Category Archives: Gun Rights

Stuff You Don’t Read

The Back-Beat Story On Connor-Style T&E’s.

The shop was quiet. I sat with electronic range muffs on and my eyes closed, holding a pistol to the left side of my head. I was slowly squeezin’ the trigger when the door squeaked open and RJ blurted, “Sir? What the heck are you doin’?!” He’s our youngest DARM (Deputy Assistant Range Monkey). His eyes were buggin’ and he looked like he was gulpin’ golf balls. I put the gun down and laughed. “What did it look like, kid?”

“Like you were gonna blow your brains out, but, uh … you didn’t want the noise to hurt your ears?” He blushed furiously. “Wow, that’s messed up — and weird, sir.” I laughed ’til I ’bout peed myself.

Told him I was listening to a trigger. See, my hearing is damaged from gunfire and ordnance, more on the right than the left. So, I turn the right muff off to suppress ambient sounds, and turn the volume to maximum on the left muff. Amplified, you can sometimes clearly hear what your finger can only sorta detect. If you listen close to a glitch or rough spot, you can hear things like, is it a steady frictional sound, a tik! or a grritt? Is it repetitive or erratic? Duzzit change location?

You can see how that leads to three questions: Is this glitch in the design, is it only in this pistol or is it a serious manufacturing problem? Then, is it correctable? A “frictional” can fade with use. A consistent tik might be just a trigger-connected safety working. A grritt is always bad news. Maybe fixable, but bad news.

I do the same thing with slide cycling and revolver rotation; feeling and listening for problems, inconsistencies or sometimes just characteristics of the design. If during rotation a revolver cylinder drags consistently at a given point, or the trigger pull stiffens, would that ring your bell? How ’bout inconsistently? I wanta know before I shoot the weapon for T&E, and then compare findings after putting a coupla hundred rounds through it. Often, any frictional “white noise” from both triggers and actions vanishes with proper break-in, and actions smooth right out. Often, not always.

Kickin’ Tires, Checkin’ Oil

I bust out the magnifier and hit the pinpoint light to inspect firing pin and striker noses, and extractors, checking both the face and the claw. If there were any dings or wear after only, say, 400-500 rounds, wouldn’t you wanta know about that? Does the extractor wiggle like a loose tooth or does it have good tension? If a trigger has a little play front-to-back, no big deal, but if it has wobble side-to-side, whattaya think? Worrisome? I’m not a gunsmith — not even a good gun mechanic — but I can figure out where potential wear, chatter and bash-points are, and I wanta see ’em up close and personal before and after shootin’.

I test safeties — and then try to spoof ’em. The first time you put a manual safety on, then pull the trigger and find the gun woulda gone bang! if there’d been a round in it, well … Your attitude on consumer testing changes. If a manufacturer says a pistol will not fire if it’s even slightly out of battery, who checks that? I think it’s my job. Am I wrong? Have you ever tried repeatedly to see if short-stroking a trigger will make it seize up? Tried casually “bumping off” a safety feature, or bumping a hammer off full cock, or tripping a tensioned striker system with a blow in the right place? I do it.

Using inert rounds, I’ll put a gun in carry-condition, stick it in a coat pocket with keys and coins, then gnarfle the coat like a mad monkey to see how much persuasion it takes to fire it. You’d wanta know, right? If I tell you that firearm X requires a complete, proper, deliberate pull, you can bet I’ve tested it.

On the range, I always shoot firearms canted to 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to see if that’ll jam ’em, then shoot ’em as close to straight up and straight down as I can get away with. Most can handle it, a few can’t. I figure, better I learn this in the dirtbox than have you learn it in a fight — right? Often I shoot autopistols up close to a vertical support on the right, to see if brass bouncin’ back at the action might cause a malf.

I pay attention to extraction and ejection, and where brass is thrown. I’m looking for consistency. Different loads will throw differently, but if the distance and angle is erratic with any or all loads, that indicates a problem. If it’s one type of ammo, I run chrono tests on it. If it shows a wide “extreme spread” in velocities, there’s your answer. If it’s not the ammo, then it’s the gun — maybe not an immediate problem, but of the “bite you in the butt later” variety.

Expended brass is checked for all the usual suspects: inconsistent primer indents, split case mouths, gouging and tearing of extractor grooves, all that. Then comes all the post-poppin’ exams.


Some tools of the Test & Eval trade.

Why Don’t You Read This?

If it ain’t remarkable, I don’t remark on it. There ain’t enough word-space for everything. Like now. RJ asked if all professional gunwriters do this stuff. That stumped me.

“I dunno,” I said. “I ain’t one, and never asked one.” Connor OUT


By John Connor

Read More GunCrank Diaries


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner July/August 2015 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner July/August 2015 Issue Now!

Why You Should Keep The Faith

It’s pretty common to hear gun owners gather and lament the sorry state of affairs with our precious right to keep and bear arms. Why is it so much easier to curse the darkness than light a candle? Whatever the reason, here’s some encouraging perspective: Both sides do it! So you can get a leg up on the opposition — if you just keep the faith, baby.
In fact — and this was a shocker when I first learned it — both sides think they’re losing! That’s right. Sit in on a Tea Party meeting or a liberal coffee klatch, and the conversations tend to run the same way, just in opposite directions. “Why is the other side kicking our butts so hard?” They’re all sitting in darkness, candle-less. We can learn from this and use it to our advantage.

Yes, it’s hard to endure the nonsense spewing from dyed-in-the-wool anti-rights liberal activists, but it’s important to do once in a while. You’ve heard the one-liners: Know your enemy. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. When you hear, firsthand and up-close, what the political left and the anti-rights forces really think, it’s actually encouraging.

I’m not talking here about the massaged, homogenized tripe pouring off your television screen or other mass media, controlled by small powerful groups with an agenda. I’m talking about the misinformed and mal-informed folks who’ve swallowed the anti-rights lines and “wish all the guns would go away.” This is the bulk of the so-called support groups (supported these days by one rich bigot — Michael Bloomberg) we face when defending our right to arms.
They may be fighting hard, making a lot of noise and getting disproportionate airtime and ink, but they feel they’re losing and we’re winning. This is good. And they can back it up. This is even better. We need to help them along with their feelings.

They Feel Like They’re Losing

You should hear them, quietly in living rooms, at political “salons” where politics gets discussed (like in the 17th Century, look up salons for an interesting read and a great idea for modern day), or at left-wing district meetings. It sounds like this:

“Thanks to the powerful gun lobby, we can’t get any bills passed. Not even reasonable common-sense ones. Anyone is allowed to walk into a store and buy all the deadly bullets they want without controls. They stockpile dangerous assault weapons nobody needs to hunt deer. And now every state lets people get permits to carry deadly loaded guns in public where there are little children. Those guns could go off!”

You get the gist. They go on like this endlessly. They feel like they’re losing.

In truth, the largest and oldest civil rights group on Earth has stopped attempted rights denial of the public, but it’s been a tough, continual struggle. American citizens, unlike people repressed elsewhere, are free — not allowed, a dangerous word you must watch out for — to buy quality ammunition (about 10 billion rounds annually in the second biggest participant sport in the nation, larger than golf). Assault is a kind of behavior, not a kind of hardware. Ownership of property in America isn’t based on need; it’s the communist model. You get the idea.

Don’t let the opposition’s twisted view distort yours. There’s a real struggle for our rights, but their brainwashing leaves their arguments solidly based on nothing solid. When I sit in on such chatter, the slightest amount of actual information undercuts the silliness and lights start to go on. You can do this, too, by reviewing the “Politically Corrected Glossary,” at

You can’t hit them in large bites or you start a fight and get nowhere. You need to be so subtle you aren’t noticed; with just the right aplomb, these folks who feel like they’re losing can be comforted and their opposition softened.

Shift The Conversation

All the issues swirling around why anyone needs a gun dissolve when you speak about why good people might want guns. The fear so many people have about these obviously dangerous things is defused when you shift conversation from guns to freedom. Turn from death and destruction — which obscures rational discussion — to safety, security, rights and choice.
Our precious right to keep and bear arms is more about the first word than the last one. To the extent you can nudge your thinking toward a rights-based mindset and less toward a guns-based mindset, you put yourself on a path better tuned to the mainstream, bypassing their fears and terror and your own sense of gain and loss. They think they’re losing, so they see terror. It’s a false fear, but it drives them. Your faith in the grand “American Way” can help salve the festering sore for them.

The salve includes subtle shifts in the language you use, the mindset you bring to the table and compassion you show to the unfortunate individuals who suffer from hoplophobia (morbid fear of weapons, Jeff Cooper’s term for it), assuaging their conviction of losing.

When they begin to understand your armed presence increases their safety and you’re part of the good guys — like the cops whose guns they actually admire (a sick hypocrisy) — both sides can start to feel like they’re winning. Because they are.

Guns save lives. Guns stop crime. Guns are good. And guns are why America is still free. Believe it. Keep the faith, baby.

Alan Korwin, has 14 books to his credit, 10 of them on gun laws, and runs the website
By Al Korwin

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner July/August 2015 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner July/August 2015 Issue Now!

Isn’t It Time To Authorize National Carry Already?

The problem is the dangerous word authorize. Just whom do you plan to grant this enormous power to — the federal government? Would you like to give the government more power than it already has over your guns?
This is the only entity with sufficient reach to even consider giving such broad control over our rights. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t trust them to authorize carry. I don’t trust them with most of the power they have usurped already.
And there’s another tricky word right there — usurped. Significant portions of the power our government already exercises has been usurped, meaning taken without legitimate delegated authority. Remember, under our system, government can only legitimately exercise power ‘we the people’ have delegated to it. We’ve definitely not given it power to authorize national reciprocity for our concealed-carry permits. Or have we?
If you read the Constitution and take it at its word, this power seems to already exist: “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State” (Article IV, Section 1).

The problem is the background of this section. Legal precedents show states must recognize the judicial acts of other states, not the legislative or administrative ones. This interpretation doesn’t sit well with me. It fights the plain meaning of the words. If you go by the plain meaning, the permit you now hold should be good in any state, case closed, problem solved.

Because the problem isn’t resolved, your stinking permit (to corrupt a phrase from Bogart’s great movie, Treasure of the Sierra Madre) was never good elsewhere. Well, until bureaucrats and lawmakers cooked up the bewildering reciprocity schemes, where you have a list of states that may accept your “unalienable” right to arms, probably. Under their own local rules. In some places.

Reciprocity works, for the most part, because you carry discreetly, don’t get noticed and nothing happens. Instead of an uninfringed right to bear arms, like the Constitution describes, you have a list of states which will accept your papers … maybe. Depending on the cop you happen to meet on a roadside, on a good day … if the officer’s spouse was nice at breakfast.

A Big Mess

This mess — and it’s a mess even though you may have grown accustomed, even happy, with it — has motivated a lot of otherwise decent and principled gun owners (and groups!) to ignorantly seek, even demand, national reciprocity law, or worse, a national-carry permit. Oh geez.

Law enforcement officers got one in 2004, called LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act), pressed into effect by our friends at the NRA, with massive help by the pro-gun-rights police group, LEAA (Law Enforcement Alliance of America), an NRA ally.

Many of us argued this 2-tiered rights system — privileged police receiving rights the rest of us were supposed to have, uninfringed national carry — was a really bad idea. They put us off quite tactfully, saying if cops and ex-cops were given national carry first — the easy first step — then we the peons would be next. But as soon as the law changed to protect and serve them, all effort ended. Why were we not surprised?

Even police got peon treatment at first, and had to pass additional law so they wouldn’t get arrested for carrying safe hollowpoint defensive ammo. The law actually helped everyone, establishing in statute hollow ammo (a friendlier term) was preferred and safer, not deadlier as anti-rights maniacs claimed while foaming at the mouth.

The problem with giving feds national control over your right to carry arms is immediately after they get it, they’ll start regulating it, and you know where this leads: thicker national registration. National testing, with tests you can’t control (already attempted, HR-45). Rights removals with no restoration plan. These are powers the government shouldn’t have. This demolishes the concept of “shall not be infringed.”

In fact, the whole notion of a permit is disgraceful and blemishes the idea of a society free to keep and bear arms.

Patriots Wanted

Sure, this is the only way we can currently effectively carry, and it’s a good first step. It’s accomplished a lot. Especially in destroying the paranoid mythology of an armed populace shooting slow waiters and people at traffic lights — leaving America to look like Dodge City in cowboy days (which never looked like Dodge City of Hollywood fantasies).

No, the way to authorize national carry isn’t to authorize carry, it’s to repeal the bad, illegal, infringing laws denying the rights we have and should be able to exercise.

Instead of defending the rights we have, we have rulers hard at work infringing our rights. These people should be removed from office, imprisoned and replaced with patriots. People who respect our rights, make it easier to exercise them and uphold the principles of the Constitution, this is who belongs in office. Our rights need restoration, not authorization. It can be done. It must be done. My hope is you will be part of this tide of hope and change.

Alan Korwin’s company Bloomfield Press features plain-English books on state and federal gun laws for the public. He invites you to write to him or see his work, at, where you can get books and DVD’s that can help keep you safe.
By Alan Korwin

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner May/June 2015 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner May/June 2015 Issue Now!

Censorhip Fails: Bloomberg’s Ally Defeated In Phoenix

We wanted to say “Guns Save Lives” right there in public — promoting gun safety and marksmanship. The city of Phoenix decided they shouldn’t have to be “burdened” with this message and tore down our signs, placed under an $11,000 advertising contract, in the dead of night. In the midst of negotiations, they censored us. So we fought City Hall … for nearly 4 years.

We (a coalition of gun-industry firms working together) couldn’t have done it without lawyers from the Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation at the world-famous Goldwater Institute. We shouldn’t have to fight to say such a simple thing, but the people who hate our right to arms will stop at nothing, including squelching our right to even speak, in their headlong rush to wipe out this fundamental human and civil liberty.

It was almost laughable to watch them squirm for years as they kept changing their arguments. At first, city lawyers claimed someone had seen our ad (isn’t this the point of putting ads on bus shelters?) and was offended. Excuse me, but someone getting offended doesn’t overrule our right to free speech. A government official who doesn’t understand this should be removed from office, end of problem.

Then, they claimed if our ad remained they’d have to let anyone say anything. Oh, the horror! We can’t say “Guns Save Lives” — a true statement by the way — to catch attention, get an important message into the public eye and promote gun-safety training and marksmanship because someone else might say … well, what exactly? This argument collapsed rapidly enough. Content-based restrictions are (supposed to be) totally prohibited.

Free Speech Suppressed

Official guidelines already banned speech you might expect, like no fraud, nothing illegal, no nudity, no alcohol or tobacco (both legal products, but thems the rules), hey, we were within bounds. Yes, ads had to “propose a commercial transaction,” and we were in violation of this — except, we weren’t. The city, and the mayor who’s a member of Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors-Against-Guns campaign, just wanted our speech suppressed.
Our ad plainly says “Educate Your Kids” and “,” which is the website where you go to pay for training. It’s filled with ranges and trainers who sell their services. So then their argument became ours was a “blended” message (nothing at all about this in the “standards”). They were making this up as they went.
You see our ad says, “In Arizona, marksmanship matters…” and goes on to say Arizona has good laws, respects the right to arms and for these and other reasons, you should get trained.

Officials sitting in judgment of our words decided we couldn’t say that: It wasn’t commercial. I say it is, as part of the compelling and motivating text to convince you to act. Who are they to judge anyway? They have no legitimate power to do so. They even rewrote their standards in the middle of the lawsuit to try to undermine our case.

The Goldwater attorneys argued under the 1st and 14th Amendments, because we got unequal treatment and no due process, and our state Constitution has a stronger free-speech clause than even the Bill of Rights. There was no way for a person of average intelligence to tell what the city allowed. An ad saying “Jesus Heals,” with a cross and radio station call sign got approved. Where the hell is the proposed commercial transaction, pray tell? Who sells what in this ad?

An Unlikely Partner

Joining us in our lawsuit was (are you sitting down?) the ACLU. They wanted to defeat the “federal forum analysis” part of the case — the part where the city claimed a public bus stop is a non-public place. I kid you not. The city argued strongly this lets them control the content of speech there.

The ACLU has wanted to fix this since the 1991 Children of the Rosary case, and ours presented a chance for them — so they joined as an amicus, even though this was, or seemed to the world, like a gun case. It wasn’t. It was a 1st and 14th Amendment free-speech, due-process and equal-protection case. But it was the Guns Save Lives case as far as any non-lawyer or the media could tell, and it was indeed the heart (literally) of the matter. It certainly made our heart logo better recognized than our ads ever did.

In the end, the court decided unanimously in our favor on a technicality —the change the city made to their standards unexpectedly allowed blended ads, and we did propose a commercial transaction, so our ads had to remain. We have them up now to a half-million viewers daily. But the court never “reached” the key points, including the ACLU’s and our 14th Amendment issues. This is called justice. And you think gun laws are bad …
The only thing making this struggle possible is readers like you buying the books I write and sell. I’m encouraging you right now to go to, look at my work, and get yourself something good. While you’re there, click the button, where you can get the juicy details about how we fought city hall — and won. It feels goooood.

Alan Korwin’s company Bloomfield Press features plain-English books on state and federal gun laws for the public. He invites you to write to him or see his work, at

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner March/April 2015 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner March/April 2015 Issue Now!

How Far Does Your Love Of Freedom Really Go?

When Felicity Bower guest-authored my column last issue, she touched a nerve. Many praised her for taking a traditional female role model stand — which is no longer exactly in vogue. A few took what you might call a feminist view and trashed her for not being more of a man, or something. It made me think about people not leaving each other to be free to be what they want to be and why this infects our government so badly.

You know guns and freedom go together. Free and clear gun ownership is the litmus test of freedom. It’s a question of whether you have it, and if you do, the more of it you have, the more free you are. The physical object right there in your hand is freedom personified. Take it away — or limit your right to it — and your freedom is compromised.

But how far does your love of freedom really go? I suspect it may not go as far as you think. This column is a self-test: For those of you who think women should be … whatever, you may fail. But this failure is good — it teaches you where your grades need to improve. And where freedom is concerned, constant improvement is a good thing.

Litmus Test Of Freedom

Do you believe you should be able to tell other people what to do? Outside of your own children, I mean. You certainly can’t do it using your guns, which would take you straight from freedom to crime — or tyranny, depending on how organized you are. This is how government operates, by force. You can only persuade other people to do what you think is right, or what you want them to do. The minute you do anything to force them to do what you want, you’ve abandoned freedom. Sounds like something you’d never do, right?

Well, if you think like a statist, or act like one, or back some, you’ve given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side. The easiest example (but maybe the most painful) is the damn fool permission slip so many of you have in your wallet. You know, your carry permit, especially if you show it off with pride.

It may be the only way you can legally go armed — which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But you should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person. The power to issue it is usurped and tyrannical — your free right shouldn’t require papers.

How about this whole growing brouhaha over openly bearing arms? Are you afraid to try it? Do you think it hurts your freedom to exercise it like this? Now there’s a paradox for you. Surely you’ve heard this little pearl: If you have a right but can’t exercise it, then you don’t have it.

Maybe you’re one of those people who goes to a gun show, where you can proudly and bravely wear a sidearm — like an abject idjit — unloaded, strapped closed, with no accessible ammo. Now there’s a plan, and you hardly ever think about it. Col. Jeff Cooper said it best: “A gun that’s safe isn’t worth anything.”

But … I’m not saying gun shows should suddenly be loaded with loaded guns; obviously, it wouldn’t be safe. I’m asking if you’re one of those who hasn’t got the cojones to travel like this anywhere else. What does it make you?

Go Grab A “GunBurger”

You don’t have to open carry in the most sensitive place in town and draw so much attention that artificially nervous SWAT teams from three counties show up just for show — media magnets in tow, cameras rolling. The anti-rights people love/hate this (though it does make the point, finally brings the topic up and it’s not illegal when done right and tastefully). Plus: It means you must put your life, fortune and sacred honor on the line.

It’s a real freedom dilemma, because it’s a right, and you sort of can’t exercise it without creating turbulence. Gone are the days when people just went armed, like in the movie musical Oklahoma! (a must-see).

Maybe you need to arrange a “GunBurger,” a monthly meal at a cooperative restaurant where everyone knows in advance what’s going to happen. Everyone shows up tastefully armed, end of story. It’s fun, makes the point, requires less cojones and you get to wear your best leather. There’s strength in numbers … and far less pushback from officials. More armed people peaceably assembled has this effect. Talk about exercising freedom!

Harry Browne described government as a way for one group of people to make another group of people do what it wants. When you look to government to protect your firearms — instead of looking to your firearms — you’re looking in the wrong direction.

In modern civilized society, we’re not going to start enforcing our wills at the point of a gun, as government does. But we can change our thinking so we understand what’s going on, and the pushback moves the needle in the right direction.

Alan Korwin’s company Bloomfield Press features plain-English descriptions of state and federal gun laws for the public. He invites you to write to him or see his work at

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Oder Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2015 Issue Today!

Donwload A PDF Of The American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2015 Issue Now!

Can You Lead And Not Just Follow?

What does it take to be a leader in the effort to save our right to keep and bear arms? Let me reframe that. Are you tired of seeing so many people attack our precious right to keep and bear arms, and wish someone would do something about it?

Nah, that’s not quite it either. If you wanted to finally take a stand and stop putting up with the vicious animals and political bigots who want to disarm you, rip your guns from your hands and leave you helpless, keeping all the guns just for their dozens of state-run authorities, here’s what you need.

This column is, first, a barometer and self test for those of you already leading the gun-rights movement, even in a small way. But second, and more importantly, it’s a call to action to those of you who see the writing on the wall, are finally fed up and want to stop standing around while it happens all around you. What do you need?

1. A real fire-in-the-belly for Second Amendment rights, a desire to act (not just gripe) to see them preserved and an understanding of their importance and relationship to the preservation of freedom in America — and consequently world freedom.

The battle for gun rights is about more than just the guns in your house and hand. It’s about the freedom to have your house and the gun in your hand. If government can say you can’t have your gun — the very thing you can use to protect everything you have — then your right to everything is in jeopardy. That’s what this is all about. If you get that, you’re ready to step up. Do you get that?

2.An understanding and gut-level distaste for the forces ganged up against this fundamental human right, and a burning desire to see them defeated and crushed. Not stopped — crushed. They represent ultimate evil, whether they are aware (the worst kind) or simply dupes and ignorant (just as dangerous). There is little room to deal lightly with these folks, they are out to strip the public of their rights. How much nice does that deserve? Are you ready to dish it?

3. The ability to take command of the assets, contacts and attributes around you, and, applying whatever native skills life has given you, doing things to make things happen. That’s the leadership key right there. What things?

This implies first, the ability to sit, think and set some goals. You have to decide what’s important, decide how to get there and decide on a course of action you can take. Ideas are everywhere, you must choose, then act. Can you take action, that is — actually do something?

4. If you’re going to influence people to build strength in numbers, you need to be able to speak, or write persuasively. This includes casual contacts with other folks, and in gatherings. You must up and go, from gun shows to church to tea parties, clubs, you name it. The world belongs to people who show up. That scares most people off. They’d rather charge a machine-gun nest. If that’s you, accept it, you’re a soldier, not a leader, stop reading now. Or take a Dale Carnegie course or Toastmasters. I’m not kidding. It’ll change your life. Great stuff.

5.n As someone helping to lead the gun-rights struggle, you need desire to grow and expand your brain, stay current, eventually become a greater force in the firearms struggle in America, it’s a natural evolution. Once you take the reins for a walk, you start wanting to let the horse out for a trot, then a run, then a full gallop. It’s exhilarating. The road travelled starts becoming a passion. It becomes your road, unique to you. Sweet. Do you sense that passion?

6. So where are you going to get a reasonable starter set of ideas to act upon? What’s the catalyst for action? How do the best leaders actually do it? This answer you may not like, but there’s alternatives, so you’ll be okay.

The best leaders are inspired. It’s a gift. You have it or you don’t. Ideas just come to them, and they end up speaking in quotations everyone else uses for centuries. Ideas spring out of them and we’re lucky they exist. We had an uncanny supply all in one place when this country was founded, thank God.

The first alternative (for everybody else) is the brainstorm, which you should’ve learned in school but you’ll get here in this magazine. Sit quietly with a pad, write down a question and jot down every answer you think of no matter how wild, silly or decent it seems. One thing leads to another, it’s almost miraculous. In the end, some of the ideas are really good, and you distill them out.

The other shot is simple research. With the web now, just pick a state gun group, or tea party, look ’em up and see what they’re doing, it’s all there. Pick. How easy is that?

You want to lead? I’ll say it again: Can you take action?

Alan Korwin keeps resources on his website for gun owners and for activists, try the TacticsThatWork button.

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2014 Issue Now!

Why The Man Of The House Should Be Armed

I like to shoot as much as any other red-blooded American girl who shares this passion. I’m no longer a girl, but I like the word — it keeps me feeling young and, you know, feeling like one of the girls. Call me names if you want, but I think the man of the house is the one who should be armed and, if push comes to shove, the one who should be ready to defend our kids and I. This whole silliness about “men and women are equal” is pure bulldiddly as anyone with half a brain can see. All girls know it, but we don’t let on (usually), because of the advantages. And the men are either too dumb — or they like it that way — or maybe it’s just too convenient for us girls to spill many beans.

Ladies on TV news play along and it’s time for it to stop. There’s a reason why women don’t play on football teams, and you know it. There’s a reason men and women compete separately in every sport requiring strength or speed. Women are the weaker sex, and that’s all there is to it. When women throw the shot put in the Olympics, they always throw slightly short of the men. That’s the best versus the best. Always. But the women throw a shot nearly half the weight, 8.8 pounds vs. 16 … I rest my case.

Sure, you can find a woman who can beat a man (or has a better mustache!), or one pro who is better than another pro. Some female somewhere is an outlier to the group, but it proves nothing. Trying to make the case proves you’re an idiot. Thomas Jefferson was flat wrong when he said, “all men are created equal.” They aren’t either. Everyone knows it but no one will say it flat out loud. Well, there it is … I’ve said it. We’re all entitled to equal treatment, but respect the differences or be seen as a fool, fool.

It’s A “Man Thing”

Because boys and girls are different — and boys are stronger — we like different things based on the strength difference. We just do. You can argue, but it’s true, and you know it.

Anyone can go to a gun show. It’s a free country (still). So, who goes? Men mostly — it’s 95% men (great place to shop for one, by the way). When I go, there are very few sisters around to visit with, but we all spy each other, and look each other over, like women do. And the men look us over too, don’t you boys? It’s non-stop ogling, and most of you aren’t subtle about it a’tall. Hey, we don’t mind, we dress for it, and some lap it up, like the hussies.

There’s hardly anything at the shows for us to buy and it’s all because guns are basically a “man thing.” Freud thought so, too. But, it all circles back to my main point (my man point?): If someone is going to defend my home, I want it to be my man because it’s his job. He’s better at it than me, more naturally inclined toward it and he practically wants to do it. A gun is an equalizer, but it takes strength.

I can defend us if necessary. I know I can, and I will if I have to … don’t dare me. But he’s prepared — he likes it, practices with his buddies and reads about it in magazines like this one (we have so many lying around and he won’t throw any of them out!).

Sensible Division

We have a division of labor to help run our household. He does the barbecue and I set the table and clean the dishes; he carries packages and makes home repairs, I do the laundry. You probably run your home in a similar way, since every couple I know has similar divisions of labor. If we ever had a break-in, God forbid, I know what we’d do without even having a plan — which we do — worked out together.

My man would get one of several firearms, as would I, and while he’s carefully investigating from cover, I’d be corralling the kids into a safe area, dialing for backup. There’s more to it than that, but I’m not going to tell you everything. What I’m saying is the man has the primary responsibility for the family’s safety; I like it this way because it feels right.

America has lost some of this simple home wisdom. Some of the junk on TV makes it seem like if you believe in different roles for men and women you’re doing something wrong. Well I’ll tell you what’s wrong — that notion. You have to believe the evidence of your own eyes, heart and soul. And remember being the woman of the house is a wonderful and natural responsibility. You should assume your role with pride, and allow your man to have his role with equal pride.

Felicity Bower has been writing for Alan Korwin’s company Bloomfield Press, for nearly 20 years. It’s the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. He invites you to write to them or see their work, at

Read More Gun Rights


Order Your Printed Copy Of American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2014 Issue Today

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2014 Issue Now!

Can Logic Sway Gun-Grabbers? Can Pigs Fly?

You’ve heard this a thousand times — on TV or the radio, in a bar, at church or a conference, even on your telephone. It’s all the same: Someone attempted to prove guns or something about guns is absolutely good, or bad, based on some monster statistic.

Not only did it fail to prove the point, someone on the opposing side came up with another figure — just as high and mighty — from as indisputably good a source as the first guy, to positively crush the argument. But that’s right; he crashed and burned just as badly. Neither number negated the other to win the day.

Statistics don’t seem to work in the gun debate. In fact, they don’t seem to work well at all in most social, cultural, ethical or philosophical struggles — that is, political wedge-issue debates.

Somehow, no matter how good your numbers are, they don’t convince anyone except yourself. Yeah, they feel good to have, and you love having them, finding new ones and then cataloging them mentally. It’s especially great to recall them at a moment’s notice and use them to trounce someone in a rant.

It seems like the numbers should be the be-all and end-all, and should settle matters. But they don’t. This debate rages on, doesn’t it? Prof. John Lott did amazing statistical work, and settled some of these issues once and for all. His studies turned out to be accurate and above reproach, and the other side, well, they just went their merry way, seeking to destroy the right to keep and bear arms. Why is this?

The Argument

Human rights are not subject to cost-benefit analysis. Statistics aren’t a proper gauge in this arena. This argument is better suited to analysis on moral, legal, logical, philosophical, historical, humanitarian, ethical, judicial and religious grounds — words, not numbers. It’s based upon civil rights and your unalienable right to survive, not on fungible figures manipulated to make points and support agendas. In this sense, it doesn’t matter what the numbers are.

There’s no rational way to assign values to lives and rights, and then do math based on it, so numbers don’t count for much here. If 99 percent of the public believes something about your right to defend your family, what does it mean? To borrow a phrase, if it saves one life, can you morally deny a person to life?

Furthermore, both sides have numbers and they don’t match. For some fun, put two statisticians in a room and let them have at it. There are numbers to support every position, making statistical arguments — especially on wedge issues — almost worthless. Just find out who supplied the numbers, and you’ll already know what the numbers will prove.

This lack of veracity in numbers is a field unto itself. Politicians have become inured to it. When they spout numbers, they know damn well they’ve been pitched hard from all sides, and have picked the numbers from the side they want to support. Accuracy isn’t an issue. “According to the Violence Policy Center … ” right — we can see your eyes roll from here.

Truth? Forget About It

People aren’t looking for truth; they want to win. Anti-rights people aren’t interested in learning the truth about guns — they don’t care about your numbers, or whether they’re right or wrong. The evidence could be overwhelmingly on your side (and it is). They just hate and fear guns and want them to go away. They are irrational (hoplophobic) about it. Your numbers bounce off them. Statistical approaches are wasted on them. If they cling to any numbers it’s only those to bolster their fears and help them rationalize their desire to rid the world of these horrible things. “Every 32 minutes … ” go ahead, roll your eyes again.

It isn’t about truth or numbers; it’s about surviving in the jungle. The right to keep and bear arms without infringement isn’t due to, and shouldn’t be limited or influenced by, statistics on crime, accidents, armed households, ammo sales, caliber performance, incarcerations, self-defense incidents, numbers of permitees … anything.

There are no valid statistics on the core issue of whether you can morally and legitimately protect yourself or others from crime or death. If more or fewer gun owners, carrying this or that, have some measurable effect on something — your rights are immune to it. Your behavior might change, but not your rights.

Mind The Sales Pitch

Surveys and stats are a subterfuge — it’s all about accumulating power against freedom. When you read or hear about new surveys and stats, especially from the so-called “news” media and politicians, realize this: You’re not getting facts, you’re getting pitched. Those numbers have been developed by someone with an agenda, paid for by someone seeking a result and promoted by someone who decided the numbers work for them.

The Brady’s do not promote numbers to support the NRA, and vice versa. “News” people actively suppress numbers showing guns stop crime. Did you see those stats at the beginning of this column? Even when numbers make a difference — are totally newsworthy and happening constantly — they hide them. Numbers don’t lie, but the liars can figure.

Alan Korwin invites you to write him or see his work at
By Alan Korwin

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of American Handgunner July/August 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner July/August 2014 Issue Now!

Are Carry-License Trainers Our Enemy?

We knew, when so-called “Right-To-Carry” laws first started to pass, it would create a new artificial “gun-trainer industry” that would come back to bite us. With that industry, we were creating a trainer lobby, whose rice bowl was entirely dependent on government forcing people to take the classes these folks had never before offered, and never would have offered, if government hadn’t made it mandatory. Newly minted gun trainers by the thousands became dependents of the state, a dangerous state of affairs.

If they were so good at it, and their product made so much sense, they would already be selling it like soap in a free market, attracting business and competing like any other free enterprise. We would have well-trained educated citizens bearing arms, and the national landscape would be different. But that wasn’t the case, was it?

My first book, The Arizona Gun Owner’s Guide, was selling briskly years before that development because, of the half the public who keeps and bears arms, a good portion wanted to know the laws, and was willing — voluntarily willing — to shell out a few bucks and get a plain-English description of what the laws said. They didn’t need big brother’s command. As good Americans they knew they had a responsibility to themselves, their families and the public at large to know what the hell they were doing. We sold plenty of books. We promoted and hustled. Business was good.

Resentment actually crept up in my craw when, in 1994, the rush from carry-permit candidates crept in. Instead of selling books to people who wanted them, we found ourselves selling books to people coerced — who needed them. Government intrusion into our rights had changed the dynamic of the marketplace.

Instead of appealing to the 50 percent of my countrymen who were responsible citizens, we were pandering to one percent of the citizens who had lined up at government’s door for a permission slip.

All the most ardent gun-rights supporters caved, virtually immediately. Instead of their fiercely independent keep-and-bear mentality, they became infected with an unwittingly statist look-at-my-cool-permission-slip braggadocio I still cannot believe.

I watched as people with no prior business experience suddenly glazed over, fired up, and literally got gold-rush fever. They slap-dash set up their nascent training “academies” imagining themselves moguls of huge training empires, with cash rolling in, as they harvested mandated students.


A few rubes bought hundreds of books from us before they had students or knew how to get any. In those lean early years, if someone demanded a truckload of books, hey, we rolled the truck. Today, older and wiser, we won’t let newcomers do that to themselves. We tell them don’t overstock. I stopped a guy recently, all full of heady startup, from ordering 200 guides. Instead I sold him 12. And gave him advice on a promo, a subject he didn’t know existed.

But we saw it coming. The writing was on the wall. The folks who turned the government coercion of “shall issue” into income or even a living off the public, would become lobbyists to protect this meal ticket.

If and when we could ever get out from under the oppressive thumb of government management of our rights, to permitless possession, one of our main opponents would be the very instructors empowered by the king, whose very livelihoods they believed (correctly) now depended on the king.

Many retired police and military guys, federal agents and certified trainers all supported euphemistic “right-to-carry” laws because they saw it creating an apparently independent job. They didn’t see what we did — they were being set up — to argue for infringing rights they thought they were exploiting in a positive way.

Trainers Did Some Good

Now to be fair, there are positive aspects to permission-slip training. Even though so many instructors couldn’t business-their-way out of a paper bag, they did manage to train millions of students. Every time a new RTC law passed, they did their thing. Meanwhile hoplophobic, misguided portions of the public, inflamed by rotten-to-the-core “news” media, would scream about blood in the streets, stop-light shootouts and slow waiters dead in restaurants.

But of course, that never happened, yet leftists kept ranting — because they really believed death would rain down. There’s a name for that — paranoid delusion.
Trainers and “shall-issue” proved conclusively armed Americans don’t become homicidal maniacs simply because they’re armed. We needed that. The antis and hoplophobes themselves might go psycho if armed, because many are irrational and unbalanced. They believe others are like them, and project that fear onto you.

But RTC has exposed that, it demolished the lie. In that sense RTC (with government-sanctioned trainers) has been a good thing, and the CCW/CHP/CHL/CCL/ETC-trainer industry has done the nation immeasurable service. The gun lobby’s energetic promotion of permission-slip carry paid off. And it has saved lives and helps prevent crime. Society is safer when criminals don’t know who’s armed. Millions of discreetly armed Americans is a major accomplishment. We could never have gotten to this point without it.

Yesterday’s News

It’s time to leap forward, to true Freedom to Carry, without government granting permission to exercise your rights. Let trainers dictate curricula. The enemies of these freedoms include the usual suspects, but they also include the trainer industry, ironically perpetuating the same Dodge-city dodges. “If we have the uninfringed freedom of Constitutional Carry, and people aren’t required to take classes (from us, of course), we’ll have random violence from unlicensed (yikes!) dangerous rubes roaming around looking for people to shoot. We must keep these classes in place, like before!”

It’s no surprise really. They’re behaving like any cartel. As they see their rice bowl threatened, they’re adopting protectionism and the same nonsense they had to buck to go from outsiders to insiders.

Half the nation keeps and bears arms, and they do just fine without permission slips and forcible registration for government-defined classes. People buy guns, carry guns and use guns, at home and outdoors, with a very low incident rate, and certainly without dead people littering bistros.
The two percent of the public who’ve endured mandated classes are no less accident-prone than your neighbors, half of whom have loaded guns at home, at the ready.

Here’s The Silver Lining

Stop worrying about your business, it will grow. Under Freedom To Carry, every gun owner is a prospective customer, not just the two percent willing to petition the emperor for a pass. Everyone is your customer. That’s a 25-times increase in market size.

Even gunless people become prospects — in states with FTC, everyone’s carry rights are intact. Some people refuse fingerprinting and permanent registration in the national crime database going with permits (a horrifying practice many permitees don’t realize). These folks come out of the woodwork to you.
Responsible Americans can easily recognize the value, social utility and even bragging rights of being trained to arms, when society adopts it broadly. It’s your right, and it makes sense. Why would a person not know how to safely handle a firearm? The positive sides of this are ginormous, if you can wrap your brain around it. Constitutional Carry is an economic stimulus plan.

Have you been conditioned to think as a statist — nothing happens without government permission? That’s not how America is supposed to work, and it doesn’t reflect our history. Being an adult implied a knowledge of your right to arms. Trainers should focus that way. These distinctly American attributes — not wallet cards — helped make this country great.

You want to help “take the country back”? Then take us back to when the public was educated in the right to arms — and promote that widely, not just to “permit applicants” — ugh, what a horrible phrase! Whose side are you on?

Take the country back to Freedom To Carry. Educate your family, kids, neighbors’ kids, local officials and yourself on the proper and righteous uses of modern-day firearms — with no permit in sight! Whether you carry in your everyday routine or not, knowing guns is knowing freedom.

That’s the golden lining. Your training company, instead of shriveling up and going away, needs to explode into a robust, vigorous, energetic facet of American commerce. Firearms training should be sold like breakfast cereal — everyone should have some — by free choice.

Who Are You, Really?

If the government demanded you need papers to exercise your right to go to church, speak, read, bear arms … pick one, would you agree to be the salesperson?
Reluctant instructor types, get off your bums and stare this amazing opportunity in its face. America needs all the training it can get. The smart ones of you out there are going to recognize this and build the bandwagon from the ground up, and support Constitutional Carry. Those clinging to the government teat are enemies of freedom.

Training academies can flourish when government impediments, infringements, paperwork, red tape and entanglements cease. Permits are secondary. Sure, reciprocity and shopping advantages count, but those are infringing tangential baubles needing to be eliminated eventually too.

With the oppressive yoke of mandates off our necks, free markets can shift the balance. People will respond to clarion calls to marksmanship, National Training Week (July 4-11 each year),’s First Shots programs and Daddy-Daughter days at the range. You think you had business when government forced people into your class? You’re about to discover The American Dream, where capitalism, free markets and people driven by self-interest fill your seats, your coffers, and your heart with love for this great American pastime and skill.

Ask your legislators to introduce Constitutional Carry bills this coming session. Even if they’re not enacted immediately, poke the pinko socialist anti-rights maggots in the eye. Take the country back and make a living while you’re at it. Model language and talking points can be found here: Constitutional Carry (also called Freedom To Carry or Vermont-style carry)

Alan Korwin’s company Bloomfield Press is the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country, featuring plain-English descriptions of state and federal gun laws for the public. He invites you to write to him or see his work, at
By Alan Korwin

Read More Gun Right Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of American Handgunner May/June 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner May/June 2014 Issue Now!

Stand Your Ground … It’s Up To You

If a criminal enters your home you can either stand your ground, or abandon your home to the criminal. The “news” media is madly attacking the first principle with breathless stories lately. In their search for something — anything — to assault your precious right to keep and bear arms, violent anti-rights bigots in this country have taken to attacking the very laws created to protect the innocent, help us put criminals in prison (or in caskets) and make society safer.

One of their strategies, now part of the sitting president’s goals, is to go after guns able to fire. You read it right. His seventh anti-gun executive order reads pretty well if you don’t look too deeply: “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.”

They’ve boiled it down to an overblown safe-storage rule, which they interpret as “guns are okay as long as they don’t work” (coincidentally their losing position in the Heller case). If firearms are ready for their intended purpose — to protect innocent life, save lives, stop crime and act as a deterrent — it’s “dangerous.” They plan a huge ad campaign … with your money. And “free” airtime from 15,000 radio and TV stations (your money again, through increased rates to advertisers).

Col. Jeff Cooper wisely pointed out that a safe gun isn’t worth anything. Of course, it has to be balanced with keeping guns out of the wrong hands and the Safety Rules for loading, unloading and storing firearms properly.

Here in Arizona, a “safe and responsible gun ownership campaign” would have to include, for gun owners and the gunless alike, handling loaded firearms and the first rule of Gun Safety: “Treat all firearms as if they’re loaded.” See to see how we do it.

This plan migrates very naturally to self-defense, and people who always keep their guns safely loaded, because it’s the right and proper thing to do. And this brings us to standing your ground.

Fight Or Flight

If an intruder assaults you or invades your home, here in Arizona, you can stand right there and protect yourself. Or, you can flee with whoever else might be there at the time — it’s your call. It’s not a choice between being some testosterone-loaded Rambo vs. a lily-livered yellow-bellied coward. And it’s not civilian wisdom to say: “It’s always better to avoid a gunfight than to win one.”

Don’t you think George Zimmerman would, in perfect hindsight, have preferred to avoid the self-defense gunfight he survived? Now he is forced to live out the rest of his life hounded by the second-guessing, cameras, death threats the US Attorney General is ignoring, public scrutiny, lies, historic distortions and radio replays. But better to be tried by six (in this case) than carried by six. Kinda sorta. But I digress …

So what really is behind stand your ground? I remember when I first heard some talking head raise the point on TV — out of the blue. I was shocked. Say what? The law had nothing to do with the case! Why even bring it up? Suddenly it was front and center. Wow — stand your ground! Sexy. It had zero to do with anything, but we were off to the races, and there was no putting the horses back in the gate. So let’s get this straight.

Stand your ground is good law. Great law. The opposite is run-and-hide law, abandon-your-home-to-criminals law. Without stand your ground, if a criminal smashes through your front door — or just walks in — you must run out your back door and leave your home and its contents to whoever comes in. Yes, that’s right. You have no choice. Defending yourself or your home, if you can run away, becomes a crime.

It may be safer for you, leaving your entire home’s contents in a criminal’s hands. Maybe it’s a better plan; maybe you should do it. But it should be your choice, not the government’s.

If you’re forced to surrender by law — with no right to stay in your home, defend yourself, force an intruder away and you’re required to relinquish your home to anyone who dares enter — then private property has no meaning. Sanctity of home and hearth are worthless. Criminals have more right to your home than you do without this law.

You’re the king of your castle. This is what stand your ground means. You didn’t see this in the nightly “news” now, did you? Journalists should be ashamed and fall to their knees begging forgiveness for the harm they do to this nation.

You must have the right to stand your ground in your home, or on the street or wherever you can legally be, in a free country. When seconds count, the police are minutes away — and those minutes must belong to you, a free person with a right to exist, not to a criminal. Here lies the heart of stand your ground.
By Alan Korwin
Alan invites you to write him or see his work at

Read More Gun Rights Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of American Handgunner March/April 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner March/April 2014 Issue Now!