private range (against soft dirt, no rocks or wood…), a range that belongs to you or a friend. Otherwise you’ll be not so politely asked to never come back. This was done at a private range.

So, why would a priest who is a newbie to the gun world have such an interest as to know such things?

Is it because of his desire to be available to chaplaining for law enforcement wherever 2a is respected? Sure.

Is it because of wanting to be available to assist those who provide church security with enhanced capacities if they decide totally on their own and never mandated by the church to carry a tool that might assist in shutting down a deadly and being delivered threat? Sure. That’s it.

The diocese encourages us to have security teams. And I think that all priests should be good guard-donkeys for the sheep of Jesus’ little flock, whatever tools they can use effectively:

Donkeys were always with the Holy Family, and not just to carry around the Holy Family and their provisions. It was also for the protection of the Holy Family from the wolves (that being a young red wolf above).

Where do I get time to do this?

  • This was just some seconds on the day off, which is never a day off anyway. I didn’t do much more than this as ammo is scarce. I had lots of priest-stuff to do on the day off.
  • Recreation is also important for priests. Seriously. It’s all good when skill set capacities are honed as an enjoyable recreation, even if it’s only for just a moment.
  • In writing this, I’m also on a day off, but this day off is being used for another of important things in priestly ministry, discerning, praying.

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911 what’s the location of your emergency? – Shots fired! Shots fired! We’re at…

To the left, within feet of the old drug house (just out of the picture, bordering the grade school property and upon which I participated in a kind of SWAT raid a while back), you see a white Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department cruiser, then, moving to the right, a black Andrews City Police Department cruiser, then a pickup of the alleged friend of the alleged perp, then under the lit-up tree, our great, fearless LEOs who just took the alleged perp to the ground after an alleged scuffle of allegedly resisting arrest, then the alleged perp’s pickup truck, then the alleged perp’s house lights, just across the street, with the alleged perp’s house also bordering the grade school property. Yep. Not even an inch distant from school property. Kids are always in mortal danger in this neighborhood, not to mention all the law abiding citizens, of which the very best in WNC are also my neighbors.

After a long day of meetings, endless miles on the road, dramas with the church campuses, provision of the sacraments, going to Confession myself, going up to the Cemetery just before Veteran’s Day to take pictures of the destruction of numerous grave stones of a recent incident still under investigation, then the editing of the next article of my best friend, Father Gordon J. MacRae, to be published November 11, 2020 (after an unexpected nuclear explosion of drama from the sidelines), and after having fed Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog, I collapsed in bed with the window open (still warm evenings here in the back ridges of extreme WNC).

Fully asleep by, say 8:45 PM, Shadow-dog woke me up with a tell-tail, so to speak, very deep throated “woof-WOOF!” I listened to what was an alleged mag-dump of, just guessing, an alleged .22, say 6 or 7 bullets, flying everywhere (within city limits, btw), and I listened also to a male voice and also a female voice allegedly making comments at each other, then barking of other dogs, and then Shadow-dog making insistent comments, all in the space of seconds as I got out of bed. Then I got a text from a neighbor – at 9:18 PM, then a phone call from the same:

“Shots fired! Guns drawn! Get over here, now!”

As I raced over, three kids on bikes were passing my house to investigate what all the excitement was about. Just. Wow. So I took on a Shadow-dog voice and barked commands at them:

“Get back! Now! Shots fired! Guns drawn! Get back! Now! Go! – Go! – Go! – Go! – Go!”

Lo and behold, they instantly turned tail and raced away. Thank God. You have to use extremely short, extremely clear commands when peoples’ adrenaline is flowing.

What I allegedly saw then was my alleged neighbor out front of his house with an alleged shotgun fully lifted up and pointed directly at two of our great Law Enforcement Officers, who, in turn, both had their service pistols aimed directly at him as a response. Commands to drop the gun were given and then the alleged statement from one of our LEOs was made (a voice I know well): “You’re about a half a second away from getting shot.”

The alleged perp put down the gun, but then allegedly, incredibly, resisted arrest. Unbelievable. The alleged perp was forthwith assisted to the ground for his own safety and that of the officers and others in the neighborhood. The alleged perp was cuffed and stuffed into the town cruiser. After our town officer took statements from my neighbors, the alleged perp was then brought down to jail, driven right past us.

As of this writing, a great family who had moved into the drug house after we had done a kind of SWAT raid on that house, has just now moved out. Another neighbor is also moving out in the next days. And another neighbor plans to move as soon as possible. There is still an extremely active known drug house in back of our back yards. Lots of violence. Blood everywhere.

But the great bishop of Charlotte Diocese (this parish is on the far western side of the Diocese) has repeatedly said to me over the years after I (NOT complaining but just describing dramas like this to him (dramas which happen all the time)… the Bishop said repeatedly to my great joy: “Catholics don’t run!” I agree: Catholics don’t run. And pastors don’t abandon Jesus’ little flock.

Meanwhile, I’m guessing the alleged perp will be out on bail and possibly taking revenge on my neighbors for calling 911 and on Shadow-dog for helping to sound the alarm. Goood daaawwg! The alleged perp has allegedly told me that he allegedly has three guns. The shotgun is now in the possession of law enforcement. But what about the other alleged guns in this alleged perpetrator’s house?

Kudos to our Law Enforcement Officers, both of the Sheriff’s Department and our own town Police Department. They showed incredible restraint in not ending the threat with the assistance of their own… um… tools, but just by verbal commands. I’m certain that this is the closest either of them have come to pulling the trigger on someone. After all, this guy is allegedly known to allegedly shoot his weapons in town and had just allegedly done up a mag dump moments before. You just can’t get closer than that to taking care of business.

Maybe they were counting on the alleged perp to be reasonable, though, in my opinion, even from a distance, the alleged perp seemed to be drunk as a skunk, which is allegedly a very frequent state of mind for him. Maybe they thought the alleged perp could figure out that even if he pulled the trigger on one officer, the other is likely going to do a brain-box shot on him. I guess being a team of two or more works well for tactical reasons in a shots fired domestic circumstance, right?

Maybe they also saw that they alleged perp was just trying to do a suicide by cop. All way too sad. I hate that for him. I hate that our officers had to be under the stress of this guy allegedly pointing a shotgun in their faces. I would hate it for the officers if they had to pull the trigger on this guy. No matter how justified the shooting, we’re not made by God to kill one another, and you carry this with you. I just had a LEO tell me that the other week, and he would know, as he had to do this in defense of his life: no matter how justified pulling the trigger would be, the guy who is defending the innocent is always by taking out the threat is always the victim, having to carry this his or her entire life. Suicide by cop is an act of aggression against law enforcement.

Just so you know where I stand, here’s a shot of the front of Sassy the Subaru: that would be a think blue line…

Jenny the Jeep has been sold and title transferred. A parishioner sold me his 2001 Toyota Tacoma SR5 six cylinder. Here’s a shot of the front of the Toyota:

That’s from the same roll of blue reflective tape for the Thin Blue Line. It just depends on how the light hits it.

Meanwhile, in taking these pictures this morning, after the shooting, I was the subject of a drive-by screaming, the guy being really upset that Jenny the Jeep was sold not to him but to a friend who got in just before him. Sigh. I’ll put that down to the tensions people are under because of Covid-19, because of draconian political power-plays regarding Covid-19, because of the weirdness of the election, the promises to pack the Supreme Court, the promises to confiscate guns, the promises to make everyone pay for abortion, the promises to have no borders whatsoever, the promises to absolutely destroy all law enforcement, all stuff which may have pushed our neighborhood shooter over the line.

Finally, yes, this priest was carrying his permitted carry, a Glock 19, chambered, just in case our LEOs needed some civilian assistance according to the normal rules of engagement for use of the Second Amendment. In the dark night, I didn’t want to rush into the scene prematurely, perhaps causing the alleged perp to pull the trigger on the officers and then me and my neighbors, to whatever extent he could have accomplished that. The purpose of being a law enforcement chaplain is not to add danger to any alleged perp or any law enforcement officer or anyone else. But I’m always at the ready to help where I can be of assistance with prudence, reason.

Finally, finally, I want to give a big thanks once again to our officers of both the Sheriff’s Department and our town Police Department. Our police officer took the lead in all this. He’s totally fearless and extremely well prepared with lots of experience. I think it was just his confidence and the personal power of his commands that had the alleged perp-coward put down his weapon. Very cool, that. A victory for everyone, for America, for the best that there is in humanity from God, prompt in readiness to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Thanks to our great LEOs.

To those who would criticize the officers for not blowing this guy’s head off his shoulders when they would be totally justified in doing so for their own safety and the safety of the neighbors and of the entire town… well, you weren’t there, with your finger on the trigger, seeing what they saw, seeing what they could otherwise do right then, right there, in a split second. Clam down. I agree that the media and others have scared some officers into not doing the necessary, fearing losing their jobs, their retirement, fearing murder charges for what is purely protection of themselves and other citizens from entirely deadly aggression being actively delivered. I agree, but in this instance, I was not behind the trigger as the responding officer, and did not see what the officers saw from close up, barrel to barrel. Neither were you. Clam down. It is what is is. I’m happy with the outcome. Very happy. I’d be happy to be friends with the alleged perp. But people make choices. I hope he makes better choices in the future.

For everyone in these crazy times: Hail Mary…

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Insurance salesman gives bullets to me… um…

You know you live a dangerous life when your insurance salesman gives you bullets, especially during Covid-price-times. This one box of just 50 target rounds for 9mm is $30 bucks. That’s about four times the old Walmart pricing. So, this is quite the serious gift. But it’s also humorous.

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Fr Byers vs Hillary on destroying phones

  • Father Byers, can you please help me get rid of my phone?
  • Sure. Is it totally absolutely broken, beyond redemption?
  • Yes, Father. I know you like to target practice and that in these no-available ammo times are happy to at least get out a few shots.

The results are above. Fun.

Poor Hillary with her hammers. Why? Oh… Against 2a. I see. Haha!

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Fr Byers 2a vs Hillary’s BleachBit. Guess who wins.

These are tiny laptop drives that a non-techy parishioner asked me to delete, who was getting rid of dinosaur computers but was not wanting to leave files on the hard drives. Not being much of a techy myself, and that person not requesting the drives back, and me later deciding not to want to bother with the old computers, the drives were put out somewhere between 5 and 10 yards. Three 9mm to the one on the left and a half a mag-dump to the one on the right. Haha. That was the extent of my target practice in this time of no ammo amidst Covid lockdowns and such. This kind of target practice is all calm, entirely efficient. I mean, the interior disks were reduced to a small and momentary metallic dust cloud with the largest shards of the disks pictured above, but all the rest being reduced to pretty much smaller than a zeptometer in size. That’s, like, really small. Hillary’s hammers are operated with such angst and distress and are so inefficient, so readable in their larger shards. And software? Pfft. 9mm target practice is fast and gets the job done andand… is fun. I didn’t want to break my word about erasing the drives. :-)

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Bird-shot in my kitchen: Pfft! For me: slugs & Benelli M4 12g ARGO semi-auto

The little Catholic rectory here in Andrews is almost 70 years old, built in 1952, very solid, much better than modern houses. I love it. When we snatched in up some years ago so as to provide for whomsoever the priest ever happens to be a Virtus®-appropriate off-campus dwelling, we ripped up all the carpeting and molding and sanded down the wood flooring. It was all cleaned a zillion times and given a good shellacking. Lots of work by a number of parishioners. Nothing, not even something as small as bird-shot remained on the floors, the kitchen got new tile. Even the stove and fridge and the shelving was ripped out to make this happen with perfection.

So, a half dozen years later, where did the bird shot come from? I don’t have a shotgun. I don’t have any shotgun shells. The windows and screens are still intact. No one has been in the rectory. A mystery.

But now that that topic is at hand, what if I were to get a shotgun? I’m a newbie to guns, and I’m still learning about my Glock, a mere pistol. Did I do some skeet-shooting and duck hunting as a kid with a variety of shotguns? Sure. Dad and his friends were really cool to let me have at it with clay pigeons, to bring me duck hunting, to let me shoot at other times (for target practice) my dad’s .22 rifle, and, one time, deer hunting, my dad’s 30-06. Great! But, that was only a few shots as a kid like 50 years ago. I digress.

With tons of advice over the past couple of years from law enforcement and military, if I were to get a shotgun now, it would be, I think, a Benelli M4, that is, a 12g ARGO, semi-auto, with a tactical stock, a pistol grip, 18.5″ barrel, right hand dominance, all-black. Over the top price-wise, but you get what you pay for, particularly reliability, accuracy, the whole package. Item #11703, with Receiver finished Anodized Black and the barrel with Phosphate. I’m so particular. ;-)

I’ve resisted getting more than just the pistol (which is always with me, 24/7/365). If I had anything more I would have to get a gun safe, and that’s like a magnet for the idiots ’round about. Reading the arrest reports here is like reading a phone book, but all the numbers are the codes for crimes involving safes. Yep. So, No. Not yet anyway. I would have to do an awful lot of research about safes, about placement, about what is needed under the floor, etc. I ain’t ready for all that yet. And now, to practice? With what ammo? Anyway, it’s on a back burner which is turned on, but at a very low heat, just above room temperature. It’s NOT on any wish-list.

People say it’s over the top for self defense because of the price, unless you want self-defense to work, every time. Benelli is the most reliable.

But then I think… What if anti-2a wins the day? I won’t be able to acquire such an item then. So, buy now! Right? The problem is, the then gun-czar (to use a Russian term) would confiscate all guns, nothing grandfathered. Or am I just being an alarmist?

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Distracted shooting & distracted praying: Distraction is the way to go.

Distracted shooting:

Not having practiced in, like, forever, 30 minutes of the day off was given to doing up a session of double-taps “to the head”. Best was 1.51 seconds with a chambered Glock 19 from a serpa holster carried appendix. Even that was so much slower compared to back in the good old days when Walmart was still selling Federal FMJ brass target rounds for cheap (the only thing that works in my Glock 19 Gen 4). Way too many of the double-taps were over two seconds. Not practicing often means slowing down, at least for me. But catching up on edginess just a bit is always good. Catching up on accuracy just a bit is always good. The 7″ Styrofoam pie-plates were out 25 feet.

This session, unlike any other since first acquiring any gun for the first time in my life (still in my third year) the enormous benefit of distraction came into play. Worms were falling like tender snowflakes. Un-staged distractions help constitute the best way to practice. It’s the difference between being edgy with sterile indoor range conditions (and no one cares about that, especially the entitled criminal element) and something much more attuned to real life where distractions are always abundant (like bullets hitting you one after the other). For great distraction for a good practice session, try tent worms falling on your sights with no warning:

Disgusting waves of tent caterpillars are munching their way across Michigan | News Hits

Practicing in this way provides the opportunity to learn to power through distraction and let adrenaline do it’s job by zeroing you in on the necessary at that moment.

Distracted praying:

If you haven’t noticed yet by this time in your life, we have a fallen human nature that suffers the effects of original sin chosen with the sin:

  • Weakness of mind
  • Weakness of will
  • Emotions and feelings all the hell over the place not following reason any longer
  • Sickness
  • Death

It’s only justice that we suffer the effects of sin chosen with the sin. Jesus calls such distraction our cross which we are not to deny, not to suppress, not to escape, but which we are to recognize, pick up and carry, not battling these things so directly as if we were our own saviors, but rather, as Jesus said, following Him, concerned with Him, with Him being more important that any stupid weakness of our own. The more we really try to try really hard to battle our distractions, the more we really try to really try hard to be our own saviors, the more frustrated we are in the midst of our lack of strength to do any such battle: we fall into the distraction we are battling by paying attention to it instead of to Jesus, following Jesus.

Look, all the saints were trained up to be saints in the midst of ongoing weakness and distraction. We are weak and distracted in this life until we die. Jesus told us to carry our cross daily, meaning until we die, but not looking at the cross (we already know it’s there) but instead looking to Him, thanking Him that – wow! – He really had t0 reach far into this fallen world to grab us to bring us to heaven. Thank you Jesus. Seeing all my distraction all the time helps me to understand just how far you had to reach to get me. Thank you so very much for re-creating me as your friend, as you said.

To do all that mercy in justice, Jesus had to come among us, show us damned cynics His goodness and kindness and truth, baiting us to test all that to see if it was verifiable. He knew we would show Him our worst, tortured death, what we deserve ourselves. He took our place, the Innocent for the guilty, now having the right in His own justice to command His heavenly Father as He died, thus passing our cynical test: “Father, forgive them!”

  • “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people.” (Psalm 22:6)

Actually, it’s not “worm”. In Hebrew this more precisely refers to “maggot.” Jesus cited this psalm on the Cross.

Here’s the deal, the saints were trained up with ongoing distraction in prayer and everything else by assenting in grace to grace grabbing their souls so that the greater love of God’s own love within us holds God as being more important than ourselves: the distraction is still there but who cares? That’s not what’s important. In fact, distraction helps us thank Jesus and walk with Him no matter the distraction.

This is a victory of the joy of the Holy Spirit in our souls. Yes. True joy of the Holy Spirit in the very midst of distraction. Yes. I love it. This is the victory of Jesus. He is risen from the dead, and working on our souls. He is truly risen.

Anecdote: I knew a guy who was overwhelmed with distraction and wanted some psych advice about this, and from the wrong crowd at the Gregorian University. I tried to dissuade him. Nope. He went, and came straight back, all the smarter as to why I wanted him to avoid them. They said that they would take away all his weakness, all his distraction, making him a fake automaton, mere Styrofoam. He exclaimed to them, immediately walking out: “No, that’s the only thing I have left, and you’re not going to take that away from me.” He was super wise, knowing that our our Lord uses our weakness to make us saints.

Saint Paul sums it up in his typical shorthand way of speaking and writing:

  • “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Get it? Use the very temptation to instead bring you closer to Jesus, remaining, by grace, closer to Him than every before.

This is the difference being arrogant, coming up with our own escapist way of salvation – “Let me pretend to be super-balanced and let me congratulate myself!” – and being humble, submitting to the cross of the consequences of original sin, which our Lord commands us to do: “Take up your cross!” Who the hell are we to tell Jesus “Non serviam! I will not serve!”? That’s what Satan says. We are not to say that we have progressed in the spiritual life because we think we have successfully suppressed any trace of weakness so that we have fake-saved ourselves and don’t need Jesus. That only leads to an explosion of arrogance and cynicism.

Humbly submitting to our punishment by not caving to ongoing temptation but in the face of it assenting to the saving grace of Jesus is joy in the Holy Spirit. Much better, that.

Are you also a worm and no man, like Jesus? Takes a bit of humility, doesn’t it?

But then we are trained up in matters spiritual, never congratulating ourselves for saving ourselves, thanking Jesus instead, and seeing ever so much more incisively how far He had to reach to get us, which is all the m0re reason to thank Him humbly, walking with Him, right to heaven.

Be trained up in the midst of distraction, whether you are target practicing or growing by leaps and bounds in the spiritual life.

And for all nay-sayers out there, who congratulate themselves that they are in a mystical union with the Most Holy Trinity, and have absolutely no distraction whatsoever, that they actually have the beatific vision already (and there are many like that), remember good old Saint John of the Cross, who, responding to a question from a novice in the spiritual life – and this is my paraphrase, obviously – said that our fallen human brains will always be going a zillion miles an hour, but we are trained in the midst of that distraction to assent to paying attention to that which, to He whom is more important; the distraction continues, but the soul learns by grace to stay with Jesus, the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, even in the midst of our distraction, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

P.S. And if all the good that carrying a Glock will get me is that I have been able to make an analogy for the spiritual life by using tent worms while target practicing, so be it. I’m good with that. Absolutely. :-)

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Cop chaplain’s Glock, Back the Blue & 2a T-Shirts, Deescalation

We live in a time of anti-God, marxist bullies, whose BLM Antifa style fascism (yes, they reflect each other), whose primary method of anarchism is meant to bait law enforcement officers into being ambushed, wherein no matter what happens, it’s the fault of any authority other than their narcissistic selves. The entitled bully’s is reaction to authority, which is, then, by definition, no identity at all:

  • Identity politics is about being devoid of identity. There is no self-respect, no respect for others, no respect for God our Creator, no respect for the natural law or any law other than the absolutism of one’s personal relativity to oneself, which is nothing. Yuck.

Assassination of law enforcement officers is the “order” of the day, with such assassinations celebrated by all criminals who entitle themselves to blind obedience of their rich masters who pay them slave wages.

There’s a political party which celebrates such as this:

No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone pumping bullets into law enforcement officers who were just minding their own business, I wouldn’t bother with any failure drill (two to the body and then one to the head if the threat weren’t yet ended), but I would rather just do a quick double tap to the head. Yes. No time to waste, especially with someone who looks like they might well be wearing body armor. Of course, then, as the priest, I would conditionally absolve the perp, you know, while calling in the “Shots fired!” and “Officers down!” and EMS and LEO assistance required. One hopes there will always be time for deescalation techniques. One hopes that one can use the old “continuum of force” fairy tale made up by someone who has never been in the field.

But encounters don’t always go very slowly, and are not always subject to a half dozen steps bringing one within rules of engagement, you know, greeting a person who then runs, who then resists arrest, who then gathers a crowd interfering with the arrest, who then assaults the LEOs with stones and bottles, who then grapples with the LEO, who then uses deadly force on the LEOs. It can go from zero to one hundred in less than a nanosecond.

It is expected, nevertheless, that the officer, while pumped full of bullets, will call social services to calmly talk the perp down at all of these stages, waiting an hour or two for the nice social worker to show up, that is, after a few weeks when messages are retrieved during these Covid-19 zero service, zero office hours difficult period we are going through in these USA and around the world.

When it goes from zero to a hundred in a nanosecond, there’s no time for this kind of BS. No deescalation techniques. No coping mechanisms. No offering of lolly-pops and cotton candy. No time.

There’s a political party which demands that the criminally insane be allowed to murder whomsoever they want, but especially law enforcement officers:

No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone repeatedly plunging a Bowie knife into any law enforcement officer who was just minding his or her own business, I wouldn’t bother with any polite discourse, using words like sir or miss, or please, but I would rather just do a quick double tap to his or her head. Yes. And that’s even if I knew the guy or gal was criminally insane. He might not be personally responsible for his actions, being criminally insane and all that, but that doesn’t mean that the threat shouldn’t be subdued. We live in a fallen world. It’s not the officer’s fault or my fault if unjust aggression is afoot. It’s all very sad. I wish it weren’t so. The one who assists in lessening the threat is also a victim. Who wants to carry that event around in one’s soul for the rest of one’s life? Nobody. Deescalation IF POSSIBLE.

Meanwhile, I’m patriotic and I’ll tell you this, there’s only a small percentage of those in America (whether citizens or paid foreign terrorists) who are like that. Most people are like those I met on the day off yesterday. They were happy for me to take pictures of the backs of their T-Shirts:

I make it a habit to have lunch on the day off with another priest at this particular restaurant in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been here when there hasn’t been some law enforcement officers, or spec ops guys and gals. This is the order of the day in this back-mountain region of Appalachia. There is no harassment of those dining here. ;-)

The other week as we were leaving that restaurant, one such guy threw out a greeting to me, and I made the observation that he had a tattoo of a very unique American Bald Eagle on his forearm (stating the extremely obvious), but I asked what the symbolism was, expecting something about that stylized eagle being the logo of a particular military group. He hesitated a couple seconds, perhaps not wanting to share anything like that at that moment while trying to eat with his wife (I’m so imprudent, but he started it), but he then exclaimed that it stands for “Freedom!” I laughed in joy and wished him a “Be safe!” as he did for me.

Look, I realize that this is not the experience of those who live even just down the road from me in Atlanta, where, as in so many other places, people are accosted while quietly eating in a restaurant, their meals thrown on the floor, getting spit on, insulted and shrieked at, their tables and chairs being overturned, and even elderly people being smashed to the floor and beat up by uncontrollable mobs. Let’s see… that would be defined for the elderly as at least grave bodily harm. I’ve seen what an intracranial hematoma can do to people – like a 66 year old parishioner of mine. She died pretty quickly after that, but only after tortuous suffering.

That kind of assault, threatening grave bodily harm or death in some circumstances to be evaluated, would also be a threat which would have to be confronted, though such a confrontation would surely – at least with me, I hope – be able to be wrought in such manner that deescalation of unjust aggressors would immediately ensue. These kinds of perps are such cowards when anyone confronts them. Just use the Jedi Knight trick by telling them – in no uncertain terms – that they will stand down, NOW! Yes. It does work.

Perhaps you remember that Jedi Knight trick:

Here’s the deal. We all want peace and joy, goodness and kindness, all of us, including and perhaps especially the perps. There’s no one more thankful for having been stood down than a perp who then has had an opportunity to think about it and repent. Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. We pray for better times. We pray that we get through the next few months unscathed.

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About your trauma recovery dear Father Byers… ;-)

A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.

There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.

In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.

I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:

  • “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]

Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?

Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.

Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.

Two points and excuse my theological language:

First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.

My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”

It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.

But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.

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“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” he said, thus claiming I’m not Christian.

Saeed Hotari, terrorist suicide bomber

“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” said some guy to me the other day – knowing I’m a priest and a law enforcement chaplain – thus claiming that I’m not a Christian because I do carry, thus claiming that all law-enforcement officers are also anti-Christian because they also carry.

If that guy’s house was being burned by mobs, and his family was getting raped and looted and killed, you know, because he himself is part of the he establishment, living in society as he does, I just bet he thinks he could stand idly by, watching all this in all safety, maybe filming it while trying to also call 911, waiting for law enforcement to arrive after minutes if not hours – depending on the day – arriving after his house was torched, after his family was raped and killed and after the mob had moved on to other neighbors’ houses to do the same. I bet he would call those “anti-Christian” police who also carry weapons. And when they arrived and stopped the criminals, I bet he would stop claiming law enforcement officers and any supporting chaplains are anti-Christian, having risked their lives to save the likes of him and his neighbors if not in time to save his family. No greater love and all that… He should sign up for some 2nd amendment instruction.

I’m guessing that he just doesn’t have the experiences I have. For instance, I knew Saeed Hotari pictured at the top of this post. I would consider him a friend ten years before he did what he did. But if I saw him walking into the Dophinarium strapped up with bombs likely weighing more than himself and screaming all Jews must die and shrieking that “Allah is great!”, I would neutralize the threat and be happy that I did, even while I was sad about the fallen state of the world in which something like that terrorist attack could be planned and put into action.

Here’s a list of Saeed’s victims who died. Add to that another more than 130 with horrific injuries, missing arms and legs, suffering hematomas and shattered skeletons. Perhaps that young man could recite their names, as the practice goes, along with their ages and where they’re from, asking himself what he would do if he was able to take out the threat. Would he stand idly be when there were only seconds to stop him? Would he call the IDF who might get there in time to put up police tape around the area? If he had a tool to stop the threat would he use it? Scary questions, for him, I’m sure.

  • Maria Tagiltseva, 14, of Netanya
  • Raisa Nimrovsky, 15, of Netanya
  • Ana Kazachkova, 15, of Holon
  • Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir, 15, of Ramat Gan
  • Irina Nepomnyashchi, 16, of Bat Yam
  • Mariana Medvedenko, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Yulia Nelimov, 16, of Tel Aviv
  • Liana Saakyan, 16, of Ramat Gan
  • Marina Berkovizki, 17, of Tel Aviv
  • Simona Rodin, 18, of Holon
  • Aleksei Lupalu, 16, of Ukraine
  • Yelena Nelimov, 18, of Tel Aviv
  • Irena Usdachi, 18, of Holon
  • Ilya Gutman, 19, of Bat Yam
  • Roman Dezanshvili, 21, of Bat Yam
  • Pvt. Diez (Dani) Normanov, 21, of Tel Aviv
  • Ori Shahar, 32, of Ramat Gan
  • Yael-Yulia Sklianik, 15, of Holon – died of her injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Sergei Panchenko, 20, Ukraine – died of his injuries on 2 June 2001
  • Jan Bloom, 25, of Ramat Gan – died of his injuries on 3 June 2001
  • Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15, of Bat Yam – died of her injuries on 19 June 2001

“Father George, you don’t understand what with your putting up straw men examples like that, because that was in Israel where it’s just that ‘someone did something’ (Ilhan Omar), like it was, you know, an ‘incident’ (Nancy Pelosi) and ‘what does it matter anyway?’ (Hillary Clinton). We’re all nice here in America.”

I could multiply examples of myself getting shot at, but let’s limit this to just this area is just the last few days right here in this area:

  • So, just the other day, not far as the crow flies, down in north Georgia, a deputy pulled over a truck and trailer. The guy immediately shot the deputy in the chest (who survived). They caught the perp and his accomplice and also found out that the perp was hauling illegal explosives, heading south on 75, which would be in the direction of Atlanta, you know, in time for the elections. Get it?
  • So, just the other day, now in Western North Carolina, a deputy pulled over a guy who immediately got out of his vehicle and shot the officer in the face (who later died).
  • Oh, and just the other day, about all the law enforcement in the region was doing an massive operation just down the road, no, really, like pretty much all available law enforcement in the region. Because we’re all nice.

I could continue, but, for my interlocutor pacifist, there’s really nothing I can say. If defense of the innocent from unjust aggression is a mortal sin of the magnitude that I can no longer be a Christian, what can I say?

Where do these people get this? Oh, I forgot. There’s a minister in the region who is aggressively promoting BLM, which stands for “Destroy the Police.”

We live in weird times. Even Jesus is mocked and killed:

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Police need to get a grip: more $$$ = better training

If you know what you’re looking at you know what you’re looking at. I feel sorry for this officer, who has obviously never unholstered her gun… ever, never shot a gun, never practiced. I bet the qualifications were cancelled. This is totally insane. I don’t blame her. I blame the idiot Dem mayors who cancel the funding to cancel the training to cancel safety to cancel control. Just. Wow. But maybe I’m just jumping the gun, as it were. Maybe there are special circumstances, like her having a permanently dislocated thumb, or maybe a prosthetic thumb, right? I mean…

Just to be clear, I don’t blame the police, I blame the idiot mayors who don’t want any police at all, well, except for themselves, because, as the mayor of Chicago said: “She’s special.” I’m sure she is.

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I shot my IV+ ballistic armor (Chinese) *sigh*

Said to be ceramic/polyethylene composite. Just wanted to shoot a corner to see what would happen (see entry top left of the picture above). I did this after seeing a Demolition Ranch video on Chinese armor, some of good, some of it really horrible, as in just a thin sheet of Styrofoam!

I then find out that the American standards for this type of “composite” is that the hit has to be at least two full inches from any side, meaning that you’ll be missing out on a full four inches for both width and height, with anything hit in that huge area of the plate being deadly. Not cool. Having seen what happened I just went ahead and shot it dead center. Also not what I expected.

The rifle was a more recent version of a friend’s Ruger Mini-14 semi-auto with 18.5″ barrel. The corner shot was a simple 223, while the center shot was a green tip “armor piercing” (lol) 556. All legal in North Carolina btw.

Here’s a clearer shot of the “composite.” A super thin layer of “ceramic” (pfft) out front with a layer of fiberglass on either side of it, and then a heap of layers of polyethylene. Um… but… it was on the edge…

Let’s see a video of that so you get the idea:

Meanwhile, the center shot did catch the green tip 556, pretty much at the very last sheet of polyethylene, causing a huge bulge:

In the center of the back, that would about break your spine in half. Out front, it would pretty much break all the ribs and stop the electrical system of your heart, if it wasn’t already gelatinized. And that’s only a 556. Imagine a 30-06 black tip, which it’s supposed to stop. I really doubt that. And it’s supposed to be multi-hit. I really doubt that as well. Glad I checked it out.

I’ll be looking for a steel plate truly rated for level IV. Shooter cut. 10 x 12 as I’m a plus size guy. Curves on all four corners. Not easy to find. Anyone with any ideas?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Defense of the innocent, edition)

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Some years ago marauders were trespassing on Holy Souls Mountain of Holy Souls Hermitage fame and went out of their way to destroy a small field of these magnificent flowers for the Immaculate Conception. There were no blooms at all for some five years. The sturdy very sinewy woody stems where shredded. They died forthwith. They would always bloom just in time for August 15, Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body, into heaven. This year, one small blossom, pictured above, appeared from the edge of that destroyed little field. It must have been just a small shoot at the time, and it’s taken all these years to be strong enough to put out a blossom. A shoot of Jesse as the good Book has it. It’s like Jesus’ gift to me so that I might have the joy of giving it to the Immaculate Conception, His good mom, once again. Since Jesus is the Lion of Tribe of Judah, Mary is the Lioness of the Tribe of Judah.

synagogue of capernaum star of david

Six petals… I always recall the six pointed Star of David, referring to the Son of David. Capernaum’s synagogue where Jesus preached had the Star of David carved into the stone from which the synagogue was constructed. Note the interweaving bands. I took a picture of one of those intricate stone carvings of that synagogue, while living in Israel during my biblical studies, from 1990 well into 1991, in the midst of the Gulf War, with scud missiles falling round about. The center bit of the Star refers to the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The whole world was in expectation.

These days, the Star of David, especially when depicted with yellow color, brings us deeply into the violence of this past century:

jewish yellow star jude

Sometimes people ask why I mention such things from a bygone century. There are a number of reasons:

  • I just heard the Nazis praised once again a few days ago by a supposed pillar of the community. He said that they were a good example in doing all things in an orderly manner. It turns my stomach.
  • Not all the criminals are deceased. There are some who are still living the high life, high above the mountains of corpses of all those they assisted to murder. They must be brought to justice.
  • Not all the survivors are deceased. There are some who are still living in the depths of the hellish violence, all of it playing over and again throughout each day and throughout each night. No Post Traumatic Stress for them. They are in present day distress every day.
  • All the worst evil of history is bound to repeat itself unless we keep history before our eyes. We are living in one of darkest of dark ages of ignorant self-absorbed narcissistic entitled truly evil human beings. We must carry the past with us, seeing the breadth and depth and height also of the evil in order to be assisted in our being schooled by the goodness and kindness and truth of the Lord.
  • If we don’t let the screams of the past be heard loud and clear in our own day, we will be the very ones screaming as meat hooks are rammed into our stomachs and we are dragged alive into the ovens. Yes. It happens right around the world. Where have you been?

Back to the defense of the innocent. This is a God-given unalienable right that carries a duty. Having asked the advice of really smart leaders in the parish, these stickers have appeared in discreet but visible places on or near entrances up on the church campus:

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I asked them what they thought it meant, and they all said on their own on different occasions that it meant that mass shooter terrorists are much more likely NOT to come to our church. I feel sorry for those churches where they will instead go. I wish everyone would put up such notices.

Of course, that slideshow of the stickers above is bait, just a humorous jab – but serious enough in its instruction – at my charlatan troll (or is it Charlottan?), who wants people to be mowed down by mass shooters in churches because defending the innocent is scary bad, because tools fit for the job as described by the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution may need to be employed, and in his opinion, that altruistic defense of the innocent is bad and evil.

On that note, within steps of the flower at the top of this post, I tried to do up some double taps, not so many, as ammo is scarce or non-existent.

Is that timed target practice keeping me sharp in certain lawful and laudable skill sets inconsistent with everything else in this post? Not in the least. Defending the innocent belongs also and very much to the maternal instinct and grace of the Immaculate Mother of God. The father protects, yes, but when women have to step up… Oh my! So, a flower for you Mary, even in a blog post promoting 2a.

Here’s a sunshine shot a little while later:

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Thank you Jesus, for bringing this flower back to life after being murdered some five years ago, also so that I might have the joy of giving it to your Immaculate Mother. Let’s see… where’s that picture? … … … Ah, yes!

shepherd boy

That little shepherd boy is all of us, right?

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“Be the Gray Man” he said. Lessons from Laudie-dog. Just be the idiot, blood red.

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Above you’ll see Laudie-dog patrolling the impossible tunnel she’s made through the Jasmine vines, which don’t much offer her concealment while she takes in the situation of the neighborhood. After negotiating otherwise non-navigatable labyrinthine pathways, she shows herself victorious, quite content with herself, as if bragging about her over the top skill sets. Here she is, way down the fenceline in the other direction:

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The lesson, if you didn’t quite get it, is about how to be the “Gray Man”, someone who melts into the crowd unnoticed. Most people don’t get this at all. Take note that however much Laudie-dog is low-key, not drawing attention to herself, she doesn’t mind sticking out from her surroundings. I mean, she’s red, right? Take the hint about how to do the Gray Man thing the right way.

UBL (bin Laden, CIA “trained”) and his fellow terrorists were caught for trying too hard to be the Gray Man, you know, using different phones at different locations, never twice the same, so very careful. Not great training there. That was the clue: way too careful, way too gray, way too nothing. That’s tradecraft without common sense. No one does that. Ever.

Much better to be the bumbling idiot, like Laudie-dog is so very cleverly demonstrating above. No smarter dog than she. “Do the Gray Man thing” a friend suggested to me recently. Fine. But no. Yes and no. In my experience, the guy trying way too hard be the Gray Man sticks out in a crowd as if wearing a red jump suit. No, no. I’ll just play the idiot and in that way be the Gray Man… because there is always an entirely dismissable idiot or two in any crowd that everyone overlooks, because… you know… they’re just idiots.

I’m really good at it, because, you know, I have a lot of practice. It’s natural for me to be the idiot. Not being afraid to be the fool can save one’s life. I’ve done it a number of times.

Anecdote which I think I’ve mentioned before. I sometimes go out on a friend’s private back ridge somewhere in the heart of Appalachia here, doing up tactical pistol courses (FBI instructor, pre-2001 Air Marshal course, the SEAL course, and a number of LEO qualification courses for a change-up, etc.). Lots of fun. But three times a visitor came along on the opposite ridge, not so far away, who, not liking the sound of serious tactical pistol courses going on (definitely NOT just some haphazard target practice), decided to have some fun. He could see me out in the open but he was concealed. I wasn’t being the idiot while practicing, right? I was rather overt in some skill sets. I thought I was alone. “He” (I guess a male) sent some rather speedy rifle rounds my way, each of which smashed through even a half-dozen large branches in the forest. No mere AR can do that. And while those came quite close, above and to the two sides (the zoooosh sound the bullets make next to your head is rather unmistakable), he was just looking for me to – I suppose – shoot back, giving him an excuse. Running was impossible. Shooting back was impossible. I sat down right where I was, in the open and played the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah on my little phone speaker. The forest was dead quiet, and so that could actually be heard as if in a sound room even at a distance. I’m such an idiot. Who does that? Only an utterly dismissable idiot would do that. Must be a mistake with who this is, then. All shooting stopped. Each time. I’m such an idiot.

Be the Gray Man. To do it, don’t try too hard. Be the idiot. You’ll be utterly dismissable. I do. And I am dismissable, therefore invisible, gray, therefore still alive.

TO THE POINT: But when it comes to being the Catholic Priest, I don’t play politics. All the truth is proclaimed, always, to everyone, no matter what. If we do that, we’re not the Gray Man. We’re targets. Great. We’re idiots in the eyes of the world in that case, but this time not dismissable. As Saint John Paul II said, there have been more martyrs in this last century than in all the other centuries put together. When it comes to being Catholics, let’s not be afraid to be blood red. Not quite hidden, not quite the Gray Man:

Passion of the Christ - crucifixion

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Druggy Knife the Rectory Garden – Swarmed by law enforcement

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The Squarrrsh plants are getting tired even as they pump out the most squarrrshes and the biggest they ever have. I rip out the tired leaves. In the lower right you see the tomato plant I had to rip up as it has been weed-eated. I still got six tomatoes off of it.

In this picture you’ll note a draining ditch right in the back lawn in the extreme upper right of the picture. This morning, right along this little ditch there was a raggedy holster with a Crocadile Dundee-esque knife.

I had dropped my coffee and went out back because I saw various agencies of law enforcement swarming out back in their various cruisers and on foot, also in my back yard.

I walked up to the knife just as a deputy walked up to it. He said that it belongs to the guy they’re looking for, a fellow by the name of […], whose got lots of felonies on his head. The deputy picked up the knife for evidence and asked if I had seen where he went. Situational awareness covers a lot of ground. I said the grass is soaking wet with dew. There’s his trail, I said, pointing to the grass with footprints through the heavy dew. He’s surely hiding over at […], I asserted about a business nearby. The vehicle of that business is forever seen at the druggy house where the knife guy is reigning over his kingdom of drugs and violence. In this case, if it’s true that he’s there – and that does seem to be the usual safe-house – then that would be harboring a criminal actively escaping from law enforcement. He’s got plenty of warrants out on him.

The knife guy is the guy who called himself “Pablo Escobar” and who “non-” threatened me just the other day. I’m not allowed on my own street, he said, as I don’t belong there, I don’t live there, even though I’m just a couple of houses away. It’s like, in the winter-time, my back yard is shaded by his trees in the afternoon.

Irony of ironies, he’s actually trespassing on my property, where he doesn’t belong. Hahahahaha!

Meanwhile, I had just given Shadow-dog breakfast, so he was busy and never saw the druggy intruder. Had the druggy guy actually jumped the fence, he would have met Shadow-dog much more personally, and then me, and then law enforcement.

Never a dull moment. :-)

Some have noted that I “carry” even while out for a few minutes in the back garden, watering the plants for the day and such. Well, yes, I carry. There’s a reason. Even at the break of dawn in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. Had I been out there thirty seconds earlier, believe me, this guy would have cut my head off had I not had the Glock with me.

We’ve had four beheadings in the area (for one of which I had to do the death notification to the family of the victim), plus lots of arsons, slashings and assaults and various and sundry other murders, yes, also on my “block”, just some houses away.

The 2nd amendment is great. Practice situational awareness!

Meanwhile, in the midst of mayhem, I’m always ever so calmly using that situational awareness first of all for flowers for the Immaculate Conception. More on that later.

Meanwhile, I have to laugh, as I cannot but recall a famous line in street-fighting: “You call that a knife? That’s not a knife. This is a knife:

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Filed under Drugs, Gardening, Guns, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

American Dagger Moth at the rectory? Gun and dagger for a minister?

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Andrews, western NC, July 25, 2020. I doubt this is an American Dagger Moth, as the caterpillar – at least at this tiny stage – has no yellow fuzz at all, just smooth yellow, though with a multitude of dagger-life black spikes. It’s also sitting on a cucumber leaf, not up in various trees of its normal habitat. Maybe this is normal for the beginning stages.

Having said that, the biodiversity in WNC is immense, and the variations of the “norm” seen elsewhere are quite marked both in flora and fauna. Lots of “That’s unique!” going on here. I’m not sure if this one has both pros and cons. Some caterpillars are benign. Some inflict horrific health conditions. Some are to be especially tolerated for what they do later as moths and butterflies.

I’m no Lepidopterologist (I had to look that up…). I’m just putting this up for interest. It’s so easy to love the natural world that our dear Lord created:

  • “For what can be known about God is evident […], because God made it evident […]. Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made.” (Romans 1:19-20)

The Lord makes it ever so easy to walk with Him when out in the creation He created.


Meanwhile, me being me, I thought of my EDC when I saw the name “American Dagger”:

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This contraption is carried on the belt on the left side, just across from the appendix-carried Glock 19. The easy snap-in holster for the knife is attached to the paddle holster for the magazines, carried semi-horizontally for the quickest possible switch imnsho. The straight blade is 2.5″, just slightly longer than the American Dagger Caterpillar when it is full grown. The knife is upside down, if you will, as my left hand – weak hand – can grab it in what is already, then, an upside-up position for the hand straight out of the holster. Perfect.

The American Dagger Moth is quite benign, just like the caterpillar. The same goes for the Glock 19 and the knife. The knife is used all day long, in gardening, in opening letters and boxes. It’s a tool just like Glock is a tool. The caterpillar has spikes, tools that are useful in defense against unjust aggression.

Speaking of that, some say with a smile: “A minister with a gun?” finding this to be curiously humorous. When I mention that I’m also the police chaplain and that 2nd amendment capacities are prudent and moral, describing some of the situations one can and does get into accompanying officers, their exclamation turns into: “A minister with a gun!”, that is, no longer with a question mark, but with quiet admiration, nodding their heads in agreement.

Mind you, I’m not a law enforcement or any kind of officer. I don’t do that. But if someone’s actively pumping bullets into an officer, it’s entirely within the purview of the 2nd amendment for a citizen, a civilian, to exercise 2nd amendment capacities to protect a victim suffering from mortal unjust aggression wherein the imminent provision of death is actively in progress. One uses the least amount of force to repel that unjust aggression, whatever that least amount happens to be. It’s the last thing you would ever want to be involved in. It is what it is in this fallen world. Lest anyone think that there is such thing as unjust aggression at all, here’s just a few minutes with the great Kayleigh McEnany:

Our Lord has created the animals with tools for their defense.

The greatest of all prophets, John the Baptist, gave advice and encouragement to the law enforcement – even of occupying forces! – so that they too might be saved, not apart from their duties, but as they carry out their duties.

Our Lord Himself does not shy away from The Battle of The War. He also has the proper tools. And… and… He is the last one standing:

lion of the tribe of judah

A few scars to be sure in His hands and feet and side. He’s good with that. We thank Him for it. Amen.

Be the caterpillar, with great charity and goodness and kindness. But be the caterpillar. Our Lord expects it of you.

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Filed under Guns, Law enforcement, Nature

Capsaicin in one hand, pistol in other?

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At least that’s the way it looked to me. I’m probably wrong, right?

While driving in my own driveway – whether that’s still allowed by the thugs and buffoons – I noted that my good neighbor was out on her porch. I wanted to give her an update on the local state of affairs, that is, from literally thirty seconds previous. I’ve written about that here:

“Pablo Escobar” communicates “non-” threats to Fr George (as Dr Dolittle)

So, I walked over and she was happy to get an update. She immediately pointed out a creepy guy standing out front of a now defunct drug house, the SWAT style raid of which I was in on. I’m not saying that the “Pablo Escobar” incident is connected with this guy pictured above, but here’s the other creepy details besides what he might have in his hand:

  • I’m just after getting a “non-” threat at another […] house.
  • Creepy guy above – whatever of what he’s carrying – is S T A R I N G over at us. I mean, this is like a full thirty minutes. That’s really hard to do.
  • Super nervous, he’s surveilling the streets, like he’s up to no good. From that point, he can see the other entrances to the other […] house in one direction, see fully three other entrances to the other […] house in another direction, and all the way down to just about 100 yards away from the police station in another direction. And he’s forever glancing in those directions besides keeping up the S T A R I N G thing.
  • Finally, he walks towards us, with the neighbor’s vehicle in between us.
  • He hesitates, walks on their lawn behind the vehicle, stops, walks back out on the road, hesitates, gets closer, hesitates, walks directly in back of the vehicle on the neighbor’s driveway, at the doors, hesitates for like ten seconds, messing around with his shirt, finally walks back out on the street and comes in front of us.
  • I asked if he was looking for something. He said he was waiting for someone and then continued walking down the road, super hesitating the whole way, then stopping, undecided.
  • The owner of where he was suspiciously lurking drove by him, and that guy didn’t stop him to discuss if the place could be rented.
  • As he walked back ever so hesitatingly I told him that if he’s looking to speak to the owner of that dwelling, it’s too late, as it was just rented out that very morning. He was exasperated…. “Already! There’s no place to live around here!” But he could have asked the owner, who stopped in front of the dwelling, to see if anything else was available. He did not.
  • The S T A R I N G then continued. His glancing up to the entrances of the other […] house continued. We waited until he finally left.

I am going to defend my neighbors. They are like family to me.

  • On the one hand, what I think he was doing was, as a perhaps homeless guy… he was perhaps looking to break into that dwelling. He was walking round back when he wasn’t S T A R I N G.
  • On the other hand, if he was telling the truth, I’m guessing that he was a lookout for the other […] house mentioned in the link above, and the guy he was waiting for was the guy that I had been talking to, and who threatened me with the, you know, conditional “non”-threat. I mean, he was going to die of nervousness as he looked also at all the entrances to the other […] house. That would have been interesting if the other guy came over and they started firing. Things like that can catch your attention.

Meanwhile, resignations are coming in fast and furious, so to speak, at our tiniest of all tiny police departments: our great chief is gone, another great officer is gone, yet another great officer is gone. There’s a question mark over few who remain. The thing is, the thugs and buffoons know all this, and it’s making them a little bolder in all their cowardice.

  • God, help us!
  • Saint Michael, help us!
  • Guardian angels, help us!

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Filed under Drugs, Guns, Situational awareness

Practicing with half of my new WMD

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Best that could be done for that picture. That’s the inside of the threaded barrel for the Glock 19. The reason I got this entirely legal bit of gun hackery is that the barrel is longer, meaning heavier, meaning less flip, meaning greater accuracy, and meaning that there is more length of rifling (the spin you see in the picture), meaning greater accuracy.

It’s good for the holster. It’s still just fine for appendix OWB carry, as is my custom. Of course, this is not to say that gadgets will compensate for real practice and skill.

The problem is that I’m not practicing, and I’m not a natural, and therefore any skill sets I once had have gone by the wayside quite a bit. Ammo is WAY too expensive right now, not only because of COVID-19 and riots and defunding and such, but because it seems that the government has put on an order of some trillions of rounds, which basically makes the 2nd amendment a moot point.

So, shooting cold, trying to do Navy Seal times, my first magazine of 15 at 21 feet with the new threaded barrel came out like a bad case of acne, just one shot each time from a locked holster:

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Of course, all of those are entirely “kill shots”, even the lowest one, which in this target would totally rip the spine in two. Sorry to be so gruesome, but these are the FBI targets.

Then I tried a magazine worth of double-taps, as those are going to react differently with a longer barrel:

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The hits with markers are from a previous day out on the hermitage range. So, looks like there some over correction going on, until finally it was brought back in consistently.

Just for fun, some failure drills of two to the “body” and one to the “head” were put out with another couple of magazines, and that was it for the day. All in all I was quite pleased with the threaded, longer barrel. It’s after-market, but as far as I can see, it can be trusted. But I should practice. Maybe when ammo becomes available and also cheaper.

I was able to loot some more things from the hermitage. Always wonderful to be back at the hermitage. Always. Ah, the memories:

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Don’t think I’ve changed for the worse.

Don’t think I don’t do priestly apostolates. Some are so intense in their various aspects that I cannot cannot cannot write about them. I like to write. Writing helps me think about things. It gives people an opportunity to correct me, suggest things, etc.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Blessing guns after Mass, edition)

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Metadata on that picture is Sun, Jun 14, 2020 – 12:42 PM. That’s after Sunday Mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic church here in Andrews, N.C. This is just outside, next to the Guadalupe Shine, just before the blessing of the guns. Lilies always remind me instantly of Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception, because they are a reflection of the Star of David. She’s Jewish, by the way. So is Jesus, who said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” :-)

In the announcements after Mass I told everyone that because of a request by a husband and wife (who both carry!), I would be blessing any stop-the-threat tools anyone happened to have with them. I said that the blessing to be used, quite ancient, would be in Latin. I instructed that it had surely been used throughout the centuries by an untold number of military and law enforcement chaplains right around the world.

This isn’t a divine mandate to commit wrongful actions. No.

  • On the one hand, this is about encouraging the rightful engagement of the right to defend the innocent with the least amount of force needed to remove the threat to life and limb that is coming anyone’s way.
  • On the other hand, this is also about asking the good Lord for his protection of the victims and defenders.

As a famous general said: men may shoot bullets, but the Lord decides where they hit.

I am reminded of Saint John Paul II’s insistence that Ali Agca’s bullet was guided by the hand of Jesus’ good mom, and under a specific title – Our Lady of Fatima – so that the bullet just missed arteries and vital organs in such manner that he could be stitched back together and then, eventually, have to health to go to the prison of Agca and offer him forgiveness.

  • On the one hand, I was heartily thanked by many parishioners who presented themselves for the blessing of the stop-the-threat tools.
  • On the other hand, I was severely reprimanded by an elderly lady (perhaps in her 90s), who said that what I was doing with proceeding with such a blessing just now was totally unfair. She said that she was so very disappointed that I didn’t warn them all first, say, last weekend, so that they could make sure to bring all their own guns to get them blessed! Ha ha ha! I love it. I told her that we would be having a much more organized event in the future.

I’m thinking we’ll have to have plenty of law enforcement protection for this, wherever we hold this event (perhaps in honor of Saint Gabriel Possenti, patron saint of gunslingers), which will have to be thought out well. No chambered guns, no magazines in the guns. It’s not the people presenting their weapons that are a threat. No, no. The threat would be from the thugs and buffoons who think that they could therefore just walk in – not to get their weapons blessed – but to steal all the weapons of everyone else like taking candy from a baby.

And I’m guessing law enforcement of all kinds would also like their weapons blessed as many of them were likely to have participated in such blessings already, say, in a previous life in the military, asking by way of that blessing that such armaments only be used with justice and mercy, and that they themselves also have the good protection of our Lord Jesus as they carry out their duties. But that might have to be done on another date, at another location, at an unadvertised time. It is what it is.

Back to Jesus’ good mom. Her “magnificat” recounted in the Gospel of Luke, 1, is gleaned from the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. Here’s a snippet from the latter (sound familiar?):

  • The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
  • The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil.
  • The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
  • The LORD puts to death and gives life
  • He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.
  • The LORD makes poor and makes rich
  • He humbles, He also exalts.

It was little baby-still-inside-the-womb, Saint John the Baptist, who leaped in the womb of Saint Elizabeth his mother upon Mary’s greeting and Magnificat. Saint John, the greatest prophet of all time, gave advice to the occupying soldiers of his time, not condemning them, but encouraging them as soldiers (see Luke 3:14).

So, a flower for you, Mary, Mother of Divine Jesus, and relative of Saint John the Baptist. In fact, here are more flowers which I’ve been gathering in Coronavirus times for the Immaculate Conception: 

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Father George wants a WMD? Yes. So, more investigations on yours truly.

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I miss my hermitage range, a lot. It’s like a 4 1/2 to 5 hour round trip. What to do? There were things I could do there that I can’t elsewhere, such as with moving targets. I once had three plastic coffee buckets (breakfast blend, of course), swinging from different distances. But my favorite was this 1″x1″ by three foot stick swinging, the objective being to cut it in half while it was wildly swinging about 21 feet away:

I’ve been looking for another range close to Andrews, where I could just go at will in the early morning and shoot away.

Why? Well, I do carry in this infamous druggie town where we have murderers (beheadings, burnings, shootings, slashings), especially at the ready with civilian 2a rights as I accompany our law enforcement officers as their chaplain. I should be sharp in skill, wherein smooth is fast. I’m not a natural, so practice is essential. My dogs have been shot lots of times with pellet guns, and Shadow’s house had a 9 mm put through it. I had a visit the other day, but I’m not convinced 100% that it was the perp. He did have plenty of veiled threats, though he was trying to be really polite (as he scoped out the place?). Defense from unjust deadly and imminent aggression in progress is divine right, right?

I went up to the Sheriff’s Department and asked – as the Police Chaplain – if I could use their range at the Law Enforcement Training Center just down the road from the rectory. They were good with that altogether. When, was the question. Early morning, I responded, when no one would ever sign up and so I could just go, say, at dawn. There’s a problem, was the answer, someone who lives not far from there who likes to sleep in the morning.

Hmmm… What to do? I know! Get a suppressor. But in North Carolina that’s considered a weapon of mass destruction. Seriously. No, really. But there is a solution. It starts with an FFL putting in paperwork with the ATF, or BATFE. Great! More sets of fingerprints, more forms. That’s alright. I’m easy with complying to stuff like this.

The problem is that I have only two fingerprints, kind of, left on my hands out of the ten kind of available. The SBI here is good with that, however, and just put them through the first try. I guess they already have some “files” on me. ;-) See:

And then there’s this one (forgot about this):

Looks like I have an appointment to get this all started on Tuesday, one of those “Day Off” things.

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