Dear Leftists

You hated Reagan, and you hated Bush (both of them), you loved Clinton and Obama, and you hate Trump, and now when responding to any issue with Biden you bring up Trump.

Reagan didn’t start a nuclear war with Russia. The Bushes both had problems with foreign policy, getting the US involved in wars in the middle east (but in terms of military deployments Clinton and Obama weren’t playing tiddlywinks either). Trump actually decreased operations, and Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan cannot be spun into anything but an executive giving orders that ignored the input of the intelligence community and defense leadership.

But how did you get Reagan? How did you get Trump? You got Reagan and Trump by forcing Carter and Obama on America. You got Carter by weaponizing journalists to go after Nixon. You got Obama by having journalists utterly shill for Obama and, I directly quote “not do their jobs” during the Obama years (including helping him get elected). The media was so in the corner for Biden that it wasn’t even funny, simply sad.

But…how did you get Nixon? Well, clearly bombing the hell out of America by the paramilitary wing of the Democratic party (the Weather Underground then, Antifa now) didn’t work at stopping a Republican from taking the White House. So yeah, that’s a surefire recipe for a successful “people’s revolution!” isn’t it? Of course now Biden is in office, so Antifa slowed down the hashtag resistance

Which makes me cringe a little when I read idiocy like this, which justifies killing people in the name of advancing the Leftist cause. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/04/democrats-majority-rules-norms-trump-2020-218947  and https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/05/democrats-civility-1960s-violence-218948 .

Look Leftists, we know you are really hardcore Marxists at heart. You talk about “democratic socialism” as being different from real socialism because this time you really REALLY want the people to vote on the farm and factory quotas rather than a central committee. Newsflash, the rest of America knows you are Marxist, and we find it refreshing when you talk of bombing government workers who are working for a President you don’t like (even if they are doing the exact same work they did for your guy, somehow it’s icky now that Trump is in office rather than the Deporter in Chief).

But finally, it’s time to shit or get off the pot. Start the glorious revolution you so dearly desire if you truly mean it. Or shut up about it. Cause I for one am sick and tired of hear about how you want to punch non-Leftists in the face and kill their families. Or force them to get a shot in the arm. Or have the FBI investigate parents who prefer readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic to teaching elementary school children critical race theory that is simply cultural Marxism.

Now…this may cause me to rethink my stance on the 30-30 as the ideal survivalist rifle, only because a 30 round magazine is really convenient when you are outnumbered by a mob of Leftists. But then again, the Kenosha Kid didn’t need all 30 rounds to make it to safety either.

 

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The fall of Empires….

Throughout history empires fall in three major ways….

The first is they rot from within, at least economically but also with a stratification of society where the economic parasites increase beyond sustainability.

The second is they face violence from within, and spend more and more resources against maintaining power over “the people.”

The last is they succumb to an external threat, be it a nation or roving band of Mongols, that displaces their rule.

The United States of America, is currently undergoing the first and second, economic rot and a massive increase in the police state. But I have hope that America isn’t particularly done for yet, after all the fall of the Roman Empire took centuries, and the fall of the British Empire took decades. Even the Russian Empire morphed into the Soviet Empire before Putin decided that Russian history books needed to view the Soviet Era as a continuation of the Russian Empire under different management….

However you look at it, America is no longer an Empire on the ascent. America is an empire in decline. The Philippines and Cuba, once under American control, are no longer. The troop presence in Europe is 10% of what it was three decades ago. The American dollar has inflated so much that since the Bank Secrecy Act passed in 1970, the 10k transaction limit for mandatory reporting would be equivalent to over 70,000 US dollars in 2021. Of course the Federal Reserve and Treasury department simply dumping 25% of all US Currency in circulation into the economy last year probably had something to do with that…

So what to do? First, mix your physical preparations with international investment. As empires fall, other nations benefit from the “intellectual flight” and “capital flight” from the collapsing behemoth. The Renaissance needed Byzantium to fall first. The massive economic gains in “New Europe” (the former Warsaw Pact nations that were not Russia) are possible because people flock to opportunity.

And ammunition… The last two years have demonstrated that American citizens have more than enough guns, and are still buying and making more. But Americans are used to constant supply lines, and so any disruption to the ammo market is painfully felt by many. So buy ammo when you can, and pack it away as best you can.

Who knows, I could be utterly wrong about all of this, and America could just end up being the next Belgium, a happy post empire nation where failure to form a government for two years doesn’t stop people from going about their daily lives.

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Gun Show Report

On 2 October, 2021, I went to a local gun show. Admission was 12 bucks per person, which is up a few bucks from two years ago. The cheapest AR-15 receiver was a cool 99 dollars, for an “Anderson” which is about double from a few years ago.

As far as firearms, Glocks and ARs dominated the offerings, with the smattering of AKs and milsurps. The one rifle I was actually tempted to buy was a Remington 541T target rifle in 22lr, simply because those are generally super accurate and fun to shoot. But I didn’t, and instead purchased two pounds of powder.

The cheapest I could find was 47 dollars per pound for IMR 4064 (My go to powder for accuracy in 308 and 30-06) and 50 dollars per pound for H4831SSC (for things like 6.5 CM or 6.5 Swede when I need extra velocity without pressure).

Magnum pistol primers were 150 dollars per 1k brick, but I don’t need magnum pistol primers so I didn’t buy any (dear Lord please let European primers back into the US market! there isn’t enough domestic demand to supply the handloaders AND all the folks buying ammunition).

There was the one obligatory table selling WWII paraphernalia, including the Nazi stuff. Also handmade blades and pens, as well as tribal identification hats and shirts with patriotic themes.

So…what does this indicate to me? The powder squeeze is still tight, as is the primer squeeze. The AR market is “artificially inflated” due to new shooters inflating prices despite there not being much of a change in actual manufacturing capacity in the US. Some actual monetary inflation might be a big part of those price mixes too.

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Korean Glass Noodles

The local grocery store started carrying “Korean Sweet Potato Glass Noodles” and so I picked up a package. They are wheat free, so my wife can enjoy as well.

The cooking directions are simple, drop into pot of boiling water for six minutes, drain and rinse. I then dropped them into a wok to give them a quick stir fry with veggies and chicken. Turned out great.

The texture is a bit different than other types of noodles, and the flavor is incredibly mild. The noodles soaked up the flavor of the sauces and bit of sesame oil I used in the wok.

Absolutely recommend you try them if you are looking to add more variety to your diet, and don’t already have them in the rotation.

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Minneapolis, after the Left got what it wanted.

It is the end of summer in 2021, Autumn is firmly here by both meteorological (1 September) and astronomical (23 September) dates. Over a year ago Minneapolis councilperson Steve Fletcher, on the 2nd of June, 2020, wrote the following on Twitter.

Bob Kroll’s letter yesterday to the Minneapolis Police Federation membership showed us what rank-and-file officers voted for in their leadership, and it is yet another sign that the department is irredeemably beyond reform.

In all fairness to Councilperson Steve, he’s been adversarial to the police for years prior to the George Floyd excuse to go after President Trump by the Radical Left and Mainstream Media. However, Councilperson Steve went even further and penned an opinion piece for TIME titled: “I’m a Minneapolis City Council Member. We Must Disband the Police—Here’s What Could Come Next” https://web.archive.org/web/20200605144644/https://time.com/5848705/disband-and-replace-minneapolis-police/ The following quote is from that opinion piece.

Every member of the Minneapolis City Council has now expressed the need for dramatic structural change. I am one of many on the Council, including the Council President and the Chair of Public Safety, who are publicly supporting the call to disband our police department and start fresh with a community-oriented, non-violent public safety and outreach capacity.

We had already pushed for pilot programs to dispatch county mental health professionals to mental health calls, and fire department EMTs to opioid overdose calls, without police officers. We have similarly experimented with unarmed, community-oriented street teams on weekend nights downtown to focus on de-escalation. We could similarly turn traffic enforcement over to cameras and, potentially, our parking enforcement staff, rather than our police department.

The question now becomes, how well has Councilperson Steve done in achieving his desired endstate? He intended to disband the police and replace them with other services like mental health, “violence disruptors” and have police pull away from traffic enforcement. And somehow, all of that was supposed to make things better.

Except the police did exactly what Councilperson Steve wanted, and things got worse.

In the interim, an examination by Reuters found, Minneapolis’ police officers imposed abrupt changes of their own, adopting what amounts to a hands-off approach to everyday lawbreaking in a city where killings have surged to a level not seen in decades.

Almost immediately after Floyd’s death, Reuters found, police officers all but stopped making traffic stops. They approached fewer people they considered suspicious and noticed fewer people who were intoxicated, fighting or involved with drugs, records show.

https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/after-floyds-killing-minneapolis-police-retreated-data-shows-2021-09-13/

Remember how Councilperson Steve wanted the police to not have to deal with “traffic enforcement”? How he wanted people other than the police to respond? Well wish granted. Except Councilperson Steve thinks that the police are maliciously not doing their jobs.

“Is it better to pull that out from under us? To show us what we’ll miss without them?” he asked. “No.”

Well Councilperson Steve Fletcher, fuck you. You cannot have it both ways in reality, you can only lie to have it both ways while spinning the fairy tales that begin with “If elected I promise to….”

Steve Fletcher wanted to disband a police force that was “irredeemable” and replace it with other stuff. So far the police force has pull back, officers voting with their feet and actions to let the City of Minneapolis have the conditions they wanted.

“What we’re trying to change is how we answer 911,” Fletcher told CBSN’s Elaine Quijano. “So many of the calls that we currently send police officers with guns would actually be better served by mental health professionals, by social workers, by outreach workers, by conflict resolution specialists.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minneapolis-defund-police-councilman-steve-fletcher/

Do you remember that laundry list of changed Councilperson Steve Fletcher desired to see? He got his wish:

And there’s already quite a list of things that the city is trying out. For instance, it’s now having people report property crimes to 311 instead of 911, which leaves the police out of the loop. There’s a plan for a new 24-hour mental health response system, again to avoid sending out cops. The city has also moved its long-standing crime prevention program out of the police department. And finally, probably the most visible of the new efforts, there’s the violence interrupters.

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/24/1020088176/minneapolis-polices-staff-shortage-could-pave-the-way-for-the-future-of-policing

The City of Minneapolis is even paying “violence disruptors” thirty dollars an hour to walk “trouble areas” during “trouble hours” and “disrupt violence.”

And the result of all these reforms? Giving Councilperson Steve Fletcher absolutely EVERYTHING HE WANTED?

Minneapolis’ bloody summer puts city on pace for most violent year in a generation

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/minneapolis-bloody-summer-puts-city-on-pace-for-most-violent-year-in-a-generation/

Clearly Councilman Steve Fletcher’s wish list isn’t working. The entire “avoid sending out cops” idea is failing. Now, obviously it isn’t all his fault of course. Violence is up across Minnesota as a whole, but Minneapolis is over half of all state murders, so his policies do have a disparate impact.

Assaults against on-duty officers rose 62 percent to a record 667.

Crime rates were generally much higher for the state’s eight designated metropolitan areas than for rural Minnesota. They were 10 times higher for murders and motor vehicle thefts and 14 times higher for robberies.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/07/27/violent-crime-surges-across-minnesota-with-record-murders

Statistically, 667 assaults against on duty officers across the state of Minnesota makes on duty assault a “very rare occurrence.” However, I cannot find good data as to the actual distribution of on duty assaults, but my assumption is that it is higher in the urban areas than rural areas. If my assumption is correct, then the police officers on patrol in Minneapolis had nearly a 50% chance of being assaulted on duty this year, which may explain their reluctance to stop suspicious cars or people.

Councilperson Steve Fletcher, be proud. You’ve done to Minneapolis what Democrats and Leftists have done to every other city they’ve taken over, you’ve upheld the standard for Leftists governance practices, caring more about ideology than outcomes, and blaming the police for doing exactly what you wanted when your outcomes didn’t come up. It’s just like any given communist, there’s always another capitalist to get rid of to build that utopia.

Don’t worry Seattle, no need to fret Austin, I’m sure all of these policies will magically work when you implement them. The only way forward for a Leftists is to forget the lessons of the past, otherwise they wouldn’t be Leftists.

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Competitive Sports and the Conflict Arts

The “Tactical World” has always tried to have one foot firmly in “real world applications” and the other foot firmly planted in “non-lethal skills and fitness competitions” in order to have both a “deadly application” (aka the “bloody training”) and “safe training environment” (aka the “bloodless war). For those who don’t get the reference, it was said that the Roman Legion’s training and operations were “bloodless battles in training, and bloody training in battles.”

Trainer Craig Douglas (who is an excellent teacher) isn’t the type to discourage “competitive grapplers” (who train in Judo, BJJ, or wrestling) from attending his classes, and provides context as to why techniques that are specifically optimized for “competitive grappling” where there are things like mats, rules, and referees are sub-optimal for situations where there are no mats, rules, or referees and the other guy is likely to pull out a gun or knife. And this is important to understand, not just how to “win” in competition, but how to “train” for application.

In the shooting world you have lots of non-lethal training/competition opportunities for long rifle and pistol. F Class, 3 gun and 2 gun, service rifle/high power, IPSA/USPSA matches, NRA Vintage Sniper, and various tactical matches that can go for an afternoon or up to several days (like the Mammoth Sniper Competition). All of these are great, and I absolutely encourage anyone who has the opportunity to shoot every match they can (even if it’s just air rifle or air pistol or small bore, fundamentals are fundamentals!).

But, there comes a time when you have to look at your gear and goals, and decide how much time you want to spend on “winning” in competition. Even a moderate match schedule eats up a lot of time. Being part of a BJJ dojo is generally at least a few nights a week. And there is costs in gas, match fees, tuition fees, etc that take away from other opportunities and efforts.

And gear wise…while it is always possible to successfully use a competition firearm for self defense (or deliberate homicide) those firearms built to compete are less than ideal for the “combat analogue” of the sport being trained. For example, the precision rifle systems favoring the 6 CM, tight tolerances, and super high end optics are optimized for long shots at steel targets in tactical competition…. But all that magnification comes at the price of slower target acquisition, less reliability in crap conditions, and inability to use common ammunition with those around you.

In Jiu Jitsu, it’s often advantageous to win a match by “going to the mat” and turning a standing fight into a grappling match. In a bar, where the floor is covered by blood, piss, and broken glass….maybe not so much. That 32 power scope on a bolt action rifle is advantageous in a long range precision match, but probably less useful than a fixed 4x or 3-9 variable for rapid maneuver in a dense urban environment while you have to keep up and provide precision fire support for an Infantry platoon.

Once again, this isn’t meant to discourage anyone from competing and training to compete. These thoughts are my own reflection on the limitations of competition, especially when the sport adjusts to “game the rules.” Judo took a huge hit as a combat analogue due to fully embracing the “sport” aspect, to the point where judoka in Japan are viewed as “meatheads” since the competition legal techniques favor superb body strength to win. Conversely some of the super light AR-15 builds for 3 gun wouldn’t hold up to a 600 round “support by fire” mission where the shooter would run up against the heat threshold of the weapon system (even a milspec M4 struggles in this role).

Now….the real benefit of training to compete is that a lot of skills do translate over. Learning to shoot fast and accurate before the targets shoot back is the right way to go. The first time you shove your head into someone else’s neck/shoulder junction to break down their posture shouldn’t be in a bar fight. But you have to be mindful and ask yourself, “am I perfecting this gear or technique for sport or for application?” Because what you don’t want to end up is wasting time on something to win in a sport, that is deleterious for application, like running a competition Glock with the lightest recoil spring possible to handle a powder puff handload that minimizes recoil. You should be training to handle the recoil of your service/defense load, not changing your load to win at the sport.

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The 9.3×62 and 308 Winchester

In the realm of big game hunting, the 9.3×62 has always been a bit of a side player. Slightly less powerful than the 375 Holland and Holland Magnum with which it is most often compared it hit a sweet spot in sub-Saharan Africa for price, performance, and utility. Farmers and hunters could afford a bolt action Mauser rifle, and the five 9.3×62 cartridges that fit snugly in the Mauser’s internal magazine did solid work on even the “Big 5” of Africa, although it wasn’t overpowered for antelope or other game for the stewpot.

The 308 Winchester, the civilian version of the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge, is different from the 9.3×62 in that it had widespread market adoption (having a military pedigree from a super power and the world’s largest military alliance made that almost inevitable). However, recently a lot of market scorn has been levied against the old 308. It’s not as capable with “the heavies” as a 30-06, it doesn’t shoot as flat as the new 6.5 Creedmoor. However it may be the most economical big game cartridge, despite being on the light side for the big northern bears.

Historical note, the 8×57 cartridge, despite being equally as utilitarian as the 7.62×51, was first and foremost a military cartridge which did not allow for universal adoption across sub-Saharan Africa due to legal restrictions on civilians owning military arms. The 9.3×62 was largely successful there simply because it only had a civilian pedigree. One of the reasons I believe the 9.3×62 only had limited acceptance in North America is due to the prevalence of high quality military surplus 30-06 rifles and no big animals requiring more “oomph” than those could deliver.

So….why would you choose a 9.3×62 or 308 Winchester today? If you are a hunter, those two rifles would serve you very, very well for everything on the North American continent. In Africa, the 9.3×62 still has an exception in at least one country for the “Big 5” but largely you would need a 375 caliber rifle to meet the legal minimum caliber requirements (and the 375 Hawk/Scovill is just the 9.3×62 necked up to be a 9.5×62, which is the metric equivalent of 0.375 or 3/8ths of an inch).

The second is barrel life. Barrels are wear items, and shooting a barrel hot lowers barrel life dramatically. A hunting barrel probably isn’t seeing the “mad minute” or “rapid fire” stages of a competition rifle, but even then a box or two of a wonder magnum will do cause more barrel wear than something sedate like the 9.3×62 or 308 Win.

The downsides? Well you won’t be as cool as your buddy with his brand new 6.5 CM or 300 Win Mag. You won’t have as “wind friendly” ballistics beyond standard hunting ranges, so if you shoot longer distances out on the plains, or up in the mountains, you may want to get something less “all around utility” and more “specialized for the task at hand.”

Lastly, why would you choose a 308 Winchester over a 30-06? You get a slightly lighter rifle, use slightly less powder when handloading, and get a few ounces less weight in ammunition you carry in your pack. That’s it. The advantages for the 30-06 are all about shooting heavier bullets faster, of course with the increase in felt recoil. Other than that, if you have a 30-06 there’s no point buying a 308, and vice versa.

The 9.3×62 on the other hand, has limited market support now. It’s not like you’ll find 9.3×62 in a rural gas station if you forget to pack your ammo for a hunting trip. However that is a feature shared by all the “Safari Calibers” due to not being very popular. But, if you did need something heavier than a 308, the 9.3×62 remains a valid option. As does the 35 Whelen, which is something of a ballistic twin to the 9.3×62. If you need your heavy to be “Big 5 legal” then you’ll have to step up to a 375 caliber option, and those can get expensive quick, however hunting anything that requires 375 or bigger isn’t a cheap option.

In the end, there are hundreds of completely adequate and useful rifle cartridges for hunting in nearly every condition. Hunters in Scandinavia have used just the 6.5×55 for over a century now, and the 7.62x54r has surely taken its fair share of game. The old military and hunting calibers still work just fine, as the military calibers were designed to stop a horse cavalry charge, and the hunting calibers were designed to take big game. The newer chamberings…well they were built in a newer era with newer powders and design compromises, and they work just fine as well.

EDIT: 5 days after I hit “publish” on this piece, “The Gun Guys” did a segment on Bill Wilson’s (of Wilson Combat) choice of big game hunting rifles. And fittingly, Bill Wilson chooses a bolt action 9.3×62 and a semi-auto 308 Winchester. His reasoning very much mirrors my own, although my 9.3×62 is built on a Mauser 98 action, Bill chose the very nice Ruger M77 as a base platform. My LR-308 build is a tad heavier than Bill’s (of course having your own company probably helps), but performance on game isn’t changed by the weight of the rifle.

https://youtu.be/E6yVu0srVO4

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The World is Not Safer

I believe that the future Americans will look upon the 1950s and 1990s in a similar fashion. The 50’s had Korea, a fairly short and localized war compared to the monstrosity of WWII. And the 90’s had Desert Storm, a fairly short and localized war compared to the global “Cold War” which ended with the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.

The 1974 to 1984 era will likely be the analogue for the 2020s. High inflation, high unemployment, Democrat in the White House. 1979 saw fall of the Shah of Iran and rise of petro-terrorism (although Islamic terrorism had existed for centuries before that) following the embarrassment of the US Military at Desert One. 2021 saw the fall of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Taliban in an eleven day blitzkrieg of corruption collapsing as American support for the Government of Afghanistan ceased. Likely we’ll see Afghanistan continue to be a nexus for terrorists from Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Chechnya, and all of the strict Arab states, for many many years to come.

But if the world is not safer, is America safer? That question is also “no.” The very cost of the last two decades has put America in a strategically vulnerable place, where the Euro has a real shot at becoming the worlds reserve currency (thank goodness Germany is committing economic suicide by “going green”). China would really love to become the nation holding the worlds reserve currency, but so far the rest of the world isn’t nibbling on that bait.

Besides the obvious economic concerns is the “civil liberties” concerns. The rise (again, paralleling the 1970s) of the violent radical Left is probably the most concerning development. The “January 6” incident barely registered as a disturbance, but a deep state which had spent thirty years going after “right wing militias” swung into high gear, fully aided and abetted by a media hysterically clutching their pearls and trying to reframe “mostly peaceful” to mean something other than rampant violence and looting.

Oh yeah, and by all rational evaluation of the evidence, the 2020 presidential election was stolen, as well as the California Governor recall vote. My faith in the democratic process for our republic is pretty much gone. Oh well, it was a good run while it lasted.

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Law Enforcement and Risk

I started writing this piece in 2018, and it’s been in draft and re-written every six months or so since.  First, I don’t like cops who believe that coming home at the end of shift is their most important motivation. The national statistics play out that in more than half the states in the US there were zero cops murdered in 2014. This means that the risk values for “being a cop” are highly dependent on local variables rather like the risks associated with fishing are much different on a guided fly fishing expedition than a commercial Alaskan crab boat.

First read this:

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 96 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2014. Of these, 51 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 45 officers died in accidents. In addition, 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. The 2014 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today, includes comprehensive data tables about these incidents, brief narratives describing the fatal attacks, and narratives regarding selected assaults resulting in injury.

Felonious Deaths

The 51 felonious deaths occurred in 24 states and in Puerto Rico. The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2014 increased by 24 when compared with the number who were feloniously killed in 2013 (27 officers). The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of five felonious deaths compared with the 2010 figure (56 officers) and a decrease of four deaths compared with 2005 data (55 officers).

Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 13 years at the time of the fatal incidents. All 51 officers were male. Forty-seven of the officers were white, two were black, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Circumstances: Of the 51 officers feloniously killed, 11 were killed while answering disturbance calls, nine were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, seven were ambushed, seven were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were conducting investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews), four were killed in arrest situations, four were involved in tactical situations, and three were handling persons with mental illnesses. One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack.

Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers. Of these 46 officers, 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, and one was killed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet.

Regions: Seventeen of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, 14 in the West, eight in the Midwest, eight in the Northeast, and four in Puerto Rico.

Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 59 alleged assailants in connection with the felonious line-of-duty deaths. Fifty of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and 11 of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.

https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2014-statistics-on-law-enforcement-officers-killed-and-assaulted

Now read this:

In 2008, federal police employed approx. 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers, authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States.

The 2012 Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), found there were 17,985 state and local law enforcement agencies employing at least one full-time officer or the equivalent in part-time officers.

In 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million people on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#Number_of_police

So what does this mean? Well it means that cops don’t have a statistically dangerous job as far as felonious murders go, and a slightly higher risk as far as “assault” goes. But, I put the word assault in quotes because assault is a huge range of actions from slapping a cop to shooting a cop who doesn’t die, so in terms of real risk value it isn’t a good metric to use.

As I started out, this data supports that there are pockets of higher risk, and at least half the nation that is incredibly low risk.

But, police involved shootings are also rare, both on the giving and receiving end. I would like to see them get more rare. The fact that interactions with law enforcement are also incredibly safe from a statistical perspective can easily be lost in the “media amplification effect.” And then there are some police departments (looking at you Denver) that really do have a history of unnecessary violence.

Here’s a link to the top ten most dangerous jobs in the United States.

https://www.ncwriskmanagement.com/blog/2021/01/top-10-most-dangerous-jobs-of-2020

Neither Military Service nor Law Enforcement made the top 10 most dangers jobs list. In fact, as far as I can find, even with the “War on Terror” going continuously for two decades “Military Service” never once made the list. This is because the military, just like law enforcement, happens to be millions strong, which makes fatalities a very minor portion of the total population.

To sum up, anyone who tells you that being a cop is an incredibly risky job is ignorant at best and a liar at worst, the data does not support that conclusion. Different risk, yes, but cops are also given many tools not afforded to private citizens to deal with that risk (looking at you qualified immunity). I’m not a “defund the police” type of idiot, but I do support having a fresh conversation about how we approach policing, law enforcement tools like “civil asset forfeiture” and “for profit prisons and policing.” And having just finally thrown in the towel in the “war on terror” we might as well throw in the towel on the “war on drugs” as that’s been an even worse deal for Americans.

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Gear Review: Ganzo 722

Several years ago, I purchased a Ganzo 720 and two 742s (on in orange for civilian carry, on olive drab for work). The 720 rode in my “fighting load carrier” (aka FLC) for a bunch of field problems, and the 742s rode in my pocket (including several parachute jumps at Fort Bragg and one in Kuwait). The 742s represented about the best “user knifes” I’d ever encountered, they are slim, hold a good edge, have a good pocket clip, and feel good in the hand.

The 720…that’s a beast of a knife and my only complaint was the axis lock mechanism. So when I saw the (at least new to me) Ganzo 742 which had the beefy blade of the 720 with the framelock mechanism of the 742, I purchased one to see how it works out.

It really works out. It doesn’t have the highly textured “mudder” style grip of the 720, which lets it slide in and out of the pocket much easier. The thicker blade is beefy, this isn’t a knife I’d want to carry for protection while jogging but it’s definitely got the right heft for woodscrafts and utility work.

The blade steel is the same 440C as the 742 and 720, heat treated to a high RC so you’ll need a diamond stone or hone to touch up the edge. The blade geometry is a high saber grind with a very good belly for skinning or slicing. At 3.5 inches it’s not particularly long, but it is at the max length for a normal handle size.

The handle geometry is thicker than the 742, but thinner than the 720. A few strategic texture options give it good, but not overly aggressive grip. There is a lanyard hole in the grip, which is a nice touch for a knife that is going to be part of someone’s survival kit.

The pocket clip is the same style as on the 720, screwed into the plastic center spacer rather than attached to the metal frame via three very small screws. I think that’s an improvement as I’ve had to tighten the three small screws on the 742s a few times over the years.

My final recommendation. If you want to spend less than 25 dollars, and you have large hands, this is absolutely the knife to buy as long as you don’t mind the extra weight riding in your pocket. It’s a serious working knife, and fits my needs better than the other models I bought before it. If you are looking for a lighter option, for more average utility/slicing chores, one of the zytel handled options, or a 742, is probably a better choice for you.

Now…Ganzo is a Chinese company. If that is a problem for you, stay away. They are based out of Hong Kong, and so I don’t feel bad about spending my money with a Hong Kong company (nor do I feel any guilt about purchasing goods made in Taiwan). But given the interconnectedness of the Hong Kong economy with China, I’m sure that some of my money is getting back to the Chinese government.

For those of you who want something else in this same price range, Buck makes the 284 Bantam, which isn’t bad, although the thumb stud fell off of mine (my wife now uses it for opening packages and other chores).

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