Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Ayoob File; An Urban Gunfighter: The Lessons of Lance Thomas.


The Ayoob files; An urban gunfighter: The lessons of Lance Thomas

American Handgunner, March-April, 2002 by Massad Ayoob

Situation: A law-abiding armed citizen faces multiple armed robberies and murder attempts.

Lesson: Only the power of lawful force can answer the power of lawless criminal force.

A few years ago, the TV program Turning Point focused on private citizens who had used guns in self-defense. In refreshing contrast to much of the mainstream electronic media, the show for the most part gave a fair and balanced portrayal of ordinary people who had been forced to resort to defensive firearms in extraordinary circumstances. I wrote about it in this space at the time. Among the Turning Point shootings we discussed were the series of armed robberies and attempted murders defeated by Lance Thomas, the owner of a watch shop in Los Angeles.

In 2001, Paladin Press published one of the best "reads" of the year for people who follow the gun culture and understand the principles of self-protection. The author is Paul Kirchner, who has collaborated with Col. Jeff Cooper on previous books, and the title is The Deadliest Men: The World's Deadliest Combatants Through the Ages. It covers figures as disparate as the French swordswoman known as La Maupin, such great American war heroes as Alvin York and Audie Murphy; gunfighters like Wild Bill Hickok and Bat Masterson, and a man named Lance Thomas.


Over a period of less than 3 years, Thomas was involved in four gun battles against a total of 11 known suspects. He shot six of them, killing five. The watch dealer himself was wounded on two of these occasions, taking a total of five rounds. There are many lessons that the rest of us can learn: Lessons of long-term strategy and short-term tactics; of gun selection and ammunition effectiveness; and, above all, of courage under fire in the moment, and of determination over the long haul.

August 10, 1989. Like so many storekeepers, Thomas feels his watch shop would be a safer place if he had a gun with which to fend off armed robbers. He has acquired a Model 36, a five-shot Smith & Wesson .38 Chief Special. He keeps the snubnose revolver where he can reach it easily. On this day, he'll be glad he did.

Two men enter. One appears to have some sort of weapon, and the other pulls what Thomas recognizes as a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. Thomas knows he can just give the man his money and goods, but he also knows that to do so is to trust his life to the whim of a violent man unlawfully wielding a deadly weapon. Instead, Thomas chooses to fight.

His hand flashes to the Chief Special, and he comes up shooting. The little revolver barks three times. Two of his bullets miss, but one smashes into the gunman's face, putting him out of the fight.

The merchant swings toward the accomplice, but cannot see a weapon at the moment, and so, does not fire. Instead, he orders the suspect to leave. The now-compliant accomplice does so, dragging his wounded comrade with him.

The robber will survive. Lance Thomas is unhurt. His decision to be an armed citizen, to fight back, has been validated. The wounded robber will be charged, and the armed citizen has the sympathy of the authorities. Thomas has won in every respect.

In assessing the aftermath, the Rolex specialist analyzes what he has learned with the same precision he applies to the repair and adjustment of fine watches. It is not lost on him that he has expended 60 percent of his ammunition to neutralize 50 percent of his antagonists. It occurs to him that a single five-shot revolver might not be enough if there's a next time, and that there won't be much opportunity to reload.

And what if he had been caught out of reach of his Smith? Thomas expands his defensive strategy. The .38 is joined by a trio of .357 Magnum revolvers: a Colt Python, a Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum, and a Ruger Security-Six. He arrays them a few feet apart within the small perimeter of his workspace so there will always be one within reach no matter where he's standing.

If he runs dry, he won't even think about reloading: he'll simply drop the empty gun and grab another fully loaded one.

Professional Hit

November 27, 1989. This time, it's the kind of professional hit that the NYPD Stakeout Squad warned you about-- a five-man team of thugs who know what they're doing. There's seeded backup, a perpetrator ambling around on the sidewalk outside, pretending to be a passerby. The outrider is in the driver's seat of the getaway car, at once a wheelman and a potential killer who can murderously interdict responding officers, or go inside with heavy weapons to rescue accomplices who are captured inside the premises. The remaining three perpetrators comprise the raid team.

It opens hot, fast and ugly. One of the perpetrators opens up on Lance Thomas without warning, firing a semiautomatic pistol, hitting him four times with eight rounds fired. Three of the .25 ACP bullets bite into Thomas' right shoulder, a fourth into his neck. The watchmaker grabs the nearest revolver, the Ruger .357, missing with the first shot but scoring with the next five.

The gunman falls to the floor and so does the Security-Six: it has clicked empty. Thomas drops it, lunging for the next nearest weapon, the snubnose .38 that had saved him last time.

Now he engages the second suspect, who is shooting at him. Thomas shoots back. That gun, too, runs dry. He hasn't hit his antagonist, but he hasn't been hit either, and the second robber is in no mood to continue the gunfight.

The third inside suspect opens fire at Thomas. Wounded, but furious and still in the fight, the storekeeper grabs his third gun of the shootout, another .357. As Paul Kirchner relates it, he "empties it into" the third gunman. That offender goes down.

The little watch shop is filled with the stench of smokeless powder and the reek of blood. The second offender wants no more of being shot at, and has abjured from the conflict.

Outside, the two additional robbers realize that three of their colleagues have gone inside for an easy score, there has been a long volley of explosive gunfire, and only one has come back out alive. Whatever is in there, they don't want any part of it. The three surviving robbers flee.

Inside, only one of the combatants is standing. Bleeding but defiant, the wounded Lance Thomas looks down at the two men he has killed. In the course of the fight, he has fired 19 shots.

Charmed Life

Some people are beginning to think that Thomas bears a charmed life. Since an enemy sent into ignominious retreat can certainly be said to have been vanquished, the score now stands at Lance Thomas 7, Armed Robbers 0.

However, it occurs to the storekeeper that his survival armory might need another firepower upgrade. This time, he decides to try semiautomatic pistols. He buys four, all SIGs, that operate the same way. One is the compact nine-shot P-225 9mm. The other three are assorted versions of the P-220 8-shot .45 auto.

As the Turning Point cameras pan across his gun collection, we see the American-style of SIG with push-button magazine release as well as the European-style with the butt heel mag release. There is a Browning BDA, which is a European P-220 by a different name.

Magazine release styles don't matter. Lance Thomas still doesn't plan to reload. If one gun runs dry, he'll reach for another. He now has up to eight handguns readily available. Fully loaded, they hold 56 rounds between them.

With his plan, they all function essentially the same: grab gun, index weapon on target, pull trigger until it stops shooting, grab additional guns, repeat as necessary. Thomas commits himself to constant practice in accessing one or another of his defense guns from any conceivable position.

Two Year Break

December 4, 1991. It has been more than two years since the last incident. Some others would be complacent by now. Not Lance Thomas, who has learned that vigilance equals survival, and from the beginning has realized he is responsible for the safety of his customers.

On this date a male perpetrator strides in, accompanied by a female accomplice who shows no weapon. The man pulls a loaded Glock pistol. He points the gun at Thomas and orders him to be motionless.

No way. Thomas goes for his gun.

The perpetrator fires first, pumping a 9mm bullet through Thomas' neck, drilling a wound channel that is just a fraction of an inch from being fatal. But now, Thomas has reached his nearest pistol, the little P225, and he is firing back.

The watch shop proprietor has been forced into an awkward hold on the gun, and he can only fire three rounds--all straight into the chest of his opponent-- before his imperfect grasp causes the usually reliable SIG 9mm to jam. Without missing a beat, he drops it and grabs one of its big brothers, which he fires into the opponent five more times until the armed robber falls and stops trying to commit murder.

Frozen in terror, the female accomplice offers no violence. It's over.

Wounded, Lance Thomas will recover. Not so the criminal who shot him, who will die of the eight rounds-- all hits, eight for eight-- that the armed citizen has inflicted with his two SIG-Sauer pistols.

Ever Vigilant

February 20, 1992. It has been just over two and a half months since the last shootout. Lance Thomas has remained vigilant. Now, his wariness pays off.

Two armed perpetrators enter the store. As soon as Thomas sees the automatic pistol in one of their hands, he reflexes to his nearest pistol, one of the P-220s. This perpetrator goes down fast, hit with what author Kirchner describes as most of a "gunload" of .45 ACP ammunition.

Grabbing another P-220, Thomas engages the second armed robbery suspect and shoots him four times. The suspect falls. The danger is over.

Both armed robbers are dead at the shopowner's hands. In four gun battles, Lance Thomas has fired 40-plus shots. He has killed five men, and wounded another. He has defeated a total of 11 perpetrators, either shot down or driven off in abject flight. He has been wounded five times.

Word On The Street

By now the word was out on the street. Some of those who had died by the blazing Thomas guns had been members of the organized street gangs that infest Los Angeles like an advanced, spreading cancer. They had declared war. They were going to rake Lance Thomas' watch shop with drive-by shootings and massacre his customers for revenge.

The armed citizen had to make a difficult decision. Thomas had stood up to the armed criminals for some 29 months. He was ready to continue to risk his own life, however, he felt he had no right to risk the lives of customers and bystanders in the face of this latest threat. Reluctantly, sadly, he switched to business by mail order and Internet. The watch shop was closed. The big Rolex sign that some believed had attracted the robbers like flies came down. Lance Thomas moved.

The epoch of a modern urban gunfighter had ended.

Ayoob's Analysis

There were those who said that Lance Thomas was a vigilante, something out of the Death Wish movies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thomas never went looking for men to harm. The harm came to him, and he warded it off.

None of the predators he shot had been hunted down and self-righteously executed. Each and every one of them had died from a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process. This is why each and every one of the deaths Thomas inflicted was ruled a justifiable homicide.


"It is not unusual for critics of the American scene to deplore what they hold to be an uncivilized toleration of personal violence in our society," Jeff Cooper once wrote. "Violent crime is not so much the issue, but rather the use of violence by socially acceptable persons in self-defense, in the righting of wrongs, and in meeting challenging situations. Such critics feel that Americans are too ready to ignore the police and handle their emergencies personally; and that, further, this barbarous attitude is encouraged, rather than inhibited, by our tradition."

Some thought Lance Thomas a dangerous man. I spoke at length with one of the producers of the Turning Point episode that featured the fighting watchmaker. He was appalled that Thomas had said that one reason he had survived these nearly unsurvivable experiences was that he had been "ready to die."

I explained that the producer had misunderstood the point. "Ready to die" didn't mean wanting to die in the suicidal-cum-homcidal sense; it meant prepared to die if necessary.

There are some things worth dying for. Freedom, including the right to make your living doing your chosen work. Protection of others from violence. There were times when innocent friends and customers were in the store when the attackers came in with guns in their hands and their fingers on the triggers

There were doubtless gang-bangers in Los Angeles who thought they had won, having driven off the man they feared. If so, they were deluding themselves. Lance Thomas had stood against 11 of them and won, 11 to nothing. Each time he had been against multiple intruders, never less than two-to-one odds and as high as five-to-one. He came back each time, resolute and defiant.

He left only when, the threats to himself extended and went past him, reaching out to innocent customers and bystanders whom he could not protect out on the sidewalk if the promised drive-by shootings had come to pass. The same man who risked his life to stand up for his rights and to protect others, chose to give up the shop he had created, the shop he loved, for the sake of the safety of strangers.

Lance Thomas was a better and more moral man than any of the street gang cowards who hated him, a better and more moral man than any of the commentators who criticized him from the safety of their office desks.

Tactical Lessons

Some observers in the gun world thought Thomas would have been better served to carry his hardware on his person instead of stashing the guns in strategic locations in the shop The theory is that when the gun is on your person. it is always where you can reach it, and also simultaneously secured from unauthorized personnel.

The criticism has some validity; In his third gunfight, if Thomas could have quick-drawn from his hip instead of having to stretch and reach for his SIG, he might not have taken that first gunshot to the neck, which came so close to killing him.

We each bring our own preferences and habits to these topics. This writer prefers to keep the gun on his person, and has done so since growing up in a jewelry store much like the one in this case. Yet Lance Thomas' story hits close to home, because my father used he same strategy of keeping his handguns seeded at various places in the store plus a shotgun in the back room.

There are times-- when seated behind a watch repair bench, for example-- when it might be faster and easier to reach for a holster nailed to the side of the bench than to draw from one's belt.

For the most part, the strategy worked for Thomas. It worked better the more guns he had. Toward the end, according to the Turning Point people, he had a gun about every three feet. His workplace was fairly compact. The larger the workspace, the more room there is for the good guy to move, the more sense it makes for the gun to be on the shopkeeper's person instead of in a fixed location.

Practice is critical. Turning Point filmed Thomas at a shooting range, firing rapidly from a Weaver stance. Kirchner notes that he constantly practiced quick-draw of his guns from their resting places. There can be no doubt that both of these practices helped Lance Thomas survive his gunfights.

Firepower was a factor in all but the first, three-shot incident. The next three averaged more than a dozen shots by Thomas per incident. Add in the first shooting, and it still comes out to at least 10 shots per gunfight fired by the defender, 19 shots in one incident. Once the scope of the predictable threat became evident to him, Thomas was wise indeed to upgrade his firepower from the five-shot, snubnose revolver he started with.

Some critics-- usually ensconced safely in armchairs-- opine that five shots should be enough for five perpetrators. Well, well. One of Thomas antagonists apparently thought that four shots would be enough for one Rolex dealer: he shot Thomas four times. Thomas sucked up the four gunshot wounds and then proceeded to kill the man who shot him.

Others might suggest, "He just didn't use the right ammo." Really? Unimpressed with the effects of conventional .38 Special ammo in his first shooting, he went to the Glaser Safety Slug, and was underwhelmed with its performance the next time, out in the real world. He shot men multiple times with 9mm and .45 automatics and with .357 Magnum revolvers and had to shoot them again and again.

Sometimes, against dangerous men in the heat of battle, nothing less than multiple serious gunshot wounds will short-out the attack. If we learn nothing else from Lance Thomas' four gunfights, we cannot miss learning this.

Will. The predators had strong motivations-- greed, perhaps anger, certainly lust for power over others. When fought back against by surprise, some exhibited great will to live, as evidenced by the fact that it took so many of the good guy's bullets to put them down.

But one reason Lance Thomas prevailed against them was that his will to survive, to prevail, to stand up for the right thing was greater than their will to harm him. Outnumbered, drawing against drawn guns, sometimes wounded seriously at the opening of the encounters, Thomas never lost his indomitable will to survive, to fight, to prevail. This, in the last analysis, may be the most important lesson each of us can draw from his experiences.

Again, a quote from Col. Cooper. "It is very difficult for a normal man to realize that he is suddenly in danger of death. The time it takes him to realize this and act upon it may be too long to save his life. Thus the prime quality of the gunfighter-- more important than either marksmanship or manual speed-- is the instant readiness to react to a threat."

A men. The subject of this article had this trait. It obviously kept him alive.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the very few "Ayoob Files" installments I have written without debriefing the survivor. I tried more than once to reach Thomas, and was unable to make contact. Given the many death threats and the unwelcome press attention, Thomas guards his privacy. It wasn't that he was hiding in terror from his antagonists. It was more that he took no pleasure in being lionized for his acts, and simply wanted to live his own life, quietly and peacefully.

It was all he had ever wanted when the men he had to kill in self-defense forced their way into his life. In the end, I had to respect his obvious wishes, and I abandoned the search. Thus, the information above comes primarily from Turning Point and the excellent Kirchner book.

Kirchner's The Deadliest Men celebrates strong individuals who used deadly force righteously. You'll not find Jack the Ripper, Henry Lee Lucas, or the Boston Strangler in those pages, deadly as they were. The Deadliest Men is a collection of heroes and heroines. Lance Thomas well deserves his place in the book.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Revolvers as a "roving gun." - via Warriortalk Forums

In Defense of the Revolver.

So why do some of us still rely on a revolver?

Reasons for a revolver :

Civilian fights happen up close generally!
So close that a misfire or pistol jam will NOT be resolved in time to prevent being shot/stabbed/whatever.

I have, over the years, (33 years since I bought my first handgun,) had a few misfires.
A misfire with a revolver is resolved by simply squeezing the trigger again.

I have had a build up of powder residue which stopped (malfunctioned) my revolver, but this was after many rounds, during competition.
This never happened with the first couple of dozen, - the "important" rounds of course.

Pistol slides can be pushed back with the result that the disconector inables the gun to fire.
Not so with a revolver.
One can stick a revolver right into a BGs guts and squeeze the trigger, knowing full well that the gun will fire.
Revolvers (these days anyway,) have heavy (but smooth) double action triggers, which certainly help in preventing ADs.

A revolver can be loaded with the widest, and most extreme HP round, with no feeding problems.
We can load Full Wadcutters if we wish!

Revolvers can be left (they shouldn't be of course,) with little or no maintenance for months.
Just like my external hammers, double barrel, side by side shotgun, revolvers do not need to be checked frequently.

A revolver looks like the real gun that it is.
Some small pistols look like toys.
Pull out a S&W .44 magnum and you will get the BG's attention! :D
How many armed BGs are we capable of shooting down, before one of the number hits us with their fire?

1?
2?
3?
4?

If they are 'wankers', then they will flee with our fire. We could probably send them running with shots from a .22 "saturday night special".

If they are trained and professional, then we will have problems.

I have mentioned, various times here on WT, that IMHO, the best combination is a service pistol and a smallish revolver as a "roving gun".

A small 'J' frame revolver that can be fired from a pocket, 'palmed' and held "gun in hand" in many instances.

If we 'spray and pray' with half a dozen rounds, then we achieve nothing more than a round or two that misses from our revolver!

"So what", you might ask?

Having only 6 or so rounds in our gun, tends to make us control our fire better.

We know that we cannot just squeeze the trigger in a hasty manner. We know that we have to make our shots count.
But the well trained person with good mindset, is suitably armed IMHO with a quality revolver.

I have lived here in Brazil for 22 years. Most of this time in Rio de Janeiro.
I have pulled my revolver(s) on several occasions.
The problem was resolved in most cases, without firing a shot.
When (a) shot(s) was/were required, the revolver had sufficient ammo.

Regards,
Anthony.

When a Revolver beats a Pistol.

It was early January 1990.
I had arrived the day before on the Madeira river, in Rondonia state, Brazil, at a gold prospecting camp. Dredges, about a hundred of them, all floating.

We were all tied together with rope and steel cable. Tied up on the river bank were the floating shops that supported the whole 'garimpo' ( prospecting camp.)

There were bars, mini supermarkets, brothels, welders, etc. One could find everything one wanted.
Including drugs of course.
The currency was gold.
Ten cans of beer cost a gram. Weighed in front of the purchaser.

Firearms were abundant. Mostly .38 revolvers and .32 ACP or .380 ACP pistols. Taurus and Rossi of course, being Brazil. The occasional Rossi shotgun or lever action .38 carbine ( Winchester '92 copy,) would appear in the hands of a prospector.


So I and the owner of the dredge which I was going to manage were drinking coffee on the varanda of his dredge. The dredge was tied up right close to the floating shops and bars.

Two men were sitting at a table on the porch of a bar, and seemed to be in a heated arguement. We were about 30 metres away at the most. The owner of the dredge told me "those two deal in drugs."
I thanked him for the information. I really had absolutely no interest in drugs. I never have, except for my legal tobacco and alcohol.

As we watched the arguement, right before our eyes, one of the men stood up and pulled out a pistol!
He pointed it at the other man and we could see that he was squeezing the trigger.
There was no 'bang'.
The other man stood up and pulled a small revolver from his waistband. The pistol wielder was squeezing the trigger on his double action pistol with a certain frenzy!
There were five loud bangs as the revolver was discharged into the pistol wielder's chest.


This was a lesson for me.
I love a fine service pistol, but at what I call "bad breath distances" I much prefer a revolver.

OK.....I know very well that the pistol owner had probably neglected to change his ammo etc, something important in the tropics.
But a malfunction drill would not have been quick enough for that distance of across the table.

This incident, and later incidents up there in the Amazon region, helped me with my idea of a pistol in a fixed position, but a small revolver as a "roving" gun.

When we have time, the pistol is the first choice.
But when we have to react to an "in our face" situation, then I want a revolver in AIWB, or my pocket, or "palmed" perhaps, - whatever?
I want to be able to squeeze the trigger on a bad cartridge and turn the cylinder to put a fresh cartridge under the hammer.


As I watched this incident, I was pleased that I had chosen to take my Taurus Model 82S to the camp, instead of my Colt .45 1911. Both would have been better, but I chose the revolver.


The killer jumped in a small boat and starting the outboard motor, sped off.

The dead man was pushed into the river. He floated into our dredge, so the owner asked a worker to push his body away with a pole.
The dead man floated off to wherever? The Amazon river perhaps, if the fish didn't eat his body before arriving. The Madeira river is an Amazon tributary, but the Amazon was a good 1000 kms down river.
My thread is really just to point out two things:
a) That a revolver is not dead and gone. ;)
b) That at "bad breath distances" we need reliability before anything else.

These guys didn't even register their sights.
They just stuck their guns out in front, a foot or two from the chest of their opponent and started to squeeze their triggers!

Regards,
Anthony.

Sources-from Warriortalk...

http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?67870-In-Defense-of-the-Revolver.&highlight=Moonclips

http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?39445-When-a-Revolver-beats-a-Pistol

Monday, January 12, 2015

Can you learn self-defense from the Internet?

           I often see self-defense folks, gun guys, weapon "experts" and martial artists of varying styles mocking the concept of learning via internet youtube videos or DVD's, but I think their criticism is unfounded . I've looked at the resume at many of the people throwing out the derogatory comments and notice repeatedly that a lot, if not the majority, of their training often has come from various seminars. I'm not referring to just some random anonymous guys on forums, but many prominent defense instructors. They teach every physical component of defense(firearms, blades, impact weapons, unarmed Combatives) and feel qualified to do so with the bulk of their "expert" knowledge being derived from these seminars while being dismissive of anyone who didn't receive all their training in person. I've been to a lot of seminars in my 30 years of involvement in self-defense and they have all pretty much been the same. They are generally short on detailed information and the material is diluted and condensed to fit in the allotted time(not necessarily a bad thing in itself) and you don't receive a whole lot of one on one instruction. Most often the instructor stands in front of the group lecturing(usually much more so than interacting and discussing), demonstrating and occasionally walking around giving a few pointers as the attendees practice the techniques. How is that all that different from watching a video of the seminar? I've attended many seminars and watched videos of seminars and to tell you the truth, I never felt they were all that different although there are a select few trainers that give better (needs to be small group) seminars than others.
                 Now, if your goal is to be a recognized "certified" authority or authentic "expert" whatever that means to you(it's definition often differs) in the entirety of a particular self-defense method or system, then your probably in anyone's perspective going to need actual first hand formal, live, in person instruction from a "recognized" actual instructor as there are many subtle nuances and on sight immediate direction and correction that can only be made with them there with you in person for intensive training. But, were talking about just learning some practical effective self-defense techniques and often that context, simple is best and in certain cases, some forms of in depth training are unnecessary, overly complex and actually wasteful and a hindrance to that goal. And we are also comparing video learning with seminars, not in becoming a "master" of a particular martial art or other complete defense "system" and in that case, book, video and correspondence learning is pretty much an equivalently effective learning method. It is even more so if someone has had actual proper and effective in person instruction. Someone who already has fairly extensive training can usually take a video of a certain new technique or concept, study it, try it out, train it and be able to effectively apply it. We also have the modern benefit of email, so you can always follow up with any questions you have as most instructors are pretty accessible and open to questions or they at the very least have a presence on one or another self-defense forum. Plus, if video learning/DVDs are worthless, why does almost every single prominent instructors offer instructional DVDs? Are they dishonest charlatans offering a completely worthless product? If so, then why would you want to receive actual in person training from them?
           I think a lot also depends on the individual. Some folks have a lot of natural ability and are very quick learners who can visually watch something once or even just read about it and understand it and even apply it while others need to study and train hard, be corrected constantly and ask question after question to even marginally understand and effectively apply it. And what about the most important skills? The first priority of true self-defense is to avoid the situation altogether. The most effective way not to get shot, stabbed or beat up is to not get into a violent confrontation in the first place, so avoidance skills such as situational awareness, de-escalation and escape strategies are the most important skills we need to study, understand and be able to implement and you do not need to have live, in person training to learn those skills. We have tremendous access to information available to us that I only dreamed of when I started training back in the 80's and to not take advantage of it because of some distorted idea that learning and understanding can only come directly from in person training rather than books, video or correspondence is nonsensical and severely limits opportunities of learning.
 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sights-What and Why? Gabe Suarez and Rob Pincus

 
        
       There was a time in our development when we thought that all pistols needed high visibility sights. "You must use the sights, always, and at all distances" we were told by the gun gurus of a prior age, and like faithful followers, we shipped our guns to the smith to have them suitably arranged. And yes, sights that were easier to see made those 1 1/2 second head shots at 3 yards very easy to make, and right inside the "credit card" too. "Bravo!", we thought, as we holstered our 45s into our pricey Milt Sparks rigs (just like the instructor had) and walked up to examine the group with a jaunty swagger.

But then...something changed. Some crazy guy thought to have students shoot each other with Airsoft BB guns. Shooters would replicate exactly the drills that formed the Modern Technique, and that Gusmoke's Matt Dillon tried to emulate in his show. Insane! Outlandish! Heresy! Yes, they called it all of those things...but the first time guys stepped up to do it, everything changed.

Gone were the Weaver Stances. Hell, those lasted one evolution as guys realized that standing and shooting it out, in an equal initiative fight, or a reactive fight, was a guarantee of getting shot. The need for movement made the need for a proper stationary position obsolete in this type of fight. And keeping two hands on the gun was a luxury few got a chance to enjoy.

I recall after our first session of this several years ago I asked, "What sort of sight picture did you see"? Silence was the reply. "Well, what did you see?". I got varying replies from "the bad guy running at me", to "nothing", to "meat and metal". What we didn't hear, and have not heard, is that anyone has used a proper sight picture inside of five yards.

I base my view of the pistol fight on what we see in force on force sessions, as that parallels most, what I have seen on the streets. What a competitive pistol champion may use is interesting from a technical perspective, but that is all as the two worlds of range shooting and gunfighting only bear a passing resemblance. And the world of force on force, paralleling the gunfight more closely than anything else, tells us that using traditional sighting methods for close range shooting on a moving adversary is simply not done. Guys point and shoot.

At recent classes I have been using Airsoft guns with no sights at all...just to be sure. You know what? It has not changed the hitting percentages at all. It has made guys somewhat faster since they are not slowing down to try and find the sights. Wow! Insane? Outlandish? Heresy? Maybe, but also the truth. 

So, why do we need sights?

We need sights for precision shooting at close range as might be seen in an adversary's exposed elbow, foot, or eye behind cover. Or as may be needed for a shot passed an innocent to hit a bad guy.

We also need sights for long range shooting as might be seen in an Active Shooter countermeasure. We have taken pistol shooters out to 220 yards at one point so it can be done.

Do you need high visibility sights for shots inside 7 yards? Nope. In fact, you could literally take the sights off the gun and be able to, statisticqally speaking, handle most CCW gunfights easily.

So if we need sights we need them for the things discussed above. Which sights will work best for this? Sharp, clearly discernible black sights, with a serrated front and flat rear face.

Do we need dots or bars on the sights to see them better at close range? In my opinion, no we don't.

Do we need Tritium? I admit that many of my pistols have tritium in the sights, but when I have bought sights for my new guns I have gotten plain black sights with no tritium.

Why?

Because here is the thought - if it is dark, but there is enough ambient light to see my adversary, I neither need "night sights" nor a flashlight. I just shoot as I do during the day. If he is close, he is a short time frame problem. I shoot him. If I can see some sights, cool. But I am not waiting to see them. If he is far away, I probably won't be able to see where he is in dark environments so nights sights are of no benefit.

The more I work with this, the more I am convinced that plain black non-illuminated sights are the best option for a CCW pistol.

-Gabe Suarez  

http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2010/04/red-dot-sights-on-pistols-why.html#.VOf5oWK9KSO

source: http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?54172-Sights-What-and-Why

      I am not in the camp that recommends night sights...

Nightsights are a big marketing thing.. like rails on guns... They have their place, but that place isn't justified by the overwhelming presence in the marketplace except for the fact that they sell well.

The conditions under which nightsights are actually very valuable are pretty contrived, for example:

Enough light to see/indentify the threat, but not enough light/contrast to line-up the sights and the need for precision dictates precise sight alignment. Perhaps you are in the dark and the threat is in a decently lit room, but wearing dark clothes and not within 10', for example.


I think (hope?) we are past the point where people are preaching a "need" for nightsights. I have noticed a trend of people recommending tritium in the front sight only, for example, if you really feel you need it.

Your point is well-made, but I think the assumption that nightsights are all that important is flawed based on empiracle data.

As much as some camps don't like to hear it, we continue to find that most people shooting at human size targets at plausible defensive distances (especially inside the home distances) are able to get combat accurate hits without the need for a clear sight picture...
Extend the gun into and parallel with your line of sight, touch & press.

Many people are under the misconception that they need to have a clear sight-alignment/sight-picture every time they pull the trigger. This dependence creates a lack of confidence in just the type of situations that you are describing.

There is a ton of empirical evidence that says you can get combat accurate hits while focusing on a typical threat at typical defensive ranges.... but the best experience is to go and try it yourself.


- Rob Pincus 

source: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268177

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The real ladies gun by Massad Ayoob

The real ladies gun - Handguns

Guns MagazineMarch, 2003 by Massad Ayoob 

For too long, women were told that if they wanted to carry a sidearm they needed a "ladies' gun," usually a tiny .22 or .25 automatic with so little power it might or might not stop a charging gerbil. Then the trend moved toward the small .38 Special revolver. The snubnose .38 became a classic "ladies' gun" for modem times.

Smith & Wesson's first "LadySmith" since the 19th century became a roaring success in the 20th century based on the Chief Special, 2-inch barrel, five-shot, .32-frame revolver. There would be other LadySmiths, including the neat little 3913 LS compact 9mm autopistol.

But Smith & Wesson has sold far more short barreled .38 Specials in conventional Chief Special, hammer shrouded Bodyguard, and "hammerless" Centennial configurations than anything of the other models to which they gave the feminine appellation. When Colt made a "ladies' model," they built it on the small D-frame revolver, with a 2-inch barrel, in caliber .38 Special.

Those of us who shoot a lot--competitors, firearms instructors, "serious students of the combat handgun"--can't help but notice that with the hottest loads, the small .38 has a nasty recoil and is hard to shoot accurately at significant distances. There are those who have said that because of these factors, the snubnose .38 is a bad choice for women.
I beg to disagree. And so do a huge number of that legion of the fairer sex who choose to go armed, and who seem to have taken the snubnose .38 as their collective handgun of choice.

Voting With Their Feet

"Shall issue" concealed carry legislation has swept the country. It is the strongest wave of victory in the gun owners' civil rights movement. It amazes the opponents of gun owners' rights how many of the people applying for concealed carry permits are women. And the instructors who train and certify those women for those concealed carry permits are telling us a huge number of those ladies are shooting their qualifications with the guns they, intend to carry: short barrel, small frame .38 Special revolvers.

The women of America know what they want. After a lifetime of getting ripped off by men in male oriented things like estimates on automobile repairs, they've learned to check things out on their own and not take a man's word for what women need.

They appreciate that they can shoot pistols like the Browning Hi-Power and the 1911 .45 and the Glock and the S&W 3913 better than most men realize. They also realize that they can carry a short, light revolver a helluva lot more easily within their daily wardrobe and dress code restrictions than they can even a compact alloy-frame .45 automatic.

Tactical Points

Gun dealers tell me the single most popular carry gun they're selling to women is the lightweight .38 Special, 2-inch revolver with snag-free configuration, such as the S&W Centennial Airweight. Yes, it kicks enough to hurt your hand. Yes, it will be one of the toughest guns for you to "qualify" with on the 15 to 25 yard line of a police-style shooting course.

However, the women who buy them for daily carry have no illusions about being involved in across-the-street shootouts. They're worried about the mugger who is within arm's length or maybe even closer when they have to defend their lives.

Women get tired of carrying big guns. The woman with whom I spent 30 years of marriage could count on her annual or biannual gift of what her husband thought was a cool self-defense pistol. She wound up with enough high speed, low drag, often highly customized semiautomatic pistols to outfit a small police department. The HK P7, a Behlert Mini-Custom S&W Model 39, a Trapper custom "bobcatted" Colt .45 auto--the list goes on.

It was always, "That's nice, dear." She'd carry it for a week to placate me, and then go back to one of her Colt .38 snubbies, either the engraved Detective Special or the lightweight Agent with hammer shroud and Barami Hip-Grip that fit neatly into the waistband of her beltless slacks.

No Surrender

Male criminals tend to be misogynists. The man who would surrender to him at gunpoint would die rather than go to prison with it known that he had surrendered to her. He is more likely by far to attack and attempt to disarm a woman. More than 20 years of teaching handgun disarming and retention has taught me the hardest gun to take away from its legitimate owner is a 2-inch barreled revolver.
With a shrouded hammer, this is also the only gun a woman can fire through a coat pocket without a hammer or a slide fouling in fabric and stopping her stream of fire.

Ideal for shooting all day at a training school? No. Ideal for concealed carry in real world circumstances? Yes.

The snubnose .38 revolver with snag-free hammer might just be the best choice for the defensive problems an armed woman in this society is most likely to face.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Keep Guns away from the Mentally-ill?

Mental Health and Guns                          











                     There has been talk from both ends of the political spectrum and by people everywhere in between about the need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. At first blush that sounds like a sensible and common sense idea that everyone would and should support, but once you actually delve into the issue, you'll see that it is much more complex as well as having the potential to become a gross violation of rights and a truly hostile invasion of privacy depriving millions of Americans of their Liberty.
                         
                                    Who exactly is "mentally ill"?  I have yet to see any of the many people making proposals calling for the broad scope screening of the mentally ill with the intent to identify and then keep guns away from them to define who it is exactly they are looking for or what criteria they would use to restrict them from firearms or even who they consider they consider mentally ill. Is it anyone on or has ever in their lifetime (or how long ago before "cleared") taken psychotropic medications or perhaps just certain types of psych meds?  Receives or has ever had counseling? A certain diagnosis? Anyone and everyone that has any history of Mental Health issues or treatment? Who and what are they looking for? All of them perhaps ...that's a pretty big task that will take an army of workers to screen, a monumental amount of currency that would add substantially to the already obscenely bloated national debt as well as being wasteful, unnecessary and flat out immoral. Sounds like something Liberals would like to do, but I'm hearing it from self-labeled Conservatives as well. It's simply unreasonable and unjust and I find it even worse than the ridiculous notion of banning certain types of firearms and ammunition magazines simply by how they look (like Military weapons i.e. black and scary) or how many rounds/bullets they hold.                   
     
              Mental Illness is an extremely broad term that includes people suffering from simple and mild clinical depression to delusional schizophrenics. As a whole, those with mentally illness are actually less violent and commit less crimes than the general population, so why would we target all of them specifically based on the actions of just a handful or people? We say we can't racially profile certain groups of people even though statistics show that some racial and ethnic groups do indeed commit more violent crime and by very large numbers (Fact :Young Black Males ages 16-25 commit the majority of violent crime in the US, but make up a low single digit amount of total population), but to focus on on them is considered "racial profiling" and taboo, so how can we then ethically "profile" people based on a medical diagnosis or just from receiving mental health treatment.
               
                 The Radical Islamic Terrorists that have committed the Mass Murders of thousands of Americans were all Young Arab Males with none being known to be or declared "mentally-ill" that I'm ware of, but we refuse to profile or screen all Young Arab Male's or say they they as a group can't use airliners based on the actions of a few. Instead we focus on actual tangible threats via the Terror watch list based on actual hard evidence of threats etc. and that individuals history and fact rather than simply banning all young Arab males from air travel. Tim McVeigh was not known to be "Mentally-ill", so start banning young Irish guys from renting Ryder trucks?
                  
          How about my elderly Grandma who lives alone in a rural area taking an anti-depressants to deal with the lose of her Husband/My Grandfather of 65 years? Do we invade her medical records and take her firearms away?
                       Or what about the passive agoraphobic(think Sigourney weaver's character in the movie copycat) who never leaves their house or experiences panic attacks or how about the guy with OCD/Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder who washes his hand 50 times a day, but is otherwise a mild mannered guy and asset to his community. How about someone suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, there are literally Millions of them.The list of productive members of society as well as great leaders, innovators, authors, artists and patriots with one mental health issue or another is long indeed. How about many of our Troops coming back from the Sandbox?   
                    Or what about our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln who was almost for sure suffering from clinical depression or perhaps even a Bipolar Disorder(likely BPII). All are technically "mentally ill", but does the 2nd Amendment not apply to them? Would you and should you deprive them of the right to defend themselves or invade their right to privacy when they are not guilty of anything?

         Most mass murders throughout history had no diagnosed mental condition nor received any treatment and even recent school shooters even though some may have had an underlying psychiatric disorder,developmental disorder or mental illness of some kind or another, most never sought nor received any treatment, so perhaps expanding mental health services makes more sense than going after everyone simply receiving some type of treatment. If the ones that did have a history such as Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Adam Lanza and even Jared Loughner, there wasn't anything real substantial that could have predicted what was coming or indicate that some form of urgent preventive intervention was needed to stop mass murder aside from perhaps Loughner getting suspended from College with Mental Health evaluation being required for re-admittance. Most of these kids perpetrating mass school shootings were cases of them being systematically bullied and then retaliated against their peers(with the exception of Lanza)and bullying today is much different and more brutal than the simple hazing that went on when I was a kid. Partly due to kids being armed with smart phones recording and then broadcasting any and every embarrassing moment and abuse of their target as well as from the overall coarsening of our society. Even cartoons today are obscene, abusive and flat out vulgar.There are many reasons to that complex issue and those are just two observations. Loughner was also a drug and alcohol user, so are we to start screening any one that drinks alcohol as well? Think of the deaths from DIU's and from intoxicated violent behavior causes each year, but no one says much about it or thinks there needs to be some form of intervening type legislature in regards to alcohol use. One could go on for days with fitting analogies.
  
            Some have gone a step further than simply violating privacy and restricting gun and are talking involuntary commitment! Is this modern day America that we're talking about? Are we to return to the paranoid dark days where men in little white coats would come and take people away in straight-jackets for the most minor of reasons? You had better have a damn fine reason for taking away an Americans Freedom or any ones for that matter as well as some hard evidence and factual proof that justifies such actions.
                       Here is an article from Ben Shapiro from Breitbart.com with the last paragraph being appalling and truly horrific. It smacks of fascism which I find ironic considering how often Mr.Shapiro likes to invoke NAZI Germany. http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2012/12/19/the-bullying-left-exploits-sandy-hook-n1469638  There was simply no signs or evidence to indicate that Adam Lanza was capable of planning what he did that would justify involuntary commitment. Ben Shapiro is simply unable to see the big picture in context nor is he able to convey practical common sense information and solutions. He among others represents the the irrational fringe of the far right and that I find just as unsavory as the far left. His ideas are dangerous, narrow in scope and Conservatives as a whole would be wise to separate themselves from him.

                   Are we to start screening everyone that applies for a gun permit/license/CCW or simply purchases a gun to check and see if they have any mental health issues? How are we going to do that exactly? Are we going to keep a massive national database on everyone and anyone that does or has received any Mental Health Treatment? And if they do or did, are we then going to scrutinize those records to determine whether they are mentally fit and deserving of the right to purchase and own or carry a firearms despite having no past history of violence(what degree) or criminality (any?). To so do violates every principle this Great Country was founded on as it prejudges someone as being guilty for something they've never done. Last time I checked, your innocent until proven guilty in this Country irregardless of your Race, Creed, Religion or medical History.
   
                            Now if you are talking about scrutinizing and restricting those that have been institutionalized (forcibly or voluntarily), adjudicated a danger to self and others(this doesn't include automatically include social security disability benefits since the determination to receive those benefits is an administrative decision, even if rendered by judge on an appeal, who in this case would be an administrative law judge, rather than one of a ruling in and by a court of law), have a violent(what?)/criminal (felony) past, then I would agree that makes sense and is indeed justified although I would allow them to appeal to a Court of Law to have their rights restored if they can provide tangible evidence that they are now healthy(and more likely than not to remain so) and responsible enough to own firearms. In almost all of the mass-shooting cases there were obvious warning signs ignored or dismissed by various authorities.They simply passed the buck if you will. Perhaps require some type of reporting or even intervention if someone receiving intensive(definition?) mental health treatment is believed to be an imminent and substantive and substantial(degree?) danger to themselves and/pr others, has made actual substantive and substantial violent threats(again degree) or has been shown to have an inclination to violence(once gain degree) despite having no criminal record. I'm really getting into that grey area here, but as I said at the onset, it's a very complex issue that we must tread lightly when addressing so as to not violate any persons privacy rights or their God-given Liberty. Proceed with caution indeed. I guess it should be an issue of that individual just simply perhaps getting some form of greater scrutiny(what would that be,what is the proper and right balance...Doctors alerting LE etc. or perhaps some broader comprehensive approach etc., but there are countless incompetent and unethical doctors and psychiatrists as well as law enforcement officers so this approach has the potential for grave abuses of power) rather than some type of actual legal intervention until something is indeed proven and a then those findings, actions required and the decision rendered in an actual Court of Law.

               All medical records are private and should remain that way unless there is definite proof and just cause to violate that individuals right to privacy and the only way that can truly be the case is if that person has shown by their past or current behavior and actions to be a threat to others or themselves. Innocent until proven guilty is and always has been our standard and should remain so, since to do otherwise is to start down that infamous slippery slope as well as inflict a big slap in the face to Freedom and Liberty.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Practical Reasons for owning an AR-15

 We carry a line of AR-15, M4,

            Piers Morgan has repeatedly asked numerous guests on his cable television program the same question  .... "give me one coherent reason why a civilian needs an AR-15 assault rifle?"

            What Piers is wanting as is many others watching the show is an easy understood, everyday practical reason as to why someone wants or needs an AR-15. Many of his viewers although they may actually support 2nd amendment rights, may not know a whole lot about firearms in general or the dynamics of self-defense seeing only a rather sinister looking black rifle that looks like a "machine gun" when they look at an AR-15, so any practical reason alludes them and it's those people who we really need to reach..          
           
                Responses to piers question of  "I should be able to own one because the 2nd amendment says I can" or "to fight possible tyranny" while although technically correct, those answers simply won't register or sit well with uninformed viewers who might have sided with you if you give them practical explanations and facts.There is no use in arguing with the far-left anti-gunners fully set and entrenched in their ideology as they only seek to frame the context of the debate, not in learning anything new or reconsidering their beliefs or perspective. It's the middle ground folks on the fence, those people with open minds that we need to be convincing, talking to and speaking the truth to and it's these individuals I'm writing to here.

        The simple answer of why we need high capacity AR-15 assault rifles is for the same reason Police have them, need them and use them since the Criminals we face are the same ones they do. Notice I did not include the Military in that statement.The reason is Civilian self-defense has very little in common with Military operations of any kind, but the situations an armed Civilian could find themselves involved in(either on street or at home) are often identical to the ones Police find themselves in. Also, the Military doesn't actually use the AR-15 at all, but rather the M16 and M4 which are fully automatic ("machine gun") or Select Fire(choice of fully automatic or multiple bullets fired per single pull trigger).
             Although the AR-15 looks almost exactly like the M16 and M4, it is actually semi-automatic, which means that it fires only one bullet when you pull the trigger.To shoot another bullet, you have to release and then pull the trigger again. It's really no different than a revolver(one trigger pull, one shot) and it's likely the "automatic" part of semi-automatic that gets peoples attention. What the automatic means is that it automatically loads a round(bullet) from the magazine(what some call clips) into the chamber(barrel). Nothing sinister at all going on there.

          Now on to some real-world practical reasons to own a high capacity AR-15 to which just about any sensible person should be able to understand and relate...

1.) Insurance .....  Ever had a car accident or been involved in a wreck? What about a  house fire? Flood or Storm damage? How about a break-in?
                  Even if you've never had a single one of these incidents occur, you likely think it's prudent to take measures to mitigate loss, injury or damage even if you don't think such things aren't likely to ever happen to you. Do you lock your doors and windows when you leave your home and when you sleep at night? Do you have insurance on your car and your home? Do you wear your a seat belt when you drive a car and think it's wise to do so?  Isn't "just in case" valid logical thinking? Owning an AR-15 is just that. It's insurance just in case of a home invasion/home intrusion. Do you personally know anyone that has ever been the victim of a home invasion or otherwise had their home broken into or burglarized? Most likely you do know someone or even have Family members that have experienced it. So, since it is so common, doesn't it makes sense to have a safety policy in place to protect you and your family?

2.) It often takes multiple rounds/bullets to stop just one single determined assailant....      
         Unlike in the movies, the bad guys don't go flying across the room after being shot or even always go down after being shot one time. It's kind of analogous to when Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee beats up 30 Men at a time, knocking out each one with a single kick or punch,which simply is realistic either. Attackers are often large males able to withstand more gun shot hits and are often on drugs, severely mentally ill or both. Here is an incident where a Police Officer had to shoot an armed maniac 22 times before stopping him.The whole time the guy still kept shooting back. http://www.lawofficer.com/article/training/officer-down-peter-soulis-inci
          The gun the the officer used is a .40 caliber Glock Handgun which for all intents and purposes has similar stopping power to the AR-15. Can see why a Cop or an armed Civilian would want to have 30 round magazines knowing this can and does happen? While the Soulis incident is exceptionally rare, wouldn't you rather have ammo left over after a defensive shooting rather than run out during one. Imagine the terror after your gun runs out of bullets while trying to defend your Family against an armed thug who broke into you home who is still active and intent on getting to and harming you and your family.

3.) Multiple Assailants or Home Invaders... Wolves travel in packs is a common saying in the gun community and very applicable to the criminal element considering that a home invasion is very likely to be perpetrated by multiple intruders rather than a single individual. Gangs of all types are also still very real and present everywhere. A couple of years ago, three armed thugs broke into a home just up the street from me murdering the home owner.The homeowner lived in a large home, was rather wealthy and the perps were high looking for cash and drugs. Who is to say they couldn't have hit my house next or could have needed refuge and chose my home to hide out in from Police. If you and your family were to gather in a safe room after three armed thugs kicked in your door, would you rather be armed with a 5 or 6 shot revolver or a 30 round AR-15 knowing even though you already called 911, the Police are still minutes away. 

http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2012/12/29/why-good-people-need-semiautomatic-firearms-and-high-capacity-magazines-part-i/

http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2013/01/31/why-good-people-need-semiautomatic-firearms-and-high-capacity-magazines-part-ii/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MassadAyoob+%28Massad+Ayoob%29

4.) Civil Unrest, Flash Mobs, Riots ... I think most people can relate to these scenarios that seem to occur more and more frequently all the time. During the Rodney King riots, Korean store merchants were able to effectively defend themselves, their families and their property from the violent and destructive mobs very effectively using high capacity forearms(including the AR-15) after Police completely abandoned them refusing to re-enter the situation after being overwhelmed by the sheer number of rioters. We saw looting and violent chaos after Katrina  and I suspect if George Zimmerman is acquitted as I think he will and must be, there may be similar outbreaks of violence. I hope and pray there isn't, but I would sleep a lot better knowing a had effective tool to protect my family if a violent mob entered my neighborhood or targeted my home.

5.)The AR-15 itself. .... One of the main reasons that anti-gunners dislike the AR-15 is because it's scary looking. It's Black and looks like what most consider a Military type weapon.That could actually play heavily into your favor in a civil unrest scenario where you have rioting and looting mobs. Are they likely to target you, your family, your home and property if you are standing guard with an AR-15. Seems likely to be effective deterrent. This concept would also apply to armed citizens forming community watch on "sentry/guard duty" looking out for neighborhood/neighbors during times of civil unrest. However, you would want to be mindful not to make yourself a "shoot first" target/someone that needs to be taken out by accessing the specific situation if dealing with armed or potentially armed hooligans.  
                          If someone is trying to do you and your Family harm, you'll want to stop them as quickly as possible before they can physically reach you, get to you with some type of a weapon such as a knife or club or actually shoot you or family members if armed with a firearm themselves and the best way to do that is usually to put as many high energy rounds on target as quickly and as accurately possible and the AR-15 is a great tool to do just that. The AR-15 is ergonomic, extremely easy to shoot and very inherently accurate which means that your likely to hit what your shooting at rather than have your shots go astray possibly hitting innocent bystanders. Also, the AR-15 shoots  a rather small .22 caliber bullet(the .223/5.56)which is as a Hunting round/bullet is truly only only suitable for small animals and why it's often called a Varmint round and is very marginal for Deer sized game. The media like to call it a high-power round and that it is exceptionally devastating,but that is simply not the truth. One advantage to the small round is that there is very little recoil which means just about anybody can handle it(even petite Women and the elderly), which simply cannot be said for most defense caliber handguns and especially a 12 gauge shotgun.
                       I have also heard arguments from anti-gunner's that an AR-15 simply isn't necessary and is "overkill" for use in home defense by Civilians.They say a limited capacity handgun will more than suffice since most intruders will be armed with a handgun. First,what are their qualifications to be giving advice on what is effective for home defense and if an armed thug or group of thugs invade my home, I want a superior weapon to theirs.
                For most sceanrios, a handgun will indeed suffice although I would not want to be limited to 5 or 6 six shots. I would adequately prepared and armed if left with my Glock 17 along with plenty of 17 and 33 rounds loaded with hot hollow-point ammunition.
                   Still, there are many scenarios where a long-gun is simply better and more effective and therefore it is a good idea to have a high capacity Carbine/Rifle handy for more serious situations and in cases where you have gathered the family together in a fixed location(such as a safe room etc.) which is usually the best option when possible(often there simply isn't time to safely do so) in the even an intruder is in your home.

5.) The "Impractical". ...The Second Amendment does in fact give us the right to own an AR-15,  it doesn't only apply to muskets as many anti-gunners mock otherwise it would have specified muskets rather than just simply 'arms'. And to say the Founders couldn't have envisioned the AR-15 is simply irrelevant because they knew firearm technology would change, for it was changing and progressing at an alarming rate during their lifetime, so they knew would continue onward into the future and despite how some portray it, the AR-15 is still just an ordinary rifle/carbine shooting a comparatively(with other truly powerful hunting rifles) small bullet and not some weapon of mass destruction. Plus, the Founders couldn't have envisioned the Internet, Cable TV and Smart-Phones, so does the 1st amendment not apply to them?

        The Resistance to Tyranny isn't something the average person ever thinks about and I don't like that answer at all as a response when asked for a coherent or "practical" reason as to why someone needs an High Capacity "Assault Rifle" AR-15, but it was in fact a very large part of the motivation and reason of why the Founders created and included the 2nd amendment. The other major reason was one of protecting the rights of individuals to be able to defend themselves. To say such things are one of past cultures is being misinformed or just unaware of what is going on elsewhere in the World. Tyranny does in fact happen today around the World. Look at Syria, Iran, Egypt. It can't happen to the US you say? Such arrogance has been a common trait shared among all the past great empires who all said the same thing, but they also have one other thing in common....they all collapsed and are gone. Everybody said 9-11-2001 couldn't happen, that Pearl Harbor couldn't happen. Nobody saw what Adolf Hitler had planned coming or simply ignored the signs thinking that what he wrote and outlined in Mein Kampf can't really be his intent or true thoughts. And looked at how many went along with him blindly following his orders of mass murder and destruction. And that is not some distant event, there are still people very much alive today that actually lived through it.These things are indeed real, have happened and can and will happen again even if they don't seem like practical reasons.