About SD Carry

As a young boy in Texas, I grew up with guns. They were basic tools, much like my grandfather's mitre box or pipe wrench, there to perform specific tasks when called upon. I was taught gun safety by virtually every male adult in my family. I spent eight years in the US Navy operating and maintaing various guns from .30 caliber to 5" rifles.

After a few years as a moderator on a popular gun forum, I learned that there is much disinformation, prejudice and plain ignorance about guns posted constantly on the internet.

This blog is dedicated to sharing worthwhile information about the increasing acceptance and practice of legal concealed carry in our country. There is much mis-information and wild opinion about this topic among its practitioners and the public in general. The moral, social and legal responsibilities of concealed carry are immense and must be understood and practiced by all who legally carry a gun.

There is also a vast amount of practical and useful information about carrying and the weapons themselves and I hope to be able to share some of that here. Your comments are welcome, but will be moderated by me before appearing on this blog.

Stay safe.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Lase or Not To Lase?

After the Aftermath class I have been thinking about negligence. This in terms of not being negligent with a dangerous weapon, to wit, my handguns. Having, carrying and being prepared to use one of my guns in proper and legal defense of myself or others puts me liable for negligence. One of the most important things about using a gun is to be able to hit what you aim to hit.

Initially, my thoughts went to proper aiming. This makes sense and led me toward re-thinking my positon on laser sights for handguns. I have found sufficient arguments against the use of lasers, for me, that I do not have one, nor any direct experience with using lasers on handguns. Wouldn't it make sense to equip my self defense guns with laser sights to increase the odds of being on target when I need to be?

The standard arguments for laser sights usually include being able to acquire a target easily, especially in low or no light conditions. No argument there. The standard arguments against include reliability issues, becoming dependent on the laser (which would be a bad thing should it suddenly fail to operate), and possible hesitation if the shooter does not pick up the laser dot quickly.

However, I haven't seen the argument that may make both of these irrelevant, which is, under extreme duress and the body and mind in the "fight or flight" mode, adrenalin surging through one's body, time slowed, tunnel vision, perhaps shaking hands, can one shoot with any kind of acceptable accuracy with or without a laser?

Massad Ayoob writes that when shooters learn the secret of the front sight, their accuracy goes up along with their ability to quickly acquire the target accurately. By this he means to forget about the standard "sight picture" we have all been taught to use. Center the front sight in the middle of the rear sight notch, with the top of the front sight being level with that of the rear sight and sitting on the bottom edge of the target. Who has time for that? Practice has shown that if the handgun has a highly visible front sight, and if the gun fits the hand as it should (and the hand is holding the gun as it should) and the shooter puts the front sight on the target - forgetting about the rear sight - the chances of hitting that target are greatly improved.

Now, back to the laser/non-laser question. Is it likely that a person who trains regularly to use a front sight picture, as described above, and shoots that way in training, has as much ability to hit the target as someone depending on acquiring a laser dot on a target? Probably. Would a laser be a better sighting system in dark or dim conditions? Very likely.

This remains an open question, one to which there appear to be no clear-cut answers.

It is extremely important to be good enough with your handgun to hit an intended target under extreme pressure. At this point I think it is necessary for each person to decide which road to take, laser or no laser, then dedicate to that and become proficient in that method. It is easy to legally carry a lot, and practice little, whether with a laser or no. I also suspect that having a laser equipped handgun gives some people the notion that it is like a technical magic wand and will, by itself, make the shooter an acccurate one. This is not true. Training and practice are essential to effective self protection and not being negligent with your deadly weapon, whether you use a laser or not. Perhaps, especially if you do.

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