Category Archives: News

SHOW Show 2016 Day 3

Today is the final day of SHOT Show 2016. We’ve covered at least a double marathon on foot to bring you what we though were some of the most interesting and most unique things on the expo floor and we hope you have enjoyed the coverage.

Here is our parting shot ….

Petzl has been doing some interesting things with headlamps for quite a while. This year, they’re bringing the infrared, distance-sensing technology, available in their STRIX IR military line of lamps, to the sport market. According to the rep at their booth, the TIKKA XP will soon have the ability to adjust lighting intensity based on distance sensed by an IR beam.

Petzl TIKKA XP
Petzl TIKKA XP

Another company known for their headlamps, Brunton, is branching out into soft goods. (We’re seeing a theme with traditional hard goods companies branching out into soft goods.) Brunton has launched a line of battery-powered head and hand gear extending their line of battery-powered products.

Brunton Heatsync Glove Liner
Brunton Heatsync Glove Liner

While we like the idea of battery-powered glove liners for those really cold days in the field, the battery, stored in the cuff, seemed large and unwieldy. We hope to get a pair or two to test in the next couple months.

Speaking of companies branching out, Cammenga surprised us with AR-15 magazines and loaders.

Cammenga EasyMag
Cammenga EasyMag

The Cammenga EasyMag is a heat-treated steel magazine with a stainless spring and steel, non-tilt follower. The unique thing about this magazine is that the front portion slides downward making loading easier (in theory). Since it’s made of steel, the EasyMag is heavy and likely prone to rust. We’ve asked for a couple test subjects.

In addition to their EasyMag, Cammenga also now has an Easyloader. The Easyloader quickly loads up to twenty rounds in an AR-15 (5.56 or .223) or AK-47 (7.62) magazine. Interestingly, when I asked Cammenga’s booth rep to compare and contrast the Easyloader to Maglula’s product line, he confessed that he was unaware of Maglula.

Cammenga Easyloader
Cammenga Easyloader

Meanwhile, not far away, Maglula offers a variety of magazine loaders in a rainbow of colors.

Malula's Color Choices
Malula’s Color Choices

After seeing Cammenga’s innovations in magazine loading and Maglula’s wide array of colors, we searched out new packs and pack innovations. On Day 1, we reported that SOG had expanded their offerings with some relatively high-featured packs. We also found some new(er) releases by traditional pack makers and an innovation or two that intrigued us.

Eberlestock has released a range bag called the Bang Bang, a messenger bag called the Combat Office and a three gun competitor’s bag called the Up Ranger. The Bang Bang also appeared that it might make for a good photographer’s bag as it had a padded internal divider system (pictured below).

Eberlestock Bang Bang Bag
Eberlestock Bang Bang Bag

Eberlestock also now offers a line of tents and sleep systems.

Eberlestock Sleep System
Eberlestock Sleep System

Under Armour also appears to have expanded their backpack line into the bushcraft/tactical arena. The display pack was filled with a variety of field craft items and appeared to be a slick-sided version of their Storm pack.

Under Armour Field Pack
Under Armour Field Pack

Sandpiper of California (SOC) showed us a fairly unique design in pack frames. Their Pack Mule frame has a section that folds out to create a seat. If you’re one of those that carries a portable seat with you on camping or hiking trips, the Pack Mule might be worth a look. The entire frame is only 4.5 lbs. SOC had a pack loaded up with 30 lbs of weight. I carried it around for a couple minutes and felt absolutely no discomfort. The frame is a good frame, regardless of the fold-out seat.

SOC Pack Mule with their Three Day Elite Pack
SOC Pack Mule with their Three Day Elite Pack

We also visited the Hill People Gear booth to take a look at their latest pack, the Connor. The Connor started out as a pocket that could be strapped onto the back of another pack and has morphed into a full-fledged pack in its own right.

Hill People Gear Connor Pack
Hill People Gear Connor Pack

Similar to most of HPG’s packs, the Connor has a simple main compartment that allows the contents to be placed in compression sacks. In addition, the front of the main compartment is lined with a MOLLE panel made from loop material allowing attachment of MOLLE compatible gear or hook and loop gear. The pack also has side wings with MOLLE attachment points and twin mesh pockets on the back of the pack. The mesh pockets can be used to hold water bottles or … as Evan, of HPG, uses them … to air out wet socks.

Next to the HPG guys, we ran into Bart Combs, President of SOLKOA. If you aren’t familiar with SOLKOA, it’s probably because they’ve been running under the radar for their company’s entire history providing service to some of our country’s elite units. As federal training and equipment budgets have shrunk, Bart has had to branch out into the civilian market.

One of SOLKOA’s unique offerings is a line of first aid/survival kit modules. Most vendors in this arena either offer full kits or individual components – sometimes both. Bart has assembled modules, like the fire module pictured below, that allow the buyer to augment their existing kit without having to purchase individual components one at a time.

SOLKOA S3 Fire Module
SOLKOA S3 Fire Module

We also had some really good discussions with Bart about an ultra-light kit for trail runners and ultra-light hikers.

We didn’t see a lot that jumped out at us at any of the knife vendors’ booths but ESEE’s had a couple new offerings. They have slightly re-designed their standards, the ESEE 3 and 4, and released a laser-etched version of the Izula. Reportedly, the ESEE CR (Cody Rowen) 2.5 knife was available for pre-order by dealers as well.

Modifications to the ESEE 3
Modifications to the ESEE 4

The new ESEE 4 has thicker, more rounded scales and no finger guard. The ESEE 3 has been similarly modified.

ESEE CR 2.5
ESEE CR 2.5

The CR 2.5 looks like a handy little knife for small tasks around the campsite.  You can see the size of its blade as compared to the ESEE 4 above.

All the New ESEE's Together
All the New ESEE’s Together

That’s it for 2016. Stay tuned for deeper, longer-term reviews of many of these items over the course of the year.

SHOT Show 2016 Day 2

Two of the top billed items this year are the Glock MOS and Magpul’s new PRS rifle stock. Yesterday, we took a look at both.

Glock’s new Modular Optics System (MOS) pistols (Glock 17 & 19) provide the ability to mount popular optics or reflex sights directly to the pistol’s slide. The pistols come with four mountable plates. Previously, the ability to mount optics to pistols required customization. The MOS system puts that power in the hands of the gun owner. With a MSRP of $726.00 and very limited availability at this time, it’s a tossup as to whether Glock’s MOS solution is actually less expensive than relatively minor customization.

Glock MOS
Glock MOS

Like Glock, Magpul certain has its fair share of followers. Many of those followers have been waiting with bated breath for the third generation of Magpul’s Precision Rifle Stock (PRS3). We’ve utilized the second generation PRS and found it to be adequate if heavy and expensive. The third generation appears to follow the same path. Magpul has changed up the look and feel a bit. The new texture was grippy without being rough. The color appeared slightly different than past stocks but that may have been due to the expo floor lighting. The clicks of the adjustment knobs for the cheek piece and length of pull (LOP) were somewhat soft and seemed to make rather large adjustments. In addition to the cheek piece and LOP adjustment available on the original PRS, the PRS3 adds a cant/height-adjustable rubber butt pad – something we’ve seen for a while on other precision-focused AR stocks. Finally, the PRS3 can be mounted to a full-length buffer tube as well as mil-spec and A5 carbine length tubes. The PRS3’s MSRP is, interestingly, $0.05 cheaper than the PRS.

Magpul PRS3 Stock
Magpul PRS3 Stock

Magpul did pull off a bit of a surprise with their new soft goods line. We know one of their designers so we knew something was coming but we had no idea of the extent of the line. There are fifteen new items including casual shirts, pants, T-shirts and hats. More casual than tactical in nature, the clothing items are, nonetheless, configured for freedom of movement, carrying concealed and lugging around packs and messenger bags (Perhaps coming soon?). The pants have a Vertx-inspired look to them. The casual shirts are a little more Columbia-esque.

Magpul Soft Goods Line
Magpul Soft Goods Line

Focusing on soft goods for a moment, we came across a couple companies new to the market with products that will most likely interest our readers.

Hanz produces waterproof socks and gloves. The socks were of particular interest because, no matter how good your waterproof boots are, they’re likely to get water inside. In theory, unless the water is deeper than your socks, waterproof socks would aid considerably in keeping your feet dry. We hope to be able to test Hanz’s socks in the near future.

Hanz Waterproof Socks
Hanz Waterproof Socks

Another interesting entrant into the U.S. market is Jaghund. Jaghund clothing has been sold exclusively in Europe but is now being represented by Rein Outdoor in the U.S. The clothing appears to be very well made with European styling. The look is a blend of Filson and Kuhl. We, of course, volunteered to run a few of their items through the wringer and let the American market know what we think.

Jaghund Clothing Line
Jaghund Clothing Line

While we were in the camping/hunting area, we stopped by the Klymit booth to take a look at their very non-traditional sleeping mats. Klymit’s sleeping mats utilize body mapping technology to create air dispersion, air volume control, dynamic flow control and anatomical neutrality. Klymit also has mats that offer “loft pocket technology.” The loft pockets allow the insulating material of one’s sleeping bag to fill the pocket and maintain its insulating capabilities – and interesting theory that we hope to be able to test.

Klymit's Loft Pocket Sleeping Mat
Klymit’s Loft Pocket Sleeping Mat

Sticky Holsters was another soft good company making an impact. Their neon green and block color scheme stopped browsers in their tracks as they passed the Sticky booth. Most people spent several minutes looking over the holsters which are made to fit dozens of handguns. Eric, with Sticky Holsters, was very accommodating and promised to send us a number of test items when he recovered from SHOT.

Sticky Holsters
Sticky Holsters

From soft goods to about as “hardcore” as it gets, we navigated our way to the Standard Manufacturing Company booth to take a look at their DP-12 … because everyone needs a double-barrel pump shotgun. The DP-12 has a sixteen round capacity and handles like a houseboat. Obviously not targeted at states with magazine capacity restrictions, it is fairly well-balanced but VERY heavy. The DP-12 was displayed with door-breacher choke tubes and that may very well be its most practical application.

Standard Manufacturing's DP-12 Shotgun
Standard Manufacturing’s DP-12 Shotgun

After the double-bore assault of the DP-12, we moved on to visit a couple vendors whose products we have used or tested in the past.

We’ve utilized Daimondhead handguards on a couple AR-15 builds, including our Run and Gun build, and have been pleased with their ease of installation and good looks. Their most recent release is the VRS T-556 Keymod handguard. It looks very similar to their other VRS T handguards but with an added, horizontal row of keymod openings running horizontally along each side. This provides flexibility for the installation of accessories while reducing weight. We’re hoping to give one a try on an upcoming build for an ultra-lightweight AR.

After visiting with the folks at Diamondhead, we circled around to the Liberty Suppressor booth to see what was new. (We’ll be running Liberty Suppressors in our upcoming suppressor cover review.) Liberty has released a new, shorter version of their Centurion suppressor for better balance when mounted on a handgun.

Liberty Suppressors' Shorter Centurion Suppressor
Liberty Suppressors’ Shorter Centurion Suppressor

We’ll end today’s coverage where we began – at the Pelican booth. We’ve long known that Pelican provides top-notch protective cases. They have now branched out into coolers and lighting products. Keith, their media contact, walked us through the entire lighting product line from flashlights and headlamps all the way up to large area lighting.

We have a headlamp shootout on the 2016 editorial calendar and we’ve invited Pelican to participate. For portable remote area lighting, we were impressed with Pelican’s 9490. Roughly the size of a small suitcase, this portable, battery-powered area lighting system pushes 6000 lumens of light. The price point, at $999.95, is a little high for the average hobbyist but is certainly reasonable for law enforcement, fire or military units looking to shed a little light on their respective subjects.

Pelican's 9490 Remote Area Light
Pelican’s 9490 Remote Area Light

SHOT Show 2016 Day 1

SHOT Show 2016 kicked off with a bang. All bad puns aside, there was actually a vendor setting off small explosions throughout the course of the day. He yelled, “Fire in the hole.” A fairly sizable boom followed shortly thereafter. The vendor to whom I was speaking at the time was only a few booths away and was clearly tired of the show.

Speaking of that vendor, it was an upstart company called Advanced Ballistic Concepts with a solution to low probability hits on target in high-pressure, self-defense situations.

The Mi-Bullet by Advanced Ballistic Concepts
The Mi-Bullet by Advanced Ballistic Concepts

According to Advanced Ballistic Concepts’ literature, 93% of first shots fired in life threatening engagements miss the intended target. (Source not cited.) Theoretically, the fragmenting Mi-Bullet, with a hit profile of 14″ (pistol) or 24″ (shotgun) “will allow a user to fire sooner during target acquisition, knowing that they will deliver a hit.”

The concept looks interesting and the booth was fairly busy. We have requested some ammunition for our own testing.

Getting lots of rounds on target was definitely a theme. Roth Concept Innovations (RCI) had their XRAIL high capacity shotgun solution on display. The XRAIL allows for a capacity of up to twenty-three rounds on board without the added length of traditional extension tubes.

RCI's XRAIL High Capacity System
RCI’s XRAIL High Capacity System

Not surprisingly, the XRAIL throws off the balance of a shotgun considerably. If high capacity is your main goal, you might still want to take a look.

After being blasted by Mi-Bullets and XRAILs, we stopped by to see the folks at Rise Armament. Rise was featuring their newly-released RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger and RA-701 Compensator.

Rise Armament RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger
Rise Armament RA-140 Super Sporting Trigger
Rise Armament RA-701 Compensator
Rise Armament RA-701 Compensator

The RA-140 is Rise’s value-priced entry into the AR-15 drop in trigger market. While it is nowhere near as light and crisp as their RA-535 trigger (used in our Run and Gun AR-15 build), the lower price point ($129.00) tends to also lower one’s expectations. We hope to have one in hand to test in the not-too-distant future.

We have not had the opportunity to test Rise’s RA-701 compensator on its own, we have had the opportunity to shoot one of their rifles in competition. The phrase, “Set it and forget it,” comes to mind. The RA-701 flat out works.

Down the aisle from Rise Armament was clothing manufacturer, Vertx. Traditionally, Vertx has gone after the low-profile “tactical” market. This year they announced a line of more casual clothing. Their Delta Stretch pants were displayed with Vans shoes. They also had on display a plaid, square-tailed “concealed carry” shirt with faux buttons (actually snaps), a small pocket for a weight and grommets through which a length of paracord could be threaded – all in the name of a quicker draw from concealment.

Leather-trimmed Tool Pocket on Delta Stretch Pants
Leather-trimmed Tool Pocket on Delta Stretch Pants
Concealed Carry Detailing on Vertx's New Shirt
Concealed Carry Detailing on Vertx’s New Shirt

From the Vertx booth, we headed to the Luth-AR booth. We’ve utilized their MBA-1 stock on a couple rifles and have been impressed by the features, quality and price. The Luth-AR family was enthusiastically welcoming and even sought feedback on a prototype pistol grip fresh from their manufacturer’s temporary mold.

Luth-AR Prototype Pistol Grip
Luth-AR Prototype Pistol Grip

Next door to the Luth-AR booth, we found an interesting concept in bipods. Manufactured by Accu-Tac, the SR-5 bipod had several interesting features beyond its rather unique look. Rather than having spring-loaded tension to extend the arms of the bipod, the SR-5 has spring-loaded tension to retract the arms. Additionally, the arms must be pulled past a detente to position them to the desired angle. The SR-5 is manufactured entirely in the US by Accu-Tac. We tried to wrangle a test unit but their booth staff was non-committal.

Accu-Tac SR-5 Bipod
Accu-Tac SR-5 Bipod

Not far from the Accu-Tac booth was the Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) booth. As usual, they had a magnificent display of dozens of knives. On a pedestal, all by itself was the new Trencher tool. CRKT is also usually a bit stand-offish when asked to commit items for review but we’d really like to get our hands on this item. It’s long and heavy (when compared, for example, to the Cold Steel 92SF shovel) with a polypropylene handle.

CRKT Trencher
CRKT Trencher

Secure storage solutions were everywhere. We stopped by the SecureIt Tactical booth, down the aisle from CRKT, to talk to them about their take on secure storage. Historically, SecureIt has targeted the law enforcement and military markets but has several new products for the civilian market.  The Fast Box is intended to provide secure, under-bed or mobile storage.

SecureIt Fast Box
SecureIt Fast Box

The Fast Box 47 can accommodate a firearm up to 46.5″ in length while the Fast Box 40 can accommodate a shorter firearm. The 47 can be bolted to your floor. The 40 can be securely mounted in a vehicle. Both are intended to be mounted horizontally but can be fitted for vertical installation as well.

We’ve always loved Nite Ize gadgets and doohickeys. They make so many cool little products, it’s hard not to integrate them into your daily life once your discover them. Well, now Nite Ize finally has released a product called … wait for it … the Doohickey. The Doohickey is a “6X Key Tool featuring a carabiner clip for convenient accessibility and 6 compact, but incredibly useful tools: a bottle opener, scraper/tape cutter/scorer, flat-head screwdriver, pry tool, ruler, and wrench.” Personally, I’m not a big fan of key ring tools but I might just give this one a try.

Nite Ize’s marketing director was really excited about their Financial Tool. I knew that Nite Ize made tools for almost everything but financial tools? Rest assured, they haven’t strayed far from their primary focus.

Nite Ize Financial Tool
Nite Ize Financial Tool

The Nite Ize Financial Tool may not help you maximize your IRA’s returns but it is a handy wallet-size tool meant to actually replace your wallet. “This 7-in-1 multi tool can be a wrench, screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, and securely hold your cash and cards without breaking a sweat.” Stay tuned for a review.

Our last stop of the day was the SOG booth. We expected, of course, to see a vast array of knives and tools. What we didn’t expect to find was … relatively high-end backpacks and day packs. Apparently, not content to constrain themselves to knives and tools, SOG – like others – is going after the soft goods market. Their booth was jam-packed so we didn’t get a chance to try on the packs but they have all the latest bells and whistles that one would expect from a market-leading pack.

SOG Tactical Backpack
SOG Tactical Backpack

Stay tuned for more coverage tomorrow morning.

 

Crocodile Tears – Obama’s Recommended Steps to Reduce Gun Violence

On January 4th, 2016, President Barack Hussein Obama stood in the White House, wiping away tears, and outlined his recommended actions to “reduce gun violence and make our communities safer” in the United States.

According to the White House Fact Sheet, our president, in his infinite wisdom, has recommended the following steps to reduce gun violence across America:

1. Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks (for people trying to buy some of the ‘most dangerous’ weapons … through a trust or corporation or for people ‘in the business’ of selling firearms)

2. Focus on “smart and effective” enforcement of our gun laws

3. Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system

4. Shape the future of gun safety technology

Let’s break down these four steps by applying a few facts and a little logic.

First, a few statistics. President Obama suggested that more than 100,000 people were killed as a result of gun violence over the past decade. Fortunately for us, the FBI publishes gun crime statistics every year. As most of our readers know, violent crime, including gun death crimes, has been on a sharp decline since the early 90’s. Although statistics prior to 2006 are no longer available on the FBI website, based on the numbers from 2006-2013, the president’s statement is reasonable.

But the president suggests that we go after the gun owners who have gone to the effort and expense of creating a trust, paying for a $200 tax stamp (per item) and placing themselves squarely in the ATF’s crosshairs … because those silencers, short-barreled rifles and other items that these law-abiding citizens are purchasing are so dangerous!

How many murders were committed with “other guns” (the only category tracked by the FBI that might reasonably correlate to these ‘most dangerous weapons’)? Between 2006 and 2013, a whopping 829 murders were committed with these “most dangerous” weapons – out of a total of 73,959 firearms murders during the same period. That’s 1.12% for those of you keeping score at home.

So … we’re going to reduce gun violence by going after the 1%? I must have missed the statistics class where they taught that you could make the biggest impact by going after the smallest percentage. I smell something fishy.

Now, let’s discuss “smart and effective enforcement of gun laws.”

Although gang-related murders are not tracked as a specific category by the FBI, a number of city police departments do track gang-related murders. Data from a several of our larger cities’ police records suggest that gang and drug-related firearms murders comprise anywhere from 55% to more than 90% of the firearms murders in our cities – which, of course, is where the bulk of firearms murders take place.

It would seem that “smart and effective enforcement of gun laws” would include enforcement targeted at known and suspected gang members with punishments that kept gang and drug-related murderers off the streets forever. It would also seem that the theft of guns and straw purchases of guns would be associated with harsher penalties and longer prison sentences.

Instead, U.S. Attorney, B. Todd Jones admitted, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013, that of 48,321 cases involving straw purchasers (those who knowingly purchase firearms for prevented persons) only 44 were actually prosecuted. Yes, you read that right – only forty-four (44)!

The Obama administration has clearly demonstrated that prosecuting criminals with actual ties to gun violence is not a priority. They would rather go after individuals who conduct a few private gun sales every now and then. They would rather lie about internet gun sales not requiring background checks. (There’s already a federal law on the books that requires a background check for this type of sale.)

That fishy smell … I think it’s a Red Herring.

And, while the Obama administration claims that it doesn’t have the resources to prosecute straw purchasers, they want to “increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.” I wonder what would happen if the proposed $500 million investment in increased access to mental health care was spent on prosecuting and jailing gang bangers and straw purchasers? (Not that we don’t need better mental health care in this country.)

Admittedly, we don’t have all the information on the Social Security Administration rulemaking and Department of Health and Human Services reporting, but on the surface this sounds a lot like violations of HIPAA regulations and trampling of the Fourth Amendment.

Finally, the Obama administration wants to “shape the future of gun safety technology.” When has it ever been a good idea for the government to shape the future of any technology?

The level of intellectual dishonesty and barefaced lying is both shocking and disappointing. What is even more disappointing is the American people’s willingness to believe and embrace these “common sense” distractions. If, as a nation, we really want to reduce gun violence and protect our communities, we need to focus on root causes and major contributors rather than chasing after law-abiding citizens and 1% contributors. If we “must do something,” do something that will have a real impact.

Oh, devil, devil!
If that the earth could teem with [President’s] woman’s tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.  –Othello

Common Sense Gun Laws

Photo Credit: Washington Times

It’s time … well past time … for us, as a nation, to have an intellectually honest conversation about these so-called “common sense gun laws” that are so frequently mentioned in the wake of tragic events.

In the most recent round of rhetoric, President Barack Hussein Obama suggested that preventing individuals on the “No Fly List” – who have been adjudicated of … absolutely nothing in most cases … be prevented from legally purchasing firearms. Of course, that doesn’t prevent them from illegally purchasing firearms as the perpetrators of the San Bernadino shootings did.  (The long guns used in the shootings were acquired illegally through what is called a “straw purchase.”)

Since this most recent event took place in California (home to the nation’s most Draconian gun laws), let’s take a look at some of California’s “common sense.”

California’s gun laws make all of the following illegal in the state:

  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a license to do so – which is nearly impossible to obtain – is illegal
  • Carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in a public place is illegal
  • Carrying an exposed firearm while in a public place is illegal
  • Purchasing a firearm that the state has classified as an “assault weapon” is illegal
  • Purchasing magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds is illegal
  • Selling any new handgun, unless it is on the state’s roster of handguns certified for sale, is illegal
  • A ten day waiting period is required on the purchase of any firearm
  • Virtually all firearm purchases must be conducted through a California licensed dealer under the Dealer’s Record of Sale process (which requires a background check)
  • Generally, individuals are limited to purchasing no more than one handgun per 30 day period
  • Private party transfers of firearms are generally prohibited (antiques, curios and relics more than 50 years old are generally excluded)
  • All firearms purchases conducted through a California licensed dealer must be accompanied by a Firearm Ownership Report (essentially registration)

Those are the biggies. There are hundreds more laws on the books in California – at both the state and local levels – related to firearms purchase and ownership.

Simply stated, however, these laws do not work. Time and time again, determined killers have proven that they will walk through and around laws intended to hamper their ability to wreak destruction. Even the president’s press secretary admitted that supposed “common sense” gun laws would have done nothing to stop the San Bernadino killers … “Of course not.”

The time has come to drop the reflexive “more gun laws” mantra and step up to the plate with intellectual honesty to address the underlying root causes to violence in our society.

Radicalism, mental health issues, narcissistic entitlement mentalities … these are causes. Deep, beneath their surface, lie the roots – roots that have taken decades to grow into every corner of our society. Identifying these roots and admitting our own culpability is difficult and uncomfortable. As difficult as this may be, it must be done if we want to reduce mass murder.

Those who continue to parrot the need for more “common sense gun laws” are doing nothing more than deflecting attention away from themselves, and their own responsibility in these matters, with an emotionally convenient red herring.

The Efficacy of Gun Free Zones

Much has been said about gun free zones over the last several months. To date, Trek Tech Black has remained silent. As our president laments his inability to implement additional gun control measures, the time has come to break that silence and take a hard look at the efficacy of  one of the most sweeping gun control measures in recent history, gun free zones.

To ensure that we’re all on the same page, let’s define “efficacy.”

Efficacynoun, the ability to produce a desired or intended result

Let’s also take a look at the “desired or intended result” of gun free zones. The United Nations recently produced a paper, under their UNODA (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs) umbrella, entitled The Gun -Free Zone – A Tool to Prevent and Reduce Armed Violence.

Since the United Nations is the single largest organization promoting gun free zones, let’s take a look at their “desired or intended” result. According to the paper mentioned above, gun free zones are “geographically limited spaces where the carrying or possession of guns by civilians is prohibited in order to reduce armed violence and promote public safety.”

The apparent desired result of gun free zones is to “reduce armed violence and promote public safety.” It is through this lens that we will analyze the efficacy of gun free zones.

The next question that must be asked is, “How do we measure the efficacy of gun free zones?” It is virtually impossible to prove a negative, i.e. that violent crime does not take place because of gun free zones.

We can easily see that violent crime, as a whole, has been on the decline in the United States for several years. However, there are any number of factors that may have a causal effect or a correlation to this decline. For example, the proliferation of concealed carry permits has seen an exponential increase over the same period as the decline in violent crime. Does this mean that civilian concealed carry of firearms reduces violent crime? Perhaps, but not necessarily so. Further study is required.

One method for determining the efficacy of gun free zones is to look at the number of undesirable incidents that take place in gun free zones. In other words, if the desired result of gun free zones is to “reduce armed violence,” how often, and to what extent, does armed violence take place in gun free zones?

CNN recently produced a piece detailing the 27 Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History.

Events:

  •  Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007 – 32 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012 – 27 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Luby’s Cafateria in Killeen, TX, October 16, 1991 – 23 Killed (Presumed Gun Free Zone due to Texas State Law)
  • McDonalds in San Ysidro, CA, July 18, 1984 – 21 Killed (Presumed Gun Free Zone based on California State Law)
  • University of Texas, August 1, 1966 – 18 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Post Office in Edmund, OK, August 20, 1986 – 14 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Ft. Hood, TX, November 5, 2009 – 13 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Binghamton, NY Community Center, April 3, 2009 – 13 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Columbine High School, April 20, 1999 – 13 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Wah Mee Social Club, Seattle, WA, February 18, 1983 – 13 Killed (Illegal Gambling Club; Functionally not a Gun Free Zone)
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA Banks Family, September 25, 1982 – 13 Killed (Not in a ‘Geographically Limited Space’; Not in a Gun Free Zone)
  • Camden, NJ 32nd Street, September 5, 1949 – 13 Killed (Pre-dates Gun Free Zones)
  • Washington Navy Yard, September 16, 2013 – 12 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Aurora, CO Theater, July 20, 2012 – 12 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Atlanta, GA Home & Brokerages – 12 Killed (The killer’s family were killed in their home; 9 others were killed at two brokerages that were Gun Free Zones; Not in a ‘Geographically Limited Space’)
  • Geneva, AL McLendon Family, March 10, 2009 – 10 Killed (Killings were not in a public building; Not in a Gun Free Zone; Not in a ‘Geographically Limited Space’)
  • Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC, June 17, 2015 – 9 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Red Lake High School, Red Lake, MN, March 21, 2005 – 9 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • General Motors Acceptance Corp, Jacksonville, FL, June 18, 1990 – 9 Killed (Unknown if GMAC was a Gun Free Zone)
  • Salon Meritage, Seal Beach, CA, October 12, 2011 – 8 Killed (Presumed Gun Free Zone based on California State Law)
  • Hartford Distributors, Manchester, CT, August 3, 2010 – 8 Killed (Unknown if this was a Gun Free Zone)
  • Appomattox, VA, January 19, 2010 – 8 Killed (Killing took place in a home; Not a Gun Free Zone)
  • Nursing Home, Carthage, NC, March 29, 2009 – 8 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • Westroads Mall, Omaha, NE, December 5, 2007 – 8 Killed (Gun Free Zone)
  • San Francisco, CA Law Firm, July 1, 1993 – 8 Killed (Presumed Gun Free Zone based on California Law)
  • Standard Gravure Corporation, Louisville, KY, September 14, 1989 – 8 Killed (Unknown if this was a Gun Free Zone)
  • Miami, FL Machine Shop, August 20, 1982 – 8 Killed (Shooter shot by witness; Not a Gun Free Zone)

In summary:

  • Gun Free Zones: 13 Incidents, 188 Killed
  • Presumed Gun Free Zones: 4 Incidents, 60 Killed
  • Not a Geographically Limited Area: 3 Incidents, 35 Killed
  • Not in a Gun Free Zone: 3 Incidents, 29 Killed
  • Unknown Status: 3 Incidents, 25 Killed
  • Pre-dates Gun Free Zones: 1 Incident, 13 Killed

A total of 350 lives were taken in these 27 events.

Seventeen of the incidents (nearly 63%) took place in known or presumed gun free zones. A total of 248 were killed in those incidents – accounting for nearly 71% of those killed.  All other incident categories totaled 102 killed.

Nine of the top ten worst mass shooting murder in modern U.S. history all took place in gun free or presumed gun free zones. These nine killing sprees accounted for 174 deaths out of a total of 350. Number ten on the list was a gang-related shootout in an illegal gambling club.

If gun free zones were, indeed, efficacious, 0% of the individuals killed would have been killed in gun free zones. Of course, in the real world, 100% efficacy is highly unlikely. Let’s be fair. If gun free zones were as efficacious as any of the other zones, only 10% of the individuals killed would have been killed in gun free zones. (The next worst ‘zone’ type was an area that was not geographically limited. This ‘zone’ accounted for 10% of the individuals killed.)

By any measure, the efficacy of gun free zones is miserable. (I’m being polite.)

After a seventeen year hiatus from gun control research, President Obama issued an executive order in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting that once again allowed the CDC to conduct gun control-related research.

The cat has been out of the bag for some time and most of our readers know that, “… the [CDC] Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.”

Not only is there no conclusive evidence that gun control laws prevent violence, one of the most sweeping laws and most significant “violence prevention” methodologies – Gun Free Zones – is so ineffective that it accounts for 71% of the lives lost in the 27 most deadly mass shootings in modern U.S. history.

The time has long passed to repeal Gun Free Zone laws. While there may or may not be a causal relationship between gun free zones and mass shootings, the absolute ineffectiveness of these feel good measures is reason enough not to limit law abiding citizens’ right to self defense.

 

The McKinney TX Pool Party Back Story

Texas law enforcement officer, Eric Casebolt, has resigned today after criticism from the public and his own department. McKinney, TX police chief, Greg Conley, called Casebolt’s actions “indefensible.”

As we look deeper into the story, however, it appears that Conley may simply be unwilling to come to his officer’s defense for fear of incurring the wrath of an ill-informed public and mainstream media.

One of the best accounts of the full story that we have found is on the site conservativetreehouse.com. The Treehouse story brings to light information not available in the mainstream media and clarifies what took place prior to the video that has gained so much attention.

Suffice to say, like most stories, there are three sides – yours, mine and the truth.

GLOCK Releases Single Stack 9mm

SMYRNA, Ga – (Mar. 20, 2015)  – Today GLOCK, Inc. announced the release of the new GLOCK single stack slimline 9mm pistol, the GLOCK 43. The G43 is the most highly desired and anticipated pistol release in GLOCKs history. Designed to be the answer to everyday concealed carry needs, the G43 is ultra-concealable, accurate, and comfortable for all shooters, regardless of hand size.

“The G43 is the most exciting product release to date because it addresses a variety of issues that many shooters face with pistols in the concealed carry category,” stated GLOCK, Inc., VP Josh Dorsey. “It will be the pistol of choice for law enforcement and civilians. The G43 sets a new standard for concealed carry pistols.”

A true slimline pistol, the frame width of the G43 is just over one inch and the slide width measures only 0.87 inch. The overall length is 6.26 inches. For those who have smaller hands, the trigger distance is only 2.6 inches, making it ideal for functionality. The single stack magazine holds 6 rounds and is the perfect concealed carry pistol for both duty and civilian use. The G43 is engineered to the same superior standards as all GLOCK pistols and the reliability instills confidence for all lifestyles.

The G43 will debut at the NRA Annual Meeting, April 10-12, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn., at the GLOCK booth (#633).  Shipments of the product will begin directly following the convention.

DOJ Will Not Prosecute Darren Wilson

Editorial:

A lot of citizens, so called community leaders, celebrities, NFL players and elected officials owe former officer Darren Wilson a heartfelt apology this morning . . .

DOJ Will Not Prosecute Former Ferguson Police Officer, Darren Wilson

As for Department of Justice (DOJ) accusations against the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department:

There can be no excuse for bigoted e-mails or ticket quotas, but Eric Holder argues a 67% African-American population juxtaposed against a 93% arrest rate for blacks the last two years proves a systemic pattern of bias and draconian behavior. That is a major logical leap. A two year sample is, by any measure, too small a sample to draw such sweeping conclusions.

For five years in the early to mid-90s, I worked a beat in the now razed Hilltop and Pleasantview projects of Omaha, NE. My fellow officers and I frequently floated from area to area following the local crime patterns under the supervision of then Sergeant Eric Buske.

According to data from the 1990 Census Bureau, Omaha was comprised of 13.1 percent African-Americans in the years I worked northeast. While my partner and I encountered a few whites and Latinos on our beat, I would conservatively estimate my arrest rate was 90% or more African-American during my tenure in North O.

According to Holder’s dubious standard of proof, I am (or was) a bigoted cop who allowed my biases against blacks to govern the way I policed.

That is bullshit of the highest order.

I caught my share of citizen complaints working the tougher parts of the city. It’s the nature of the beast. If you assert yourself and pursue the criminal element with abandon and zeal complaints will follow. In all the years worked, all the contacts made, all the tickets written and arrests effected, I had only one citizen’s complaint sustained against me – one for using coarse, profane language during a fight with a suspect. (A white suspect) I admitted to the lapse of professionalism and took my medicine for it.

Figures lie and liars figure. There are surely some very fine police officers in and around Ferguson. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Ares Armor Acquired by Lake House Capital Management

Lake House Capital Management, LLC, a Hinsdale, Illinois-based holding company is pleased and proud to announce it has acquired all the assets of Lycurgan, Inc., (doing business as Ares Armor). Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed at this time.

U.S. Marine, Dimitri Karras, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, founded Ares Armor in 2010. Headquartered in Oceanside, California, Ares Armor is the leading supplier of 80 percent lower receivers, and develops and manufactures high quality American-made firearm parts to legally build your own weapons. The business also proudly develops, manufactures, and sells innovative tactical gear, combat body armor, and more.

“We thank and respect Dimitri Karras for his patriotism, service, and defense of our country and its Constitution,” says new Ares Armor CEO, Bryce Stirlen. “We value his vision and efforts with Ares Armor, and truly wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Ares Armor customers can expect to experience no disruption in quality or service during the management transition. But like when anyone buys a house, Lake House Capital Management has much it loves about Ares Armor, but also has some areas where it wants to make changes and add its own touches.


“Great people and great products have built Ares Armor into the successful business it is today,” adds Stirlen, a gun enthusiast, husband, and father. “Our main focus is to now build a better foundation to support the explosive growth the Company is experiencing. That said, to be clear, one area where we will not waver is in loyal defense of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and protecting the rights of all Americans to bear arms. We are very excited about an even brighter future for Ares Armor, and believe our customers will be excited about it, too.”