From time to time we’ll clear out a backlog of browser tabs that we’re too busy to blog in depth about. Like this.
Daniel Defense takes a cue from Apple Inc
DD is one of the premium AR makers out there. Apple, of course, makes premium priced computers. You can pick up an Apple machine from your local Apple Store, but if you want the widest range of options, for the last several years you’ve been able to go to the Apple Store online and design your own Build To Order Mac from their interactive website. Well, why not premium ARs, too? And so DD has a configurator that lets you build, or at least spec out, a DD upper or a complete DD rifle online. Of course, unlike your MacBook Pro, a complete rifle has to go to your FFL. (An upper can come direct).
As befits DD’s reputation, a number of premium options are available, including Geissle triggers and a wide range of rails systems. (Call us old-fashioned, but we’re still happy enough with our original KAC SOPMOD I rails. The DD rails from SOPMOD II are better, but the Knight’s rails were good enough). As an experiment, we “built” a mock-Mk18 CQB upper, and a complete .300 Blackout rifle. The latter was a mind-searing (and wife-unfriendly) $1,700 plus, but we’re not buying generic here. If we had one beef it was the muzzle device options, particularly in .300. Look, if you’re only going to give a choice of one device, and that one a crummy one, at least give us a delete option like we have for sights. Anyway, the configurator is here.
Brownells has had a similar configurator available for some time at ar15builder.com.
Engagement Dynamics: Cop vs. Cripple
The cop says he was cornered and terrified. By whom? Brian Claunch, a mentally ill double-amputee. In a wheelchair. So, he blew his head off. Now, we’ve seen some cops who’ve been hitting the donut shop pretty hard and would be easily run down by a cripple, but this case just doesn’t sound quite right. No report on the number of rounds fired yet. This cop, Matthew Jacob Martin, who has three names like any other serial killer, also shot a suspect to death in 2009, although that one sounds like a good shoot. Martin got three three uncharged vacation days, as a reward for killing Claunch. Spokesman for the Houston Police, Jodi Silva, manages to sound like her maiden name was Isuzu on this one. Too little information, but what there is looks bad. If we’re going to euthanize the mentally ill, that needs to be a national decision, not Patrolman Martin’s.
There’s a website out there that links every single HPD and Harris County cop misconduct story over the last eight or so years. We won’t link it — if you want to hear about the evidence custodians ebaying victims’ (!) goods, or various bad cops getting indicted, you can find it. Any big organization is going to have some disciplinary issues, particularly one with low prestige, low pay and low barriers to entry. Maybe Martin is completely in the right here and the media have just spun this to make him look dirty. Maybe HPD has a leadership problem. Needs more information to make a call.
Veterans’ Affairs: When your Association runs out of Veterans
The US Navy’s elite force of World War II was probably the submarine force. These men took risks greater than those in the surface fleet or in aviation — 52 boats and thousands of men remain on eternal patrol. After the war, the veterans banded together into a tight-knit group of survivors. But the association has disbanded: the youngest survivor is 86, and most of them are in their nineties. Their memorials will be maintained by other sub vets’ orgs that were open to later submariners. The silent service veterans might have slipped lines and sailed off into the sunset, but one reporter caught the story.
Soon enough, all the submariners will be on eternal patrol.
Gun Safety: Careless Cop breaks a round in PHL
This seems to be the month of cops behaving badly. A flight attendant forgot her handgun in her purse and when it turned up, the TSA called the cops. A Philadelphia police officer took the cop, and promptly fired it wildly in the airport. Here’s the rub: it wasn’t a trigger-safety Glock, but a double-action Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Naturally they’re blaming the careless flight attendant, not the incompetent, negligent cop. (There are degrees of blame here, folks. Firing a gun is an order of magnitude more serious than forgetting you have one). In a well-led organization, a negligent discharge is a firing offense. An unpunished ND is a red star cluster fired to mark the location of an organization unqualified to certify men and women in gun handling.
Hat tip: PA Gun Blog.
Intelligence: Spy and Ex-con Edwin Wilson dies, 84
This remarkable obit at MSNBC discusses a man who was the prototype of today’s multimillionaire “public servants.” Wilson got sentenced to decades in prison, and served over 20 years, before a court exonerated him on some of the charges: it turned out, he was guilty enough, but prosecutors were not confident of their case, so they “improved” it. As one of the authors the obit quotes notes, “they framed a guilty man.”
He was still trying to overturn the other judgments when he passed on to his final Judgment. May God have mercy on his soul.
Talk Like a Pirate Day: USS Ponce
Was last week, and we missed the chance to comment on the Navy’s “pirate mothership,” USS Ponce, which is in the Arabian Gulf (yes, we know it’s the Persian Gulf, we wrote it that way to irritate Iranians), working with French EOD divers on a counter-mine exercise. Ponce’s conversion to an amphib/SOF mothership and floating command post is something we wrote about before. Here’s an update on her current doings on the countermining exercise. The conversion included a state-of-the-art JOC and a fitting of new Mk38 guns, a weapon that has also graced our pages before, with a new electronic fire-control/surveillance suite.
Unfortunately, they still fly the US flag and the Navy jack… not the Jolly Roger. So much for nautical tradition.
Engagement Dynamics II: Crim is a no-go at Target Selection
They must have looked like easy marks to the would-be muggers. One waited in a car while the other approached the young couple, preoccupied with the baby stroller and car-seat drill. The black male “became belligerent and began issuing threats” to the young father, Joe Smith. The Buckeye Firearms Association has the story. (Hat tip: AmmoLand).
“He just kept coming, no matter what I said. Then he told me he had a gun and had no problem killing all of us,” said Joe. Joe instructed Amanda to call the police while he engaged the threat. “He kept saying he was going to kill us. He stopped short to answer his phone and told whoever it was where he was and to come help him get this ‘white honky.'”
But the mugger had picked the wrong honky. This one was the President of Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus, a group that’s trying to get licensees like him right to carry on college campuses, a right the citizens of only five states are free to exercise right now.While not on campus, Joe exercises his right, and this night it saved him, Amanda and their infant son Kyedin from robbery, assault or worse. When he produced the gun, the would-be race warrior changed his demeanor, and when the backup he’d called for arrived, the pair skedaddled.
Meanwhile, Amanda had called the cops, who were there in seven minutes. They didn’t catch the bad guys, but they didn’t have to call an ambulance for the Smiths, either. “This is exactly why law abiding citizens can carry firearms,” Deputy Zach Cooper, the responding officer, told Joe. “I’m a firm believer in it.”
So good luck to Joe on getting the Victim Disarmament Zone requirement lifted from Ohio’s college campuses.The BFA reports that there are over 300,000 law abiding licensees like Joe in Ohio. What a force multiplier for the law!
Note also in this note: a cop behaving well. That’s the default, which is why the alternative is so newsworthy.