Tag Archives: Guns

Guns and cripplely shooting (day-off)

glock 19 9mm gen 4

Above, when I started out a year and some ago. Below, the present state of affairs:

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Different phone-camera. But, other than that, and other than a bit of wear and tear, other than the backstrap being removed, there have been logistical changes. Those happened within a couple of months of getting the CCH permit. If you know what you’re looking at you know what you’re looking at. If I say “Yikes!”, it doesn’t refer to the lower picture, but rather to the one up top. BTW, in North Carolina, a CCW (concealed carry weapon) permit does not exist. The permit is abbreviated with CCH as a concealed carry handgun is the only weapon allowed in law. All others being carried concealed do carry a felony with them.

Since the last time I was out to practice the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Tactical Pistol Course the leg went bad, again. I was wearing the metal brace, which is really nice, very helpful. But I was wondering how that would have an affect on scores, cripplely shooting targets like that. I wasn’t able to do the spin-from-180-degrees from cover stage, but – Hey! – you do what you can, doing that stage with its three targets just minus the spin. If I don’t take off points for that defect of course integrity, I did pretty well, getting 100% a couple of times. Well, not really. While I was way under time for some stages, I was also overtime on some parts of some stages, a disqualification. But I’m happier with greater accuracy than shaving off that hundredth of a second or so. But that’s the continuing challenge, crippley or not.

Other cripplely situations, like wheelchairs (with which I’m also very familiar), also draw unwanted attention. Those with nefarious intentions are also cowards, and so they look for those they think are vulnerable. Those who are vulnerable should be all the more prepared.

True story: an old guy in a wheelchair was in the parking lot of our one big supermarket in Robbinsville, trying to make his way to the store. But a young man with a knife came up to him demanding his money. The old guy in the wheelchair said that he had a question for the young man: “Why is it that you bring a knife to a gun fight?” And by that time the old guy in the wheelchair was already pointing his pistol at the young man, who then ran away. Hah! For those who think that is overkill, it’s not. A knife is a deadly weapon. Delivery of that deadly force is probable (demonstrated as a threat which inherently includes more than a threat) and imminent (right in front of you). The old guy wisely just let el creepo run away. I’m sure he had a good laugh. Stories like this can be multiplied.

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“Stop the spin, Father George.” “Genuflecting at Mass is forbidden.”

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A newly damaged again meniscus it seems.

  • I’m supposed to give up on the second to the last stage of the Federal Air Marshall Tactical Pistol Course during which one spins about from 180 degrees toward three targets seven yards away and each three yards apart from each other (I use a foam dessert plate 4.7 times smaller than the normal QIT target). The spinning bit, I’m told, is hard on the knees, which the knee doesn’t need for the foreseeable and perhaps unforeseeable future.
  • Also forbidden is genuflecting. I’ve been doing a half-genuflection (also difficult) or just bowing. I did full genuflections after the consecrations at Mass on Corpus Christi and both times the knee went CRACK! while attempting to stand up again.

[~break into cold sweat, pretending nothing happened, bewildered~]

And to think that I was able to genuflect perfectly just hours before. Perhaps some will understand why I defended ancient of days Pope Francis for not genuflecting when pretty much everyone was condemning him to hell for not believing in transubstantiation. Knees come and go even in the same person especially as one gets older. I’ll be over this soon enough. So, it’s almost like you can turn it on or off, but it’s not you who decide when you can go down on your knees or not; the decision is made by your knees. It is what it is. I have to say that I was impressed in celebrating Mass with Pope Francis recently, impressed that he held the Host and then Chalice up at the consecration for a long time – no, let me rephrase that – for a really long time, obviously personally entranced with the Most Blessed Sacrament.

I’m sure there will be some who will also condemn me to hell for not genuflecting. I remember when, while teaching in the seminary, the knee went awry for a while and I decided that it would be best to bow. Wow. The barking from some priests and seminarians was unbelievable. I went from being thought of as a believer to being categorized as a heretic in one second. Zero solidarity for suffering. Absolutely zero. Dismissed. Marginalized. Out in the darkest of existential peripheries. Why? Well, whatever. I guess I was already there. It just took that event to let me know how fickle people can be.

Anyway, while some are already busy writing posts on their blogs about how demonic I am for not genuflecting – just like Pope Francis – let it be known that I have had some trouble not only as a kid with my leg, but more recently, in Rome, in an accident, on which occasion the tibia turned front to back while the femur remained where it should, rubbishing the meniscus at the time. Two other accidents[!] saw the lower leg smashed to little bits and pieces, 25 in all, the first one requiring the cage pictured below (Piazza Farnese in Rome) with something like 5 screws from the cage into the tibia (as big as pencils) and 12 heavy wires going from one side of the cage to the other – that is, from the cage and into the leg, through the pre-drilled bone, out the other side of the leg to the other side of the cage – stabilizing everything, an invention created originally with some bicycle rims and spokes deep in a sulfur mine in Siberia. It’s better than months of perhaps useless traction and body casts but dangerous for infections. The other accident had to have an operation which removed the patella so as to drill into the top of the tibia so as to hammer[!] a tibial nail (as thick as a carriage bolt) right through bits and pieces and deep into the ankle. Hey! Why worry about any meniscus!

just me 07

So, the “Stop the Spin!” bit doesn’t refer to my writing. I don’t spin, though admittedly I do bait some few individuals when needed, when most appropriate, from time to time, even in this very post. :-)

The contraption on the left knee in the picture at the top of this post was just now lent to me from one of our retired Air Force parishioners who had worn it for years and now hasn’t had to wear it for a couple of years. The V.A. prescribed it for him, refusing to ever do any operation on any damaged meniscus, telling him that any rough edges just wear away over time. I don’t know if that was simply save-a-buck policy of the time and it’s different today or not. Some of you readers may know.

The brace itself is made of unbendable aluminum (which I would spell and pronounce differently as a kid (aluminium ail-lou-mini-um) since I guess we preferred the more scientific usage since 1812 (no prejudice to other periodic table elements like platinum intended).

forrest gump braces

Such a relatively smallish brace reminds me of the Forrest Gump scaffolding I was supposed to wear as a kid but didn’t, with my mom letting me get away with wearing orthopedic boots for some years just like in the picture immediately above. Perhaps I’m paying today for my negligence back in the day. The much smaller Breg X2K I’m now using would be super-expensive to purchase. Frighteningly so. Especially since I immediately see the benefit of the extensive scaffolding Forrest was wearing. The under-the-heal-of-the-boot framing keeps the bars where they should be.

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Last time you were at the gun range?

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Stage 3 of the FBI course (4, 4, 4 speed reload 4 – timed from cover, 16 rnd total at 21 feet). These would all be inside the inside bottle on more specialized QIT targets. Putting little foam dessert plates on political sign pig-tail wires is just easier. It takes zero time to change out targets or are easy to mark up with ultra-fat markers. Anyway, these should have a tighter group at the center of aim as this stage has no spinning from 180 degrees, or dropping to a knee, nothing. So, plenty of work to do.

I don’t go to ranges as you can’t do anything. No drawing from a holster, from cover, no spinning from 180 degrees, no rapid fire series. I go out in the middle of a private back ridge in the forests of WNC. But, that’s more recreation than anything. Going to a controlled range is important if you carry so as to do the drills you can, regularly. Forget the single shots. Do double taps, or drills involving two to the torso one to the head on the big targets you’ll have. There’s plenty you can do. Anything you do will help with readiness. That’s also a mindset. It’ll assist you also in keeping sharp with situational awareness (the opposite of paranoia: it’s about seeing ways to diffuse / deescalate situations). If you carry, or have firearms at home, when’s the last time you practiced with them? Is your carry permit up do date?

Carrying is a service. It does come with a price of initial layout, of training, or practice, and also of life and limb. Ironically, self defense comes at the price of being within the statistics that a carrier is something like four times more likely to be killed by gunfire than anyone else. Those stats are from ferociously anti-2nd-amendment crowd, so I don’t know about the accuracy, such as whether all those carriers were law-abiding. At any rate, I don’t think that such stats point to foolhardiness, but rather willingness to be of assistance even in dangerous situations. That’s not an evil way of life. Rather, it is just one more thing one can do for the common good.

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Unwinding old Glock grip for good

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Lots of stuff going on. I was very happy to have a day off the other day to unwind a bit, have a bit of recreation with the carry, doing up the FBI and FAM courses.

I really had to unwind my old Glock 19 grip in favor of another, and was surprised to see it all unwind and then come together quite immediately with the new grip as pictured in the foam dessert plate target above. This is pumping out a full magazine (15 rounds) fairly quickly at the maximum distance for NC State Qualification.

All the problems with the slide not locking back were, in fact, my “straight thumbs” grip (so that I was touching, even if just barely, the slide-lock), which I changed for a right over left thumbs grip. Wow. That was much quicker for aim, much more solid of a grip, and, because of not touching the slide-lock, the slide-lock locked the slide back when the magazine was empty. Finally. Surprising how habits can lock you into being entrenched in the wrong thing while you think you’re doing the right thing. It’s good to take the advice of others.

Putting up the FBI course, I was getting 100% until out at 75 feet. Then, as usual, some rounds went a bit wide for my reduced targets. So, only 90%. But that’s still a pass. I really should practice at that distance, but I don’t. It’s just so extremely rare than anyone would ever ever shoot at that distance. If someone is that far away, the question is whether you can’t just remove yourself from danger, though, of course, circumstances vary wildly as to why someone would ever do that (mass shooter, etc.).

Putting up the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshall course, I finally got 100%. However, it’s all invalid, I think, because I may have gone over some hundredths of a second on some parts of some stages (part one longer than the average, part two shorter, not bothering to do the average). More stages were way under the clock. What surprised me is that the thumb over thumb grip causes one to use more muscles in one’s forearms, so that there is actually noticeably much more control when doing, say, the one stage of the FAM course that had always been an extra challenge for me to do under the clock: at 21 feet out, one round in each of three targets each three yards apart (18 foot spread), starting by spinning about from 180 degrees (looking away from the targets) and from covered holster, spinning in one direction and then another (six rounds total) with 3.5 seconds for each sub-stage. [Disallowed in multiple ways on all non-private ranges.] This time all six rounds found the little foam dessert plates. But, there’s nothing smooth about it, confident about it, consistent about it. A good course is an anomaly. Unless this new grip really did do me some good.

I took a look at the FOIA provided MCOLES Firearm Standards for annual qualification (lots of great studies and advice) since it was mentioned by Mike the Cop. I wasn’t going to bother with it as it can offer stages that can be something like 1/3 the distance with a much larger target with two or three times the timing. But it does offer some some differences and those are always good. We’ll see.

I don’t know at all about the new police in my town, but the previous group, great guys, were all firearms experts with a wide variety of weapons, which is really good. Unprovoked aggression against police such as ambushes and assassinations is on the uptick, and more exposure to firearms practice, scenario training, and especially in situational awareness is essential.

 

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Lipstick for Glock slide-lock? Um. No.

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Just below the lower-right of the green flash-drive you see the slide-lock which keeps it all opened up when the magazine is emptied out. It’s never worked since I got this, my first and only pistol a year and some ago. A local Glock fanatic indicated that although the spring on the mechanism really is very loose, it may well be my fault anyway:

“Chamber a round. Then make sure the mag is empty. Put some lipstick[!] on the outside of the tab of the slide-lock, and shoot. You can wipe it off from the gun easy. The point is that if there is any lipstick on your right thumb after you shoot [with me being right-handed and having a ‘straight-thumbs’ style of grip], then you know that your grip placement is the problem, not necessarily the slide-lock. For all their fail-safe toughness, Glocks are super sensitive to anything touching the slide or slide-lock. Good luck.”

Smart, all that. But, no. It’s just not a possibility. So, instead, all I had to do was look at where my thumbs were when gripping the grip as if to shoot. Yep. The thumb was resting right on the slide-lock.

All this time. Live and learn.

But that means I’ll have to unlearn this grip of a year and some and adjust it or change it to a thumb over thumb grip, but this will be against all muscle memory.

All this time. Live and learn.

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Steve offers guns and ammo advice

law enforcement bullet chart 2

With the above, I’m a looking at number 7. How about you? But it’s one in a zillion that you shoot into a barrel of water. With the more realistic chart below, I’m still looking at the same round in row 2, staying with the 9mm. But here, row 3, the last of the 9mm, an overpressure round (+P) in the chart, seems to hold up a bit better. But there are pros and cons.

law enforcement bullet chart

Steve is from California and he somehow, despite that, knows about guns and ammo in extreme detail. I’m guessing he’s a LEO instructor of some kind. He hails from […]. I’d love to get some practical range tips from him. In lieu of that, he offers some advice. Let’s take a look:

  • “With respect to your G19, check your slide stop lever (the spring can get damaged if not installed correctly).”

I’m not an armorer, so, this will have to go back to Smyna. But that’s O.K., I didn’t do that 10th floor thing at the State Department in Atlanta the last time I was down. This comment gives me hope. I thought it was something with the slide itself. The slide stop does, in fact, seem weirdly loose. But what do I know. The Glock guy should’ve caught it. But we’ll see what he says.

  • “Also, while we must never be in fear…”

I agree with that. No paranoia. Situational awareness is all about deescalation. Paranoia is about escalation on purpose, ironically. But, when it comes down to it, we are to use the fear we cannot deny; we use that fear with the adrenaline rush with all its wanted consequences for effective action. Please see (when I used bigger targets):

Situational awareness and adrenaline: competency, fear, doing the necessary

  • “[…] consider Federal HST (147 or 124+P) or Speer GD 124+P for any terror by night or for the arrow that flies by day.”

I love the biblical citation from the psalms also found in compline, night prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Is Steve a chaplain?

For these types of ammo, see the charts above. Steve is exactly right. I’ll have to cycle out my personal defense rounds (mere Winchester 115 grain hollow point that are very roughly made, with all sorts of manufacturing defects, of wildly varying lengths for instance). Having used them for target practice, I’ll have to find where I can get my hands on these LEO rounds. Not the usual Walmart stock. But the Speer GD 124+P scares me a bit.

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This priest’s EDC (every day carry)

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Underneath my clericalized 5-11 tactical shirt (which is super-useful for hospital visits and Communion calls with it’s large cargo pockets), all this stuff is carried on my belt:

  • Glock 19 Gen 4 new 12 July 2016 and just refurbished in Smyrna last week, in a Serpa Blackhawk holster, which is hated by operators for slowing down the draw, but whose security catch, costing about 0.25 seconds (that is a lot, btw) is worth it for EDC for civilian defensive carry as it stops dead any attempt to take the carry from behind in an altercation. It’s chambered with 15 in the mag, all defensive bullets that will stop but not pass through a target, for the safety of others.
  • On the far side are two mags full of FMJ, because (1) if the 15 didn’t work it’s most likely because ballistic vests are being used and now’s the time for FMJ; (2) this way I’m already well on my way for being ready for some target practice.
  • Two key-chains so full of keys for the two campuses of the parish, which I use all the time, that one parishioner calls me “the janitor.” That nickname is also used for something else among LEOs, but I’m not going there.
  • A 2.5″ straight knife, holstered upside down and sideways for a quick grab that has the blade facing where it should. This is used for utility purposes all day long. Knives are now illegal in the U.K. I have to wonder how that is going to help along their cuisine.
  • Pretty much all military and LEOs and operators of all kinds right around the world will recognize the tourniquet (the pouch including some bandages). I carry this also for emotional reasons. These are made in my parish at IOI, which was created for a parishioner. This one was given to me by a board member. This is a smart item to carry, as anyone who carries (legally) is well over four times as likely to be injured by gunfire than anyone else in the population.

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That’s all covered by the frumpy clerical shirt. Meanwhile, besides the purple stole and emergency rites liturgical books carried in Sassy the Subaru, I have other personal carry not carried on the belt:

  • You gotta have a phone if you’re a priest (plenty of emergency calls) and if you carry. I’m “that guy” who calls 911 when there is a crash on the road or whatever.
  • The wallet always has enough money to get out of a situation. There’s Federal I.D., the “carry permit” required in N.C., USCCA (the best anywhere in the world; I’m very happy to have this) and health insurance cards, etc.
  • The rosary is carried in a quick access pocket. No crucifix that only gets tangled, and just knotted with nylon as anything else for me breaks. This is a working rosary.
  • The rosary pouch from the Holy Father doesn’t contain anything religious. Sorry. Just medicine I need during the day and possibly overnight, without which not.
  • The oil of the infirm, for emergency anointing. I’ve used this oh say about a million times. An absolute necessity. I have water in the car for emergency baptisms.

I’m open to suggestions.

Update: More car carry:

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The Day-Off [Update]

/// Rewritten, revised… What a hoot… With for me, a stunning conversation at the end of the day. ///

Yesterday ended about 10:00 PM. Today [Tuesday 24 April 2018] started at Midnight, this time not editing but instead writing the weekly post for These Stone Walls [now published: Fr. Gordon MacRae and Pornchai Moontri: Captives of Catholic Tradition]. I really shouldn’t procrastinate so much. It was written as fast as I could type. But people seem to like it.

That was sent off to TSW‘s publisher and I turned my attention to Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog, getting them ready for the day. Dearest Charlene Duline of State Department fame helps me to keep them utterly spoiled. In Appalachia we say “ruent” as in “ruined.” Then it was time to jump in Sassy the Subaru and head down the mountain to Atlanta.

I’m now sitting in Glock’s armorer waiting room typing this out on my phone. This is the loneliest room in the world since Glocks never break down, well, almost never. I’m always the exception. It seems I wore out my Glock 19 Gen 4 (bought brand new on July 12, 2016, so just a year and some old). But it’s fixable. I was late by 30 minutes due to construction. As I find out, this isn’t the kind of place you want to leave while they work on your gun, as I had planned if necessary. It’s quite the security process to enter the property. Guns have to have a cable put through them. No rounds allowed inside. Special visitor badge with electrical permissions chipped in, or not.

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Oddly, just after I got there, some detectives showed up with loaded guns and plenty of full mags. Apparently they had had a chat at the security station at the perimeter and got in with loaded weapons on private property. But Gate Security hadn’t informed the guys in customer service. The Glock guys that came out to the waiting room objected to the officers, saying that unsecured weapons and loaded mags were not allowed. The officers apologized but didn’t comply. They instead just made small talk about a course they were setting up at their own range and wondering if they could borrow – ooooh – eight Glock mags for the day. Think about that. One of the largest police departments in the world is begging to have a lend of a few mags from a private business, as if they didn’t have literally many thousands of mags on hand already. I mean, that’s like Pope Francis asking for a lend of one cobblestone from the city of Rome for a few hours for Saint Peter’s square. Seriously. This went on the entire time I was there, you know, because asking for a lend of eight mags takes more than 40 minutes and is super complicated. Mind you, they were not having their guns looked at. Mind you, they never got the mags while I was there. Nothing. Sigh.

All this made meeting someone like the LMFBR guy rather difficult. So, that’s put off yet again the “conversations” he wants to have with me, though I’m sure not at all about LMFBRs.

As time was dragging while waiting for my own Glock to be dealt with, I went again (and then again) to the hit list in my email involving my “Shadow” about Setraco Group, a multinational construction conglomerate out of Beirut which had suffered a number of assassinations from ISIS. Doing a bit of research on that email it seems that this was sent out by another construction company on the other side of the world. Sectraco is in 30 some countries. My “Shadow” does “construction.” Anyway, enough of that. My Glock armorer just came out…

The armorer asked what kind of ammo I use. He rolled his eyes when I told him, and said that that brand was most likely the source of all the problems. But, just to be sure, he changed out the guide rod with its double spring, added night sights, put on an extended mag release and spruced up trigger stuff to make sure the rounds actually fire when struck. He was pretty surprised at the wear on the slide. Great service. Very friendly.

Outside, no LMFBR guy. So, back home….

Just as I pull into the parish back in North Carolina, I got a call inviting me for the usual day-off meal in Brevard, meaning I would put on a total of about 500 miles for the day. O.K., said I, as it is my day-off.

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Blame it on Pope Francis & my Glock

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  • The FBI QIT target is 285 square inches.
  • The 3.5 inch radius foam dessert plates above are 38.5 square inches.
  • The foam dessert plates are fully 7.4 times smaller than the FBI targets.

Distances are 3, 5, 7, 15, 25 yards for the FBI course.

At 7 yards there are three targets 3 yards apart each for the pre-2001 FAM TPC.

After the trip to Rome my percentages dropped to the 70s for both courses. I blame it on Pope Francis for making me go to Rome for so long and get out of practice. ;-)

Or I could blame it on the targets 7.4 times smaller than regulation.

Or I could blame it on the Glock, which needs to get some work done on it down in Smyrna. I’m due for a wee chat at the State Department in Atlanta, just a stone’s throw from Sacred Heart church downtown. Maybe I can get both done at the same time.

The Glock doesn’t load, doesn’t eject, doesn’t fire, is all “grindy, just a mess altogether. Yeah, forget Pope Francis; those low scores are the Glock’s fault.

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“Never go to war especially with yourself.” My “Shadow” is at it again.

For those who know, this is another one of those “for the record” posts. My “Shadow” is back to the monetary bribe / extortion thing. Coincidentally, he mentioned that he’s been robbed of the computer on which he does all his analysis of Syria. Interesting, that. His missive came in after stepping off the plane. But I digress. The plane thing is for another post.

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Italian military *carry* for the Major Basilicas of Rome

There are plenty of versions, one being replaced by another. With full auto were talking about 20 of those magazines of 556 (30 each) per minute depending on the aptness of the user and the endurance of the target.

I’ve only heard the highest praise and humble appreciation from pilgrims right around the world. Not even the slightest hint of a critique such as “That’s overkill.” This includes people from gun confiscation countries. All are happy with the presence of guns at places of worship. And don’t think they’re not inside. And don’t think our Lord is against defense of the innocent.

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Holy Saturday with “Jerry Miculek” of our parish. Un-holy-ing this Saturday?

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Here he is, setting up some targets for a variety of OLD shotguns that I was supposed to shoot, full bottles of Coke, upside down.  I learned a lot about the benefits of a shotgun with buck shot. I had no idea. I know nothing about shotguns. He wanted me to shoot all six bottles within four seconds. You have to pump it to reload it. I got all six, but not within four seconds. He then told me what that would mean in a competition. That really put me in my place. Now I know.

The other targets down the way, some smaller than others, were for rifles and pistols of all kinds. One included a rifle from the 1880s, way back in the day. That one had a “safety” that put your trigger finger on the trigger as you swung it down into the trigger guard, you know, because that’s safe.

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One of the pistols was a S&W 357, which is a 9mm with a heck of a lot more gunpowder as it has been called. Actually, the rifle from the 1880s shot black gunpowder, quite the rarity these days. The 357 was as smooth as ever, as revolvers are, especially compared to pistols. He got that one from a State Trooper, who had had the trigger fixed. A glock has about 5 pounds of trigger pull. This 357 had two ounces. You could hardly look at it without it going off. I hear that that State Trooper was the one to beat at the range. I wouldn’t ever want to fix a trigger. The heavier the pull the better if you ask me.

There have been some difficulties with my Glock. I shot it a bit and he noted that it would regularly mis-load, mis-fire, and jam up on the ejection of the cartridge. He tried it. Same thing. He put the mis-fires into the 357. They fired just fine in that gun. I thought it was me the whole time. He said that that wasn’t the case. The super famous gun wasn’t as good as I thought it was. He suggested that I either fix it, which might cost the amount I could sell it for at this stage, if fixing was possible, or get something else. He’s no Glock fan. I guess I’m not either now. I’m looking at Sig. I’m open to suggestions.

Back to Holy Saturday. The walk through a history of guns by firing the guns brought a history of violence of our fallen human race to mind, the conflicts, the rancor… but not only that, also the heroism and self-sacrifice of those who serve in law enforcement and the military. People step into this violence also with good and holy intentions. Guns are just tools. I’m quite sure that some of those guns saw a lot of death. Lots of bad stuff, but surely lots of good stuff too. But what is good suffers no matter what when there is bad. It’s all hell. That hell has to be faced.

Jesus stepped into hell for us… for us who are guilty, bad, the worst. And then He breathed His last. Holy Saturday.

Jesus fought against the entire history of hell in our wold and against our sin. If we are available for the defense of the innocent against unjust aggression putting ourselves at risk, well, I should hope we do that not only with the best of intentions but also with the love of God within us. I think of the guy down in the Florida school shooting who simply threw himself in front of the bullets so that others might live. Awesome. I wish he had had a gun available to him. Sometimes people feel dirty just at the mentions of guns. I wonder what they would feel like to be next to Jesus on the cross, watching Him draw ungrateful sinners to Himself, the whole lot of sinful humanity. Jesus didn’t mind being dirty, in the battle, in the midst of all that is bad and evil. Neither should we as we sit beside His tomb…

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“Our parents don’t know how to use a f***ing democracy so we have to” = Marxism. So… David Hogg?

A reader draws an analogy: I recall a young adult trying to school an elder politician:

Young knucklehead: Your generation can’t understand, you didn’t grow up with the internet.

Elder politician: You’re right, we didn’t grow up with the internet; we invented it.

///// By the way. It has to be said. The shooting wasn’t the fault of religion or good police.

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FBI & FAM: Aim after Chrism Mass

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Stage three of the FBI course if I remember correctly.

The Chrism Mass in this diocese coincides with my day off, and the hermitage is on my way back to the parish after the Chrism Mass, so, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. Not having much time and only one box of ammo – and no shot-timer so it’s less than non-official – I raced through the FBI course (60 shots) and pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal course (30 shots) cold barrel. And then, with a few bullets left over, set this 1″squared stick swinging, cutting it in half with those bullets. Mind you, my target is just a small fraction of the size of targets they use:

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Extra markings aren’t needed with these small foam plates (which really hold up well under fire, as it were), since the inside circle is the width of the “inside bottle” of FBI QIT 97-99 fame.

Results:

  • FBI: 80%, that is, 100% until the last stages, when I lost some points. Still a pass but not good enough. I wonder if I would get 100% with the full targets. But that would be complacency, so I’ll just keep trying for 100% with the tiny targets.
  • FAM: 98%. Just one bullet was a bit off on the draw from concealed at 180 degrees, pivot to shoot at three targets each three yards apart seven yards away drill. And I’m sure I was a bit slow on the draw without the pushing from the shot-timer.

For me this was simply fun. Think of it: after a very pleasant Chrism Mass (this time almost 100% of priests showing up, which is great, renewing friendships and meeting new friends) and a very pleasant meal together afterward, that is, for all the priests as put on by the bishop himself (very, very cool of him), and a pleasant, restful, ultra-super-scenic drive that most people only dream about in the ultra-sassy Sassy the Subaru Forester… running through a box of ammo at Holy Souls Hermitage (never forgetting the famous Angelus run* just there) these FBI and FAM courses were a great way to end the day before the last 2 1/2 hour stint to through the mountains to the parish.

I only bring this up to encourage those of you that do carry to get out there and sharpen your skills a bit. It’s a perishable skill that needs renewing all the time, just like our souls need shriving until we get to heaven. Right?

*No matter what, my guardian angel always but always reminds me to offer the Angelus just at that place for the bishop and priests of the diocese. It is what it is. Is there a certain place in which you are always reminded to pray a prayer for someone, like a cemetery, or a certain place in a church or home?

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March for “our” lives

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Detail of an Associated Press photo. 3-24-2018

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UPDATE: Jedi mind tricks vs robbery twice yesterday [most dangerous guy]

[[[UPDATE: I did a bit of investigation and found out that the guy who accosted me twice was the guy I thought he was. He’s one of the most dangerous people in Western North Carolina and has a standing arrest order on like half of all state owned properties in this entire region. The Jedi mind trick worked even with him. Good to know.]]]

You never think it will happen to you, until it does.

There are retired operators of whatever background who offer classroom shakedowns for pay, that is, for students of situational awareness and deescalation, very useful exercises. But I don’t get the part about paying for this. Guardian angels will provide all the incidents you could ever want and more. Yesterday, for example, I had two would-be incidents, would-be except for my guardian angel and the Jedi mind tricks I employed. It’s especially important to learn the Jedi thing here in Andrews since I’m now guessing that for the unforeseeable future we will have no actually local police for a number of reasons. And the local riffraff know it. Such is small town drama.

Our town politicians will be upset with the first fifteen seconds of the above video, but this is what Andrews is fast becoming with what amounts to little law enforcement. It’s true that the county deputies come into town to look for the riffraff they are after to effect their arrest warrants, and they are a most welcome sight. Wherever you see them, however, you also know that the riffraff they are after are very close by. That’s a good heads-up.

Yesterday, for instance, I was returning from a Communion Call, driving past the DMV, and there was deputy […] in full uniform but in his unmarked black dodge charger pulling in behind me from the direction of our little church. This reminded me to come back and get my soon-to-be-required-by-everyone-in-North-Carolina Gold Star Federal ID card issued in my case as a North Carolina biometric driver licence. The picture, taken by a special multi-lens camera looking ever so much like a Star Wars droid, has 12 measurement points which are inimitable, so that not even plastic surgeons at Liberty Crossing Campus at McLean can mimic what is measured, such as center of pupil to center of pupil. Foiling one won’t foil the others. My very first thought, however, was “Who’s the deputy after?” But before going to the DMV, I needed to fill up at our local BP gas station. He stayed on my bumper until I pulled into the BP and then disappeared somewhere.

First incident

Just as I had paid-at-the-pump with a debit card and had placed the hose-pump into the gas-tank receiver of Sassy the Subaru, a riffraff looking guy, about 6′.6″ tall (even I had to look up), coming out of nowhere, tried to make his way to me around that pump station. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen him. Don’t be upset with me for that riffraff description. I’m riffraff myself and know riffraff the second I see riffraff. Birds of a feather and all that. Anyway, he was so intent in getting right in my face that he couldn’t see the window-squeegee-combo-trash-buckets in front of him, and, running into them, was getting frustrated. With that, I knew that all was not right, that the guy was perhaps a bit drugged up, and so I started to back away. But, I gotta hand it to the guy for being clever. He was using the “I-really-want-to-speak-with-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-speak-to-you-until-I’m-an-inch-from-your-face-and-I’m-keeping-eye-contact-so-as-to-make-you-feel-obliged-to-let-me-do-that” trick. Not able to get closer in just that three seconds, he stated that he wanted my money. Twice.

I said to him with joyful alacrity and an abundance of confidence, now using his own eye-contact trick against himself, that, “It’s really NOT smart to shake down people for money at gas station pumps.” Glare-glare-glare. My glaring worked. With that, he stepped back, but only to go around the pump station for a sneak-attack. Just as he was coming around the other side, even as I was taking the pump-hose out of the side of the car to hook up in the pump station once again – a pretty vulnerable position – I saw him consider the joyful alacrity with which I had said NOT smart.” He stopped and reckoned for another second, then turned and walked away. Hah. Thank you guardian angel. I noted he was walking in the direction of town (where the DMV is).

Second incident

After spending quite a bit of time with the most wonderful church secretary in the world, I made my way to the DMV for that biometric Gold Star driver licence, where I had seen deputy […] looking for someone. I pulled into the DMV parking lot. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen the same riffraff guy (this being exactly one mile away). As I got out of the car and before I could even lock the car, he was right on top of me, an inch away, the trick of practiced pickpockets. Again, very clever. The entrance of the building is kind of in a side alley blocked from view of the inside of the building and from most everyone on the street. That’s where he had me. People going into the DMV to do document work are just as likely to already have their wallets and documents in hand while getting out of the car and going into the building. That was the case with me. Stupid me. His question this time was not about money but about whether or not I was there to try to get a driver licence (I had driven up) and that’s what he was trying to do for a really long time. He was eyeing the wallet and documents an inch away. Bolting for the door would be useless. Time for a Jedi mind trick, again. I fully turned to him and said with rather stern but joyful alacrity and confidence: “Yes, a driver’s licence… THAT’s what I’m trying to do.” Glare, glare, glare. My glaring, as a challenge, combined with the joyful but rather to the point confidence had him back off and disappear. Thanks, guardian angel.

Long time readers know that I carry. Not that I had any firearm on me. I did not. They are not allowed in the DMV, of course. Criminals also know that the safest place for them to commit crime is in gun-free-zone, or, hey, in a parking lot of a building that is a gun-free-zone, because, although the parking lot is not a gun-free-zone, no one in that parking lot will have such a tool with them.

Mind you, I’m 6’2″, 250 pounds (still), wear a 5-11 tactical shirt with collar (because I’m more elephant than donkey), and this guy still thought I was an easy target. Twice. Druggies, I’m thinking, are having a tough time if they are being kicked off the welfare system as their excuses are found to be invalid by real doctors.

Oh, it’s him

Oh, wait a minute. I think I recognize him. He’s the guy who, at a certain garage getting my tires changed out, towered over me, an inch away from me, as I sat low to the floor on a couple of stacked tires, waiting for my tires to be changed. I was there, again with my Roman Collar on, a Catholic priest, obviously, with him saying to me (a white boy and a foreigner – born outside the county – and from a state of Northern Aggression, Minnesota), he saying to me that: “We don’t like N*****s around here,” trying to be as threatening as he could be, you know, just an inch away from me, and me being as white as white can be. I just shrugged my shoulders and asked a question about the tires, diffusing the situation. I remember having asked about him later. Apparently, the guy really is clever. If I remember correctly, he was in fact trained up to analyse the criminal mind. And then he became a criminal.

Mind you, I try to be practiced as well with situational awareness, but this guy, trying not to be seen until he was on top of me, was better than me, druggy or not. A good lesson. I bet he’s the one the deputy was after.

So, look at that. Being practiced in Jedi mind tricks and depending on one’s guardian angel is the way to go, even with someone like this.

That’s an eye-opener for me – two experiences like this in one day – and I thought I would share that with you. It’s not just a good lesson. It’s an important lesson.

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Main State RICO: taking “payments”. Or just let it go. Watch death for fun.

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MAFIA OMERTA

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Remember my “Shadow”? He’s the guy who stole my identity decades ago to get a clean identity to travel under so as to do arms transfers to straw purchasers for upstart cartels, specifically that of Sinaloa. He was a program runner for DoS shenanigans, inextricably entrenched under my name. He wants to send monthly “payments” to me. For what? Paying me for the use of my identity to commit crimes? Thirty pieces of silver for all those murdered with the AK-47s and mountains of ammo he transferred to the worst murderers South of the border? [By the way, these interdepartmental State Department programs are never about just guns, but rather about disrupting governments and economies. Giving weapons to the most adept murderers really helps.] For years, my “Shadow” wanted me to purchase vehicles for him, put my name on his properties, get a property for him in my parish right now. I’ve never done any of those things and none of these “payments” are for any of that. He says that the amount will be at least as much as 8% of his adjusted gross income. If your bleeding heart bleeds for this never repented guy and you are making excuses for him and you think he’s ever so sweet and nice and that I’m just an ol’ meanie who needs to give it all a break, take a breath. Having done that…

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If you know what the rules are for Federal Income tax right now in these USA, just stare at that 8% for a moment and figure out what he’s doing, I mean, you know, considering that I’m a pastor of a 501c3 church. Money laundering. Get it? It falls under the RICO act (racketeer influenced corrupt organizations act). I mean, did I extort him for “payments” as a way to get back at him in some way? Anyway, I expect all that from him. So when I see rubbish like this, what I do is not stare at him, stunned by his behavior; instead, I look with disgust at Main State. They know this is going on, laughing. It’s their program. Great headline though: Pope Francis’ Jewish-Catholic-Priest Missionary of Mercy imprisoned for racketeering. The State Department owes it to me to get me out of this.

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They know the bit of blue I want. They all have it.

It would solve really a lot of things.

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Like Stzrok and McCabe and Comey and the whole sorry lot of the them in upper hierarchy of the FBI, Main State bad actors are plenteous. They made a mistake on 28 and 30 June 2017. There are recordings. I won’t give up. My going to prison, framed, won’t stop me. To the FBI and Main State: go ahead and ask Secretary Mike Pompeo and Director Gina Haspel when they get confirmed for a summary of my case and that of my “Shadow.” Can’t do it, can you? It would devolve back on you, wouldn’t it? A little too much Fast and Furious? Pope Francis is right about the sin of corruption. Hey! I’m all about forgiveness, but as John the Baptist says: Bear the fruits of repentance.

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Update: sniper shot in Rome – God’s providence with a message? Jackass!

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A “sniper”, in the Autumn of 1999 over in Rome, took a shot at me, a warning shot, I guess. A warning for what I could only guess at the time. I’m guessing it had something to do with a guy who was living there for quite a number of weeks, a bit of a terrorist who had opened up to me, in detail, about his intentions to bomb an island nation near Africa. Of course, as always, I passed such information along. Anyway:
What I wrote in the past: I was up on the top floor of where I was staying, about 85 feet up from street level, a recreation room surrounded by large, panoramic windows. I was standing at a window (top right) with the exit door unto a patio roof on the other side of the building behind me. I loved to stand there and look out over the city of Rome while mulling over a doctoral thesis I was writing at the time on textual criticism of papyri manuscripts. For no discernible reason, I was getting creeped out by a window on the far side of a little valley in the city – a veritable spaghetti bowl of train tracks coming in from every direction – creeped out enough by that window to be distracting, and it was unrelenting. Wanting to think of things more academic, I simply turned to leave out the door onto the roof-patio on the far side of the building where I could pace back and forth to think in peace. But just as I turned out the door to that roof-patio, that nano-second, I heard a sharp make-you-instantly-cringe CRASH-CRACK sound and came back to investigate. I saw a small hole in the window where I had been and some bits of glass round about, but, just glancing at this, not really looking, while my first thought that it was obviously a bullet, I dismissed that thought and figured it was just someone who had thrown a tiny rock up at the building just to do it, and that it was no big deal. It was a small hole. Back I went to the patio and pacing, oblivious to the world, thinking of manuscript symbols and dates and locations and ancient politics and also the “Reformation” and present day Church politics. But the next day and the next I would be back at that window, as was my custom while deep in thought. I let myself be distracted and noticed that a picture on the far wall from the window, just to the side of the door, had been broken by what I didn’t know, perhaps rough-housing while playing ping-pong (there being a ping-pong table on the far side of the room). But then I looked at the window again. It was double-pane. It was then that I realized this had to have been a bullet because of the double panes and the holes being so tiny. I followed the unmistakable trajectory (lining up the holes in the two panes), and it went directly to the hole in the picture inside the room. With that I followed the trajectory the other way, and that led me to a large-windowed room (one window always open) on a roof of a building (quite exactly the height of the one I was in) which, now using google-maps distance measuring tool, I find was 427 feet away. It was the same window that had creeped me out.

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The tram and train power wires would not have been in the way. The above picture is from google maps at street level, far below the window where I had been standing.

Left-of-bang advice from those experienced in combat is that you should always take note of those super-creepy feelings. Your senses pick up on things that don’t register in your conscience brain except by way of such warnings as they are things so small you would never pay attention to them even if you did outright notice them. Did I notice but not notice the end of a gun barrel pointed in my direction. At that distance? But your brain registers the information you otherwise can’t.

Anyway, no harm done. That didn’t stop me from hanging out at that window to check out the skyline of Rome before my usual pacing. I won’t be able to go back to that building if I’m ever in Rome to try to find the bullet buried in whatever wall or whatever since the building was sold some years ago.

22 vs 556
UPDATE: Since I wrote the post in which the above was included (about a year ago), I’ve come to know a bit more about guns, including an AR-15 belonging to a parishioner. I remember the holes in the double-paned windows (thick glass in those massive windows, mind you). The holes were tiny. I figured it was just a .22 bullet like for the long rifle we had at home when I was a kid, you know, the kind with the really tiny bullets that will ricochet off anything without doing any damage. That’s what I thought, being amazed that such a bullet at such a distance with such a blunted surface and with no power could ever so very cleanly cut through those windows. But now I realize that one would have better accuracy if that bullet were not a .22, but rather a .223 or 5.56, which have the same bullet width (tiny!), effectively, the same as the normal .22. The .223 or 5.56 is, oh my, ever so very much faster and powerful, as there is so much more gunpowder in a collared cartridge, and the bullets are not blunt, but pointed, apt, then, to cut through those thick panes of glass as if they weren’t even there, with the tip cutting, not pushing through, keeping the holes small. That rather nuances my thoughts about the shooter.
Some additional thoughts about the timing: As mentioned above, at the time of this pot-shot I was trying to wrap my mind around the utter, total betrayal of the Church by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity by way of its documents on ecumenical cooperation on the establishment of a text of Scripture perhaps closer to the original than what we now have. Not that that’s bad at all, but the way they did it was and is still an attempt at a “Reformation” this time from within the Church, going far beyond what the “Reformers” would ever have themselves tolerated in their own wholesale rejection of Revelation as both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition: Erasmus, Luther, et alii… This was a very dark time for me, or, really, a time so full of light that I was just a bit blinded by the radiance. People think that it was some document on justification which bothered me about ecumenical activities back in the day (and it was criticized even by most Lutherans) – and it did bother me – but instead, I was simply consumed by the darkness of the betrayal of Revelation by those who should know better, a betrayal of openly triumphalistic mockery. I know what was said, publicly or privately and by whom, about all this. I saw just how close the Church was to dropping into hell, and was very much consoled that Saint Robert Bellarmine on exactly this topic and this very point had used this very description of the Church as being about to drop straight into hell. The utter betrayal of the faith – and what I saw the consequences of this would be for untold numbers of the faithful for centuries to come – had caught up with me and was beating me down, down, down, down, down. Call me a damn fool to weep for the Church. Call me a damn fool to be beaten down by this crowd, to take it personally, to feel indignant for the Holy Spirit who provides Revelation (both written and Sacred Tradition), to feel indignant for the Incarnate Word (to whom that Revelation points), to feel indignant for the Father (who wants us to listen to His beloved Son). Call me a damn fool for caring when there were canonized saints at the time (more recently) who didn’t seem to notice or care (though they surely didn’t see the problem in all its clarity, hoodwinked as they were by those clever mockers and manipulators). Call me a damn fool. But it is what it is. This is just a personal note of a part of my personal history. I can’t change what was, what I lived, what I experienced. This was the darkest moment of my life. Seeing the Church so close to hell is not easy.

At precisely that nanosecond, the shot came crashing through the window and into the room. Had I not moved a nanosecond before this, that bullet would have blown my heart right out of my chest.

But the guy waited a nanosecond, perhaps by mistake, perhaps on purpose. Had the door jam behind which I had just slipped in that nanosecond been made of wood and sheet-rock or plaster, instead of brick (which he didn’t know), perhaps I would not be writing this. It was solid brick. I’m sure people will laugh, and say that this was simply Coincidence, blah blah blah. Maybe. Coincidence is a dang good aim, a dang good shot, at a distance, right to the heart. What are the chances? About a trillion to the power of a trillion? But that’s not the point.

It’s now almost twenty years since that happened. It only now strikes me that there’s an analogy in God’s providence to be made. I’m a bit slow with these things. It strikes me that the betrayal of the Church by those who should know better can be a bullet more deadly than any bullet shot by a mere rifle.

Character building and all that? No. What’s needed when it comes to the darkness is the light of Christ. We are just so very much nothing. He is everything. It’s all about Jesus. Only Him. How could it be otherwise?

Perhaps this is why I didn’t go near doing character development for Cardinal Frobin in Jackass for the Hour. I was just too close to all that when I wrote Jackass. See: Jackass for the Hour: Frobin in Ch. 27 & Sister Nice in Ch: 29 Weirdly, my life history, including some dramas and actual stomping grounds (exact the same places, even the same bedroom) have mirrored in detail the life of Cardinal Frobin, except, of course, for being a Cardinal. I knew people who knew him in his younger days and during his time in Rome, who knew him very well. I could and should give him a bit of character development in a future revision of the novel.

What I wanted to express in this post is something rather personal. I know I will be mocked for this walk in the darkness, as it were (know that I don’t publish all the comments that come in), and I know that I am making myself perhaps a bit too vulnerable in this way, kind of like Paul writing about his crying out to the Lord to be delivered from Satan, but, it just is what it is. I think what I’m trying to get across is that our Lord grabbed me at that very moment. Perhaps I should write about that experience. Perhaps that is important. Perhaps there are other readers who could gain some hope in seeing what happened when coming to know the Lord a bit more, that is, an increase in hope during a very dark time indeed.

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Situational awareness and adrenaline: competency, fear, doing the necessary

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Apologies are in order to readers who don’t like guns, but guns are a part of this priest’s life for the past year and a bit in which I’ve chosen to assist in the defense of self and others in those situations which we hope to God never arise. If one carries, one must practice, a lot, which makes this a lifestyle decision. It’s part of who I am. Not a hobby. It is something for the day-off, a recreation, a distraction, but it is also stop-the-threat serious, and involves, among other things, target practice, situational awareness, prompt readiness, all intertwined.

Target practice:

In the Styrofoam plate (much better than paper or paper plates or cardboard) pictured above, there are sixteen rounds from the Glock 19 9mm from one of the stages of one of the courses that I try to run through at least once on the day-off here in one of the more remote areas of the Appalachian mountains: 4 timed rounds, 4 timed rounds, then 8 timed rounds in the sequence of 4 rounds, reload, 4 rounds. The lines on the plate, marked off on either side of a chunk of a 2×4 (=1.5″x3.5″) represent a smaller version of just a detail of the “inside bottle” of the FBI QIT 97-99 targets also used in the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal tactical pistol course. Could be a lot better. Especially since this particular stage is only seven yards. With all this I’m much more the turtle than the jackrabbit. It’s important not to give up just because one isn’t immediately perfect.

What I’m noticing with myself as time goes on is less nervousness with the fact of firing a gun. Being a bit nervous is always the butt of jokes for the reason that it’s all too familiar to all involved from the time they took their very first shot and were newbies like me. For me, at this stage, being less nervous means:

  • less pulling down: people do this incorrectly thinking this will solve any muzzle flip
  • smoother trigger pulls: all pistols, not just Glocks, always have a grating, heavy pull, which is good, as it gives you that last nanosecond option not to pull the trigger. I would never get a replacement trigger for a lighter pull
  • feeling less pressure to get in under the time limit of the ever so quick timer, which I’ve finally learned how to regulate for 1/100th of a second: this actually makes for better target acquisition and getting the shot off more quickly and accurately, regardless of, say, drawing from covered holster from 180 degrees at multiple targets.

Adrenaline:

Being an adrenaline junky is something I did with extreme sports as a kid. A rush of adrenaline would come about because of being in a situation of certain death if it were not for two conditions being present:

  • Being able to use the tools of the trade without thinking, by instinct, with alacrity, regardless of the situation, being relaxed when under pressure
  • Being able to employ adrenaline only for the narrow, immediate circumstances at hand for whatever few seconds of absolute concentration are needed

Adrenaline pumped attention – tunnel vision, time slowed, no sound – is deadly if that attention has to be given to the tools of the trade instead of seconds of exigent emergencies.

I have not forgotten the statement of “The Guy” to his fellow operators when he blew them all out of a competition for only the best of the best operators of all agencies and bureaus and departments and companies and branches of the military some years ago here in North Carolina (other side of the state). It was quite the event with all the top brass and bureaucrats and political appointees watching from bleachers placed for the event. The operators said that he, “The Guy”, must be possessed to shoot that well so quickly, putting ten shots either through the same bullet hole at 10x (8) or at least touching the original bullet hole (2) at 200 yards as fast as he could pull the trigger when participants were instead given a full minute for each shot for that stage of the course. 200 yards, for those who don’t know, is insanity for a pistol. He prefers a version of a Sig .40. His response was that he never participates in mere target practice; for him, every shot (even if it is only a paper target) is a kill shot (what I interpret as a ‘stop the threat’ shot). In other words, for him, every shot is personal to the core of his being. He’s put out more than a million rounds in his life as an operator. To make an understatement: he’s not nervous with guns; he’s perfectly adept using his tools of the trade. The adrenaline only enters in with total involvement in human confrontation in exigent emergencies. Those ten shots at 200 yards were all in utter slow motion, seeing only the target at 10x, hearing nothing else. Adrenaline is then a help, not a hindrance.

Target practice, adrenaline, situational awareness:

Less nervousness means less wasted adrenaline. Wasting adrenaline on a tool is terribly counterproductive. It’s the worst thing for a “carrier” and can have deadly consequences: one is so nervous about one’s ability to use the tool and filled with adrenaline about that nervousness for the tool, that the actual situation, possible methods of deescalation and possible solutions go unnoticed. One is, then, simply befuddled and shut down, with a deadly tool for which one can no longer know what is needed or is not needed to be employed in a situation. I think of those who do carry but have never shot a gun outside of their original qualification if needed in their state, never firing again for decades. That is simply dangerous and is a situation that shouldn’t be allowed. If you want a gun control law that helps, make a law demanding more training for those who carry. I would totally welcome that for aspects of using the tool, knowing the law, situational awareness, deescalation…

Adrenaline must be reserved only for paying attention to what is absolutely necessary, an actionable solution to a deadly force encounter that must be reserved as a follow up of one’s situational awareness. To recap:

  • Situational awareness is not possible when adrenaline takes away awareness of one’s situation.
  • One can’t keep one’s situational awareness as a terribly untoward situation unfolds if one is sick to death that one is terribly unpracticed with a tool otherwise apt to the situation.

“But Father George! I thought you were a priest! Why do you know about guns?”

People all have their histories and unrepeatable circumstances. And I’m also a human being living in this untoward world. And self-defense is not an evil thing. And it’s recreation on the day off. And I’ve actually had to brandish during a car-jacking, though in that incident the police then arrived in force: nine cruisers that I counted.

I put up these posts which show my deficiencies in the process of getting to know what firearms are so that people, including fellow priests might say: “Well, if Father George can do it – dang – even I might be able to do it, because, you know, whatever he can do I can do better!” Fine! It worked! Here’s the deal. If we priests want to be chaplains for our law enforcement – who are being killed off with much greater frequency – then familiarity with the world of weaponry is a pre-requisite in many jurisdictions also in this diocese of Western North Carolina.

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Murder just now in my neighborhood Time to be a vigilante? No, just a friend

A 29 year old woman just got murdered up the street from the rectory. A quiet small town and all that. Someone said that this part of town changed about ten years ago, for the worse.

The ex-con, who, it is said, also stabbed a dog to death a while back, is a felon, but he had a gun with which he shot the woman to death. He didn’t get his gun legally. There are already laws about felons not getting guns. Criminals don’t care about laws. That’s why they are criminals. His bail is fully a million dollars. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be out on bail. I think that anyone who treats animals badly is extremely likely to treat human beings in the same way.

We now have a police chief, not yet certified to make an arrest. He lives in another state. We have no officers. We do have a State Troopers office in town now, but there might be only one Trooper assigned for three counties at any given time. And in North Carolina the Troopers are not police. They’re assigned to traffic only. There are deputies in the county, but perhaps only three on duty at any given time of the night anywhere else in our expansive mountain county.

One of my shut-ins who lives just through the back yards of where the murder took place lives alone and is ultra-feeble and has no family in the area. I told her that if someone is breaking into her home that she is firstly to call 911 and then call me and then call 911 again. That doesn’t make me a vigilante, just a capable friend looking out for a friend. Do you have someone who will look after you when law enforcement is only hours away?

Oh. One last thing. Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee, for me. Are you ready? Am I? This guy could have gone after anyone at any time…

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

It’s now Friday evening in Lent. Time for a Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, the Adoration with Stations of the Cross. Jesus stepped into this violence so as to bring us heaven. Having the faith is so very important. What would we do without hope. Last Friday evening our little church was jammed with people. We want Jesus!

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Filed under Guns, Law enforcement