Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Right To Arm Bears

This came up the other night between Becky and myself. We were talking about gun laws and concealed weapons permits and the like and I came up with this question...

"We have the right to bear arms; but does that also mean that we have the right to arm bears?"

Imagine all those grizzlies sporting Glock semi-auto pistols or polar bears with sawed-off shotguns to use against the environmentalists. Quite honestly most bears are already armed to the teeth; or should I say armed with teeth. Anyway; that was the introduction to my latest topic of interest...guns.

I used to shoot shotguns and rifles with my Dad when I was younger. We would hunt squirrels and doves (the ugly brown/gray doves; not the pretty white "peace" doves). I never wanted to hunt deer since they were quite bigger and would have way more messy guts to deal with after you shot them. Let me also say at this point that everything I ever shot was then used as a food source. I do not condone the killing of wild animals if all you are going to do is leave it on the ground to rot. If you kill it, it should be on your wall or in your stomach.

So I have some background with firearms of the rifle/shotgun type but not handguns. A month or so ago I went on an Appalachian Trail hiking trip with a friend from work who brought along a small semi-auto pistol. Carrying guns on the trail is a pretty hot topic in the trail community; some people for it; some people very much against it. The best way to carry a firearm on the trail is very much concealed. It is not illegal to carry a firearm on the Appalachian Trail unless you are in a National Park (Great Smokey Mountains National Park is a good example). My rule of thumb is that the only person on the trail who should ever see your gun is the person on the trail trying to kill you. I wish the world were a safer place, but alas it is not. A young woman was abducted from near the trail in Georgia and then murdered not too long ago. But I digress; this is not a post about the safety of the world or carrying guns on the AT, I'm just trying to explain what has prompted my new found interest in firearms.

So after our trip my buddy offers to let me borrow his Smith and Wesson .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. I said, "heck yeah!" and took it to a gun shop/indoor firing range that is near our dwelling. I had a blast (no pun intended) as I fired 50 rounds through it. It was a great gun to shoot and recoiled enough to let you know if was a .45 and that you didn't want to be on the receiving end but not enough to warrant two hands recoiling over the head; hand cannon type of force.

I was back at the range this week and was ready to try something different. The range offers weapons that you can rent in order to shoot many different calibers and try out weapons from different manufacturers. This time I went with a Glock 9mm with a longer, ported barrel. The longer barrel and the ports cut into the end of it enable the shooter to achieve more accuracy. I fired 100 rounds and was able to deliver multiple shots to the target while keeping them in a tighter cluster. With the .45 my shots were more spread out (out of 50 rounds, 46 of them went into the target, 4 went elsewhere). As far as recoil goes; I was expecting the Glock 9mm to be considerably easier to handle than the Smith and Wesson .45, it was not. Don't get me wrong, I experienced less perceived recoil with the Glock; just not that much. It is either a testament to the good design of the Smith and Wesson or the poor design of the Glock. It's hard to say and I am so new at this that I probably shouldn't make too many judgements. What I can say is that I am happy to be able to shoot a .45 caliber handgun without it recoiling back into my face and breaking my nose or causing me to drop it on the ground and being shot by the resulting round that fires upon impact.

So let me show you two firearms I am interested in owning...

The Walther P22 .22 caliber semi-auto pistol

This would be a great pistol to "plink" with (shoot targets, tin cans etc.). The ammunition for .22 caliber weapons is pretty cheap compared to the larger calibers. .22 caliber makes it affordable to go to the range and expend 500 rounds or more. However; .22 caliber is not at all an ideal sized round for home defense or concealed carry. I read that the best way to end a hostile situation with a .22 is to fire it up the nose of the person trying to take your life or cause you severe bodily injury. So far I've been reasonably accurate at the range; but I don't think I would ever be able to place a round that well.

Which brings me to my second weapon of choice...

The Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro

This is a compact .45 caliber semi-auto pistol. It is ideal for home defense or concealed carry since it packs the stopping power of the .45 caliber round. If you can't end a hostile situation with two .45 caliber rounds properly placed into the target; then your target is on some pretty scary narcotics and you will probably need to empty the whole gun into said target and then proceed to beat the target in the head with the empty weapon in order to neutralize the threat.

Let me end this post by saying that guns are not toys and are extremely dangerous when not used with knowledge and respect. Anyone using a firearm should be familiar with how that firearm operates and with all applicable safety procedures and all local, state and federal laws that apply to the ownership and use of firearms.

So what are your thoughts? Guns are good, guns are bad, guns are scary? I would be interested to know.

This post was brought to you by Michael Polutta, Pete Goode (thanks for the encouragement there guys) and the letter LMNO. Not familiar with that letter? Sing the alphabet song and you'll find it.

See ya next time!


Lauren-Michaele said...

Guns don't kill people, People kill people. I actually go up to the shooting range in goose creek a good bit. I enjoy fire arms and am the proud owner of one myself. Granted my Dad seems to always have it but it is mine;) So for what's it worth, guns-very good, spending an afternoon at the shooting range-AWESOME!!!!

Goode Design said...

Great to hear from ya! Take a look at the wallet gun at That's the first hand gun I plan on buying once we're finished with the concealed carry course this spring.

that said, May I correct Lauren-Michaele: Guns don't kill people... but neither do people (unless you're Chuck Norris)... It's really the little piece of metal that comes out of the end of the gun that kills people (if ya wanna be technical)... or you could boil it down to traumatic interruption of life cause by the damage to necessary, internal organs like the brain, heart or lungs... but that's a little too much.

I think the right to gun ownership and the "Right to bear arms" should be expanded (like the amplified bible) as the Right & Responsibility to bear arms.

On the point of what kinds of guns one should own, you hit it right on the mark... the one you know how to use is the one you should own. If you don't know which one that is, go to a place that will allow you to familiarize yourself with a piece of hardware and it's safety measures... not to mention the proper use, maintenance and safe handling of said steel.

I think i'm going to get a Sig .380 or possibly a Sig .45 and 9mm. depends on when we get the course out of the way and which I like best. I may prefer a smith with his brother wesson.

Did you know there are licenses that allow you to own and "operate" (for demonstration purposes, only) fully automatic weapons? I believe this license will allow you to carry a concealed weapon (hand gun) across all state lines and in all cities. Not sure, haven't investigated it fully, yet.

Goode Design said...

More on the right to bear arms:
As I mentioned in the previous comment, I believe the writers of the statement "the right to bear arms" inherently meant the "right & responsibility to bear arms." It seems those folks were steeped in common sense & personal responsibility. In todays age, we are more concerned with telling people how to "safely" have sex but abstain from guns. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Tommy said...

Conceal city is a cool site; thanks for the tip there Pete. I would like to carry concealed at some point; but I want to have time to purchase a defensive firearm and become very comfortable with it's use before carrying concealed; it is a great responsibility. If I can't draw quickly and fire accurate then I do not want to carry. Thanks for the great comments you two!

Coach Sal said...

A couple of gun thoughts: 1st, I think the Walther PPK was the gun of choice for Bond, James Bond. That makes the girlier of the two guns infinitely more cool. 2nd, I used to have a Taurus (an old .38 police special revolver). But 3rd, my Taurus got stolen when some bozo broke into my house when I wasn't home. So my revolver for "home defense" just wound up being pretty useless. All that said, I am fine with handguns in general--most gun laws only keep the law-abiding unarmed. Criminals, by definition, are not concerned about legality anyway. But since I work in a school, any carry option is a moot point.

Goode Design said...

The wallet holster is my choice. The idea: a guy holding you up on the street is generally after one thing... your wallet (get your mind out of the gutter). So, you put that in your back pocket, carry your wallet in your front pocket, then when he asks for your wallet, you pull it out and give him everything in it. All 7 lead nickels.

On to the point of actually taking a life with a handgun. That's a thing I would have to mentally work through. I'll have to create the mental resolve to act in a manner of self defense or the defense of others (here in NC you have the right to use lethal force to protect yourself and others like wife , children & guests). That is a decision you have to make before you the need arises.

DK said...

One of the key differences between a .45ACP and the 9mm is the velocity of the bullet. The 9mm is supersonic while the .45 is subsonic. This accounts for the 9mm's loud report and significant recoil. However, in multiple police studies, the .45 has about a 10% greater chance of taking a person down on the first shot. This is due to the sheer mass of the .45 slug which translates into (lots of) kinetic energy being transferred into the "subject" on the business end of the weapon.

Now, the 40 cal (.40 S&W) is nice because it's got more energy than the 9mm (and thus more takedown power) but with smaller slug so there is more magazine capacity than in a .45ACP.

However, the best home defense weapon is still a short (<18") barrel pump action shotgun with an open choke. 1) high intimidation factor, and 2) little aiming required.


BTW: Washington DC has the strictest gun laws in the US and one of the highest rates of violent crime. Go figure.

DK said...

Funny thing I just saw this article.

Apparently gun owners are happier in general than non gun owners. Hehe.

Read it here

Goode Design said...

Y'know. I think it should be a requirement that staff members at PBC carry at LEAST a Taser. Particularly on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. And some should carry a side arm.

DK with a Sig! Tommy with his S&W... I can just hear it now:
"Walk, please!"
"Oh, well. I said please."

MichaelPolutta said...

Hi Tommy,

This is Lauren P, from PBC. I tried to reach you through e-mail, but that didn't work, so Dad told me to try your blog. Anyway, I have a quick question about camp this year. Is the lunch plan going to be everyone sitting with their teams? I didn't like that last year. Instead, could everyone just be allowed to choose where and who they sit with? Thanks!


Goode Design said...

Tommy, can I make a Lunch seating suggestion? I think everyone should be required to sit in alphabetical order by the 3rd letter of their last name.

Ann said...

TAG, you're it!
See my blog!

Goode Design said...

tagged... now i get it!

Pete said...

aight dude! Get to posting!

MichaelPolutta said...

OK, dude - time for a new post. Camp is over.

MichaelPolutta said...




MichaelPolutta said...

(assume Vizzini voice)

"I'm WAITING!!!"