Updating the list

I note, in the wake of Monday’s carnage, that there are a number of things the Blogosphere has magically become an expert on:

  • Wound ballistics
  • Weapon performance
  • Urban/close-quarters battle tactics
  • Unarmed self-defense against armed maniacs

Will wonders never cease? I have this image in my head of Dick Cheney having another jammer and the merits of the various treatment options suddenly becoming politicized and everyone having an opinion on whether primary PCI is better than facilitated PCI is better than a thrombolytic strategy alone, with certain blogs who shall remain unidentified talking about the economics of each and..

Oh, screw it. This makes my head hurt.

On related notes:

  1. Anyone who says that a .22 is a nothing gun

    And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren’t bad.

    — is a total idiot and knows absolutely nothing about wound ballistics. I know that the .22 LR is not anything near a sexy round, nor does it possess anything close to the ideal amount of that mythical thing called stopping power, but unless you’ve had to chase one of those projectiles around the body, you don’t get to say that “your chances aren’t bad.” A .22 that gets into the body is in there for the grand tour, unlike a 9mm that’s likely to mushroom and expand, or a rifle round that’s going to go flying through leaving a nice, clean wound track. Projectiles are projectiles — throw it fast enough and it’s dangerous. Guess what, kids? .22 is plenty dangerous. (I should hope that the fact that a .22 needs to find something important to do damage crossed with the fact that the round is in there for the grand tour is not something you would take solace in, but that’s just me.)

    I’m going to totally ignore the rest of that masturbatory post. The crack about the .22 is enough.

  2. The comments from Old Jarhead need to be tattooed on everyone’s eyelids. I like guns. I’ve owned guns. I’ve fired a lot of rounds in my life. I feel very comfortable around firearms. I do not want a concealed carry permit and I do not want a firearm for defensive purposes in my house because of this fundamental truth: I am not 100% convinced I could drop the hammer. That makes me a liability, not an asset, when it comes to dealing with armed maniacs. It’s not manly of me, but it is who I am, and I’m not willing to lie to myself to say otherwise. What’s the point? We all want to be Rambo; almost none of us are. There’s no shame in this.
  3. I think the whole gun issue would be a lot saner and less idiotic if the people who were seriously trying to argue one position or the other had been to the Lethal Force Institute, or at least read about Massad Ayoob. Chris Wright wrote a fantastic article about LFI and Ayoob for the Boston Phoenix a few years back, and some of Ayoob’s ideas about guns and self defense seem far too rational to come from this world:

    The 51-year-old Ayoob is something of a celebrity in the gun community. In 1980, he published In the Gravest Extreme, a book that quickly came to be known as the definitive study on the tactical, legal, and ethical issues surrounding the use of lethal force by civilians. Twenty years after its publication, the book has sold about 300,000 copies.

    In all, Ayoob has written a dozen books — The Truth About Self-Protection, Stressfire, Hit the White Part — plus countless articles for gun periodicals. He has been an expert witness in about 70 criminal trials. He has taught in Switzerland and South America, England and Africa. He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the National Enquirer. He has appeared on Frontline, 20/20, and the Today show.

    “He’s a celebrity among thinking gun owners,” says Miami criminal-defense lawyer Jeffrey Weiner, former president of the National Association of Criminal Lawyers and an LFI grad. “He’s not a celebrity among macho types.” …

    Following another burst of laughter, Ayoob’s deadly serious again. “There are no first-place winners in a shooting situation,” he warns us. “When it’s over, believe me, you haven’t won. Deterrence is the only victory.”

    In many ways, LFI isn’t a class in killing people. It’s a class in not killing them. Ayoob finds himself in the curious position of believing the best way to prevent gun violence is to teach people how to commit it. His entire lethal-force philosophy hinges on a single principle: the more prepared you are to kill an assailant, the less likely you are to have to.

    This may sound a bit nutty at first, but perhaps the only way to get to the heart of a matter as complex as gun ownership is through paradox. In an issue that many people view in black-and-white terms, Ayoob’s pacifism-through-violence philosophy has made him as many enemies as it has friends.

    “I’ve found myself caught in the middle of a very polarized debate,” he says. “On one side I’ve got the hard-core anti-gunners. To them I’m a crypto-fascist because I tell women that if a rapist attacks you, killing the son of a bitch is absolutely one of your options — legally and morally. On the other side there’s the hard-core right-wing ultra-gunnies, who consider me a crypto-commie because I tell them, ‘No, as a matter of fact, you don’t have a God-given right to carry a loaded gun in shopping malls where there are kids walking around. It’s a privilege, and you need to be able show society that you know how to use it and when to use it. That you’re not going to shoot at a perpetrator and hit a kid by mistake.’ I think that’s a reasonable request.

    “In the history of polarized debates,” he adds, “anybody in the middle find himself in a very lonely place.” …

    “Civilians chasing criminals are like dogs chasing cars: they have no idea what to do with them when they catch them.” That is: if they run, let them go. If it’s a robbery, give them the money. If you’re armed and someone comes up and spits in your face, walk away. If you hear a noise in your house, hide yourself in a safe room and call the police — never go looking for intruders.

    When in doubt, don’t shoot.

    “I can’t believe I spent $600 for that ugly little Ay-rab to tell me I can’t shoot anyone,” says Ayoob.

    It’s weird and it doesn’t make a lot of sense, and yet it makes all kinds of sense. Help me out here.