Tag Archives: Guns

Death penalty for mass-shootings, “urgent resolve” solutions. But…

Colion Noir is pretty upset at stupidity. Don’t worry. He beeps out the language. It’s worth the watch. Back to Trump. He’s right: racism, bigotry and white supremacy are unacceptable. Besides the immediate death penalty statement, urgent resolve amounts to cyber surveillance, red flag “quick due process” confiscation and restrictions on violent video games. But all those solutions aren’t really solutions, even the quick death penalty thing as these guys often want suicide by cop anyway. Regarding cyber activity, perps tend to go dark when they are about to turn into “some people who do something.” What’s most important can also be what’s also most ignored, that is, follow-up on any “if you see something say something” reporting.

Some people say that we should leave everything up to law enforcement. You know the drill: when seconds count, it takes more seconds or minutes or longer for law enforcement to arrive if they’re urgently busy elsewhere. It took some six minutes for law enforcement to arrive in El Paso. It took 20 seconds for actual engagement of the target to take place in Dayton.

Let’s take the 20 seconds, example. Let’s say that that’s the case every time. Still, when a few seconds count, law enforcement might not be able to stop the threat until 20 to 30 seconds go by. Nine were killed and really very many injured in those tens of seconds.

It takes me about two seconds to accurately put in two to the body and one to the head (the latter being necessary in this case because the guy in Dayton was wearing body armor). Cut that down to one second, one to the head, if I saw the body armor and therefore skipped the two to the body and went straight to the head, you know, only to stop the threat. What it means is that the body count and injury count might have well been drastically much less, and that’s what counts, right? Even if he was wearing an armored mask (hypothetically), there’s no way he won’t be knocked out or totally disoriented by bullets to that mask, smashing the mask against his head.

But I wouldn’t have been there anyway. It’s a gun free zone, meaning a free-for-all killing zone by bad actors looking for soft targets in those gun-free zones.

/////// Motives? Pfft. Not knowing who we are in all reality before God, not having any inkling of how much God loves us. We don’t find out who we are until we are one, as creature in the presence of his Creator, with the Son of the Living God, Christ Jesus. If we don’t know who we are, mayhem breaks out in whatever way. Human life is cheapened with no love, no respect, no goodness, no kindness, no justice, no commandments. People are taught by their schools how to disrespect each other and how to get abortions. Life means nothing after all that. All that is left is aggression, hatred, entitlement to “power.” The shrieking is heard: “Damn thoughts and prayers and damn God too!”

2 Comments

Filed under Guns, Law enforcement, Terrorism

Gunslingery and Confession: perishable skills

img_20190625_150413~22049997291334744494..jpg

I’ve done about zilch target practice on the days off these past weeks what with not feeling well. Although going to the hermitage “range” and getting all set up, I just had no energy to pull the trigger. So, no. For me, that‘s feeling under the weather. I try not to let anything stop me from anything. Gunslinggery is a perishable skill and has to be kept up with. But, no. So, any skill sets have faded.

The last time I seriously threw out some bullets, say, a month ago, I had practiced what’s also called “the failure drill” of two to the body one to the head out 21 feet with a 6″x10″ “body” and 2″x4″ “head.” The anomalous best I had gotten down to 1.1 seconds from the holster, but maybe not accurate (I hadn’t kept up with marking the target). Anomalous means nothing to do with reality, btw.

This time, catching up again – and not yet fully recovered from feeling terribly under the weather which was already bad – I got 1.86 seconds with accuracy, twice, from the holster. But even those times are anomalous, as it’s usually a bit slower than that, in the 2.25″ range. Anywhere under 2 seconds is almost guaranteed to be faster than any urgent mortal threat being carried out as criminals usually aren’t so well practiced.

As someone said, if you want to know where you’re really at, do it ten times in a row all under time with a hundred percent accuracy each time. So, not in this life for me I don’t think. I’ve never done anything like that, at least so far. At least I had a couple of good 1.86 times. Our special operators and agents must do it 100% of the time.

But I did get a 96% (one bullet slightly stray of my reduced tiny targets) on the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Course. But I was  also DQ’d for all that by edging over-time on a stage or two of that seven stage course. And it wasn’t cold barrel. I was happy to be back again.


Confession: If you’ve been away from Confession for a while, you know that that’s also a perishable skill.

A person who goes to Confession frequently can develop an accurate, informed conscience that is devoid of scrupulosity but which takes care to avoid sin. Such as person more easily sees sin for what it is in all its ugly, selfish, arrogant, entitled reality because of being good friends with the Standard of Goodness and Kindness and Truth, Jesus Himself.

A person who doesn’t go to Confession, who’s been away for a long time, tends to think that they have no sin, that they are good people, that they don’t need any mercy, any forgiveness, that they are just fine with the type of life they have chosen, congratulating themselves that what they do “makes up for” not being good with God in the way Jesus indicated to the Apostles of His own Church, because, you know, they are good with God because they think that they do nice stuff, reciting that nice stuff for all to hear. But not everyone who says, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. People can be hypocrites.

It’s true that some who go to Confession do so for hypocritical reasons, as if this chance to be forgiven gives them a right to sin, but this is a sin against the Holy Spirit. It is a sin of despair. It says that one doesn’t want to be forgiven.

To get back to the practice of Confession, to pick up off the charts skill sets once again, one need only… go to Confession. Just do it. It brings great happiness. It lifts burdens. It is beautiful to say sorry to Jesus through the Church, the Body of Christ in the way Jesus had this done, being forgiven by God and neighbor – via the priest ordained for this purpose – simultaneously.

And then one has the peace of being in humble thanksgiving before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, whereby one’s life is once again on target with all God-speed, aimed at heaven.


And if anyone thinks that this is an inappropriate analogy, just remember that Jesus Himself said that those who go to heaven are those who take heaven by force, by violence.

That violence, by God’s grace, is being crucified to the world, the flesh and the devil so as to live for Jesus, for goodness and kindness and truth, that is, by Jesus’ goodness and kindness and truth. It’s all Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.


If you carry, practice often. Be frosty. Be edgy. Know how to deescalate situations. Know how to avoid situations.

Go to Confession regularly. This isn’t about us being merely exteriorly good as if that were something God appreciates. No. Saul kept the law exteriorly but interiorly carried hatred. Saint Paul, instead, was brought to understand that this was all a loss compared to keeping the law because one carries God’s love. That love, God’s love, only comes from God. That’s the renewal of sanctifying grace we receive with the absolution.

After Confession one isn’t to congratulate oneself for being good (which only sets one up for a fall, trusting in one’s strength one doesn’t have of oneself), but one is instead to be in humble thanksgiving before Jesus, walking with Jesus, rejoicing to walk with Jesus.

2 Comments

Filed under Confession, Day Off, Guns, Missionaries of Mercy

Creepy guy pulling a gun at the parish

img_20190531_213328~2586261106927710063..jpg

As I’ve mentioned the other day, there was a car in the upper back parking lot rather aggressively parked up against my car and which was sporting all sorts of logistical red flags. I moved my car just a bit so that I was fully in back of him, just to the side a bit, as it creeped me out that he was just a few inches away.  The only picture take-away I thought I had was the strange licence plate. The window reflections obscured the inside of the car from the back (see above), or so I thought, until just now, a few days later, when I ran the picture through some brightness and contrast tweaking. Unfortunately, the picture is still super grainy and splotchy with reflections of light from the street lights and my headlights (see below).

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing

The driver has flipped himself around in the driver seat and is looking back. It looks like there may be a possibility that he is brandishing a pistol. Of course, I’m NOT, NOT, NOT accusing anyone of anything. It just looks like his brandishing and aiming a pistol might be a good possibility in conjunction with multiple and serious red flags that were presenting at the same time. Again, I realize that the picture is grainy and is of poor quality. Did I say I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything? The red edits on the same picture below might help you you to see what’s going on. I already knew he was wearing a hat when I walked up to my car from another angle, from which angle, by the way, I could clearly see into the car and he appeared to be the only person in the car.

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing indications

When someone holds a pistol in your direction, the only thing to be seen is the tiny end of the barrel and perhaps a bit of the slide. The rest is covered by, in this case, two hands. Even though he’s aiming directly at me, I doubt he would hit me. The angles of the windows would throw any bullets off by some inches. Or one hopes so. Even though I couldn’t consciously see the gun, I’m guessing my brain could pick this up. It’s part of situational awareness to pay attention to heightened attention, keeping one “left of bang” as they say.

I’m guessing that his brandishing is what was making him so overconfident. I’m guessing he was thinking that I could see his gun. I did not see his gun until now. He saw that I wasn’t responding in kind. He was waiting for something to happen, baiting, threatening. By this point, even without seeing the gun, I was convinced that he was up to no good because of all the red flags:

  • In an entirely empty campus with fully three different parking lots, he had parked next to my car within seconds of my arrival (but after I had quickly gone to check on the doors on campus), and he parked so close to my car (in the opposite direction) that he was purposely blocking the use of both passenger doors. Also, that’s a difficult parking lot to drive into, being so steep that one’s tires will spin. The other parking lots are paved and wide open. He didn’t scrape the paint off my car for being so close, but, just to say, it was really close, entirely creepy.
  • He was wearing a hat, at night, in his car, partially blocking sight of his face.
  • There was no one else that I could see in the car when I walked up to mine, except that a couple of minutes into this incident I did see a mop of hair appear for a fraction of a second at the bottom of the passenger window, and then violently go down again. This would explain why the use of the passenger door was blocked. Maybe that person is shy. Maybe that’s his kid who was playing hide and seek. Maybe that’s a partner in crime. Maybe that’s just a wig he wears when committing crimes and he was getting ready to put it on. Maybe that’s a victim of human trafficking.

Had I seen the gun, I would have had to hypothesize that this was about human trafficking and this was effectively a kidnapped hostage. I’m guessing he thought I was the buyer as I had obviously come up coincidentally at a prearranged time before whoever the real buyer is could do so. But I wasn’t producing any cash. Perhaps he just thought I was having second thoughts, or wasn’t convinced he wasn’t law enforcement. Greed is what would keep him around for so long. This was a stand-off that went on for a good eight minutes. I don’t know the price of what I’m guessing is a child, but I’m still guessing that he was expecting many tens of thousands of dollars. For that kind of money, people risk going to prison for a long time, even for life, and even for death in this capital punishment state. People also risk going to hell for eternity.

Someone mocked me later for not being “welcoming.” Sigh. Bad things do happen. Just down the way from the parish, in the next parish over, there was a beheading just the other day. I know the EMT who attended that incident.

Since I didn’t know about the gun yet, but because of all the red flags, I thought it best to just try to move this person along by playing loud music and having the bright headlights shining on him, drawing attention of whatever of the rest of the town that cared to look to see what the mayhem was all about. He endured eight minutes of this. I guess he really wanted money or whatever the deal was supposed to be. He finally left.

1 Comment

Filed under Guns, Law enforcement

“Day Off” at the hermitage

img_20190521_155557~22328931072830064444..jpg

img_20190521_172306~2-17681136628144419326..jpgWhat that means is three shots (2 body, one head, pictured below according to the SEALs measurements 21 feet out) in 0.26 seconds starting at 1.14 seconds starting out of a locked holster. So, 0.03 hundredths of a second faster than last week. Another group came in 1.25 seconds (which group may have had the first shot out in less than a second from a locked holster), but I don’t want to claim that group as validated as I hadn’t marked previous shots on the paper and couldn’t be sure if all three were precisely accurate. Mind you, that’s the flukey best. I’m NOT that good. Not at all.

Meanwhile, a good chat was had with the neighbors to the hermitage about the priesthood. They suffer for priests. They pray for priests. They are in solidarity with priests. Such a good crowd. Meanwhile, we spoke of a particular priest. They are an inspiration. And besides, they made a delicious meal, complete with monster cookies and ice cream. I am unworthy.

Meanwhile, having had a good chat with a priest writing this next week’s guest post for These Stone Walls, I read his revision up in the hermitage itself, as was only fitting, and responded again. Awesome. He touched the Heart of Jesus for us all.

Meanwhile, I spoke with another priest, the one whose case I brought to Pope Francis. He’s doing extraordinarily well. It’s the stuff of the lives of the saints. What a great joy. What a great joy.

Meanwhile, conversation was had about yet another priest who has a case parallel to the one whose case I brought to Pope Francis. He’s an amazing, faithful, devout priest – an excellent faithful Thomist – now nailed to the cross, for years. Plotting about how to go about things to be of assistance was wrought.

Meanwhile, logistics errands for the neighbors to mechanics and banks were accomplished, at the end of which…

Meanwhile, I finally spoke with… […] It is such a blessing to be able to tap into first hand wisdom of the best of the best of the best. A good “Day Off.”

Oh, and, of course, tons of pictures of flowers for the Immaculate Conception were taken. That’s the undisputed best part of a “Day Off”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Off, Guns, Priesthood

Scars of mistrust after being shot? Me, Shadow-dog, Laudie-dog, Frankie-dog.

SHADOW-DOG: I’m getting to know how to use my phone-camera with a video option. I held up the phone, a small black object, in front of my face and aimed it at Shadow-dog. As you can see in the video, he has to do a double-take, not believing what he is seeing. He then ran around the fence and right up to me to be sure that I was still the same old me, and was not malicious against him, trusting that it just can’t be that I would betray him, trusting that he can still be absolutely loyal to me. But he had to make sure, immediately. “We’re still friends, right?” Yes, Shadow-dog, we’re still a team. We still work together. We’re still friends. We’ll still stand up for each other. Trust is still the only way.

Shadow-dog has never been suspicious of me. His reaction to the camera, the small black object in my hands, instantly brought to my mind that – I had forgotten – he’s been shot at with a pellet gun a couple of times…

His fur is so thick that it didn’t do much damage, just mashing the skin into a glob and making the fur stand straight out at that spot for, say, about four months. But that image of someone with a black object in their hands held up to their face and pointing it at him is an image that is obviously frozen in his memory.

He absolutely just could not believe that I would be doing the same thing with him, and he had to know the truth of the matter… immediately. Having ascertained the truth of the friendship and team effort, the bond was all the closer between us.

FRANKIE-DOG: You’ll remember my neighbor’s dog getting shot with a pellet gun in the shoulder. Had Frankie-dog had his leg forward it would have been a kill shot to the heart. It was a hunting pellet. It’s inoperable. They tried. An ex-ray shows it clearly in the shoulder bones. Here’s Frankie-dog posing for a picture a week after the operation:

You can read about that episode in the neighborhood: Shooting my neighbor’s dog. Frankie-dog had a hard life in the past but is now ultra-super-pampered by his new owner. He took this all in stride though he was in bad pain for quite a while. Before this he was exclusively an outside dog as he had under his previous owner suffered so much inside a house and refused to go inside another house, ever. But now his bonds of trust with his new owner are such that he has braved to also go inside at night. Gooood doggie!

LAUDIE-DOG: When Laudie-dog first adopted me some seven years ago, she appeared to have been shot between the shoulder blades perhaps a month previously with bird shot of a .410 shotgun. That made her pretty timid. She’s such a gentle dog. She had a bit of mange and was severely flea-bitten. With some care and lots of love she got over all that pretty quickly. Having been reduced to starvation when she had been so abused, she became a voracious eater until this day, happy as ever. She’s risked her life to defend me any number of times over against bears and wolves and a panther. The latter happened at night. I had seen it close up twice previously. Laudie-dog and I are, to say the least, good friends and a team. She’s been with me so long that she doesn’t have to do a double-take with me even after getting shot by someone… again…

img_20190426_083931~27475906460254589219..jpg

Laudie-dog was shot in the neck, just in the back of her skull, again, this time by a pellet gun. Fortunately, she has super-thick fur, a kind of mane around her neck, and of course, really loose neck skin. But the skin was all mashed up and ripped to the side and temporarily infected. The wound is healed over now. It was tender for a while, as the slightest whimpers she would emit upon inspection of the wound attested. The vets say she’s just fine. Here is is healing up…

img_20190518_074436~23164732643766867617..jpg

Another angle:

img_20190518_074424~29043985819173123752..jpg

Considering that, I’m guessing this is the kind of hunting round that was used:

pellet gun brass ammo hunting

That’s what the x-ray shows for the pellet buried in the shoulder of Frankie-dog.

Both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog got a working over by the Christian Veterinarians Mission up in Graham County the other day, which was composed of Dr Joe and many veterinarian students. Both Shadow and Laudie got their parvo and rabies shots and another combo-shot for seven other things, and a blood draw for heart worms. They’re both in great shape. Both happy happy doggies.

But what if a human being gets shot at? Is there trust to be had after that?

I’ve been shot at in my life, perhaps as much as some other non-military, non-law-enforcement civilians:

  • I honestly don’t know how many times I was shot at and hit by a BB gun as a kid.
  • I was shot at many times and hit once smack in the middle of my forehead with a pellet gun as a kid. I had to pry out the projectile from being embedded in my forehead.
  • When I was twelve or thirteen my family was shot at by a crowd armed with 12 gauge shot guns one particular day. We were pretty far away, with the BBs showering the trees around us, first up high, but then right at us, with the BBs hitting us, but not drawing blood, though one hitting my mom’s neck might have drawn a little blood.
  • Perhaps on three different occasions as a teenager I was shot at exactly 300 yards out by a .22 rifle, with bullets whizzing by all around me. That I wasn’t hit was accidental. It’s not that the shooter didn’t try. The proximity of a bullet whizzing by your ears is unmistakable also as to distance. Too close! On each occasion the entire barrel magazine was emptied out against me, 15 bullets each time. Yes, I know what type of gun.
  • A sniper guy sent out a bullet which, because of instantaneous circumstances, just missed me. It would have gotten me smack in the heart. This was after I was ordained a priest and was studying in Rome.
  • At the hermitage on a number of occasions a hunting rifle similar to a .30-06 / 7.62×63, with a handful of rounds each time. I was out in an opening of the forest and the shooter was hidden in the forest on the ridge behind me. He could see me. I couldn’t see him. There was no escape. He had no intention of hitting me, just scaring me. I just don’t get scared in such situations.

That’s it, so far. It’s a good idea never to trust any fallen human being because, as it is, all human beings are fallen. We can, however, trust in Jesus. After all, look at His track record. Jesus entrusted Himself to us. Look at what we did. Look at how He still entrusts Himself to us. We can learn to trust Him, that He wants what’s best for us, that He wants to get us to heaven. Jesus, I trust in you.

3 Comments

Filed under Dogs, Guns, Jesus

Mothers Day in Appalachia [humor]

img_20190508_184922~26095588766055919961..jpg

This week’s regional mountain newspaper had a full page add at the end of the first section with a Happy Mothers Day! theme, with the most pictured product for moms being guns. Yikes! Those are all smallish guns, even the 48 is lighter than the 19. But that doesn’t mean they are any less lethal. Kind of humorous, but not.

Giving these as a gift? Hmm. No. Not unless mom is already a gunslinger and specifically wants this or that gun for carry. If she’s not a gunslinger already, then this would be a much bigger deal than the tote bags, scented candles and coffee mugs also advertised.

There’s the transfer from the giver to mom, which is a big deal itself in some places. Then, to conceal carry, there’s the qualification and the course, which can be as expensive as the gun, by the way. There’s the fingerprinting which itself can be problematic if one is older. Then there can be what amounts to months of local background checks, and thorough investigations by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other lengthy investigations, including from your physician and any care facilities mom may have ever in her life been checked into. Does mom want to do that? Good for her if she does, so that she can protect her kids and herself all the better.

But just remember, this is a lifestyle, meaning that you have to study the law, your local statutes, county statutes, state law, federal law, all of which is always in a state of flux.

You have to study deescalation, learn to live with situational awareness, practice the avoidance of problems. It means having a good psychology, a kind of unflappableness, the ability to remain calm even when adrenaline is pumping in critical incidents.

One has to know the best ammo for carry (hint: not FMJ), and how to carry and how to carry oneself and why. One’s wardrobe choices may have to radically change.

Importantly, one must get range time, regularly, making sure fundamentals of grip and stance and trigger pull are down cold always, making sure one is quick and agile, instead of being so slow as to invite an aggressor to just take your gun and shoot you and the kids with it. Having said that, it can be done, but mom must be a willing and enthusiastic participant, occasionally even going to scenario training, etc.

Also, just to say, the gift giver to mom has to follow up with literally tons of ammo as the years click by. And then there’s the gun safe, and holsters, and… and… So, don’t think you’re just giving a gun. This is an ongoing investment in life.

7 Comments

Filed under Guns, Humor

BBs / pellets vs East Atlanta school kids: those will turn into bullets

pellets

“Ten Georgia elementary school students were recovering from non-life-threatening injuries on Thursday after being shot by a BB or pellet gun while playing outside, officials said.”

That’s East of Atlanta. People come up from that area to the parish here in Western North Carolina just about every weekend, which makes it feel close to home.

I recall Frankie-dog across the street getting shot with a pellet gun. He had to get surgery but the pellet couldn’t be removed, but there’s a clear picture of it on the x-ray.

pellet gun

The thing is, people who can shoot dogs just to do it can shoot people just to do it. The stats reflect a clockwork dynamic. No connection here, obviously, what with the geography. But what I’m saying for those in East Atlanta is this: Look for someone shoots animals with pellet guns and surely you’ll have your school shooter. Do it now. It’ll go from BBs / pellets to bullets soon enough.

I myself know what it’s like to be shot with a pellet gun, a gas-powered pistol, when I was a little kid, smack in the middle of my forehead. I had to pry it out. Not a pleasant experience. Some years later, the same guy shot at me with a .22 long rifle. Yep.

Also, by the way, and just to say, pellet guns look like real guns.

Also, by the way, and just to say, pellet guns are real guns. They can kill humans. It depends where they hit and the circumstances, but, yes, they can kill.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Terrorism

Day Off and the Chrism Mass: Show of Force Prevention

img_20190416_091416~23409485296186539941..jpg

It’s Holy Week. Busiest days ever for a priest. Apologies to those sending questions etc.

Tuesday saw well over 400 miles clocked on Sassy the Subaru Forester, going from Andrews to the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral in Charlotte. The priests renewed their promises at Mass, the Sacred Chrism and the Oils of Catechumens and of the Infirm were blessed. There was a meal for the priests afterward. Artwork and best wishes by the children of the Cathedral were at all the places for the priests. This one was at my place:

img_20190417_085924~21796119206031763119..jpg

Of course, vocations are from Jesus!

img_20190417_085924~36282671864333269891..jpg

Everything about the day was enjoyable, well, except for something rather unexpected, rather out of the ordinary show of force with armed security, which is always done with the motivation of prevention. The security guy, in full uniform and a heavily decked out duty belt followed the bishop and his two deacons for the procession in and then out. So, I guess, this was more of a bodyguard thing.

What I say here is NOT a criticism, not in the least. I don’t know the circumstances. I’m guessing that if there was a credible and imminent threat, either the Mass would have been cancelled or there would have been support from “normal” law enforcement, with a couple of squad cars out front, etc. Perhaps there were some other undercover guys as at, for instance, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

The Bishop’s homily was rather abbreviated. And then, also out of character, he only appeared for perhaps one minute at the meal afterward to do the blessing. Again, I don’t know the circumstances.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The policy of the diocese, surely to appease insurance companies, is that there can be no officially mandated armed presence for church services on any campus of the diocese. Let’s stare at that:

“No officially mandated armed presence…”

In other words, volunteers can volunteer, and it’s up to the priest to assess a volunteer’s viability on any number of levels and in all sorts of ways, but nothing that the priest says can make anything with weapons that which is expected of anyone for any reason ever. Fine. In the end, the policy is a non-policy. It just facilitates attorneys protecting whoever.

I’m guessing that this security guy at the Chrism Mass was told where he was to be and even that he was to be uniformed, but that any weapons were totally his option.

I had a good chat with him ranging from his provenance (that was interesting), a particular “group” to which he belongs (that was interesting).

During the hundreds of miles long trip there was plenty of time to mull things, that is, about this and a number of other issues, always enjoyable speeding by the mountain scenery.

But I wanted more time to mull things over. The Day Off suggested the option of gun-slinging. A detour was made to the neighbors to the hermitage. As usual, some FBI and FAM tactical pistol courses were accomplished.

I should volunteer to be a kind of security secretary to the Bishop, you know, with some optional security options optionally being put into play, optionally, of course, but surely in a more low-key manner. But for now, just to say, in support:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

After the tactical pistol courses – which afford time for prayer for the bishops and priests during target set-up and replacement – it was then time for discussion with the neighbors to the hermitage. The topic above went on for hours. It is quite a bit to take in.

We discussed undercover as opposed to open show of force. Even at Saint Peter’s in Rome, the top operator guys are dressed in tuxedos so as to be more low key.

We ended by praying for the security of the Bishop, and that the Lord continues to give him the grace and strength he needs each day (to quote the card pictured above). Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

To repeat: we don’t know the circumstances of the preventative show of force, and this is no criticism. Far from it. The whole “ounce” “pound” thing is very wise. Perhaps this is a paradigm for the diocese in hopes of saving lives amidst so many attacks on churches.

Yes, there is a picture of a glorious cross pictured at the top of this post in that card made by a child. “Out of the mouths of babes” and all that… And, yes, Our Lord did say, “As the Master, so the disciple.” Yes.

But defense of the innocent is a good thing. I’m sure there will be debate…

4 Comments

Filed under Day Off, Guns, Law enforcement, Priesthood, Terrorism

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Day Off: Seamless Garment edition)

img_20190409_163558~2-1879486600691293112..jpg

Driving into the yard of the neighbors to the hermitage was easy on such a dark and cloudy, dangerously stormy day, illuminated as all things were by the pear tree blossoms. An Immaculate Conception statue looks upon the scene from next to a nearby rosebush. Lightning also brought some light, accompanied with great audio: thunder! This (at the time) real-time video was provided by the neighbor as to what was happening just down the mountain:

Hail! Some were to be seen walking about confused, snow-shovels in hand. Floods were all around, with water just about up to the floorboards of Sassy the Subaru Forester. Cars were in the ditch, emergency vehicles (fire engines, law enforcement, ambulances, tow-trucks) everywhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, continuing up the ridge, prayers were said for the Bishop and priests of the diocese. And behold, one other lone flower for the Immaculate Conception was to be seen. I say it’s for her because it’s precisely here where it is somehow necessary to pray the Angelus and other Marian prayers. This necessity has been going on for seven years.

img_20190409_131600~36533247857990982488..jpg


But then it was time for other day off activities. Up went a target at seven yards away including the “A” body-box (8″ tall by 6″ wide) and a head-box (2″ tall by 4″ wide). This was for the supposed stage 4 of a surely outdated SEALs tactical pistol course, namely:

  • Two to the “body”, one to the “head” equal to or less than two seconds from a holster. My holster is “locked”, so that slows me down. Best was slow: 2.19 secs. My best ever was, I think, down in the 1.70s and 1.60s range.

It’s a perishable skill. Practice is needed. The extremely restrictive European Union rules limit ammo to 1000 rounds a year per person. Maybe I need more than that because I’m such a terribly bad shot. But more realistically, making sure that people don’t practice much makes people within the legal parameters dangerous.

After that drill, the pre-2001 Fed. Air Marshal course went up. 100% accurate and under-time for five stages, but DQ for being slightly but predictably overtime on a couple of other stages. Accuracy trumps quick every time however. It’s fun to shave off hundredths of seconds. But those other two stages need separate work.

After that, it was time to empty out a partially emptied mag at the series of swinging plastic coffee buckets. Starting to get used to wildly moving small targets.


 

Then it was dinner time at the neighbors with spiritual discussions lasting hours. Always so enjoyable. This time, the major topic was the cloak of our Lord for which the soldiers cast lots, being that it was of super-high-quality, being woven from top to bottom throughout. This was the garment that Jesus’ good mom would have made for Him, not the resplendent, gorgeous apparel that Herod had mockingly put on Him to send Him back to Pilate.


Two Notes on the Seamless Garment: 

  • There is a position in heretical moral theology blasphemously called the Seamless Garment, which has it stopping the threat of a murderous unjust aggressor in the defense of the innocent (which is actually a contribution to the virtue of justice) is equivalent to murdering the innocent (which is always an evil and admits of no excuse): a so-called “seamless garment.” No. They are not the same.
  • Mary, the true Woman of Genesis 3:15, is the “Mother of All the Living,” the title (in bad translation) that Adam tried to give his wife. Fail. Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer is, in good translation, the “Mother of the Entire Living-One,” what Saint Paul calls the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head of that Body and we as the members of that Body. How appropriate that the garment for this one Body of Christ be woven as a seamless garment. Good call, Mary. You are Jesus’ good mom, and ours.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Off, Flores, Guns

Have you met Howard? (In training?) Guns and the timid don’t mix.

The above video is illustrative of how criminals deal with those who have guns but are not adept at using them or psychologically or spiritually ready to use such stop-the-threat-tools. Those criminals will wipe the floor with you, and, unless someone else stops them as in the video above, they’ll just take your gun and shoot you with it.

This priest sometimes writes posts about guns on this blog. This could give people who are NOT ready to use guns the impression that they can do it: “If Father George can do it, we can too!” Why is that? Because I’m a priest?

I wrote about what the Department of Homeland Security says about this:

DHS Active Shooter Preparedness Program for churches

Added to that was the following comment of mine. In case someone missed it I’ll put it up again here. It’s desperately important for everyone’s safety:

I would NOT like to see parishioners participating in this program who have a concealed carry permit but who, other than their first qualification have never fired their stop-the-threat-tool, or have only rarely done so. I can see it now: fumbling around in a purse or ultra-complicated safety holster and with all sorts of unnecessary safeties employed on the gun itself, trying to figure out how to use for the first time red-dot sights or lasers with all their switches or not (depending), with batteries being useful or dead, with zero scenario training, zero indicator awareness, zero situational awareness, and therefore little possibility of recognizing and isolating a target and therefore being caught off guard with a lack of confidence and therefore way too much hesitation and liability to foggy confusion, and therefore with an increased possibility of causing friendly fire casualties.

I’m afraid someone is going to shoot their own foot.

Or even worse, meet Howard and not have the foggiest idea of how to deal with him.

1 Comment

Filed under Guns, Terrorism

Choosing targets for targeted churches The rule is: It’s not about you

img_20190403_080529~23123018086952350705..jpg

All churches, because they are soft targets, are targets. They have been for years. Cowards abound. They only hit soft targets.

Got a security team? Do they practice? Not really? Why is that?

In my experience, easy is the only way. No one is going to do something difficult.

Materials needed:

  • A political-election-sign-pigtail-wire carried by, say, Lowes. I get them by the handful since, with my bad aim, I’ll sometimes cut a wire with a bullet, usually and unhelpfully in the loop holding up the plate.
  • Dessert foam plate (7″), the flat bottom of which is about the width of the inside bottle of the QIT 97-99 targets, about the size of the “stop the threat box” for eyes and forehead. For example, here’s a donated 4″ splatter target pasted over the plate, useful if you have the target out at 75 feet. I guess. I haven’t used them.

img_20190405_080703~27901751805690327262..jpg

By the way and just to say, terrorist active shooter idiots are now much more commonly using body armor. Head shots are that four inch box. That’s it. I measured it out putting a ruler to my own face in a mirror. Even more, the box is half that height, only two inches.

Anyway, assembly and placement, not counting the pacing distances is five seconds:

  • Slip the plate into the top pigtail loop. I put it in at an angle (as seen above) so as not to interfere with the virtual vertical inside bottle. (3ss)
  • Pace out the distance for the stage of the course you’re doing.
  • Poke the wire into the ground, which doesn’t have to be level. (2ss)

img_20190403_080609~2903190082104293000..jpg

The rule is: If it’s too difficult, you’re not going to do it. The pig-tailed plate is sooo easy.

Massive paper targets or pre-printed on cardboard QIT targets still need to be attached to frames that need constructing (you’re really gonna do that?) and transporting (you gotta truck, right?) and then lugging and placing on a flat surface (I don’t have a flat surface on the ridge) and then removing them afterward and then retransporting them and then storing them (you’re gonna get away with storing them?).

THAT ain’t a gonna happen more than a couple times at the most, even for the most enthusiastic, and then you’ll just give up on range work. Not good. So, forget big targets. They are harmful in every way. If you shoot with a massive target, you’ll not stop the threat from any real target and you’ll very likely endanger the very ones you’re trying to protect.

The rule is: Aim small, shoot small.

This makes you more accurate, which makes you more safe regarding those you are trying to protect in any critical incident.

The rule is: practice under pressure.

  • Use a timer, use small targets, and use variable staged courses that are quick.
  • Use courses that make you run, go prostrate, kneel, stand, that get the adrenaline going, that make you change out mags with some left and when all is empty (“tactical” and “combat”).
  • Use courses that make you use only your strong hand, only your weak hand, make you change hands mid-stage, and also both hands.

Think about it. You’re in close quarters with lots of people. When an active shooter terrorist idiot opens fire, you’ll have, at most, a three second grace period, so to speak, that is, if you’re not hit while he’s shooting as fast as he can. The utterly unexpected and very loud noise will make people shy away from the perp, giving you a clear shot, but only for those three seconds. You’ll not have more time than that. No matter what you say and practice, people may still rush the perp at risk to themselves so as to attempt to stop the threat, perhaps, with likely many getting killed by this method. And they won’t hear your shots, however loud, as adrenaline will already have blocked their senses. But you don’t want them to rush into the line of fire and so you are the one to stop the threat even before that reaction of theirs could possibly take place. It’ll all be over before they can react.

The rule is:

  • You have to be the one who’s not surprised.
  • You have to be the one at the ready.
  • You have to be the one who is a bit edgy.
  • You have to be the one with situational awareness.
  • You have to be the one who practices all the time.
  • You have to be the one who makes it easy for yourself to practice by using, say, the targets recommended above.

The rule is:

  • It’s not about you. If it’s not about service to others out of love of God and neighbor, you’ll freeze, you’ll run, you’ll hide, but you won’t fight. You’ll let it happen.

We’re so weak and so don’t want to be bothered that we’ll let difficult targets get in the way. Do everyone a favor, make your targets super inexpensive, super easy to set up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Situational awareness, Terrorism

Day Off: guns & spiritual conversations – Jesus bragging on His mother in hell

img_20190402_182016~22481415540319718677..jpg

Not having bought any ammo since, I think, sometime in late 2018, the “long-way” was taken to the hermitage, passing by a number of Walmarts with variously stocked ammo desks, some desk managers being more on top of things than others. Then, after hitting the UPS Store, it was up and up and up “the mountain.” BTW, can you spot the huge cross made out of I-beams partially hidden by the trees towering above the driveway in the picture above? The neighbor to the hermitage is a master welder.

After a couple of hours of quiet time – a day off after all – energy returned, prayers were said, protection of angels was requested, targets went up, mags were loaded, timers were set, “ears” were adjusted, adrenaline was forced, trigger fingers, left and right, were steadied, concentration was narrowed…

The first course consisted of some six stages of drills, supposedly of a SEAL team, surely dumbed down and from “back-in-the-day.” Here’s a picture of the first stage, just three yards out, from cover/holstered, with an 8 1/2 x 11 target of the usual “body” (inside the two vertical lines: 5:3/4″ x 10:1/2″) and “head” (consisting of a 2″ x 4″ box at the top, an eye-forehead shot instantly “stopping the threat”). The first stage is just one shot from holster to the “head” ≤ 1.5 seconds. Dunno why, but this time I was much more accurate and quick for all stages of all courses, coming in mostly (way) under time and with smaller more centered patterns, mostly inside the “inside bottle” representing the spinal cord. Prayers for priests and the bishop while moving, marking, changing out targets.

img_20190402_151302~25961438530879850517..jpg

The target then moves further away for different stages until 75 feet away up the ridge.

DIGRESSION: Someone had given me some massively oversized targets (23″ x 35″), I guess to poke fun at my aim, the comment surely being that I’m not able to hit the side of a barn… from inside the barn! I took those dozen or so roll of wallpaper-esque targets just to see if there was anything superimposed. Nope. Having ascertained that, those targets will now go back to the giver. As of a couple years, the most recent policy really is no gifts from intel, ever, zip, zero, zilch… can’t happen. I’m guessing the targets are for zeroing in rifle scopes, say, from a mile out. But I’m not a sniper. I don’t own or use rifles. Not my thing. With a Glock, as the saying goes, aim small, shoot small.

After that, it was time for an FBI course with reduced QIT 97-99 inside bottle targets (that partial detail fitting on legal paper), and then the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal courses (that target consisting of foam dessert plates propped up by pigtail wires), and then some swinging breakfast blend plastic coffee buckets on ropes and filled with dirt (out to about 15 yards), totaling for day I’m guessing about 175 bullets. Not much, but enough. It was a good day for review and keeping edgy.

With the Glock thoroughly cleaned and oiled and the target-ammo changed out for appropriate carry-ammo, I was eager to go to the neighbors of the hermitage. That’s when the real happiness of the day began.

The spiritual conversations after plinking are becoming a thing, as it were, something that’s expected and to which we all look forward. We spoke of judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, witnessing to the point of martyrdom, suffering, angels, Jesus, our dearest Heavenly Father, the state of the Church, the state of our souls, the patience of our Lord with us sinners, and being happy for Jesus that after all He has gone through for us, He is now in heaven with our Heavenly Father.

But most of all – at length – we spoke about our Blessed Mother, Jesus’ good mom, about what she went though in this world, what with her purity of heart and agility of soul and clear vision confronting this fallen world, how it is that she was in solidarity with her Divine Son Jesus as He was tortured to death right in front of her. If recorded, these conversations would be good material for an ongoing series of blog posts.

A repeat-topic about our Lady came up, you know, which of the 14 Stations of the Cross would be most – how to say? –  involving to Jesus. The neighbor said it would surely be the meeting with His mother. I agreed, but in another way, saying that it may well be when Jesus is taken down from the cross and put in the arms of His blessed mother.

Aquinas says that the divinity of Jesus never left His body even when that body died and He, with His soul, descended to hell to preach to the fallen spirits. It struck me then, devastated as He would be in His soul that His mother was so devastated holding His dead body, that He would be bragging on His mother to the fallen spirits: “Look at her! She’s the mother-warrior who crushes you, Satan, under her heel. She’s remained faithful in the most adverse circumstances, all of hell attacking. You have failed! She has won souls for heaven!” These are the words, so full of love, which will torture those fallen spirits, so full of hate, for eternity.

Much better to have our souls in order, frequenting the Sacraments, to go to heaven and rejoice to be happy that, after all they went through in this world for us, both Jesus and our Blessed Mother are there.

2 Comments

Filed under Day Off, Guns, heaven, Hell, Jesus, Mary, Spiritual life

My Appalachia Gun Sanctuary County: This Priest’s Day-Off

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On the one hand, I’m only here in Andrews, NC, for 5  1/2 years, and I think we’re looking at our fifth chief of police coming up in that time. The Chief just up and quit along with two officers, leaving only two, and there’s a publicized rumor in the paper that another one of them is about to quit as well, leaving… one… Over these few years, now uncountable numbers of officers have up and quit. Just pay? They knew the pay before doing up the BLET course. When hundredths of seconds count in a critical incident, law enforcement is always hours or days away.

On the other hand, my Cherokee County North Carolina Commissioners – and the Sheriff – passed a resolution, the heart of which is as follows:

“The criminal misuse of firearms is due to the fact that criminals do not obey laws and this is not a reason to abrogate or abridge the unalienable, constitutionally-guaranteed rights of law abiding citizens. The last protectors of the US Constitution are We the People of the United States and our ability to fulfill that role successfully rests on our Second Amendment rights.

“Therefore, the Cherokee County Government will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations, that infringe on the right by the people to keep and bear arms.”

img_20190319_133945~28757758690110226172..jpg

They were immediately contacted by others from around the state and the country as to how they could follow suit.

I think it’s telling that of all relatively recent mass shootings 97.5% took place in gun-free zones since those gun-free zones are, by definition, purposed soft-targets which purposely invite criminals to kill people just there. Of course, tender snowflake bullies who insist that guns are the problem actually want that to happen. Criminals don’t obey gun-control laws. The tender snowflakes say that laws are written by meanies anyway. Get it?

Does one think that those who are fingerprinted and subject themselves to months and months of extremely thorough State and Federal Bureaus of Investigation background checks (and mental health checks here in NC) are the problem? That’s absurd. Licensed carriers are the ones who either stop the mass shootings from playing out or who are able to limit the killings. Remember the Sutherland Springs church shooting, how the threat of the perp was at least limited by a legal carrier?

This priest, having gone through all the checks, received all permits, obtaining reciprocity, got a Glock 19 a couple years back, and proceeded to do the work to acquire an easy to loose bit of frostiness, and so also practicing as time goes on, practicing on my own, or with my wonderful parishioners, with law enforcement, with military, with neighbors. I live in the best place in the world.

As part of the Day-Off the other day – besides getting the control-arm fixed on the Subaru (the whole car was shaking!), and besides the usual stops here and there throughout Western North Carolina – some time was spent at the hermitage. After the usual prayers for the Bishop and fellow priests, various courses were set up.

Pictured is the FBI Instructor Qualification Course, with the near target being used as the “barricade” and then start line for all the running involved. The far target, also just a detail of the QIT-combo-97-99, is up the steep ridge some 25 yards.

Last week was terribly hectic, so this was an unwind day. Drills and courses gone through were:

  • FBI agent qualification – once
  • FBI instructor qualification – once
  • Navy Seals qualification (partial) – once
  • Federal Air Marshal qualification (pre-2001) – twice
  • Distance drills at 25 yards out – a few magazines worth – an exercise in humility. Our churches are about ten yards long, front to back…
  • Bucket drill – just once. With “A” being the far bucket, it’s A-B-C-B-A ≤ three seconds for all five shots from holster as a standard… Start the video and see if you can “aim” and “pull the trigger” at A-B-C-B-A before the three (actually more like four second) video finishes…

That’s reminiscent of the shoot in half the 1″ x 1″ stick drill:

With FMJ at about ten yards out even a small stick needs multiple hits, making for a good drill:

target stickAs you can see, I have waaaaaaay toooooo much fun. But who says you can’t have fun, even in Lent? And just to say, while setting up or marking shots on targets a zillion prayers continue to be said on that mountainside of the hermitage. Prayer there is something that has to be done.

Anyway, and just to say, improvement in any skill sets – which are definitely not over-the-top at the moment – is not linear. It’s a matter of two steps forward, one step back. This time it was one step waaaaay back. I was fairly accurate but all around slower at all stages. Good thing that adrenaline, which I didn’t purposely encourage this session, while making things happen more quickly on the outside, slows down time on the inside: critical incidents automatically get the adrenaline flowing.

Some might say that this is all bad and evil for a priest, however, in this most gun-toting parish (we’re NOT the definition of a soft-target), even the most frosty of the parish openly point to me saying with some rather strident assertiveness and with the agreement of bystanders that Father Byers “has to be able to do his thing to protect us should the unthinkable happen.” That puts the pressure on.

Now, mind you, I’m not certain about what that quite refers to, but my own first example is a story I’ve told many times, when it happened and then didn’t happen… when, as I do, I was bringing, in this case, a rather severely disabled police officer in my car to a hospital appointment a hundred miles away and we were being subjected to some violent aggression: “This is a car-jacking” the cop exclaimed, ever frosty, but disabled and helpless. With the training I’ve had I knew I had to get out of the car, which I did, and started drawing up. It’s exactly then that a police cruiser came up, and a total of nine cruisers from that direction within seconds (I don’t know how many from the other direction – I’m guessing just as many – as we were no longer needed to help contain the aggressor and we were allowed to go on our way). My LEO passenger would surely have become a hostage and very possibly killed had I not been able to keep the aggressor at bay for that nanosecond when I needed to do just that. Also see:

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Terrorism

Tintinnabulations & plinking: Shootings in churches and synagogues

img_20190115_155504870_hdr~23181431535649055687..jpg

The forest in the background is very near the hermitage. It’s where I also go to plink, that is, practice with the Glock 19. A friend in the parish gave me a couple of oversized targets he was discarding anyway, so I put one up at 75 feet out. No center-10-X…. Hmmm… But I have another to put up perhaps this coming Tuesday. I almost never put a target out so far as that involves work in climbing the ridge. There’s no flat area. A detail:

img_20190306_155953~21394139285647196018..jpg

Low and to the left. Hmm. The black is from an oversized marker that indicates shots already taken. This was more than one magazine, obviously. So, now you know how bad I am at some distance with a pistol. Yet, with a bit of practice, I might be able to keep it within the “9” range (for these targets). The distance is more than three times the normal civilian qualification. I was happy to note that at seven yards out, after the above exercise, the groupings were much tighter on the little foam pie plates that I use for the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Course, with just two out of thirty wide, giving me a 96.6% on the reduced targets, though overtime on a couple of stages. But it’s fun for me to try to keep edgy.

The reason I rarely practice at 25 yards out is because I just don’t think it’ll be a very necessary skill to have. If you’re that far away, you can hide, escape, at least in most cases, perhaps, depending. Most incidents are at close range. The incident in which I had to start drawing up with my Glock was a car-jacking which I couldn’t let happen as my passenger was a disabled cop I was bringing to the hospital. He would have been a great hostage for this guy who had just taken down the rest stop on the highway. The distance on that occasion was four to five yards. The cop exclaimed: “This is a car-jacking.” That’s not what you want to hear. Thankfully, all the LEOs in the region arrived just at that second.

If I now and again put up a post like this, it’s just to say that priests are people too. Some of the most violent places in the world are not only our schools, but also our churches. Look up the incidents. Factsandtrends has the following:

“HOW COMMON ARE U.S. CHURCH SHOOTINGS? – May 21, 2018 – By Aaron Earls

[…] Here are the locations of all the fatal church shootings since Columbine.

  • 1999 Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2001 Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • 2002 Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook, New York
  • 2003 Turner Monumental AME Church in Kirkwood, Georgia
  • 2005 Living Church of God in Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • 2005 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2006 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist in Detroit, Michigan
  • 2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 2007 First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho
  • 2007 First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri
  • 2007 New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 2008 First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois
  • 2009 Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
  • 2012 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 2017 Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee
  • 2017 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
  • 2017 St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Texas

[…] As of last year, Chinn identified 617 people having been killed in deadly force incidents since 1999 at faith-based properties, including churches.

Despite these numbers, many churches do not make security a priority.”

Of course, there have been more since. I call to mind the Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Tree of Life. Seven killed. Seven injured. Yep.

Our little church is only about eight yards, maybe ten, front to back, not twenty five. If a shooter came in and started up and he was wearing armor, I’m guessing I could get an accurate head shot at that range and instantly stop the threat. I would never have the chance, however, as about everyone else in the congregation would stop the threat quicker than I could begin to stop to the threat.

Tintinnabulations and plinking are not mutually exclusive.

It’s an act of charity to serve and protect. See:

3 Comments

Filed under Guns, Terrorism

Day Off: over the top Glock skill set sharpening on the cheap, for fun

 

Having some really old rope and really old string and some really old coffee containers filled with some really old dirt, I set up this really el cheapo group target for a bit of fun. And it only took moments to set up.

But don’t think I already have over the top skill sets. I don’t. That’s precisely the reason why this provides a some distraction for few minutes on a day off which is otherwise filled with so many errands and people.

The idea here is to shoot, say, the farthest one, then the middle, then the closest, then the middle, then the farthest, five shots, accurately, as fast as one can pull the trigger. You have three attempts at that per magazine. You should be able to do that in three seconds. The video is three seconds long…

1 Comment

Filed under Guns, Missionaries of Mercy

Blackhawk Serpa zip-tie trick

img_20190215_083632~24847255359038964032..jpg

Sorry for non-gunners, but I had to put up this solution to an annoying part of the always said to be evil and bad (because of the trigger finger release) OWB Blackhawk Serpa. No amount of duct-tape solves this. I know. I tried many times. It’s the tiniest of zip-ties applied to the belt height adjustment gadget that will work to keep them in place and keep you from losing them. Those of you with OSB Blackhawk Serpa holsters (at least like mine for a Glock 19) will know what I’m talking about and see how well it brilliantly works in the picture, both sides.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns

‘El Chapo’ guilty of weapons violations. REOPEN FAST AND FURIOUS CASE!

ak 47

Sinaloa cartel boss ‘El Chapo’ was convicted not only drug trafficking and money laundering, but also on… wait for it…

weapons violations!

ak 47 ammo

Based on that…

… now “it” begins.

But will “it” be successful?

The story behind the “weapons violations” conviction of ‘El Chapo’ is succinctly summarized in that clip above. That’s exactly how it is. Fast and Furious. Yep. With the conviction of ‘El Chapo’ there is now a question of hypocrisy. We created ‘El Chapo’. So, now it’s time for prosecuting those who created ‘El Chapo’.

So many times I went to the FBI through the years to stop such arms transfers. But, I have to say, I was unsuccessful. Bringing proof, written admissions of an arms dealer for ‘El Chapo’, the agents instead just stared hard at my eyes, making it crystal clear that they couldn’t care less about any proof, that they never saw any proof, that they were not going to receive any proof. This is across the years. A hot topic. I recommend seeing…

Jason Chaffetz’ final report

If you’re wondering about the why of facilitating arms dealers for an extremely violent drug cartel with corpses of victims going into the hundreds of thousands (226,000), well, let me tell you what a CIA guy told me about it. He said that it’s NEVER just about some tracking logistics with guns. No. Pfft. There’s always a much, much bigger objective. You look for someone as wild and violent as ‘El Chapo’, you give him as much weapons and ammo as he could possibly desire, so that he will kill rivals, kill soft targets to instill fear, kill police, kill military, kill government officials, kill politicians, and all that so as to create chaos, and all that so as to destroy the competing economy of a neighboring nation.

I’m sure everyone feels that they’ve ‘won’ in getting a conviction of ‘El Chapo’. You know: he’s the bad guy! But we created him. What goes around comes around. That kind of hypocrisy – disrespect – as the mafiaesque crowd would say, doesn’t sit well with the criminal element. I’m sure revenge is in the air. And now they have weapons which we arranged for them to get. This is all so foolish. There’s more death to come. I mean, does anyone think that a conviction will deter such violence? One digs one’s own hole deeper.

You can’t not convict ‘El Chapo.’

But we created him.

Deeper and deeper and deeper it goes.

So, now it gets dangerous. People will scramble to do a cover up even more.

2 Comments

Filed under Drugs, Guns, Intelligence Community

FBI Pistol Instructor re-qualification course: first time for this priest

img_20190205_104122~2521436620753262177..jpg

You can’t practice what I’m guessing is the FBI Firearms Instructor Pistol re-qualification course at an indoor range what with all the running and jumping around, so it’s away to the great outdoors where one appreciates the beauty of God’s creation. And that’s all part of it, btw, and all the more for those who are in deadly situations every day. The integrity of knowing how to be safe with some tools of self-defense is consistent with the integrity of walking in God’s presence.

The hermitage gun range is stretched up a super-steep pathway – at about 3,000 ft up, close to heaven, if you will – with the only kind-of-flat place being the starting firing line (used in this case for the first stage only), the rest of the path/course being as steep as 38º. But I won’t allow myself extra time for the parts where one is supposed to run, in this case climb, even with my middle-aged-ness kicking in. Real situations don’t allow for extra time. I’m told that shooting up-hill is more difficult. Good.

Here’s a downloadable graphic presenting in my own shorthand what I’m guessing is the briefest of re-qualification courses for FBI Firearms Instructors. This is only part of what they do, excluding the drive-by shooting scenarios, the “kill-house” scenarios, the pop-up discern bad-guy from good-guy exercises, etc. You can copy the graphic of this most basic part of the course below and fit two of them on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. The timings are very generous.

FBI Tactical Pistol Instructor Course

If there are any mistakes with that, let me know. It’s a point per bullet. But I don’t know if a “hit” refers only to entirely inside the line of the QIT inside bottle or the whole “body.”

I only briefly researched this once like a year ago. I tried to verify it just now. There’s a lot of BS on-line. For instance, the entire first stage above is, from my research, to be done continuously in a total of 75 seconds or less. One guy put up four minutes for the first stage. That can’t be right. My times – which I thought were really slow, even for a first attempt, and not having practiced for a good while – came in at about 60 seconds. I mean, the entire course shouldn’t take but two minutes shooting time max, which, as I say, is already very generous. Of course, if you’re not changing out the target, you’ll still have to stop to count hits and mark out already fired shots after each stage.

Btw, I use not-foreseen-for-this-course Glock 19 Gen 4 that was refurbished by Glock down in Smyna, GA. With that, I use the absolutely forbidden ultra-evil never-to-be-used Blackhawk Serpa (it has a dangerous trigger-finger unlock for the holster). It’s just that it’s safe for everyday carry as it’s almost impossible for a bad-guy to take the gun. Any suggestions are welcome for an alternative OWB holster that’s similarly close to the body (which excludes pretty much all LEO holsters).

Previously, I’ve tried my own makeshift running courses – like running by a small target [paper plate] some seven yards away while shooting with whatever hand – but this is the first time I’ve done an “official” tactical pistol course involving running, or going from prone to a knee to standing, back to a knee, amid combat reloads and after that more running. The extra activity is done for the sake of getting the adrenaline going, and to make for a more realistic exercise. Great.

But perhaps I should combine the courses I’ve been doing, like the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal TPC (the timings for which are hilarious for me, as they are two and three times quicker than the FBI instructor course), and what I know of the SEALs TPC (even quicker), as well as a few exercises of my own, like shooting a suspended wobbly stake in half. Even direct hits with target ammo won’t snap it. It’s gotta be hit many times in the same place:

It’s not a sin to have some innocent fun that is also useful in real life. As I say, I’ve already had to draw up on a carjacker who had just robbed everyone at a rest stop and wanted a get away car. I had a police officer in desperate straits as a passenger. I was bringing him to the hospital for major surgery for an almost fully ripped-off arm at the shoulder. He was already helpless besides that as he was still suffering from a broken back because of one of the traffic stops he had made in the past. This cop in my passenger seat desperately said that this was a car-jacking. What was I supposed to do, let him be kidnapped, become a hostage (because he’s a cop) and perhaps be murdered? I support our LEOs! Surely saving the life of a cop and otherwise protecting a cop from grave injury isn’t an unseemly activity for a priest, is it?

Thankfully, at that very nanosecond, another LEO screeched to a stop in front of the robber, now would-be carjacker, kidnapper, hostage-taker guy. Then eight more cruisers joined that cop within seconds, and how many more from the other direction I don’t know as the first cop let us go as other cops joined in the apprehension.

If I write such things, it’s to demonstrate that priests are people too. It’s good for priests to know that they are human beings. And good for other people to know that priests are human beings. Just because of my background, this is my way of having fun. But it comes with a price – enjoyable – of keeping sharp, a bit edgy, well-practiced. I was happy for a day off. And, yes, lots of prayers were said too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Off, Guns, Law enforcement, Priesthood, Vocations

What makes mass shooters tick?

Upshot, as it were: Help the police do their job in this dangerous world.

There were warning signs about the shooter: Ignored, of course. The Canadians want to think that everyone is nice all the time. How dare we ever even insinuate that someone might not be nice. Everyone is entitled to be thought of as being nice! And then tantrums and hissy fits ensue. Just like in these USA these days.

Image result for hissy fit gif

The upshot of that ignorance: train up not only to see the warning signs but to act on them. It’s called situational awareness. But it’s not as easy as all that. Quick and easy solutions are usually the fast road to death and grieving. Sure, arm the police. Sure, pay attention to the guy who says he wants to kill people. Easy. Do that. But those aren’t the only things.

For instance, what about the Stephen Paddock or whatever his name is, who shot up Las Vegas? To this day “no one knows the motive.” Really? Cowards! How does one get people to face reality? See my rant on the cowardice of some of our intel community:

Stephen Paddock’s motivation and our motivation in not finding his motivation

Humility. Humility. Humility. Start with oneself. Sure, we all have unrepeatable circumstances by which – right now anyway – none of us would do those terrible things. But that’s an occasion for us to congratulate ourselves to the point where we don’t know that by so doing we give ourselves a licence to do those very things. Ah, the irony of it. People are afraid of irony. It’s too hard hitting. It’s offensive. It’s to be dismissed as literary trickery. And because of that arrogance that we are all better than the rest of men, people will die either because we won’t catch out those who are murderous or we ourselves will fall into that violence. Impossible, you say? Just following “orders” you say? Where have we heard that before by people who have congratulated themselves? It happens more quickly than you think.

Solution (in case you missed it): Look at the link about Stephen Paddock above.

No, really! Click.

hilaire bellocAnd if you fail to understand irony. Think of Jesus on the Cross, standing in our place, the Innocent for guilty, He bearing the weight of our evil, becoming like a mirror of our evil. And now, with that in mind, read over this frightening bit on irony from the great Hilaire Belloc:

“To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.”

[Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Law enforcement

Shooting my neighbor’s dog: wrong guy

img_20181228_160247150_burst011~23183558294850694815..jpg

Basset Hound

When there’s illegal gunfire in the neighborhood, Shadow-dog is quick to turn his head and look in the direction of whatever it is, a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle. I’m sure he’s, like, “What’s that and is it coming this direction?” As it is, my neighbor’s dog was shot yesterday, I’m guessing point blank, Sunday morning, when people were in church. Two other neighbors (one a retired minister and one a Vet and Firefighter) want to move away. Andrews and this neighborhood in particular is getting to be way too violent.

No one heard anything because this time it was all subsonic, a pellet gun of some sort. Pretty powerful though. The pellet struck his shoulder bones and ricocheted so as to destroy surrounding muscles and tendons. That’s what a .22 “real” bullet might do. That’s why I say that it was probably point blank. I hate that. The neighbor’s dog is a basset hound, not this one. I’ll have to take a picture of the real Frankie-dog when he gets out of surgery. I’m guessing the guy who shot Frankie-dog is going to pay that bill.

I think I might know the guy who did it. I’m thinking the guy who did it didn’t grow up around here. I don’t think the the guy who did it knows whose dog he shot. You just don’t shoot someone’s dog in Western North Carolina. No. The only one who would do that is a tender snowflake from an entitlement big city. Sorry, I’m generalizing. sigh…

Let’s just take a look at what happened when a Navy SEAL’s dog was shot, this time while he was home. This is harrowing. Kudos to law enforcement for helping him out:

Here’s the deal: people who can shoot animals just to do it can also easily just go ahead and kill human beings. Those are the stats. Yep.

But maybe this is my fault. There’s a weirdness with the mail delivery and unless you know it, it’s a little difficult to know whose address you’re really at, mine or the neighbor’s. I’d hate to think that someone wanted to do in Laudie-dog or Shadow-dog but instead got Frankie-dog. At any rate, our reaction is the same no matter whose dog.

Update: here he is…

This would have been a kill shot if it had been any more powerful.

1 Comment

Filed under Dogs, Guns, Law enforcement