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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Negroes and the Gun: American Gun and Book Review

American Book and Gun Review
Professor Brian Anse Patrick
University of Toledo  

Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms. Nicholas Johnson, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 379 pages, 2014.

In response to a nonviolent civil rights worker who was surprised to see a firearm in the house of a well known black southern civil rights activist, the activist explained, “That’s a non-violent gun.” 

This is one of scores of telling incidents and historical events documented by Professor Nicholas Johnson as he traces the American black tradition of gun ownership from its painful beginnings in slave days, through the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, the black diaspora to the industrial north, to the Civil Rights movement and on into the present.

The black tradition of arms is a neglected and, to some, perhaps, an inconvenient history. Although many will find it inspiring, modern progressives will probably wish to swish it away because it doesn’t align with their characteristic approach to social regulation, i.e., “We the government/elite will save you.” The progressive social cartoon poises black people as victims of the gun rather than proponents of the gun for personal defense and freedom. But history as revealed by Johnson says otherwise. American Blacks by necessity took up arms. They used them often and responsibly, and the presence of guns in black hands averted more violence than it caused, although as always the gun is a tool as well as a symbol, and taking up a gun can cause unforeseen (but not unforeseeable) problems.  

Frederick Douglass counseled, “A good revolver, a steady hand and a determination to shoot,” as a way for former slaves to counter the man-hunters who attempted to seize blacks who had escaped to the North. Free state blacks often resisted and repelled incursions of slavers who came to reclaim what was then legally viewed as lost property. Armed groups of black men assembled at times to interdict slavers. Harriet Tubman of Underground Railroad fame was well known for carrying firearms and is often depicted rifle in hand.  Many white southerners could not abide the idea of armed, independent black voters. This too much resembled true citizenship. After the Civil War when southern militias and nightriders attempted to disarm blacks, many of whom had been federal soldiers, there was often armed resistance. The subsequently adopted 14th Amendment attempted to assure that the rights, immunities and privileges of citizenship as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution also applied to the residents of the various American states, especially the new black citizens. Amazingly, in recent times in Chicago, the 14th Amendment had to be invoked once again in defense of the 2nd Amendment, a battle refought in a manner of speaking, in McDonald v Chicago, where a black man, the late Otis McDonald, had to go to all the way to the Supreme court to plead his right to own a gun in the city of Chicago. McDonald won. But Chicago, much like the southern Democrats of the Reconstruction Era, is still spending taxpayer money to impede the 2nd Amendment rights of good citizens.  And as Johnson makes clear, there is also no doubt that many gun control laws of the last century-and-a-half were largely aimed at blacks.

And back in the Reconstruction Era South, the 14th Amendment, lawful authorities and the federal system were often a long way away, especially at night in the countryside.  And as some of accounts documented by Johnson reveal, when blacks resisted armed terrorists, it sometimes it turned out after the sun rose that the bloodied attackers left behind were in fact the local authorities—sheriffs and deputies.

Violence was often lopsided.  Early on in the days of the Underground Railroad blacks generally had only single shot weapons while the slavers tended to have the more modern repeating weapons. After the Emancipation and the War, blacks sometimes won, sometimes lost and often hung on, maintaining a sort of stasis made possible by the potential for defensive gun use. Armed blacks could not be attacked with impunity.

The storied NAACP enters the picture as a major player in legal cases involving armed self-defense by blacks, defending (unsuccessfully) WWI veteran Sgt. Edgar Caldwell for using his service revolver to kill a train conductor and wound a motorman who had been trying to stomp him to death after he resisted being thrown out of the white passenger section.  Johnson presents more cases than can be recounted here, some virtually municipal in scale. In Elaine, Arkansas a white deputy was shot dead after he fired into a group of Negro farmers, veterans, who had formed a farmers union. In the ensuing violence, the governor mobilized troops, deputies roamed the countryside, resulting in 5 white and 25 black casualties. Murder indictments in the “scores” for the blacks were followed by kangaroo trials, some only an hour long.  Eventually, with NAACP help, at the SCOTUS level of appeal the convictions were reversed. Justice Holmes justified the reversal on the grounds that the trials were merely an extension of mob violence. In Detroit, NAACP brought famous litigator Clarence Darrow into the Ossian Sweet case. Sweet, a dentist, along with friends and relatives, had been indicted for murder after a white mob attacked the house that he had purchased in an all white neighborhood on Detroit’s east side. Threats had been made and Sweet and friends armed themselves.  Shots were fired and afterward a white man lay dead. The prosecutor’s office tried to present the case as incidence of armed Negroes firing on a peaceful community. In court, Darrow pointed out that prosecutors had called up a mob of eyewitnesses to testify there was no mob outside the house. After an initial mistrial Sweet was eventually acquitted.  A compliment to Johnson as a scholar, being myself very interested in 2nd Amendment issues and having published extensively in this field, I had thought myself quite well acquainted with the Sweet case, but in this book I learned much more.     

Of course the big problem to NAACP and black community leaders was balancing a non-violent political movement with the needs of personal home and self-defense. Non-violence wasn’t an effective political tactic for the dead. But neither was retaliatory violence good for the movement. The notion of armed aggressive black freedom fighters was more than enough to incite an unwinnable race war, and at the least could reverse progress and good will hard earned over the years. Hence the public commitment of Civil Rights Movement leadership to non-violence while privately their homes and sometimes their persons bristled with guns. It was a balancing act between political symbolism and survival. A movement of armed black men known as the Deacons protected non-violent marchers and the homes of community and movement leaders, all as unobtrusively as possible. When during the era of the Black Panthers, the Deacons and other organizational sympathizers morphed into a more militant movement, the checkbooks of northern white liberals closed to them, and support went to more moderate non-violent leaders. 

In a time of threats, church bombings and burnings, Martin Luther King applied for a concealed carry permit and was turned down on the grounds that he had not demonstrated need. This is how the old unreformed “may issue” concealed carry licensing boards worked—back when boards had total discretionary power, the concealed carry permit became a boon granted to friends, cronies and brother-in- laws. Still, King was uneasy about the political ramifications of guns, so he stressed a low profile for his armed protectors. Another civil rights activist packed her gun in a paper bag everywhere she went, people thought it contained her lunch.  Activists are quoted as stating that non violent or not, there were guns everywhere in the homes of movement leaders and members.

Back in the 19th Century, journalist/social commentator and provocative black essayist Ida B. Wells wrote: “The Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home. The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he is insulted, outraged and lynched.”  

Unlike most professors Johnson knows whereof he writes when it comes to firearms. In an apt analogy he shows that the Winchester repeating level action rifle was the “assault weapon” of its time, being capable of a high rate of fire and easily reloadable.  I know from personal conversations with Professor Johnson in the context of academic conferences (e.g., last year’s Second Amendment Symposium at Fordham Law School on that island of antigun sentiment known as Manhattan) that he owns and delights in an old Winchester .351 caliber rifle from 1907 or so.  He enjoys showing antigun academic acquaintances that the idea of a semiautomatic so-called assault rifle has been around for a long time, and is not some new satanic invention causing havoc on society, but has long been part of the healthy social order. In the same way the Winchester rifle became a useful, freedom-preserving part of the emergent social order of the South, the Black tradition of arms. I may be attributing my own construal of meaning to Professor Johnson’s work here, if so I apologize, but you, dear reader, will get the idea. My point is that Johnson is not one of the hoplophobic hysterics that one encounters so frequently in academia. He is knowledgeable; his language is restrained, objective; his interpretations buoyed by an abundance of facts, documentation and experience.        

Johnson’s book is extremely well researched. A Professor at Fordham Law School, Johnson’s scholarship is carefully anchored in citations. The depth of the research is impressive. This is not the sort of book that one takes in at a sitting. Its chapters and organization lend themselves well to episodic reading, however.  Overall, though, one thing becomes certain: a commitment to non-violent political means and peace does not equate with lying down and dying when it comes to matters of self, life, home and family. Defense of home hearth and family is the opposite of violence.

Johnson’s last chapter is especially impressive. He faces down many of the current progressive objections and myths concerning guns in private hands, even looking at the troubling differences between black and white homicide/victimizations.  Recent and early 20th century victimization and crime studies show rates of blacks as victims and perpetrators at 10 times (or more) higher than the white population.  Modern academics and journalists tend blame this on the NRA and evil gun manufacturers.  Johnson more rationally attributes the disproportion to a criminal “microculture,” even quoting W.E.B. Dubois on the subject. One of the big negative effects of unjust, broadly sweeping gun legislation is that it makes it difficult or impossible for blacks to defend themselves against this criminal microculture, the promise of imminence/omnipotence of the progressive state, being so much nonsense. The police or the state cannot defend: they can only appear after the fact.  We should recall the reason that Otis McDonald was forced to go to law was so he could effectively defend self and family against Chicago gangs in his own home and city.

Also dealt with and dismissed is the myth that guns in the home are more of a risk to the home owner than to invaders, a much cited myth based on a lopsided study based on bad sampling and comparisons published in the consistently hoplophobic New England Journal of Medicine.  Johnson also dispels the common myth that high numbers of guns are correlated with high levels of gun violence, showing that the amazing increases in gun ownership and owners in recent years have not correlated with increases in crime, quite the reverse. He sheds light on DGUs (Defensive Gun Uses), using a variety of survey sources, that show most gun uses are non-violent, good citizens use guns to deter but not to shoot social predators. Johnson attributes current antigun policies of black urban leaders to political alliances with progressives, who provide a great many incentives and blandishments to black communities in exchange for what are regarded as reliable voting blocks for progressive causes.  He cites survey information that suggests current blacks are not as antigun as some imagine, providing guns go to good people.

A final anecdote, not from Johnson’s book, but which suggests some reasons for the disappearance of the black tradition of arms under an educational and informational system dominated by modern so-called progressive values.  A professor and lawyer of my acquaintance, a black man, well educated and urbane, fairly affluent, returned recently with his family to Atlanta to set in order the effects and property of his recently deceased grandfather. In the home in a drawer by the old man’s bed they discovered a revolver in a box along with ammunition. It should be mentioned Atlanta had been, long ago, the scene of one of the race riots discussed in Johnson’s book, wherein many blacks armed themselves to resist attackers. My acquaintance and his family were terrified and alarmed by the gun and worried that it would go off or harm them in some way. They placed the box with the gun in a plastic garbage bag and put it in the trashcan behind the house, and called police.  The police removed the gun.  A few hours later, it must have been a nice revolver with an unsullied history, a police officer came back with a waiver the professor could sign transferring the gun to the officer personally.  The professor did. So the revolver wasn’t wastefully destroyed.  The moral?  You see here what progressive propaganda can achieve in a generation or so. An item of utility, a means of freedom from terror and coercion, an heirloom, was transformed into a symbol of death and evil. As you can imagine, Dear Reader, Johnson’s account will not be well received in some circles because it says things that for some are unthinkable.   

Johnson’s book is a blow against Orwellian history.  A fine and illuminating book it is!

7 October 2014  

Monday, September 22, 2014

CPL Class of Sept. 20

A new group of trained CPL applicants.  It appears we are standing on a hill.  Dr nick achieved this effect.  The goat appears courtesy of Goatpower Publishing, with whom he is under contract  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Colt Gold Cup Trophy 1911, 45 acp: American Gun Review

SS Colt Gold Cup Trophy. Accuracy. Functionality. Form.
Prologue: The 1911 Snob
Before reviewing the Colt Gold Cup Trophy, please bear with me for an edifying moral tale.

I once knew a fellow who waxed authoritatively on the subject of 1911 pistols. He held forth in various webpages and discussion forums, extolling the perfect, state-of-the-art 1911, custom made from custom frames and slides of the sort used, he said, by elite FBI units. He could, he professed, never be bothered with "inaccurate" and "out-of-the-box" 1911s. Such were for lesser beings than himself. They simply wouldn't do. He had to have accuracy. The best. He was a purist of the highest standards, a 1911 snob and a name-dropper. He spoke knowledgeably about barrel bushings, rod guides, 32 lines to an inch hand cut checkering and so forth.  He sneered at the notion of anything less than a custom pistol by a big name pistol smith. What exacting standards he did set, looking down on other 1911 owners from his olympian heights! How could lesser folks even live as they did with their crude substandard weapons? A accomplished man he was, erudite in the wisdom of the gun magazines, secure in his bastion of knowledge.

It came to pass that the great man visited one day. I had a 1911 on my desk in which he took a polite interest. It was an old (1968) Clark-built match pistol having among its other desirable characteristics the ability to repeatedly place 200 grain Hensley & Gibbs #68 bullets or Federal match ammunition into the 10 and X rings of a 50 yard slow fire target, provided of course the shooter did his job of sighting, holding and trigger control. The blue was worn, the gun very much used. Like me, it was no longer pretty and had lost the blush of youth. It had begun life as a Colt-manufactured service pistol. My guest deigned to shoot it, even though the old Colt frame and sundry component parts were not really from the right sort of makers, and the gun's pedigree did not impress him.

We went out back. I suggested he shoot at my 55-gallon burn barrel, as it was convenient. At a range of about 15 yards, using match ammunition, with a powerful two-handed grip and an impressive-looking bent knee-ed combat stance/squat, he could not hit the oil drum. Not even once out of a full magazine. He flinched so badly, the worst I have ever seen, that the rounds were hitting the ground before about half way to the target. After he gave me a short lecture on gun safety he turned around such that the pistol was pointed at my ribs. He flinched again when I reverted to my native ghetto English and called him a stupid cocksucker and asked him what the fuck was wrong with him for pointing that gun at me. He seemed astonished, as if I slapped him (which was what I had intended in terms of psychological equivalence). He hasn't been back to shine any more of his wisdom on me.

So much for online gun experts. I think perhaps he could be compared the onanistic teenager who had long immersed himself in the lush abundance of online pornography, but who had never experienced interacting for real, never even kissed or been kissed. As far as I know, he went back to his online forums, unaffected by his close brush with reality, wherein he continues to this day as a high aesthete on the topic of 1911s. And as long as he stays exclusively online, he remains potent and transcendent, at the top of his game.

Colt Gold Cup Trophy, Stainless Steel
I actually wanted a blued steel Gold cup, but bought this one because someone had gotten to the gun store ahead of me. It's a pretty gun and needs no makeup. Stainless Steel is wonderful stuff.  The adjustable rear sight is flat black, as is the square front sight in its dovetail cut, so the sights pick up wonderfully. The corners of the rear sight are rounded off, sensibly, and the back face horizontally serrated. The sights are marked "Colt." They function well.

The Trophy has, I think, a more developed grip safety than the standard 1911, a bit of a beavertail, which is something I like as long as it isn't too extreme in the way of protuberances. I would prefer a plain grip safety that would make it legal to shoot in a hardball, DCM type match. Nevertheless I do not plan on changing it.  The manual safety on the left side is the old standard sized Browning design. The same with the magazine release. I see no reason for "oversize" safeties and magazine releases except in the case of pistols that are intended for use in so-called practical pistol competitions in which they are carried in holsters and not used or carried loaded on the street. In real life I don't see such additions as all that practical. They are too easy to push in or off and thus invite accidental releases. The Trophy has no ambidextrous safety, which is also fine with me, for the same reason. Such things seem to me like dangerous clutter. I'm sure our big time gun expert above would disagree. But he is safely ensconced with his imagination. My imagination is more limited: quite simply I don't want to shoot my butt off, nor anyone else's. A friend of mine who served many years with a state police agency reports that he knows of three instances wherein troopers accidentally shot themselves in the rear end or leg with 1911 .45 a.c.p. pistols. I don't know enough details to speak authoritatively about these instances, but it seems like these accidents were related in part to carrying the pistol in the back pocket, belt or holster, apparently cocked and locked, and somehow grabbing the gun while pulling the trigger. I wouldn't call 1911s treacherous, but they are totally unforgiving, and require a heedful type of mindset to carry safely. I would never carry a 1911 cocked and locked in my rear pocket or just stuck in my belt. Beware.

The Trophy's trigger breaks at maybe about 4 pounds, crisply, it's face vertically serrated. The hammer is bobbed, and is not the old spur hammer. Serrations are all sharply and cleanly cut, adding grip and handling characteristics.  It is a well-appointed pistol.

I sighted the pistol in at 25 yards after lubricating the slide rails, shrouds and barrel/bushing with a few drops of lightweight Mobil synthetic motor oil. I also added a slight drop on the elevation and windage screws for the adjustable sight (an often overlooked matter, which generally pays off in years of fault free operation, lubrication being a good thing!). I will not bother to show photos because I am getting tired of looking at gun articles that show photo after photo of impressive groups. These photos take up space effectively, yes, but how come we never see anyone post photos of of the bad groups, just the good ones?  Anyway, this pistol shoots fine groups. After some adjustments to the rear sight, the groups were in the black, actually ten-ring, on the standard NRA 25 yard timed and rapid fire target.  

The next week, perhaps prematurely considering how little I had fired the pistol, I tried it in a match beginning at the 50 yard slowfire stage. I had to crank the sights round a bit to find my zero at that range, but with Federal match 185 grain SWCs the Trophy would keep all rounds in the ten ring of the NRA slowfire target, within the limits of my ability to hold and control the trigger. If I jerked the trigger, the bullet was out, but if I did my job, the gun would do its job. I was favorably impressed. My Clark 1911, with its full length Bomar rib and sights and 6 inch barrel, has more weight, and seems to print tighter groups at 50 yards, and I can control it better, but I am also very much used to my Clark, having fired thousands of rounds through it. The Trophy, out of the box, as they say, is competition ready for Bullseye /Conventional Outdoor Pistol. This style of shooting is in my opinion the most exacting and demanding type of competition pistol shooting. The Colt engineers and workers know what they are about. I compliment them for this high quality product.

The Trophy also functioned reliably. I kept it lubricated during the match, and experienced no failures. This was with the magazines (two) that came with the gun. Incidentally, I am very skeptical of aftermarket magazines, finding that they often do not work well, and sometimes not at all. And merely paying $40 for a magazine is no guarantee of flawless function. Make sure you test them well before relying on them. Buying magazines from a bin at the gun show is a recipe for disaster. I have used Wilson magazines in matches however to very good effect.

This week at 25 yards, in practice, I fired a 5-shot group with the Trophy in which all shots were in the X ring.

I can't shoot any better than this with any pistol. Regarding the Trophy Cold Cup, if you can do it, it will do it.

Additional Matters
You may have noticed that in the photo of the Trophy above, the front-strap and back-strap of the frame appear black. I confess that I slightly modified the grip by removing the nicely checkered wooden grips and adding some of the self adhesive abrasive-faced tape sold in hardware stores for use on stair treads. Then I simply replaced the grips over the tape. This makes for a fabulous positive grip, the like of which I have never experienced elsewhere. A plus is that it in nowise permanently alters or mars the pistol in any way. Should you attempt this, and it is easy, you must however take great care not to interfere with the operation of any of the gun's safety mechanisms or the magazine release. But again, this simple adaptation makes for one of the finest grips that I have ever encountered.  I don't know how well this technique would work on guns other than 1911s, but it is effective and inexpensive and seems to last. For a few dollars you could do a score of 1911s. This is all the better for me because I prefer one-handed 1911 operation. In the sort of competition I do, this type of hold is mandated.

Also, speaking generally, they call these things handguns, not handsguns.  You may need your other hand for something else, like holding off zombies. If you can't shoot a handgun reasonably well with one hand, perhaps you don't really know how to operate it as well as you think you do.

A last word. With a suitable holster, one that doesn't catch the front sight and which covers the trigger, I would use this gun for social carry. It's reliable and accurate. Although I would like to shoot it a few hundred more times before making a final decision in this matter.

Thank you, Dear Reader, for your attention.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Krieghoff Classic Double Rifle 9.3 X 74R: American Gun Review

It took a year and three months to arrive from the time I placed my order, and was worth the wait. My first double rifle.
Beauty and Function, Much Like Me
The rifle came in its own fitted case, green exterior, blue velvet lined, not much larger than an attaché.  Quality. Quality. Quality. This seems to be the byword with Krieghoff.

I decided on the 9.3 X 74R caliber after a fair amount of consideration and after consulting with Dieter Krieghoff, whom I met at the NRA annual meeting a few years back when he was manning the Krieghoff booth in the Exhibit Hall.   Even before talking with Mr. Krieghoff, I had decided against the big bore calibers such as the 470 Nitro Express.  It's not that I don't admire them, but beyond sheer fun and joy of ownership, I didn't see any immediate application to the sort of North American Hunting that I have done. Moreover, I plan no African trip.  The only way that I might ever shoot an elephant would be if it insisted on messing with my garden. Or if I saw it in my pajamas one morning. And I have never ever even seen a rhino except at political events.

I love to hunt elk. In Montana. Whenever I can. With a good rifle. 

My initial considerations included the .375 H&H for my double rifle caliber. Mr. Krieghoff recommended the 9.3 X 74 R in part because a rimmed cartridge is a better choice in double rifles. This has to do with simplicity and ease of extraction. A rimless cartridge complicates the extraction mechanism. He was very proud of his company's rifles, especially the sliding safety cocker which cocks and decocks the action, and renders the rifle completely safe, and yet functions, on the outside,  essentially like a very positive version of the standard tang safety with a bit of added gusto and meat.  

The fact that I had some experience with the 9.3 X 62 caliber helped guide my choice. I respect the caliber and the cartridge, which is ballistically the identical twin of the 9.3 X 74R, a 286 grain bullet at about 2300-2400 feet per second. Other weights are available, but the 286 grain seems to be the standard. I killed the biggest Whitetail of my life, a sneaking ten point, with the 9.3 X 62, while he was in the act of taking a step, his last, as he continued on down to earth. He barely trembled.  Of course I did not shoot him in the ass.  Some fine bullets are available in 9.3 caliber, including the Nosler partition, which I have used successfully on elk, but only in my .340 Weatherby, specifically the 210 grain loading. A 286 grain partition in 9.3 caliber would certainly connect in a meaningful way indeed on an elk or moose.


Initial Shooting freehand at 50 yards

Krieghoff equipped the rifle with express sights at my request: two folding leaves ahead of a stable rear sight, pyramidally shaped in cross section, the famous express sight shallow "V" recommended by Elmer Keith and other double rifle aficionados. A simple white vertical inlay below the bottom of the "V" aids the eye in aligning the sights. A subtle but impressive feature, a luminous bead flips up to abut and augment the front gold bead sight, at the options of the shooter, in low light conditions. Clever, simple and well rendered, all. I think this is called a "Moon Sight" but only picked up this term second- hand while talking with Dave at Jaqua's Fine Guns in Findlay, Ohio, who had been talking directly with the Krieghoff USA folks in Pennsylvania, who apparently not only do the final sighting but even add the sights to the rifle after it comes in from the Fatherland.


I had never shot a double rifle until mine arrived. Up until this point it had been a fantasy rifle and now I had to learn how to effectively use it. Now was the time to transition from consumer to hunter. The rifle came with a test target at 50 meters, showing four shots in a very respectable group of perhaps 1.5 inches, although the Krieghoff people measure all these things in germanic centimeters. I was a bit worried because the factory test target had been fired with the 232 grain Norma Vulcan bullet, which is not what I wished to use for hunting, and which I do not regard as particularly suitable for elk hunting, especially in the timber.  I agree with Keith. Long heavy bullet is best on large game. How would the double do with 286s?  I had read much online and elsewhere that discussed the need and difficulty of "regulating" barrels for a particular load such that both barrels shot to the same point of aim at the intended distance of use.  The Classic does have a feature, a sort of adjustable wedge between the twin muzzles that allows for after-the-factory regulation, but I have no desire to trifle with it, being, despite my fair amount of research, a neophyte regarding double rides in any practical sense. Maybe someday. But I would prefer not to need this feature.

I decided not to shoot off the bench.  This to me is a freehand rifle for use in the field.  It might likely be fired in a kneeling or seated position, off my knees, but certainly not a bench.  Plus I wanted to learn how to shoot the rifle and call shots.  I tried 3 loads: the 232 grain Norma Oyrx, the 286 Norma Oryx and the 286 Hornady Interlock.  All are billed as a premium hunting bullets.        

50 Yards Freehand Ist 8 Rounds

The manual recommends firing the right barrel first followed in 5-10 seconds by the left barrel.  That is how it seems to be done at the factory. Because the barrels heat up, too much firing in an episode changes the point of impact in both barrels, which are of course interdependent.  These rifles are designed to shoot once, maybe twice, a few times, with utter reliability, quickly if need be, and to handle well, not for an afternoon of sustained fire.  

I did not even attempt to dry fire the rifle first.  First were the Norma 232s.  The right barrel struck immediately above where I was holding at 12 o'clock. Recoil was not inconsiderable, but not horrifying either, but still I pulled the second shot down to the right. The triggers, both, were great, surprisingly so. The 286 Norma I place a bit low, as marked on the target.  The 286 Hornadys went into the ten ring and immediately above at about 11 o'clock  Their recoil was noticeably less.  As this was the load for which I asked for the gun to be sighted in, this was gratifying.  I tried then two very quick shots with the 232, both respectable, but too fast considering my newbie condition.       

That was it for the day.  I was learning. I was pleased that the 286 Hornadys did well.  I called the left barrel Hornady 286 that went a bit left, but still in the black, and was getting used to the trigger, which was smooth and would suddenly break the shot.  Also I learned that one should not engage in what some call "stock crawling," i.e., moving the head forward on the cheek piece.  It shot best for me and most comfortably when I held my head erect like shooting a shotgun. Plus this minimized or eliminated recoil effects on my cheekbone.

A note.  The slide-cocker safety device works well and naturally.  

The next day, I fired 6 more shots from a cold barrel.  Utilizing what I learned the first day, the 286 Hornadys did very well.  And I tried the moon sight with the 232 Normas and found to my surprise that I fired the first of the two rounds into the X ring and the second into the 9 at 3 o'click, two quick but unhurried shots. The moon sight may be the way to go for me, but I won't really know until I extend my ranges out to 100, 150 and even 200 yards.  I will next obtain a box or two of Nosler factory custom loaded Partitions in 286 grain. This would be my personal perfect bullet if it handles well in the double.

I have little doubt that I can handload either the Partition or the Hornady bullet more or less to perfection.  Unfortunately, non factory ammunition is Verboten, says the Krieghoff manual, at the risk of loosing the one-year warranty.  I understand why.  Perfectly.  In fact, to tell the truth, I would prefer factory loads if they do what I want for hunting purposes.  But I would like also to replicate this optimal load for practice so that I can shoot enough to become thoroughly comfortable with the rifle.  It feels good already, but I want the confidence of knowing exactly how to make it work my will at the ranges that the cartridge will accommodate, maybe 200 yards or a bit more depending, of course, on the shooter's abilities. This is not a 400 yard rifle in any case. And it is also a pricy rifle to shoot.  Perhaps it's like the old admonition that was applied to luxury boats: if you have to ask how much fuel it burns, then you can't afford it. Too late now for me.  I Bought the boat.  But at least 9.3 X 74 ammunition is very modestly priced in comparison to the  bog bore double cartridges such as the 470s, which may go for six or eight dollars or more per round.

Second target, six rounds, freehand, called pull on right

Before the rifle arrived I had already obtained new Redding 9.3 X 74R reloading dies, a fair quantity of unfired Hornady brass and bullets, as well as a good supply of Nosler partitions. I use the same bullets in my FN Mauser 9.3 X 62 anyway. A phenomenon that I have observed with different loads in high power rifles is how recoil and muzzle blast changes with powder without necessarily any change in velocity/impact.  This is a complicated business, some use terms like "impulse" to describe it, but if I can get the same velocity with a softer effect, I will. This might be the only free lunch around. I know the laws of physics say there just ain't no free lunch to be had, nohow. But I know, too, that many gun writers use terms like "perceived recoil" to get themselves out of this logical paradox.  I will do the same.  For example, the Hornady 286 is noticeably softer in perceived recoil (subjectively experienced) than the Norma 286 Oryx, even though published muzzle velocities are virtually identical. My handloading would take this into account in choice of powders.  Usually it is the slower burning choices, the lower pressures, less bark, that lead to this perceptual result.  In any case I will not begin this search until after the warranty expires.      

Some shooters employ claw mounts for scoping their doubles.  I will not because I think the beauty of a double is in its compact appearance and elegance, kind of like Audrey Hepburn. The rifle has the appropriate base for this type of mount should I ever wish to deviate from the high road.
Incidentally, I have called this column, if that is what it is, an "American Gun Review." But the Krieghoff is German, you may say.  Well, I am an American, and now, so is my Kriegkoff: it is becoming naturalized. 


I have continued my freehand shooting, extending my range out to 70 and 100 yards with good results. The heavy slugs thunk in a very satisfying way on the one inch thick steel disc at 100 yards.  I have noticed three things:  (1) If I focus on the front sight and control the trigger, the gun strikes where I aim. (2) It doesn't seem to be as fussy as I had expected regarding different bullet weights and configurations, e.g., the 232s v the 286s, or the flatter pointed Oryx v the more pointed Hornady design, and (3) My best shooting is done with my head held up, naturally, and not "crawling" the stock. I am gaining confidence and knowledge of the rifle.  I likes it!   Need a sling for field carry.

I have more ammunition on the way, Nosler 286s and am trying to find some Sellior and Bellot, too, to continue my lessons/experiments.  Prvi Partisan has announced 9.3X74R ammunition in their line, but I haven't yet found any. I would like to try this too, as I have had very good results with their 9.3 X 62 fodder.  Ranges will increase as well. One step at a time.   Elk watch out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Brian Anse Patrick Video Newsfeed on Zombology

A new 20-minute video newsfeed features an interview by Ohio Supermodel Brooke Wagner of author and professor Brian Anse Patrick on the meaning of the zombie phenomenon and its connection with widespread fears of Western decline.  See:

The book is available on Amazon. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Controversy or Caviling re Concealed Carry Movement?

Below please find a set of email exchanged between David Yamane, Mike the Gun Guy and myself concerning my book Rise of the Anti-Media.  Also thanks to David Yamane for use of his informative posts! 

Yamane, David []
 Patrick, Brian 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:13 AM
You replied on 7/16/2014 9:08 AM.
Brian -
Thanks for the note and the heads up on your new work. I will look for it!

I don't know if you have had time to look at my posts on your work, but I did get a comment on one of them from someone you may be familiar with -- Mike the Gun Guy, who blogs at the Huffington Post and presents himself as an anti-NRA gun guy. Anyway, he challenged a point you made in your book quite strongly and if you have some time to respond to his point, that would be great:
All the best,

Rise of the Anti-Media

Patrick, Brian
 Yamane, David ‎[]‎ 
Sent Items
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:08 AM
Thanks,  I talked via email to Mike.  i dont think he really understands the book.  He seems to pick out things that he and interprets them in his own way (not mine) and then argues with his own interpretation. e.g, my book's defiintion of "in-formed", which he confuses with "factually accurate" but which is defined as imbued with a shared spirt and sense of direction, being given form and shape.   

The data I referred to are simply stats kept by police and licensing agencies that show how many permits are out and the revocation rates which are close to nil.  So I don't know how he will argue that this isn't supporting the idea of carry, in that it does no harm.  Ot are the agencies just making this stuff up?  which I doubt. He doesn't like the idea of horizontal interpretive communities and compares 2014 blog meandering to  to 1995  e-bulletins and so forth, which are not really the same.  And thinks that CPL was just in the air at the time back in the mid 1990s, which is a mysterious kind of belief to me.  Sent me long emails, and then says he doesn't have time to for such "missives." Seems kind of cranky and I get the impression that he thinks NRA should function as some sort of trade association for gun dealers, of which he is one.  NRA did not invent shall issue concealed carry,  It adapted to it later or maybe adopted it.  

In any case I am interested in what he has to say. but if he is going to attack my book and the ideas in it,  he should probably read and understand it first. He may have done the former , but I wonder about the latter.  I think he may have just looked at the foreword and free-associated from there.  In any case, the book stands.  I don't see that he understands the notion of interpretive communities such as congregations and the many voluntary associations that drove the reformation, the enlightenment and American pluralism that has been so generative of good ideas and American freedom.  He can do as he pleases, of course, but in our last email he told an interesting anecdotes about a business promotion that did not lead to the expected sales of guns and so forth, and made a cultural change argument why this was so, but how this compares to the events I described in my book is unclear , events which took place at a different time and place among different people who were selected by a different set of processes.  

If you write books, especially if they actually say something that is beyond the understanding, predispositions or intuitions of people, you get reviews like this.  Hell, my first book, NRA and the MEdia was reviewed by some academic in MAss Communication Quarterly, and it was clear that the reviewer had never read the book--just looked at the title and reacted to it.  He raised objections, made assumptions, all of which were addressed in the book,  But since he hadn't apparently read it, it was all new to him. In his own mind, I'm sure, he came off as a genius and keen intellect. Perhaps it's nice to be able to maintain such illusions, even if one has to keep powerful filters in place to keep out dissonant information. 

 So let him yowl. He is an American.  Huffington Post is pretty suspect, by the way, on gun matters, as you know.  
Thanks for your email!   Call on me if I can be of service to you.  


Mike Weisser []
In response to the message from Patrick, Brian, Tue 6:28 PM
 Patrick, Brian 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:57 AM
You replied on 7/16/2014 9:17 AM.
Here’s the quote from what Kindle calls Location 211 of your book:  “They [antigun advocates and the media] still decry licensed Concealed Carry despite incontrovertible empirical data gathered by the state-level agencies, data that clearly supports it.”
Again, I would very much appreciate it if you could point me towards that data, and if you are referring to John Lott I am sorry but you are sadly mistaken.

Your book on gun culture
Patrick, Brian
 Mike Weisser ‎[]‎ 
Sent Items
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:17 AM
OK  I did say that   The reference, as you see in the text, is explicitly toward state level stats maintained by state agencies, e.g. Michigan State Police, that show very very low levels of revocation.  People are not killing one another in droves. That is all.  Lott is no state agency, he's not even a professor. He is not the referent.  Neither is Kleck a state agency, although he is a professor.  This is not a claim that CPL lowers crime, just that it is harmless and has not increased crime.    I am not mistaken. The stats exist.  You can look them up now on the Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Texas state websites, and elsewhere, although not all states keep the same statistics.   They are updated annually, at the least.  Unless you believe that the various State police agencies have been keeping bad numbers.  You again are misattributing opinions to me.   Read the book.   



Patrick, Brian
 Mike Weisser ‎[]‎ 
Sent Items
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:28 PM
You are misattributing opinions to me.   My book talks about, in essence,  a method participatory democracy and the process of the accretion of individual level opinion into group opinion via anti-media in roughly the mid 1990s to about 2004 or so. I am not at all talking about idiots prattling today on facebook and blogs.   It was early groups like MCRGO in Michigan and Buckeye firearms in Ohio and ogher state associations, citizens groups, that created an maintain blocks of informed voters and regrasped contol of the meaning of the second amendment  That a bunch of cattle should have frightened by the Boston bombing is beyond the scope of my book, especially in time.  

I never say it was absolute truth in which anyone dealt, nor do I say so now, but they had better information than the people informed by mass media, and hence could act in concert effectively.  

Nor do I ever claim that CPLs drive down crime, I just don't think they increase it. (It's in the book)   And traditional media still don't handle gun culture stories very well. But anti-media add another side, another dimension.  Example.  Do think that Luther's theology was any better than the Roman Catholic Theology to which he reacted?  It was just different and represented different interests.  As you know, about 50-80 percent of news coverage originates with "official" sources which of course represent official views and story frames. Jefferson though that people who did not read newspapers were better off because those who did were misinformed. 

The only way a person in Michigan or Ohio got another story on CPL, back in the day when the laws were being changed,, and a more politically useful story at that , was through anti-media. It certainly wasn't intelligently coveregd by the Detroit News or Free Press.  

The blogs today are very different than the e-bulletins and such of earlier times, more trivial, and the early adapters of concealed carry were likewise different.   I read learned gun reviews from people who I know cannot hit an oil drum at ten yards with a 1911. The only place in which I have encountered more stupidity than on modern blogs is in academia. 

And I too am often interviewed by clueless reporters   The Al Jezeera guy hung up on me last month because he was horrified that I said things that suggested the NRA was a citizen's voluntary association instead of a raving psychopath's lobby (his story angle) .  So what 's your point?  Truth is hard to come by in the media world.  All we have in the end seems to be opinion. Facts? Not in most articles. You seem to be disagreeing with opinions that I do not have, which is fine, but as I said this is a misattribution. 

Again, I would like to read your books. 


Patrick, Brian
In response to the message from Mike Weisser, Tue 2:14 PM
 Mike Weisser ‎[]‎ 
Sent Items
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 5:12 PM
Please do send me copies of your book.  I will be grateful.    Mailing address: Brian Anse Patrick Department of Communication, MS # 505, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606.   Thanks!


Mike Weisser []
In response to the message from Patrick, Brian, Tue 2:39 PM
 Patrick, Brian 
Deleted Items
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 5:47 PM
You replied on 7/15/2014 6:28 PM.
I have written over 60 blogs for Huffington and I get roughly 400 comments for each.  That totals 25,000 and I would say that it’s a 50-50 split between pro-gun and anti-gun commentators.  I can also tell you that at least 90% of them – on both sides – have absolutely no ability to distinguish between facts and opinions.  You seem to venerate the information that moves horizontally as if the manner in which it moves makes it valid or at least worth repeating and moving.  Sorry, but I don’t buy that.  If I had 10 cents for everyone who has walked into my gun shop and repeated some absolutely uninformed statement as a ‘fact,’ (often beginning the statement with, “The fact is…”) I’d be wealthier than Croseus. 
As for traditional media not getting the story right about guns, why pick on guns?  Most reporters have 24 hours to write a story about anything.  They go to the archive, read what was previously written get a few names on either “side” of the issue and that’s that.  You seem to think that because the traditional media is vertical and part of some kind of elite, let’s hand it down to the masses conspiracy, that they go out of their way to give the wrong side of the gun argument.   I was interviewed by every radio, television and newspaper up here after Sandy Hook; somewhere around 10 interviews.  None of them had the faintest idea what they were talking about.  The fact that some editor then took the story, added on a few clichés that usually reflected a standard, non-gun view, gee what a surprise.  But if you really believe that the new anti-media corrects these mistakes, as my grandmother used to say, I got news for you.
Right now the NSSF has a graphic on its website that shows that violent crime has declined by 50% in the last 20 years while the sale of guns, particularly in the last 10 years, has gone sky-high.  The caption: crime goes down while gun sales go up.  There’s only one little problem, the decline in crime was over by 2004, since then it is stable or even a little bit higher.  And if you look at their graphic, you can see it! Meanwhile, the big gun sales started in mid-2008 when all of a sudden people began to realize that a Black guy could get elected President, even if he had a middle name like Hussein, which Fox News reminded us about every 5 minutes over the course of the entire campaign. And the big increase in CCW also began to occur after violent crime stopped falling, despite what John Lott continues to claim.  Do you have any idea how many people have come into my gun shop and told me that they “know” that CCW is a good thing because the more people who carry guns, the more crime goes down? And they read it every day on all those horizontal CCW blogs that you believe are in-forming the gun culture about guns.  Yea, right.
I appreciate your comments and I’ll send you one more detailed comment later but right now I have to go teach my LTC class.

Patrick, Brian
 Mike Weisser ‎[]‎ 
Sent Items
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:39 PM
Interesting examples, but I'm not saying that horizontal communities were invented by the gun folks, only that they were facilitated, and that to my knowledge the first groups that took to the catacombs of virtual space were the gun people.  I would also guess, concerning the antiwar movement, that it had campuses (don't forget churches) as the forum for meeting and discussion.  The gun people had no such thing or place.  Not until Computer Mediated Technology came along. And they quickly adapted. 

I don't think I ever mentioned "irrefutable data" and would be surprised if I did. I don't use terms like that and you might be confounding me with some other writer. To me all data are highly refutable. I teach research methods,  I am very suspicious, especially of survey data, especially in matters of the alleged validity of its measures/operationalizations.  i agree it's very difficult to form accurate estimates of the numbers of legally carried guns out there, but the numbers have certainly increased.  I also agree that the effects have been benign, or at least not harmful. But none of this is any major part of my argument in the book.  I look, essentially at the informational sociology of the concealed carry movement and the new American gun culture.    The fact that gun culture succeeds in the face of professional, overwhelming and well entrenched opposition (often tax-payer funded) is due to its anti-media , to being in-formed, and especially due to the behavioral aspects of its horizontal interpretive communities (as opposed to the merely attitudinal beliefs of most people with antigun sentiments ).   See also my chapter on the First Amendment which discusses how gun culture succeeded because the new technology allowed it to return to the social action schematic laid down in the First Amedment, a schematic that had been largely compromised under the Mass Democratic information systems.  


From: Mike Weisser []
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:14 PM
To: Patrick, Brian
Subject: RE: Your book on gun culture
I’ll give you some examples of post-internet horizontal organizations when I have a chance, but since I’m a little older than you, I’ll give you one from the pre-internet and for that matter the pre-computer age, namely, the anti-War movement, which I was involved in from 1963 until I went to Europe to do graduate work in 1969. 

As late as 1966 there was an absolute consensus on the part of the entire establishment that the War could be won and the worst thing we could do was pull out.  Meanwhile, there was an active anti-War activity on virtually every college campus, even the most conservative campuses, and anyone who tells you that he/she was on a campus that didn’t have an anti-War movement before it became fashionable (in 1967) is lying.  And when, after Tet in 1968, it became fashionable to be anti-War, whether it was part of the Democratic party, or the college faculties, or the media or (at the end) members of Congress, they joined something that was already there and in-forming (as you like to say) everyone in a very horizontal way. 

I have a very different take on CCW, and by the way, I am a Lifetime NRA member and a senior LTC NRA instructor, having taught the required gun safety course to more than 800 people in the last 18 months.  Two weeks ago I sent out an email to 650 former students asking if they had gotten their LTCs (in Mass. the gun license and the LTC are the same thing) and if they had gotten their licenses, how often did they carry a gun.  Now because the two licenses are the same, there are many people who get the license and never have any intention of carrying.  Be that as it may, at best the number of people carrying in any conscious, deliberate, self-protective way was around 10%.  And I can tell you that this is a high percentage because they are new licensees so the thrill of going out and getting a banger and walking around with it hasn’t worn off.  But give even the dedicated CCWs six months, and the gun’s heavy, and a pain in the ass and one night you forget to take it with you completely and when you get home the old lady gives you hell because the gun was left out.  And you know what?  That’s the end of that.

Incidentally, I own a retail gun shop and between 2001 and 2014 I sold 15,000 guns to more than 5,000 customers.  So I know what I’m talking about.  Anyway, I say the above because everyone from John Lott on down assumes that they can use the number of CCWs that have been issued as a way of telling how many people are walking with guns.  Sorry, you can’t.  And even if the number that have been issued has gone up substantially over the last decade, that still doesn’t tell you how “armed” we are, and if you want to use CCW as some kind of cultural artifact, it doesn’t tell you how much this “culture” has really spread.  The biggest single error in Kleck’s survey, and God knows there are plenty of errors, is the fact that he didn’t ask the respondents a single question about the gun they allegedly used, other than whether it was a long gun or a handgun.  And the fact that his survey was more “accurate” than NCVS because ‘everyone’ knows that people won’t tell the government the truth about anything, particularly gun ownership, was all the more reason that he should have validated his private polling by at least asking how often the respondents walked around with a gun.  You mention somewhere the existence of “irrefutable” data that shows that we are safer when we are armed.  I have read virtually everything that has been published on the gun “issue” since the late 70’s and I have yet to come across such evidence.  Did I miss something?  And by the way, don’t get me wrong, the gun control folks also haven’t produced any irrefutable evidence to back up what they say.  But since you seem convinced that the pro-gun people have produced such evidence, I’d love to know where I can access it.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to continue this missive but look forward to any response you care to give.  I have published 3 books on guns, they are all on Amazon both paper and kindle but if you send me a mailable address I’ll send you all of them. 


PS – I realize that you were looking for examples that would make your case but let me give you a contrary one.  Back in October, 2013, I was knocking around in Pennsylvania and wandered into a gun show in Lancaster.  Ended up having a conversation with the sheriff who told me that there had been a tremendous spurt in the county for CCW and the only thing they had to do was give a reason for wanting the license; didn’t have to be anything more than that.  And he told me, because he saw that I was from Massachusetts, was that the #1 reason was because of the bombing at the Boston marathon.  That’s what people said in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!  Have you ever been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania?  Do you have any idea how absolutely crazy it is to imagine that there would be a bombing in Lancaster, PA?  So when you talk about this horizontal transmission of information, what you call in-forming, be careful.  I’m not sure that much of this ‘information’ qualifies as anything remotely close to reality. 

Interesting examples, but I'm not saying that horizontal communities were invented by the gun folks, only that they were facilitated, and that to my knowledge the first groups that took to the catacombs of virtual space were the gun people.  I would also guess, concerning the antiwar movement, that it had campuses (don't forget churches) as the forum for meeting and discussion.  The gun people had no such thing or place.  Not until Computer Mediated Technology came along. And they quickly adapted. 

I don't think I ever mentioned "irrefutable data" and would be surprised if I did. I don't use terms like that and you might be confounding me with some other writer. To me all data are highly refutable. I teach research methods,  I am very suspicious, especially of survey data, especially in matters of the alleged validity of its measures/operationalizations.  i agree it's very difficult to form accurate estimates of the numbers of legally carried guns out there, but the numbers have certainly increased.  I also agree that the effects have been benign, or at least not harmful. But none of this is any major part of my argument in the book.  I look, essentially at the informational sociology of the concealed carry movement and the new American gun culture.    The fact that gun culture succeeds in the face of professional, overwhelming and well entrenched opposition (often tax-payer funded) is due to its anti-media , to being in-formed, and especially due to the behavioral aspects of its horizontal interpretive communities (as opposed to the merely attitudinal beliefs of most people with antigun sentiments ).   See also my chapter on the First Amendment which discusses how gun culture succeeded because the new technology allowed it to return to the social action schematic laid down in the First Amedment, a schematic that had been largely compromised under the Mass Democratic information systems.  

From: Patrick, Brian []
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:33 AM
To: Mike Weisser
Subject: RE: Your book on gun culture

You are right I do not define it.  But I do not (intentionally) imply that anyone who owns a gun is part of the new or the old gun culture.  Gangbangers are not for example.  Just got back from the National matches at Camp Perry, and  there the remnants of the old gun culture mix with the new. But even the old ones are much more politicized than in the former days.  

If there is a social movement (a real one, not some simulated top-down PR event run by professionals) that utilized anti-media like the new gun culture , at that time, not now, then I am unaware of it.  The model has been copied or aped.  Can you perhaps give me an example?  Also I define a social movement as a product of identity, perceived conflict (grievance) and solidarity.  This triadic dynamic is much different and edgier than a bunch of people sharing recipes and pictures of grandkids and pets on Facebook.

Your definition of culture is as good (or better!) than any.  I am more interested in the plurality of horizontal interpretive communities, the covenants, empowered by anti-media that serve a the forums for true small group participatory democracy.  Lacking this kind of forum, as has been the case in the mass-style democracy, with its degraded group structure (many listeners and few speakers= vertical), that has dominated the mass media age, there is no effective way for individual opinion to coalesce into group action.  This is healthy.  You recollect in the book that I compare such horizontal interpretive communities with the early christians meeting in the catacombs.     The result is of course in-formed, directed individual action in solidarity. 

I attach a reading by James Luther Adams that may interest you.  The new gun culture has carried on with the voluntary principle, while many other cultures or organizations have merely professionalized, disappeared or become hobby groups without significant social effect.

Thank you for writing.  It is good to hear from a serious reader like yourself.  I agree with you re Kindle.  It's not my first choice, but better than nothing  I like a book in which I can scrawl notes on the inner covers and margins to my heart's content.  Plus you can throw books at the cat. 

Oh, by the way, culture is created and spread within and by these horizontal interpretive communities, via dialectical rhetorical processes. You don't think the old NRA invented the new gun culture?  To the contrary New gun culture and the CCW movement in-formed NRA, and reinvented it, which is a much different organization in its aims, means and outlook than it was even back in the early 90s. It's very democratic and responsive.  This is the connection: culture is spread, at its root, through conversation among individuals--like us--vastly facilitated by the new communication technologies.

Quote me as you will.  Look forward to hearing from you again.  And thank you for reading my book!  Incidentally, my new one is just out in print: Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns) by Arktos Media, available on Amazon.  



From: Mike Weisser []
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:42 AM
To: Patrick, Brian
Subject: Your book on gun culture
Dear Professor Patrick:

I purchased and just finished reading Rise of the Anti-Media and wanted to ask you  a question. In the interest of full disclosure I may review the book on my blog but will not, of course, quote anything you say if you decide to reply to this email.  (

What confuses me is your definition of ‘gun culture.’  You use the term throughout the book but you never really define it except to imply that anyone/everyone who owns a gun is part of that culture.  You differentiate between the ‘old’ culture (hunting, etc.) and the ‘new’ culture (CCW and the ‘right’ to own a gun) but you never define the word itself.  Or did I miss part of the text?  (I don’t particularly like using Kindle but I do appreciate your decision to make your book affordable.)

To me culture is the way that we define a society or a civilization through a common language, common social norms, common historical events and myths, etc.  The rise of anti-media via the internet is hardly a new way to analyze the spread of information; frankly, there are many social-political movements that have utilized this method to a much greater degree than the CCW folks.  But I still don’t see the connection between that activity and the spread of ‘culture.’ 

Care to explain?


Mike Weisser

10 thoughts on “Explaining the Success of the Concealed Weapon Carry Movement (and the Failure of Its Opponents)

  1. Let me offer another thought on “gun culture”.
    It used to be that most High Schools in the USA had shooting ranges or access to shooting ranges. Students could bring their own guns to school to participate in marksmanship courses. They carried their rifles on the New York subways, on the school buses and kept them in their lockers.
    Students were taught adult responsibility with firearms. They were taught safe handling, mature behavior and were inculcated with a Gun Culture that made them into the sorts of children who could carry guns around without causing undue concern in others.This extended to their adult lives as well.
    Now, if a child were to carry a rifle to school just about anywhere in the USA, the predictable response would be sheer terror in much of the teaching staff, calls to police, SWAT teams arriving, a school lock-down, arrest and punishment of the student. Many school teachers today seem to lack the maturity that the CHILDREN had just a few decades ago. When immature, cowardly sorts impose their fears upon our children, the outcome is predictably a deterioration of the level of maturity in society.
    I submit to you that what has been lost is the Gun Culture and accompanying Maturity that once made our society sane and safe with firearms, even in the hands of children. In schools.
    Concealed Carry is proven to reduce violent crime, though it does obligate one to develop a skill set. I’m a big advocate of training and want everyone carrying a firearm for self defense to develop the skills to effectively do so while minimizing the risk to others. Find a local trainer at:
    And as we are improving societal safety by expanding concealed carry, let’s see what we can do about restoring our Gun Culture as well. It begins at home. Schools are also critically important to teaching it.
    • Thanks for the comment. Many people who are younger or not familiar with guns personally/historically — myself included — have no idea how common it was for people to have long guns in and around schools (and other public places) not so long ago. My wife regularly talks about the hunting rifles/shotguns in her high school classmates’ cars in the school parking lot back in the 1980s. And up until 1968 people used to be able to buy long guns by mail order?!?!
      Also, I think about the number of firearms-related deaths for juveniles declining from 392 in 1993 to 83 in 2009 (Table provided here: This says to me that most gun-owners are practicing (and hopefully teaching) safe behavior with their firearms, and initiatives like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Program might make a good situation even better.
      Both of these thoughts highlight the fact that we don’t really have a gun problem in America, we have some very serious social problems that manifest themselves in violence and that violence is often enacted with guns.
  2. a successful new social construction of reality. Could you tell me exactly what this “new reality” is? I carry my wallet and keys in my pocket because I need my credit cards, driver’s license, etc. That’s a reality. What reality is being fulfilled by carrying a gun? Does the author explain that? Can you? I await your response.
    • Sorry for the delayed response to this. I believe Patrick’s argument is that the concealed carry movement both reflects and fosters a new reality — for some in our society, not all, to be sure — that owning and carrying firearms is an individual, not a collective right (tied to militia service). I would guess that if we studied people’s ideas about this over the course of history, this notion of the individual right is relatively now. Hence, I think Patrick’s argument that this is a new social construction makes some sense.
  3. I was actually going to read Patrick’s book in a couple of weeks when I write a chapter for my next book on John Lott but I downloaded it last night and began looking at it. I’ll hold off most of my comments until I finish it but in the early pages I noticed two statements that I wanted to bring to your attention:
    “As the U.S. Constitution is now being interpreted by the Supreme Court and other Federal and state level courts, the people, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear arms in the form of concealed weapons inside and outside of their homes, for their own protection.”
    That statement is simply not true. Or to put it more concisely, it is false. The 2008 Heller decision explicitly states that the 2nd Amendment gives citizens the “right” to own and keep a gun in their home. These aren’t my words or my interpretation, this is a direct quote from Scalia. Since 2008 there have been 4 appellate decisions and 1 district decision in the Federal court system as to whether the 2nd Amendment should be extended to CCW; 3 of the 4 appellate courts said no, as did the district court; the SCOTUS has refused to hear any of these cases. If the dopes who walked around Target with their assault rifles want to believe that the Constitution “guarantees” them the “right” to behave in that way, fine. But a University professor like Patrick should know better and should stop promoting such bullshit.
    “They [mainstream media] still decry licensed Concealed Carry despite incontrovertible empirical data gathered by the state-level agencies, data that clearly support it;”
    I notice that this statement does not carry a footnote or a source. Know why? Because it isn’t true. There is no ‘incontrovertible” evidence that demonstrates any social utility for CCW. Don’t get me wrong. There’s also no incontrovertible evidence that proves otherwise. And the reason is very simple; because nobody has ever done a study to determine how many people really re walking around carrying a gun. That is, nobody except me. And unless you really can determine the size of the CCW population, not the number of licenses but the actual number of people, any attempt to create a representative sample of people to interview is an exercise in futility, if not stupidity.
    I’ve read about 1/3 of Patrick’s book and for all his reference to Aristotelian logic, etc., I’m afraid that it’s turning out to be just another bromide for the gun lobby. But I’ll hold off until I finish it before saying anything further. So far I’m not impressed.
    • There is substantial evidence supporting the social benefit of widespread CCW issuance. That is why nearly all US States have adopted “shall issue” policies for concealed weapons permits – the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. As more and more people carry guns around in public, violent crime declines. One need not be a genius to understand the cause and effect in play here.
      A terrific reduction in violent crime came after the massive gun-buying spree of 2008. It has dropped by 15% since then.
      Not per capita violent crime, I’m talking about the raw number of offenses. This information is freely available on the FBI website.
      Real world experience shows that guns “on the streets” reduces violent crime. Why? Criminals have explained this again and again in prison interviews. The one thing they fear most is the likelihood that the man or woman they are about to assault is going to pull a gun and shoot them.
      That’s why they flock to places like Chicago.
      Those predatory criminals who DO have such an experience often don’t live to commit more violent crimes or they have an epiphany and decide it’s not worth the risk to try kicking in someone’s door again. It’s a matter of “gun violence” being a benefit to the law-abiding Citizens.
      …. During 2008, with national gun sales rising dramatically, the national murder rate declined by 7.4% along with other categories of crime which fell by significant percentages (FBI). 450,000 more people bought guns in November 2008 than November 2007 which represents a 40% increase in sales. The drop in the murder rate was the biggest one-year drop since 1999, when gun sales soared in the wake of increased calls for gun control after the Columbine shooting and the Y2K scare. From 2008 to 2012, violent crime including murder declined by 15%.
      • Guntrainers – Thanks for taking time to comment on this post. It is hard not to notice the dramatic expansion in shall-issue concealed carry from 1986 on, and the decline in homicide from 1993 or so on. I wasn’t aware of the dramatic increase in gun sales during 2008, but know that homicide rates continued to decline from there forward. These things do seem to go together. The challenge is trying to determine if there is a CAUSAL relationship between one and the other. That is methodologically very difficult to do, as we see in the back and forth between John Lott and his critics. There has been a long-term trend toward a decline in violence — discussed by Steven Pinker in his book *The Better Angels of Our Nature* — and so homicide rates might have declined after the crack induced rise through the 1980s even without an increase in the number of guns/carry. The more specific connections you mention — lost of gun sales in 2008 and a big drop in the murder rate that year — suggest a more tight connection. But for me, at least, the jury is still own on the causal argument. I am convinced, however, that an increase in the number of guns owned by law abiding citizens and an expansion of the right-to-carry them for self-defense in public does not clearly and consistently cause an INCREASE in homicide. But do I do have much more to learn and I appreciate your contribution to the discussion here.
    • Mike – Thanks for the comment and apologies for delayed response. To your second point first: I agree there is no incontrovertible empirical data that establish a clear and consistent causal link between concealed carry and crime. For a multitude of political and methodological reasons, I don’t think there will ever be.
      There has actually been at least one study that I know of that did attempt to figure out how many people carry guns for protection, a paper published by Kleck and Gertz in 1998 in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency ( I know there is alot of dispute about the Kleck-Gertz estimate of defensive gun USES, but I have not seen any criticism of their estimates of defensive gun CARRY (though there may be). They estimate that in the preceding year, about 3.7 percent of American adults carried a gun on their person. (If you can’t access the paper, let me know and I can help.) I can’t look at the paper right now, but there is also a more recent paper by Felson and Pare that looks at weapon carrying using a different dataset than Kleck and Gertz (2010 Social Forces article:
      To your first point, I am not a major court watcher, so I will see whether Professor Patrick might want to respond to this criticism.
  4. We can hope & pray that the “gun culture” that reflects our agenda & opinions will do so in a positive manner. I can’t say I am all warm n fuzzy over much of the pro gun agenda I see these days. Some of the OC stuff that has & is taking place doesn’t exactly paint a stellar reputation of pro gun folks.
    While the Internet has positive aspects, it has become an outlet for all manner of YouTube experts who in my opinion do more damage than anything else.
    As for point #2 : (2) Gun culture is stronger than anti-gun culture…… I “somewhat” tend to be skeptical. I submit that these anti gun cultures have more strength than we may care to realize, or admit to. With people like Bloomberg on their side pouring millions into anti gun campaigns,,, who knows what lays around the bend. While it “appears” at this time pro gun is stronger than anti gun, I see a danger in becoming too complacent to anti gun cultures. But much larger than Bloomberg, the antis have Big Brother on their side. Oh we may talk big,,,” I will this and that”,,,,, but when it comes doing time, it may be a horse of a different color.
    Erosion often happens slowwwwwllllyyyy folks.
    • Ron – Thanks for this comment. It is interesting to think about whether a huge influx of money can foster a grass-roots culture of gun control, or whether Brian Anse Patrick’s argument for why gun culture is stronger (in terms of being FOR something and “organic”) is more enduring. The “anti-media” that Patrick describes (which now includes a vast social media) is as robust as ever, but is also something at the disposal of both sides. And money can definitely buy social media influence — again, whether that translates into grass-roots mobilization as a culture is an open question.
      One consideration is this equation is whether what people call “Gun Culture 2.0″ is going to be politically active or not. If Gun Culture 2.0 is more diverse in background and ideology than Gun Culture 1.0, then it may not have the political focus or will to fight the gun battle that the earlier gun culture did.
      I guess in the end I think of Thomas Jefferson’s phrase, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”