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  • On Gunhandling...

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        Saturday, January 12, 2008

    On Gunhandling...

    ...and I'm gonna shoot the first fucker right in the neck who tells me to call it a 'weapon', or a 'rifle' or whatever. Hint: three letters in 'gun'.

    Before I get started, please allow me to clear something up. I'm a slow learner on shit like this. But I've heard more than one person mention my sociopathology as if it was a trait to be admired. Sure, it gives you certain advantages, but if you make it into middle age without being killed, or going to prison, you begin to realize perfectly well that you are intensely handicapped.
    I envy you your emotions, your conscience. I have tried to imitate what you do naturally all my life. Yet, when a threat looms, there's a gun in my hand, suddenly, and I am fully prepared to ventilate someone's ventricles without a seconds hesitation, or a moments regret.

    That makes me sad. Because its all about me, you know...

    So, let's discuss sociopathic killers throughout history (gun history) and admire their steady hands, and body counts.

    First, we have Sergeant Alvin York. Oh, you thought I was going to talk about batshit insane murderers? Whatever gave you that idea?
    Anyway, he set about killing large numbers of Germans with a terrible, certain precision. Despite his religious upbringing, he slaughtered that day, and I am sure that he felt a sense of regret when they surrendered. When your blood gets up, the beast in men wants to howl, and it is tough to get it back into the pet carrier.

    The next two are a tie, William Hickok, and John Wesley Hardin. Hardin went on to become a lawyer, and Hickok was a reprobate who suicidally sat with his back to a door and got shot in the back of his head for his lack of attention to detail.

    George S. Patton almost made my list, because he was a true gunfighter, who killed both theirs and ours with great abandon, but he falls into the 'Batshit Crazy' category, and was thus disqualified.

    I have read every book I could read on all of these fellows, and more (Gunfighters of the Kansas City Cowtowns is an excellent reference) to learn both their histories, and their techniques. Some of it is just silly, and some was useful, and I imported it into my own repertoire.
    Of all of the 'modern' gun writers, I found Elmer Kieth to be the only one who was a pistoleer of any use. There's another old fellow, his name escapes me at the moment, who taught me the technique of looking down the barrel of your own gun in a full length mirror, until you see glowing copper, and then you can shoot a person in the eye from the hip.

    Most everything the so-called 'trick shooters' have to offer is worthless. Custom guns in controlled situations, firing low powered sub-sonic rounds so as to not make the babies in the audience cry, or elderly women urinate themselves.

    The one thing those fellows do have to offer, is the concept of 'practice makes perfect', and gun control. i.e., gun handling. Bill Hickok could fire two pistols accurately at the same time, on targets to his left and right, and hit them. He could split a playing card in half, and once sank three rounds near simultaneously into a mans heart who was coming out of a saloon at least fifty yards away.

    And remember, he used .36 caliber Colts, exclusively. Single action. And I don't think that anybody who hadn't been elected to be his target even flinched when he fired.

    I carried a K14 S&W Masterpiece for a long time, back in the bad old days. 8 3/8ths inch barrel. Sometimes in a Bianchi shoulder holster, sometime just down the pants. When I fired it, it was often at a black dot I'd drawn in the center of a paper plate, and witnesses said it looked as if all the chambers had gone off at once.

    And the holes in the black spot stayed there. And any time I wanted to barbecue, I'd step out onto the back porch at night, shine a flood into the apple orchard, pick out the fattest doe, and drop her. From, oh, about 75 yards or so. If you eat buck, you're gay...

    Ammo was MUCH much cheaper, then, and I shot about 500 rounds a week. Then one day, I realized I could hit anything I aimed at. That bird up there? That shovel handle 100 yards away stuck blade down in the manure pile? Yeah, that one pissed me off, having to replace that handle. Remind me again how I'm a genius...

    And then one day, I realized I didn't need to shoot anymore. That whenever I picked up a gun, I was effective with it. So I quit. Then, I joined the military. And qualified expert each and every time I fired, including the first time, in dreadful snow, falling snow, and I had only recently had the fingernail on my most used trigger finger removed due to a very painful (and incredibly not genius) accident.

    You may have noted that I have not mentioned rifles here. Pistols are works of art, rifles are tools. Becoming expert with a pistol, and switching to a rifle, has to be the same as a carrier pilot getting to land on a large, smooth desert runway. Add a scope, and nothing in front of you survives.

    Shotguns, now, are workout machines, and will flat bust you up if you handle them wrong. Benelli autoloader and SPAS-12 excluded.

    I mentioned elsewhere today, I think it was Kim du Toit's inestimable blog, that weapons are like musical instruments. I'd like to expand on that. Once you've worked with it, a combat folding knife makes one sound when it is opened correctly, and the blade seated properly. This can be the difference between life and death. Or losing a finger or two.

    A properly oiled and sharpened sword makes a special sound when being drawn. A bow, properly strung, an arrow, properly fletched, will make a sound as it travels from quiver to target that says ''re fucked'.

    All weapons speak in their own language. I daresay women know when kitchen implements are about to act up. Living in an apartment, you know to step out of the stream of your shower when you hear the pipes groan from a toilet flush, upstairs.

    A bullet, passing so close by your ear that it leaves a hank of hair on your shoulder, makes a sound like a manual hedge trimmer cutting into a .22 short primer.

    So, to sum up: don't listen to anybody that doesn't know, shoot constantly with either hand, from all positions, including prone, and upside down (on your back) prone, wear hearing protection at first, then fire as if you were at home, in the dark, in your bedroom, or a hallway...

    'Certified' trainers are useless. Especially cops. 'Schools' are dumb, there just to take your money.
    Map out fields of fire in your house, and plans of attack. Got dogs? Gun train them, or pay a trainer to do it. You don't want Fido screaming in doggy horror, getting between your feet while he pisses all over them.
    Map out methods of entrance and egress into and from your domicile. Map out fields of fire in your yard. Your garage. This shit never happens to you, until it does.

    Mock me if you want, just don't come crying to me when the drunken illegal alien, or my personal favorite, the crackhead couple two houses down drop by for some pussy and knick-knacks they can sell to buy Slim Jims and beer and, oh yeah, more crack.

    But most of all, have fun!!!