Currently Browsing: Carrying / Self-Defense

Encouraging the Hatpin Menace

As we planned our route through various states on the way to Louisville based on their carry laws, I was just thinking about how many laws I could break if I decided to wear more hats.

I didn’t have time to see if the states we’ll be traveling through still have hatpin restrictions on the books, but I was just thinking about this while digging out my American flag pin and admiring my great grandmother’s (1890-1986) hatpin that my mother gave me that resides in the same holder.

As you can see, this one isn’t very stabby anymore, so it may be fine under some ordinances. However, some of the bans were written based on how far the pins protruded from the hat (not the brim) rather than how sharp the ends might have been.


This one got its first test with me during a memorial service last month, and I’m happy to report that it was stabby enough to get through my hat and my hair. If I needed to, I’m sure it could have been sufficiently stabby enough to get through an attacker’s hand with some force. (Maybe. I’m not about to risk the heirloom pin to find out how much force it can take.)

It’s very tempting to see if any future cities for NRA conventions still have highly restrictive hatpin laws on the books that were specifically passed to keep women from defending themselves and find some lovely new hats that warrant wearing pins to secure them in place. A little civil disobedience can be fun. I checked, and I don’t see any newspaper accounts or Google hits for anti-pin ordinances in Louisville. Being the home of the Kentucky Derby, I would imagine that a ban would be more fiercely fought there than other places.

So whether your self-defense tool of choice is a handgun or hatpin, women are well protected in Louisville.

Why Carrying Pepper Spray is a Good Idea

I’ve been an advocate of carrying defensive spray for a while now, because there are plenty of situations where you’re justified in using spray, but are not even close to a deadly force situation. Such a case recently occurred at a Donald Trump rally:

The link above has more video from different angles, including one where she admits she had it coming. She got sprayed as soon as she threw a punch. If one punches a hippie in the face and cause serious injury, the cops might feel they have to do something, even if it’s just questioning to sort out who did what. You’ll notice the cops escorted her out, but didn’t make any arrest. I’m not honestly sure who employed the spray. Defensive spray is a very low level of force, and far less likely to cause long term consequences for either party in an altercation. If you’re in a situation like this where both parties are alleging assault, you’re far less likely to end up in real trouble with spray as you would if you used a higher level of force.

UPDATE: Looks like it wasn’t the guy who was punched who responded with the spray after all. I’ve watched the video from a few angles, and I don’t see where she was justified in throwing the punch, but with the other guy doing it, it’s not as clear cut a case of self-defense. It’s going to be a case of he said she said.

Don’t Believe Bloomberg’s Polls

It’s good to see that progress is being made in Idaho in regards to constitutional carry, but Bloomberg is doing his level best to fight it. They are disingenuously trying to pass off support for the concealed carry permitting system as opposition to constitutional carry. Consider this poll they are putting in front of lawmakers:

Under current Idaho law, people are required to have a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in public places. In order to get a permit, people may need to complete a handgun-safety training course and must pay a processing fee. Do you … strongly support? Support? Oppose? Or strongly oppose … requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in Idaho?

How would you answer this question? A no answer could be taken for not supporting concealed carry at all. It’s not like they offer the option for “No, I don’t support it because I don’t think you should need a permit.”

What this is reflecting is strong support for the current system, which is bad news for Bloomberg’s overall goals, not good news.

The Gilt Negligent Shooting Brings Out the Worst

The media went absolutely ape shit over the story that Jamie Gilt was accidentally shot by her 4-year old son, who retrieved the firearm off the floor of the vehicle and shot mom with it. My guess is she put the firearm under the seat and it slid back to where the kid could get it. The lessons here are pretty obvious:

  • The best place for a gun is strapped on your person in a quality holster that offers good trigger protection.
  • Guns belong in holsters, always, even if you’re carrying off body (a less than ideal solution to begin with). Triggers must be protected from external manipulation. My guns never leave their holsters unless they are being fired, cleaned, or stored unloaded for a protracted period of time (which never happens).
  • If you’re going to do vehicle carry, in a locked container within the car (and in a holster) is more prudent than tossing it under a seat. I’ve also seen ways to mount holsters to a vehicle that provides a reasonable degree of control while the driver is in the driver’s seat.
  • Carrying a firearm regularly is a serious commitment. If you’re not really willing to be serious about it, you’re probably better off leaving it secured at home. Tossing a gun under a seat when you have kids in the car is not being serious about the responsibilities that go with carrying a deadly weapon.
  • Teach your kids not to touch guns. They should understand firearms are very dangerous. Kids of a certain age don’t always listen, so that’s why we do the previous things I’ve mentioned.

Of course, apparently the media has decided if you post a few pro-Second Amendment Facebook posts that means you’re a “gun activist.” I believe this is deliberate on the part of the media, because the implication is that if even the die-hards can’t carry firearms safely, what makes you ordinary folk can do it safely? This is certainly bringing out the worst of the media.

It’s also bringing out the worst of the anti-gun folks.

No less than three fake facebook pages have been created to do nothing but shame this woman. The comments left on her page and the fake pages are the most inhuman and vile I’ve seen in a very long time.

We claim to be tolerant and inclusive, but people are calling for her sterilization, her child to be taken from her and saying that it’s only too bad that she was not outright killed […]

It’s amazing how violent supposed non-violent people can be when they smell blood in the water.

Funny how that seems to work, isn’t it. In truth there’s plenty of nastiness to go around any public issue, but the claims of peace loving very often ring hollow.

Ms. Lauer seems to offer some other useful advice on carrying with kids.

Debating Ben Crump on Stand Your Ground

This is back from August, but it’s the first I’ve seen it. Rick Ector of Rick’s Firearms Academy of Detroit debates Ben Crump on Stand Your Ground laws. Rick is absolutely right that the Martin case was a classic self-defense case and had nothing to do with Stand  Your Ground in Florida. Our opponents can only win by misleading people, as Ben Crump is doing here.

Rick did pretty well if you ask me. Debating on camera is harder than it looks.

McAuliffe Signs Compromise Legislation, Bloomberg Proceeds to Shoot Himself in the Foot

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the deal that offers Virginia near universal reciprocity in exchange a few things he wanted that don’t honestly amount to much. I guess now I can shred the applications for Utah and Virginia non-resident permits. Bitter’s family is in Nashville, and Virginia is an awfully large portion of that trip when we decide to make it. We had actually worked out a plan that bypassed Virginia, but it added about an hour to the trip.

Bloomberg, however, is having none of this:

“Governor McAuliffe cut a backroom deal with the NRA. It betrays both gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates and endangers the safety of Virginians. We expected more from Governor McAuliffe – and we will continue pressing him to stand up for the 91 Americans a day killed by gun violence and hundreds more who are injured.”

Early on in Bloomberg’s gun control activism, you could find his spokespeople saying they wanted to bring NRA’s “take no prisoners” approach to the fight for more gun control, believing that it was the key to NRA’s success. What they failed to understand is the breadth and depth of NRA’s support among ordinary Americans. Ordinary Americans who may not be all the quick to anger, but when roused, can become a force of nature. McAuliffe likely noticed this and that’s why he looked for a face-saving way out.

What did Bloomberg offer grassroots-wise? A 3000 signature petition and sad letters from a small handful of victims. Virginia has 363,274 residents with permits, according to John Lott’s survey. Not everyone who has a permit is an NRA member, or even a Republican. Bloomberg isn’t going to win trying to pay NRA’s game because he fundamentally can’t play NRA’s game. There isn’t enough breadth or depth from the gun control movement.

Podcaster in Trouble

Thanks to John Richardson for letting everyone know about The Polite Society Podcast’s Paul Lathrop’s legal troubles. Go read John’s post about it, but to make a long story short, Paul’s real world profession in trucking. While instructing a student, he seems to have gotten into a confrontation with another driver who went back to his truck, called 911, and accused Paul of threatening him with a gun. Paul denies the charge, and Paul’s student claims he never saw a gun.

I know it’s always been a big fear of mine that someone will get pissed off at me on the road and call in a false report of me threatening them with a gun, then have the police stop me only to find, surprise, a gun. Paul is not the first instance I’ve heard this happening. I seem to recall, though I can’t find a link, of someone beating a brandishing charge because the alleged victim described the gun as being silver, and the gun found on the accused was black. But you can’t always count on being that lucky, or have cops who will arrest first and let a judge sort out the he said, she said.

I’ve always heard lawyers say, “The first person to call 911 is generally presumed to be the victim.” Being the first to call and conflict deescalation is something to keep in mind out there. But sometimes trouble manages to find you, even if you did everything right.

License to Carry Holder Saves Cop in Upper Darby

The Upper Darby Police Chief is a rabid anti-gunner. We’ve described his antics before, including this lovely quote:

“Our way of addressing the gun issue in America is to destroy them all,” said Michael Chitwood, township police superintendent.

Well, Mr. Chitwood, if you had gotten your way somehow, you’d now have a dead officer on your hands. It’s almost like that Wayne LaPierre guy isn’t so nuts after all.

It’s disappointing to hear about this. I grew up in Delaware County, and while parts of Upper Darby were a bit run down when I was growing up, it wasn’t the kind of place where you had to worry about lawless mobs. Sounds like things there have taken a turn for the worse. Then again, when I was growing up, the Upper Darby cops had a reputation. My Uncle was once on the receiving end of some rough “justice” while in their custody back in the late 60s, early 70s.

Policing works better when it’s a cooperative effort with the community, rather than lording from high. This is an example of that, and because the community (dare I say citizen militia?) stepped up, Superintendent Chitwood isn’t having to console a family and plan a funeral. Hopefully Superintendent Chitwood will have a change of heart about the value of an armed citizenry.

Could The Administration Sic OSHA on Gun Friendly Employers?

OSHAJoe Huffman wonders if this is going to be our next fight. I don’t see this as being off the mark, in terms of being something they could do. Recall that his original executive orders asked every agency to have a good hard look at where they could screw us. Joe is right to point out the complications, but they could easily overcome that by allowing business to apply for exemptions, which would of course only be granted to companies in “appropriate industries.”

Of course, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Maybe we shouldn’t give them ideas,” but that conflicts with the part of me that thinks we do ourselves a favor in trying to think of ways they could come after us. That might allow for preemptive measures to remove the topic of firearms in the workplace from the purview of OSHA.

Cleaning Up Illegal LTCF Requirements

In Pennsylvania, there have traditionally been a lot of extralegal requirements for Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCF) implemented by county Sheriffs, with the City of Philadelphia being the most notorious of the offender. The rest of the ring counties were often pretty non compliant as well. Bucks County had a number of extralegal requirements. I want to say there was a psychological evaluation (or something pretty draconian like that) imposed at one point (this is before I lived here), until a local activist challenged the requirement. Up until pretty recently, the county was overcharging for LTCFs. Bucks County is now following the law. Delaware County used to illegally call references, including employers, until it was pointed out to them that disclosing information about an LTCF application crime, and my understanding is that they no longer do this. Montgomery County has continued with extralegal requirement to get local police sign-off, but now it seems that may be at an end too.

We’re slowly getting there.

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