Category Archives: Sean gets Results

Sean the Narrator

I had so much fun reading some short fiction for The Drabblecast that I asked around a few other audio fiction podcasts and was asked to read for the Fantasy genre Podcastle

“The Colors,” by John M. Shade
Read by Sean D. Sorrentino
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction

In the main tent, around the sand and dirt floor of the arena, a wooden wall is erected eight-feet tall. The worn, angled seating rises from there. A makeshift gate sits on the side where the opponents emerge, and another across from it from where I emerge. Real boulders dot the floor for cover or weapons, or both. Everything is wood or stone, nothing metal.

“I’ve had plenty enough experience with magnetic controllers to know that a little fire ain’t so bad,” Mother Circus would say.

It was a hoot. It is the second of three short fiction stories on the podcast. I think it’s a great story.

Weer’d told me that when he listened to the previous story, at the Drabblecast, he wouldn’t have recognized me. This one is even more different. Check it out.

Dry Fire works

I’ve been shooting some IDPA matches locally. But instead of following the general trend of considering the IDPA match to be my practice, I asked a friend, Ben from Triangle Tactical Podcast, to teach me how to dry fire practice. He suggested three drills that I can do at home for a total of 15 minutes. He suggested that I do it at least three times a week, but more would be better.

  1. Draw from concealment and “fire” a single shot at 10 yards – 3 minutes.
  2. Simulate a mag change. Start pointing at the target, no mag in the handgun, pistol cocked. Push the mag release, insert fresh mag, point at target and “fire” a single shot.
  3. From behind cover (in my case a trash can tower) draw from concealment, “fire” two shots at each of three targets, using cover. Reload and “fire” two shots at each of the same three targets from the other side of cover.

Here’s a photo of the “trash can tower” I’m using to simulate “cover” to shoot around.

IDPA trash can tower

And you can see that I really don’t have 10 yards inside my house, so I’m using some really inexpensive 1/3rd scale IDPA targets sold by Ben Stoeger. At $10 and free shipping, it’s the cheapest training you’ll ever get in handgun shooting. Instead of having to stand at 10 yards from the targets, I can stand 10 feet away. And anyone can find 10 feet in a hallway. And if you really want to get spendy, you can buy some dummy bullets to put in your magazines so that the weight is correct. NEVER use real bullets for this.

So, how do I know it works? Because I just finished shooting the IDPA match for the month. The previous match I shot, I came in 37 out of 49.

IDPA Scores Dec 2014

This time I’m #7 out of 16. But more than that, I could see how I was shooting differently. Instead of looking at the targets to see how I was hitting, I just watched my sights, pulled the trigger when they were on the target, and then moved on to the next target. I rarely had a problem. Didn’t hit a single “no shoot.” Wasn’t down very many points at all, in fact.

Dry fire works. It’s cheap. And you don’t even need to leave your house to do it.

Thanks, Ben!

For a primer on dry fire safety, check out this article on The Cornered Cat.

UPDATE: Here’s some printable USPSA dry fire targets.

Free armed, uniformed police escorts to be provided at the @NCStateFair

I attended the NC State Fair’s pre-fair “Safety Press Conference.” The was considerable discussion of last year’s “incident” with the Vortex ride hurting riders, but I was there to discuss the NC State Fair’s anti-gun policy.

Commissioner Troxler has unilaterally decided that legal Concealed Handgun Permit holders are barred from carrying their legal concealed handguns in the State Fair. He cited the possibility of “accidental discharge,” and “losing your gun” along with making noises about how crowded the State Fair is. He went so far as to defend his policy in court, leading to a refusal of a judge to grant a restraining order against the anti-gun policy.

A judge ruled Monday that concealed handguns will not be allowed at the North Carolina State Fair, a decision that disappointed gun-rights advocates who asked for the ban to be overturned.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says he made the decision based on what he says is a vague 2013 law prohibiting people from carrying guns at events where admission is charged.

“A weapons ban is just one way to minimize risk and maintain a family-friendly environment,” he said.

Troxler says the policy has nothing to do with being against guns or the Second Amendment but that it is about concerns of accidental discharge.

“I believe that the mix of kids, guns, rides and large crowds is a bad idea,” he said.

My concern was never with having to defend myself inside the gates of the Fairgrounds. There are lots of cops about, none more than a few seconds away from you. My concern was always with the long walk back to my car with my wife. I am sure that many other CHP holders have similar concerns and are not too pleased with the Commissioner preventing them from protecting their family.

Luckily, WRAL was there to capture the exchange. My part starts at about 45:15 UPDATE: The video has been edited. I’m now at 37:40.

If, like Commissioner Troxler, you can’t hear my question, what I said was

Mr. Troxler, by actively fighting licensed concealed carry at the State Fair, and by loudly declaring to everyone that no one may carry so much as a can of pepper spray into the fair, haven’t you basically announced to every criminal in North Carolina that if they want easy targets all they need to do is lurk in the parking lots and wait for the people to come to them?

Troxler handed the question off to his Chief of Police, Joel Keith. Chief Keith said that there will be uniformed patrols of the parking lots, so I asked,

And if a person feels unsafe, and wishes to have an escort, will you send an escort with them, anybody who asks?

There you have the Department of Agriculture’s Chief of Police, Joel Keith promising not only uniformed police patrols in the parking lots, but armed escorts for anyone who asks for one.

So there you have it. Chief Keith, backed up by the Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison, will provide you an armed police escort back to your vehicle. After they’ve made it illegal to defend yourself, I think it’s the least they can do.

Guns are for suicide, and other anti-gun lies

Let’s take another way for people to use statistics to lie to you.

Murthy has already said that he plans to use his office to work on obesity, not guns. But looking at the instances in which firearm use ends in death, it becomes clear that there’s a health case to be made for gun control, too.

Guns are far more likely to be used in suicides than in killing assailants:

Then he shows you a graph that looks very much like this one I cobbled together in Excel

HomicideSuicideDGU1

and goes on to say

According to the CDC, 19,392 people committed suicide with a gun in 2010, the latest year for which data are available. That same year, meanwhile, the FBI recorded only 230 justifiable homicides (the legal term) in which a private citizen used a firearm to kill a felon during the commission of a felony.

OMG! I have a gun, so I’m at risk for suicide?!?!?!?

Oh, wait. I missed something. What did she say again?

But looking at the instances in which firearm use ends in death

Umm, why limit it just to “instances in which firearms use ends in death?” If I have to use a gun against another human, I am legally required to use it only when I reasonably fear death, serious bodily injury, or sexual assault. If I haul out the old XD and point it at someone, I am worried, with good cause, that I’m about to die. That means that if I don’t die, I win. In fact, any result other than the good guys ending up dead is considered a win. Why does Olga demand I kill my assailant? Is she not pleased if the assailant runs away, leaving both of us scared but unharmed? What kind of bloodthirsty ghoul is Olga, anyway?

With that in mind I did some poking about and looked up the various estimates of defensive gun uses (DGUs) and I added them to Olga’s little graph.

HomicideSuicideDGU2

Even the lowest number of estimated DGUs is more that five times higher that the number of suicides using a firearm.

I’m not even going to get into how Olga misrepresents suicide statistics. She attempts to paint suicide with a gun as a problem for young people.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people under 35, and the Harvard School of Public Health has found that “suicide rates among children, women and men of all ages are higher in states where more households have guns.” More than six in 10 of the firearm deaths in the past decade were suicides, not homicides.

This graphic will immediately show you what a lie that is.

Daily Deaths(Graphic is from NYT, Bill Marsh)

See where all the red cartridges are concentrated? White men age 40 and over. Just adding up the cartridges shows 25 white men 40 or over vs. 20 in all other categories. If you use the CDC WISQARS info you will quickly determine that one half of all suicides using any method were white men over the age of 35. Suicide is an older white male problem. Statistically, the only people less likely to kill themselves than 14-19 year olds is the 0-13 group. And when you run the numbers, guns aren’t the most popular choice for teen and child suicides.

Maybe this explains why the Left likes to lump suicides in with homicides and scream “GUN DEATHS!!” yet refuses to do anything to reduce actual suicides. They really don’t care if we white male gun owners over the age of 40 kill ourselves. They regard us as the enemy, so our deaths help them twice. Once as statistics to support their gun grabbing agenda, and a second time because we aren’t around to vote against them.

For those who wish to do their own research, here’s where I got the DGU numbers. Here’s the table of data.

And here is WISQARS. Go ahead and poke around with it. You’ll find that suicides are an older white male thing.

 

How to lie with statistics, or Rape in Canada

I am going to show you a well sourced graph that uses very good governmental data. All the data is good, but the graph is a lie.

US vs Canada Rape

OMG! Canadian women are getting raped at rates FAR FAR higher than American women. Are Canadian men all monsters covered in maple leaves?

NO. You’ve been hoodwinked.

Here’s the data.

US Crime Stats, including state by state forcible rape statistics

Canadian Crime Stats including Sexual Assault level 1-3

Do you see the difference? The Canadian crime stats don’t measure the same thing that the US crime stats measure. Let’s look at the US crime stats definition of “Forcible Rape.”

Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.

Data collection

The UCR Program counts one offense for each female victim of a forcible rape, attempted forcible rape, or assault with intent to rape, regardless of the victim’s age. A rape by force involving a female victim and a familial offender is counted as a forcible rape and not an act of incest. All other crimes of a sexual nature are considered to be Part II offenses; as such, the UCR Program collects only arrest data for those crimes. The offense of statutory rape, in which no force is used but the female victim is under the age of consent, is included in the arrest total for the sex offenses category. Sexual attacks on males are counted as aggravated assaults or sex offenses, depending on the circumstances and the extent of any injuries.

Now let’s look at the Canadian definition of Sexual Assault levels 1-3

Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2)

The incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR2) Survey captures criminal incidents that have come to the attention of the police, which includes 4 different types of sexual offences as defined by the Criminal Code.

Sexual assault level 1 (s.271): An assault committed in circumstances of a sexual nature such that the sexual integrity of the victim is violated. Level 1 involves minor physical injuries or no injuries to the victim.

Sexual assault level 2 (s.272): Sexual assault with a weapon, threats, or causing bodily harm.

Aggravated sexual assault (level 3): Sexual assault that results in wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim.

Other sexual offences: A group of offences that are meant to primarily address incidents of sexual abuse directed at children. The Criminal Code offences included in this category are: Sexual interference (s.151), Invitation to sexual touching (s.152), Sexual exploitation (s.153), Incest (s.155), Anal intercourse (s.159), and Bestiality (s.160).

So in addition to spelling things differently, Canadians count things as Sexual Assault that would be not be counted in the US as Forcible Rape. Canada counts Sexual Assaults whether they are unwanted kissing or rape, while the US statistics are limited to just the rapes. You can see why our numbers would be a great deal lower if we’re only counting a subset of the crimes that Canada is counting.

Why do I point this out? Because whenever we are treated to a discussion of how scary and violent the US is, the anti-gunners dump a lot of statistics on us comparing the US to whichever countries they are currently enamored of. There’s no attempt to determine if those statistics are collected in the same way from one country to another. When we compare countries, we try to stick to Murder and Non-Negligent Homicides because dead bodies are fairly easy to count. There’s not a lot of fudging the numbers you can do. Or at least we thought.

We now know that the UK murder numbers are tainted by the fact that in the UK, they don’t count it as a murder until someone gets convicted of the crime. The coroners in the UK don’t even return a finding of Homicide on obvious homicides. They write a narrative of their findings and hand it off to the cops. But if no one gets convicted, it’s possible that even though they have a dead body, it never gets counted in the official statistics.

We also know that in Japan, police officers routinely lie on their criminal records and categorize obvious homicides as suicide, or even “found body.” Japanese police detectives get promoted based upon what percentage of crimes get solved. If there isn’t an obvious perpetrator standing over the body for the cop to arrest, the pressure to mark it down as suicide or “found body” is enormous. In many cases they even refuse to do an autopsy.

Whenever someone tries to show you some statistics, remember this graph. Remember that it’s not always obvious if all the data is good and that the data is comparable from one country to the next.

US vs. Canada Intentional Homicide Rates

Just for fun I made up a graph comparing US States (and DC) vs. Canadian Provinces intentional homicide rates. Some places in Canada aren’t very safe.

US vs Canada Homicide Rates(Click to enlarge)

I’ve placed a horizontal line at right about the US National Average of 4.7 homicides per 100K population as well as a vertical line separating the US and Canada.

Overall, Canada is a pretty safe place, but then again, overall, so is the US. I suspect that Canada has the same issues as we do, homicides being drug trafficking related rather than random. How does the Canadian drug policy differ from ours?

Source for US statistics HERE

Source for Canadian statistics HERE

Is the US really a crime ridden slaughterhouse?

We hear it all the time. “The US has the highest gun murder rate of any industrialized western country not at war.” Or in the case that Weer’d dug up, the “highest gun murder rate in the ‘developed’ world.” What does that mean, anyway?

Read the sentences above again. Note all the qualifiers. “Industrialized,” “Western,” “Developed.” They make no claims about the world as a whole, just the small subset of countries that they wish to compare the USA to. The one Weer’d dug up used the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (minus Mexico) as a proxy for “developed.” Basically all they are saying is that among white(ish) western European countries, plus a few more, we rank second worst in gun related murders after Mexico. So how do we rate in the whole world?

Firearm Homicide Rate(Source data, List of countries by firearm-related death rate, Wikipedia)

Our rate doesn’t look so bad now, does it? We have a total firearm homicide rate of 3.6 per 100K. Keep in mind, that’s just the 75 countries they have data for.

But we’ve always maintained to the anti-gunners that dead is dead. Stabbed to death is just as bad as shot to death is just as bad as strangled. So how does the US compare in overall homicide rates?

Intentional Homicide total

In this graph there are so many countries that Excel is unable to label them all. The US is two bars lower than Belarus and two bars above Surinam. Our intentional homicide rate is 4.8 per 100K.

Let’s make the whole thing more clear. Here is the above graph broken down into smaller graphs. They all use the same scale of 0-100, so the bars are proportional on every graph.

Intentional Homicide Part1Intentional Homicide Part2Intentional Homicide Part3Intentional Homicide Part4Intentional Homicide Part5Intentional Homicide Part6

If you want to have a lot of fun, go through the countries on the first 3 graphs and count how many of them are places that rich white liberals consider good vacation destinations.

This isn’t secret data. It’s all posted on Wikipedia for everyone to look at. You can make your own graphs using the current data here.

What’s going on is that the gun haters cherry pick the countries that they want to compare the US to. They don’t look at the whole world, but just a tiny subset. They ignore the very real problem that other countries do not collect homicide data in the same way as we do in the US. Our rule is “dead body that isn’t clearly suicide or accident = homicide.” In the UK, it’s not a murder until someone gets convicted. (Seriously, read this and see how different the UK statistics are from reality)

So next time someone spouts off about how murderous the US is, point them to my handy dandy graphs.

UPDATE: Just for grins I made a graph comparing US States vs. Canadian Provinces. Check it out.

I get kicked out of a “Memorial Service” at a Catholic Church (*Video*)

I ended up visiting the anti-gun Moms Demand Action, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc’s “Memorial Service” and fundraising event in Durham. I visited for about 30 seconds. Here’s how the News and Observer puts it.

Just before the event started, Haldeman was chatting in the church vestibule when her eyes narrowed. She dashed in front of a dark haired, clean-cut man.

“Sean, you are not welcome here,” she said. “Please leave the premises.”

The man, Sean Sorrentino, left quietly. A gun-rights activist, Sorrentino recently posted on his blog a picture of Mothers Demand Action members gathered in front of a church.

The caption: “Congratulations, you’ve had a child. How does having sex without birth control qualify you to infringe on our rights?”

Here’s the photo they are referring to

Moms Demand

I didn’t make any sort of a disturbance, nor would I have made one, especially inside of a house of worship. I think it’s projection. The Left enjoys disrupting events, so they probably can’t imagine that we wouldn’t return the favor.

ABC11 WTVD actually made me their headline.

Protester thrown out of Durham Sandy Hook vigil

A service was held Saturday in Durham honoring the Newtown school shooting victims and demanding gun reform. Others made their voices heard in favor of gun rights.

Not everyone at the service was in favor of gun restrictions. A man standing across the street called himself a protester and said he was thrown out.

“I am a fairly well known local activist for gun rights. So the organizer recognized me at the door and kicked me out,” protester Sean Sorrentino said. “Why do they want to take away my rights in order to feel better about something some crazy person did?”

Here’s the video

(RSS Readers, Click HERE to view videos)

NewsCarolina 14 also stopped to chat.

But there’s also the other side. Sean Sorrentino said he was banned from the ceremony because he’s a vocal second amendment supporter. He says gun control shouldn’t limit his rights.

“Take a look at these people who are committing this crime and what’s actually happening is that these people have a criminal history. Put them in jail, leave them in jail,” he said.

I should point out that we were talking about violent crime in general, not Sandy Hook in particular when I pointed out the most violent crimes are committed by people with previous convictions.

Here’s the video.

Moms Demand Action, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc, is calling their current fundraiser/blood dancing effort “No More Silence,” but they don’t want to hear from anyone with a differing opinion.

NBC takes note of our Gabby Giffords counterprotest

Via Arizona Rifleman (who’s posting again, so read him!) comes this wonderful story of how the gun grabbers are withering on the vine. The headline is fantastic.

Almost a year after Newtown, does anyone care about gun control anymore?

In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, gun control was ground zero in American politics, captivating the public and politicos alike. It flared again late last month after a gunman killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

But now, as the first anniversary of Newtown approaches, the forces for gun control have little to celebrate, a lot to mourn and scant hope of change in the near term. On the front lines, activists say they are demoralized and adrift, the movement fraying at the roots as its leaders struggle to reignite a fading national moment for change.

“It’s not going well at all,” says Sally Christ, 56, a donor to Americans for Responsible Solutions, a major gun-control lobby launched this year by former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

I was happily reading Arizona Rifleman’s blog post on this when something jumped out and smacked me in the face like a wet fish.

That’s why, in late June and early July, Team Giffords—which includes Gabby, her husband Mark Kelly, her service dog Nelson, and a phalanx of operatives—toured seven states in seven days. Toting a suitcase of their own firearms, they preached “gun responsibilities,” and tried to engage hardline locals and gun rights politicians. At the same time, Mayors Against Illegal Guns ran a 100-day, 25-state summer bus tour, calling for an end to gun violence.

But the results of both tours were mixed at best. In state after state, major politicians ducked Giffords and Kelly, despite (or perhaps because of) ample advance notice of their arrival.  In Alaska, Mark Begich, one of four Democrats who voted against closing the gun show loophole, was said to be vacationing on an island without cell service when the tour arrived. In North Dakota, “friends in the NRA” forced a last minute venue change, according to a Team Giffords advance man, who himself declined to be named for fear of mixing with gun-grabbers from Washington. And when members of MAIG arrived in Fargo, the mayor told them that guns were not a problem.

The grassroots side of the campaign struggled as well. At a MAIG event in Columbus, Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Association organized a counter rally that drew twice the crowd.  In Raleigh, N.C., when Giffords passed through, a gun blogger turned out two-dozen people shaking green signs that read: Guns Save Lives. But perhaps the most dramatic scenes were in Manchester and Dover, N.H., where protesters arrived “full battle rattle,” as one man noted on a Facebook page for the counter-protest, toting guns—including an AR-15—and forcing Giffords out a back exit after her speech.

I don’t know how to spell it, but you know that sound they use in cartoons when something screeches to a halt and crashes? That was what happened in my brain.

You see, I’m that “gun blogger” in Raleigh who “turned out two-dozen people shaking green signs that read: Guns Save Lives.” Of course, it wasn’t because all my blog readers turned up, it was because I was leading the Grass Roots North Carolina protest. It was GRNC who emailed all their members in Wake and Durham counties asking them to show up at an unknown (at the time) location with about 24 hours notice. We didn’t know where we were going to set up until 10 hours before the event where it was even going to be! Their secrecy was deliberate, because they didn’t want us to show up. Sadly (for them!) they failed. From my blog wrapup of that event…

Luckily, the media told us what was happening. We heard several variations, but the basics were that they would shoot sporting clays, have a round table discussion with gun owners, and meet with their supporters. The general consensus was that their round table discussion with gun owners would happen at “The Pit Authentic Barbecue” in downtown Raleigh at around 11AM. Paul Valone of Grass Roots North Carolina couldn’t make it, so he put me in charge and asked me to make it happen. With less than 10 hours notice, we wrangled a crowd of about 25-30 people.

(Read the whole thing for photos and even some news video coverage.)

And now, months later, NBC is citing us and one of a number of reasons that the Astroturf anti-gun movement is failing.

If you ever wonder, “What can I do to make a difference,” think about me and those 25-30 people standing on a sidewalk in July, sweating, and doing TV interviews. We made a difference. Just by showing up, we made a difference. We showed the world the difference between Astroturf anti-gun and grassroots gun rights. We taught them all a lesson that no matter how much money you have and no matter how nice the private jet you flit about the country on, we have the numbers, intensity, and votes to beat you.

I’ve asked the author for a correction, noting that the protest was a GRNC event More importantly, I’ve emailed all my fellow protestors to let them know that NBC is pointing to them as one of the reasons that Astroturf anti-gunners have failed. They won a great victory for us that day.

Questions about H937 Restaurant Carry

I received an email today asking some questions about H937 and its effect on the everyday lives of CHP holders in NC. Rather than answer him, and the next guy, and the next, I thought it would make a good subject for a post.

As a valid NC CCW holder, and someone who carries his handgun wherever possible, when will this bill become law now that it has passed both the house and senate? Also, even after reading it, I still have some questions that you may be able to answer:

does this make it legal for me to carry ANYWHERE alcohol is served, ie resturants and bars?

Since it states gatherings where admission is charged, does that cover movie theatres, regardless of the no handgun signs?

Does this also cover gatherings such as parades or festivals/fairs?

Let’s take them in order.

  1. When will this bill become law – So long as the governor signs H937 it becomes law on Oct 1, 2013.
  2. Does it make it legal to carry ANYWHERE alcohol is served, ie. restaurants and bars –  There are no “bars” in North Carolina. There are “Restaurants” and “Eating Establishments.” These places MAY have alcohol licenses. The difference between a Restaurant and an “Eating Establishment” is size. Restaurants have seating for 36 people. The short answer is Yes, you can, if you have a CHP. As always, these locations are private property and may post signs prohibiting firearms.
  3. Gatherings where admission is charged – You may, under this law, carry in theaters (both live action and movie). Again, you have to have a CHP, and you are still prohibited from carrying if the owner posts a No Guns sign.
  4. Does this cover gatherings such as parades or festivals/fairs – It was never illegal to carry in a festival or fair, only Parades, Funeral processions, and demonstrations. It will still be illegal to carry at a demonstration, but if you have a CHP it will no longer be illegal to carry at a parade or funeral procession.

There you go! If you have more questions for me, use the contact form above and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Here is a link to my post on H937 as passed by the NCGA and presented to the Governor.