Respectful Irreverence by Rob Pincus

Putting htis here so I know where to find it.

Gun Culture 2.0

As I transition from my recent series of posts on Col. Jeff Cooper, Gunsite, and the Modern Technique of the Pistol to a forthcoming series of posts on Gabe Suarez and his Pistol Gunfighting School, it seems an appropriate time to post an essay by Rob Pincus called “Respectful Irreverence.”

The article first appeared on the Breach, Bang, Clear blog in September 2008, but was lost in a tech related transition over there. The version below has also been reprinted as Appendix A in Grant Cunningham’s 2013 book, Defensive Revolver Fundamentals.

I appreciate Rob Pincus allowing me to re-post the essay here. Even before meeting him, I found his understanding of teaching as a way of cultivating humanity compelling, and there are echoes of that perspective in this essay. During my long weekend of observation of his Combat Focus Shooting Instructors Conference I found that he adheres to the…

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On Reading Gun Culture

What we used to teach when we used to teach about learning.

Gun Culture 2.0

Although this is not the first time it has happened, my recent series of posts on Rob Pincus and his Combat Focus Shooting method inspired a higher than normal number of off the record comments to me. These generally concerned why he actually is a douche and why I should not endorse or promote him or his CFS method.

Regarding the former, as I said in my earlier post, I do like Rob Pincus; perhaps that is because I share some of his same “professiorial” (blowhard, know-it-all) qualities. But the bigger point I was after had to do with the question of civility and how people manage differences within gun culture. If Pincus contributes to the incivility, he as guilty as his critics. I think that goes without saying, but in case it doesn’t, I just said it.

Here I am more concerned with addressing the latter issue raised: Why…

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On Being a Gun Advocate vs. Truth Advocate

Let the facts fall where they may.

Gun Culture 2.0

At the end of my field work at Gunsite Academy this summer, one of the attendees of the 250 Defensive Pistol Course said to me: “It is nice to have some work being done from the pro-gun side.”

When my friend was writing up the text to accompany my appearance on the local NPR station after the Las Vegas shooting, he asked if I should be described as a “gun advocate.”

In both cases I resisted the characterization. Here’s the thing: I don’t see myself as a “gun advocate” or my work as “pro-gun.” As a social scientist, I am a TRUTH ADVOCATE and my work is PRO-TRUTH. What I write about guns is based on my search for truth, not a political position on guns. If there are political implications of my work, I will let others draw them.

By contrast, in the conclusion to my forthcoming book…

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Pocket Pistols: 17th and 18th Century Flintlock Editions

“Guns everywhere” is not an NRA invention.

Gun Culture 2.0

Pocket pistols are all the rage today and, as I have written previously, this can give the impression that they are a new phenomenon. But, of course, they are not. To the contrary, they are much older than I ever knew.

I learned this recently while visiting the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Colonial Williamsburg between the two presentations I made at the College of William and Mary last week. Much like my discovery of a collection of miniature firearms at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, within the DeWitt Wallace’s collection of fine furniture, paintings, and textiles you can find “Lock, Stock & Barrel,” an exhibit of firearms from the Colonial Williamsburg collection.

And scattered among the many long arms in the exhibit are a few rare gems like the John Brush flint lock pistol from ca. 1700 pictured below. Note the caption: “Although Brush made…

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Mass Killers: Don’t Name Them, Don’t Show Them, But Report Everything Else

If only the media would listen.

Gun Culture 2.0

A while back, Professor Adam Lankford (Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Alabama) sent me an open letter to the media and asked if I would sign my name to it. I, along with 146 other scholars, agreed.

The letter (reprinted in full below) asks the media “to take a principled stand in your future coverage of mass killers that could potentially save lives”:

  1. Don’t name the perpetrator.
  2. Don’t use photos or likenesses of the perpetrator.
  3. Stop using the names, photos, or likenesses of past perpetrators.
  4. Report everything else about these crimes in as much detail as desired.

The release of this letter after the Las Vegas massacre is timely, but it also follows the publication of a paper by Lankford and Eric Madfis (University of Washington-Tacoma) in the American Behavioral Scientist explaining the scholarly basis for the letter.

Here is some coverage of the letter in the…

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Statistics on Gun Ownership in the United States – Updated and Collected Posts

Gun Culture 2.0

After dramatic events involving guns, hits on my posts about gun ownership always spike. Therefore I am creating this landing page for those who want quick (though not simple) statistics on gun ownership in the United States.

Question: How many guns are there in the United States?

Answers:

  1. We don’t know with any certainty (for reasons I have discussed here and here).
  2. AT LEAST 300 million, and possibly as many as 400-700 million.

Data sources: Conservative estimate is an extrapolation from Appendix 1 of “The Stock and Flow of US Firearms: Results from the 2015 National Firearms Survey,” a yet-to-be-published manuscript by Azrael, Hepburn, Hemenway, and Miller; high estimate is from the WeaponsMan Blog. Both can be found on my earlier post here.

Question: How many gun owners are there in the United States?

Note: This can be looked at two ways – personal gun ownership and…

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Cooper’s Four Rules of Firearms Safety Translated into Spanish

Good info for all of us to share with Spanish speakers.

Gun Culture 2.0

My son is hosting an exchange student from Argentina for a month and asked about the possibility of a trip to the range. I said, “Of course, that would be fun.” And immediately began thinking about introducing him to safe firearms handling.

My first thought, of course, was to begin with Col. Jeff Cooper’s four rules of firearms safety. My second thought was that the exchange student’s conversational English is good, but he might not have the English words for gun-related ideas.

Cooper’s four rules of gun safety, Gunsite Academy, June 2017. Photo by: David Yamane

After an unsuccessful Google search for “Four Rules of Gun Safety in Spanish,” I floated a request for help on my Gun Culture 2.0 Facebook page. This received an immediate response from Jesse Ordunez, the Director of Training at The Bulwarks in Kentucky, who I met at Gunsite Academy this past June. Jesse…

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Exploring America’s Complex Relationship with Guns (Pew Research Center), Part 1 – Reasons for Gun Ownership

First of a series

Gun Culture 2.0

On June 22nd, while I was deeply immersed in my observations of a 250 Defensive Pistol course at Gunsite Academy, the Pew Research Center released a research report called America’s Complex Relationship with Guns.

I was particularly interested in the report because back in February I consulted with the Pew Research Center team about my views of gun culture today and what questions a survey about guns ought to ask.

Screen cap of http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/americas-complex-relationship-with-guns/

Now that I have finally had time to look at the report, I am pleased to see my consultation was acknowledged in the final report (p. 73) and at least some of my advice was taken. (Or seems to have been. Obviously just because Pew asked a question does not mean they asked it only because I suggested it.)

In my post about speaking with the Pew Research Center team a few…

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Gun Culture 2.0 Posts About Col. Jeff Cooper and Gunsite