Boxing for the Old AF

I’m not old. I’m just boxing old. There is a difference.

Bernard Hopkins won the WBC title at 46, and still holds two major titles at 50 Photo: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Bernard Hopkins won the WBC title at 46, and still holds two major titles at 50 Photo: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Boxing old is when everybody at your gym is both younger and more experienced than you. By those terms, I’m boxing geriatric. Because everyone, from a handful of the trainers, to the man whose name is on the sign, is younger than me. Often by decades. The only guy at the gym who has walked the earth for longer than me is my trainer, Rob Lee.

I have to work harder. I’m not sure if it’s my weight or my 44 years, but I push myself as hard as I can in order to keep up. Because, ultimately, it is the only edge that I will ever have against the other, younger guys.

Dewey Bozella launched his short professional boxing career at 52, after serving 26 years in Sing Sing. He was, however, a champion boxer in Sing Sing.
Dewey Bozella launched his short professional boxing career at 52, after serving 26 years in Sing Sing. He was, however, a champion boxer in Sing Sing.

Does it make a difference? I am not trying to go pro like Dewey Bozella. At the rate I’m going, I’ll cut some pounds and learn a little bit with my hands, which is okay. But part of the reason I go to the gym is to learn to fight, not just box. And age matters. When you are young, you are as dumb as you will ever be. But you also have the potential to be faster and stronger than you will ever be again. How does an old dude meet that challenge of a younger, faster attacker? He just does his best.

44 year old Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs launched his comeback in 2014,In 2014, winning 6 bouts, 5 by knockout. Briggs now holds the NABA Heavyweight title.
44-year-old Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs launched his comeback in 2014,In 2014, winning 6 bouts, 5 by knockout. Briggs now holds the NABA Heavyweight title. Photo: Boxing.com

It didn’t occur to me that there were people out there who thought that they were too old to go to the gym. I found the video below when I was looking for remedies to the aches and pains that I was receiving in my first couple of days in the gym. (Warm baths and epsom salt, followed by cold showers. You’re welcome.) The guy makes some great points.

Former Light Welterweight Champion, Saoul Mamby, launched an unlikely comeback at 60.
Former Light Welterweight Champion, Saoul Mamby, launched an unlikely comeback at 60.

If you’re boxing old, like me, but you’ve always wanted to box, then get your ass to the gym. After all, old folk are allowed to be eccentric. It’s your right, once you pass 40, to start getting weirder and weirder, culminating in pulling your pants up over your navel and not knowing who anybody is on the radio.

You’re all out of excuses. Lace the fuck up.


Note: Bernard Hopkins, Dewey Bozella, Saoul Mamby and Shannon the Cannon are all perfect examples of what can be accomplished, regardless of your age. They are not, however, examples of what can be accomplished by new, old boxers. Going pro might not be a realistic expectation for the old, new boxer. 

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.

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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.

 

 

Queens Shoot Too Ep. 1: Dasia aka Tactical Cocoa Bunny

Highlighting the Fierceness of Black Women

A few weeks ago I began reaching out over Instagram in search of Black women shooters. I was looking for sisters who are so passionate about their right to live in peace that they are willing to take up arms to protect themselves. What I found was inspiring. All over the country, Black women are participating in the tradition of arms, from going to the range to  learn the fundamentals to making handloads or shooting everyday.

It’s called #QueensShootToo. Yeah, it’s a thing and it’s growing. Soon I will be connecting with Black men too. If you are a woman or a man and you want to be featured, email me. In the meantime…

This is Dasia. She lives in Vegas and goes by the Instagram handle of @Tacticalcocoabunny. Her story is kind of awesome. Enjoy

Dasia at a range in Las Vegas. This is part of her daily ritual, or as she says it, "drills on drills on drills.
Dasia at a range in Las Vegas. This is part of her daily ritual, or as she says it, “drills on drills on drills.

My parents attitudes towards firearms was negative to the nth degree. A gun took my fathers legs. He will never be able to run and jump and laugh with me.

 

 

 

1. . What is your earliest memory of firearms?

My mother and father had both been shot in a random act of gang violence  while she was pregnant with me. My father was paralyzed from the chest down and my mother was shot in her arm. Firearms affected me very early on.

2. Where there guns in your home when you grew up?

None. My mother despises firearms. We also lived in California.

3. What was your parent’s attitudes towards guns?

Negative to the nth degree. A gun took my fathers legs. He will never be able to run and jump and laugh with me.

4. What was your perspective as a child, and how has it changed?

I shared my parents perspective. I felt that firearms were an unnecessary evil, and the people who carried them were extremists,  all the up until I was 21. When I turned 21, I moved to Las Vegas, about 6 months after I moved here a man I dated for about a month began stalking me. I did everything I could possibly do. I moved, changed my number, got two restraining orders, despite hundreds of pages of texts and letters of the harassment and threats, the police still couldn’t do anything. I lived in fear every day for six months. Once his threats stopped for about a week, I knew he was coming for me. Sure enough, he kicked my door in at 1am September 26th, 2014. I shot twice and hit him in the ear and chest. He survived and is awaiting sentencing. My perspective has changed tremendously, I know that man was going to murder me and probably get away with it too. My firearm saved my life.

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I did everything I could possibly do. I moved, changed my number, got two restraining orders, despite hundreds of pages of texts and letters of the harassment and threats, the police still couldn’t do anything.

 

5. Briefly describe your first time shooting a gun.

My first time shooting a gun was out in the Nevada desert, no knowledge of ear or eye protection so my ears were left ringing for days.

6. Do you currently own a firearm? Why?

I currently own two and am in the process of building my rifle. It’s my second amendment right as an American. I have the right to defend myself and I will do so every time.

7. How often do you go to the range, and what is your attitude towards training?

Five days a week. After my shooting, I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible about firearms. A flame ignited inside of me and I not only wanted to be a better shooter but also assist in helping others become knowledgeable. So I began working in one of the largest ranges in Nevada and eventually became an NRA certified Range Safety Officer.

8. What advice would you give to someone who had expressed interest in firearms.

I would advise them to be 100% knowledgeable about safely handling and operating their firearms. I can’t stress enough the need for responsible gun ownership.

PhotoGrid_14279212482769. What skills do you think each gun owner should know.

Trigger discipline and safe handling. Respecting the firearm for the weapon that it is and the desire to want to a competent and accurate handler. Everything else is soup of the day.

10. What skills do you think each gun owner should know.

Trigger discipline and safe handling. Respecting the firearm for the weapon that it is and the desire to want to a competent and accurate handler. Everything else is soup of the day.

That time the Good Guy had a Gun: Philly Edition


 

Just yesterday I took a look at an anti gun commercial which tied each firearm in a fake Manhattan gun shop to a tragic incidence of gun violence. I didn’t expect to find the perfect counter balance this morning, in the six men and children that could have lost their lives in a barbershop shooting in Philadelphia.

The following took place over the weekend. A good guy with a gun literally stepped into the line of fire in a Mantua barbershop and saved some lives in the process. I’m biased. After all, I have a blog called Daddys-Gun. Below is the story as it appeared by CBS Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say the lives of several people were likely saved by a man who shot and killed a gunman inside a West Philadelphia barbershop.

It happened just before 3 p.m. Sunday inside Falah Barbershop Inc. along the 600 block of North Preston Street in the city’s Mantua section.

Police say a 40-year-old man was inside the barbershop when he started fighting with another person inside. The altercation quickly escalated and the man pulled out a gun and opened fire.

At that point, authorities say, another unidentified man took out his own gun and the shot the gunman multiple times in the chest. He was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The man who shot and killed him later surrendered to authorities at 16th District headquarters, but it wasn’t immediately known if he would face any charges.

“The person who responded was a legal gun permit carrier,” said Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Llewellyn. “He responded and I guess he saved a lot of people in there.”

Police say there was a crowd of patrons inside the shop at the time of the shooting, including several children, but no one else was injured.

“There were numerous people in there,” Captain Llewellyn said. “So it could have been a lot worse.”

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting, but say it appears this was a case of self-defense.

via Man Shot Dead Inside West Philadelphia Barbershop « CBS Philly.

 

 

Five Important Questions Answered by a Gun Guy

Questions you need to answer before you pull the trigger.
Questions you need to answer before you pull the trigger.

Today I went to the range with Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group and I bought my vegan holster. In the course of about one and a half hours, he helped me shake a couple of habits that were making me shoot like crap.

I’ll be writing about that as soon as I wrap my head around it. Expect it this weekend. But in the meantime…

The people at GunsAmerica.com asked Massad Ayoob five questions at this year’s Shot Show.

For those of you who don’t know, think of the Shot Show as Comic Con for gun guys. And if the Shot Show is Comic Con, then Massad Ayoob is about as legendary as Stan Lee. He’s been teaching about firearms and self defense since the 70’s. He knows his shit.

Note: He was George Zimmerman’s expert witness. That made me dry heave. But the questions that Gunsamerica asked were questions that I think everyone who owns a gun needs to answer for themselves. And his answers were pretty good.

S.H. Blannelberry: Under what circumstance would you shoot someone over property (assuming that there is no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm)?

Massad Ayoob: None that I can think of.

S.H. Blannelberry: Your home is being invaded, do you shoot first or attempt to de-escalate the situation?

Massad Ayoob: Situation-dependent. If the “invader” is apparently unarmed, and known to be some “harmless character,” i.e., town drunk or neighbor with mental illness, and is not violently acting out: consider negotiating or taking at gunpoint. If obvious armed criminal, shoot.

S.H. Blannelberry: Given your experience, training and expertise with firearms, would you pursue a fleeing burglar or would you wait for police to arrive?

Massad Ayoob: Definitely, wait for police to arrive.

S.H. Blannelberry: Do you think open carry makes one a target?

Massad Ayoob: I can’t say that it DOES, but it obviously CAN make you a target…not only of criminals, but of random showoffs, drunks, etc.

S.H. Blannelberry: On the subject of concealed carry, what issuing standard do you prefer? Constitutional or permitless carry? Shall-Issue? Do you believe some type of training should be required before one bears arms in public?

Massad Ayoob: Permitless carry has worked out remarkably well in jurisdictions that have it. Permitless carry is not going to be politically feasible in some jurisdictions, however. I am happy with shall-issue. Substantial training requirements have a disparate impact on the poor and some others who need concealed carry most; if such requirements became necessary, I would rather see testing for competency than X number of hours required. Any live fire competency test should be something an arthritic great-grandmother could pass with an inherited gate-loading revolver, again because such people are among those most in need of concealed carry.

via Firearms, Self-Defense Expert Massad Ayoob Answers Five Essential Questions – SHOT Show 2015 – GunsAmerica Digest.