Come visit the FBMG forum

The forums are up and running, and there is a ton of good content over there.  Please feel free to jump in and join the discussion.

“One Shot Stop” Handgun statistics, and why they’re a load of crap

In my last CCW class, I had somebody talk about the famous “Marshall & Sanow One Shot Stop Statistics” and about how this student was going to use a 97% round instead of a 92% round. 


Okay, if you aren’t familiar with these, basically these two guys, Marshall & Sanow, supposedly looked at a ton of actual shootings, where people had been shot once in the torso with a bullet, and then they measured what percentage of those resulted in an immediate stop, i.e. immediate cessation of hostile action.


Then they published their work, and all bullets were rated.  Immediately, people who were not given to critical thinking, accepted these percentages as gospel, and you could hear people arguing at gunshows and on the interweb about how they’re more tactically saavy because their handgun load was a 94% stopper, while yours was a meager 82% stopper.


Over time the flaws in this stuff became apparent, and luckily we don’t have to hear about it as often as we used to.  But it still pops up once in awhile. 


Let’s break this down as to why this idea is massively flawed.  First, assuming that their data was not fabricated (because of lot of the shootings weren’t documented by anybody other than them), this wasn’t exactly scientific data.  It wasn’t like they lined up 300 death row prisoners, shot each one in the chest with a different brand of .45 and then watched the clock until they quit kicking.  Supposedly these were incidents from actual gun fights. 


And since gun fights by their nature are fluid, dynamic, and always suck, we can also assume that they’re going to be different.  To illustrate:


Shooting 1:  Subject is 105 pounds, soaking wet.  Pacifist.  Faints at the sight of his own blood.  His book club calls him “Todd.” Has never been in a violent encounter in his entire life.  Plays Barbara Streisand records to get “charged up”.  Gets shot in the abdomen with a Brand X .32.  Bullet lodges in the belly button.  Barely breaks skin.  Subject faints because of loud noise.  .32 Brand  X = 100% stopper.


Shooting 2:  Subject is 310 pounds of prison hardened muscle.  Has a spider web tattooed over his whole face, and his friends call him “Death Train”.  Subject 2 is high on coke, crack, meth, elephant tranquilizers, No-Doze, and Cherry Pepsi.  While robbing a bank during a tri-state killing spree, Subject 2 engages in a running gun fight with police and is shot through the lung with a Brand Y .45.  Subject 2 then carjacks a busload of handicapped nuns to escape.  Later has friend who flunked out of Vet School remove the bullet with a pair of barbeque tongs.  Subject 2 then goes to 50 Cent concert.   Brand Y .45 = 0% stopper.


So from this illustration, you are far better off carrying the Brand X .32 than the Brand Y .45. 


Now obviously, that is flawed, because of the nature of the subjects.  Death Train and Todd are not equivalent in any way.  Death Train would EAT Todd.  However, they’re both people that got shot in the torso with a single round, therefore they are valid M&S stats. 


Then you’ve got people shot in the heart vs. those shot in the gut.  Both bad, but one is usually fatal in a matter of seconds by the basic facts of biology.  However, both are one shot stops.  So if the guy carrying an inferior round, is a better shot, that round gets a better percentage. 


And then my personal favorite, they disregard multiple shots.  Because if you shoot the guy twice, then that doesn’t count.  I don’t know about you guys, but anybody worth shooting is worth shooting five to seven times.  I’m not going to shoot the guy once, and then wait around to see what percentile he falls into.  My gun is going to sound like a friggin’ jackhammer until he decides to leave me the hell alone.


Once again, before you jump onto any Gun World bandwagon, exercise a little critical thinking.

Pistol class on the 17th

I’m co-teaching a basic pistol class on May 17th out at Global 1 in Cedar Fort.  I’m doing the lecture portion, that will be spaced throughout the day, and that will cover everything needed for the Utah CCW permit.  (and a good refresher for everybody else).

The rest of the day will be a pistol class.  It will be a long day and we’re catering lunch.  The other instructors are extremely experienced, one longtime military SF instructor and one former Blackwater contractor and me (by FAR the least experienced, but I give a fun lecture). 

$150.  Contact me for details if you’re interested. 

On gun safety and getting your feelings hurt

There are 4 basic rules of gun safety.  If you always obey these 4 rules it makes shooting somebody on accident almost impossible.  To paraphrase:

1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

3. Don’t point the muzzle at anything you don’t want to put a hole in.

4.  Know your target, what’s behind it, and what’s around it.

Pretty basic, pretty simple, and if you ingrain them and do them automatically and unconsciously then your odds of having a negligent discharge go way way way way down.

Now there are two reasons people violate these basic rules.  Ignorance or complacency.  Ignorance is when you’ve just not been taught.  You don’t know the basics, so you violate them.  Understandable, and that is why it is always the job of those of us who are educated to teach others whenever possible. 

Complacency is when you know better, but you get lazy, or stupid, and you break a rule anyway.  I handle guns for a living every day.  All it takes is for me to not pay attention for a second and I could kill myself or somebody else.  So any time you use a gun, you have to mentally shift gears.

Now we all screw up.  Everybody can fall victim to carelessness.  The key is that if you see somebody else doing something dumb, don’t be afraid to call them on it.

Now this is difficult as a gun dealer, because I get all sorts of people coming into my shop in various states of ignorance or carelessness.  Keep in mind I need to be nice to these folks in order to get their business, because if I can’t sell them guns, then I can’t pay the mortgage.  That’s how it works.

But I’m an instructor first, dealer second.  So if you come into my store, and do something careless with a gun, I’m going to have to correct you.  First off, this is for the other innocent bystanders in my shop that don’t deserve to have guns pointed at them.  Secondly, maybe I can help you ingrain some good habits so you don’t blow an extra hole in yourself sometime in the future.  I will try to be polite.  If I do something wrong, then one of my guys will correct me.  That’s the nature of life, and something that the gun culture absolutely has to do. 

When you screw up, and have it pointed out, just fix it.  The correct answer when you accidently sweep somebody with a muzzle is, “sorry about that” and then DON’T DO IT AGAIN. 

The wrong answer, the absolute worst possible answer, is “Don’t worry, it’s empty” or “I know what I’m doing.” Because if you tell me something like that, you’re a friggin’ moron.  And when I correct you again, I won’t be polite.  Your feelings come second to the safety of the people around me.  When somebody corrects your screw ups, be glad, and fix it.  Don’t get all huffy and offended.  Anybody can mess up, that doesn’t make you any less of a man.  (and I say man, because every single time I’ve seen somebody get their feelings hurt over a safety correction has been a dude) 

Yesterday I had a guy looking at a rifle.  He was holding it, and didn’t realize that there was a group of people off to his side.  He was covering them with the muzzle.  I was talking to another customer, but I was very polite, excused myself,  reached over, lightly touched the barrel, and steered it back in a safe direction.  I said “You’ve got somebody over there.  Watch where you point that.”

That was it.  Then I went back to the customer that I was originally helping.  The customer I corrected got all offended.  He told one of my Minions that “Well, I didn’t know it was LOADED.” (see rule #1) and then “I know what I’m doing, because I’m in the Army.”  Then he left.

Okay.  I didn’t set out to hurt this fellow’s feelings. Correcting a stray muzzle is an automatic response for me.  The fact that he took it as some sort of personal offense is too bad.  And I wish I would have had the chance to talk to him. 

Safety applies to everyone.  I don’t care if you’re in the Army.  Uncle Barbie was at the shop last night.  He spent 7 years as an NCO in the Airborne.  I asked him what he would have done if one of his soldiers had told him that gun safety rules didn’t apply because of superior Army training.  Barbie said that he would have clubbed his skull in.   Apparently the whole polite thing doesn’t really apply in the military.

I’ve personally been corrected.  If you handle a gun, it’s going to happen.  Period.  Don’t get all butt hurt.  Just deal with it.

Movie Review: Expelled, no intelligence allowed


Yes, I am the kind of nerd that will go to see a documentary on its opening night, and in this case, I’m glad that I did.


I thoroughly enjoyed Expelled.  Many “conservative” documentaries are pretty badly done, dull, witless, and just preach to the choir.  (guilty of it myself) but Expelled is well done, paced well, extremely interesting, and actually entertaining. 


You’ve probably heard the critics harping on it, about how it is biased, unlike other successful documentaries like an Inconvenient Truth, because according to critics, it was the BEST THING EVAR! 


Yes, Expelled is biased.  Good.  Sometimes the underdog side needs to get a turn too. 


As somebody who has tangled with the self-righteous world of Academics (‘cause guns in school are baaaad), it was really interesting to see the parallels between this topic, and other topics that I’m more familiar with.  The MO stays the same.  They misstate what you believe in to make it absurd, then they throw up every barrier they can think of, including threats and bullying, fire you if they can get away with it, vilify you in the press, then sue you.  Now where have I seen that before?


The best part of Expelled was when Ben went to Germany to look at the dark underbelly of Darwinian thought.  The Eugenics movement.  That part was actually very moving.


The most entertaining bit was when Ben interviewed that prick, Richard Dawkins, and made him look like a complete buffoon.  Word to the wise, Dick, you shouldn’t have underestimated somebody who has like 75 more IQ points than you do.  You’re being interviewed by a man that wrote speeches for presidents and knows more trivia than anybody.  He made you look like a tool, Dick.  Go back on O’Reilly, you fared a lot better there. 

Sold out on Amazon, so that’s all folks

I discontinued the MHI version on Infinity.  Amazon’s now out, BN is out.  You may still be able to get them for a few days on that other link on Amazon because that is direct from Infinity. (the used & new link for $17 something).  Then I’ve got 20 on the way to me.  So that’s it.

But at least it went out with a bang over there: Sales Rank: #7,312 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in these categories: (What’s this?)

#51 in  Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary
#82 in  Books > Entertainment > Television > Shows > 1980′s


Still scratching my head on the 1980s part.

My novel, MHI, is in Entertainment Weekly

Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly.  On Page 69 is the best-sellers chart.  Entertainment Weekly will contact one big independant bookstore and use their list.  Luckily for me, this week was Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction & Fantasy mega-store.

#1  Outlaw Demon Wails -  Kim Harrison

#2 Snake Agent – Liz Williams

#3 Monster Hunter International – Larry Correia

#4 White Night – Jim Butcher

#5 Goblin War – Jim C. Hines

#6 Rollback – Robert J. Sawyer

#7 Night Life – Caitlin Kittredge

#8 Liaden Universe Companion – Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

#9 Into a Dark Realm – Raymond E. Feist

#10 Across the Face of the World – Russell Kirkpatrick

Not bad.  Not bad at all.  Keep in mind that this is a self-published work by a wannabe hack writer.  The only reason I’ve had ANY success at all has been because of you guys taking a chance on my book, and then telling your friends.  My contract has been sent, and soon I’ll be published by a real publisher.  Then we’ll see what we can do! 

Seriously, for all of you that had my back, thanks.  Now all we need to do is sell a bunch of the professional version so they’ll publish MHI:2 also. 

Looking at that list, holy crap, that’s some stiff competition.  I read Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Saga in Highschool!  Jim Butcher is like the man.  (hell, he’s got his own show on the  Sci-fi channel, how friggin’ cool do you have to be for that?) 

NOTE:  This is the Entertainment Weekly with Tina Fey on the cover.  When I picked up 3 copies from my local Barnes & Noble, the clerk looked at me kind of funny, but I just told her that I thought Tina Fey was remarkably hot for a liberal.  She just nodded and rang me up. 

As a bonus, don’t just buy it for Monster Hunter International, it does have an article on The Great One, Charlton Heston.  And anybody who questions the fact that Charlton Heston is The Great One, show them a copy of one the greatest movies ever made, BEN HUR, then scissor kick them in the throat for daring to question his awesomeness.   

Monster Hunter International: DISCONTINUED

Ha, I knew that would get your attention.

I sent off the paperwork to discontinue my self-published version of MHI, and sent back my signed contract for the “As of Yet Unnamed Big Publishing House” version. 

The downside?  It will probably be 6 months before MHI is available again from Unnamed Big Publishing House.  (they’ll get named here as soon as I cash the check).  Which means that if you want a copy of the original MHI, what’s out there in circulation right now is what’s out there.  Uncle Hugos probably has some copies.  Amazon has them in stock, but I don’t know how many.  Even if they don’t have them listed as in, if you click on the Used & New copies availabe link, there’s some there from the POD publisher.  Barnes & Noble has managed to screw the pooch the entire time, and hardly ever have it in. 

I got 20 more copies for myself on the way, and that’s it.  I figure I’m going to stash a bunch of those for myself.  Just in case I ever become famous, so in ten years I can sell them on E-Bay for stupid amounts of money and pay my house off, so I can move out to the country and build myself something that the government and the media will refer to as a “compound”. 

Movie Review: Southland Tales 

I’m waffling on this one.  Part of me wants to give it a bad review, part of me wants to give it a decent review. 

The good:  It looks pretty.  Honestly, the shots are great.  The camera work is interesting.  The “motif” I guess you would call it, was kind of art schoolish, but kept your attention. 

The performances were good, and it was really good to see some well-known actors be totally out of character.  The Rock still continues to surprise me, because you would think that somebody who came up as a professional wrestler would be a mediocre actor, but every performance he’s done has been good.  Sean William Scott is good as usual (I also think Stifler is underated).  Buffy the Vampire slayer is passable as a dimwitted porn star.  Justin Timberlake was better than expected, but then for some reason does a musical number, or something. But the best performance was to see Jon Lovitz playing a murderous scumbag.  Plus, Jon Lovitz punched out Andy Dick, in real life, so Jon Lovitz rocks. 

The bad:  The plot is disjointed, and even though I know that’s what the director was going for (come on, this is the guy that made Donnie Darko) this one was just a touch much.  It was too long.  Like way too long.  It started to drag in parts where the multiple-personality plot twists just went on and on. 

And worse than that was the social-commentary.  It was heavy handed and obnoxious.  If you’re going to have social-commentary in your film, even if I disagree with you, fine, whatever, but do you really need to keep smacking the audience in the face.  “Look how edgy I am!  Republicans are bad!  Elephants humping!  SUVs humping!  BAD!  BAD!” 

So the film tries to comment on the Iraq War, George Bush, politics, the environment, energy concerns, the news, terrorism, the Patriot Act, and the media, all during a plot about time-travel, drugs, magic energy machines from the ocean, blimps, marxist terrorists, the end of the world, none of which is actually explained, and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out if Sean William Scott was supposed to be Jesus.   It feels like it is trying to be serious, and then it morphs into Hudson Hawk. 

So overall, eh… I’d say see it if you’re a movie nerd.  Most of my regular readers will roll their eyes and get sick and tired of the social commentary (look flag draped coffins!  EDGY!) wheras people that live in Berkley will nod as if they get it, (but I don’t really think there’s anything to actually get).  If you’re not a movie geek, save your time and rent something with zombies in it.  Yes, weird, artsy, sometimes annoying, and about 30 minutes too long, even by my relatively patient attention-span standards, my review gives it an ambivelent thumbs sideways. 

FBMG web page almost done, new forum is up and running

Our webpage/shopping cart is almost done, and the new one will be up probably next week.  (gunshow this weekend screws up everything).  In the meantime, we’ve added an FBMG forum

This has been by popular demand, mostly by people we’ve taught in various classes.  Plus it gives me a place to answer group buy questions.  So check it out.


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