Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dangerous Liberty

Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, TN, has decided to stay open and conduct church services during the pandemic. Here are some pictures from last Sunday's service. The hate and vitriol online has been more than usual, unfortunately.

Of the comments spewing the hate, the ones that are most ironic come in a few flavors. A number of people encourage Pastor Locke to do services online. A number of others say he should "obey the law of the land" - and they often quote scriptures to that effect. And a number of others say everyone should just stay home - and many of these suggest it is a crime to meet. Let's break these down.

Online Service.
The folks that say he should move his services online have absolutely no clue. Global Vision Bible Church has a YUGE online following every week. Thousands of people, from all over the globe, tune in to Facebook at every single service. Clearly, the people that suggest Pastor Locke move the services to online are clueless.

Obey The Law.
The people who say that GVBC should just obey the law are overlooking one small detail:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment 1
US Constitution
Emphasis mine. 

This from the Supreme Law of the Land. The Constitution does not allow for exceptions to our God-given rights during "times of crisis." When the founders wrote this, they may well have intentionally left out exceptions because they knew tyrants would always play the "exception card."

Just Stay Home
This is the funniest group. They want YOU to stay home, so that THEY can continue to do whatever they want. Those who suggest that going out is a crime need to see the 1st Amendment.

Fear
To me, all of this craziness stems from fear. This virus is not any more deadly than the latest flu strains. It is not more widespread. It is not more infectious. It is being put on a pedestal by #FakeNews . To all of that fear, I say:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

As For Me and My House
I prefer dangerous liberty over peaceful slavery. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Que Your Sources

When there is a difference of opinion, and you wish to add evidence to support your thoughts (or feels), here is a free tidbit.

Don't include a link to Snopes, PolitiFact, Fact Checker, CNN, or MSNBC. That will immediately discredit the point you were trying to make. 

There are at least a dozen others, but these stand out the most. 

Exception - when engaging a #LibTard and the CNN (or whatever) article is in direct, clear contrast to what they are saying.  This doesn't mean the CNN (or whatever) article is accurate - it just means they won't be able to say your source is suspect.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Corona Secrets

Corona Virus - COVID-19 - what aren't they telling you?

Mortality Rate
According to the CDC as of the morning of this article, fewer that 5% of reported cases result in death. 

What they aren't telling you is that a vast majority of those confirmed cases are people who are already sick - sometimes very sick.

This means the true mortality rate is much less than 5%. Perhaps (probably) a fraction of 1%.


Severity of Symptoms
The people you see on TV or the newspaper are always saying how devastating this virus is.  And for them, it probably feels that way. 

A good number of these people- dare I say a majority - already have a compromised immune system. Asthma, infection, diabetes, smokers, etc. Naturally a respiratory virus is going to hit them harder. 

A good number of these hit hard are just sissies.  There, I said it.  Fight me. 

What they aren't telling you is that according to reasonable estimates by multiple doctors, a majority of people who contract the virus show low-grade symptoms or no symptoms at all. 80% - 85% do NOT show severe symptoms.


The Spread
As the Chinese Virus is just that, a virus - it is spread like the common cold. A recent cruise ship had nearly 700 people test positive. Over half showed no symptoms.

Many states have ordered the closing of "nonessential" businesses, or "alternative business models." This gives many a false sense of hope.  And certainly, there are a lot of hand-wringers on social media calling for a complete lockdown. 

Let's be serious - there's no way a society that just had a frenzy run on toilet paper can survive two weeks without going out. 

And those who are self-quarantined are largely just fooling themselves. If they go out to get groceries, they are potentially exposed. If they have stuff delivered, they are potentially exposed. If they take ridiculous steps to "sanitize" - they are still potentially exposed. 

What they aren't telling you is that absent an absolute lockdown of at least 14-21 days, most will be exposed. 


Summary
All of this information leads to the question - why all the fuss? Well, preliminary data suggests that you are more likely to die of Corona virus than the flu or other infectious disease. 

According to official numbers (as of this morning) about 12.9% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 result in death.  By comparison, about 14% of hospitalizations for flu result in death.  In the world of mathematics,  that difference is generally regarded as statistical insignificance. 

But the news and the CDC aren't telling you these things.  You have to dig a bit. 

To be fair, there seems to be a slightly higher mortality rate with COVID-19 among those over age 60 as compared to the flu. Like the overall numbers, it is often a difference of only 1% - 3%.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Comments Up

It seems I owe readers of this blog a huge apology!

It has been a while since I had received a notification of a comment on a post. I just figured I pissed off all the wrong folks. Well, I searched the SPAM box tonight and lo and behold - nearly two years of comments (and SPAM).

Only one or two trolls or folks who cannot or did not read. Most of the good comments were, in fact good. I have replies up, as well now.

Carry on.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Who Is Qualified To Teach?

Because the firearms instruction industry does not have national standards (thank God!), a common question is "who is qualified to teach and who is not?"

Many people have many opinions on who is and who is not qualified to teach. Indeed, there are many qualifications - formal and informal. But how do you sort it out? Furthermore, what experience and training makes a good teacher?

“Qualifications” that are NOT qualifications to teach firearms:
· Military service. EVEN Combat related and experience.
· Police background.
· Whether the person has been shot at.
· Whether the person has had to shoot someone.

Qualifications that are recognized:
· NRA Certifications
· USCCA Certifications
· Here are some individual schools of good reputation, that issue teaching certifications (including, but not limited to):
* Rangemaster USA
* Gunsite
* Mas Ayoob
* Ken Hackathorn

Understand that even the recognized qualifications will have detractors - sometimes many of them! Often, those who demand to know qualifications are not prospective buyers of classes. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Wall Of Shame

Another entry to the wall of shame. 

Some notes -
* Not a Boomer.  Older GenX.
* Former Army.


Friday, March 13, 2020

Training Certification

The State of Tennessee only certifies two firearms training classes: the Handgun Carry Permit and the Armed Guard License. While there are many HCP classes, most firearms classes outside of that are simply not "certified" or "licensed" classes.

It must also be mentioned that law enforcement agencies often have Police Officer Standards in Training - POST - classes. Typically, these are not open to the public. However, the skills taught in their course material are no different than you might learn at a typical tactical class. The POST evaluations are often substantially similar. This author enjoys shooting different POST evaluations from different LEO agencies.

Outside of State certification, there are few ways that firearm instruction is codified. Certainly, one can become an NRA Certified Instructor. The USCCA also has an instructor program. Certification in either would be a worthy credential.

As much as anyone might have issue with the NRA, the fact is that their standardization is universally recognized. This author has had training classes with former military, former LEO, and NRA instructors. To be sure, a low-quality class can be put on by anybody, but it has happened less with the NRA certified instructors. And any former military or LEO instructor worth his salt would be well advised to pick up the NRA Instructor certification.

It is entirely possible to pick up NRA Instructor certification, and not teach NRA classes. Indeed, most instructors will tell you there is a lack of demand for NRA style classes, and tremendous demand for "tactical" classes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Primaries

It has been really interesting watching the Democratic primaries in 2020. After yesterday's polling results, Twitter had two hashtags trending - #ByeByeBiden and #ByeByeBernie .

The party that claims to hate the rich old white men, is about to nominate a rich old white man. 1 who has heart trouble, and the other who has brain trouble. Both men are in their late 70s, have worked in Washington for over 40 years, and have never done anything productive in the private sector.

The ire and angst that has been directed at Trump for the past four years, is now being shifted inward to the other candidate. Bernie fans hate fighting, and Biden fans hate Bernie.

Make no mistake, neither man can beat Trump.

Also, regardless of which rich old white man wins, he gets destroyed by Trump in the debates, as well. As it is right now, Trump is trolling the Democrat side very heavily. His barbs are sharp, and his wit is even sharper. But it doesn't stop there, Donald Trump Jr. is even more merciless.

The conspiracy theorists are saying the Biden will probably pick either Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama as his VP running mate. As the theory goes, they would remove Biden shortly into the presidency because he is mentally unfit, and then the VP would slide right into place. The only problem with this line of thinking, is that Biden must win first.

That's not gonna happen.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

It Is A Commitment

In the early days of my venture into professional gun instruction, I would make a Facebook event and invite people to come. I would not require prepayment - we used the "honor system."

As an example, we would have 20 people select "going" on the event. Come the day of, 14 would show. Several messages that morning of "having to go in to work," or other excuse. Often, it was the same folks. After "John Smith" says "going" and fails to show six straight times, you no longer believe John Smith is going - even when he marks that he is. Even when he tells you he most certainly will be there.

Believe it or not, that makes things difficult for an instructor. Making sure there are supplies and  targets for 20 people, then to have those go unused gets expensive. Not a good way to keep prices down.

So, like other major training academies, I was forced to start requiring prepayment. Being in the marketing field made setting it up a breeze. "Class is $150, but is only $120 if you prepay by xxx date. No refunds." Although the uninitiated would think this would lead to lower attendance, it actually increased attendance.

In recent times, the "excuses" come in different flavors:
"I wish the class wouldn't have sold out, I wanted to wait until Friday the 27th (class on Saturday the 28th) to see what the weather would be like."
Well, that's exactly why we advertise and offer prepay discounts, is to prevent 15 people like you from monopolizing the tickets, only to back out if you have a bad hair day due to slightly higher humidity.

"I wish the class hadn't sold out - I don;t know what my work schedule will be that weekend."
Tell your boss you cannot work that weekend, Scooter. 

Personally, I have taken 10 days worth of training classes in the past 16 months. Each time I made sure my schedule was open in advance - or I intentionally opened my schedule. It rained on me a couple of times - and that made it more fun. On work days or possible work days, I took time off so that there would not be a conflict.

The underlying problems are just two:
People don't want to commit.
People don't want perceived inconvenience.