So we've rambled on about home defense for both those who can bring themselves to use a gun and for those who can't, but what about self defense? What about defending ourselves and our love ones when we aren't also defending our home? Well before we go too far, let's first revisit the most important question of self defense. Can you kill someone if it's needed to defend yourself and/or your loved ones? Seriously, can you? I know I'm repeating myself, possibly even harping on it a bit; but everything in the world of self defense comes down to how you answer that question. Even if you do what I consider the smart thing and enroll in a martial arts class, you still must answer that question honestly since how you answer it will determine which martial art you study. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to kill, then something along the lines of Jujitsu, Aikido, or Hapkido is where you need to go while if you can then you may be happier in one the harder martial arts such as Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, or my own American Kenpo. Why? Because in the softer arts you will learn locks, throws, and holds that are designed to stop your attacker and, in most cases, force him or her to give up; while in the harder arts you will learn techniques that can, but not necessarily will, kill or permanently maim your attacker. Of course, you will also learn to know when it's necessary to go all out and when it's not which may be the most important thing to learn. Let's be honest here. If you kill an attacker when you don't need to, you have not defended yourself, you have committed murder; and that's true whether you're a black belt using your bare hands or a gun. Stand Your Ground Laws do NOT give you the right to kill if there is any way to save yourself without killing, and the more training you have the better the chance you have of finding that way.
But what to do while you're learning that skill? That's when you need what's commonly called an Every Day Carry Kit, or EDC for short, and what goes into your kit depends on how you answer that all important question. Some things should be in your EDC kit no matter how you answer. A flashlight, a first aid kit, a good knife or 2, one for when you need to open something or cut a length of cord, tape, or what have you and one (if you have the training to use it this way) to fight with, plus some form of a non-lethal weapon such as pepper spray or a stun gun. And then, if you have decided you can kill to defend yourself, it's time to consider a gun. The question then becomes what gun, right? Well, actually, no.
Before you even consider a gun for self defense, there is some basic research you need to do first, starting with the laws of what ever state you live in. First, do you live in a state where open carry (defined as the right and ability to carry a gun in plain sight of man and God) is legal? The constitution does give us the right to open carry, but there's nothing in it that keeps your home state, or even your home town from making it illegal. Secondly, if you do live where it is legal, do you really want to carry openly? I have my own opinions on that question but we'll save them for another ramble so this one doesn't get too long. If you don't live in an Open Carry state, or you don't feel comfortable with it, what are the Concealed Carry laws where you live? Do you live in a state that is set up as Shall Issue, meaning that as long as you pass the background check they must issue you a permit if you should ask for one? Or do you live is a May Issue state where you must show a reason for carrying a hand gun (and in many of those state, for self defense in case I'm attacked is often not accepted as a reason). Then, once you know that, what is required to get a Concealed Weapon Permit in your state? Some just require you to pass a background check pretty much identical to the one you need to pass to legally buy a gun under federal law when you're buying from a licensed dealer, while others require you to take a course and a test to prove that you know how to use a gun safely. My home state of South Carolina is an example of that.
So I think that needs to be your home work this week. Research the laws of your home state and find out what is required and what is allowed. The NRA's website is an excellent place to start as they keep track of that sort of thing. USA Carry is another one. Or sometimes the easiest is just to call your local police department and ask them. Indeed, that may be the best since that will also give you an idea of how your local police view people who have concealed carry permits. Find out what you can, and next week we'll start in on carry guns and what you need to consider.
Fun At The Range - Shooting The FNX-45
Now I'll admit right up front that as a general rule I'm not that fond of .45's. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with a .45, and I have several friends who swear by their 1911's. I'll even agree that there is some truth to the old saw that recommends the .45 because "no should have to shoot an intruder more than once". But the fact is that almost every .45 I've ever shot has a relatively strong kick, and I prefer to use a gun that I can shoot for an hour or so every single day such as a 9mm. With a .45 after about an hour I start feeling it in my wrist, and my elbow tends to be a bit sore the next day. But on Monday I got try a 1911 style .45 that makes me forget about how I'll feel the next day, namely the FNX-45.
The FNX line of pistols are the descendants of FN's FNP Full Duty pistol which was introduced in 2007 in response to the military looking for a replacement for Beretta's classic M9. This piece is no concealed carry pocket pistol weighing in at a full 33 ounces empty and with a 4.5 inch barrel bringing the total length of the gun to 7.4 inches, and oh yeah, the little detail that keeps it from being a true 1911 in the eyes of a purest, the magazine is a double stack mag holding 15 rounds or .45 ammo! When I first heard that little tidbit, I must admit that my first thought was that this thing must be like the Fosters Larger of handguns, big and bulky. But boy was I wrong. It is wide in the hand, but I had no trouble with the grip and it pointed like an extension of my arm. The 4.5 inch stainless steel barrel gives the FNX-45 tremendous accuracy, and the angle of the grip combines with heavy duty recoil springs and stainless steal slides to reduce the felt recoil to something not much more than you'd feel with my beloved Ruger SR9. Combine all that, and I was turning in groupings about the size of my palm at 10 yards with no practice shoots at all, and even at 20 yards I was keeping the grouping with in the 9 ring on a full size silhouette except for one leaker that hit in the 8 ring. In comparison my SR9 had 2 leakers in the 7 ring at 25 yards. But for me, the best part was the trigger. Light and crisp, it had just enough pull to keep it from being fired by accident and it broke cleanly with a reset that is almost perfection itself. The only down side is that I only brought enough cash with me to buy a single box of ammo or else I might still be there 2 days later.
A "SWATed" By Any Other Name
Seeing more and more articles on a rather disturbing trend, namely the "SWATing" of Open Carry proponents. The big problem I'm having is that the only places I'm seeing these reports on a regular basis are sources that are known to be extreme gun control advocates and extreme gun rights advocates. This unfortunately makes it very difficult to verify the stories reliably, yet I'm seeing reports on these types of incidents too often for it not to be real. The only question then is how often do they really occur? It would appear though that at least 3 people are dead as a result of this type of harassment, one a West Point Graduate and another a innocent bystander who wasn't even the object of the false 911 report! Plus we have people like Talk Radio host Mike Mallory issuing on air comments like this one.
This, in my opinion, is completely beyond reason as well as being illegal! I mean, come on people! If you don't like guns, that's fine. Hell, my mother is scared of guns and fully supports more gun control legislation. But she's not so far gone as to make false 911 reports in an attempt to get someone who disagrees with her killed! I'll even admit that it's hard to argue that we should have no gun control laws. I've run into more than one person that I personally felt was too stupid to live, let alone trust with a gun! And who but a true fanatic would favor putting a gun in the hands of someone who's already used one to commit a crime? Yet we already have laws making it illegal for a someone convicted of a violent crime or listed as mentally ill to own firearm. What we don't currently have is enough funding to adequately enforce the laws we already have on the books, so I fail to see where more laws will do anything to make us "safer"; and no one but another fanatic would advocate shooting those who shouldn't have guns on sight! What we need more than anything in this country is more communications between the gun control advocates and those of us who think we already have all the laws we already need. Compromise may be difficult, but it's infinitely preferable to this insanity!
This past Saturday was the final game in my son's baseball league for the fall season, and as is true at the end of every season, fall or spring, we had a party. It was, as it always is, a blast! The Rotary Club made hamburgers and hotdogs. Games, ranging from "Pin The Nose On The Snowman" to bowling (using beachballs and light plastic pins about twice the size of regulation bowling pins) were arrayed around the hall with music playing in the back ground in case anyone felt like dancing; and a couple of kids did. We even had cake and a visit from Santa! Then, at the end of the party, gifts were given out and each & every child who played even one game this season got a trophy. And they deserved it as well! Everyone had a terrific season and their abilities really blossomed under the direction of the team coaches and team mothers. In fact, you might even call it a miracle.
Oh, I know. Some of you just don't get it. These kids can't really play baseball after all! It's not like everyone doesn't know that special needs kids have neither the physical nor the mental ability to really get sports. Well I got news for you buddy, many of our children get it just fine; and even those who don't get it the way you mean still have a blast trying, and isn't that what it's all about? Forget your typical soccer moms and ball diamond daddies trying to recapture their glory days through their kids bringing professional level abilities to little leagues across our nation. We are just thrilled that our children are doing something all too many of us thought we'd never be able to see them do. All too often these kids get pushed aside by their neurotypical peers because they're :strange, retarded, slow, weird, sub-human, or any of a hundred other terms, each more hurtful than the last. Okay, yes the ones with autism or downs often don't get the social cues that would allow them to interact with their age groups in a more socially acceptable manner; but that doesn't mean they don't realize that they're being pushed away and made fun of. They do, and it hurts. It hurts alot, and it hurts us, their parents, sisters & brothers, aunts & uncles, and grandparents too. But there are teams and leagues like the one my son is in all across American, as well as Canada and parts of Europe as well. And it is here that our children are welcomed with open arms and encouraged to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Here they are not freaks and weirdos, here they are loved and accepted. Here they are safe to be who and what they are without judgement and to play with others who often are finding the same freedom all too often for the first time. Also here their families find a huge weight lifted from their shoulders as well, for here are other moms & dads & aunts & uncles & so on and so forth, all of whom understand in a way that you, dear reader, no matter how hard you try, will never truly get on both an intellectual and emotional level unless you too are one of our numbers. Here we can talk without needing to explain each and every little bit. Here we can be just who we are as well, and share those little things that others get to share at regular little league games plus such things as which new therapy seems to actually be making a difference and which styling salon actually has someone who can really reach our children. In short, these leagues acts almost like an oasis in a desert of people who just don't get it and never will.
Then there are the various health benefits to the children themselves. As the University of Rochester Medical Center points out on their web page, "Participating in sports can help instill a sense of self-confidence and improve skills in relationship building and working as part of a team." Some of the benefits to the children include:
I hope this helps you understand a bit more of why we do what we do, and our children. Until next time, God bless and thank you for reading.
But What if I Can't Use A Gun Part II
Welcome back to my ramblings, I hope you had a good week. First I must apologize for being so late with this new post. I'm afraid that today was anything but smooth for me, but then again that's the way life is sometimes; and never more so than when you're raising an autistic child. But since it's Friday you came here today to learn more about home and self defense, not autism and special needs; so let's get to it.
Last week (or yesterday depending on where you first read the ramble) I was talking about using non-lethal means to defend yourself and your home. I'm still getting a few people who are a bit upset that I dared to mention weapons, but as I said in that ramble, to really learn to fight effectively takes time and effort. Usually a lot of both, and so we turn to weapons as a way to raise our effectiveness and to try to decrease the amount of time we must spend in training; and they can do exactly that, if you choose wisely. I mean, let's face it. The English (or more appropriately, the Welsh) Long Bow did not go of style with the advent of guns because guns were deadlier or more accurate. The simple truth of the matter is that an expert with a Long Bow can shoot almost as far as a modern rifle and will be just as accurate as well as just as fast as anything other than a fully automatic weapon such as an Uzi or MP-5. Compared to the guns available when long bows started disappearing from the battle ground, a long bow was much faster, longer range, and a hell of a lot more accurate as well. What made the difference was that a good bowman needed to be trained from a very young age and needed to keep practicing many hours a day every day of his life, whereas you could put a gun in the hands of your average peasant and teach him how to use it in a matter of days. So the question then becomes what weapons can the average person who cannot bring themselves to kill for any reason use with little or no training.
Now some so-called self defense "experts" will recommend a variety of martial arts weapons ranging from a kubatan, to escrima sticks, to police batons (also called tonfas). Perhaps the simplest of these is a simple short stick or piece of metal with 2 prongs sticking out that are meant to stick out between your fingers when you make a fist to firm your fist up and give you a smaller striking area which will in turn cause greater pain to whoever you hit. The problem is that if you don't know how to hit effectively to begin with, this device isn't going to do you a hell of a lot of good. What's worse is that almost every other martial arts weapon can actually cause as much damage to the welder as to the person he or she is trying to defend against unless you have been properly trained in how to use it in the first place, and the whole purpose of this ramble is to find weapons you can use effectively with little or no training.
So what would I recommend? Well the simplest and easiest is probably a simple length of hickory or other hard wood in the form of a baseball bat or axe handle. Almost anyone who played baseball or softball can swing it effectively and if you can catch the intruder or attacker by surprise it will end the fight very quickly indeed. If you're defending your own home, it's not that hard to hide around a corner and catch them by surprise; and you can pick one up in any sporting goods department or hardware store. The potential problem however is that all too often it's the intruder who has the factor of surprise on his side.
Another simple make shift weapon that I've heard several police officers recommend is a can of wasp spray. These cans are designed to spray a wasp's nest at a distance of up to 20 feet and will make an attacker extremely sick in a matter of seconds, and even when awakened from a sound sleep by an intruder they are extremely simple and quick to use. Indeed, I know of at lest one former police officer who admits she keeps a can on her night stand for that very reason instead of counting on her glock. The only reservation I have with this is that there is a warning label on every can of wasp spray stating that it is against the law to use it for anything other than what it is designed for, so if your local police are hard liners you stand a chance of being arrested and fined for using wasp spray in this manner. Admittedly it's probably not a very big risk, and I have a hard time imaging my local cops doing that considering they have recommended wasp spray as well; but my cops and your cops may be very different in this regard. So if you're going to use this technique I'd suggest feeling out your local police department first just in case.
The classic non-lethal defense item, and one that is available at almost every sporting goods store and uniform shop is pepper spray, also commonly referred to as mace. These devices makes use of a liquid containing capsaicin that is sprayed out under pressure and is meant to be aimed at the attacker's face and eyes. Capsaicin is the oil that makes jalepenos and other hot peppers hot, and if you've ever absent mindedly rubbed your eyes after chopping one up then you know exactly what the person sprayed with this concoction will experience. Most of them come in canisters that work very much like a can of deodorant does and can be purchased for as little as $4.00 or as much as $35.00 depending on the size of the canister and where you get it. There are two things to keep in mind with these though. One is that some of the canisters can be pointed the wrong way if you're panicked, in which case you're the one who's going to get a face full instead of your attacker. So if you can, get two or try to find a self defense seminar instructor who has access to training canistered so that you can practice with the pepper spray a couple of times to minimize the chance of this happening. The other thing to keep in mind is that they do expire, so you need to keep on eye on the expiration date of your pepper spray and be sure to replace it before it goes bad.
As I said, the classic format for pepper spray is a canister similar to a thin can of deodorant; but recently at least two companies have come up with versions that are shaped something like water guns or flare guns. The first one is the Mace Pepper Spray Pepper Gun pictured here. This one comes with a canister of pepper spray plus a canister of water for training purposes and some models include a built in LED strobe that will help blind your assailant making it easier to spray him as well as giving you a better idea where the spray is going to hit him. What's more, you can buy replacement canisters for the gun so that when the gun has been used or the pepper spray inside has expired you can simply replace the canister instead of replacing the whole gun.
The other one that has recently hit the market is the Kimber Pepperblaster. The Pepperblaster has two single shot canisters so that you can shoot twice if needed and seems to be lower in price than the Mace Pepper Gun. However unlike the Pepper Gun, the Pepperblaster cannot be reloaded so once booth shots have been taken you must replace the whole gun.
Yet another possibility is a stun gun or stun gun flashlight combination. With these the attacker is hit with a strong but breif electrical charge when the studs of the stun gun is pressed against him, often rendering him immobile for several minutes. One I particularly like and plan on buying for my daughter is the Vipertek VTS-193, which is a combination of a strong stun gun and an extremely bright tactical style flashlight. The big disadvantage with these is that you must actually touch your attacker with the business end of the stun gun or else all you'll do is make a load electrical clicking sound.
Now these are not the only possibilities for non-lethal self defense, but this ramble is starting to get a might bit long, so I think it might be best if we ended it here. I plan to add a page tomorrow morning giving links to some of the items I mention in my rambles, so if you are interested in anything I've mentioned just come on back and check the new page out. In the meantime, I'll see if maybe I can continue this ramble at a later date with other neat and nifty ideas for those who can't bear to kill in self defense. I hope you have a great weekend, and remember, if you're going to do something, do it with attitude!
"But What If I Can't Use A Gun?"
This particular ramble was originally posted on my Facebook Page on Oct. 17, and with migrating this one over I now have my Blog here and my posts on Facebook on the same page. Once again this has been slightly edited from the original, but the basic drift of the article has not been changed.
For the past several weeks I have been rambling on about home defense with something of an emphasis on the use of one type of gun or another, based on the assumption that the ones reading my ramblings have honestly decided that they can, and will, kill to defend themselves and/or their loved ones. But what if you have asked yourself that most important of all questions of self-defense and found that you honestly cannot bring yourself to kill another human being even to save yourself or your family? If you can’t, and there is absolutely no shame in it if you can’t, but if you honestly cannot then accept right here and now that a gun is absolutely the last thing you should consider for defending yourself and your home. Yes, there are cases where just showing a gun (or racking a shell into a pump shotgun) has scared off a would be attacker, but in every case I’m familiar with the assailant was a thief who had absolutely no desire to get into it with someone and decided to exercise the better part of valor by beating a hasty retreat. Besides, these cases seem to be becoming fewer and farther between with each year. All too often, if a gun is brought into play, it will be used; the only real question is who is going to use it and who is it going to be used against. If you try to use the gun as some kind of magic totem that will keep evil away just by being waved around then, unless you are ridiculously lucky, it will most likely be taken away by your attacker and used on you; and I have trouble imaging anything more sad than being killed by your own gun. It’s especially true when your admitted inability to use a gun makes it something you should never have had in the first place.
But what do you do in that case? Do you just roll over and let yourself play victim? No, not necessarily. First off, as we discussed last week, there are plenty of things you can do to lessen the risk of an attacker picking your house for his or her shenanigans in the first place. And if they do decide to try their luck at your home, there are still a wide variety of weapons available to you that are not likely to result in death.
“Wait, hold on!” I hear some cry, “Weapons? I thought you were going to tell me how to defend myself without resorting to any nasty weapons!” Well, yes, you can try to defend yourself using some form of unarmed combat if you really wish. Hell, I’d even be willing to come out to teach you and a group of your friends the basics if you want to hire me to do a self-defense seminar for you; but let’s be honest here. The simple fact of the matter is that while I can teach you several tricks to make you a better fighter, and the basics that will help make you an effective fighter all in a one day seminar; the only real way to become an unarmed fighter in the first place is to fight. It doesn’t matter whether that fighting is done in back alleys and bar rooms or in a martial arts school under careful supervision and instruction. What I teach in my self-defense seminars is not how to fight but how to defend yourself long enough to get away when you’re out and about. If you want to learn to really fight, the type of fighting you need to defend your home, it will take much more than a one day seminar. Quite simply, it is much easier and quicker to learn to fight if you use some form of weapon.
So the question that needs to be asked is just what is a weapon anyway? Miriam-Webster defines a weapon as “something that is used for fighting or attacking someone or for defending yourself when someone is attacking you”. Yes, that includes those nasty guns of all shapes and size, as well as knifes, swords, and clubs; but it also includes things like pepper spray, stun guns, and Tasers, none of which are considered lethal. So how about it? Could you bring yourself to use a weapon that won't kill except in a freak accident? Or are you too much a pacifist to be able to bring yourself to do even that? Once again, there's no shame if you are. Ghandi was that way, and Christ himself said that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Hell, if I'm going to be honest here, I came pretty close to being that way myself back in high school. Why am I not now? Mainly because of 30 plus years of being in the medical field, first as a paramedic where I was shot at several times, and then working at various Level 1 Trauma Centers where I routinely saw the worst that people can do to each other. Yet inspite of the fact that I could, and will, kill to protect my family, I still think the world would be a much better place if more people were innocent enough to be pacifists.
And so we come to what seems like a good place to pause for this week. So think about what I’ve said. Really think about it, just as you thought about whether or not you could bring yourself to kill to defend yourself and your family. In fact think it over 2 or 3 times. I’m not going anywhere and it really is an important question that you need to answer honestly for yourself if not for anyone else. Then, if you still want to learn, come back tomorrow and we’ll discuss those other options and weapons in greater detail.
This rambling was originally posted on our Facebook page on October 10. Once again it's been edited slightly but the basic ramble is still the same.
It's Friday once again, and that means it's time for another one of my rambles on the subject of self defense. Last weeks post covered several guns I personally like for home defense and some of the reasons why, but there's more to securing a home than just buying a gun. There's a wide variety of things you can do to make your house less of a target, and most of them aren't really all that difficult.
The easiest thing is to get an alarm installed by a good reliable company such as ADT, Honeywell, or LifeSHIELD. The last thing most crooks want is an actively monitored home where they know the cops are going to be called even if they manage to shut up the residents quickly. But that's hardly the only thing you can do.
Next on the list is to take a good look at the outside of your home. Is it well lit? Or could it use an extra spot light or 2 mounted at the corners of the house, preferably with motion detectors. Are there bushes hiding the bottoms of windows that an intruder can hide behind, or do you have rose bushes and holly bushes planted in front so to them make getting to your windows a prickly business? How about your back yard? One of the hottest trends right now is to have privacy fences installed around your backyard, but if your neighbors can't see into your yard, how can they see a burglar trying to break in? How about high hedges that serve the same purpose? Again, this is something crooks love since it gives them a safe place to work while they're trying to get into your home. And how about the doors? Are they solid security doors with good quality deadlocks? Or flimsy hollow core doors that could be opened with a single kick. Maybe you have older doors that are more window than door, these were especially popular in the late seventies and early eighties; but if they're still the original doors you might want to consider replacing them. New doors are made with double and triple layers of glass that are both harder to break with out alerting everyone for 3 houses on either side, but also provide much better insulation as well which would have the added benefit of not only making your house more intruder proof but also cutting your heating and air conditioning bill.
Nor is that everything that might be thought of. Go ahead and look around. Try and see if you can come up with a couple of ways you could get into your house without being spotted by a nosy neighbor. Better yet, call your local police department. Many department are more than happy to send someone out to evaluate your home for potential threats or weak spots. I'll bet you can come up with several ideas all on your own, and I invite you to post them here. Who knows, you might even come up with a couple I wouldn't have thought of.
Welcome back to my ramblings, I’m glad you choose to make it. Today I want to discuss one of the more prevalent myths about people on the Autism Spectrum, namely that they either don’t feel emotions or, at least, don’t experience them to the same extent that neurotypical people do. Well no one could see my son when I wake him up in the mornings and continue to believe something so far out in left field for even a minute. If he doesn’t get his morning cuddle with either my wife or I, his whole day is just ruined; and he can be just as sweet the rest of the day as well. The problem with Wills, and many other people on the spectrum is three fold. One, they often do not know how to express their emotions in ways that most people would recognize unless they knew that person extremely well. Two, many people on the autistic spectrum lack the social skills and understanding to read another person’s emotions well; and three, they often cannot recognize what they are feeling or, if they do, respond to it in a less than effective way.
Now points one and two are rather closely related since in the end they both stem from an autistic person’s difficulty with understanding social clues and interactions. It’s not that they don’t want to, but something about that missing piece of the puzzle in their brain keeps them from ever quite managing it. A faint frown tells most children that the person frowning is annoyed and it’s time to stop doing whatever it is that is annoying him or her, but the autistic child will miss it completely. Many people on the autistic spectrum tend to perceive things in different ways from the norm and so they may be focused on some other feature of the person frowning, or they may not even recognize it as a frown since it is not pronounced. Some others tend not to recognize when someone is talking to them unless the person speaking starts off by using their name, so they might recognize the frown but have absolutely no idea that it’s aimed at them. Which all leads back to the problem they have expressing their emotions in a way that meets with society’s stamp of approval. A baby learns from watching his or her parents what each expression, gesture, and act means. Thus a neurotypical person grows up knowing how to express his or her own expressions due to what they’ve seen the people around them do. But for a child with autism, that’s just not possible. Since all too often they don’t even recognize the subtle differences they never learn to respond the “right” way. So even though they have the same emotions as the rest, the way they express it can end up either subdued or blown way out of proportion; and they never realize it.
As for point three, there seems to be some controversy in the medical community over whether people on the autism spectrum can recognize their emotions effectively or if the problem is more that they never learn effective means of controlling and expressing them. Personally, after watching my son deal with his emotions for all these years, I think it’s probably a little of both. Again, babies and young children learn what emotions are and how to handle them from the people they grow up with just as they learn the accepted way of displaying them. Yet for someone with autism, when they can’t even reliably interpret what others are feeling it’s all too easy for them to completely miss the clues that would tell them this is what I’m feeling right now is call and this is how to deal with it. I mean, think about it for a minute. For a normal child, the child sees his mother making him his favorite snack after school and when he asks why she goes to all that trouble he’s told “Because your my son and I love you.” The child then thinks to himself “Mommy loves me and she’s making me my favorite snack because she loves me. That must mean this how a person expresses love for someone”. The autistic child on the other hand asks the same question as well as he is able, gets the same reply and thinks to himself “Mommy loves me” but never even considers that it also demonstrates a way to effectively show love nor that it implies that we love our family so what he’s feeling when he thinks about his mom and dad must be love. Thus the neurotypical child learns an important lesson on how to show and handle love as well as what love is while the autistic child never even notices that there was a lesson to be learned. Apply this to all the other emotions we feel, and is it any wonder kids with autism seem like they either don’t have emotions or that what emotions they do have are vastly different from the norm?
So, the fact is that children with autism do feel the same emotions we do; they just don’t know how to identify them effectively nor how to demonstrate them when they do. This can lead to huge misunderstandings with people who don’t have the experience to interpret what the autistic child (or adult) is feeling or saying, and thus the myth continues on it’s merry way through society. But now you, dear reader, know better. You may not be able to understand these children any better yet, but at least you know there’s something there to understand; and that is as much as anyone can ask.
This post in it's original form appeared on my Facebook page on Oct. 3 of this year. Some minor editing has been done to bring it over, but the message remains the same.
Once again it's time for a Friday Self Defense post. The past 2 fridays I talked about the most important question in self defense and the need to find a gun you're comfortable with. So now it's time for my personal picks for home defense. First thing to keep in mind here is that I'm talking about guns for use IN the home, not for concealed or even open carry; that makes a huge deference in my picks as you will see. The second point to keep in mind is that what you choose for your personal choice will be greatly influenced by where you live and who you live with. A Bachelor or single woman who lives by themselves are not going to as concerned with the bullet over-penetrating a wall and killing a loved one, where as a father (like myself) with young children will be greatly concerned with that possibility. So, keeping that in mind, my first choice is any good pump action shotgun with a short barrel and no choke, 12 gauge if recoil is not a concern, 20 gauge if the person (or at least one of the people) shooting it is bothered by it. The short barrel will make it much easier to maneuver inside a home, and while contrary to popular believe you DO need to aim a shotgun (especially if it does not have a riffled barrel), it comes as close to shooting from the hip as it gets. Plus you can get low velocity shells in bird shot and buckshot that will minimize penetration of the walls of your house.
The second of my personal choices would be either the Taurus Judge or S&W Governor. Both will shoot either a 410 shotgun shell or a Colt .45, and they both come in a variety of barrel lengths from 2 1/2 inches up to 6 inches. Personally I would go with a 4 inch barrel for the best compromise between maneuverability and muzzle climb from the recoil, but that is a distinctly personal decision that really has nothing to do with how good the gun is.
My next choice would be a good .380 such as the Walther PK380. This gun has an 8 round magazine, 1 round larger than the next largest .380 I'm familiar with, and is also one of the largest .380's on the market as far as I know. This means a larger grip making for more secure shooting, plus a longer barrel resulting in a longer sight picture and increased accuracy. Plus the reduced load as compared to a 9 mm means the bullet is again less likely to over penetrate a wall and kill or injure someone on the other side.
For my forth choice, I would probably go with a Ruger SR9, but that's mainly because I happen to really like Ruger. A Glock 17, a Glock 19, a S&W M&P9, or a a Springfield XD would all be equally good if that's what you happen to be more comfortable with. I'm going with a full size pistol here because the longer barrel and heavier frame makes for more accurate shots even when terrified, and I'm choosing a 9mm because you can normally fit more rounds in the magazine than you can with a .40.
For my final choice, I'd go with a good solid 1911. There's very few guns that speak with more authority, and, at least according to one my friends on the force, it's a slower round so even with it's heavier size it's less likely to penetrate bunches of walls. So there you have my choices in a brief ramble. Your's may vary; indeed I hope they do. Life would get extremely boring if we all agreed on everything.
P.S. Shortly after this ramble appeared on my Facebook page, one of my friends asked me why I didn't include a MSR (Modern Sport Rifle for those new to the term). I didn't for two main reasons.
1) See opening statements about a father (me) being concerned about over-penetration. Any rifle round other than a .22LR is going to be much more powerful than any handgun round out there.
2) Unless it's a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle, which requires a special tax to be paid and paperwork to be filed with the Feds) a rifle of any kind tends to be too long to be maneuverable inside a house or apartment. So the person trying to use it stands a very high chance of not being to swing the muzzle around to fire at any intruder when he or she needs to.
Here is a revision of a ramble originally posted Sept. 26 on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TargetsWithAttitude).
Yesterday I posted about what I considered to be the most important question that anyone must ask when considering methods of self defense; namely, are you ready and willing to kill someone to protect yourself & your loved ones. By now, those of you who saw that post should have come to an honest answer for yourself. So, if you ARE willing to do whatever is necessary to protect you & yours, what gun is the best for home defense? The short answer is, what ever you feel most comfortable with.
Let's be honest here. When someone invades your home, you're going to be scared half out of your mind and the adrenaline is going to pumping like mad. Fine coordination will have flown out the window and so will have any semblance of clear thinking unless you are very well trained indeed, and most of us do not have the time in our busy lives for that sort of intensive training. Hell, even many veterans will find themselves in the same boat. So first thing to do, especially if you have little experience with firearms, is head to your local range and shoot as many guns in as many different calibers as you can. If they offer classes, take one or 2, or even a dozen. Hell, take the classes even if you have many years of experience shooting. Find out what feels good in your hands, what points naturally every time you pick it up. Find out what calibers you can handle well and which ones scare you. Try everything, even those that most macho men would sneer at. I know plenty will sneer at a .380 as underpowered and useless for REAL defense, but like Iraqvet8888, I've noticed that none of these big macho men will volunteer to let you shoot them with that "wimpy" .380. So there's your homework for this weekend. Go out and have fun with it, and next week I'll start talking about my picks and the reasons for them.