Category Archives: Weapons Usage and Employment

Student Filmmakers Mistaken for Active Shooters

Last week, a bunch of kids with airsoft toys that look very like real guns were making a student film at their school in Tustin, California. How much like real guns do they look? Real enough that the kids probably don’t even grasp just how close they came to being capped by cops. Behold:

Tustin Cops Fake Gun Photo

After everybody’s pulse rate got back down into the normal range, the cops had a talk with the would-be Tarantinos, so that this film didn’t end like one of Quentin’s bloodbaths, except with buckets of real blood.

By the way, in the image above, two of the guns are the kids’ airsofts. One is one of the cops’ patrol rifle that he responded with. (You can probably figure it out). The cops’ whole statement:

We are currently clearing a call of several subjects with rifles at one of our schools. Ultimately we determined the subjects were local high school students making a film and the rifles were only replicas. Neither the school or the city of Tustin had any knowledge of this incident until we received the radio call. This situation could have turned tragic. Parents, please use caution when allowing your children access to replica firearms. These situations have turned deadly across our nation. The photo shows two of the rifles we encountered on this call. The third rifle in the photo is one of our real rifles that we responded with. We included it to show you how realistic these weapons can appear, especially in darkness.

Really, a kid can get hurt playing with the wrong toys. But if you deny kids any engagement with real guns under adult guidance, they’re going to develop their own knowledge under peer guidance. That seems to be the antithesis of a good idea.

A hearty hooah to the Tustin cops for not shooting anybody. Can you imagine how they’d crucify the poor cop that nailed one of these kids? But look again at the guns — it would be hard to fault a cop for jumping to what turned out to be a wrong conclusion.

Sometimes the best thing is to sit weapons tight and develop the situation.

Don’t Bring a Metal Pipe to a Gunfight

steel pipeWhy not? Well, because the guys with the guns are going to win.

Just another night on the beat in Pensacola, FL. And the cops catch a glimpse of what just may be Judgment Juice in action.

It unfolded Sunday night in Pensacola. A police news release says the man was driving a truck with several traffic cones stuck underneath. He initially refused to stop and continued driving recklessly until finally stopping.

Naturally, they wanted to stop him and have a talk about his beverage selections that evening. But he didn’t seem very interested in talking.

The Pensacola News Journal reports the man got out of the truck and started swinging the pipe, hitting one officer. Another officer fired his weapon at the man. The injured officer and the suspect were taken to a hospital.

via Man hits officer with metal pipe, is shot by Fla. police.

After the hospital, of course, the would-be pipe hitter got up close and personal with another form of round metal material, the bars of the cell door he was locked behind.

He fought the law, and the law… well, everybody knows how that song goes.

The suspect is going to live, with a worse than usual hangover (and a longer than usual stint in pokey).

The officer is going to live, with a better than usual war story.

A School System Full of Weapons

(Not this school system's pile. This is a file pile).

(Not this school system’s pile. This is a file pile).

“A School System Full of Weapons”? Actually, that describes what we had growing up, where one of the teachers might bring in his Springfield and some old gear to illustrate something about the First World War, or a couple of us might have squirrel guns in our cars for after school. All the guys carried a pocket knife and a lighter.

Today, they’d probably throw us so far back in the school brig that we’d have to be fed by Wrist Rocket. And actually fire the teachers (but keep the pervy ones, because Vibrant Diversity® FTW). Then, they didn’t have a school brig. See what Progress® gets ya?

So that leaves us a little unsure how to react to this tale in the Daily Mail. It’s hard to get inside the minds of the uncredited reporter there; we suppose it’s a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer. Anyway, we’re not sure whether the best angle on this is:

  1. the sheer gun-fearing wussiedom of the schools;
  2. the degree to which Britons are aghast that Yanks have eeeeewwww guns. (We can assure our UK readers that they are not slimy, merely smooth and cool to the touch);
  3. the fact that all this keys off a notoriously mobbed-up union, the Teamsters, getting twaumatized by weapons in the schools (we’ll believe the Teamsters have turned over a new leaf when they give up the mortal remains of purged capo Jimmy Hoffa);
  4. the fact that the famously-violent union supposedly twaumatized by all these guns supported Andrew Cuomo and his SSAFE Act, which was supposed to usher in the era of the New Soviet Man or something;
  5. The laziness of reporters, which we bring full circle by writing a report based entirely on a Daily Mail report which is based entirely on a New York Post report which is based entirely on sniveling provided by the union goon. At least we’re self-aware; not sure if the paperback writers in Fleet Street are, also. If so, Troll Level: Journeyman at least.

Anyway, here’s the Mail, with some interspersed snark:

Terrifying haul of 2,000 revolvers, handguns, meat cleavers and daggers confiscated from children as young as 11 in NY schools in just 10 months… and the NYPD are trying to keep the problem a secret.

Um, revolvers are handguns. Would you write “Horses, animals, vegetables and minerals…”? Well, you actually mightn’t, but they very well might. It is the Daily Mail, after all.

1,751 guns, knives and other weapons were confiscated from children in the city’s schools between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year.

Didn’t he just say 2,000? He did (look in the previous quote). Don’t know how to break it to the Math Is Hard Barbie reporter here, but 1751 ≠ 2000.

That is a rise of more than quarter from the same time last year

Forgive us if we find your estimate a bit dubious, without the underlying number. But it might be right, as the Ferguson Effect has many major-metro cops “going fetal,” to borrow Rahm Emanuel’s evocative condemnation of his own PD; a lot of places have crime up a quarter, and it’s a toss-up whether Rahm or De Blasio despises his cops more.

Shocking figures were released as school safety agents were thanked

Greg Floyd, the Teamsters local leader. Note union/Cuomo campaign signs.

Greg Floyd, the Teamsters local leader quoted in the article. Note union/Cuomo campaign signs.

The passive voice here hides the fact that the “school safety agent” is a neither-fish-nor-fowl level of city employee who isn’t a teacher, isn’t a cop, but is very well paid for a guy or gal whose occupational requirement is ability to fog  mirror. (Like TSA, but the upper crust thereof).

Revolvers, 9mm handguns, meat cleavers and daggers.

These are just some of the weapons schoolchildren are bringing into classrooms in New York City on a daily basis.

Boys and girls, some as young as 11, have taken them out to use during fights while others have used them to target other youngsters.

According to the New York Post, the dangerous items have been confiscated by faculty at schools, some of which don’t have metal detectors.

OK, now they’re admitting that the whole thing is really the Post’s report. Halfway down the page. (Not that the Post, either, is likely to employ someone who can identify a gun three times out of five at five paces).

An investigation has revealed how a huge number of dangerous weapons are being taken into New York schools on a daily basis. This revolver was found on a student at M169 on the Upper East Side.

NY School Revolver

“An investigation has revealed.” Hell of a way to say, “Union representatives, who are looking for a lever in contract negotiations, handed us a prefab story…” The junk revolver appears to be a die-cast zinc el cheapo, and the Made in Italy origin statement was enough for us to track it down. It’s a close cousin of this cheap Italian .22 blank starter pistol, the Mondial Model 1060, if it isn’t exactly the same thing. The one at the link sold at auction … for a penny. If the Mondial name was ever applied to a real firearm, news of such has yet to arrive in Googlestan.

I bet they don’t submit these to trace, for fear they’d raise Time to Crime numbers and undermine the push for New Laws To Punish Those Who Didn’t Commit Any of These Crimes.

This .38 caliber pistol was found loaded with a single bullet at PS 40 high school in Queens. Safety officials say they are being threatened with punishment if they release information about weapons being taken from kids.

NY School Hi-Point

Ah, yes, the mighty Hi-Point. Not only that, it had… drumroll please… “a single bullet.” (The guy would mean cartridge, if he knew what that was. Or maybe he does and has too little faith in the Mail readership. Of course, it can’t be an edgy report without an edged weapon, too:

NY School Dagger

This dagger was confiscated at Newtown High School in Queens. It was one of 1,751 weapons seized from schoolchildren between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year.

Ah, yes. The Mall Ninja Store blue-light special, this. Actually the deadliest weapon of the three, but like the Hi-Point with “one bullet,” it’s probably only good for one shot. “Hey, let’s put some weakening holes in here!” — said no knifesmith, ever.

Hard to imagine the blood of Churchill and Nelson and Shackleton running cold over this pathetic display, but evidently it does. One hopes Alfred the Great is not looking down at the moment, or he might be moved to weep.

But we finally do get to some numbers:

Between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year, safety agents and cops recovered a total of 1,751 guns, knives and other weapons in schools.

That’s a rise in 26 percent from the same period last school year, when 1,394 weapons were confiscated, according to data provided to the Post by the NYPD

Gregory Floyd, president of the safety agents union in the city, Teamsters Local 237, told the newspaper the NYPD are cracking down on people who tell the public about the weapons seized from youngsters.

Those who leak information to the press have also been threatened with docked vacation days.

Floyd told the Post: ‘The purpose is to intimidate and to make an example of them so other safety agents will be afraid to report crime.’

He added: ‘If there’s no information to report, (Mayor) de Blasio can come out with his skewed numbers that crime is down and schools are safe, and parents don’t get a true picture of what’s going on.

Now this makes sense in a twisted sort of a way.

‘We shouldn’t be in the secrecy business. We should be in the business of making sure weapons brought to school doesn’t happen.’

Well, with that command of grammar, he’d better stick with his union gig. Of course, we can’t expect too much from the guy, he’s probably a graduate of these same pathetic schools.

Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union told the Post: ‘It’s a cover-up, while putting the lives of our children and school staffs at risk.’

Families for Excellent Schools, an organization who has sued the NYPD for failing to protect their children at schools, says the latest statistics proves more weapons are being taken into schools on a daily basis.

Um, the police have no duty to protect anyone in particular. Established law, we’re afraid. And notice the reporter’s lapse into NYC Public School graduate grammar: “statistics proves.” Subject verb agrees should, no?

The NYPD defending its response to the seizures in a statement and insisting information that is ‘disseminated’ must be approved.

Then, the article shoots itself in the foot by announcing the following are “examples of dangerous weapons taken into New York schools in the last two months”. If you read them, you can see they’re more like “examples of dangerous weapons taken into New York schools in the last two months,” but this reporter’s innumeracy apparently extends to the differences between the various single-digit whole integers.

On March 15 – An 11-year-old boy sneaked a .38-caliber handgun loaded with one bullet into PS 40 in Jamaica, Queens. He was seen waving the gun at another student he had a beef with.

That’s the Hi-Point illustrated above. Note: the punk in question was eleven. Given New York’s attitude to crime and criminals, and the expected pace of medical advances, he could still be crimin’ in the 22nd century.

On March 17 – A 15-year-old student stashed a .38-caliber handgun in his backpack and smuggled it into York Early College Academy, a middle school in Jamaica. He was spotted flashing the revolver during a dispute with students in a stairwell.

This kid was Old School, with some cheesy alloy (Zamak strikes again?) .38 Smith knockoff, complete with round-noses and a shades-of-Joe-Colombo electrical taped grip (per criminal legend, defeats fingerprints). The Mail didn’t have the picture but the NY Post did:


Seriously, that’s like a crime gun from 1966 that’s been in some kind of criminal time capsule for the last fifty years.

On March 22 – A 14-year-old boy at Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell Middle School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn took a 9mm pistol and two magazines of bullets in his backpack. When a dean questioned him about a prior fight with neighborhood kids, he admitted packing heat.

That’s this fine example of firearms technology, which appears to have been cared for appropriately:

NY School Jennings

It’s a “Jennings Nine,” made by the Southern California nest of junk-gun makers that anti-gunners have dubbed “the ring of fire.” Anybody who’s been a cop for a while has taken a Jennings or two into evidence, but the more common ones are the pocket pistols. Thing is, for all their use in crime, many tens of thousands of these kinds of cheap guns are used by people who can’t afford our tuned designer work of defensive art, but still have every right to defend themselves. Drive up the price of guns, and the only gainers are the criminals.

On March 29 – A 14-year-old student at Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports in Concourse Village in The Bronx pulled a steak knife on a 16-year-old boy.

We’ll go to the Post for this one:


We’re guessing that the “Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports in Concourse Village in The Bronx” sends more grads (and dropouts) to the NY DOC than to the NBA, NFL or MLB. And we wonder what sport in particular this young sport had in mind.

Now his mom’s one steak knife short. Think she’ll be mad when she finds out?

On April 4 – A 13-year-old boy reportedly threatened a female student with a .22-caliber revolver at M169 Robert F. Kennedy on the Upper East Side, then passed the gun to a friend.

That’s the cheesy zinc alloy revolver visible earlier in this report.

On April 8 – A 16-year-old boy was allegedly found with a medieval-style dagger at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. It was uncovered after a 17-year-old girl told authorities that he had put it to her neck.

That’s the mall-ninja toad stabber seen above.

And the soi-disant “students” have been expelled from school, charged, and convicted of SAFE Act violations, and sent to prison, right? Right? Anybody?

Don’t be silly. The law is meant to be used as a stick to beat gun-owners Upstate, not Downstate hood rat gangbangers in the school (and hood rat gangbanger wannabees, which is the feedstock of gangbanger production). It’s certainly not meant to be used on actual criminals. 

NY Post guns in schoolsClicking through to the Post’s story, which was the cover story (right), we see that Postie Susan Edelman, no more au courant on guns than her hoplophobic British opposite numbers, spins it differently:

These are the guns and knives Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want you to see.

A surging tide of weapons — including loaded revolvers, 9mm handguns, meat cleavers and daggers — has been confiscated this year from students in city schools, most of which do not have metal detectors.

But instead of praising unarmed school safety agents for grabbing the weapons, the NYPD is cracking down on them for alerting the press and public, according to Gregory Floyd, president of the agents union, Teamsters Local 237.

Ah, it’s all Bill De Blowfish’s fault. Have you ever noticed that for New Yorkers, especially New York media functionaries, the worst mayor in history is the one they have right now, compared to the one they had before him, who was second best — and the one they will support to replace this schmo, that next one is going to be the Best Mayor Evah.

Edelman is alarmed that only some schools have metal detectors, and that most of the weapons were seized in schools without. Amazingly, though, almost 700 weapons were seized in the schools with the detectors, making one wonder about those union dudes running. Here’s the number.

Of the weapons seized this academic year, 698 came from schools with metal detectors, the NYPD stats show. Students brought 1,053 weapons — 60 percent of the total — into schools unequipped with metal detectors.

The mayor is reporting crime in the schools is down, but it seems to be simply that juvenile criminals are not being charged.

Floyd also disputes the city Department of Education’s new discipline policy, which discourages student suspensions, and a pilot program to give “warning cards” to students for marijuana possession or “disorderly conduct” such as yelling, cursing, fighting and assaults. Some offenses previously might have warranted a criminal summons.

“In many cases, the children aren’t arrested, so the crime statistics are down, but it’s just not being reported,” Floyd said.

And we’ll close with a couple more of the little darlings’ playthings. The Post says of this catch:

On March 11, a safety agent at Fashion Industries HS in Chelsea found a 4-inch razor blade in a girl’s backpack. When she began to kick and scream, a report said, three agents restrained and handcuffed her before finding a 10½-inch meat cleaver in her bag.

NY School cleaver

That’s both of them in that grainy picture, the razor blade and the cleaver.  And then there’s this cleaver — it’s not the same cleaver, but its point of confiscation is unknown.


Now against that, before you send your kids to the New York City Public Schools, you need to weigh the fact that these Dewey Factories prepare their students (at least the ones that survive to graduation) perfectly well to compete for the unskilled factory jobs of the 1890s and beyond, like at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory; or to work as slackjawed government clerks.


The Army and Self-Defense

Army LogoDavid French writes about, among other things, soldiers’ response to the Army’s beyond-lame, canned “anti-terrorist/force-protection” lecture that everyone must waste a training hour or two on per annum. AT/FP joins with SAEDA, SHARP, HR/EO, CYBERSEC and every other buzzword acronym that has been inflicted on the troops by some dullard who had the dumb luck to be the Chief of Staff’s Hudson High classmate or otherwise catch his ear, to form part of the general cacophony of “annual training requirements” which are at best orthogonal to, and more usually in opposition to, actual training for an actual mission.

In the light of Pournelle’s Law, every one of those mandatory annual briefings was emitted by one of the d-bags (or, more realistically, a team of the d-bags) whose focus is the organization, not the mission.

This waste is particularly excruciating in Reserve Component units, because they never scale down the chickenbleep the way they scale down the actual training to fit your lack of 24/7/365 availability. The people who develop, promulgate, assign and promote these mandatory Death By Power Point sessions are probably unaware that there are literally more of these BS training hours assigned than an M-Day reservist or Guardsman has total training hours. So the two means of “compliance” are two forms of Irish Democracy: simply checking the box, or giving all the training in a compressed, fast-forward version (the latter is more common). Both are gestures of contempt to the organization that wastes precious time on specious chickenbleep.

But French, somehow, betook himself to an AT/FP briefing that was actually conducted like the idiot tasking demands. And it got ugly:

And when [a counterstrike against the “unrelenting, grinding, one-way campaign of social change, conducted with an air of moral superiority and cultural condescension”] happens, it can be wondrous to see. I remember an Army counter-terror briefing in which a trainer was detailing all the ways soldiers can protect themselves and their families from off-duty, domestic terror threats. Notably missing from the briefing slides was a recommendation that service-members — each of whom is trained in the use of a weapon — obtain concealed-carry permits or use personal weapons in any way.

As the training droned on, a hand shot up. “Sir, why are we not being told to purchase a weapon for self-defense?” The response was instantaneous and politically correct: “Because that weapon is more dangerous to yourself than your attacker.” The room erupted, and within minutes, the trainer had backtracked and admitted that he carried a handgun when off-duty. It was a tiny victory in the grand scheme of things, but cultures are won and lost through tiny victories and defeats, and for a generation, the vast majority of then victories have gone to the left.

via Individual Cowardice Is Killing American Culture | National Review.

Now, that’s one select paragraph out of a longer essay making a larger point, but we carved it out for a specific reason. The AT/FP briefing is now a joint goat grope, but it comes via the Army’s provost marshals — the MPs. Here’s a typical briefing that someone has now put up on SlideShare. It’s 2007’s, but it’s only a few years still being used — and the new one is not much different. It is — we are not making this up — 100 slides long. And never in that 100 slides does it suggest you gun up.

anti_terrorism_brief_sep_07.pptx (5 MB)

Now, between us, the contributors and commenters on this blog have more time matching wits with real no-bleeep terrorists than everybody who ever worked on this lame-ass slide deck. And every one of us would tell you — unless mission demands you go unarmed — maybe you’re under non-official cover, or stuck with some lame UN mission — you’re better off armed.

Of course, the guys who make the slides disagree. But they’re also so out of touch they think you need to worry about the Khmer Rouge, defunct for a generation. Orange arrow and underscore is ours:


(Hey, they must have just edited out the Narodniki and the Black Hand). More likely, they’re just so PC that they can’t face the idea that terrorism today has many names but only one god.

Apart from the galumphing bozosity of the creators of the presentation, or, perhaps, because of it, the Army simply can’t accept the idea that the troops — the most intelligent and carefully selected in the nation’s history — could defend themselves.

The principle error is placing the Anti Terrorist training in harness with Force Protection, a portfolio owned and controlled by the Military Police, a branch whose doctrine is disproportionately influenced by discredited gun control social-science theory from the 1960s.

army_gun_safety_poster_detailThe Army always stresses the downside of personal firearms, and the MP branch has, perhaps, the lowest level of trust in the Army’s soldiery (especially enlisted soldiery). What this all adds up to is that, for soldiers on Army bases, the gun control environment mimics the environment civilians experience in the most backward and crime-soaked Jim Crow gun control jurisdictions. Firearms are registered and storage requirements are strict. Single soldiers assigned to barracks are expected to keep their firearms locked in the unit arms room. No one may carry a personal firearm for self-defense, and the carry of issue firearms for personal self-defense is actively discouraged.

Discussions with a typical MP officer experienced in a Provost Marshal role give rise to the sensation of arguing with an anti-gun extremist from DC or San Francisco.

As a result, American military bases, which have the potential to be the hardest of hard targets, are soft and vulnerable — all in the interests of Force Protection and Safety as those concepts are seen by narrowly ideological officers.

The Army should be the nation’s experts in guns, but the organization seems bound and determined to make them fear the cold steel things, and stay clear of them.

Yes, this means another Fort Hood could be as near as tomorrow. The only thing standing between the terrorist and his objective is going to be those soldiers who are breaking the law by carrying, as a small handful always have.

A Cop Flop

This cellphone video shows the arrest of a noncompliant, unarmed suspect. He’s either doped-up or nuts, and he’s strong;  the cops trying to arrest him flail and flop, and make half-assed deployments of Taser and baton and OC spray and more Tasers…

You may want to mute the audio the first time through, because the voice-over (by well known trainer Rener Gracie) is loud and grating. However, it’s worth watching at least the first half with the VO because the guy, an instructor who teaches defensive tactics to cops (but self-evidently not these cops) makes excellent points about why the gear didn’t work, what effect this has on community-cop relations, and why cops like these need a course like his — none of which we’d quibble with, and we bet the cops wouldn’t, either.

As he stresses, this kind of Keystone display is not the fault of the original cops. You can’t control a stronger-than-you, wriggling and noncompliant arrestee if you’ve never been taught how.

The cops were not in the physical condition of the suspect, so they needed to rely on superior skills, but that pocket of their toolbag seems to have come up empty.

As the situation gets worse, the cops’ confidence, which never seems to have been strong, is badly shaken by the suspect’s seeming immunity to their control measures.At several points, this looked like it might escalate to deadly force; had they shot the guy, the cops would not have faced any consequences, absent a Marilyn Mosby hungry for a scalp meal, but it could have poisoned the relations between the department and the public for decades, if not generations (as the voice-over points out). And in this particular situation, all the players (cops, suspect) were white.

Imagine what The Rev’rends® would be saying if the suspect was a black man.

As it is, the suspect went to the can, or the drunk tank, or the 30-day-evaluation — wherever he was headed. (This is one more reminder that, from the suspect’s point of view, resistance is, as the saying goes, futile. If they’ve decided you’re going downtown, you might as well go peaceably, because in the end, you’re going). The cops had a report to write. And the department has to deal with this video going viral.

Don’t know who these guys were, although the VO says they were in Maryland (Maryland plates on the vehicles, too). Doesn’t narrow it down much as that place has got to have the highest cop-to-citizen ratio this side of Pyongyang.

Jeff Cooper on Small Caliber Guns

Jeff Cooper and 45Col. Jeff Cooper was known as someone who believed that there was no point in a handgun whose caliber did not begin with .4. (Had he lived to see it, he’d probably warm up to the .500 S&W). He was very influential in the late-century police adoption of 10mm and .40 caliber pistols, and had nothing good to say about smaller rounds.

Of course, Cooper is an interesting cat. He was an entertaining gunwriter, an excellent shot and competitor, and an instructor with a massive and sometimes slavish following. He insisted on the title Colonel, and made broad hints about being some kind of secret squirrel, but as far as we know he was a reserve ordnance officer without combat service, let alone command. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; somebody had better be running the depots and making sure the gunplumbers stay organized and get paid.

While working up the book on Czech and Czechoslovak guns, it seemed like an amusing idea, given the European penchant for .25 (6.35 mm) or .32 (7.65 x 17SR) pistols as military and police sidearms, to contrast European, particularly Czechoslovakian, midcentury practice with Cooper’s preferences. We hit several varieties of pay dirt, in an excerpt below from an early draft of the book. And then, in this post, we move on to another famous fictional secret squirrel! But first, Cooper:

American pistolero and writer Jeff Cooper, Col., USMC (Ret.), once had occasion to meet Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a famous German Stuka pilot, best known for destroying over 500 Soviet tanks with a version of the  dive-bomber armed with two Rheinmettal-Borsig . Naturally, Cooper, a strong proponent of .45 and 10mm pistols, wanted to know what sort of pistol Rudel, a man facing a high risk of capture by what would certainly have been a furious enemy, carried on his combat flights. Cooper remembers:

I asked Rudel about this and he told me personally that he packed one of those miniature 25 caliber automatics on his antitank missions. When asked why, he replied, “Because I have never been a pessimist.”[1]

What Cooper said to Rudel on this occasion, he did not bother to record; but he’s on record at other times as referring to, the “25 ACP, which everyone knows is not sufficient to clear sinuses,”[2] and this aphorism in-the-round:

[C]arry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody – and he finds out about it – he may be very angry with you.[3]

Bear in mind that the “anemic” .38 special of Cooper’s day was once the “hot” round, replacing even lighter loads such as the .32 Colt and .32 S&W (interchangeable cartridges, the different names were marketing eyewash) and the .38 S&W, a round the Brits happily issued to soldiers as the .38/200 in World War II! He lived in a period of great firepower expansion, even before he gave it a push, but the old, small-caliber guns died hard, both in police agencies — NYPD stuck to the .38 special until they finally went to automatics, far behind other departments — and in the popular culture.

Ian Fleming wrote without irony, in Dr. No in 1956, and after consulting with a Scots expert in firearms, that the .32 ACP PPK with which Major Boothroyd — named after the expert — replaced James Bond’s preferred .25 Beretta, had “a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.” Geoffrey Boothroyd had written to Ian Fleming:

I dislike a man who comes into contact with all sorts of formidable people using a .25 Beretta. This sort of gun is really a lady’s gun, and not a really nice lady at that.[4]

Boothroyd (as has been recorded elsewhere in these pages) suggested several upgrades for Bond, including a Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special, but the book, Dr. No, and the film, set him up with the .32 PPK instead. Boothroyd’s lines:

Walther PPK. 7.65mm, with a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window. Takes a Brausch silencer with very little reduction in muzzle velocity. The American CIA swears by them.[5]

Bond and BoothroydIn the movie, Dr. No, Hollywood quotes the scene verbatim, but the producers and property master/armorer botch it by using a .380 Beretta 1934 — a more powerful pistol than the .32 PPK — as a stand-in for the .25 Beretta of the novel.

In both versions of Dr. No, at the end of the discussion, Bond attempts to leave with both pistols. But as Jeff Cooper might have told him, .32 + .25 does not equal .45.


[1] Cooper, John Dean “Jeff”. Cooper’s Commentaries, Vol. 14, No. 5, June-September 2006. Retrieved from:

[2] Cooper, John Dean “Jeff”. Cooper’s Commentaries, Vol. 2, No. 2, 31 January 1994. Retrieved from: The whole comment is brief and is worth reproducing here:

We hear of an unfortunate woman who, during an nighttime asthma attack, confused the small handgun she kept under her pillow with an asthma inhaler and proceeded to relieve her symptoms. It was not a fatal mistake, partly because she used a 25 ACP, which everyone knows is not sufficient to clear sinuses.

[3] Cooper, John Dean “Jeff”. Cooper’s Commentaries, Vol. 4, No. 14, December 1996. Retrieved from: Again, the whole exchange is worth reproducing, although a bit longer than the last:

Our old buddy Gene Harshbarger from Guatemala reports a recent episode with the 25 ACP pistol cartridge. It seems that Gene’s cousin was set upon by a trio of car thieves who shot him once almost dead center with that dinky little pistol. The bullet entered at a very flat angle, however, proceeded laterally just inside the pectoral muscle, and exited after about 5 inches of traverse, continuing on into the target’s left arm.

The cousin hit the deck and started shooting back, whereupon the assailants split. When he stood up the bullet slid out of his left sleeve and bounced on the pavement. It penetrated the jacket, but not the skin of his left arm.

As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody – and he finds out about it – he may be very angry with you.

[4] Packard, Scott. Inside Bond’s Weapon of Choice, the Walther PPK. Gear Patrol, 9 November 2012. Retrieved from:

[5] ibid.

Who Steals Guns? Violent Criminals. Duh.

This is not news to anybody, except, it turns out, the news media. This year the New Orleans Times-Picayune discovered that, to their shock and horror, criminals steal guns. 

No $#!+, Sherlock. Criminals steal stuff. It’s what they do. 

But it seems to have really blown the NOLA reporters away that such a things happen. It seems to have twaumatized their ban-the-guns-end-crime simplistic, childish worldview. They are shocked that criminals in the Crescent City have made off with 2,100 plus guns, the theft of which was reported to the NOPD, between 2012 and 2015.

Graphic © 2016 New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Graphic © 2016 New Orleans Times-Picayune.

No reporter writes a story to inform his readers any more; it’s always a crusade to Change the World. The paper’s agenda in this case is to help their party’s politicians push a proposed mandatory-reporting law. But in support of that push, they gathered some interesting interviews and statistics.

Here are the Times-Picayune stories:

‘I put guns out on the street’: Gun theft victims speak outThe paper notes that some owners are careless, leaving guns in unlocked homes or in cars. But others get ripped off despite using safes. Best you can do is have a list of your serial numbers — and not just in your laptop that the same thieves will bug out with.

5 tips to prevent your guns from being stolen. These are pretty much standard, and won’t stop a determined thief. Still, not all thieves are determined, and not all gun owners take these precautions.

Video: Stolen Weapons Fuel Street Violence. (It doesn’t seem to occur to them that violent criminals either seek to steal weapons, or seek to buy them from thieves).

3 stolen guns, 3 New Orleans violent crime scenes: How stolen guns fuel crime. Three case studies of guns used in robberies and murders (twice, wrested away from the criminals, and once, used to shoot the bastard stone cold graveyard dead. Woot).

An interactive-map sidebar to that article shows that 10 NOLA stolen guns didn’t leave town, but were used by local robbers and murderers. Another interactive tells us that:

  1. Stolen guns are used in crime (they keep harping on this, but it’s not an Einstein level insight).
  2. 3 guns a day are stolen in the NOLA metro area of the city and adjacent Jefferson Parish.
  3. The thousands of guns stolen in the metro area are used in shootings that kill innocents (they cite an example where 17 and 19 year old gangbangers missed each other but nailed an uninvolved 15-year-old girl inside a nearby home.
  4. In 2015, NOLAs theft total of 582 breaks down as
    1. 203 vehicle break-in
    2. 149 theft or auto theft (not burglary)
    3. 106 residential burglary
    4. 64 all others (lost, armed robberies, etc).
  5. The reporters interviewed some gun-theft victims. Of 44 guns these 11 victims lost to theft in 2015-16, only 2 have been recovered. The other 42 presumably still circulate in criminal channels.
  6. Almost half the time, the owners had no record of their stolen firearms’ serial numbers.
  7. Most NOLA murders are shootings (149 of 164 in 2015, 91%). To this we’d add, that’s pretty normal for North American major cities.
  8. ATF estimates that 60+% of gun thefts are never reported. (What percentage of those is various criminal underclass members stealing from one another is not clear). The latest number the ATF has (based on actual theft reports) is 190k, but they think 500k is more reasonable, to account for those theft victims who do not report guns stolen.

Lessons Learned

If there’s one lesson in the whole thing it’s don’t leave your gun in the jeezly car. If there’s two lessons, the second one is take a picture of the GD serial number and store it in the cloud. You might even get your gun back, after the cops pry it out of some worthless gangbanger’s cold dead hands.

Expanding Beyond NOLA

The ATF has released a study on calendar 2015’s gun thefts. The data are a little more solid, and the writing not nearly as breathless as the Times-Picayune’s, but it’s not constrained to any one city, either.

Because, naturally, New Orleans’ criminal element is not the only one awash in stolen guns these days. In Phoenix, an open-carrier found his gun grabbed by a lightfingered crook, and then used to discourage him from pursuing. Open carry is tactically inferior to concealed carry, folks. Even when you’re not getting your guns stolen and used aginst you. And open carry in a non-retention holster? Sheesh. Watch the video at that link. Don’t be that guy.

In Cleveland, gun show thefts led cops to a thief who was also a suspect in violent crimes. (Well, duh. What sort of person would steal guns, except a violent criminal?)

In Philadelphia, Officer Josh Hartnett was shot by a convert named Abdul Shaheed, whom the Philadelphia press continues to call by the non-jihadi name he had rejected, Edward Archer, perhaps to distract people away from questions about motive. Shaheed attacked Hartnett with a stolen gun. The gun was a Glock from Hartnett’s own department. It was one of a couple dozen department firearms that are missing at any given time.

Guns are Not for Everybody

And we’re not talking, here, about legal strictures. (You could make a colorable case that some of the legal prohibitions sweep too widely, actually). We’re talking about people who, as individuals and not as members of some prohibited category or class, might be safer without a gun.

We realize this is arrant heresy, and fully expect to be burned at the stake forthwith, but if we could ask you to forbear for just a moment, and listen to two case studies.

Case Study 1: Neuro-Atypical Boy

So, he’s a basically good kid, and everybody loves him, but he’s a little… off. He has a high raw IQ but has some of the markers of autism spectrum disorders: very degraded motor skills. Relative absence of empathy. Complete absence of any, there is probably a better word for this, ability to sustain focus on anything or to maintain alertness.

It was once thought that at an appropriate age he’d be introduced to firearms for sport and defense. Question: what’s the right age? The answer in his case, there probably never will be one.

Case Study 2: Scatterbrained Woman

A woman of our acquaintance recently had a fairly terrifying experience — especially considering that she lives in one of the safest towns in the country, where people talking about a murder are  talking about one decades ago, that’s still town gossip. But as she worked in a church, squaring things away late at night, she became aware that she was not alone.

She encountered a woman who should not have been there, and told her to leave immediately. The woman looked at her calmly and walked deeper into the church, into a dark function room. Our heroine executed a sharp exit, stage left and from the safety of the parking lot dialed 911.

The police arrived and cleared the building systematically. A male intruder — not the woman — was found hiding in the choir loft and detained.

The female intruder was not caught, but her identity was later determined. Both of them turn out to be residents of a notorious halfway house/homeless shelter/ drug distribution center in Big City; their objective appears to have been larceny. The priest declined to prosecute the captured male, and without his commitment to prosecution, the cops released him — but this makes the dynamic duo the leading suspects in a string of church burglaries in the neighboring communities. The MO is to enter the church in the evening when it’s open for a meeting, Christian Doctrine or Bible Study lessons, Alcoholics Anonymous, any of the civic groups that meet at church. Then they wait until the group leaves, steal any collection boxes and whatever can be quickly converted to drug money, and let themselves out.

Of course, the churches, all of which support Doper Grand Central Shelter, post their event calendars on the bulletin boards there.

So how do we get to guns? After this incident, she was visiting a couple that she’s friends with, and the guy (a school psychologist) suggested that she get a small pistol for self-defense. She gave it due consideration, and by the time she mentioned it to us, had already rejected the idea. She knows her own limitations: she’s a bit scatterbrained, always forgetting keys, checkbook, sunglasses, you name it. She didn’t think she could shoot anybody, but more than that, she didn’t think she could hang on to the gun.

It was a remarkably frank self-assessment. We concurred, actually.


Our conclusions were that the boy in Case Study 1 should not be brought to the range or indoctrinated into firearms, at any age; and that the women in Case Study 2 should be supported in her decision not to arm herself.

What were your conclusions? Are we right, or wrong?

Because we think that many people would be safer with a gun, but not everybody, and everybody should be considered as an individual.

What Spare Parts do I Need?

In the comments to the recent cleaning post, Sabrina Chase asked what parts to keep on hand for her 1911. Anybody who’s shot 1911 a lot (or maintained ’em) knows the answer: if it’s a GI gun, your potential mission stoppers are springs (especially the recoil spring), extractor, and firing pin. If it’s a custom or accurized gun it would be really nice to keep a spare fitted barrel bushing.


A budget 1911 may have issues with staking of the safety detent plunger tube, or with the slide stop. (If the tube is staked right, it will still be staked when your grandkids’ grandkids inherit the .45).

One reason some people keep slide stops, recoil spring plungers, and barrel bushings as well as a spring kit is: they fear they will have to break down the pistol in the field, in the dark, or on the move. (It’s never a good idea to do that, if you can avoid it). You notice that all those parts are the smallest parts the come loose when your 1911 has been shaken down into field-stripped condition. The old Ranger trick is to put your hat on the ground in front of you, then put each part in your Ranger cap as you take it off the sidearm. This way, you can assemble and disassemble in pitch darkness while maintaining control of all the fiddly bits.

Finally, a pair or two of grip screws belong in your spares kit. They don’t cost much or cube out much of your space, and they have a bad habit of backing out just when you want to impress people with your pistol, your skill, and your sang-froid. 

And that got us thinking. While there is no substitute for learning what a given gun’s Achilles’s Heel is, and the proliferation of brand- and model-specific forums makes us wonder:

Is there a basic, fundamental checklist of needed spare parts that can be applied to anything?

If you look across all firearms types, what are the parts you mght need most?

  1. Firing pins. Crucial to ignition, and by definition they have to have at least one small, cylindrical section.
  2. Springs
  3. Any small parts that come out in normal disassembly. It is very embarrassing to lose such a small part. It is less embarrassing if you have a spare on hand. (Be aware that on some firearms, hand fitting is required for these parts. Apparently Eli Whitney is not followed quite as assiduously as he should be in the global arms industry).

During disassembly, you can minimize parts loss and time wasted recovering them by adaping your environment to firearms disassembly:

  1. Use a nice, fluffy towel as a disassembly mat, not a slick, smooth table. A small part in motion tends to remain in motion, if there’s nothing to arrest its movement.
  2. Do not disassemble firearms in a room with lots of low-slung furniture, stacks of equipment, toolboxes, etc.
  3. Keep a magnetic parts wand on hand. You can get it at any tool supply place: Harbor Freight,  Lowe’s or Home Depot, Menards for you Canuckistanis. This is a tool where a cheap one is about 95% as good as the best one there is, so it’s OK to skimp here. The mag wand — some of them have a trick LED light, which means it’s a handy place to keep a dead AAA or watch battery — fishes those parts out from under the refrigerator/dog bed/workbench.

For TEOTWAWKI, ability to fix bigger things, and remanufacture ammunition, is desirable. One complicated and scary thing that gets easy once you’ve done it a few times is manufacturing springs. It’s part of every gunsmith’s education. (And let this be a lesson to you: having learned how, most smiths buy the springs they need as they go, or lay in a supply if they have repetitive work, for instance, if they do primarily 1911s). You can make any coil spring with the right wire, a suitable diameter mandrel (in this case, a simple rod usually works) and the right size lathe, and in a pinch you can improvise the lathe with another tool. There are plenty of instructions online and YouTube videos… to be watched before TEOTWAWKI, naturally.

Don’t Bring a Gun to a Dogfight

043016- Frankie, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog, helped apprehend a man wanted in Springfield for a hit-and-run. (State police photo) ---------- Forwarded message ----------

043016- Frankie, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog, helped apprehend a man wanted in Springfield for a hit-and-run. (State police photo)
———- Forwarded message ———-

Final score: Frankie 1, Mohammed 0. Mohammed, a career violent criminal and illegal alien who has not been deported because of the Administration’s executive-ordered amnesty for criminal aliens, drew down on Mass State Trooper David Stucenski and Stucenski’s K9, Frankie. Mohammed got one shot off, and before Stucenski could punch Mo’s ticket, Frankie was on him like, well, like a high-energy Belgian Malinois on a felon.

Ever wonder why Mohammedans believe that dogs are unclean?

Mohammed Fofanah Jr., 35, of Hartford, who police say is in the country illegally and has been previously charged with a felony in Connecticut, was wanted for hitting three cars on Interstate 91 south about 12:15 a.m. yesterday when he allegedly fired a single shot from his .357 Magnum at trooper David Stucenski and his canine partner, Frankie, after ditching his damaged vehicle and refusing to surrender.

Neither Stucenski nor the dog was hit, police say.

via Man held for firing at trooper, K-9 | Boston Herald.

Well, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Do we know anything else about Mo? Turns out, we do.

Fofanah — who was wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet at the time of his arrest — is from Sierra Leone and had been charged with a previous felony in Connecticut, Procopio said. He may now be subject to deportation. Upon his 
release from the hospital, Fofanah was transported to sheriff’s lockup and held without bail, Procopio said.

Wait, what? Hospital? Why was he in hospital? Please, tell us that Frankie had his way with ‘im!

After being subdued by Frankie, who jarred the weapon from his hand, Fofanah was placed under arrest and rushed by ambulance to nearby Baystate Medical Center to receive treatment for bite wounds, state police said.

Really, there’s only one possible response to that: GOOD DOG.