Monday, April 23, 2012

A Saint and a War Hero

Father Emil Kapaun was an Army Chaplain who was killed in a Korean POW camp in May 1951, after having been captured in November 1950. The Kansas native, Father Kapaun refused to leave wounded and dying men behind during an attack by Chinese soldiers and was subsequently captured. He suffered tremendously as a prisoner but never ceased ministering to others.

Father Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S. Army's second-highest combat decoration. Efforts are underway to waive the time limit for the Medal of Honor and award Father Kapaun the military's highest decoration. 

The Catholic Church has named Father Kapaun a Servant of God. A formal inquiry is underway to determine if he will be raided to the level of a canonized Saint. 

If the efforts to award him the Medal of Honor, he will be only the fifth Catholic priest to receive the award. If he is named a Saint, Kapaun will be the first member of the U.S. military to be canonized.

The story of Father Emil Kapaun is very interesting and inspiring. The BBC has the story and more pictures of this amazing priest at "Recognition finally for a warrior priest's heroics."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gun Library (books and more)

In doing a simple search of the Web you find an overwhelming amount of books, DVDs, videos, and articles on various aspects of shooting.  Quite honestly it can be frightening to try to think of what you should, need, must read.  How do you sift out the good ones from the bad?

One way is to ask.  Ask what other experienced shooters have read or use as training aides.  As a CCW holder, we have a responsibility to know how to shoot.  So we must practice—frequently!  We also have a DUTY to know the law.  So I have broken down my books, etc. by topic.

Shooting Technique:


Mind Set:

Let me know if I have missed an absolute must have book, DVD, video, or other training aide.

Stay safe and God bless,


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Reality of Defense

We spend a lot of time practicing with our firearms. We also spend time thinking about tragic circumstances when we might have to use that training. It's been said that for one split, rare and tragic instance, your training may be the most important thing you've ever learned. Law-abiding people who choose to go about life armed, do so not out of malice or bravado, but out of a sense of awareness and preparedness. Each day as I open my eyes and thank God for another day, I also ask that I do not have to use my weapon this day. Each night as I complete my prayers I thank God that once again, that piece of metal did nothing more than add weight to my belt, and some wear to my pants.

All gun owners must keep foremost in their minds when you carry a gun, every encounter you have with another person is an "armed encounter." That's why we hope avoid any situation where we even show the weapon.

It's a fact that the eventuality we prepare for, yet hope against, involves a human life. A recent training session helped to bring that home. Training partner Padre brought along a new target he had recently acquired, the Tac-Man target. This 3-D target can be dressed with shirt, hat, even sunglasses, to give a realistic defensive shooting target. While some may consider this morbid, and in fact some ranges prohibit even paper targets that depict humans, this sort of target offers much more than the typical paper target printed with circles. The "center of mass" is not explicitly shown. There's no red dot to aim for. No point values are listed. But it goes beyond that. Even though this target is plastic and stationary, it looks like a person. I can assure you when you are standing face to face with it, and draw your gun and start firing, a civilized brain will send out a signal of second thoughts.

I enjoy shooting for fun and relaxation, but I also shoot to prepare for the unlikely. Adding just a hint of reality to the mix reminds me of why I pray as I do.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Media Ignorance

We still have far to go...
VATICAN CITY - A top Vatican cardinal with a passion for shooting defended his rich collection of rifles and handguns in comments on Thursday to Italian newspapers that have already dubbed him "Cardinal Rambo." 
"This passion for weapons is long-standing. I used to go to shooting ranges. Unfortunately since I've been at the Vatican I had to stop," Domenico Calcagno, head of the Administration of Vatican Patrimony, told Il Fatto Quotidiano.

After reading this article, I found myself again annoyed by the typical response of the media. "Oh, he has GUNS! He must be violent! Let's call him Cardinal Rambo!" This response has been nurtured so that the general population also reacts in horror upon learning someone enjoys shooting, or even, heaven forbid, carries a gun for self protection.

This man is a successor to the apostles, a man of God, a man who chose to go without having his own wife and family because God called him to serve all men and women as a spiritual father. There is no disconnect with those glorious attributes and owning several guns, enjoying using them, and being a good Christian. Are men who collect stamps grilled about their hobby? Men who train to run marathons? Men who enjoy fine wine?

Those who enjoy shooting and hunting typically personify many good qualities. A gun owner often adheres to upstanding ideals: family, home, country, God. He most likely will be the one who steps forward to serve others, to defend his rights, to protect himself and those around him.

A gun is a tool, used by generations of men, women and children to protect and feed the family. As our culture moved to be more urban, few families continued to learn how to use this tool. But it is simply a skill to be learned and a device to be used. Knowing how to shoot can put food on the table, save a life, and can be used as an enjoyable hobby improving motor, reaction and strategy skills. Every family member should be comfortable with them, learning to use them under proper guidance and supervised training.

I am not a Catholic Cardinal being covered by the press using derogatory names, but I have had people recoil and "joke" that they will be careful not to make me angry when they learn that I shoot. I am no different because I know how to shoot a gun. I do not transform into mindless fury because of a piece of metal I carry. I am the same me, but with skills (I hope never to use) that literally could be the reason for my survival and those in my care.

See "Vatican 'Cardinal Rambo' defends passion for guns" for the rest of media hysteria.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Prepared Are You?

This is a reprint of an article originally published by Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Although the essay deals with societal breakdown in general, there is little reason to believe that the coming violence will not be fueled, at least in part, by religious persecution. Please read the essay and then answer the question for yourself.

What can you do, for yourself, right now?
by Kirby Ferris
© Copyright Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership ( 2012

Moral conscience is in dwindling supply in this nation. Our bankers are thieves, stealing TRILLIONS because they are allowed to do so. Nearly all of our politicians are venal, lying parasites who a century and a half ago would have all had their heads lopped off by rage-fueled mobs.
A growing proportion of our citizenry behave like hyenas, jackals and vultures at the slightest opportunity. Our nation has been invaded by twenty million illegal aliens.
Only a fool can’t see that we are headed for a potential showdown.
To those who will listen, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself: “What am I going to do as this societal and fiscal decay continues to its logical end?”
You need to evaluate what you can independently do for yourself, quietly on your own, in the coming weeks and months? And I mean for just yourself, not your mate, family, friends, or neighbors. You’ll be of no help to any of them unless you’ve got your own base well covered first.
The most fundamental expansion of your personal power is to acquire the tools, and achieve the skill to have the means and wherewithal to defend against one, several, or even a dozen other human beings. The legally safe term is “self defense”, but when the code red light starts flashing, and your options are coming at you with overwhelming intensity, you will shift into the bone chilling animal presence of your primitive ancestors. But you MUST have the tools and a modicum of skill.
Most of The United States is unique in its stubborn persistence in actually preserving, and even expanding, the individual’s unalienable right to meaningful and justifiable self defense. The Second Amendment does not mean your right to squirt someone with pepper spray. It preserves your right to, under certain life-threatening circumstances, apply emphatic lethal force.
But let’s step away from political theory and extrapolate the situation to everyday life. That stranger you confront in the parking lot late at night.
The group of “youths” you run up against if you stroll a block too far into the “bad” side of town. The guy on the park bench watching you jog past.
The weird driver tailgating you on a desolate stretch of road. The knock on your door and someone you do not recognize standing outside waiting to confront you for one reason or another.I’m asking you to either prove or disprove your sanity here: Would you rather deal with these mundane issues armed, or would you rather simply take your chances? This isn’t “Leave it to Beaver” America anymore, friends.
This is now an America that has lost its way, a nation drifting in “situational morality” and where theft is called “redistribution of wealth”. Pre teens beat innocent people to death, and laugh and giggle as though it were a day at the playground.
Are you going allow yourself to remain defenseless? Are you going to be left staring at your cell phone (if you have time) as your 911 call is ignored because of massive overload?
Are you going to be a survivor, a potential protector of the innocent? Or are you going to be a Darwin Award Candidate, too stupid to even provide for your own survival?
Let’s cut to the chase. In my opinion Barrack Hussein Obama is going to be re-elected. This nation has become addicted to socialism. It will be Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton sashaying into the White House when the smoke has settled.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME to wait to see this actually happen to buy a gun or seriously stock up on ammunition. You have to act immediately. You must behave as though you have only a week from the time your read this to get your act together.
The rush is on for handguns. As I write this, Ruger and Smith & Wesson have BOTH suspended taking new orders because of an unprecedented six month backlog. Expect other quality handguns to be fetching record prices. It’s just supply and demand.

( Continue reading at for the author's defensive weapon recommendations. )

The author concludes with "Time for theorizing is over. Act now. Do what you can, for yourself, immediately." Sage advice indeed.

Be sure to read the complete essay at "What can you do, for yourself, right now?"

Friday, April 6, 2012

What's In Your Range Bag?

When I meet shooters new to the sport, they always want to know what's in my range bag.

I like to be well-prepared, and consider safety to be the highest priority, so even though the trauma items may never be used, I have them in case of an emergency. I am familiar with how to use these products. A well-prepared shooter should be able to respond quickly to save himself or someone else.

The next group of items is the hardware I use at the range. I often change holsters, using both inside-the-waistband and outside-the-waistband designs, to be proficient at drawing from either one. I use extra mags and pouches to stay on the range longer between reloads! Shooting glasses and ear muffs are standard tools to protect oneself from the noise and flying debris. Rain gear and an extra tee shirt allow me to adapt to changing weather. After all it's not always going to be a sunny day! I keep tools handy I need to repair common breakdowns I may have with my pistol. I also track my handgun's shooting history. This helps me to keep my gun in good working order. I track the necessary replacements of all parts to be sure my gun is in top order at all times.

 Here is what I carry in my medium size Elite Survival Systems bag:
  • Celox
  • Personal trauma kit
  • Tactical Response Gear V. O. K. 
  • Israeli bandage
  • Galco holster
  • 2 Galco magazine pouches
  • Shot timer
  • Peltor ear muffs
  • ESS shooting glasses
  • Wind/rain jacket
  • Long sleeve t-shirt
  • 5 magazines
  • Sinclair Rounds Fired Logbook and pen
  • Caspian Pocketsmith for my .45
  • Swiss Army Knife

Having the right supplies with you can make or break a training session at the range. I recommend you keep your bag packed and ready to go. When it's time to train, just grab the bag, toss in your gun and ammo, and go!

Let me know if you think I'm overlooking something important. Or leave a comment describing what you carry.

Stay safe and God bless,


Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Dangers of Being Gunless

While this article by Alan Korwin is directed to the population in general, I think it is especially pertinent to Catholics. Today unfortunately many Catholics, and Christians in general, believe that defending one's life, if it means harming their attacker is wrong. Korwin points out the dangers this thought process brings about.
PHOENIX, AZ --( Gunless people, those who steadfastly refuse to keep and bear arms, practice marksmanship or learn gun safety create certain burdens for the rest of society. 
  • Gunless people increase the need for police protection, by being unable to fend for themselves in certain dire emergencies. By remaining unarmed, a gunless person becomes a “free rider,” obtaining safety and protection against criminal activity through the responsible actions of others. Gunless people in general reduce national security. An armed populace is more capable of aiding in national defense, from border risks to crime or terrorism events, and poses a greater deterrent to such activity.  
  • Borrowing the logic from the Wickard v. Filburn case at the U.S. Supreme Court, gunless people have a negative impact on interstate commerce. By failing to keep and bear virtually the only property that is constitutionally guaranteed, they weaken the economy and contribute to lowered economic stimulus. This is admittedly a somewhat circuitous argument, but it seems quite popular in other arenas (e.g., growing grain for your own use) and so appears germane. 
  • A family that is gunless and feels secure because of it, fails to realize that being gunless is dangerous. The other side of the brag that, “We don’t have a gun in OUR house,” is “If push came to shove we’d be helpless victims and we plan to leave it that way.” This is a person’s free choice, but it should be recognized for what it is.  
( Continued at )
The last point quoted above illustrates the misunderstanding that some people have regarding the command to "turn the other cheek." While we mustn't strike out in retaliation or revenge, neither must we allow ourselves to be victimized.

Be sure to read the complete essay here.