First I will say I have not seen the movie. I know the story hits me pretty hard so I’m waiting until I can watch it at home. I have read the book though and the movie isn’t what I am planning on discussing anyway.
I have seen a lot of criticisms of Chris as a person and some of them are right. He likely did make some stuff up about his career and things he’s done. The question is who hasn’t exaggerated their life at some point? Others are way off such as calling him a coward or a terrorist or denigrating his service because it was to the critic the wrong war for the wrong reasons (never mind that even the New York Times now admits that we did find WMDs in Iraq). These people don’t understand the nature of military service or what is involved. People in the service serve the politicians the people elect and their whims. Our only hope when we are sent somewhere is that we can do the job we were sent to do and bring everyone home alive. Chris Kyle did this with surgical precision and in a way only a small number will ever understand. Looking at a living thing through a high-power scope and making the kill or don’t kill decision creates a connection with the target that is almost intimate. To keep going out there over and over and doing that while not turning into a blubbering lunatic takes extraordinary mental discipline.
At the same time I’ve seen some criticisms of Kyle’s detractors thrown back I don’t care for either. Not because it’s aimed at the critics, but because some of it paints good people with a broad brush they don’t deserve. The comment in question was that anyone who does not serve in the military is a coward. I don’t agree with this. Some try and fail for medical reasons. Others just aren’t called to serve. A long time ago there was a study of people who enter the military, law enforcement and other “first responders” that found we are wired differently than most. Doesn’t mean those who don’t serve are cowards, just not hard wired to run towards the sound of trouble. However that doesn’t excuse Kyle’s detractors from being ignorant, sanctimonious assholes.
Greg “Pappy” Boyington is credited with saying: “Show me a hero, and I’ll show you a bum.” If you know who Greg Boyington was you know he’s spoke from personal experience, both as a hero and a bum. Chris Kyle had his faults, everyone does, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a hero in Iraq and back at home where he died trying to help his brothers and sisters to deal with PTSD. Nothing can change that.
Even if it was from a while back.
The sad reality is that not only can the attack we saw in Paris, France happen here; they already have. A lot of digital ink has already been used discussing the event and how to deal with one should it happen to you. Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training has an excellent analysis on the incident and potential responses to future events that I highly recommend everyone read. I would like to add that when the attackers are armed with a weapon designed to take out a tank (RPG) most building security will be worthless even if they can’t find someone to open the door.
How to prepare for/prevent/limit the carnage of such attacks is not an easy question to answer. The events after the Boston Marathon bombing show that a small group can be just as effective here as they were in Paris. Encountering the Police as an armed citizen in the aftermath of an attack has its own risks, but may be unavoidable. This means you will have to figure out how to ensure you are not seen as a threat.
As Brandon writes gun control will not save you. France already had gun controls in place that would make your average American anti-rights activist soil themselves in joy. On the other hand Interpol echos a sentiment expressed a long time ago that arming the good guys is the best and lowest cost answer to the growing threat of these kinds of attacks.
One thing I haven’t seen yet is a call for training in how to deal with traumatic injury. Yes, stopping the bad guys is important but shouldn’t we also be trying to save the lives of their victims who are injured? Consider taking a course in traumatic injury response and obtaining a small traumatic care kit for carrying every day. If not your life it may save some one elses.
Details over at military.com. Obviously this will generate a lot of internet traffic as everyone speculates what the new handgun may be. There will be calls for a return to the 1911, moving forward to the popular Glock, going domestic with the M&P or this all might be one big waste of money and the M9 may continue on.
If I were to speculate myself I would wager a new handgun for the military may be something like the Sig Sauer P250 or P320. These pistols are truly modular and can be easily re-configured into anything from a full-size service pistol to a subcompact concealed carry powerhouse. Will Sig get the contract? I have no idea, I just think that if they are looking for a truly modular handgun Sig already has one. Whatever gets picked I hope it has the same modularity as the AR series of rifles. Such a system could revolutionize the civilian market as well.
Kevin over at exurbanleague.com has the details. For a do all scope this isn’t too bad of an option especially if you cant afford the approximately $1000 price tag of an ACOG. While Kevin is correct that it does have a complex reticle I do think that with proper training and practice one should be able to use it quickly and efficiently at ranges where it will come into use.
A wish for yours truly
If I am ever killed in a terrorist attack, I want my candlelight vigil to be done with torches and guns. Rename it posse and go have fun in the night.
I’ve posted about Nelson Holsters before. This time Sammy Reese of American Handgunner posts his thoughts. I have one of James’ new designs and will do a comparison review soon. Short version is if you want the best built, most comfortable IWB holster available Nelson Holsters is the place to go.