Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best Gun Scenes

It occurs to me that someone who professes to be against guns shouldn't like them so much in movies. But I do. It makes me wonder what does it mean. Am I enjoying some sort of forbidden fruit without getting my hands dirty? Am I acting out some fantasy life of violence, enjoying it vicariously? Whatever it is, here are some of my favorites:

Butch is too cool.

From Reservoir Dogs, complete with the analysis of who shot whom.

"AK-47, the very best they is"

I don't think I'm the only one. Millions of us who strive to eschew violence in our personal lives love the movies of Quentin Tarantino. Why do you think that is? Do you think movies like this contribute to the crime problem? They certainly glamorize the criminal and violent lifestyle, but does that seep into the society itself? Does life imitate art in this case?


  1. I gotta say, Quentin adds to the problem by spreading ignorance. The guns in his films are often handled unsafely (or just in Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blond pulling his Beretta 92 and quickly racking the slide, or Mr. White shooting the cop car with a pair of 92s...looks cool on camera, but no self-respecting gunnie would Israeli-draw from a shoulder rig, or shoot with a pistol in both hands!!!)

    And most of Quentin's protagonists are criminals doing bad things with guns.

    Great theatre (I like his works...though I thought he was a poor choice to direct "Rum Punch" by Leonard, as Leonard's crime novels are light-hearted, while "Jackie Brown" took a MUCH darker look at the underworld created in "Rum Punch", and I thought it clashed badly...Reservoir Dogs is my #1 fave, with Kill Bill at #2)

    Also I do rank some more unrealistic shoot-outs as some of my high-ups. Like this one:

    Still movies with realistic guns and gun handling REALLY grab me. Two that come to mind is the 2004 Version of "Dawn of the Dead" (realistic choices in guns, and watch those fingers keep off the trigger when they aren't shooting!)

    Heat was also very nice with the choices of guns used and VERY good gun handling (Pachino doing a Press-check to see a chambered round on his 1911 before he kicks down a door is GREAT theater, and EXACTLY what I'd do if I was in the same situation...and close to the same gun I'd carry!)

    There are a few flubs, like a camera shot of a .223 Round from an M4 Carbine hitting the tail light of a car just as a crook runs past isn't realistic, as unless the trunk was filled with cinder blocks, rifle rounds, even the under-powered .223 from a sub-optimal barrel lenth will go RIGHT through a car with exception of the drive shaft, the axles, the transmission and the block.

    Most of hollywood is anti-gun and they could give too shits if they portray them correctly, or safely.

    I'm all for more appropriate guns in film and TV.

  2. Movie violence is fun because it's make believe. I've gotten to participate in it through becoming acquainted with a friend of a part time stunt-man friend when he's not working as a military advisor's friend with a pyrotechnics and stunt company that has done a lot of Hollywood type work probably on TV and Movies you really enjoyed.

    He even has a facility where you can come out and learn and play as a civilian for a fee.

    It's all about spectacular effects and EXTREME LEVELS OF SAFETY. It's movies, not real life. Do not confuse the two.

    I'm studying right now to get certified myself as a licensed pyrotechnician to "perform pyrotechnic effects with or without a proximate audience in conjunction with a musical or theatrical performance" without having to work under somebody else's license. I got to help out on some stuff as a volunteer because it seemed neat and the bug bit me hard.

    I know how to make the unrealistic sparking of bullets in gunfights (as lead doesn't spark but sparks look good on film). I know how to make it look like the whole world exploded when in reality the buildings weren't even harmed. You have to re-shoot scenes sometimes, ya know? Can't be blowing up the sets unless absolutely necessary.

    Got to participate in a shoot that involved shooting the equivalent of a thousand+ lbs of TNT in a carefully orchestrated fashion in about 5 minutes. Bruce Willis film's worth of pyro in 5 minutes with a mock helicopter gunship and everything.

    Explosions and fireworks are neat spectacles. They sell and always have. Why do you think there's Fourth of July Displays and such? People like to watch these things.

    People like to watch spectacles on screens too. I find no reason to believe that it's caused by a latent urge for violence in the person that enjoys watching.

    For the record, getting your hands dirty doing the actual stunt/pyro stuff is a tremendous amount of methodical work, but it's even way cooler than watching it on the screens or at a public fireworks display, because when the day is over you know YOU helped make the prettiness happen and entertained a myriad of people. Quite the opposite from being sociopathic, one would think.

    As a gun crank, I must say to "AK-47, the very best they is", that might be true if you like poorly manufactured rifles stamped out of sheet metal designed for untrained peasants that don't clean their guns with loud clanky awkward safeties, no bolt hold open, and too short of a sight radius, making them all in all the VW Beetle (original version) of the world of firearms. Yeah, they work after a fashion and can get you to town and back, but they are uncomfortable and aren't at all performers compared to their competition. No mistaking one for a Mercedes. I've worked on them and SKS rifles and shot them and the only East Block rifle I ever bought is a Czech VZ-52 in the original 7.62x45 chambering before the Warsaw pact made them rechamber for that stupid 7.62x39 round. The Czechs build good rifles. The Soviets, Chinese, and other East Block nations build and built garbage, functional garbage, but garbage.

    AK worshippers have always irritated me. Mike Williamson, the prolific author, wrote a nice piece on the superiority of the Stoner Platform we use a while back to be found here.

    I'd say some life imitates art (but those are stupid people that need culling) and art imitates life (non-stupid people that don't need culling).

    Does reading a violent adventure or war novel make you a closet case who wants to go fight wars and such? Why is the screen special to you? Ideas and stories about violent acts occur in print and songs too.

    My two pence.

  3. Thomas, The more I see your comments the more I think I want to read your autobiography when it comes out. You are an interesting guy.

    But, concerning what you said about guns being no more exhilarating than other tools, I just don't buy it. Look what you said about fireworks: "I got to help out on some stuff as a volunteer because it seemed neat and the bug bit me hard."


    "but it's even way cooler than watching it on the screens or at a public fireworks display,"

    Now, if that's true about pyrotechnics, wouldn't it be all the more true for firearms? I didn't buy Weer'd's comparing their use to that of cutting down a tree or hammering nails. No way. The noise, the power, the recoil, the smell, the fact that most women and many men couldn't handle them, but I can. This is the excitement and exhilaration I was referring to. I haven't seen Bob's response, but c'mon guys, admit it. Shooting is a power trip. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. Some of you guys referred to the power of being armed as the very element that improved one's sense of responsibility, that knowing that you hold deadly force at your fingertips, makes you even more conscious of your behavior. I don't think you get that from a simple hammer and handful of nails.

  4. Weerd, you might be interested to know that the actual unrealistic sparking and clouds of dust making shooting of things done in Hollywood stuff these days is primarily done with highly specialized paintball guns that shoot balls of special manufacture.

    Gunshots wounds come from small binary explosive charges underneath fake blood/tissue packs on the outside of kevlar vests. It's an odd feeling the first time to hear a stuntman ask "who wants to wire me so I can blow up?"

    Loads of neat toys and tricks. Back to using fine tools being fun. Give me an Estwing hammer and Snap-On wrenches and I'm a happy boy.

    You might have a poster here who's gotten to be armorer and weaponsmaster in such instances.

    Blanks, carefully placed pyro devices, and paintballs. It makes the entertainment world go 'round. Stunt and pyro people check and double and triple check their gear and what's loaded where and in what more than Delta Force and SEAL teams do because the goal is to NOT KILL ANYONE on the job.

    I also was lucky enough to have known the great Ray Chapman. IPSC and Bianchi Cup Champion. He had a sideline of teaching Hollywood actors how to shoot properly. Worked with people from James Arness and Johny Wayne to Russell Crowe so that they would shoot properly on screen. Ray was a hell of a man and I learned quite a deal from him by doing my best to shut up and listen. When he took his Texas concealed course his instructor asked him "How could you nail the bullseye and then completely miss the target with the rest of the shots?" and then they reeled the target in and it was one slightly ragged hole that all the rounds had gone through in the center of the bullseye and the "instructor said" "Oh, yeah, you're that Chapman fellow, aren't you?" Fifteen yards, one hole, 2.8 seconds, 7 rounds. He got chastised for shooting too fast, too. =] He's sorely missed.

    Some people still care about portraying gun handling and usage correctly and safely, they just mostly aren't the producers, writers, and directors other than Francis Ford Coppola and maybe Spielberg, depending on his mood. =]

    I've had an accidentally interesting life, Mike. Dunno if there will ever be a book about it.

    There's a difference between something being fun and neat and something making you feel like superman who can and should take on the world. I think that's where we are conflicted on this point.

    For the record, creating pyrotechnic effects and hunting are where the excitement is for me. I find sighting in rifles and punching holes in paper doing bullseye shooting tedious and boring, though necessary like brushing ones teeth and getting exercise even when you don't feel like it. That's why the only competitive shooting I've engaged in has been in the tactical/practical realm since such tournaments became available. The rest is about as exciting as washing the dishes or polishing the wheels on one of my cars.

  5. Mike, my favorite shot I ever took with a firearm was taken on a zebra I'd stalked for 6 weeks in Northern Transvaal. Over 300 meters. It wasn't the power of the gun (hell, it was only a .223) that made it my favorite shot in my life, it was the fact that I had the knowledge and training to shoot it in the brain stem at that range in a windy environment and I had managed, after weeks of effort, to put myself into a position to where I could take a shot on her.

    It wasn't the owning, holding, or firing of the gun I got off on, or even the shooting of the animal, it was a plan coming together and the proper execution, pun slightly intended. Zebras are the darndest thing to sneak up on. They have good ears and noses and often herd with giraffes for extra eyes. Only animals zebras commonly herd with, and if you spook them they run 2 to 2.5 klicks before they stop.

    I may as well have walked to the moon and back on that hunt.

    In case it matters, I can see why zebras are one of the lion's favorite foods. They are damn tasty, second only to kudu in my opinion.

  6. Not to mention among best gun scenes Robert de Niro's 'you talking to me?' routine in front of the mirror in 'Taxi Driver' - I needed a stiff whisky after seeing that film all those years ago...

    And Clint's 'mah mule don't like it when people laugh at him - now you apologise to mah mule' - with terminal consequences for the non-apology. Pure comedy!

  7. All I know is jackted ammo going through steel, will make a small spark best seen in low light.

    Also, Mike, I always wear ear protection, which cuts down on the noise.

    I do have a Mosin Nagant M44 that shoots about 4' of flame out the muzzle when the right ammo is used, and it has a nice meaty kick, that is pretty fun...but if I'm shooting for accuracy I zone right into it and its more relaxing than anything else....

  8. For the UK contingent that posts here:

    Good thing you have such successful gun control in place.

    For weer'd:

    I'll see your Nagant flamethrowing and raise you a 5.56mm flamethrower that shoots around one MOA.

    Good thing you always use ear protection. I have a bad habit of forgetting to put plugs in when I have a chance at a snap shot while hunting, therefore everybody I meet these days seems to have some degree of laryngitis.

  9. Those are neat, I've got to shoot one!

    Still overall I'm not a huge fan of .223

  10. Hi guys,
    another nosy question for the gun owners who post on here.
    Have you had to handle guns for work (armed forces, police) or did you come across them via different routes?

    if you got the money and know here and whom to ask you can get anything in London, even zebra ;)

  11. alright, as i am apparently to dim to comment under my alias Britgirl i decided to do it properly from now on.

  12. Mimi - speaking for myself, none of the guns in my house have anything to do with work of any kind. they're recreational tools only, unless you count home defense, which i don't foresee ever having any real need for.

  13. anonymous:

    I grew up with guns and hunting. Earliest picture of me is of me playing with dead geese in the snow in Montana, where I was born, at about age one. Mostly raised in Texas, spent time in a number of other places, mostly rural/rockies but I mostly grew up in a military family in military towns and am part of what's called by some "the gun culture".

    I'm not much for cities. I tire of them after about 7 days.

    I never personally wanted to join up because I wear glasses and I couldn't be a helicopter gunship pilot and that was what I was going to have to be if I was going to join up and take orders from people...and I had plenty of interesting irons in the fire going anyway so I don't feel I missed out.

    One of my best friends growing up went to Annapolis and is a SEAL Team leader. My dad's first cousin is a Three Star General, US Army, Westpointer and was an Airborne Ranger medic in Vietnam who worked with the Montagnards in the Central Highlands. Got shot a couple times over there. He's currently in Bush's cabinet and retired from the Army as much as anyone ever does that takes a cabinet position.

    Dad's a Lt. Col. USAF (Retired). Sister's husband is an elected Texas constable and she teaches martial arts as a hobby.

    Three cousins are deputies and one is a Montana game warden.

    Mom's first cousin was Force Recon in Vietnam and his dad had fought the Nipponese in the Aleutians among other things he did in the Pacific theater as a US Army PFC.

    Favorite elder neighbor to look up to as a kid had flown fighters inn Korea and then was a AC-47 and later AC-130 pilot in Nam. I could listen to his stories for hours.

    One of dad's friend's he'd have around for dinner often was a B-17 Ball Turret Gunner and POW. Author of Stalag 17, if you ever saw the movie and he's also featured in "The B-17 Flying Fortress at War" book. After WW2 he was OSS and CIA. He willed me his manuscripts and diaries when he knew he was going to die from heart failure and a book he self published called "Shot Down" by Ben Reynolds.

    Guy two properties to the East of my current property has two sons that are USMC snipers in Afghanistan and Iraq at the moment and he flies the USMC flag at the same height as his American and Texas flags, illegal as that may be.

    I went to gunsmith college after normal college because I wanted to get better at it as a hobby and have worked as a gunsmith under another's license including being a civilian doing refurbishment of loads of military and law enforcement arms, among my many other careers.

    I still get emails regularly from Strategic Global Staffing (part of Halliburton) asking me to go to Iraq or Afghanistan as a small arms mechanic but they won't let you carry personal arms because you're a "civilian" and there's a bunch of "being polite to the locals stuff" in the 30 page pdf contract that they offer me that I couldn't see doing it, even for the really good money they offer. Friend's over their doing it right now and he says that there's nothing to do but work 80 hour weeks and iPods and internet get boring when it's all you have for recreation besides a bit of sports and PT.

    Due to the capriciousness of the BATFE and continually changing rulings as to what you go to prison for, I decided not to do smithing for anybody but myself anymore in the mid 90s. I still do stuff tangentially related but not stuff where I have to deal with the BATFEces clowns and excise tax agents. I really hate managerial and paperwork jobs and that's what the BATFE has turned most of gunsmithing into and if you make a bookkeeping error you get fined severely and/or imprisoned or at the very least, lose you license.

    Currently, I have a possible chance at some interesting work in Angola next year that I'm not at liberty to say much about.

    I came across firearms from a myriad of routes. Just about every route possible. Hell, I have a pristine 1946 Savage 99 in .300 Savage that I recently acquired because I've been coveting one since I was 6 years old and I got to shoot my best friend's dad's and I still have the expended cartridge case from that experience, saved it all these years. My life has been immersed in involvement with firearms, military, and hunting since I was born. May as well say I was born with one in my hand for all practical purposes.

    As to the .223 comment weer'd:

    Which would you rather have in a real world fighting situation, a 9mm MP5 or a PLR-16 in a smaller form factor that uses M-16/AR-15 magazines just like the AR or M-16 you should own in 5.56mm (BTW it's not the same as .223 Remington, the chamber and pressure specs are different, ammo is only partially interchangable depending on what you try to put in what)?

    Say you're a cop and you have a Glock .40 or a MP5 and an AR-15/M-16/M-4 and a shotgun in the squad car in case you need them. Having a entry pistol like the PLR-16 instead of something in 9mm or .40S&W that uses common magazines with your battle rifle simplifies things quite a bit doesn't it. And, for a rabbit round, I killed a 700+lb zebra (scale in the butchering shed only went to 650lbs) at 325-335 meters, lasered to gauge it with one carefully placed 55 grain soft point to the brain stem and some whiners claim it won't kill an insurgent...we're back to you needing to read this

    before you so disparage the .223Rrem/5.56 concept.

    How's that for a partial biography of a middle aged gun crank, Mike?

  14. While I did contemplate armored car guard and Private investigator for odd jobs when I spent some time out of work, all my jobs haven't held much more risk than walking down the street.

    I sometimes really wish I had served my country in the armed forces, but really it was never right for me. I didn't have much respect for the heroes who protect our freedom when I turned 18...made a LOT of friends in the service (or on the GI bill) while in college. Talked to a few recruiters after 9-11, but I have asthma (most have no idea I have it, but there's a zero tolerance in the Coast Guard and Major was Marine Science, so I didn't want to be far from the sea)Plus I was dating my wife at the time, and we got married well before my 4 years would have been up so it really wasn't in the cards.

    I first encountered guns through a friend who's Dad is a collector and has a carry permit, I started out anti gun, but as I learned more about them, and more about what I THOUGHT I knew about them my mind changed pretty quickly.

    Now my new permit just arrived so I'm stuck with the tough decision...I have to go into work tommoroa morning to check on the Animals in the lab, do I bring the S&W642, or the S&W1911Sc

    I'm thinking tommroa's gonna be a 1911 day.

  15. Mimi

    I grew up a military brat but was not into shooting as a youth. I shot rifle and shotgun at Boy Scout summer camp, but that was it as a youth.

    I served 4 years in the Air Force; had to qualify on the M-16 and a .38 caliber revolver.

    I got into shooting as an adult because of my family. I married a beautiful women with 3 kids. I take my responsibility to them. It's not enough to provide financial security without the physical security to keep it.

    The hoopla over Virginia Tech really started my journey into being a 2nd amendment advocate. I started researching it thinking the gun banners were right, the more I learned the more I realized how much we have came to depend on others for our security.

    I'm in the process of getting my concealed carry license. Working on my wife and daughter to get theirs also.

    My current job have nothing to do with firearms, my interest is only personal self defense.

  16. Now look what's happened. What started out as an anti-gun blog has become the hottest place on the internet to learn from the experts. I'm enjoying it too.

    Thomas, You said it all with this line, "There's a difference between something being fun and neat and something making you feel like superman who can and should take on the world." That's exactly what I was talking about.

    WR, Thanks for mentioning De Niro. No list of great gun scenes is complete without that one.

  17. I'd hardly call this place an "Anti-Gun Blog", granted I know you don't personally like them, you aren't presenting your thoughts as a Speach or a sermon, but as an opening to a debate on the issue.

    I think my fellow-pro-gunners are a little more verbouse on the subject, but I think overall the participants are quite balenced as well.

    So nope, this isn't an Anti or Pro, blog, but a very nice place for open-minded and tough discussion of a complicated issue.

    I must again thank you for that!

  18. Weer'd:
    Didn't you forget to add "And one cranky survivalist that sometimes insults people, more or less instinctively, because he feels really strongly about some things?"


  19. Thomas proves that while he cannot possibly be forgotten, he's prepared for the impossible!

    Gruff as you may be, I gotta say, you too are pushing the hard questions as hard as you can, and in a gruff yet respectable manor, both here and My Blog, and I think we're all quite grateful for your depth of experience and your unique viewpoint!

  20. Hey I just got thinking about Reservoir Dogs, and I forgot about how Mr. Orange (Roth) Gets gut-shot.

    Car Jacking a little old lady...but because she was armed she got the upper hand...of course because she hesitated and didn't stop shooting until the threat had stopped she also died.

    Neat little topical theater

  21. Imagine Weer'd calling others verbose. That's a hoot.

    "I think my fellow-pro-gunners are a little more verbouse on the subject,"

  22. I actually just meant that while length of posts this blog is pro-gun, but post count by subject Its fairly even.

  23. I was once told by a friend I always leave an impact, weer'd, "like a semi dropped from 30,000 feet" I believe was the wording.

    Funny thing, one of the "nazi anti-guns for the general public" cops that harassed me once and I made him get a warrant to search my truck instead of consenting because I'd broken no laws...guess who was at Barney Fife range day qualification in a lane near me...he remembered me too! And he didn't shoot worth a f*ck at 7 and 15 yards when I was shooting handguns at 75 and 100 yards a couple lanes over. I patted him on the back and smiled and said, "Good thing you're getting some practice in, have a nice weekend" and left.

    Small town rural living has it's moments of levity.

  24. Thanks for the answers, guys..was just another thing i wondered about.
    A good friend of mine who was in the army told me that he had a hellish (maybe healthy)respect which increased een more when he got taught how to handle them and see first hand what damage they can do.

    Thomas..boy oh boy.. like somebody else commented before me..i cant wait for your bio to come out !!!

    okay../ next question.. and i hope i dont bore you with all that but i am an inquisitive person.

    Did you ever have to use a gun to defend yourselves or your family?

    Knowing you lot a little bit by now i am certain if you have i will get a detailed report of it and your emotions that went with it.
    Look forward to hear from you..

  25. Keep asking, Mimi! That's how we learn more about our world!

    First up, no I've never used a gun defensively. I've grabbed a gun a few times when something odd happened (Strange noise in the house ect, or one evening my friend lost his phone in my house and didn't notice until he got back to his house, and he doesn't have a land line, so he drove back and rang my doorbell. This was at about 1am, and I answered the door with my gun in my hand. He didn't care, and there was never a risk of him getting shot...I didn't know who was at the door, and I wanted to be sure if it was somebody who should be there I was prepared for the worst)

    As for his heathy respect, I teach EVERYBODY to live their lives by the 4 rules of gun safety.

    Guns are definitely things that should always be handled with full respect, and redundant safety.

    I was showing my Mother-in-law my new acquisition, a small revolver. I unloaded it and handed it with the action open and showed her how to inspect if the gun is loaded, then I let her hold it. While looking at it she made the common mistake to let the muzzle of the unloaded gun sweep my wife. While we all knew the gun was unloaded (and the action was was incapable of firing no way, no how!) we quickly reminded her in unison to keep the gun pointed AWAY from people.

    It can create a duality that many find confusing. One minuet we're smiling and having a good time, maybe even telling jokes...but if one of those rules gets broken its all serious until things are safe again.

    Its a good way to live tho, seeing as its impossible to have something bad happen without breaking at LEAST two of those rules, and usaly 3 or all 4 rules are broken when an "Accident" happens.

    Still, while one rule broken will NEVER cause an accident, but better to be in good habit of following ALL the rules ALL the time.

  26. m:

    Yup, more than once on two continents.

    Evicting a meth addict from my rental house was one of them.

    Living on the near west side of Chicago for a while led to a couple of other incidents with people trying to jack me.

    African excursions, it's to be expected. For example, walking up to a bank (everybody carries cash because nobody takes checks in Africa) I had what would be euphemistically called "urban youths" here in the states approach me more than once with mailice in their hearts that turned to fear and crossing across the street from me when I lifted my shirt enough for them to see my hand going for a 1911. Lots of times those things have happened in my life.

    Rattlesnakes, coral snakes, bobcats, leopards, angry wildebeest that made it close enough to cause a permanent large scar on my left shin before expiring....

    Never had to shoot anybody, have had to shoot some animals, show of intent to use force was sufficient, but I know what damage a bullet does to meat. I'm a meat hunter survivalist type, remember? And my dad besides being a USAF officer (Ret.) is a medical pathologist and I used to go help him at work as a kid.

    I've seen a motorcyclist cut off by a drunk pickup truck driver in front of my old house rattle out his last breaths. When the deputies marking the scene of the accident leave behind spray painted circles and rectangles on the pavement saying "body 1" through "body 5" and there was only one person killed, it's pretty gruesome.

    One of my belts is made from the hide of an ele my friend Will had to shoot because it was stomping farm workers and buildings and land rovers after getting drunk on fermented fallen fruits.

    Where I live in rural Texas currently, it's never happened that anybody human has threatened me except in the cities, because everybody assumes everybody is armed out here. But it'd be a boring life to sequester myself to only such environs.

    For good or for bad, this is the sort of stock where I come from. That's my great uncle. Arlington National has a lot of my family in it and rather a few names on a large granite wall and I touch every one of them every time I visit the evil beltway.

    Some people say that they all died for nothing.

    I can't entirely agree.

    These brothers here,
    didn't die for no country.

    They died for me.--Joel Mabus

    Freedom and security only exist on this planet if one endeavors to provide them for one's self and one's kin and village and city and county and EARTH for that matter. Abstaining from doing your part to make the world a better and safer place is treason where I come from. Trying to delegate it all to government/police is ineffective and basically bullsh*t as far as results you will get and I've got a million stats to prove it. I've also seen your "protectors", in this instance mebers of the Chicago PD Austin District Gang Detachment draw their duty weapon's on each other over a game of billiards at Rick's Bar at the corner of Taylor and Western, if it's still there. Giving a person police training and a badge does not need be protect the public, they are as often a menace to society.

    I have a psychoanalyst I speak to on a semi-regular basis, once or twice a year, when I'm trying to sort out an issue in my life. He's good at asking questions that make me think of things at a different angle than I tend to when I'm thinking of making a paradigm shift in my life. They can be a useful tool.

    He says I'm well beyond PTSD from my life experiences, but I've adapted well, and he couldn't ever see me being a danger to anyone that didn't need me being a danger to them. I'm the last person who ever wants to fight but if I'm going to have to fight I'm going to be determined to win.

    I was in your fair UK in West Yorks. Huddersfield, more precisely, and some lout in a pub at lunch time decided he was going to kick my ass because I was an American. I was carrying a knife as I'm want to do where firearms are precluded, well I carry one all the time anyway, and what did I do? I mellowed the fellow out and bought him pints of bitter, he decided he didn't have to kill me after all, and nothing was harmed but my lunch budget.

    A squinty "thousand yard stare" where it looks like you are looking entirely through the person, rather than at them, is usually enough to unnerve people want on fighting.

    It's nice to have the option to escalate things, though.

    As for safety: I'm nearing forty and have yet to have a negligent discharge but I have had them happen by others in my presence. I have a .45 caliber hole in a piece of my furniture due to an idjit that didn't follow the four rules and he's permanently off my friends list.

  27. More grist for Mike's brain mill.

  28. Thomas, Thanks for the link to that attorney's site. I forgot about Switzerland. How come you guys aren't citing Switzerland all the time? Is something wrong with it as an example of the people bearing arms?

  29. Because anti-gun people will robotically say "Switzerland is not at all like the USA and has different demographics and what works there won't work here."

    Oddly enough, I'm primarily of Germanic Swiss stock with a bit of Afrikaner on my mom's side. Swiss DO tend to be orderly people, especially the Germanic ones. America, with it's melting pot, has a higher degree of frictions between groups, but I explain the lack of us quoting th Swiss example as I did. And if you quote the Israeli example, which is similar, the conversation gets derailed into a debate that all Israeli people are the new nazis and how poor is the plight of palestinians...

  30. Also because Switzerland has compulserary gun ownership which is both threatening to people who don't like guns, and to people like myself who see guns as freedom, not a requirement.

    I carry a gun because I choose to. Also the gun I carry, the ammo I load it with, and the holster I use, as well as the method I carry are all personal choices I make and have to do with my own jugements and personal tastes.

    Somebody else could choose a totally different combo, or choose some things the same, others different...others choose not to carry or own guns at all.

    Also its a favorite strawman of the anti-gun croud to pretend that our goal is to force a gun into EVERYBODY's hand, and the fact that Switzerland does just that gives credit to that false argument.

    Finally there are places in the US where there are LOADS of guns (potentially more than the whole nation of Switzerland, I mean we're only talking about one rifle *full auto* one pistol, and a few hundred rounds.....I take more than that with me to an average trip to the range!!!) all owned by choice and legally, and similar results to the social structure (very low crime).

    But you can use it as an example if you desire, but the variables are vastly different with social and economic levels....not to mention what living in a nation of compulsive military service means....

  31. wow, thanks guys again for the detailed answers. I truely lef a sheltered life but with things changing even in my little town..who knows.. i might even get persuaded to do a self defence course.
    Take care and be safe

  32. Take a course...even if its in unarmed combat. It'll only be a few hours out of your life, and you might learn a skill that could save it.

    Well worth it IMHO!

  33. Mimi, I don't know about you, but all this talk of guns and defense makes me think of this:


    More like this, Mike. Because peace takes two willing parties, war only takes one agressor, and if the peaceful side is unwilling or unable to defend themselves, the brutish will ALWAYS win.