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  • Your Tactical Training Scenario - Haunted Forest Shooting
    by Greg Ellifritz

    (Image source: FreeImages.com/mailsparky)

    Halloween is right around the corner. ‘Tis the season for scary houses and “haunted forests.” Have you ever thought about what you would do in one of these “haunted” houses or forests if real life gunplay starts to occur? Consider the following scenario:

    You are waiting in line to enter a “Haunted Forest”. The event is in a deeply wooded rural area without any police presence. A man steps out of line, draws a gun and begins shooting at everyone in the crowd as he makes a beeline for the ticket booth. He continues shooting randomly as he grabs the money and retreats to the parking area. Several people are wounded and screaming. There is minimal light and you can’t really see what is going on. What do you do?

    This exact scenario occurred in South Carolina. Read about it at the following link: Teen pleads guilty in haunted trail shooting, killing at park.

    Here are some questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

    1) Would you carry a gun to an event like this one where you are likely to be scared and jostled around by the actors in the forest? If you would carry, would you take additional precautions to secure your gun and ensure that it isn’t accidentally grabbed by one of the people trying to scare you?

    Would you alter your normal carry position? Think about how someone might grab you in a scenario like this. They might grab your ankle from the brush or from a “grave.” They might grab your arm. The might grab you around the waist from behind. I think appendix carry or a shoulder holster provides the highest level of natural protection against these kind of grabs.

    2) Do you always carry a flashlight with you? Without a light, you are hosed in a situation like this. Can you shoot with a flashlight? I mean really shoot…with lots of innocent people in between you and the killer in pitch dark conditions. It’s harder than you think…

    Even more importantly, do you know how to “go dark” and disappear in a situation like this. If the killer can’t see you he can’t shoot you. If you aren’t actively engaging the target, the light is a hindrance in this scenario.

    What about your spouse and/or kids? Do you think it would be valuable to issue them flashlights for an event like this? Do they know when and when not to use the light?

    3) What is your plan should you be separated from your children during the shooting? Do you have a pre-established meeting place? Cell phones may not work in rural areas where these take place.

    4) In a situation like this when you are potentially ½ mile or more from your car and 30 minutes or more from an emergency medical response, do you have any medical supplies on your person to handle traumatic injuries? Having a med kit in your car won’t help when the shooter is firing at you in the forest. Do you have the supplies needed to immediately stop life-threatening bleeding? Do you have the capability of carrying a wounded victim (maybe even one of your family members) out of the forest to help? If you can’t physically carry or drag a casualty and you don’t have any medical gear, what is your plan if someone gets shot?

    A walk through a haunted forest doesn’t have to look like a combat patrol in Afghanistan, but you may need more (or different) supplies than you normally carry to be prepared for every eventuality.

    Your homework assignment is to think about scenarios like this. Identify any situations where you might need more or different gear based on the character of the threats you face. Then figure out a plan to deal with any potential problems you may encounter when visiting that place.

    Greg Ellifritz is the full time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He holds instructor or master instructor certifications in more than 75 different weapon systems, defensive tactics programs and police specialty areas. Greg has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management and is an instructor for both the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy and the Tactical Defense Institute.

    For more information or to contact Greg, visit his training site at Active Response Training.

  • Poll Shows Americans Fear Government Corruption and Gun Control Over Mass Shootings

    Hillary Clinton makes no bones about the fact that as president, she would seek to ban America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15. According to her own campaign website, “Military-style assault weapons do not belong on our streets. They are a danger to law enforcement and to our communities. Clinton supports keeping assault weapons off our streets.” 

    Yet even some proponents of increased gun controls admit that Clinton’s focus is off the mark. As one stated late last year, “[W]e already know that banning assault weapons won't reduce gun crime or deaths.” He added, “The ‘assault weapons’ for sale in the U.S. now aren't really weapons of war.”

    A poll released this [monthy], moreover, shows that the reason most often invoked for banning so-called “assault weapons” – i.e., their potential use in mass killings – ranks below even extinction-level events on Americans’ list of things of which they are “afraid” or “very afraid.”

    Of the 79 fears identified, “[r]andom/mass shooting” came in 30th. This was below such fears as Obamacare, biological warfare, reptiles, the U.S. being involved in another World War, nuclear weapons attack, and a pandemic or major epidemic. 

    Even more ominously for Hillary Clinton – whose public persona has been riddled with scandals for decades – the number one fear of those polled was “[c]orrupt government officials.”

    But the poll gets even worse for the Clinton Camp, with “[g]overnment restrictions on firearms and ammunition” ranking as the fifth most common fear. 

    Indeed, exercising their right to keep and bear arms may be a response many Americans have to other higher-ranking fears, including terrorism (4th), break-ins (27th), and “[w]idspread civil unrest” (28th).

    So why, some 12 years after her husband’s federal "assault weapons" ban proved ineffective, does Hillary Clinton remain focused on this failed policy?

    One answer might simply be that it pleases big donors to her party. An article on the political website Roll Callearlier this year quoted a “high-dollar donor to Democratic candidates” as stating, “I’m not interested in supporting people who won’t ban assault rifles.”

    Of course, it’s no surprise that donors who can spend more on one election cycle than most families earn in a year are going to be detached from the concerns of ordinary Americans.

    But the zealousness to disarm Americans also speaks to a more fundamental political philosophy that underlies Hillary Clinton’s approach to politics. This approach is one that shuns freedoms – like the right to keep and bear arms – that are uniquely American and demeans political opposition as illegitimate (or in Hillary Clinton’s words, “deplorable” and “irredeemable”). 

    Faced with such an imperious, detached, and condemning candidate for the White House, it’s no wonder that Americans are more afraid of the government officials who want to take their preferred rifles than a myriad of other potential concerns.

    © 2016 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. 

  • Our USA Today rebuttal on kid's safety
    by Jeff Knox

    My brother Chris and I are occasionally asked to offer up a counterpoint to an editorial in USA Today when the paper decides to talk about guns and gun laws. When they decided to offer up an editorial railing about negligent access to guns by children, they invited us to give the gun-owner perspective. These op-eds are always a challenge because we never know exactly what we’re arguing against, and our space is always very limited. The editorial board gives us the topic and a general idea of the position they plan to take, and we are given 340 words to present our opposing view.

    As expected, the editors took around 600 words to trot out a parade of horror stories of children getting hold of guns and shooting themselves or others, offered up some misleading statistics, and then called for some proven-ineffective measures. Among them:

    • “Safe storage” laws – that don’t work and make no sense to enforce against grieving parents;
    • “Stigmatizing” unsafe storage and gun handling – no problem with that so long as the person doing the scolding knows something about guns and gun safety;
    • Enlisting doctors to talk about gun safety – again, no problem, so long as the doctor isn’t collecting personal information and just spouting anti-rights propaganda, and perhaps even knows something about the topic;
    • And, of course, “smart guns” – the less you know about guns, the better the idea sounds.

    Here is an expanded version of our view.

    Gun owners devote enormous resources to preventing unintentional firearm injuries, and our efforts have been effective at making unintentional firearm injuries relatively rare events. We don’t call a gun going off unintentionally an “accident.” That word suggests fate – an uncontrollable event where no one is at fault. Instead we call it “negligence,” placing responsibility on the negligent party. We teach our children, and any children that may come into our homes, that guns are not toys. Gun safety is part of our culture. For those of us who grew up in gun-owning households, it was drilled into us from the time we were old enough to understand speech.

    “Stop! Don’t Touch! Get Away! Tell A Grownup!”

    We teach that mantra to every kid in our lives. Guns are not childproof – and we would not believe claims of such a thing. We strive for gunproof children, while also managing our guns responsibly. This layered approach has proven to be the most effective approach at reducing tragedies.

    Despite USA Today’s sensationalizing, there has been no recent trend of children getting access to guns and hurting themselves and others. In fact, the opposite is true. Unintentional firearms injuries have been cut in half over the past 20 years – along with “gun crime,” by the way – while guns and gun ownership have grown dramatically. That’s an important story that news coverage has missed. Unintentional shootings that don’t happen don’t get news coverage. The relatively few tragedies make the headlines.

    Better a sane, thoughtful approach that has a proven record than a panic reaction to a manufactured crisis.

    The reality is that guns barely make it into the top 10 of hazards to children, falling far behind automobiles, swimming pools and poisoning. No question the number needs to drop further, but let’s put efforts where they have proven to have a good effect – educating children and gun owners – not attacks on gun ownership.

    The campaign encouraging parents to question the parents of playmates about guns before allowing children to visit seems well-intentioned but smacks of shaming, unless we also encourage questions about safe storage of cleaning supplies and medications, pool fencing and car safety practices. All of those hazards kill far more kids than guns.

    “Smart gun” technology sounds most promising to those who know least about guns. Current digital technology is not reliable. Electronics do not function well to the harsh mechanical environment of a gun, especially for a defensive gun, which may need to be used under the worst conditions. Not to mention the problem of retrofitting the hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation. New Jersey’s law requiring all guns sold in the state to be “smart guns” once a single model of such a gun reaches the market, amounts to a de facto gun ban.

    Public service announcements that encourage gun safety can be effective – if they are not just anti-rights propaganda. Too often “gun safety” PSA’s come from dedicated anti-rights, political organizations, and paint gun ownership as stupid and irresponsible rather than encouraging safe practices. Those spots are designed to discourage gun ownership, not make it safer, and gun owners are not likely to learn anything from them.

    The problem with doctors dispensing gun advice is that they too often get their advice from the same anti-rights, political organizations. There is also a serious privacy issue at stake. A patient’s gun ownership is not a doctor’s business and has no place in anyone’s medical files. Just as doctors offer advice on safer sex practices without asking patients about their current sex practices, doctors offering advice from actual firearm safety experts, without gathering personal information about gun ownership, would not be objectionable.

    Gun owners have a double stake in the gun safety issue. First, the whole discussion is about our houses, our guns and our kids. If we aren’t smart enough to take care of our own, there is a fair chance that professor Darwin’s theory could come into play. But we owe it to ourselves to make sure that every gun owner has the resources they need to be safe. Every negligent discharge, every child getting unsupervised access to a gun, every horror story puts our Second Amendment rights at risk. The anti-gun forces are more than happy to dance in the blood resulting from a few ignorant gun owners and their children to advance their agenda. Our mandate is to reduce those opportunities – for our rights, and for the children.

    ©2016 The Firearms Coalition, all rights reserved. Reprinting, posting, and distributing permitted with inclusion of this copyright statement. www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • DO NOT underestimate the importance of Ohio Supreme Court races
    by Jim Irvine

    There has been much talk about the importance of the presidential election because of the Supreme Court justices that President Clinton or Trump will appoint. Those are critical issues.

    Ohio Supreme Court (OSC) justices are elected, not appointed. This year there are three OSC seats up for election. Buckeye Firearms Association PAC has endorsed in all three races. Those endorsed candidates are:

    Judge Pat Fischer

    Judge Pat DeWine

    Justice Maureen O'Connor

    Two of those three races are open seats. In 2018, there will be two more open seats. That means a majority of the OSC will be elected in the next 25 months. Consider the significance of that situation.

    Historically, about one third of people voting for President don'’t vote for down ticket election. It is critical that we all vote for our endorsed candidates and educate our friends and acquaintances. Most people do not know the OSC candidates much less know their viewpoint on various issues. Those people generally welcome suggestions from those who do have knowledge.

    Our battles in the legislature are hard fought. We have seen those good laws challenged all the way to our Supreme Court, and without good justices all of our other victories become meaningless. If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and appoints justices who overturn Heller and McDonald, the OSC becomes even more important as a firewall to protect Ohio firearm laws.

    In short, these are critical races. The candidates need your vote. They need your support. We need you to help spread the word about these races to others who don't follow our endorsements.

    Jim Irvine is Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association Political Action Committee (BFA-PAC). He is also Board President of Buckeye Firearms Association, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

  • Ohio woman holds armed home invader at gunpoint, praises Second Amendment
    by Chad D. Baus

    A West Akron woman who held an armed home invader at gun point after waking to find the intruder in their bedroom took to social media to express her thanks for her Second Amendment rights.

    “This is why gun control is a bad idea,” she wrote. “We held him at bay until police arrived about 10 after 7. Did anyone die? No. Could anyone have died? Most certainly. Our guns saved our lives today. Responsible gun ownership should never be revoked. If it was, our situation today could have cost both of us our lives.”

    From the Ohio.com article:

    Police reported the couple, a 61-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman, woke to find 38-year-old DeJuan McCraney in their home. McCraney, who was convicted in 2001 of attempted aggravated murder and released from prison in 2010, faces charges of aggravated burglary and having weapons illegally.


    No shots were fired in the incident, which occurred at the couple’s West Akron home in the 800 block of Cordova Avenue.

    According to the victim's comments on social media, her dogs were in the bedroom that morning and started reacting to something in the house. She said she assumed one of their adult children had come to make a surprise visit, until the door opened and a 6-foot-5 stranger appeared in the doorway.

    “As I tried to study the image of the person in the dark, I realized a horrible truth,” she wrote. “That wasn’t one of my kids. I didn’t know who that was.”

    Her husband retrieved a gun and pointed it at the man while she called police. She then retrieved her own gun and pointed it at the man from his other side. McCraney was not armed, but police said they found a loaded 9 mm handgun in his jacket, which he allegedly placed on a couch before approaching the couple’s bedroom.

    The woman says the incident left her shaken.

    “It’s just crazy. I can’t stop all the replays in my head. It’s overwhelming and very uncomfortable,” she said. “I’m a mess.”

    Under Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, if someone unlawfully enters or attempts to enter an occupied home or temporary habitation, or occupied car, citizens have an initial presumption that they may act in self defense, and will not be second-guessed by the State.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • The Fake "Grassroots" Effort to Take Your Guns
    by Jeff Knox

    In 2014, Mike Bloomberg combined his Mayors Against Illegal Guns and his recently acquired Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, into an umbrella corporation called Everytown for Gun Safety, which he pledged to fund to the tune of $50 million. The primary focus of the conglomerate has been criminalizing unapproved private firearm transfers under the misleading banner “universal background checks,” with a secondary effort run by the Demanding Moms trying to force various companies to ban guns on their premises.

    Later that year, Bloomberg, through Everytown, spent over $10 million to pass a firearm transfer ban initiative in Washington state and began collecting signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada. He hired lobbyists in Oregon who successfully pushed a transfer ban through the legislature and opened offices in Maine, Arizona, Vermont and other states.

    Local groups in Arizona banded together in support of a state compact that would have made federal minimum firearm transfer standards the maximum standards in states that joined the compact, but Bloomberg’s lobbyists successfully blocked that effort in 2015. That same year, grass-roots groups in Vermont and Rhode Island successfully stopped the Bloomberg machine in their states, but Bloomberg’s money is still flowing and the bills have been resurrected. The Nevada effort garnered enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot, and the signature-gathering operation moved to Maine in early 2016, where they easily crossed the lower signature threshold in that state, qualifying it to be on the ballot there as well. Meanwhile the Arizona compact bill was reintroduced and passed through both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed by the state’s Republican governor a few days ago. Ironically, Gov. Doug Ducey said the compact was unnecessary because he trusts the legislature to do the right thing.

    So Ducey vetoed the legislature’s decision because he trusts the legislature to make good decisions …

    One of the hallmarks of Bloomberg’s anti-rights corporation is their pretense of being a grass-roots movement, when in fact they are neither grass-roots nor a movement. To bolster their false image, they find some small, often dormant anti-rights group in a state, revive it with an infusion of cash, technical assistance and professional staff, then use the “local” group as the face of their efforts in the state. They pretend that their campaigns are driven by local grass-roots activists, when in reality New York professionals on Mike Bloomberg’s payroll are calling the shots. When the Bloomberg influence became an issue in Vermont, a legislator asked the president of the state front group where they were getting their funding. Not wanting to disclose her group’s dependence on Bloomberg, she answered: “Not telling you.”

    And it’s not just local anti-rights groups Bloomberg is buying. He’s also buying media. His existing business news network has long demonstrated a heavy anti-rights bias. Not satisfied with that, he created an entirely new “news” service called The Trace, which is wholly dedicated to promoting bogus, anti-rights research, putting an anti-rights spin on political news and promoting Bloomberg’s various front organizations, while putting out stories critical of NRA and other rights groups. Last year, Bloomberg, through Everytown, sponsored a workshop for reporters in the West to teach them how to effectively report on guns, gun violence and gun control. The program was ostensibly a project of the prestigious Columbia University School of Journalism, but it was funded by Everytown. The speakers’ panel only included two proponents of rights to give brief presentations in the two-day workshop, and they were only included after the school was publicly ridiculed for providing a cloak of respectability to a blatant Bloomberg propaganda campaign.

    One of the glaring ironies of the situation is the Bloomies’ penchant for describing rights advocates as “the corporate gun lobby,” suggesting that we are merely shills for the firearms industry, while in fact, gun-rights organizations are all member-driven and funded primarily by member dues and small contributions. Contrast that to the Bloomberg corporate model, which is funded almost exclusively by Bloomberg himself with a little help from foundations that are funded in part by Bloomberg and George Soros. His “groups” have very few actual members or donors, and the members they do have are merely window dressing, with no vote on policy or leadership.

    The NRA, on the other hand, has some 5 million members who, after five years of membership, are able to vote for association officers and petition for changes in the association’s bylaws. Every state has NRA affiliates with thousands of members, and almost every state also has at least one all-volunteer organization that takes a harder line stance than NRA and also has thousands of dues-paying members.

    So the gun lobby is a grass-roots movement that gets some support from related industry, while Everytown is a monolithic corporate entity assembled and funded by a single megalomaniac and managed by professional, political mercenaries.

    Unfortunately, the well-funded anti-rights mercenaries are good at their jobs, and the anti-rights lobbying corporation continues to chip away at individual rights one state at a time.

    Right now the folks in Nevada and Maine need all the help they can get. The group spearheading rights efforts in Nevada is Nevadans for State Gun Rights. The primary group in Maine is Gun Owners of Maine. Please go to their sites, spread their messages, and pitch in a few bucks if you can. The rights movement doesn’t have a billionaire sugar daddy like Bloomberg, and while the NRA is well-funded, it does much more than lobbying and elections, and those efforts are spread thin across 50 states.

    The Second Amendment has not faced such serious threats in over 20 years. Find your local real grass-roots rights group. Volunteer or pitch in a few bucks where you can. Your freedom – and your kids’ freedom – depends on it.

    ©2016 The Firearms Coalition, all rights reserved. Reprinting, posting, and distributing permitted with inclusion of this copyright statement. www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • Gun Safety at Home - Make Your Kids Part of the Solution

    You've probably heard stories like this from time to time: Some children are playing inside. They start snooping around the house and find a gun on the top shelf of a bedroom closet. One thing leads to another and *bang* one of the kids pulls the trigger and his friend gets shot.

    Who's at fault is a legal question. But the question of who's "responsible" is clear. The gun owner, in this case the adult home owner, is responsible for making sure that his guns are not misused.

    When accidents like this happen, it's seldom because the gun owner is a bad person or intended any harm. It's generally because he became too comfortable with firearms and developed a lazy attitude toward gun safety.

    Let's take a look at some simple ideas to enhance gun safety in a home with kids. 

    Make gun safety a family project.

    Some gun owners keep guns "hidden" in the house. They don't discuss guns with their spouse or children. Their thinking is that guns are only for the gun "owner" and other should just keep their hands off. That's fine as far as it goes. But ignorance is not an effective gun safety rule.

    It's far better to get the family involved. While your family may not have the same level of interest in guns as you, they should all understand basic gun safety rules. Teach them how firearms work, why you own them, and the benefits and dangers involved. The kids who get hurt with guns are almost always those who are curious about guns but ignorant about their operation.

    If you're not sure how to do this, consider taking the family to a gun safety class at a nearby shooting range.

    Think like a kid.

    Remember when you were growing up? If you were like most curious kids, you snooped into everything when your parents weren't looking. Night stands. Bathroom drawers. Closets. Attic. Basement shelves. You probably knew every secret in your home better than your parents. Do you really think your kids are any different?

    Kids are smart, curious, and persistent. If you hide it, they will find it. That probably means you won't fool them by putting a gun in a hollowed out book, or between the mattresses, or on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet. That also probably means you should forget about hiding your firearms and, instead, secure them in a safe, at least when kids are very young. Kids will know where your firearms are located, but if it's a quality safe, they shouldn't be able to get in.

    Turn your kids into safety nuts.

    Kids may not love all the rules you have for taking out the garbage, doing their homework, or cleaning their room. But many do like rules when they are the ones enforcing them. It makes them feel grown up and important.

    So when you teach them about gun safety, also teach them how to instruct others. The NRA's Eddie Eagle program is one great example of how to lay down simple rules for kids that they can use to be gun safety advocates.

    • Stop — This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions
    • Don't touch — A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to fire and otherwise endanger your child or other people.
    • Run away — This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.
    • Tell a grown-up — Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available.

    Try it and see what happens. Before you know it, your kids will be teaching this to other kids. This not only reinforces good habits, it helps a simple safety message "go viral."

    From our friends at Second Call Defense...

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