Teaching, My Ass

Aaugh! as Charlie Brown used to say. If you haven’t taken yer blood-pressure meds yet, you may want to pop them before reading any further. This takes the bloody cake.

Penn State York is now offering a week-long “Social Justice and Education” course to teach educators, counselors, and social workers to employ a “culturally responsive lens” in the classroom.
According to the university’s website, the course will be taught by Kathy Roy, associate professor of literacy education at Penn State Harrisburg and coordinator of the literary education program, and will focus on training educators to be “culturally responsive” toward their students.

The school notes that Roy’s academic experience is “grounded in social justice frameworks,” saying her research primarily “examines the classroom and community experiences of new and existing refugee and immigrant populations in the U.S., focusing particularly on the intersections of race, culture, language, and other markers of identity.”

I think that “associate professor of literacy education” means that she teaches people how to read, but maybe I’m just being too literal and stuff. Note too the sex of the “educators” who will be foisting this utter bullshit on the delicate flowers known as “students” as per this priceless finale:

Francine Baker, coordinator of the master of education in Teaching and Curriculum at Penn State York, said the course will provide useful tools and techniques to “maximize the learning experience” in the classroom.
“Every day, every teacher makes multiple decisions that impact social justice and equity in their classroom, school, and thus the community-at-large,” Baker explained. “Every student comes with their own story, beliefs, values and ideas. The summer institute at Penn State offers educators the research and strategies to support and expand educational practices that connect students and maximize the learning experience.”
Baker also maintained that the course will allow educators to “design activities to directly embed in their curricular area, classroom and school, while earning three graduate credits or Act 48 hours.

Good, so the educators will receive bribes (“credits”) for perpetrating this insanity, which is cloaked in meaningless jargon such as “maximize the learning experience“. And this part, “intersections of race, culture, language, and other markers of identity” makes me want to have intersectional intercourse with their mothers. And excuse me, but since when was it a goal of tertiary education to “connect students“?

And if all that doesn’t take the cake, this surely will: [RELATED: University to host ‘social justice summer camp’]

Follow that link at your peril. That whirring sound is that of Plato and Socrates (and anyone who ever taught students prior to 1970) spinning in their graves.

New motto for this particular college: “Penn State York: a place to keep hidden from your children.” Or if we want to go all Classical (I know, Irony Alert):

Non Attendendum.

Object Lesson

Hmmmm….

While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”
Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands. In the midst of appreciating the weather and scenery, she looked ahead and noticed a raccoon obstructing the narrow foot path, baring its tiny teeth. Suddenly, it began “bounding” toward her, Borch recalled Wednesday afternoon during an interview at her home on Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope.
“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” said Borch, who remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground.

It’s a gripping story, and you should read the whole thing.

However: I can’t help wondering whether she wouldn’t have saved herself from a whole lot of trouble (and pain, and medical attention, and stress) if she’d only been carrying a gun.

Of course, she wouldn’t have been: she’s a vegetarian, and cute lil’ furry animals are All God’s Creatures, after all… except when they’re rabid little fuckers trying to kill you.

Let’s add a little recommendation to the thus-begged question: “If I’m going to go jogging along a lonely country trail all by myself, and danger threatens, what gun should I be carrying to protect myself?”

Of course, the gun has to be a small one, because otherwise it’s going to bounce around all over the place. (Unless, of course, you have a proper holster for it – which I’ll be discussing later when I talk about carry guns.) I must confess to being not the best authority on “jogging guns” because I don’t jog – a stately saunter is about my limit – but I can’t see why a decent little carry piece wouldn’t do the trick.

Frankly, I think that the gun may not be as important as the ammo you’ve loaded it with. When I go for my daily walks, if it’s a short one (to buy lottery tickets at the corner 7-Eleven) I carry a little NAA Mini-revolver (.22 Magnum: two shotshells  followed by three solids):

If it’s a longer walk (up the hill to the liquor store), then I carry in addition my S&W Model 637 loaded with Winchester SXT .38 Special +P jacketed hollowpoints.

I am fully aware that these may not be the best options for other people (e.g. our hapless jogger in the story above), so I will happily entertain further discussion in Comments.

Same Old Question, Different Time — Conclusion

For part 1 (Rimfire) of this series, go here; for part 2 (Shotguns), here; for part 3 (Assault Rifles), here.; and for part 4 (Handguns), here.

As we come to the end of this little exercise, let’s look at Reader Wally T’s question again:

“What do you consider a minimum number of guns for home- and self defense for me and my wife, and which guns would you recommend?”

I’ve looked at the home-defense part of the question exclusively, because we can address the “carry” issue another time. So: what’s my answer?

The minimum number of home-defense guns for any household is three (3): a shotgun, an assault rifle and a handgun. (Remember, rimfire guns are really household items and not guns; but if you insist, then add a .22 rifle and handgun to the count.) Remember too that there should be at least one handgun per adult household member, so your own total will likely end up being greater than that.

The specific guns I would recommend for home defense are:

Shotgun:
Mossberg SA-20  “Railed” in 20ga – mostly because its teeny 16″ barrel makes it handier in a small space than a 28″ hunting barrel.

Assault rifle:
AK-47 (WASR-10) in 7.62x39mm

Handgun:
Men (from): S&W Model 27 or Model 586 with a 4″ barrel in .357 Mag/.38 Special +P (revolver); Glock 21* in .45 ACP (DA-only semi-auto which functions like a revolver); Springfield 1911 in .45 ACP (single-action semi-auto).
Women (from): S&W Model 642 Lady Smith in .38 Special +P (revolver); CZ 75 D PCR Compact in 9mm +P (SA/DA semi-auto); Browning High Power in 9mm (single action).

For the record: I personally own or have owned at least one of each of the guns in the above categories, with just a couple of minor variations (e.g. S&W Model 637, not the 640/642; the Model 65, not the 586/686; the full-size CZ 75 D rather than the PCR; and the Browning Gold Hunter 20ga, not the Mossberg). I’ve also fired at least a thousand rounds through each of them, and likewise could write an entire post on their virtues (don’t make me do it).

None of the above should be taken to reflect any aspersions or slights on other brands, of course. These are simply my personal recommendations, based on my own experience and ownership. (I know a guy who has at least eight Ruger SP101 .357 Mag revolvers scattered around his house: bedside, toolbox, living room, kitchen, truck etc. – ten guesses which gun he’d recommend.)

Readers’ comments and differences of opinion are welcome, as always. In the next week or so, I’ll be talking about carry pieces for both men and women.


*As I’ve said many times before, my issues with Glock are personal (I’m not a fan of DA pistols in general; I think Glocks are pig-ugly; and it’s a furrin gun), but the issues are absolutely not related to the gun’s performance, which is superb. My prejudices should not prevent me recommending the best gun for the job, so I’m gonna hold my nose on this one.

That said, there are other striker-fired options, especially:

  • the SIG P320 is the new basic pistol the U.S. Army has chosen, and it’s available in several calibers and configurations. I’ve only fired it a couple times (and liked it), but it’s Doc Russia’s choice of sidearm (in .40 S&W) when he rolls out with the local SWAT guys, so there’s that. It can also be configured for women to replace the CZ in their category. (I still prefer the CZ, though. If I were at all interested in 9mm DA pistols, the “75” would be my only choice.)
  • the Kahr P9 is an excellent choice – a gunsmith friend prefers its engineering to the Glock’s – and the only knock on Kahr pistols in general is that they’re spendy. Like the P320, the basic design also comes in .40 S&W and .45 ACP variants. If you don’t want polymer on your gun, then go with the “T” line (like the T9).
  • The Springfield XD pistols are likewise excellent, albeit re-badged HS2000 pistols from Croatia (ergo furrin like the Glock). Rugged and reliable, they also come in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, and are highly recommended.

 

More Guns, Not Fewer

It appear that at least one Congressman has seen the light, following today’s shooting of some Republican politicians at a baseball training session.

Rep. Chris Collins told a Buffalo television station that, after a shooting Wednesday morning at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia, he will start carrying a pistol while he’s out in public.

“If you look at the vulnerability, I assure you: I have a carry permit. I will be carrying when I’m out and about,” Collins, a Republican from suburban Buffalo, told WKBW. “On a rare occasion I’d have my gun in a glove box or something, but it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward.”

Nice to know you’re going to take some commonsense steps towards protecting yourself from random assholes, Chris. Now what about the millions of New Yorkers who, unlike members of the protected class like yourself, are denied the same right to self defense? Ever tried to get a carry permit in New York state without being a member of the nomenklatura?

Here’s the bigger picture of the thing, gun-wise. This leftwing asshole supporter of Bernie Sanders was shooting people pretty much at will, because not one of the people in the target group was carrying a gun in his gear bag. Were it not for the unbelievable bravery of the Capitol Hill security folks (handguns against a semi-auto rifle? are you kidding me?), this little episode would have ended only when the asshole ran out of ammo, or all his targets were dead.

Here’s the hypothetical: if (say) eight of the baseball players had had a gun in their gear bag, and were able to return fire when the scumbag started potting people in the outfield, can anyone doubt that this tragedy would have ended better than it did?

And the opposite: if you think that more guns in this sad episode would have made the situation worse, you deserve to be eaten alive by crocodiles.

We can talk some other time about the Loony Left becoming unhinged, and calling down the thunder on themselves.

Same Old Question, Different Time — Handguns

For part 1 (Rimfire) of this series, go here; for part 2 (Shotguns), here; and for part 3 (Assault Rifles), here.

4.) Home-defense handguns:
No other purchase decision in the gun world gives rise to more fevered argument and justification than that of one’s handgun because, quite frankly, it’s one of the most personal decisions extant. And I will confess that there was a time when I would get onto verbal fistfights with people over whether this handgun was better than that one, because… because… because no reason. If you want to start a flame war in any gun forum, just say that H&K makes overpriced guns which weigh too much and aren’t much better than Glocks. Ditto Colt vs. Smith & Wesson, Ruger vs. Beretta and so on ad nauseam.

And let’s not even get started on arguments over the choice of caliber (and yes, I’m as guilty if not more so for my dogmatic preference for the .45 ACP).

So what I’m going to try to do in this piece is to present the philosophy which should inform your choice of handgun for home defense — please note, not your carry piece, or your backwoods must-have piece, or any other use. The key word here is home. So let me look at some of the options, along with cogent considerations why you could pick one over the other, but the very first rule of household defense is simple, regardless of your choice: you should never be further than a few feet away from a gun in your house. Believe me, when trouble arrives, it’s going to come quickly — and you don’t want to be scampering up the stairs to your gun safe when someone has just kicked in your kitchen door and is looking at your wife with unromantic intentions. Yeah, sometimes you’re going to feel like an idiot, schlepping your gun from one room to another. It’s less idiotic than being carried out of your house on a stretcher and/or your teenage daughter getting raped. Now let’s get on with it.

Revolver vs. semi-automatic:
Many people prefer revolvers over semi-autos because revolvers are like a fork: you pick it up, and it works. Mostly, there’s no safety-catch on a revolver (there are some, a development which I deplore), and if your revolver is double-action (i.e. it doesn’t require that the hammer be cocked before shooting), the revolver is like a fork: pick it up, aim, pull the trigger and bang (or BANG!!! if it’s a .44 Magnum or its big brothers). Unfortunately, that same ease of use also means that an inquisitive seven-year-old boy can make the thing go bang just as easily as his mom or dad can. (Yes, I know: teach your children about gun safety while you’re potty-training them or whatever; I’m assuming that my audience is somewhat responsible, but sadly, not everyone is.)

So: semi-autos, which have safeties and as an added precaution, can be stored without a mag. Which adds just a little more fumble-time when a goblin kicks down your back door en route to his grand plan of intra-household mayhem. And just as I mentioned in the Part 2 (shotgun) piece, loading a mag and racking the slide cannot be done in silence, which means that said goblin will be warned of your presence and your intentions.

As much as it pains me to say it, though, Glocks are semi-autos masquerading as revolvers, because they operate in basically the same way. (My dislike for Glocks is purely for personal and aesthetic reasons — I shoot the Glock 19 more accurately than just about any other handgun except the 1911 and Browning High Power.) So the Glock is a valid option — but preferably not in ordinary 9mm, and definitely not using full metal jacket ammo (see below).

It’s your choice. I personally keep a .357 Magnum double-action (DA) revolver next to my bed, but if it’s at the gunsmith for a trigger job, I’m equally comfortable with my single-action (SA) 1911 in .45 ACP in its place, simply because I’ve fired tens of thousands of rounds through both kinds of handgun and using either is as natural as starting a car. And I have no small kids running around in my house, so safety is not a concern for me. Your situation will differ, so decide accordingly.

Caliber:
Your choice of cartridge should reflect the absolute need to have a one-shot stop capability inside your house, which generally means the bigger, the better. However, as we discussed in part 2 (shotguns), you want to strike a balance between a cartridge’s stopping power and the bullet’s penetration. I consider the 9mm Parabellum cartridge an absolute stinker for a home defense round — especially the full metal jacketed rounds — because they are marginal stoppers and penetrate drywall with ease. And frankly, the high magazine capacity that the 9mm offers is a dubious one because generally speaking, very few home invasions result in fifteen rounds bring fired.

Stopping power, I think, is critical. To make it even more understandable: big boolets — certainly for your primary home-defense handgun, anyway — are going to get the job done better than smaller ones, no matter how fast the latter leave the barrel. For years, my bedside gun was chambered in .44 Special (not Magnum), and I never felt under-gunned. Now it’s a .357 Mag — and at some point, I may just go back to my earlier choice. 

Whatever you decide, though, the rule of thumb should always be: one handgun per adult household member. (You can decide whether your kids can be classed as “adults” or not; mine had their own guns at various ages, starting at 11 for the Son&Heir, 14 for Daughter and #2 Son never got a gun because while I taught him how to shoot at age 15, he’s just never been that interested. So while we were all under the same roof, we had four gun owners out of five inhabitants, and if push came to shove, five out of five.)

There is one caveat to this rule, however, and it’s a big one. If you think your wife / girlfriend / kids are even the slightest bit mentally unprepared, or unstable, do not give them a gun. That’s where the anti-gunners’ trope of “a gun is more likely to kill someone in the household” comes from. It’s bullshit as stated, but at the same time, it does happen, so be careful about this.

Here, then, are my recommendations for home defense handguns. (Note that for home defense, the size of the gun is not as important as it would be for, say, carry purposes.)

For men: a revolver in either .38 Special +P, .357 Magnum, .44 Special or similar; or a semi-auto in .45 ACP, 10mm, .40 S&W, or (reluctantly) 9mm +P. All bullets should be some kind of hollowpoint (Hydra Shok, Golden Saber, SXT and so on). Cor-Bon’s “Pow’Rball” ammo (in just about any caliber) is an excellent choice (less recoil, good stopping power and limited penetration of interior walls because of the frangible Glaser bullets), but many people just can’t justify the high price and go with the usual suspects instead.

For women: a revolver in .38 Special +P or a semi-auto in 9mm +P. (And please: if your wife can shoot the eyes out of a silhouette target with a .357 or .44 Magnum, then of course that’s what she should use.) Yes, women can and do shoot larger cartridges, but after personally training hundreds of women to shoot, I’ve come to the conclusion that the .38+P and 9mm+P are the optimal go-to choices for the average woman. If she is very recoil-sensitive, by all means go smaller (e.g. 380 ACP/9mm Kurz), but make sure that the ammo is not FMJ and can feed reliably. Remember: almost any gun is better than no gun, but in extremis you want to go as big and powerful as you can handle.

I used to have very specific recommendations when it came to handgun brands, but in recent years, the quality among the larger gun companies has markedly improved, so I’m a lot less dogmatic. I would just remind everyone that the cheaper the gun, the more compromises will have been made, whether in workmanship, materials and what have you. The Iron Triangle of Gunnery (price/accuracy/reliability) will not be gainsaid. Using the venerable 1911 platform as an example — the one I know most about — I know someone who regularly shoots a WWII-era Colt 1911A1, and it still performs as advertised. My own Springfield G.I. 1911 has fired more than 30,000 rounds over the past fifteen-odd years, and does likewise. I’m not so sure anyone will be able to get the same results with, say, a Hi-Point. That said: you get up the quality/cost curve really fast with modern guns, and a $2,000 Ed Brown 1911 is not twice as reliable/accurate as a similarly-specced Springfield 1911 at less than half the price.

My favorite semi-auto handgun brands are many, but they include Colt, Springfield and Kimber for the 1911; and for the other cartridge/action options, the Browning P-35 High Power, CZ-75 D, Beretta, Glock, Kahr and SIG. Of course there are more options out there (e.g. S&W, Walther, HK, Para-Ord, Taurus etc.), but these are the brands I’ve fired the most and therefore the ones I would entrust my life to.

With revolvers, my “favorites” list is much shorter: S&W, Ruger, and Colt. (I know about Taurus, of course, but I’ve just not fired the brand as much as the others. Many people whose opinions I respect have only good things to say about Taurus, however, so be my guest.)

As always, Reader comments are welcome. Your experiences may differ, and if so I’d like to hear about them. (Just don’t start any flame wars.)

Signs Of Life

So it  appears that British gun owners (yes, they have a few) may be “allowed” to defend themselves with deadly force if they are threatened by a terrorist attack. Well, that’s the theory, anyway.

Homeowners with gun licences could be encouraged to defend their communities in the event of a terror attack, according to a leading police chief. Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said shoot-to-kill powers could be granted in the event of ‘extreme circumstances’. Her comments suggest that farmers, firearms dealers and other licence holders could be used to defend remote areas from an attack by marauding gunmen. There have been concerns that large parts of rural Britain are vulnerable to a terror attack due to a national shortage of elite police marksmen. Last year, John Apter, head of the Hampshire Police Federation, said the nearest armed response team could be up to 70 miles away from some parts of the countryside.

As I read it, you must first be attacked by terrorists, and only then can you be granted the right to defend yourself? Note the weasel phrase “extreme circumstances”, because guess what? in Britishland,  you don’t get to decide what constitutes “extreme”; only the government can do that. And even then:

She said she would raise the idea with her force’s chief constable but admitted the legal implications were complex.

In other words, fuck all is going to get done, because once the lawyers are involved…

I should know better. Sorry; carry on, nothing to see here.