Part 1: Get Your Head Right
Dave Spaulding posted the link to a talk by Tim Larkin – apparently a .mil type who's determined that individuals have the right to self-defense (he calls it self-protection) – in which he points out something that should be pretty obvious. It isn't clearly to those on the other side and it seems to seldom be considered by people on our
The violent criminal offender has a different mindset, a different self of sense than "normal" people do. He (though it's not always a male) sees violence as a means to an end, whatever turns his crank – obtain money, money-for-dope, sense of accomplishment or "it's just who he is." Violence is simply a tool.
People who train in "combative sports," martial arts, defense tactics are first shown "the rules." The violent criminal offender, a human predator, has only one rule: to succeed. He has to reach his objective – it's all or nothing. For that person causing personal injury or death is simply a means to an end, the cost of doing business. To the UFC fighter, it's winning within the rules. That's difficult.
To a stone killer, it's just another day on the job. Competitors, great as they can be, are just gamers. The psychopath plays for keeps.
Consider World War II: Sir Winston had his "dirty tricks" guys, the SOE, we had OSS – and even the rank and file had to learn to give no quarter. All or nothing.
The reason the violent criminal offender wins so often is because if it appears as if something will get in the way of his success, he simply says to himself, "Some other place. Some other time" – and moves along. He simply won't play.
Clint Smith alluded to this when he said, "If you look like food, you'll be eaten."
When it's on and you have no way to escape and evade, you have to give your best. Your opponent will certainly do so.
The video appears here
Part 2: Hearing Protection
SoundGear In-the-Canal units. Photo from SoundGear
I received a set of discreet ear protection, the SoundGear In-the-Canal units. Taking small hearing aid batteries – which begin to discharge from the first use even if you remove them from active use – they are "active" hearing protection. They act as amplifiers until a loud noise causes them to cut out. They are listed with a rating of 25 dB and they suppress noise at 93dB.
I wore them on the range and felt they weren't enough for centerfire handgun on an open outdoor range (no cover). On the covered rimfire range, they were more than enough when using a Ruger 10/22. I wore the SoundGear In-the-Canal units at the Shooting Industry Masters but backed them up with MS-Sordins as I got next to the ranges where centerfire rifles were in use.
SoundGear In-the-Canal plugs are nearly invisible.
Again, on the rimfire ranges, the SoundGear more than did the job. On ranges with more high-powered fare, they seemed better than no ear pro, but you really need over-the-ear muffs – electronics are best – to take care of the racket. As to upland game hunting, waterfowling, and other outdoors activities, the In-the-Canal units would be worth plenty. Same on the trap, skeet and sporting clays ranges.
The SoundGear In-the-Canal ear plugs are the smallest and lightest dynamic digital hearing protection product that I know of. They are provided with two pairs of orange silicone sleeves and two pairs of black sleeves (1 each in small, the other in size large), two packs of Size 10 batteries, a cleaning brush – packed in a small, neat kit. Retail is $399.00. For information, see Soundgear
Otis Technology Ear Shield is overkill for the rimfire range. Compact, light and low-cost, Ear Shield requires no batteries and allows for conversation while protecting from high intensity noise.
Otis Technology went the other direction in terms of ear protection. They market the Zwislocki Ear Muffler as the Otis Ear Shield. Completely non-dynamic in the sense the Ear Shield doesn't act as an amplifier, the plugs don't go into your ear either. The idea is to shield your ears from high-decibel noise while hearing things like speech without removing your gear. Ear Shield is a compact design and doesn't prevent a proper cheek weld on a long gun stock.
I tried the Ear Shield on the rimfire range, not the smartest use of the technology, and on the old PPC range. It was effective at blocking the noise of centerfire handguns but, unlike electronics, it doesn't magnify
low impulse sounds. For someone my age, that can be a problem. For those who've yet to wreck their hearing, the Ear Shield has some clear advantages. One is cost, around $20 bucks for the 26 db model. For around $25, you can get the 31 db level of protection, something that'd be handy on an indoor range, the shoot house or when people are shooting centerfire rifles.
The Ear Shield unit is compact and folds to pocket size.
Next, they're compact. They don't get in the way of cheeking a long gun stock, they don't interfere with eye-pro and you can fold them and stick them in a pocket or inside your (tucked) shirt.
Finally, you don't have to futz around with batteries. The Ear Shield won't be "dead" when you need it. Anything battery operated can quit, but only at the worse possible time. Do these sound like they're ideal for travel? I'll find out shortly.
Interested? Take a look at them here
-- Rich Grassi