I Have a Problem. And it’s Not with my Shooting

My name is Chad. I have a bad habit.

I’m talking about holstering my gun without looking. I learned very early that it was no bueno. Sam told me during our first session that you draw quick and holster S-L-O-W.

There is zero benefit to holstering your weapon quickly. The threat is gone (why else would you holster it?). Your body is filled with adrenaline, and your fine motor control is shot to hell. So, what’s the rush? Seriously?

The thing is, I’ve been trying to hammer out my grip and my sighting. I’ve tried to make my trigger pull buttery smooth, but there are some areas where I haven’t been vigilant. My toolkit has holes in it. None of this is quite as detrimental as my habit of blindly holstering my gun.

I did it because it’s quick. I did it because it lets me move on to the next drill. Draw, sight, pull the trigger, rack the slide, holster. Wash, rinse, repeat. After I pull the trigger, I’m so focused on analyzing the shot (click) that I don’t pay attention to anything else.

I had done that for months. Then I began to see facebook posts about guys who shot themselves as they holstered their guns.

Like this poor dude.

Timothy Phonisay shot himself through the femoral artery as he holstered his gun.
Timothy Phonisay shot himself through the femoral artery as he holstered his gun.

Timothy Phonisay of Milwaukee shot himself through the femoral artery recently as he holstered a 45 caliber Springfield. He was posing with the weapon, which he had owned for three months. We will never know exactly what happened, but below is one hypothesis by Bearingarms.com.

We do not know, and are likely to never know, is if Mr. Phonisay still had his finger inside the trigger guard of his pistol and accidentally depressed the trigger with his finger, or if the firearm’s trigger snagged on an article of clothing or the holster itself causing it to fire. What is known is that something depressed the trigger while he was reholstering, causing the gun to discharge.

Bob Owens, Bearingarms.com

The article went on to suggest that Phinosay was appendix carrying, and might not have had the proper holster or learned how to holster with the trigger guard clear and without the barrel sweeping past vital organs.

I don’t appendix carry. I have the right holster. Now I have to build the habit of holstering slowly and vigilantly.

 

 

 

 

That Time I went out Back To School Shopping and found a Gun Range

Shooting at the Master Gunman on my birthday.
Shooting at the Master Gunman on my birthday.

The Flinch.

I have been dry firing for months. In that time I’ve been to the range around four times. I’ve gotten good instruction. My grip has been changed, I’ve learned how to use the sights and I’ve practiced.

I have owned a gun since 1998. And I’ve learned more since I started this blog than I had in the previous 14 years.

But I had this flinch.

 

 

 

Flinches like California.
Groups like California.

At seven yards, I was shooting groups that were roughly the size of my hand and the shape of California, if Cali sloped down and to the left. Still not bad. If I shot like this in a crisis situation, each bullet would hit center mass. On the other hand, if I was shooting like this when I was slowly and deliberately aiming, the chances of me shooting this well during a crisis situation are pretty slim.

I’ve been training with Samuel Hayes, pretty regularly. He told me in one of our first meetings that he expected for me to be able to reach a decent level of accuracy before we would expand into draw and fire. And my bullshit ass, California shaped groups were wasting my time and his.

You can’t get rid of a flinch without getting in range time. You just can’t. You have to train until your body doesn’t anticipate the noise and recoil. So, all of the dry firing in my hot ass garage wasn’t going to make me much more accurate.

Anyway,  I made a wrong turn out of the Walmart on Rockbridge in Stone Mountain, as I was waiting for them to develop pictures from out trip to the Botanical Gardens as part of a Back to School project for my son when I stumbled upon The Master Gunman.

The shop portion of the Master Gunman was pretty small. There were a handful of Taurus’. (Tauri? Tauruses? What’s the plural of Taurus?)  and a S&W Shield in the case. If memory serves me, there were a couple of AK variants on the wall.

The real news was the shooting range. The whole thing cost about $35 dollars. Twenty of that was from that one box of 9mm bullets. I also bought three targets and rented ear and eye protection. Not bad, considering it about five minute’s drive from my house. Next time I’ll bring my own bullets.

The Master Gunman. If my favorite bar in Philly had a shooting range and a small selection of firearms, and no alcohol
The Master Gunman. If my favorite bar in Philly had a shooting range and a small selection of firearms, and no alcohol

The range… Let’s just call it rustic. How about high mileage. Tried and true? The targets hung from wire. You cranked them out and back again. Anybody who has ever had wind up windows in their car knows what I’m talking about. They’ve been around since the 80’s. Let’s call it retro.

I had shot thirty rounds before I realized that I didn’t have a plan. By then, I had cranked the target as far out as possible. I went out and bought two more targets, and borrowed a pen.

Below is a picture of the second target following a haphazard warmup. The target was at about seven yards. Notice the WTF’s. They were always the first shots in the group. I overthink the first shots.

Miscellaneous”

 

The group in the upper right hand corner was my best. By then I was over the shock of the first shot. I was also down to my last five bullets
The group in the upper right hand corner was my best. By then I was over the shock of the first shot. I was also down to my last five bulletsIf you took them away, the groups were respectable.Miscellaneous:
  • I’ve already said that I need to buy bullets. I also need to bring my own eye and ear protection. I found myself trying to see through a thick band of blurry distortion where the rent-a-glasses curved. As for the ear muffs, they were great. I hate the little squishy things that some ranges offer. Muffs are awesome. I just need my own. I’m sure they are diligent about cleaning theirs, but still. Cooties.
  • I like the place. I like it so much that I will try to make it there every week or two. Still, it isn’t the kind of place I would choose for a double shooting date. Quick Shot is better for that. Their waiting area is nice and big, and, last time I went, they had cookies. Stoddards would do in a pinch. But, if they are trendy clubs, then The Master Gunman is your corner bar. Not fly, but just as necessary.
  • I know Taurus is flamebait on Facebook, second only to Hi Point. But, they had a selection that was priced so nice that I was looking for an excuse to buy one.

 

 

We Have Shot Back! William Parker and the Christiana Uprising. #WeWillShootBack

Every once in a while, some obvious shit makes the headlines.

Earlier this week the hashtag, #WeWillShootBack was sprung on twitter, where it caught fire. It was inspired by Dylan Roof and nine innocent dead victims of old-fashioned terrorism. If you haven’t heard the story by now, I envy you.
White man comes into a Church. White man prays with the congregation. White man has a moment of hesitation, because of the love that he felt from said congregation. Then he lines them up and slaughters them.

There are those who said that this wasn’t an attack on Blackness. Rather, it was a strike against the Christian faith. Well, not only is Dylann Roof a devout Christian, but he was also kind enough to write a racist manifesto. He even wore patches from white supremacist groups associated with South African Apartheid. He is a connoisseur of hatred, and he wanted to create a race war.

Since then, seven churches have burned, most of which were blamed on arson. Then there was the copycat in Richmond Virginia. He knocked on the windows of a Black Church, promising to kill them. Check the video.

Nine dead, promises to kill more, and seven churches burned. #WeWillShootBack should be the least controversial hashtag, right up there with #ILikeLiving.

But just so you know that you are in good company, here are a handful of instances when Black people actually did shoot back.

Contemporary depiction of the Christiana Uprising.
Contemporary depiction of the Christiana Uprising.

Remember the Christiana Uprising:

Christiana Pa. 1851. An escaped slave named William Parker risked his life in a gun battle to protect people who had escaped slavery from their former captors.

Parker had settled in Pennsylvania close to its border with Maryland. He was an old friend of Frederick Douglas (knew him from the days when they were both slaves in Maryland) and now he was a front-line soldier in the Underground Railroad.

He was harboring men and women who had escaped from slavery when their former captor Edward Gorsuch  rolled onto his property with a gaggle of relatives and government marshals in search of his “property”.

Parker was a hardened fighter. He had already confronted other kidnappers, shot at and been shot in order to protect the free. This time he knew that they were coming. When Gorsuch arrived, papers of ownership in hand, he was met by an army of between 50 and 100 men.

Gorsuch said, “I will have my slaves, or perish!” And not surprisingly, he didn’t live through the day. Parker and his men shot the slave catchers down.

After a battle that filled the small farm with thick gun smoke, Gorsuch lay dead, a couple of his men were badly wounded and Parker had fled to Canada with a couple of his compatriots and the men and women who had escaped slavery on Gorsuch’s plantation, and federal marshals hot on their trail.

On their last morning in the United States, moments after they had snuck to the ferry that would take them to the freedom of Canada, Parker gave Frederick Douglas the revolver that Gorsuch was holding when he died.

We reached the boat without remark or molestation. I remained on board till the order to haul the gangplank was given.

I shook hands with my friends and received from Parker the revolver that fell from the hand of Gorsuch when he died, presented now as a token of gratitude and memento from the battle for liberty at Christiana.

Frederick Douglas

I wonder what Douglas would say about the hand wringing and nervous talk, whenever there is discussion of us defending our own, comes up.

Parker didn’t try to appeal to the slave master’s humanity. When the slave owner knocked at his door, holding a piece of paper that he believed to be worth several lives, there was no hastily convened prayer circle. They grabbed their guns and returned fire.

 

 

 

Dry Firing 001: The Shot Timer

Remember the Magnificent Seven? How the gunmen rode into town and trained the villagers how to fight the bad guys? Well, I'm a villager. This is my training sequence.
Remember the Magnificent Seven? How the gunmen rode into town and trained the villagers how to fight the bad guys? Well, I’m a villager. This is my training sequence.

I’ve talked a lot about dry firing. In the earlier days of Daddys-Gun.com I even wrote a few posts about it. They were bone simple, and if you are baffled about how to fit practice into your daily routine, it is possible. I did it.

I’ve been exposed to a handful of drills since I wrote about the Wall Drill. If you are more of a beginner than me, then you can use this as a blueprint. I’ll be including links to experts so that you can see how it’s done right. If you are experienced, think of this as one of those long training sequences, where the chubby, middle aged underdog manages to defy the odds and become a better shooter. People love training sequences.

Most of the drills  will require a shot timer to be done effectively. Shot timers prompt you when to draw, often with a beep or a robotic sounding command. Then they time how long it takes before your gun goes bang (or click, in this case.)

They often have a par function, which lets you program in an expectation. Ie, “I should be able to pull the trigger in two seconds.” Setting the par gives you a methodical way to raise the bar. Also, they should have a memory function. Or, you could just keep your pars and times written down in a notebook.

So far I haven’t seen a timer for less than $100. Thankfully, there is an app for it. Actually, there are lots of them.

 

The Free Shot Timer is available on for the iPhone 6 and other apple devices. You'll need a mic to make it work for dry firing.
The Free Shot Timer is available on for the iPhone 6 and other apple devices. You’ll need a mic to make it work for dry firing.

I downloaded the Free Shot Timer App last night, and deleted it after about five minutes. Then I realized that I need to buy a cheap microphone, so that the app could pick up the click. I’ll be picking one up in a day or two. We’ll see how it goes. If it sucks, remember. it’s free.

These are the drills that I will be practicing.

  • The Draw. I kind of touched on this in my last post. Now I’ll be looking at its dryfire counterpart.
  • The Turn and Draw. Like the draw, but you start with your back to the target.
  • The Strong Hand Draw. Here you are shooting with one hand. It is the foundation for the ever popular, dual wielding as seen on TV and in the movies. (Psyche!)
This is the free shot timer control panel. You can see it allows you adjust the par time.
This is the free shot timer control panel. You can see it allows you adjust the par time.
  • Support Hand from a 45 Degree Angle. Instead of drawing from a holster, you’re holding the gun in front of you at a 45… you know the rest.
  • Support Hand from Draw: Here you’ll draw your weapon with the strong hand and then switch to your non dominate hand.

Sam introduced me to them and they are part of a program geared towards IDPA competition. IDPA stands for the International Defensive Pistol Association. They were established way back in 96 as a way to let average shooters test their combat skills in simulated, real world situations. If you’re lucky, this is as close as you will ever get to a gun fight.

 

Norcross Training Sessions: Keep Your Hand off the Trigger… Slow Down

Second shooting session at the Norcross Gun Range. This post I'll focus on accuracy. Next time I'll talk about draw and fire.
Second shooting session at the Norcross Gun Range. This post I’ll focus on accuracy. Next time I’ll talk about draw and fire. These were my last groups before progressing to draw and fire.

This is what progress looks like. I shot these earlier this week at the Norcross Gun Range.

My last session focused on a Black dot. It was my nemesis. I had to shoot it five times in a row before we would move on to draw and fire drills. I spent so much time shooting raggedy groups that instead of worrying about draw and fire, it was decided that I would worry about accuracy. Accuracy before speed became the mantra.

It wasn’t a total loss. I learned an important lesson about maintaining muscular tension in my chest, arms and hands, in order to control recoil. As an internal martial arts guy, that was an eye opener. I went home and worked on maintaining tension and developing a smooth trigger pull. That was over a month ago.

One of my first groups at five yards. Can you see the flinch? It's all I can see.
One of my first groups at five yards. Can you see the flinch? It’s all I can see.

This was one of my first groups after my return to the range. I had been bragging about how I would be able to shoot the black dot. Bragging about shooting a bottle cap size hole in a piece of paper at a range of about five yards? Yeah, well you have to start somewhere.

Sam said, “Slow down. You’re rushing it. Each trigger pull is a separate thing.”

This resonated. It sounded almost zen to me.

This was my second group. I was repeating a mantra as I shot. “Focus on the target…focus on the target…focus on the target…”

The group in the center marked "Sam" was Sam's group. Duh.  There in the middle you see my WTF moment, and below it are four more holes that should have been right on top of it. But it was one tight group.
The group in the center marked “Sam” was Sam’s group. Duh.
There in the middle you see my WTF moment, and below it are four more holes that should have been right on top of it. But it was one tight group.

It yielded a tight group, especially if you ignore the outlier hole. Thing is, that was the first hole. It was also supposed to be my point of aim. It seems as if I have a flinch. I unconsciously push the muzzle down as I pull the trigger in order to compensate for the recoil.

He pulled out a 22 cal Glock 17. “Do it again.” I shot to the left to get used to the diminished recoil, and then I took aim. I whispered my mantra, and I pulled the trigger…One… Two… Three… Four… Five… That was it.

We repeated it a couple more times with my S&W 9mm. He had to make sure that the groups weren’t flukes. The results weren’t flawless, but they were workable.

Monday I’ll post part two. It will be all about the draw and fire drill.

In the meantime…

Notes:

  • Shooting the Glock was an eye opener. I haven’t shot a Glock for years. Once I got my M&P 9mm, I just didn’t like the old Glock 17 that I bought back in the 90’s. In fact, I traded it to Sam for the lessons.
    As a result, I never got much of a chance to compare the trigger pulls of the Glock to the M&P. After all, the trigger pull is the biggest criticism of the M&P.
    Shooting them back to back I had my palm-to-head movement. That’s what they were talking about! On the M&P you don’t know when the trigger has been reset. I could feel it on the Glock.
    Do I want the first Gen back? Nope. If you can’t tell, I really dig these lessons. I also like the steel magazine and the thumb safety on my M&P. But I get it now.
  • Also, Sam had to correct me on my trigger discipline. “Take your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.”
    That’s not a big deal except for the fact that I didn’t realize that my finger was on the trigger. I tend to be very careful, almost overly so. After all, I have a thumb safety on my gun… But trigger discipline trumps almost everything else.
    Do better Chad.
  • I’ve seen M&P 22’s going for about $350, if my memory serves me. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention. After all, what do I want with a 22? How about more practice time for less money.
    It won’t be my next purchase, but it is on my radar.
  • My homework? More dry firing, (I’ll be going into the specifics of it in the coming weeks) and range time. The only way to handle a flinch is to shoot until you’re used to shooting.

 

 

 

 

Do We Need This Demonstration to Prove that Law Enforcement is Biased?

Daddys-Gun.com is a labor of love. My goal is to highlight the strength and resilience of my forefathers while showing a vibrant and pragmatic tradition of arms.
Help me spread the word by liking and sharing each post. I don’ t have an ad budget and a team of marketers, but I do have a community of like minds who believe, just like me, that we are powerful. We were, are and will always be warriors. 

The video above was shared with me by a Facebook friend. I began replying as a comment but I quickly realized that I had too much to say for a Facebook comment box.

First, the obvious. Is this a fair experiment? It is clear that the responding police are from different agencies. Are they even from the same jurisdictions?

I read someplace that the video actually depicted different events that took place states apart. If that’s true, then this was an experiment in editing, rather than race and open carry.

We have brothers and sisters living off of a steady diet of tear gas and pepper spray in Ferguson and Baltimore, just to secure the rights of unarmed Black men and women, to live for long enough to make it to custody. Meanwhile, the NRA has attempted to initiate laws in Texas that will make it explicitly illegal for officers to stop and frisk people who open carry.

It would have cleared things up a lot for me if the two dudes who introduced the video appeared again with the Black guy before he ventured out, alone, with the AR and his pregnant girlfriend.Without knowing exactly where the cops are responding from, and the laws in those jurisdictions, it is hard to see this as a one to one comparison.  (By the way, please don’t do any more potentially dangerous “experiments” with your pregnant girlfriend there.)

That said, I’m not a bit surprised that a Black man would be treated differently when carrying a rifle on his back. A lot of police see us as a threat regardless. Throw an AR on your back, and you run the risk of becoming a statistic very quickly. I get the point that they are trying to prove, and there is an abundance of evidence to back it up.

Demonstrators from the Dallas New Black Panther Party and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, at an open carry demonstration.
Demonstrators from the Dallas New Black Panther Party and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, at an open carry demonstration.

The New Black Panthers regularly do open carry demonstrations. So far, none of them have been arrested, to my knowledge. But there is a difference between going down the street with 20 fellow armed citizens, and walking down the street alone with a rifle on your back. The former is very clearly a demonstration. The latter could be construed as a bit lone gunmen-ish.

But, if the brother is openly carrying a firearm in a state that allows open carry, then those cops were straight up wrong. The police don’t get to decide the constitutional rights that we can exercise. They are there to enforce the law, and if he didn’t break it, there was no reason for them to show up.

You should know, I’m not a fan of open carry or the movement that surrounds it. From what I can tell, it basically comes down to the desire to exercise a right, simply because it is our right to exercise it. I’ve seen open carry demonstrations shut down Starbucks and in one case, a demonstrator marched around an elementary school despite the fact that the administration had to lock the school down.

Still, I admire their hustle. We have brothers and sisters living off of a steady diet of tear gas and pepper spray in Ferguson and Baltimore, just to secure the rights of unarmed Black men and women, to live for long enough to make it to custody. Meanwhile, the NRA has attempted to initiate laws in Texas that will make it explicitly illegal for officers to stop and frisk people who open carry.

Let that sink in.

Stop and frisk means that this young man might end up spread eagle on the ground, with or without an AR on his back.
Stop and frisk means that this young man might end up spread eagle on the ground, with or without an AR on his back.

 

In Philly, cops can lawfully stop and frisk you even if you are just eating a slice of pizza on your front steps, but soon in Texas, you will be able to carry an AR and they will have to look the other way?

How about we make that into a video. A guy open carrying at a 7-11 while the police drag a guy off of his front porch, saying, “I just want to talk to you…”

 

The One Thing You Should Ignore if you Want to be Average

Daddys-Gun.com is a labor of love. My goal is to highlight the strength and resilience of my forefathers while showing a vibrant and pragmatic tradition of arms.

Help me spread the word by liking and sharing each post. I don’ t have an ad budget and a team of marketers, but I do have a community of like minds who believe, just like me, that we are powerful. We were, are and will always be warriors. 

First find an instructor, then practice. It isn't enough just to own a gun
First find an instructor, then practice. It isn’t enough just to own a gun

Most gun owners are average. Average means they buy a gun, go shooting once a year and it spends the rest of its sad life in the bottom of a dresser drawer.

The average shooter thinks that a benevolent god steadies the hand of the good guy. How else do you explain why the good guy always lands a head shot while the bad guys shoot worse in inverse proportion to their numbers?

Maximus Averagus gently guides his desciples’ bullets as they fly from improperly gripped guns. Maximus Averagus also grants them unlimited ammunition, and steadies their hands.

Don’t bow down to Maximus Averagus. He is a fickle God, more beholden to movie scripts than real life. He won’t cloud the bad guys’ vision, and he won’t change your magazine when you run out of cheap, average bullets.

Learn, then practice. In that order.

It took 15 minutes for me to find out how to effectively grip a handgun, acquire the sight picture and then shoot without flinching. Another 15 minutes later, I learned not to look around the side of the gun at the target after each shot.

In real life, bad guys don't always miss, and good guys run out of ammo. Buying a gun is just the first step. Seek instruction and then practice.
In real life, bad guys don’t always miss, and good guys run out of ammo. Buying a gun is just the first step. Seek instruction and then practice.

I practice almost every night, and I still have to remind myself to grip my gun properly. I analyze my trigger pull by dry firing a couple of inches from the wall of my garage. I’m still working on it. I think I’ll be working on it for a long time before it become reflexive.

That’s the goal. I’m not a target shooter. I’m practicing for combat. And if it isn’t reflexive, then it’s just not going to happen under stress.

Learn, then practice. Take a class. Regard it is part of the cost of the gun, just like the holster and bullets. Learn the laws. Or keep praying to Maximus Averagus while your gun collects dust in the bottom of your sock drawer.

The average shooter hopes that he can protect his family. You want to be the guy who knows that he can.

Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group is offering a class this weekend in the fundamentals of pistol craft. He’s teaching everything that I wish I had learned back when I bought my first gun. The skills that, once mastered, will raise you above the average.

This is a closed course, but you should check it out. Go to his site, then call and see if you can sneak in.

 

 

 

 

 

The Heroism of the Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riots: Our Alamo

Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were "detained" and "interned" by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.
Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were “detained” and “interned” by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.

 

Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

This is what we know about Tulsa.

tulsa29
Men being rounded up and moved to the detention center.

It erupted May 31, 1921 with an encounter between a Black man and a White woman in a downtown elevator. He would say that he tripped and innocently caught himself by grabbing her arm. She claimed that he had tried to grab her. While rumors spread that an attempted rape had just taken place, many whispered quietly that they were actually lovers embroiled in an argument. It doesn’t matter anymore.

Threats of lynchings were met with action. Thirty Black men, many of whom were well trained and well armed veterans of WWI, went to protect the young “assailant”, who was now in custody at the local courthouse. Soon, a counter force of 1,000 White men arrived at the courthouse while another contingent went to the National Guard Armory for more firearms. They were repelled by the hastily mobilized Guardsmen. They then descended on the courthouse, their numbers now nearing 2,000.

When a second armed contingent of 75 Black men went to the courthouse as reinforcements, the situation exploded. One of the White men demanded that a Black man surrender his pistol. When he refused, the White man shot him down. That was the first shot of a gunfight that would consume the city.

  • The First Wave: Those shots cascaded through the mob. The White men opened fire, and were met with return fire by the Black men who had gone to protect the courthouse. Several men on both sides lay dead or dying in the street.
  • As the Black contingent began to fight their way back to Greenwood they were pursued by the mob. Bystanders leaving local businesses were panicked as the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • Late that night, National Guard units were deployed to quell the riots. They stationed themselves to protect the White areas adjacent to Greenwood. They also began picking up Black people who hadn’t returned to Greenwood, and detaining them at a local convention hall.
  • Early the next morning groups of armed Whites and Blacks battled along Frisco tracks, the dividing line between the Black and White commercial districts. Whites made wild forays into Greenwood, taking shots when they could and setting fires along the way. They were met with return fire. When a rumor got around that Black reinforcements would be arriving by train, the White mob littered it with gunfire as it pulled into the station.
  • The mob set fires along the commercial corridor of Archer Street. When the firemen came, they were repelled at gunpoint. Within hours, dozens of Black businesses were burning to the ground.
  • Daybreak. The mob made an all out assault on Greenwood. While the residents fought back, they were simply outnumbered. They were herded into the street where they were either rounded up or marched at gunpoint to the detention center. Their houses were looted, and the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • It should be noted that there were numerous reports of WWI biplanes flying overhead, leading to the claim that Tulsa marked the first time the government dropped bombs on its own soil. Residents of Greenwood said that they witnessed men dropping firebombs onto their homes and businesses, and taking shots with rifles. Local law enforcement countered that the planes were conducting reconnaissance over the “negro uprising”.
  • Whites were attacked too. Those who employed Blacks found themselves confronted by the White mob, who demanded that they turn their employees over to the detention centers. Those that didn’t were attacked and their property was vandalized.
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo

Troops from the Oklahoma National Guard arrived later that morning, and had suppressed the violence by noon. By then the damage had been done. It’s hard to say how many Black people lost their lives. Estimations run from about 30 to 300, but there was no way to account for those whose bodies were consumed by the fires that destroyed Greenwood.

Greenwood was made rich, in part, as an unintended consequence of segregation. The money made there stayed there, circulating 19 times according to some estimations. It was a bastion of Black lawyers, doctors and business men who were able to find freedom that was unavailable in the South.  All of that ended in the span of less than 24 hours.

We talk about the tragedy. What we don’t talk about is the heroism. The 125 brave men who went to the Courthouse to ensure that a young man wasn’t lynched that night. The men who confronted the armed mob at every step, and defended their lives and their homes. Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

The self-confidence of Tulsa’s Negroes soared, their businesses prospered, their institutions flourished and they simply had no fear of whites… Such an attitude had a great deal to do with eradicating the fear that a Negro boy growing up in Tulsa might have felt, in the years following the riots.

John Hope Franklin, Historian and witness to the Tulsa Race Riots.

 

 

Walk Before You Can Drive: Looking for Solutions for Driving With Guns

The universal vehicle handgun holster mount. There is no shortage of options out there for carrying a handgun on the roads of Georgia. The question is, what are you comfortable with? Photo from Tactical-Life.com
The universal vehicle handgun holster mount. There is no shortage of options out there for carrying a handgun on the roads of Georgia. The question is, what are you comfortable with? Photo from Tactical-Life.com

Fast, short video on AIWB seated weapon draw from Raven Concealment Systems Eidolon holster system, the “Every man’s Appendix rig”

Posted by Samuel R Hayes III on Monday, May 4, 2015

I’m new to carrying.

For the past two months I’ve been dipping my big toe in the pool; carrying every night as I take my dog on his nightly walks.

At first the gun and its holster were all I could think about. Is it printing? Is it falling? Is the safety on? It’s not really supposed to feel like this, is it? We are so used to everything being designed for maximum comfort that putting on something that prioritizes utility over comfort feels strange.

At first the gun and its holster were all I could think about. Is it printing? Is it falling? Is the safety on? It’s not really supposed to feel like this, is it? We are so used to everything being designed for maximum comfort that putting on something that prioritizes utility over comfort feels strange.

Call it progress, but I don’t think about it much anymore. Every night I rack the slide, activate the safety, put it in the holster and walk out the door. And every night, about 20 minutes later, I return. So far I haven’t dropped it. It hasn’t discharged, either accidentally or on purpose. My nights are just as predictable with the gun as they were before I carried it. The only difference is, I don’t feel quite as nervous about those things that I can’t predict.

I haven’t made the leap to carrying all day everyday. I’m can walk okay, but I spend far more time behind the wheel than I do pounding the pavement. I could put it in my glove box, right? I’m going to stretch across my 15-year-old daughter every morning with a loaded 9mm? Push aside juice boxes, plates containing precisely three chicken nuggets and catsup, and toilet paper (three children = a lot of sneezes.) and drop it into the center console? No bueno. I don’t want them to be afraid of guns, but I don’t want them to be casual around them.

Not to mention how difficult it would be to fish it out from the glove box on the one in a million chance that I need it.

Above is Sam Hayes of Caliber Training Group. He is wearing an Inside the Waistband holster from Raven Concealment. He’s not a little guy, but neither am I. It looks effective, not comfortable, but I don’t expect that anymore.

Observations from the First Meeting of the National African American Gun Association

Bass Reeves was an ex slave and renegade lawman pictured here among fellow Marshals on the bottom left. Keep in mind, there are three other Black lawmen pictured.
Bass Reeves was an ex slave who lived among the Seminole and Creek Nations in Oklahoma and became a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas. He is credited with bringing close to 3,000 men to justice. Pictured here among fellow Marshals on the bottom left. Keep in mind, there are three other Black lawmen pictured. The Atlanta Branch of the NAAGA is named after him.

I spoke earlier about the National African American Gun Association. Until recently it was an unknown quantity. A good idea (an organization established with the unique needs of Black gun owners in mind) in search of the right execution.

The first meeting took place about two weeks ago, at Stoddards Gun Range in Midtown Atlanta. It is a testament to the growing popularity of firearms that they were able to build a state of the art gun shop and shooting facility within walking distance of the High Museum of Art and some to the most expensive real estate in the city. Members arrived at around 9:30 am and convened in a meeting room just off of the showroom.

It was a Saturday morning. If you were in Atlanta, you might remember the driving rain that morning. Or, maybe you were sleeping. As I found a parking space behind the facility, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t really sure if anyone else would even show up.

There was about 15 people there. The NAAGA’s founder, Phillip Smith,  Sam Hayes of Caliber Training Group and 12 others. There was no “type”. One brother has locs longer than mine. He sat off to the side with a green ammo can and a soft sided case. The guy in front of me looked like my daughter’s favorite math teacher. There were five women. Two, I would later find, didn’t actually own guns, but were interested and wanted to find the right information.

They went over the fundamentals of firearm safety with a guy from Stoddards. There was an exercise to find your dominant eye, the five rules of safety and handling, and then we parted ways. They went to the range and I went to pick up my daughter from a sleepover.

This is what you need to know.

  • Membership is free. Just go to the site and find the tab that says, “Want to join.”
  • As of the time of the meeting, there were 50 members in Atlanta, and more than 100 nationwide, including Oakland and St. Louis.
  • Each chapter is named after  a famous African American warrior. For example, Atlanta is the Bass Reeves chapter.
  • If you’re in the Atlanta area, the next meeting will be called
  • Their next meeting is May 16, from 9am to 11am. They will be discussing Stand Your Ground in Georgia among other things. You should come and bring a friend. Guests are welcome.

If you’re interested sign up for your free membership and ask for information.