The Greatest Equalizer…

This is a little long, but read the whole thing. It is another example of “Why I Carry.”

I received a text from a relative the other night… this is what it said:So, I’m busy at the time at a business open house and on my way home I give the relative a call.

Background:

Barron For Scale…

Before I get into the details of the story, let me relate the following. This relative is 74 years old, under 5 foot, and has silver-gray hair and is a breast cancer survivor. From now on we will just refer to her as: “Short Lady with the Gray Hair” or SLwtGH for short.  She drives a retired police car we picked up used for a decent price after her previous car finally began to die after 23 years of use.

Story:

I call the SLwtGH and she informs me of the events from her day.  For whatever reason that morning she decided that she needed to carry Tweety, her revolver with her.  She headed into Tacoma to play bridge with some friends.  For those who aren’t familiar with the People’s Republic of Puget Sound, Tacoma isn’t exactly the friendliest depending on where you are, but this was going to be mid day and she would be traveling home by 1500 so it’s not like the animals would be prowling right?

She leaves her friend’s house and at about 1440 she turns left off of E 38th street and heads North on East Portland Ave.

The full frame of the incident. The distance from E38th to Fairbanks is .4 miles.

At the time she turned left she checked her rear view mirror and saw no one behind her, blind spot clear she moved from the left lane to the right lane.

At East Fairbanks she noticed two dark color vehicles approaching from the rear. She maintained speed at 40 thinking  this is nothing significant, other than traffic.

One vehicle rapidly speeds past, immediately pulls in front, rapidly stops forcing the SLwtGH to slam on her brakes. The second car blocks the drivers side preventing immediate egress from the area. The only exit is backwards or through the vehicles.

Three men get out of the vehicles. Two out of the vehicle directly in front. The third got out of the vehicle blocking the driver side. One has a revolver at his side, another has a knife, the third has a semi-automatic pistol. At this point the SLwtGH is dialing 911 and drawing her firearm. She places it in a retention position on her chest.  About midway through their approach of the vehicle the men stop their approach. They begin conversing, the words said are unknown.  At this same time the SLwtGH is relaying her location to dispatch.

Suddenly there is a siren and lights approaching from the east. The officers pull in front of the two black cars blocking any attempted egress and the officers exit the vehicle weapons drawn.  The officer and his partner in the first car immediately took control of the situation and put the individuals in custody. Two other cars arrived shortly after.

After the officers had placed the individuals in custody they approached the SLwtGH , asked to see her weapon and carry permit.  She was then informed they were well acquainted with subjects, she was absolutely justified and had nothing to worry about. They would be going away for an extended period on multiple warrants. She was thanked for maintaining poise and thoughtfulness.

She let the officers clear the scene and then she did so.

Major notes, the criminals were traveling in packs, attempted to attack what they thought they was a soft target. This event happened in broad daylight on a thoroughfare.

AAR and my takes:

Most likely this was an attempted car jacking. As the SLwtGH was driving a retired police car it is both hardened, as well as useful if you want to imitate being an officer to rob people.  Overall the event happened quickly, it was lucky there were officers in the immediate vicinity. The SLwtGH kept her cool and remained calm event though she was under stress.

In this incident all three elements for deadly force existed:

  1. Ability: They were armed and there was no question about them being so.
  2. Opportunity: Two of the individuals were armed with ranged weapons capable of piercing the windshield.
  3. Jeopardy: The men out numbered an elderly, short, woman, blocked her vehicle, were approaching it armed, with no legal reason to be doing so.

Alternative Weapons:

While giving a debrief she noted that even if she attempted to back up, she would have still had difficulty fleeing because of the distance required to get around them. I reminded her of two things.

  1. She was in a hardened vehicle that gives her an advantage others don’t have. She could have backed up enough to wedge through the two vehicles.
  2. Her vehicle has enough power and is reinforced on the front that she could have pushed that front car out-of-the-way.

Remember your vehicle is a weapon, don’t be afraid to use it as such.

It happens fast, remain calm:

This kicked off fairly fast, I’m impressed SLwtGH was able to get 911 on the horn and have her firearm ready to rock.

This was most likely because she did not sit in denial of the events happening in front of her. Many people when confronted will deny what’s going on, trying to rationalize that this isn’t really happening or that they’re being hyper critical and the danger they’re seeing isn’t really there.  Process your input and act on it, don’t deny what you’re seeing, don’t down play it. Let the data and events speak for itself. If new data says it’s not as dangerous, great, but don’t trying and play the hypotheticals as it is happening.

Her firearm made the difference.

The presence of her firearm interrupted their game plan. This was a defensive gun use, however statistically this wouldn’t be counted.  As a side note this makes for 5 defensive gun uses in my family, in all 5 instances there wasn’t a shot fired. They had their own preconceived notion of how this was going to go down. They figured it was a soft target and would need little effort other than intimidation. When they approached the vehicle, the firearm caused them to suddenly need to start working on a new game plan. I’ve seen this happen personally in another incident where the individual was armed.

If you find yourself in a similar situation that is the moment you need to capitalize on. What has happened is the initiative has flipped, they no longer have the edge of their plan. This is when you can either talk the person down, I did in one case, wait and see if they’re going to decide discretion is the better part of valor, as the SLwtGH did here.

Additional side note, if they are already committed to performing an act of violence in their plan such as shooting you, they will likely not freeze or stop. I suspect this is because mentally that haven’t counted on the escalation path and the probability of them not surviving the encounter. Someone already committed to the violent act will most likely not waver.

Final thoughts:

Sean’s notes on this are spot on. We’ve got yet another crap gun control initiative in this state being funded by Bloomberg and company. In two weeks time there were two defensive gun uses within my family.

The issue isn’t with firearms, it isn’t with law-abiding gun owners, it’s with the tolerant behavior surrounding violent crime. We’re restricting the rights of the innocent under the guise of stopping criminals, and then acting surprised criminals are becoming bolder, because they don’t care. In the end, criminals prey on the weak. Why are we wanting the people who’ve contributed to society and continue to do so turned into prey?

Final though, don’t tell me you want to ban firearms or otherwise disarm innocent people, I am sick of playing that game. The only way the SLGH had any chance there was a firearm. Even if they had just had clubs, she’s old, small, and out numbered. You’re a sick horrible person and honestly, the body count of innocent people being dead isn’t on us. We carry every day to protect ourselves and those we love. Just look at the pastor who stopped a car jacker when he was taking his 6th car after previously shooting numerous people.

So don’t you dare tell me blood is on our hands for supporting gun owners and law-abiding citizens. 5 defensive gun uses, not a single shot fired in any of them, and in the last one:

The Short Lady with the Grey Hair stared down a bunch of armed thugs to the point where they’re now sitting in jail.

How ready are you for when violence shows up unexpectedly? Remember it doesn’t call ahead, you’re not really going to get a warning until it happens. Are you ready to be like the Short Lady with the Gray Hair?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Apologists, Syncophants, and Surrender Monkeys

imgresSo the last piece related to the NRA had two distinct responses. There was a third type but that was largely only done by a single individual and he was the exception more than the rule.

The first type of response was simply that of agreement and relaying that they had encountered similar issues within fights in their .

The other, largely the source of this blog post was blindly defensive of the NRA without actually discussing any of the issues why, there was one exception as noted above. Which brings me around to the post title.

What was I really focused on?

It appears that the crux of my complaint was missed or oblivious to people so let me lay it out here:

Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?

Think about that for a second, they called asking for money but are no where to be seen in the 591/594 fight. End result I am spending my personal time and effort doing what they aren’t.

The response from others:

There were people who left comments to the effect of:

It’s just so much easier to bitch about the NRA than get off your ass and do something for yourself though.

Or the ever entertaining:

The gun culture will be destroyed when your last neuron stops firing from blood loss. Apparently, people like Barron, are cowards who will obey gun laws, gun confiscation,etc. If you have and love guns, you need to understand and be prepared to do the unthinkable if it comes down to it. I would hope that the gun culture in Washington will only be destroyed when there is physical death and destruction of every gun loving resident in that great state and not before that point. I guess people in New York and CT have harder balls than people i Washington.

That last comment is by someone who obviously is not familiar with the legislation and what it’s actually doing. Not to mention this seems like the rantings of someone perpetuating the “deranged knuckle-dragging stereotype.” I’d also like to point out that the goal of combat and war is not to die for your cause or principles, it’s to make the other poor bastard die for his. I-594, while certainly creating a system of backdoor gun registration, does much worse. I-594 makes felons from those who engage in instruction, sport, and education with its overly broad definitions. You’re right, the gun culture will die with my last breath because I was effectively prevented from bringing new people into the sport.

Where it all comes together:

The biggest gold mine was Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.18 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.33 AM

First, a quick reminder, let’s I wrote the post. Now lets rip apart those arguments shall we?

The NRA is working to elect pro gun candidates in every state. That’s a very bold statement, that would mean they’re working to elect pro gun candidates right here in Washington since it’s every state. Let’s look at the PDC shall we?Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 8.44.34 PM


The reason that the I-676 numbers are specifically called out is because the argument is the NRA is supporting candidates right?  We quickly discover that by far the biggest contributor to elections in Washington since 1998 isn’t the NRA but WAGOAL. By a ratio of ~1.5 to 1. But lets see exactly where the NRA is spending our donations.Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 2.01.17 PM

So it seems the NRA has a solid covering, but what is interesting is some of those candidates aren’t in serious battle areas. They are already very “red” and quite pro-gun as it’s the more rural parts of the state. Interestingly though Pam Roach, who is quite honestly one of the most gun friendly people up for reelection, is in a heated showdown to retain her seat has only a single contribution from the NRA this year. Know what’s interesting about that? She is quite literally in the middle of some of the most gun unfriendly territory in the state. So explain how the NRA is going to be helping pro gun candidates, when it seems their philosophy is to fire a shotgun at the wall and hope that something sticks. If you have limited funds, one should make sure to maximize the effect from what you do spend. Same goes for residents, comparing the NRA to say WAGOAL in terms of supporting candidates, I’m sending my money to WAGOAL.*

WAGOAL may look light on this years donations to political candidates, however they have contributed heavily to the 591/594, where normally they would be focused on candidates not an initiative battle; which when taken into account easily moves them to twice what NRA has contributed this election cycle, even with the NRA’s shell campaign.

What changed?

In 1997 the NRA committed, quite heavily I might add, to defeating I-676.  As you can see above the NRA brought over $2 million into the fight. This time we get crickets.

We get a lack of commitment on an opposing initiative that would help secure a legal challenge in the even I-594 passes. We get a battlefield of restraints our local representatives are constrained by. Ultimately I see the process of engineering for failure.

So how do I view this overall?

When you criticize the NRA or question the notion that the NRA is the “gun owners best friend and can do no wrong” mentality, you get excuses. Sort of like the battered spouse crying “Sure he beats and rapes me but he protects me from all these other things! He’s a good provider!”

Others see that parallel with the NRA’s relationship to gun owners. They claim that the NRA is fundamentally opposed to any idea that didn’t originate in Virginia, that the NRA is unwilling to work with other pro-gun organizations and that the NRA is the first to claim credit when things go well – and shift the blame with equal vigor.

These same people who then tell us that the NRA response to I-594 and I-591 is precisely what we should expect – a token effort or a shell campaign opposing I-594 so that NRA “leaders” in Virginia can claim victory if I-594 is defeated, and that “well, we tried” should it win. That we should be unsurprised when the NRA dismisses I-591 as irrelevant – as, after all, not only was I-591 not born in the depths of the NRA halls of Virginia, it was homegrown. After all, nothing good EVER happens when gun owners think for themselves and take the lead. That is the modern NRA – not the NRA of 1997, still equipped with a spine and marching into the fight with $2,000,000 in their pocket.

Objectively it almost seems as if there’s actually two different NRA’s.  There is local NRA and field reps trying to find ways to be effective locally — whether that is testifying to the legislature or standing behind a booth at the fair, working a gun show, or any other task an activist must do.

Then we have the second NRA, sitting on the pocketbook – dismissive and uninvolved, a bureaucratic multi-headed monster in Virginia that works against those local representatives. The body that coughed up a total of $25,000 late in the game, in a seeming act of self-serving symbolism.

Representing that NRA we have Brian Judy, an NRA Senior State Liaison, has worked tirelessly within the dysfunctional ball field the Medusa of Virginia created in the Washington initiative battle and was fantastically effective during the Legislative Hearings in Olympia. Judy literally crushed the opposition without blinking an eye and did it effectively, without reserve, with an educational tone that nailed the subject at hand.

The NRA serves a purpose – but I seriously wonder how much they are really self-serving versus actually serving gun owners. They were helpful during the national fight January 2013, but at the same time they stabbed Washington State in the back – was that two NRA’s working to cross purposes?

Maybe it’s time to start working on solid local leadership we can depend on – if we cannot depend on the NRA of Virginia.

*Note I do not represent or claim to represent WAGOAL and could care less where you send your money. I am merely providing the information as an educational service. Do with it as you please.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Area of Operations
Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?
The representatives local to the state of Washington.

Where the F*** is the NRA?!

Background

46f45fc1d77a6c0a37791ab4003e0e0aFor those of you who don’t know, a serious fight kicked off last January in Washington state. Lately I have volunteered my time to speak at gun shows and other events and let me tell you something, I am terrified. Out of the people visiting their local gun show you would expect at least 90% of the people to have at least heard about what’s going on, it’s more like 50%. Most have no real knowledge of either of the initiatives or their real legal impact and what it means for them as gun owners.

Recently gun owners accomplished a great feat in Missouri and everyone is all ecstatic, thing is strategically Washington has a lot of ground to cover and is quite likely to cause failures in other states. Not to mention they had no opposing ballot initiatives in their fight.

For those who don’t know, Bloomberg and his “Everytown” group have pledged 50 million dollars to aid in pushing Initative-594. Bloomberg has been stating he wants to crush the NRA, what better way when the NRA doesn’t even bother to show up, I’ll explain in a bit. Quite literally this is the biggest fight going on between gun owners and Bloomberg.

There is also an opposition bill, I-591, which Washington gun owners want to pass that will prevent the state from confiscating firearms under a declared emergency.


Current State of the Fight

Polling DataYardSignSTOPGUNblackfinal

First off, current polling data I’m getting through the grape vine, remember this fight began in January we’re 8 months in with 3 to go.

The news is, frankly, bad. We’re 8 months into a 11 month fight and running out of time. According to my sources, the numbers are running against us on the anti-gun I-594 stealth gun registration scheme, with voters polling over 2:1 in favor.

On I-591, the Gottlieb sponsored initiative banning gun seizures and forcing Washington to refrain from background checks at least until a consistent federal standard is passed is doing better – about half of voters polled support it. We can win 591 if folks get off their flabby… and start volunteering and writing checks.

The War Chests (The core data showing something’s wrong)

Our Side

Now lets talk war chests and who’s been providing support and where:

Data for the contribution statistics above can be seen here.

The good news is there have also been a pile of individual donors so the total contributions thus far are in the $1 million range.

What about those pushing for I-594?alt_pro594

What does it actually look like?

Total raised: $3+ million dollars, including a single $30k contribution from MAIG.

What about the NRA?

The NRA has showered this fight with a whopping, wait for it, $25,000. You read that right, MAIG has actually put more money into this fight than the NRA.

What’s being done with the war chests?

It isn’t always about how much money you raise, it’s about how you spend it. Here’s how each group, on our side of the fight, has spent their contributions to the war effort.


 

imgres-1

  • Created POGR
  • Created I-591/594 Campaign Art
  • Created I-591/594 Bumper Stickers
  • Created I-591/594 Yard Signs, currently in productions
  • Staff for the Washington Arms Collectors, Falcon, Knodel, and other gun shows regarding I591/I594

logo recreaction

  • Reference section regarding 591/594
  • Comped tables for anyone associated with POGR at any WAC show
  • Comp’d tables through CCKRBA for the NRA
  • Public Representation
  • Law Enforcement Networking*

*Quite honestly that is probably the biggest thing WAC, or anyone has done in this fight. You would think the NRA would have been able to do this but it was WAC. What am I talking about?

WACOPS declared support of I-591 noting that it protects background check uniformity, allows the background check debate to continue on the federal level and allows WA state standards to change if, or when, federal standards change.

At the same time WACOPS noted the many flaws of I-594 and made clear their opposition to the measure as an organization.


NRA-logo

  • Two field reps, who are forbidden to support I-591
  • No campaign materials
  • Outdated self-promoting material
  • Complete lack of coordination in working with any of the above for the common goal
  • A committee with an unknown name and no resources to actually be allowed to call itself such.

I wish I was making the above up but I am not. I have met both of the lovely young women who are working as field reps for the NRA, they expressed frustration at the way the NRA seemed to be dragging its feet. Even more importantly how they are restrained from being fully effective. The reps are being constrained from being effective by the NRA.


What exactly is the deal with I-591?591-594 Bumpersticker

If you are a Washington state resident you want it to pass, doubly so as it creates a very interesting legal problem if I-594 passes as well. This is a part of a legal chess game and honestly this all goes back to 2013 when I wrote this earlier article. Gottlieb saw 594 on the horizon and was trying to cut it off at the pass, destroy the Washington state pistol registry while really giving them nothing. The key to screwing our enemy is make them think they have a win when they actually get nothing. Well it was done so well that the NRA that sounded that alarm, portrayed Gottlieb as a traitor and move their residential members to have the bill struck down.

Now we find our selves facing 594, and 591 was created as a response to try to help gun owners, as usual though the NRA doesn’t like it, presumably because they didn’t come up with it and their committee to form a committee hasn’t come back with an agreement yet.

Interestingly the NRA doesn’t even seem to be really reaching out to their local members except to call up and ask for more money. Tell me, why would I give a contribution to the NRA to “Help fight Michael Bloomberg” when in the biggest ongoing battle with him you’re nowhere to be found? <- Seriously they called me last week wanting me to donate money and I was starting to dig up this information. I’m about ready to say I will not be getting the life membership I was thinking about getting this December as a birthday present, much less renewing.


Does the NRA hate Washington State?

It certainly feels that way. I have heard through the rumor mill that the NRA has a serious dislike for Gottlieb and they view this as a “let’s screw Gottlieb” moment. The catch is they’re screwing over every gun owner in the state of Washington over petty personal politics.

No one has been able to figure out why the NRA hasn’t endorsed I-591, it’s only a page long and so simple even a child can understand it.

If the NRA feels that 594 is too likely to pass so why bother investing in the fight, why not then endorse 591 to give the best possibilities in a legal challenge? Preventing a total victory for our opponents.


Tactical fallout:

There is, as with any battle, a list of tactical consequences that come with defeat and it is no different in this political fight. There are implications both nationally and locally.

First, despite the NRA seeming to think they do not have a dog in this fight, should 594 pass and 591 fail, MAIG, Every-town, and every other wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg Inc. will declare this a victory over the NRA.  The NRA has been portrayed to be the big evil nasty villain that is impossible to conquer. This fight, the opposition may do exactly that.  That gives the opposition momentum. Momentum creates opportunity and allows for more losses.

Which brings us to similar types of initiatives being brought forward in Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere shortly there after should they win.

And then the local fallout.  Expect to see attempts for a semi-auto and magazine ban in the state of Washington most likely in 2016 when there is also a presidential and gubernatorial election and the Peoples Republic of Puget Sound will be out in full voting fury.


Conclusion:

There is no doubt this fight is a big deal. A bigger deal than most people realize.  Implications are reaching far and wide and it seems that the largest most effective group with the largest reach is sleeping at the wheel.

We have a fight on our hands, if you’re a gun owner in the state of Washington, be sure to educate your friends and family about I-594 and I-591, the implications and facts behind them.  If you’d like to volunteer in some way hit up this contact form.  If you’d like to donate to Protect Our Gun Rights, go here.

And I will say it again, “Where the F*** is the NRA?”  Feel free to ask that the next time they call asking for money.

*It should be noted that my main complaint here is that the NRA is more than happy to take my money but then is no where to be found when things actually go sideways. While some would say, “quit complaining and do it yourself,” well that’s exactly what I am [email protected]#$ing doing. As such I’ll be taking my money with me, cause obviously I need it for the fight they’re not willing to take on.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.