Thursday, July 30, 2009

Southfield, Michigan Open Carry Meet-up: Saturday August 1rst, 2009

Legally Armed In Detroit (LAID) is promoting an open-carry meetup this weekend in Southfield, Michigan. The venue is listed as the following:

Biggby Coffee
26185 Evergreen Road
Southfield, MI 48076
10 am - 12 noon

If you have never participated in an open-carry event, here are a couple of resources to consult:

Law Enforcement Action Network Newsletter
Michigan Open Carry

We anticipate a quiet and low-key affair of like minded persons demonstrating their right to keep and bear arms. Come on out!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Open Carry Of A Firearm Is Legal In Michigan

As a credentialed firearms instructor, I meet a lot of people who are disappointed to learn that they are not eligible to apply for a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). Sometimes, the reason for the ineligibility is major.

For example, the would-be CPL applicant has a felony conviction or is currently under a Personal Protection Order. However, in other cases the prospective CPL is only temporarily ineligible due to the fact that he has not yet reached his twenty-first birthday or has to wait for a disqualifying CPL application factor to expire.

In situations where a Michigan resident is still able to legally own a firearm but is not currently eligible for a CPL, there is an available remedy that will allow him to protect himself outside of the home with a handgun: Open Carry.

For example, I was recently contacted by a young man who is 19 years of age. Therefore, he is not old enough to acquire a CPL. He works as a valet for a popular metro Detroit location and handles a lot of cash. Accordingly, he has been robbed several times at gun-point and has no desire to seek employment elsewhere. He can openly carry a firearm without a permit, if he has his firearm rights intact, to protect himself while on the job.

Open Carry is a manner of toting a handgun physically on a person's body - in a holster - whereby it is totally visible to anyone who is looking at that person. Open Carry is completely legal in Michigan but is not popular. This article will explore both sides of Open Carry debate in an effort to educate Michigan residents who are ignorant about this personal protection option.

Reasons Why People Don't Open Carry
The biggest reason why people do not openly carry a handgun is due to ignorance. For many, they have not been informed that it is legal. In the minds of many people, it doesn't feel right and as a consequence must be illegal, as the only people who seem to do it are uniformed police officers, security guards, and couriers.

In contrast, many knowledgeable gun owners - with or without CPLs - elect not to open carry because of their desire not to make make waves in the community. In many areas of Michigan, the sight of an armed private citizen might cause some citizens to be unduly alarmed and generate unwanted attention from law enforcement.

Surprisingly, many law enforcement officers are not aware of the fact that open carry is legal in Michigan. Accordingly, many persons openly displaying a handgun in a holster have been illegally detained, harassed, and arrested. Some gun owners don't relish the opportunity of having to educate law enforcement officers about the law even though financial recourse through the court system is available.

Due to a decent probability of being questioned by law enforcement at some point in time, it is imperative that open carriers know the law inside out - perhaps even better than the police: pistol free zones, how to respond to a police officer's questions, proper transport of a handgun without a CPL, and etc. Many elect not to open carry because of the perceived hassle they will endure.

Moreover, if you have ever spent anytime visiting self defense, martial arts, or firearms forums on the Internet, you will most likely have heard that persons who open carry lose the vaunted "tactical advantage" if they are around during a crime. This line of thinking presumes that an armed citizen with a legally concealed handgun has the upper-hand when dealing with an assault from a predator who mistakenly assumes his victim is unarmed.

Many folks have an alternative point of view. An openly displayed handgun can be drawn faster than a concealed firearm and has an obvious deterrent effect if it is seen before-hand by a bad guy who is contemplating an assault.

This debate rages back and forth on the Internet boards. Some folks think bad guys will shoot an openly armed citizen while others think that the bad guys will seek out a safer victim elsewhere. Which option is more plausible? No one knows for sure but it makes for very interesting and sometimes boisterous debate online.

Reasons Why People Do Open Carry
One huge reason why people elect to openly carry a handgun is political activism. Some gun rights activists choose to affirmatively exercise their Constitutional right to "keep and bear arms" however odd or illegal it might seem to the ignorant public. For them, a right that is not exercised is a right that is lost. Accordingly, they are willing to peaceably educate the public that open carry is legal in Michigan.

Another reason why someone might open carry a handgun is that it is the only armed option for them because he is currently ineligible for a CPL. Certainly, in the minds of people in this circumstance, being openly armed is better than being not armed.

Bottom Line:
Open carry is legal in the state of Michigan without a permit. For those who choose to exercise this right, for whatever reason, they can expect to be viewed with suspicion from the general public and local law enforcement. However, the right to keep and bear arms is firmly established in our country's Constitution as a matter of settled law and if it is important to a specific person to exercise that right, he should.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Sunday, August 9th 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #64

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #63

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #62

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #61

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #60

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #59

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can Statistics Show DPD How To Better Allocate Its Resources?

Shortly after taking office, new Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans came clean about violent crime statistics in the city. He acknowledged only a few days ago that it had routinely under-reported crime stats for the last several years.

Evans admitted in a recently published newspaper report that many reported crimes, as high as 20%, were not responded to and as a consequence did not generate an official report; those undocumented crimes were not included in the department's official stats. However, the truth may be that no one actually knows with absolute certainty how bad violent crime is in the city of Detroit.

He has already cautioned the general public that they will see a spike in future reported crime stats and that they should not be a reason for alarm. He publicly lamented that if he can put a dent in the true number of crimes being done in the city, no one would notice.

My personal opinion is that being the Police Chief in the Muder Capital under those circumstances is a good gig if you can get it - higher crime stats and an excuse to say to a gullible public that things are getting better without proof.

Evans has pledged to use good statistics - however unsavory - as a guide as to how his manpower should be allocated to address crime in Detroit. For example, one of Evans' first implemented crime-fighting intiatives, effective this past Monday, was to tow the cars of all drivers found to be operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

This move was loudly touted by him in the media as "low-hanging fruit" that will reduce the number of drive-by shootings. He issued no projections but his crime stats are untrustworthy anyway. Evans has apparently looked at some crime stats and found that 30% of drive-by shootings were performed by persons without valid Operator's Licenses.

I will readily concede that I do not have a background in law enforcement, however, I have an excellent background in logic and statistics. Chief Evans'plan defies reason and logic if the goal is to reduce drive-by shootings.

For starters, every person who drives without a valid license is not about to do a drive-by shooting. Many Detroiters don't have a valid license because they have unpaid parking tickets and/or drivers responsibility fees.

Secondly, if a criminal is intent upon doing a drive-by shooting, what's to stop him from stealing a car to do a drive-by shooting? Better yet, what if the would-be killer is among the 70% of drive-by shooters who does have a valid drivers license?

Evans' rationale is that if would-be murderers had to face the prospect of walking home through an unfamiliar neighborhood in this crime-ridden town, he would think twice before killing somebody. By his own admission, crime in this town is "the Wild Wild West." Is DPD also going to illegally seize his cell phone so that the prospective killer won't call someone to pick him up? Why not car-jack someone to get a ride home or a ride to the murder site? Certainly, a determined murderer is not above doing a car-jacking. Evans' goal is noble, yet his plan is lacking common sense.

The funny part of this whole bizarre plan is that DPD doesn't have the jail space to lock up people for the misdemeanor crime of driving without a valid drivers license; it's part of DPD's 'catch-and-release' approach to law enforcement. I take that back. It's not funny at all.

At best, this hair-brained scheme is a revenue generator for a cash strapped town. Look for the city to make some loot off this plan from the least priviledged of its residents by racking up handsome towing and storage fees. It will not have an impact on drive-by shootings. Not even a ripple.

By the way, a drive-by shooting ironically happened last night on the east side. There is a 30% chance that the murderer did not have a drivers license. DPD missed the low-hanging fruit this time. The shooter drove away from the scene and is still at large. For the record, if this plan is characteristic of the type of statistics based crime-fighting Evans has planned for Detroit, we are doomed.

Personally, I believe that stats can give DPD guidance as to how its resources should be allocated. However, I believe that the analysis of credible stats should be done by someone who has clue about how to interpret them. I hope Evans did not do the analysis.

Just a few days ago, while still the city is still awaiting a break in two cases - the east side rapist and the seven kids who got shot at a bus stop - DPD staff were painting graffiti and escorting some stuffed animals to be buried in memorance of Micheal Jackson. I am so not impressed with DPD's allocation of resources right now. Where are those revised stats?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Your First Handgun: Qualifying Your Defensive Ammo

It is certainly understandable that a newly minted concealed pistol licensee (CPL) would be eager to start carrying his firearm as soon as he had physical possession of the permit, but he should wait at least until a very important test has been conducted. A defensive handgun should be qualified to work with a selected brand of defensive ammunition before it is to be replied upon as a personal protection tool.

Why Defensive Ammo Should Be Qualified
Some handgun models are very sensitive with respect to the brands of defensive ammunition they can be reliably called upon to discharge without a malfunction. In contrast, many of the more established quality handgun models will successfully fire just about any brand of defensive ammunition you load into it. Thus, the reliability of a handgun's ability to fire cartridges of any brand can essentially be thought of as a function of its brand reputation or brand quality.

All CPLs do not have unlimited financial resources to purchase top-of-the-line firearms. As such, a few trade-offs will be made. If a CPL is carrying a defensive handgun for personal protection, he should be reasonably certain that his chosen handgun buying criteria did not compromise his firearm's ability to fire the selected brand of defensive ammo without malfunctioning in his time of need.

How To Qualify Defensive Ammo
It is a fairly simple and straight-forward task to qualify defensive ammunition in a handgun. In a nutshell, it only requires shooting 200 rounds of appropriate cartridges at a proper target.

The ammunition selected for this test should a brand of defensive ammunition - jacketed hollow points (JHPs) - that the handgun owner feels that best meets his quality and budgetary requirements. JHPs should be loaded into a defensive handgun when carried for personal protection because they are designed to stop in the first target.

As a consequence, JHPs are not inexpensive. For example, a generic brand of 9mm caliber practice ammo can be purchased for roughly $20 for box of 50 rounds. In contrast, a box of 20 rounds of premium brand 9mm claiber defensive JHPs could cost as high as $30.

If you were qualifying a 9mm defensive handgun with the pricing info listed above, you would need to buy 10 boxes of defensive ammo comprised of 20 defensive catridges per box. As a consequence, your total ammunition cost for 200 rounds - not including any state sales taxes - would be $300. It is important to note that the price estimates given above are quotes for 9mm caliber ammunition in my local area at this current time.

If your handgun was able to successfully discharge all 200 rounds of your selected defensive ammunition without a malfunction (e.g. misfeed, double-feed, or jam), you have found a brand of defensive ammo that can be used for personal protection with your handgun.

However, if you experienced any malfunctions while discharging your defensive handgun with your selected brand of defensive ammunition, you will need to repeat this experiment with another brand of defensive ammunition. As such, you will need another financial outlay of cash to purchase 200 additional rounds of premium ammo. You will repeat this cycle of trying different defensive ammunition brands until you are confident that a succesful experiment has qualified a good defensive ammo brand for your defensive handgun.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to theorize that purchasing a quality handgun, which is not likely to be 'ammunition sensitive,' will lead to lower qualification expenses. On the other hand, everyone doesn't have enough money to buy an expensive Kimber handgun so numerous and expensive tests may be necessary when qualifying a less expensive firearm.

Other Considerations:
When qualifying your ammunition in your defensive handgun, you need to be sure to use the right caliber defensive cartidges that were designed for your firearm. If you are unsure, consult with a knowledgeable authority before loading your handgun. Using the wrong ammo in your firearm can have disastrous consequences.

Secondly, when conducting an defensive ammunition qualification you should be shooting at an authorized target. Ideally, you will be on a target range with a ballistically safe backstop. You should wear your safety gear (i.e. safety glasses and hearing protection) and obey the fundamental gun safety rules:

  • Always Treat A Firearm As If It Is Loaded.
  • Always Keep Your Firearm Pointed In A Safe Direction.
  • Always Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot.
  • Always Keep Your Firearm Unloaded Until It Is Ready For Use.
  • Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Beyond It.

Bottom Line:
Until a handgun owner has properly qualified a defensive ammunition brand to be satisfactorily discharged from his firearm, he should not rely upon it for personal protection. In most cases, just simply buying a top-rated and high quality handgun will minimize the need for a qualification test. However, given that we are currently mired in an economic recession, lesser known brands may find enhanced popularity and will need to be tested. As always, when firing a handgun use proper protection and obey gun safety rules.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Sunday, July 12th, 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What This Fourth Of July Means To This Detroit Michigan Firearms Instructor

As another Independence Day rapidly approaches, I am not happy about where our beloved country is headed on many fronts, but I can boast that I am a citizen of it. I truly believe that the 'good ole U.S. of A.' is the greatest nation on the planet despite the efforts of those who desire to make it just like the rest. If I wanted to be a citizen of a 'lesser' nation I would emigrate.

As a citizen, I have many rights that are enshrined in the Constitution as inalienable despite the best wishes of those who hate liberty. For example, I have the right to free speech and free expression, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to assembly, and many other rights that many around the globe do not have to enjoy and can't take for granted. In fact, many risk much - life and limb - just for the opportunity to seek a safe haven and refuge on our soil.

I so value freedom and the cause of liberty that I have become extremely active with respect to networking with other like-minded individuals and organizations to not only preserve the freedoms we have left but to fight to regain the ones we have lost. Along this journey I have met many fellow patriots and aspire to meet more. I am eternally grateful that others had joined this cause before my participation in it. For now, I can make my contribution. I have made many friends on the path and have earned the ire and wrath of others.

Fighting for freedom requires eternal vigilance and debating politics - such as gun rights - with either close minded folks or people who have no qualms about mischaracterizing (i.e. lying) about the issues. Some days, I actually get weary at the prospect of doing my part of all that is required to to be truly 'pro-freedom.'

But when I realize that failure is not an option, I march on. I march on for the future freedoms of my children. I march on for those who have not yet joined our cause but will later. I march on for the 'undecideds' who have until this juncture have failed to pick a side. I even march on for the anti-gunners and the freedom haters who have been deceived and have not yet discovered the truth.

Many think that folks who speak about guns, liberty, and freedom are anachronisms - crazy kooks still living in an era long past and irrelevant to what is happening today. To those folks, I would like to inform you that in this modern-day era we have in our country secret courts, secret judges, secret trials, no-fly lists, bank record snooping, domestic eavesdropping, calls for national ID cards, and numerous other aggregious offenses to the cause of freedom and liberty.

Today our rights are being sacrificed so that we can be safe. A often quoted statement by Ben Franklin quips that if we do that we truly deserve neither. Governments chip away at our rights for one reason: control. To accomplish their ends, they need a bogey-man. This concept is not old. Today, our nation fears terrorists in the Middle east. In the 1950's, an age of Mccarthyism whipped up fears about Communism. Further, our country got into the Vietnam War because of the flawed Domino Theory.

As a student in high school, I learned about fear mongering, populist appeals, propaganda, and lying governments. I was in disbelief as I read books such as 1984 and Animal Farm. No way could those things happen NOW in THIS country. It is a remarkable thing to see history repeat itself. I fear that younger generations aren't learning history and can not see what is happening today. The tactics that governments have used in the past to disenfranchise and enslave their citizens are still effective today.

As I glance in my inbox at a popular social networking site on the Internet, there are many invitations for various functions all over town for the upcoming holiday weekend. I wonder as people plan to have a good time over the next few days if they even know what is going on today. Yes, I am going to have some fun myself. This weekend is after all a celebration of our freedom and I would dishonor it by not having some fun - if only because I am free and I can.

However, I will still fight for the cause - freedom and liberty - this holiday weekend too. I will implore people to seek truth in all things, to look beyond the surface, to question what is being told to them, and to research the issues instead of reiterating what the mainstream media says.

If you by chance are ready to help preserve our freedoms, join us. You are free to determine the means and ways that you can make your contribution. Freedom is not free; we have to fight for it every day.

Demystifying The Semi-Automatic Handgun

As a firearms trainer, I meet many people who desire to be better informed on the characteristics and safe usage of handguns. It should not be surprising that many of my students - first time gun handlers - have erroneous beliefs about firearms. The most pervasive yet incorrect perception about handguns is their misunderstanding of what the term 'semi-automatic' means. This article will clearly define what is meant by that designation.

What Does Semi-Automatic Mean?
The term 'semi-automatic' refers to a certain design of a pistol. A pistol is a firearm which has been designed to be operated with one hand. Thus, a pistol can either be a revolver or a semi-automatic.

Most people - including gun novices - can readily identify a revolver, as it has a characteristic cylinder within its frame which houses ammunition chambers. With the cylinder's constituent chambers loaded with ammunition cartridges and the cylinder closed back into the revolver's frame, the pistol is ready for use.

Amongst other things, when a revolver's trigger is pulled, the cylinder rotates to position a different chamber into alignment with the barrel such that a round of ammunition is available for firing. The fully completed trigger pull also raises and drops the hammer which causes the firing pin to strike the ammunition cartridge's primer area and causes the pistol to discharge.

To recap, one trigger pull of a revolver causes one round of ammunition to be positioned for firing - via the rotation of the cylinder - and the revolver discharges one time.

In contrast, the loading process for a semi-automatic pistol - also known as an autoloader - is different. A loaded magazine containing ammunition cartridges is firmly inserted into the magazine well of the pistol's frame. To enable the semi-automatic for firing, the slide must then be pulled completely backwards and released like a slingshot.

This 'racking of the slide' loads a single round of ammunition from the magazine and loads it into the pistol's sole chamber. When a semi-automatic pistol's trigger is pulled, the hammer raises and drops the hammer which causes the firing pin to strike the ammunition cartridge's primer area and causes the pistol to discharge.

The resultant force of the semi-automatic's discharge 'blows-back' the slide which causes the extractor to expel the spent casing. The slide travels backwards until the pistol encounters the opposing force of the shooter's hand which causes the already expanded recoil spring to snap the slide forward. The forward motion of the slide causes a round of ammunition to be auto-loaded into the chamber.

To recap, one trigger pull of a semi-automatic pistol causes the handgun to be discharged only one time.

False Differences
Since one trigger pull causes a pistol - either a revolver or an autoloader - to be discharged only one time, it is false to believe that autoloaders are 'automatic' firearms. In contrast, a truly fully-automatic firearm would keep discharging rounds the entire time its trigger was fully engaged.

In addition, it is also false to believe that autoloaders are 'faster' firearms than revolvers. The speed of a pistol's ability to fire successive rounds is based on the ability of the shooter to quickly make repetitive trigger pulls.

Further, a semi-automatic pistol is not 'more deadly' than a revolver. For example, a buyer can purchase a 9mm caliber handgun in a revolver model or in a semi-automatic model. If a threat was engaged with either style, it would still be hit with 9mm ammunition. There is no discernible difference between the two pistol styles with respect to lethality.

Bottom Line:
The style of a handgun is not a material fact with respect to how many times it discharges with one trigger, how fast it can fire successive rounds, and how 'deadly' it is when used against threats. Many of my students have assumed semi-automatic firearms were assault weapons (i.e. fully automatic firearms) due to the way that firearms terminology are incorrectly specified by the media's ignorance or the intentional lies spread by both anti-gun politicians and policy advisors.