FEBRUARY 13, 2018

Editor’s Notebook: Trending, Early 2018

Change is constant. Nothing ever stays the same.

I remember a time when, along with like-minded friends, I was considered “off the reservation.” While real cops all knew that gun control legislation was nothing but feel-good crap designed to suppress the law-abiding while having no effect on the rate of violent crime, no seemed to agree that “all citizens should be armed all the time.”

I’m not sure I ever said that, but I always felt that the person demanding that other people be disarmed was not to be trusted.

What happened?

The adoption of ‘shall-issue’ concealed carry permits in Florida in 1986 was quickly (it seems) joined by a proliferation of states doing the same. This was followed by Brady, the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban, NICS, the Clinton Ban ‘sunset’ and more states joining the CCW hit parade – into and through the “Global War on Terror” following 9/11. Consider also the rise of alternative media and the internet – both contributing to pro-freedom initiatives. Now an unprecedented number of states have adopted “legal carry without permits.”

People like me were on the sidelines watching as gun ownership became mainstream in the major part of the U.S. Gun Culture 2.0 arrived and has gone on, proliferating by leaps and bounds.

This was again driven home by an incident last week. Dining out with a known local gun shark-retired peace officer, we were chatting about ammo at the check-out counter. The young lady handling the cash overheard us and, having known us for some years, told us that she and her husband had never had a gun around. They’d had kids at home, money was tight and the safety aspect kept it from happening.

Ruger Security-9. Yamil Sued photo.


Now the kids are grown and gone. They’re considering taking a concealed carry class – not for self-protection, but taking the class to do something together. She went on to say they’d probably try to find a low-cost handgun at a pawn shop.

Mike recommended a retired deputy who was doing training classes for permit applicants and said to get with him before trying to buy a gun.

I’d never considered concealed carry as a ‘social activity’ before. I can see getting the permit for lawful carry of the ultimate force option. That was easy. But to be part of an in-group or to spend quality time with a spouse, that was new to me.

The S&W SD9VE is a high quality, low cost handgun.

It’s a different world.

The guns are vastly different. Mike Rafferty and I were talking yesterday. He noted that if he had the choice between a brand new unfired Glock 21 and any vintage S&W M27 of about any barrel length, he’d take the cannon.

I told him they were different: the Glock is a tool, plain and simple. He argued that the old N-frame 357 was a tool also; I replied that, to me, it was more a work of art. Not because it’s “round versus square,” or a .357 versus a 45 or that I could get more in a sale or trade of the older wheel gun – but because if its intrinsic artistic value. It was a time in which humans’ work time was cheaper than machine time – and machines weren’t so well developed.

Look at a major bit of news from Ruger: the Security-9. It’s not that they copied the form factor of the Glock 19, arguably the best format for a self-defense pistol. It’s that they produced a decent fighting pistol (or recreational gun) at the low price point.

S&W did that with their SD-series pistols. Not to be confused with the “SW9VE,” the SD9, SD9VE, etc. occupies a line of extremely accurate, well-made low-cost defense guns. “Legendary Lawman Marshal” Chuck Haggard himself has noted the utility of the SDs.

The Security-9 is hammer-fired, has features to appeal to the new shooter and to the experienced gunny who’d like a low-cost alternative. Consider that self-defense guns do get seized as evidence in the aftermath of a use of force.

SIG P365. SIG-SAUER photo.

Assuming it’s good, why not carry something that doesn’t hurt quite so bad to lose – for some time or forever? Weighing it at under 24 ounces, it has a 4” barrel and has a capacity of 15-shots (in Free states).

And that’s far from the only gun getting a long stare: check out the SIG P365.  It’s the smallest 10-shot 9mm I know of. I’ve never fired one – it might be a chore to take a class with, small as it is, but it is unique in subjective “feel” as I found out at the SHOT Show.

The gun is provided with XRAY3 Day/Night sights – something to consider when checking out the price tag, a 10-round flush fit magazine, and a 10-round extended magazine. An optional 12-round extended magazine brings the total capacity to 13 rounds – again, in Free states. The little blaster has a 3” barrel and weighs less than 18 oz.

So we’re going with value pricing and smaller size – and we’re nowhere near the end.

Carry of firearms in public is becoming commonplace. That’s a good thing. There’s nothing to fear from responsible citizens carrying guns. And if someone wants to take a concealed carry class just to learn or to spend time with a loved one on the range, I see nothing wrong with that.

Just too bad we don’t have more ranges and more responsible trainers.

- - Rich Grassi