Check out my interview with Rob Leatham over on The Firearm Blog. Naturally, we discussed pistol shooting.
Do you, reader of this blog, own multiple firearms, and perhaps some body armor?
Do you own anything that could be construed as police or military gear or clothing?
I know I do.
I have dozens of firearms, and currently am in possession of five sets of body armor, if we count hard and soft armor separately. I have a T shirt with the logo of a local SWAT team, given to me by one of its members. I have a patch from a Las Vegas-area SWAT team that I rode along on a warrant service with once. I've got an NYPD shirt that I bought on my university campus after 9/11 - it's around here somewhere. I have uniform items from three different military branches, all issued to me at one point or another. I even have a challenge coin from "Task Force Military Police."
I wonder what my local sheriff's department would think of me. You see, they're currently using the fact that an OIF Marine veteran had five firearms and body armor - most of the latter in storage in his garage - to paint him as a bad guy. The clincher, though? "Law enforcement uniform items," as it's been described in the media. What exactly does this consist of? A Border Patrol hat. None of it illegal - nothing found in his house was illegal.
This is a complex story, and I won't try to describe the whole thing here. The facts of the case still aren't certain, so I'll refrain from passing judgment on a number of things. Check out Beat and Release for analysis from an experienced police officer - he's got quite a few in-depth posts on the subject. Also, This Ain't Hell has some more specific comments on the story.
What I feel comfortable commenting on are the following things:
SWAT Team - The movement and tactics of the SWAT team members during the raid that resulted in the death of Jose Guerena were amateurish and displayed a lack of situational awareness and unit cohesion. If that team had encountered two or three criminals with the intent to harm police officers, there would be several dead Sheriff's Deputies or Police Officers (it's a multi-agency SWAT team) - perhaps even the entire team.
The SWAT members fired 71 rounds, hitting Guerena 20 times. This is about on par with other police shootings, but keep in mind that rounds fired by these SWAT officers passed through the Guerena house and into two neighboring houses, prompting the SWAT team to "make entry" into those homes to ensure that no one was shot. I'd like to know the timeline of these subsequent entries, because the team that shot up the Guerena house was occupied with getting his wife and son out, as well as talking to detectives, for quite some time after the initial shooting.
Media Comments - We've been told that Guerena was part of a home invasion crew, although the initial investigation, and PCSO comments, centered on this being a drug trafficking ring. We're told that because he had body armor and weapons, that he was a bad guy. Oh, and the hat. Don't forget the hat. We're told that because he owned a polished .38 Super handgun, that he might as well be a Mexican drug lord (It's a good thing that I sold my .38 Super, although it had a satin finish).
Either Jose Guerena was not only a major drug trafficker, but also a busy home invading bee - while he also pulled down 12 hour graveyard shifts at the local Asarco mine - or this was a fishing expedition based on circumstantial evidence, poorly planned and executed by SWAT officers who didn't know what they were shooting at, why they were shooting, or even that his wife and child were in the house - only that they needed to empty their magazines down that hallway. It may be all of the above, for all I know.
Of course, we have Sheriff Dupnik down here, who famously, and incorrectly, opined about the cause of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting practically before her blood had even dried on the ground. He's made some really "intelligent" statements about this shooting as well. I've got a lot of faith in PCSO as a whole, but Dupnik needs to go in 2012.
Interesting to see that nearly every weapon pictured is very, very old. Many do not even appear to be functional.
Photos courtesy of the Chinese People's Daily Online.
The video and post about Steyr hammer forged barrels is now live over at The Firearm Blog. Be sure to check it out.
I was recently loaned this Smith & Wesson 1911 for a review, and have spent the last few weeks inspecting, carrying, and shooting it. I came away with one big reservation, but overall, a positive opinion of the pistol. It - and the other E series 1911s from S&W, all of which cost less than this tricked-out model - should bring some much-needed quality competition to the factory production 1911 market.
Also, please read Hilton Yam's review of a similar pistol, which goes into more detail, and comes from the mind of an experienced 1911 gunsmith.