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Firing Line 09/99

Police Training Lacking
I have just read your August 1999 article on 9mm polymer handguns. Let me state here that I am not a fan of 9mm, but that is not why I'm writing.

In the article the author talks of the reduced accuracy of police officers since they have started carrying semi autos. It really pains me to say this, but the author is correct in his assumptions about officers' lack of training.

I have been a police officer in Michigan for more than 11 years and a firearms instructor for five years. While I cannot speak for other departments in Michigan and the other states, I can tell you that my department qualifies two times a year. I can also tell you that from spea...

Aftermath of Atlanta

One of the tough questions that will go unanswered as the result of the recent Atlanta shootings will be this: How would more regulation have prevented this tragedy? The answer is, of course, that more laws wouldn’t have done a darn thing.It has been reported that Mark Barton, 44, who killed his wife, his children, and nine other people in two brokerage offices, left a rambling letter at his home in which he said he suffered unnamed terrors and wanted to kill people who “greedily sought my destruction.” He used a hammer on his family and two as-yet-unidentified handguns in the shootings, which ended when he killed himself in his van surrounded by police. He had another two guns and 200 bull...

Follow-Up: “A Liability Strategy”

I was torn when I initially proposed a more aggressive gun-sales program that would dry up supplies of firearms and ammunition for law-enforcement agencies in municipalities that are suing the gun industry (July 1999). On the one hand, I wanted gun makers to do something that pointed out the hypocrisy of the big-city mayors. Petulant? You bet. The flipside, which I recognized at the time, was that it was unfair to penalize the cops for their bosses’ actions.

I expected to hear thunder from law enforcement, criticizing my suggestions as irresponsible, which, in fact, they were. Instead, I’ve heard mostly whispers from policemen, constables, sheriffs, BATF and FBI trainers, military instruc...

Firing Line 11/99

No Inspection Periods
In your response to Mike Burrei (Firing Line, August 1999) you stated, “All reputable dealers offer three-day inspections.” Yeah, right! Then there aren’t a whole lot of “reputable” dealers around. In my 36 years, fifteen of which I’ve been in the Air Force stationed all over this country and purchased literally scores of firearms, I’ve never seen one of those “reputable” dealers. Gun shops, mass retailers (like Wal-Mart, Kmart, etc.), and even the base/post exchanges display disclaimers with “no return” policies. They will ship your new gun back to the manufacturer for repairs and/or replacement, but they do not offer test-drives and very rarely accept re...

Firing Line 10/99

More On The 696
I read your July 1999 review of the .44 Special wheel guns with great interest, since I own a S&W model 696. A word on the 696 from my experience: The one I have has been an excellent revolver, and Ive not had a problem with it since the day I bought it. I have had a little trigger work done to smooth out the trigger pull a little, but that was done for personal taste rather than being a necessity.I have shot several different brands and loads of ammunition and have not had a problem. Now, Im not the greatest shot in the world, but I find that it is accurate with everything Ive used in it. I do find it to be a great concealed-carry gun. From my experience, I...

Protecting Your Own

There are few gun-related items in the mainstream media that make much sense to me. But a recent column by Jill “J.R.” Labbe, senior editorial writer and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was the exception. I thought you’d like to read some of her thoughts, which pretty well sum up my own. Ms. Labbe writes:


Within hours after the shootings at the Wedgwood Baptist Church, a letter arrived at the Star-Telegram expressing the wish that I had been inside the church on that deadly Wednesday night.

I wish I had, too, but for a different reason than the writer’s desire for me to witness the carnage left by two handguns wielded by a raging paranoid.

At least the se...

Follow-Up: “A Liability Strategy”

I was torn when I initially proposed a more aggressive gun-sales program that would dry up supplies of firearms and ammunition for law-enforcement agencies in municipalities that are suing the gun industry (July 1999). On the one hand, I wanted gun makers to do something that pointed out the hypocrisy of the big-city mayors. Petulant? You bet. The flipside, which I recognized at the time, was that it was unfair to penalize the cops for their bosses’ actions.

I expected to hear thunder from law enforcement, criticizing my suggestions as irresponsible, which, in fact, they were. Instead, I’ve heard mostly whispers from policemen, constables, sheriffs, BATF and FBI trainers, military instruc...

Why I Shoot

It’s been a tough year for the serious shooter, the firearms aficionado who’s more than casual about his or her guns and who helps comprise the core of the Gun Tests readership. Between murderous teenagers fomenting America’s anti-gun sentiment, to an onslaught of litigation by municipalities directed against law-abiding gun manufacturers, to the complete capitulation of once-stalwart Colt’s Manufacturing, the year now ending saw setbacks abound in the furtherance of America’s firearms freedoms. One headline from The Wall Street Journal, quoting a disaffected gun enthusiast, summed it up: When you shoot, “You feel like a smoker.”

But not me. And probably not you, either. So at this time o...

Bits and Pieces

Those of us who’ve toiled in the oil fields at least some of our lives know what it’s like to actually see inside a pipeline that will eventually carry oil or gas—and realize what incredible volumes of fluid these tubes can carry. But they are nothing like what the information pipeline, especially the Internet, can deliver. Like oil gushing out the end of a 36-inch trans-state pipe, news comes flooding into our homes and businesses, more than we could ever consume. But unlike oil, not all news is valuable, so finding interesting bits and pieces of it in the flood becomes quite a task.

Here are a few items we found and refined recently that might be interesting to gun owners:

A Solution To All Our Problems

Nearly all the gun owners I know wonder how the world took on the character and flavor of Alice in Wonderland, especially in the last 20 years of the 20th century. By this I mean that up is down and right is wrong, and wrong is so horribly right these days, especially when it comes to guns. It wasn’t so long ago that kids took shotguns to school because they’d already been hunting that morning; it never crossed the minds of those youngsters to take potshots at their fellow classmates. Now, even high achievers take 9mm handguns to class and fire off a few rounds at their chums. One such miscreant, when asked why he did such a horrible thing, could only utter, “I don’t know.”

How utterly pe...

Gun Law Threatens Wildlife Causes

California wildlife programs will be dealt a serious blow if the Assembly passes a newly amended bill now in committee.

Assembly Bill 1010, introduced by Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-LA), would ban the distribution, drawing, or lottery of any firearm, component or ammunition at any California fundraising event. This is significant because nearly all California conservation organizations use sporting arms as prizes at their events.

“For a state that has a reputation for concern about the environment, California’s elected officials are close to selling their outdoors as well as their citizens down the drain,” said Bud Pidgeon, president of the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America (WLFA)....

Firing Line 03/00

Reviewing Guns
Since becoming a subscriber, I’ve been meaning to write and tell you how much I appreciate your tell-it-like-it-is style.

I’ve been a shooter and collector for many years, and have developed a “sixth sense” when reading the commerical advertising-driven gun magazines.

It is just so refreshing to hear the unvarnished, objective facts about a gun, which is a mechanical item when stripped of all its potential romance or image.Newer or less-skeptical readers must be in a virtual fog of confusion while trying to sort out all the facts surrounding the dizzying array of shooting-related products in the market place today. How ironic that just as we reach a high p...

Russian Ammo Ban Is Here

Well, no surprise, it looks like the Biden Administration is trying its best to choke off a major supplier of inexpensive ammunition to the...