Archive for April, 2011

It Makes You Wonder

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

You have someone that yo been friends with for many years, through good and bad times, then “poof” nothing from them.  Emails and text messages go unanswered, phone calls never returned. The person is still alive and okay, social media can be a good and bad thing at time, but for whatever reason has decided not to communicate with you any longer.

Something you said or did? You would hope that a true friend would tell you when something upsets them. Moved on in their life to a different spot? Maybe, but seems like you would expect the “courtesy” reply now and then.

Not much you can do but go on with your life, and wonder from time to time.

 

Mug Shot of the Day Website

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has a new thing going, a “Mug Shot of the Day” website. I have no issue with doing a little public shaming of convicted criminals, but these people have not been convicted of anything, just merely charged. What happens if an innocent person ends up as the “Mug Shot of the Day”?

Lets look at a situation. Deputies arrive at a scene one Saturday night and see one guy is laying down in the street, covered in blood” and another guy is standing against a truck, also bloody. The deputies start questioning the guy standing and because of the adrenaline rush and catching a blow to the side of the side, he isn’t too coherent. The best deputies can make out at that time is something about “decking the guy”.  The other guys plays the innocent victim (once the deputies wake him up) and says the guy jumped him and started beating him for no reason.  Given this information and no other witnesses being present the deputies arrest the guy that was standing up and charge him with assault. The blood, cuts, and bruises make for a pretty site and he ends up as the “winner” for the “Mug Shot of the Day”. And now, the rest of the story.

A bank across the street has video cameras in their parking lot and a bank employee looking at some of the film from the weekend catches what happens and calls the sheriff’s department to turn over the film as evidence. What the film shows was the person charged with assault walking done the street and being confronted by the other man. He tries to back away, hands up in a submissive posture, when the man confronting him launches the big overhand haymaker at him, followed up with a blitz of punches.  The film shows the man at first being startled by what happens and then defending himself. He manages to land a clean punch to the other guy’s head, dropping him, with the deputies on patrol showing up right after that. With this evidence the assault charges are dropped as it was determined it was self-defense, as the man claimed once he re0vered his senses.

Maybe this could happen, maybe it won’t, but an innocent person could see his picture plastered all over the internet. Friends and family members could be calling him about it. His employer could call him into the office for a discussion. Should he be able to sue for damages? Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

Concealed Carry in Maine

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

As a disclaimer, I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, life member of the NRA, a certified NRA instructor for basic pistol, and teach handgun safety courses in the state of Maine. To carry a concealed firearm in Maine requires that you have a license to do so, and it applies only to firearms and not other types of weapons.

Recently there have been some bills introduced to change some of the laws around carrying a concealed firearm in the state. Some of these laws may be a good idea, but there were some around the area of where you can carry that I think are really boneheaded.

First the easy one. One proposal is to allow the carrying a firearm in your place of employment. My opinion is that this should totally be up to the company and not a blanket policy. The argument I’m sure I’ll hear will be around workplace shootings and the need to protect yourself in such a situation. The question I’ll ask is how often does that happen? Look at the number of places of employment here in the US and compare that to the number of shootings that take place each day. It would be far easier and safer to reduce these numbers through better pre-employment screening and procedures when an employee is fired.

Another area where they want to allow concealed is at the site of a labor dispute. Hmm, emotions never run wild there and never been a history of violence at labor disputes in the past, seems perfectly fine to me. To clarify this one it means that would be legal to carry a firearm to place where you can apply for a job where the employer is in a labor dispute, strike, or lockout. Currently only law enforcement officers or licensed security guards can carry in such a location. I would love to hear the reasoning behind changing this policy.

The last one is the one that really raises my eyebrow. The change would allow the holder of a concealed firearms license to carry a concealed firearm into an establishment serving alcohol for consumption on the premises (i.e. a bar). So, lets take one of the major areas where violence happens in this country, and let a person carry a concealed firearm into said place. First off, if I thought I needed to have a firearm on me in a certain bar I wouldn’t be going to that bar. Now when people do what Rory Miller calls the “monkey dance“, it just won’t be fist and kicks, maybe a beer bottle or two, now when the smaller monkey gets pushed to the floor by the bigger monkey he can equalize the situation with his friend Col Colt. I just see a recipe for bad things happening with this law change.

These are just my opinion. People are welcome to argue an opposing viewpoint.

The President is Out of Touch

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Recently President Obama did a town-hall meeting and one of the comments from the audience was around gas at close to $3.70 a gallon. To which the president responded:

“If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”

It should be noted that at no time did the person that made this comment state what type of vehicle they were driving, nor how many miles to the gallon they were getting. The president, in his finite wisdom (yes I meant finite instead of infinite) just assumed what type of vehicle the per person was driving. And showing his elitist attitude that this person should just trade in for a different vehicle. I guess perhaps the president has infinite wisdom and thus knows the economic situation of this person.

Welcome to change America.

PDR 28 Experience

Monday, April 4th, 2011

This last weekend was spent down at Crossfit Rubicon attending the Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) 28 Instructor Certification Course, and it was quite the weekend. It would be near impossible for me to attempt to describe everything that was covered during the 2 and a half days spent in the course, but I’ll share some of my thoughts.

First was the wide variety of people attending the course. You had people from a civilian background through law enforcement and the military present. You had some like myself where this was their first time attending the course to some that attended the very first PDR course. This in itself says something about the program. How many courses are there that you have people returning multiple times? I should add that part of the reason is that  this isn’t a static program, it is a continuously evolving program. You also had people from various backgrounds in the martial arts; Karate, Muay Thai, and many other martial arts.

Tony Blauer, founder of the PDR program, was the main speaker during the course. Listening to Tony speak it is easy to tell that he is passionate about the program. Tony covered the history of the program and the tenets of the PDR program. To sum this up briefly all I can is my brain is still processing all of the information covered. Even the day after the program I woke up with thoughts of materials and drills covered going through my head.  Not to leave people out, but I’m probably am, Tony was assisted by Jason Dury and Eric Walker during the course.

Besides lectures we also had some drills we we taught, and later on had to teach to the rest of the class. These weren’t secret ninja techniques designed to stop a mob of angry attackers with one move, but rather drills used to teach the principles of the SPEAR system. The SPEAR System is the building block for the PDR program, and the easiest way for me to cover this subject is to point people towards Tony’s website on the SPEAR System. What was nice during the drills is we were able to work with returning instructors that offered us tips and constructive criticism on how to improve ourselves. This was helpful during the teaching mode where first we worked one-on-one with a experienced instructor and then teach one of the concepts to the entire group. Mistakes were made by all of us new to the system, but the environment was a friendly and helpful one in helping us out.

At the end of the last day we were treated to a speech from Kyle Maynard. This was the second time I’ve heard Kyle speak and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak I would highly suggest you take advantage of the opportunity. Kyle has an incredible story to tell and a great inspirational speaker too. I enjoyed how Kyle was able to tie in his life experiences to those we had this weekend at the PDR course.

Overall it was a great experience. Had a chance to meet people I’ve seen before, meet people I’ve only talked to online before, as well as meet totally new people. It was interesting talking to some of the other new people and hearing why they were at the course. Even in this area there was a wide variety of reasons. I know I didn’t absorb everything covered this weekend, hopefully my notes will fill in some of the gaps. I look forward to attending another PDR course.