I wanted to take a moment and recognize the tireless work of my friend, Pete Brownell. He’s wrapping up as NRA President and handing things over to Oliver North as we speak.
I’m excited to see where North takes us. I have many things I love about NRA, and some I’d really like to see altered. The handful of people I’ve worked among recently, and especially those for a number of years have shown me they care about you and I and they operate on passion and realize you and others are the beneficiaries for their work.
I know nothing about Pete’s decision to wrap up early from NRA Presidency. You may find this shocking, but it wasn’t as if he called me up and said, “Boy, I sure could use your counsel this time Michael…” LOL. Had he, I’d have told him to do right by God first, his family second, etc., etc., etc. Besides, everyone reading this knows how life can grind you down if you’re not careful, and being busy is welcome but taxing on everything in your life simultaneously.
Pete’s a shrewd and talented man and above all I’m repeatedly impressed with his ethics. That means a great deal to me. I can argue to you all that people with a strict moral code that emphasize ethics actively practiced are rationally less corruptible and far more consistent towards those they seek to serve. When I size leaders or ‘would-be’ leaders, I’m primarily interested in their ethics over anything else. Should those be solid, they’ll act in the best interests of others nearly without fail. Pete is consistent in this regard and I always enjoy working with him and picking up tidbits from him. I believe the several hundred families that rely on his decisions to guide his family company are well served.
I had a conversation with one of his employees from Brownells some time ago that centered on how polished and knowledgeable Pete is. He essentially asked, “Pete operates on another level. How does he do that?” I responded simply with, “practice, and lots of it.” Pete finds himself in meetings and discussions that allow him to explore and connect. The fact that there are many allow him to explore much and connect often. He, just like you and I, gets better with each interaction.
I mention this because it’s important that we keep this in perspective. Whether we’re discussing the talents of Oliver North, or Pete Brownell, or ______________, it matters little. We’re all simple human beings operating in a complex world. What should matter to you is the human factor here. You and I require understanding and support. We need those things at our core in order to do well by our God, family, memberships, customers, and beyond.
So…. To bring this full circle, I began by offering praise of my friend and giving some perspective about the things I admire in him. I conveyed to you some thoughts to consider. Those are simply my thoughts, and as much as I’d prefer, you may or may not consider and adopt them as your own. Now we ask ourselves “what is true” of this thing or person? Well, to answer in the simplest terms, Pete Brownell appears to be a good man with a track record for solid works. Correct? The next logical question is, “How do we respond to this?”
That answer is simple. We thank him for his dedication, time, and passion. We support him by wishing the very best for him and his family. We encourage him to continue his NRA board work as long as he sees fit. We pray for our brother and let him know we all have families, commitments, volunteerism, fellowship, and a dozen other altruistic endeavors, so we understand that when the time is right, you pass the torch of leadership with a smile and wink.
Thanks Pete. Doing work with NRA and board work with IFC alongside you will continue to be welcome challenges. I’m looking forward to what’s next! 😎😎😎
Let me test you. You ever heard a story like this before???
ACME Cooler Co. sells to outdoor people. Why do they sell to outdoor people? Because if their customers were always in their kitchens, they’d only need a refrigerator.
2nd Amendment Advocacy Group (2AAG) has a tremendous and engaged following of outdoor people. Why do they advocate for outdoor people? Because outdoor people can’t go to the shooting range in their kitchens.
ACME Cooler Co. and 2AAG have a long standing relationship that is mutually beneficial.
ACME Cooler Co. goes nutty and in an act of “cutting nose off to spite face” severs sales to 2AAG.
Outdoors people are outraged. ACME Cooler Co. suffers and enters the world of media and marketing spin to salvage their colossally ill-advised position.
Dozens of moral and ethical Cooler Companies fill the void. Outdoors people are pleased and invite ACME Cooler Co. to kiss them between the back pockets now realizing they can buy better for less.
2AAG continues the work on behalf of outdoor people and ACME Cooler Co. changes its name to STUPID Co.
*****The above is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the identities of the stupid and righteous.
Sometimes in the world, a company self-selects strife and turmoil.
Discussions on hardening soft targets like schools you ask? Why yes, here are a few considerations?
I’m not sure there is a total blanket approach. The tools and procedures used in one school based on it’s size, layout, funding, and staff may not work other places. There are a handful of universal thoughts that do apply though…
Those would be:
-Doors that automatically locked when closed.
-Keep doors locked to the outside so entry points are chocked when not manned by the staff.
-Surveillance equipment to be only depended on IF there is somebody actively watching them.
-Natural barriers in front of access points to dissuade vehicles from coming through
-Communication from local LE to school and vice versa on known and suspected issues so the schools have a heightened sense of what to be on the lookout for
-Enhanced standards for lighting, guards, and identification
-Volunteer or increased security presence during large events (football games, school programs, etc.)
-Reduction of red tape in order to hire armed security
-One-Way traffic control during large events (helps a free flow of people in and out in a hurry)
-Anonymous tip-texting numbers (this can be achieved for free with a Google Voice number that can be monitored from multiple access points)
-Social Media Monitoring
-Facility Floor Mapping program (crowd sourced solutions)
-Mass notifications via text, alert, app, etc.
-Routine A.L.I.C.E. training – annually
-Sheepdog Training – Annually
-List of local Sheepdogs with Firearms Training (starts usually with LE, Retired LE, Military Service, Firearms Trainers, Competitive Shooters, Self Defense Instructors/Students, etc.) and provide them permission to carry on school premises as School Sheepdogs
-Present Danger drills for the schools
-Present Danger drills for local support (fire, ems, law enforcement responses, etc.)
-Security Assessment Evaluations and consulting (NRA School Shield Program)
-Each teacher armed with pepper spray (ON their person at all times)
-Each classroom upfitted with tools like pepper spray, emergency call buttons, and defensive tools to a “Present Danger” event
-Strategically placed first aid including tourniquets, mass casualty care, and plenty of things to slow/stop leaks (most people will need that kind of care rather than being heavy on burn responses, plus many schools are fallout shelters for natural disasters like tornadoes, so think about multiple uses for your first aid)
-Panic Button systems
-SMS opt in systems (attendees of a school or program can text to opt-in to an event communication blanket)
-Volunteer response teams
-Community Curriculum (classes as prerequisites for students and free for locals in self-defense, situational awareness, risk assessment, etc.)
-Lowering School bond requirements a few percentage points solely for the purposes of adding hardening of soft school targets infrastructure
Of course I wouldn’t limit the responses to those above, but there are a few there to get the creative juices flowing. All in the first list should be implemented. I know some of those appear to be very foreign concepts depending on where you live and where you’re from. However, there are over a dozen states that are essentially doing all of them in some fashion and they know while it doesn’t preclude the horrible from ever happening, it drastically reduces the likelihood. Utah is a perfect example. They have schools the really have taken this initiative and run with it and there’s a feeling of safety and security among them. They have simply said, flat out, “We’re not going to be victims. We have implemented and trained on active and passive methods of security, and we’re ahead of the curve.” I know they’re right, even if some of these things are hard for you to comprehend…
If you participate in a march or walk-out of any kind, doesn’t that require you actually KNOW exactly and acutely all the facets surrounding your participation?
So…. What happens if you don’t know any, most, or all of the particulars? As far as you and I are concerned, that’s willful ignorance by very definition. However, the true casualty of that experience is trust. With no small amount of irony, the beguiled don’t even know their trust has been shattered at the moment. It usually comes later when they realize they’ve been used.
Sadly too few actually grasp they’ve been manipulated for someone else’s gain.
We must ask ourselves not only what is the march about, what are the facts, what is the truth, but also who gains from the march, and ultimately who uses us to achieve the outcome.
The vile and repugnant method in which our youth are being used in this fight against liberty is equaled only by the level of disdain these abusers hold for the search and attainment of that which is true.
You should guard carefully free thought and execution thereof. What is being created is the exact opposite and it is far more concerning than you may think. This has now been taken to the next obvious level and it isn’t too late to strive for better with you and yours… Be critical and thorough. Know and understand both our points of contention and the other side’s in kind. If you don’t, you’re risking heavily I might add, becoming their antithesis rather than a cure. …And woefully, they’re not even remotely similar…
Does anyone besides me find that claim a little odd?
Words have meaning. Every. Single. One. Of. Them… So when you see a media article that uses the phrase ‘gun rights’ in the article, or worse yet in the title, what can you and I assume about the author? If you were murmuring, “they don’t know their ass from their elbow” you’d be correct.
Here’s how it should have been written: “People’s Rights”
God doesn’t have anything to say about the inherent rights of lumber. Science doesn’t have a mention for the unalienable rights of limestone. People do have rights however. And they’re supremely important. The tools we choose aren’t the point, but the media either doesn’t understand that or deliberately shifts away from the real issue. They successfully conveyed a negative connotation with all things “gun” so they love using that word every chance they get. I truly believe they don’t understand the issue at it’s core regardless. If they did, they’d understand the 2nd Amendment and the virtues stemming from it are for everyone. I don’t care how you vote or if you vote. These rights and liberties are for you. They’re granted on High and protected by man’s law.
The next time you hear “gun rights” you should be correcting that person and say something along the lines of, “No sir, this isn’t ‘gun rights’ we’re discussing. We’re talking about the very basest of human rights, and they’re for everyone, not just the folks who agree with you or I. The decision to exercise those rights are for each person to decide for themselves, not for others to grant or deny.”
Use your “BS Detectors” often my friends. Catch those small things, because they are today’s mole hills that others build into mountains.
OK… Kristofer S. and I were kicking around cryo barrel treatment last night and it led into a discussion I rarely have on facebook, but was of great value. See the oxymoron there? LOL…
Most are familiar with cryo treatment. For those of you that aren’t, cryo treatment is essentially dropping the temp on a barrel blank to a very low degree. Often as much or more than -300F. The premise is the stick will be relieved of stress through tempering. This is supposed to lead to more consistency shot to shot. That’s all any accuracy enhancement really is essentially.
The discussion we briefly held then morphed into things like carbon wrapping barrels, etc. to enhance performance. My response to these things is simple. Prove it.
I hear grand claims often. And even if I doubt them, there is the very real possibility things such as these are minor or even major gains in performance. But… In a world where gunsmiths are variables and not constants, I’d like to rely on a little more.
Proof reached out to me to try some of their carbon wrapped barrels. I was flattered and tickled they wanted to send me a few blanks at no cost to build up. I thought this sounded like a great opportunity to build a demo rifle. You know, something that I could let customers shoot when we hold range days. Needless to say I was excited.
When the claims of the salesperson who contacted me over the phone reached a fever pitch, I asked how they quantified all the hype. Silence. I suggested we prove it. I was willing to help. So I said, send me a couple of virgin blanks, I’ll chamber them in a pooch chambering like 308 match, foul them, clean them, shoot 20 5shot groups, and then send it back to Proof so they could relieve the blank and carbon wrap it. I’d then reinstall it on the same action and shoot another 20 5shot groups and compare.
Granted, this isn’t as scientific as it should be, but if I did the smithing, and used a chambering not known for being hard on throats but still had plenty of match ammo available, along with only changing the barrel with/without carbon, we should have at least some small inclination as to whether the carbon wrapping really made a measurable impact.
I never got a return phone call and they never sent the blanks. They also didn’t send the AR15 complete barrels they committed to on an earlier call. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not upset with Proof. I don’t care about a bunch of ‘free’ stuff that actually costs me time and money. After all, I was on the hook for a high dollar action, stock, complete set up, and optics along with ammo to make this work, so it wasn’t like somebody handed me a $6K rig to play with… LOL. Still, I’ll admit freely I was put off by the fact that when I was simply analytical with them and asked some basic questions I’d assume any true rifle smith would ask that the faucet was shut off.
In summary, there is a great deal of merit in trying new things and pushing back the envelope in the name of accuracy and performance. Most people trudge along and do today what others did yesterday, so I have a profound respect for folks who innovate. I also see performance enhancing tiny bottles of energy at every checkout line in America. I see a “performance enhancing” fill in the blank for everything under the sun. So I hold a healthy skepticism, as should we all, when it comes to things like this.
Are things like cryo and carbon the future? Possibly. I’d submit to you all however, even if cryo, carbon, and other things can slightly potentially elevate the accuracy of a weapon, they’re still only “potential” gains folks. If the guy running the reamer is a moron, it won’t matter that you spent $1K on a really great barrel blank… So keep it in perspective.
Shoot well my friends, and shoot often…
I didn’t realize this was such a buzz until I was speaking with Barry Snell, exec director of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the day he left to attend the NRA Annual Meeting. Apparently there’s been some pretty serious butthurt over folks like the USCCA being ‘dis-invited’ to the gig.
Personally, I haven’t delved into just how much of a problem this actually represents. I don’t mean to sound snarky, but maybe this competition is good for the consumers. Right? I mean, seriously folks… If NRA is offering a program that includes solid training and allows for insurance protection as a person who carries in defense, and it’s similar to the USCCA’s program, is that a bad thing for you and I?
Having been on the end of the bargain where you only have a single choice and the purveyor knows it, I rarely find myself smiling about the associated costs. I could be completely naive too. This may not impact pricing one iota. However, more of the nation is carrying than at any point before, so the needs of those potential customers is present and evident. Somebody should be filling that niche.
I’ll need to really dissect the coverage contents to be sure, but on the surface this stuff sounds pretty darned good to me. I think I like it most of all because some government moron in a broom closest on the 3rd basement floor of a moldy old building didn’t decide to force, cajole, bully, regulate, or otherwise codify it down my throat. This is personal responsibility showing itself to us all. It’s from us, we asked for it, there’s a need, private sectors supplied it, and Uncle Sam didn’t force it. I dig that…
Anybody up for the big poke way out there??? Should we be? What does it mean? Why are we here?