Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 Is a Good Day to Be Alive.

This is not going to be a long piece. I had not planned on writing anything in particular for Memorial Day; I was just going to do my thing and let the blogging sit. But I went to the gym today, since I had the chance to go to the more-intense Level 2 class in the morning. And it was intense; Wayne of HIPE only did one class today, and he made it count. I soaked through everything I wore, I hurt and I faltered a couple of times, and I snarled and panted and made "WHOOO!" noises, because I am that guy.

Yeah, that guy.

And as I'm struggling and grunting and there's sweat and snot and whatnot, Wayne is calling people out, correcting form, encouraging, calling for people to motivate. And I pass through that point where it feels like it's too hard and you're not going to be able to do it. I reach that point where it feels good to fight it. The fatigue starts to feel good. The fight feels like it's right, like this is where I should be and what I should be doing. It doesn't matter that it hurts. Hurting is part of this thing that I'm doing to myself for myself, and hurting belongs to this time as much as I do. Hurting is OK. Discomfort is OK. It's OK to be panting, to be snorting, to stumble a little bit. It's OK.

Everything is OK, because I'm alive. It's a great day to be alive. Everything about being alive feels good, including this pain in this moment. The pain won't last forever, it's just one more piece of a day.

Memorial Day.

The day when I acknowledge how good it is to be alive. When I examine what I love about life. When I think about people who gave their lives or had them taken because my nation asked them to risk their lives to enforce the decisions of a government we elected. Memorial Day is the day when people who have another day of life to live spare some time to think about people who don't, and acknowledge that, no matter how small an individual citizen's share may be, each of us owes that debt.

So, here we are on Memorial Day. I'll make the most of it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 Now Has a Special Illinois Edition?

That's mighty thoughtful of them to include a link just for Illinois residents so we don't have to
 go searching through the profiles to find the prisoner most of us want to write a letter to.

The End of the Aluminum Falcon

An era has ended. The Aluminum Falcon has left the premises.

If you're not familiar with the Aluminum Falcon, that was my beloved 1994 Volvo 850 Turbo. I bought it for cash so that I would no longer have to drive my wife's former dream car, a wheezy '94 Camaro that was bright red and pointy and . . . well, that was about the end of its good qualities. It had a 3.4L V6 (it was made too early in the model year to get the excellent 3800 3.8L V6 that was introduced to Camaros in 1994) along with a terrible automatic transmission, crappy brakes, doors approximately the length and weight of rowboats, and a huge exterior combined with a cramped interior. Wait, I forgot, it had Z28 wheels, t-tops and a spoiler. Now how much would you pay? I hated it. The only thing worse than that car was trying to transport three kids in that car. We bought a minivan and my wife claimed it, so I was stuck with the Camaro until we'd paid off all our debt except the mortgage and saved up some cash.

The Aluminum Falcon was good in all the ways the Camaro was bad:
  • I loved the engine, a turbocharged inline 5-cylinder. I'm sure it wasn't perfect, but it had power ready for me when and where I wanted it.
  • The suspension was a lovely balance of comfort and feedback.
  • Steering was quick if a little heavy and the turning radius was tight.
  • Great brakes. I loved the brakes.
  • Four doors, comfortable seating for five, and a useful trunk.
  • No unnecessary boy-racer doodads on the outside except a set of alloy five-spoke wheels the previous owner had installed. Even those were low-key.
But all good things come to an end. It was an older car, no matter how recent 1994 feels to me.  It had a lot of miles; I put a lot of them on. Volvos have a reputation for being 300-400k cars, but this one was creeping up toward 230,000 if my math was right. And it had its little quirks:
  • The odometer was frozen at 180,000 miles or so. This is a Volvo known issue, and there's a fix, but it involves taking apart the dash. I don't do that lightly, because as near as I can tell, dashboards are not designed to come apart and go back together again.
  • There was a fuel leak because of a cracked line on top of the fuel tank. Again, a known issue--replacing the electric fuel pump in these things is a snap thanks to an access hatch in the trunk, but it often results in cracking a fitting that causes a very minor fuel leak. Again, there's a fix, but you just about have to drop the tank, and on a daily driver . . . . I never got around to it.
  • One of those fancy rims was bent. I couldn't find one of the same style, so I always thought I'd eventually find a full set of Volvo wheels, but I never pulled the trigger because, well, the thing was still running, right? Daily driver.
  • The outside hood release was a zip tie sticking out through the grill, because I broke the factory piece Volvo uses.
  • The right front headlight was badly cracked (but still working.) I actually went so far as to purchase new glass for that part . . . but never installed it. Packing tape was getting the job done, so . . . 
  • The glove box doesn't open. This is because it lost the ability to latch closed and would pop open at random times, even with the car sitting parked. I tried to fix it a few times, gave up, and did some kind of permanent fix. I honestly don't remember exactly what I did, but now it doesn't open no matter what you do. Problem solved. Problem staying solved.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Moms Demand Action Says They'll Win, Because You're Laughing at Them.

Moms Demand Action Hits Home (h/t to the Aurora Beacon News)

This was the answer Annie Craig of Aurora gave when I asked her why she had gone to Indianapolis recently to attend a gathering of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Why Indianapolis? Because that’s where the National Rifle Association was holding its annual meeting.
And why over a mile away, out of sight of the convention? Because being threatened or spit on is such valuable street cred for this bunch that they're willing to accept stories without evidence, but being photographed amid a sea of friendly, happy people who all think their tiny band are dead wrong would be bad "optics."
“We wanted to go calmly, quietly, and unarmed to protest their leadership and the extremism they are promoting,” said Craig.
Uh huh. It was very important for them to go unarmed, which was why they hired armed security to bear the arms (and the karmic wounds inflicted by carrying guns in Indianapolis.) I actually did see two "Moms Demand Action" folks downtown, I should admit. They were riding yellow bicycles with little "Moms Demand Action" signs. I should have gotten photos, but I didn't. There were actually as many Moms Demand Action ladies downtown as there were NRA-specialist panhandlers, so they've got that going for them.*
“I don’t come from a gun family,” she said, “so I don’t understand gun mentality. Which is not to say that those who want guns and qualify, shouldn’t have them. We just want what we call ‘gun sense’ in our laws.” This gun sense includes universal background checks. This helps keep guns out of the hands of people who are convicted felons or mentally ill. They also want a ban on assault weapons and online guns sales.
But of course they do. Except . . . didn't you just quote Mrs. Craig as saying that her position doesn't mean that "those who want guns and qualify, shouldn't have them."? So, should I have my Colt AR15--the one made in 1971--or shouldn't I? 
No one is asking law-abiding gun owners to give up their guns or hunters to stop hunting. In the words of Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts: “Our issue is not really with the members of the NRA, 74 percent of whom believe there should be background checks on every gun purchase. We’re not anti-gun. We support the Second Amendment. Many of our moms are gun owners.” They simply want a return to common sense.
Well, no one except the people who want to ban various types of hunting, from feral hogs to wolves to bear, of course. And no one wants law-abiding gun owners to give up their guns except Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin, both of whom Craig specifically cites as politicians with "gun sense," both of whom have called for and voted for bans on specific firearms that I own. Or Watts' Axis of Bloomberg allies at CSGV, which have spent the last couple of weeks defending New Jersey's policy of banning every firearm except "smart guns," enacted before anyone even knew what form the technology would take or what it would be capable of doing. And, of course, Mrs. Craig herself, who was quoted elsewhere in the same article calling for a ban on "assault weapons." Remember that Colt AR-15 SP1 from 1971 that mentioned above? Do you want to take it away or not? And why should I believe your next answer when your last dozen were self-contradictory?
Craig told me how the NRA ignored them at first, but is now responding with anger, including snarky comments on social media, ridicule at how “small” Moms Demand Action is and outright lies about them. Watts recently had to take down her Facebook page due to all the hate and harrassment directed both at her and her family. But Moms Demand Action is not going away.
Uh huh. Moms Demand Action is one of the latest in a long, proud line of anti-gun activists who defame millions of people daily, refuse to engage with anyone who responds appropriately with facts and reason, and then complains about "harassment" and "bullying." Moms Demand Action has learned from other members of the Axis of Bloomberg on this front; like the CSGV. Their social media strategy for the past few months has been to ban anyone who politely disagreed on their Facebook page (ask me how I know) and carefully cultivate the few idiots who can't resist making threatening, profane or inappropriate comments. These they share widely, and they get twice the bang for their buck because reasonable gun owners who would condemn those comments never get the chance, at least not on the CSGV Facebook wall. In effect, they're curating a collection of gun owners or supporters who will act like the "insurrectionists" they want to believe are running things, and they're willing to prune the majority to get that collection.
Welcome to the internet, ma'am. It's an information superhighway.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Craig, “and our message is taking hold. I’m proud of our national legislators. Both Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk have gun sense. I wish that were the case for all our local representatives.”
Oh, it's a marathon, not a sprint? Just gonna outlast all those fickle gun owners who are only in it for a couple of weeks of activist cred? Good luck with that. I've been active on this issue for 25 years--I was literally a child--while you just got paid to fly to Indianapolis and stand in a park a mile away from the people you claimed to be protesting. Good luck with your marathon.
Personally, I would like to see the NRA return to what they once were and promote responsible gun ownership and hunting rather than fighting common sense things like background checks. But the NRA leadership seems unlikely to return to that legacy. So I expect to see the Moms Demand Action group fight on. Check them out at
You'd like to see the biggest, best-known opponent of your favored policy go away and focus on something else? Well, gee, that does sound like a swell deal. Where do I sign up to have you and yours just fold the tents and go away? Is this that Reasonable Discourse ™ thing I keep hearing about? BTW, congrats to MDA for beating out the Muscular Dystrophy Association and countless MILF-themed adult entertainment operators to grab that choice URL.
Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” If this is true, then Moms Demand Action is well on its way to victory.
Right, sure, gotcha, but there's a catch: if this were true, then being the plucky underdog with no members would assure victory. If being ignored or laughed at were some kind of guarantee of success, the Ku Klux Klan and the Raelians should both be on their way to cultural dominance. Not everybody who's losing is just about to pull off an amazing upset; often you're losing because you're wrong, or because you're not as good at the game you're playing as the other guy is. Muhammad Ali suckered everybody in with the rope-a-dope, sure, but he could do that because he was that much better than almost anybody else. If your strategy is to let George Foreman hammer on you until he gets tired because it worked for Ali, there's bad news: it barely worked for Ali, and you probably aren't on his level. This is really just a restatement of the refrain we've been hearing for 15 years now, that "the gun nuts can't keep winning forever, they just have to start losing . . . we're due for a win!" Mathematicians can tell you there's no such thing as being due for a win. Now, if you want a heartwarming story of a small group of plucky outsiders who made a difference in the end after being ignored and then mocked, consider the scrappy underdogs at Illinois Carry or the Buckeye Firearms Association. Illinois Carry is celebrating its tenth year this summer, and I'll be carrying a pistol to the celebration. Even I didn't see that coming when we started.

*If you were there, maybe you saw these guys? Sitting, reading Bibles, with signs that said things like, "First they took my guns, then they took my home. Any help appreciated." I briefly wondered whether some grad student was writing a paper on generosity and social empathy at the NRAAM, but I'm pretty sure this was just artisanal panhandling, carefully crafted just for you and me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Note On PapaDeltaBravo's "A Note On Privilege."

I get where PDB is coming from with this, I really do, but I couldn't resist leaving him this note:

PDB: you linked to an example of someone doing what you said you’d never seen done. ;)
Remember, kids, "the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being." One of the characters in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure said that, and after 25 years it has stood the test of time.
"That movie is an underrated treasure!"

SIRT Pistols: Triggers, Magazines and Lasers, Oh My!

(Part 3 in the thrilling Wooden Swords and Laser Guns series.)
I have a confession to make: that post on Monday would have been better with photos, right? Sure it would, and my wife gave me a point-and-shoot camera for my birthday that makes it look easy. However, I went looking for the 5.11 barrel and didn't find it. If you could see how cluttered our home is, that wouldn't seem too surprising, but it pointed up the fact that I haven't used the yellow barrel for at least a month. It has largely been replaced, and Big Red over there is the culprit.

What have you done to it?
Before we start, I should note that my personal SIRT is different from others. It started life as a "Performer RR" model, which meant that it cost a little over half what the Pro model costs, and had two major differences. First, the RR model has one red laser to indicate that the slack is being taken out of the trigger (or that the shooter has not completely released the trigger) and one red laser to show the shot break. The Performer RG and the Pro model have a green laser for the shot. The other big difference is the weight; the Pro model has a metal top end, while the Performers make do with plastic and are thus a little light to simulate a pistol perfectly.

Personally, I was buying a SIRT primarily to practice running a trigger, so the weight wasn't a big deal to me, but the previous owner did some work with lead weight tape from a golf pro shop to put more weight out front. I've never weighed the thing, actually, so let me go do that now . . . . 22.2 oz. with the weighted magazine inserted, still about ten ounces less than Glock quotes for a loaded Glock 17. That's still significantly lighter, but for my purposes, I'm not sure I'd ever really notice the difference.
The other big change was the sights; one of the SIRT's selling points is that it will accept sights cut for Glocks, and the previous owner was thoughtful enough to add a set of Sevigny all-black sights with a nice narrow front and a nice wide rear notch (I still haven't replaced the stock plastic sights on my real pistol, so the SIRT has a noticeably better sight picture going for it at all times.)

What does it do that dry fire doesn't?
Technically, not much. It's an excellent tool for practicing several skills:

  • Handling a pistol safely--drawing, presenting, reholstering, reloading . . .
  • "Presentation" (draw a pistol and find a sight picture.)
  • Trigger press
But I can do all those things with an unloaded pistol. In fact, my particular SIRT has a much lighter trigger with a softer break than my Glock; I'm told the trigger is adjustable, but I haven't tried it or even learned how, yet. And an unloaded pistol can be used to run malfunction drills, slide-lock reloads--everything that requires running the slide is impossible with the SIRT. But there's always a catch, isn't there? There are actually two catches. 

Resetting triggers preserve sanity.
First, when I run dry practice with my striker-fired Glock, I use the slide to reset the trigger, and at the risk of sounding like a pansy, that's a pain in my butt. The SIRT resets, which allows me to keep my grip and press on, and also allows me to practice riding the reset (if you're into that sort of thing--I'm still undecided.) There's no recoil impulse messing me up while I do these things, but then nothing's perfect. 

With dry fire, quantity has a quality all its own.
The second catch is that all dry practice is not created equal. Dry practice is used to preserve and develop very perishable skills; consistent practice over time is the only dry practice that matters. Sporadic dry practice is . . . well, "waste of time" might be overstating it, but it's just not very useful. The SIRT fights the good fight against those long breaks from dry practice by being a completely inert gun-shaped object that cannot fire a bullet no matter how many mistakes I make. I don't store it in a gun safe, nor do I have to carry it with me to keep sticky little hands off it. As a matter of fact, I allow my seven-year-old son to try it out from time to time around the house, and he knows the difference between the SIRT and a firearm. What that lets me do is pick up the SIRT any time I have a couple of minutes to spare and run through whatever's bugging me. Now, if I want to run through a bunch of draws, and I'm wearing a pistol in my holster (and I usually am, nowadays) then I have to put a little more preparation in than that. But if I just want to get in 10-20 good presses of the trigger strong-hand-only and 10-20 weak-hand-only, I can grab the SIRT after I get dressed in the morning, run the trigger carefully while moving the sight picture from the newel post at the top of the stairs outside my bedroom door to a mini-USPSA silhouette in the opposite corner. When I'm done, I toss it on the desk and take off. I realize that probably doesn't impress anyone who lives in a house where only adults and animals live, but in a house with young children and squirrelly teenagers roaming free, that's performance a $2500 custom pistol can never match. Even the 5.11 training barrel I talked about on Monday doesn't quite match this, because it's not just the absolute safety of the device, but the convenience of it. You could certainly argue that I should be willing to do what I have to do in order to get enough dry practice, but the SIRT makes it so much easier that it amounts to more practice.

OK, but nothing is perfect, right?
True. The main drawback for the SIRT is its cost; the Pro model is not that far off the cost of another pistol, and even the Performers will set you back.  I paid under $200 for mine, and that included the excellent Sevigny sights and four of the weighted magazines, plus the previous owner's custom balancing work, but hey, $200 is $200. I bought the SIRT before I bought a "backup" to my Glock, and I can't claim it hasn't delayed that purchase. I can think of a few "types" who wouldn't find the SIRT nearly as useful as I do for home dry practice:

  • Someone who already has time (or makes time) for serious, frequent dry fire with a pistol.
  • Someone who lives or works in an environment where it's safe to store a firearm for dry fire sitting around where it can be picked up casually for a bit of work (for instance, a home with no children)
  • Someone
  • Anyone who has complete faith in their ability to prep the gun and the environment for dry fire every single time, such that there's no possibility of firing an unintentional bullet.
That last one looks a little bit sarcastic to me, but I'm serious about it. I am not that person, but I know they're out there. I, on the other hand, store firearms on one floor of the home, and I dry fire on another (because I don't have a safe direction there.) I take some time and trouble every time I dry fire to make sure it's safe . . . I don't dry fire with ammunition in the room, or in a direction without a safe backstop . . . and I've never had a mishap.
The SIRT doesn't provide guarantees that I never will, but every little bit helps.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Canticle For Horwitz: Yes, the NRA Is a Civil Rights Organization

NRA Is No Civil Rights Organization

The short version: Josh Horwitz articulates the CSGV's official position on civil rights, in which you are guaranteed the right to an unspecified level of emotional comfort and feelings of safety, but you are not guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms, because the former is a real civil right and the latter is not.

At the recent National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis, talk of “freedom” and “liberty” was in the air. But does the organization really embrace the entire set of freedoms that we cherish as Americans?
That's actually a provocative, compelling question, for people actually interested in the organization's future. I heard a lot of discussion of the same basic idea from a lot of NRA members at the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, where this op-ed was published in the Indy Star. The thing about the NRA that Mr. Horwitz can't get is that no matter how convenient it would be for him if the NRA could be boiled down to "Wayne LaPierre, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent keep each others' book deals afloat," that's never going to tell the whole story of an organization with millions of members. As trite as it sounds, I am the NRA. And yes, I embrace American freedom. Yes, that means I care about Amendments 1-10, and also the rest of the Constitution. And yet, I sense that we're about to disagree vehemently. Perhaps we should define our terms.

When NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre declared that Americans need to be armed to the teeth because of “knock-out gamers” and “vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all,” you would have thought the organization had reached new heights in the art of hyperbole.
Yup, Wayne gets pretty worked up sometimes. And frankly, I get a little weary of the wild enthusiasm followed by amnesia that accompanies fads like the "Knockout Game." The idea that there's an organized game sweeping the nation doesn't seem to have much evidence behind it, and the way everyone seemed to be freaking out about it and then promptly forgot gets annoying when you see it happen over and over. On the other hand, young people hanging out on the streets and occasionally instigating each other to run over and kick somebody's ass just to prove they can isn't a myth, it's just depressingly normal behavior that goes back thousands of years. But that's not your point, is it?

 However, the NRA’s most ridiculous assertion is that it is “America’s longest standing civil rights organization.”
Ah! Now we're getting somewhere. It offends you to have the NRA usurp the mantle that rightly belongs to . . . whom? The NAACP? They claim to be the oldest "grassroots" civil-rights organization on their website, but they weren't founded until 1909, shortly after the 1908 racist riot in Springfield, IL (not far from where I stand right now, actually.) The NRA dates from 1871. But I know that's not what you mean. You mean that even though the NRA was arming and training freedmen in the south before the NAACP was founded, the NAACP fought racism in legitimate ways and the NRA didn't. I suspect we will still disagree on that point when we're done here. I suppose we could consider abolitionists, women's suffrage groups, and some I'm forgetting, but we're talking about groups still asking for money today, and anyway I suspect you don't care about the history. Your interest here is in showing that the NRA's advocacy for a fundamental civil right is illegitimate.

The truth is that the NRA cares little for any civil right that might interfere with gun industry profits via unfettered access to firearms.
Can you think of one of those, or is this hypothetical? Seriously, is there a civil right that interferes with access to firearms? To my knowledge, agree or disagree (and a lot of gun owners disagree) the NRA does not stand for unlimited access to firearms; the official NRA position has long been that background checks should be as efficient and transparent to the consumer as possible, that they should not be used to create registries of gun owners for later confiscation efforts, and that laws intended to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and children should be enforced consistently.
(I didn't use your term, "unfettered," because there's something about arguing that I'm the crazy one because I don't want to have shackles, chains or manacles, metaphorical or otherwise, involved in my practice of a constitutional right. I'm giving you a pass, more or less, because I don't think I can fairly assume that you know what "unfettered" means.)
The NRA’s absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment is not motivated by principle. It’s motivated by economics — the less regulation, the more profit.

You're forgetting another profit motive for the NRA--memberships. If the NRA throws members like me (not to mention Webster's Dictionary) under the bus by accepting your definition of an "absolutist interpretation," we'll walk away. You're still not getting this. You still think you can just make Wayne LaPierre the Bloomberg of the NRA and knock him off; you're blind to the dance he's doing. You could certainly argue that members like me are wrong in our "absolutist" position, but you're pretending that millions of people don't hold that position--despite all evidence.

Are you a business owner who believes you have a right to regulate the carrying of weapons on your premises for the safety of your employees? The NRA doesn’t care. It will force you to allow guns on your property regardless. In 2007, the vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce called a Guns in the Workplace bill supported by the NRA “the biggest assault on private property rights and the employer-employee relationship that this [state] Legislature has ever heard.”
Are you a business owner who believes you have the right to bar Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus on your premises for the safety of your employees? The ACLU doesn't care. They will force you to allow dark-skinned people with unfamiliar religions on your property regardless, and they'll tell you to your face that your fear of dusky oriental terrorists doesn't trump an American citizen's right to have access to a public accommodation, such as a business that's open to the public. But what do they know about your right to be a bigot in your own business, right?

BTW, Mr. Horwitz, the Florida Chamber of Commerce was wrong in their hyperbole (you're against hyperbole, remember?) and so are you. The bill you're talking about passed into law, and it simply states that if an employee complies with an employer's no-firearms policy, the employee may disarm and store the firearm in her vehicle in the parking lot even if the employer owns the parking lot. Property rights are important, but imagine an employer who wouldn't let a Sikh employee bring his knife into the office. Now, imagine a Sikh who says, "Well, OK, it violates my way of life, but I like working here, so I guess I'll leave it in the glove compartment when I'm at work."
Finally, imagine that employer firing that man despite his effort to comply with their weird notions. That's not fair, and you and I both know that if we polled people about the actual plain text of that law, most would agree. You can prohibit me from carrying a firearm into your place of business, but it's a little much for you to demand that your employees be denied the right to have anything you dislike in their personal vehicles in the company parking lot, especially when the contraband is only there because they took it off and stored it safely for no other reason than to comply with your rules. By the way, here in Illinois, one of the most anti-gun places an American can visit without a passport, our newly-minted CCL law has a provision that gives "safe harbor" to CCL holders who secure their firearms in their vehicles before entering a posted/prohibited business. It doesn't appear to apply to employees, although time and case law will tell, but it definitely protects me if I need to go into a posted/prohibited business--and remember, there are businesses that are posted/prohibited by law, where the management has no choice in the matter. When it comes to my own employer (one of those mandated gun-free zones) I have to park down the street in someone else's lot and walk the rest of the way, because somehow that's safer than leaving a gun in a holster and not touching it all day long. Civil rights!

Are you an American whose loved one was shot and killed because the gun industry negligently armed someone who was dangerous? Tough luck. You have been permanently denied access to the courts by a 2005 law drafted by NRA lobbyists, which gives the gun industry unprecedented immunity from civil litigation.
Are you an American whose loved one was run over and killed because the car industry negligently armed someone who was dangerous? Tough luck, because that's not a thing in American law. You're not actually supposed to be able to recover damages from people who did nothing wrong just because you think they have more money than the person who actually did you damage, or because someone's got a political axe to grind with them. You can't get lawsuit money out of GM because they failed to predict that someone would get drunk and drive one of their giant missiles through your front picture window, and you can't get lawsuit money out of Remington because someone else used one of their guns to commit a crime. You certainly can sue Remington if they knowingly sold defective products that posed a danger and caused damage, just like anyone else. The only thing you could argue was "unprecedented" in this situation would be the massive political effort to put gun manufacturers out of business (but you'd still be wrong unless we ignore alcohol, tobacco, etc.) In other words, the closest thing to "unprecedented" is the fact that people saw the need to pass a law to state that civil law really does mean what it says.

As usual, the NRA attempted to scare its faithful in order to drum up additional gun sales. Its leadership claimed that support for background checks and laws to curb gun trafficking is eroding our rights, even as Indianapolis grapples with a per capita homicide rate that has reached a 30-year high. There’s a reason that criminals in Indiana rarely if ever have to go outside the state’s borders to acquire the weapons they use to kill with. How “free” are Indianapolis residents who feel trapped inside their homes at night as a result?
I hear you, bro. FUD is wrong; using fear to sell your point of view is just disrespectful of your audience and dishonest besides. Well, it is when the NRA does it, right? Basically, Mr. Horwitz, you made an assertion and then provided no evidence for it. There was nothing in that little essay that supported your assertion that the NRA is not a civil-rights organization. Given that you made that assertion about a venerable group that has kept 10% of the Bill of Rights alive and kicking despite massive political efforts to grind it down or explain it away, it was clear that you weren't going to be able to find the easy way, but you didn't even bother to try.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little, Yellow, Different: 5.11's Training Barrel

Like I said on Friday, my main reason for buying any training gizmos at all for dry fire was the desire to combine two traits my pistol simply cannot match:

1. Extra safety margin: make it as unlikely as possible to fire that "oops" round in dry fire, and
2. Do this so conveniently that dry fire is not made more difficult or tiresome.

The first thing I picked up for that purpose was a 5.11 yellow training barrel. This is a simple little yellow hunk of plastic that retails for about $10-$20 (it's currently $17 on Amazon.) At that price, it's going to whup on the SIRT pistol and the Laserlyte packages in the value category, and it really does represent great bang for the buck if you don't have one of the other two. However, now that the SIRT is in my home, I have to confess that the 5.11 barrel gets a lot less use. Some of that is likely temporary, as right now I only have one example of my carry/competition gun, a Gen4 Glock 17. A few months ago, when I began to think seriously about how concealed carry was going to change my approach to handguns, I only owned one example of my carry piece, a Springfield XD in .45.  Among the considerations that pushed me away from that gun (caliber/cost, concerns about Springfield reliability, ambivalence about grip safeties, difficulty finding accessories) the inability to get a 5.11 training barrel to fit it was prominent. When I made the switch, I picked up a 5.11 barrel right away, but when there's only one pistol to match it in the house, one encounters the first difficulty with the 5.11, namely . . .

You will field strip your pistol a lot.
If you're doing dry fire with your carry/competition pistol, you need to break it down and install the 5.11 in place of the barrel each time, then replace the barrel when you're done. It becomes a bit of a pain.  Again, this would be mitigated if I followed the advice most of would give, buying one or even two "backup" copies of the pistol so that one is dedicated to dry fire. That pistol could have the 5.11 in it all the time. Not only would that make it quick and easy to grab it for a brief dry fire session and toss it back where it came from, but if one locked the barrel in the pistol safe, it would essentially make the pistol with the 5.11 installed an inert, non-gun object that could be left lying on the counter, an oft-cited advantage of the SIRT. That would be nice, because other than this one issue, it's hard for me to come up with many downsides of the little yellow chunk, at least for home use.  If I had to find one more, I guess it would be that . . . 

There's no visual feedback to the user or a coach.
The SIRT and the Laserlyte pieces both give some confirmation of trigger discipline by projecting a laser dot; if your dot moves around, elongates, etc., then you're disturbing your sight picture with the trigger press. I don't know if this is a big deal, frankly, because I find that I don't want to look at the laser when I use the SIRT, and I don't have a coach. If I had someone else tracking the dot and giving me feedback, I could imagine making much better use of that feature, but as it is, the 5.11 is on a level playing field. So, what are some of the advantages of the 5.11? Well, for one thing . . . 

It provides instant visual confirmation that the gun is inert.
This is an important advantage over dry firing the pistol, but depending upon who's around, it could be an advantage over the SIRT or the Laserlyte inserts (in your "real" pistol) too. The SIRT is visually very close to a Glock 17 with a paint job, and the Laserlyte inserts make it obvious that the muzzle is obstructed, but only from the muzzle end. Actually, as I write this, it occurs to me that I never asked whether the Laserlyte inserts are designed to preclude the loading of ammunition. They have long "tails" that I could imagine blocking the chamber, and it stands to reason, but . . . I don't know. Hmmm.
Anyway, the 5.11 barrel doesn't have that issue. Both the exposed chamber and the muzzle are replaced with bright yellow plastic, and the muzzle is clearly not even a tube (surely no accident there.) Visual checks are near-instant, and even people from outside The Tribe are at ease, because they can instantly assure themselves that I'm not holding a g . . . g . . . g . . . gun!
Now, don't go letting that lull you into a sense of peaceful security that leads you to point guns at your palms or nothin' (I'm looking' at you, J.A.) but it's nice to have.

It uses your pistol's trigger, controls and sights, not approximations.
The SIRT is excellent at being a G17-shaped object that's roughly the right weight, uses standard sights, has weighted magazines, and has a trigger that pretty closely approximates a striker-action with a fairly light weight, a break and a reset. It does NOT feel the same as the trigger in my actual Glock pistol, being much lighter and with a less-defined break, plus no trigger safety. The grip is smaller than the grip on my G17 (I use the medium beavertail backstrap, but I've been wondering about the large lately.) And of course, although I can practice reloads with weighted magazines, I can't run or release the slide on a SIRT. The 5.11, in contrast, allows me to do all of the things a SIRT can do, plus running the slide for malfunction drills or reloads from empty. The only things that really favor the SIRT in this area are its ability to simulate reset and its weighted magazines. Otherwise, the 5.11 really is more versatile. Incidentally, I've tried the "rubber band trick" to fool the Glock into resetting the trigger, but I've never made it work yet. I could just be doing it wrong; maybe it's about getting exactly the right thickness of rubber in there. But for whatever reason, I haven't gotten it to work, and if I ever do, the 5.11 will shoot up in estimation.

It's installed in your pistol, so it absolutely fits in your holster.
I don't know that this really deserves its own individual, bolded line on a blog nobody reads, but it does matter. At one time, I thought it was a notch in the Glock's favor (as opposed to other 9mm service pistols) that it matched the SIRT, so I could use the SIRT in the same holster as the Glock. As it turns out, the SIRT doesn't fit my Glock holsters perfectly, and I actually use it without the holster more. I don't think that's been a big drawback for the SIRT, but if there's an advantage there, it clearly goes to the 5.11 barrel.

It's dirt cheap compared to a SIRT or a Laserlyte module.
I know, I've already pointed this out, but it bears repeating. Cheap things that work well should not be dismissed just because they're cheap. That's the definition of good value. A good friend was complaining the other night that Army units, in his experience, tend to point weapons at each other in CQB training. If you want to do something like that safely, and you need to do it in large numbers, there's not going to be a "cheap" option, but these little plastic gems are probably going to be the "cheapest" compared to "blue guns" or SIRTs or the like.

The verdict:
I don't use the 5.11 barrel nearly as much as I do the SIRT these days, but I'm not getting rid of it. I can imagine, at some point, having it more or less permanently installed in my second pistol, or maybe my third, and at that point I think it will be much more viable as an any time, any where tool on a par with the SIRT. In short, I like the 5.11 training barrel very much and I should very much like to be friends with it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Glock 17 vs. Glock 19: Go Big or Go Home

I'm not gonna lie; there are two facts that define every aspect of my decision to purchase a Glock 17 and carry it in a Blade-Tech Phantom:*

  1.  Everybody says the Glock 19 is the perfect size for every job.
  2. Nobody puts baby in a corner and you ain't the boss of me.
These were, it must be admitted, not the whole story. It turns out that even though I don't like to be told what to do, the grip on a Glock 17 really does tend to poke out at people like an inconvenient erection (only smaller, ladies.)  This has led to a new plan: sell the XD, purchase a Glock 19, and carry that, possibly while sending the 17 off to get cut down for 19 magazines (but probably not, as that smacks of effort, and, when you think about it, you only need one Glock 19 carry magazine at a time. Having three factory G19 magazines, I have enough to carry it forever, 'cause I can always just carry G17 mags on the belt for every purpose. The G19 mag's only virtue, after all, is relative stubbiness.

Anyway, you ever start to talk yourself into something, and then hear the issue reframed so brilliantly that you realize you've been wasting your time trying to think it through with your own feeble brain? Me, too.
Hat tip to ENDO

*Like PDB, I like the Phantom. Unlike PDB, I'm not quite ready to declare it better than everything else. Also, I broke mine as soon as I got it in a way that I think made it work (completely unintentionally) better for me. But as a way to spend $20 to have a safe, workable IWB holster without a long wait, it's brilliant.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wooden Swords and Laser Guns--How Do I Practice Using Deadly Force?

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure ™

 books? How about the Time Machine ™
 series from the same publisher? 
Were they great, or were they the greatest?
This is why people think I've read the Book of Five Rings.

Time's up, sucker. They were the greatest. I still quote facts about Jupiter that I learned from a Choose Your Own Adventure ™book about a mission to the moons of Jupiter, and I'm talking about teaching middle school science class, here. Did you know that Jupiter has 63 moons and 
Ganymede is bigger than the planet Mercury?

But my favorite was probably from the Time Machine ™series, and it was a mission to travel back in time and acquire a sword used by Miyamoto Musashi. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but there was a successful ending available. The final choice was presented in a scene with Musashi in his famous cave as he lay dying. Musashi recognizes this weird, eternal person who keeps popping in and out of his life, and agrees to allow you to take one of his swords. After pondering what you have learned from Musashi (other than that bushido requires a willingness to cheat) you choose Musashi's well-worn bokken and leave his steel swords by his side. Musashi approves; this, he says, is the sword that he has used the most in his life, the one that taught him the most. The others are almost like your mom's fine china, only useful for special occasions. If one of the swords contains any of his soul, it will be the humble wooden training tool.

It wasn't until later that I learned that Musashi's legendary fondness for wooden weapons wasn't all about a philosophical decision to embrace training and learning; he also really had a thing for beating people to death with the bones of trees. We all have our quirks, I guess. But the impact it had on me at the time, which I think has lasted, was a fascination with the idea of a warrior as a student, someone for whom training gear and good teachers are much more important than the actual deadly weapons to be used. We're all fond of telling each other that you can't purchase skill, but if you're willing to pay in time, repetition and fatigue, and you're open to new ideas, you can. I think that's neato.

Nowadays, although I have a bokken stashed somewhere, that's not what need to train with my primary weapons. I used to carry a knife wherever I could; when I realized I could buy a blunt trainer, I did so, but my "training" was sporadic. I still carry a knife most of the time, but I've added OC spray to it. That's been more difficult to practice well with, and I know it's a hole in my options. But the big recent change has been the acquisition of an Illinois CCL this year. With the ability to carry a firearm with me has come the realization that I (speaking strictly for myself) was not completely comfortable with my level of skill. It's great to carry the thing, but to what avail, if you're not sure you'll have the confidence to use it if the time comes? So I started to seek out training.  I did MAG20 Classroom, followed by MAG20 Range. I did my 16-hour Illinois CCL training class. I've taken an 8-hour force-on-force class from Black Flag Training, four hours on Illinois law from Andrew Branca of LOSD fame, and the four-hour emergency medicine class from Kelly Grayson (the one I reviewed this week.) Every time I take a shooty class as opposed to a thinky class, I notice something: my performance starts slow and improves dramatically as I shoot more. That's a clue, I guess; these skills are perishable, and I'm not getting my money's worth from this or that course if I don't practice the skills over time.

So I've taken steps in 2014 to shoot more. I switched to 9mm to save money on ammunition, and I've begun buying 9mm ammo in greater bulk to save more. I've joined my local USPSA group, the Springfield Tactical Shooters, who run one stage of USPSA every Thursday night locally. And I've committed to shooting live fire once per week (a commitment, however, that I've already had to reset once after taking most of April off because of insanity in the family.) Right now, I do that by shooting Dot Torture once per week to try to establish a record of progress.

That's all great, but it's never enough. I want to be committed to dry fire at home, I do, but I have three kids in that home, and because of my family situation, security of my firearms is very important. Moreover, I've never really become comfortable with dry fire. I store the guns upstairs, but there are no safe directions up there. I have safe directions downstairs, and I generally have my carry gun on me at home anyway, but then I've got to separate from the ammunition--and I'm still not really happy with that solution. So I've invested in a couple of pieces of gear that promised to help out with these problems, and I think I'd like to think through what I've solved, what I haven't, and what's next in writing. You're welcome to read it if that seems like something you'd enjoy. Of course, because I live in 2014, my favorite "wooden sword" is a "laser gun." 
Pew, pew!
Short version: I currently have a $12 piece of yellow plastic and a much more expensive laser pistol. In upcoming posts, I'd like to explore what each one does best, what each one is lacking, and why I I'm still kicking myself for not buying yet another laser pistol at NRAAM this year. Also, if you are a time traveler and you're going to ask me for my weapon at the end of my life, I suggest you just time it to show up sometime after my actual death and then just take the one you want. I don't want to be a pain in the ass. Green light, bro.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Do CSGV Twitter Interns Dream of Electric Sheep?

I think maybe somebody accidentally bumped the reset button on one of CSGV's Tweeters while I was Turing-testing it today (or was it Turing-testing me?)

"I've never seen a turtle... But I understand what you mean." 

"The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. . ."
See that at the end? Suddenly they just reset to talking points like nothing happened. It's mathematically possible that in the dimension a CSGV intern inhabits, nothing has happened. Ponder this until you have achieved enlightenment, and if you meet the Buddha on the road, cause him mild discomfort.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ambulance Driver Class on the Care and Feeding of Medical Emergencies for Shooters, or: How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love the Tourniquet

“Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round. Any variation on the theme is a problem.”

About a month before NRA Annual Meetings kicked off in Indianapolis this year, Ambulance Driver put out a call for students. In real life, AD is Kelly Grayson, emergency medicine subject matter expert and gadfly extraordinaire, and when he’s not running critical care transfers for the voracious and merciless EMS collective known as “The Borg” or writing books, he does a lot of teaching. This time, Kelly and friends had decided to create a class for the average gun owner on what to do about a medical emergency at the range or in the field (including, but not limited to, first aid for gunshot wounds.)  Why’s that matter to you? Well, it might not, but this is my blog, and you’ve got some nerve coming in firing questions. Besides, I think there’s a good chance that this class could be added to Kelly’s offerings, and that means it might come to your town one of these days.
Bro, do you even tourniquet?
Let me cut to the chase: if you aren’t at least an experienced first responder  with experience with gunshot wounds, I think you’ll benefit from this class. Kelly brought three friends in as instructors, including the author of Too Old toWork, Too Young to Retire and two other experienced medics, one with extensive experience in Detroit. Any one of the four have probably treated more GSW than I have car accident injuries, and their experience showed.  Bringing help also meant that the instructors had the manpower to break the class into four sections for small-group hands-on instruction in CPR, use of AED’s, and application of bandages and tourniquets. That time was valuable, and it looked to me like the instructors were consistent and efficient in running their individual groups. I was not expecting OldNFO to stand up deliver a history of hemostatic bandaging (products like Quik-Clot) but it was fascinating.
Aw, snap. Knowledge is about to drop on you like the other shoe, son.
The agenda was intelligently basic and can be summarized as three big questions:
·      What can we do about acute cardiac or respiratory problems at the range? (What if Joe has a heart attack at a remote range?)
·      What can we do about gunshot wounds to the extremities?
(What if Joe shoots himself in the leg at a remote range?)
·      What can we do about thoracic gunshot wounds?
(What if Joe gets shot in the belly or the chest at a remote range?)

What if there's inappropriate touching?
Negatives? Well, obviously, a four-hour course is not going to turn anyone into a medical superhero, so if anyone was hoping to learn to repair wounds surgically in the field with a fishhook and line, they would have gone home disappointed. The course could go longer easily; I believe Kelly mentioned that it may be extended in future versions, and I think that makes sense.

Positives? Brisk pacing, not a lot of superfluous discussion or information, good balance of lecture and participation, well-considered agenda of basic information, and a good job of addressing varying skill levels from medical laymen who’ve never really thought about medical emergencies at the range before to practicing nurses and doctors.
Now you're cookin' with gas, ya big lug! But seriously, you should probably take that thing off at some point.
In the end, I walked out with knowledge and confidence I hadn’t brought in with me, and that’s a win. In particular, I picked up new knowledge and much firmer confidence in my knowledge of thoracic wounds, especially sucking chest wounds, and I no longer fear the tourniquet. I also walked away with a compact emergency kit stocked with a good field tourniquet and appropriate bandages, gloves and cleaning supplies, plus an occlusive chest seal for sucking chest wounds (which has helpfully been covered in notes with a Sharpie™ because I walked in late without a pencil or paper on my person.)
Be prepared! But if you can't manage to be prepared, at least be prepared to be weird. 
It must be noted that the use of St. Francis Hospital’s excellent conference room and the food and drink supplied by Brownells out of the goodness of their hearts added to the experience for most of the attendees.  Personally, I haughtily refused to partake of the delicious breakfast pastries or drink the soda and juice provided, because I am an arrogant monster. But if you’re into that sort of thing, you can see how having one of the giants of the industry step up to support a small class like this one—a class with, it must be admitted, zero application to either Crossfit™ or shooting terrorists in their faces—makes a difference.

My thanks to Brownells, to St. Francis Hospitals in Indianapolis, to Kelly Grayson and TOTW and their fellow instructors. Going forward, I’m going to be sharing a version of what I’ve learned out to members of the Sangamon County Rifle Association. The SCRA met two nights ago, and between my account and the praise delivered by Snooze Button Ronin, I think we have some interest in hosting Kelly for a similar class in the future. I’ll be watching with interest to see if it becomes available!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Check Your Privilege (in which I annoy my friends.)

So there's a "Check Your Privilege" meme going around the gun blogs, and so far, I've only seen it approached from one direction: the idea that "privilege" is obviously a stupid and fictional concept created by silly people in universities to make white people and male people (especially gender normative cismale fascists) feel guilty. The idea seems to be that "check your privilege" doesn't make sense, because white people and men aren't all rich, and they often face real struggle in their lives.

Here's the thing: that's not how privilege has been explained to me in the past, nor is it how I use the term in my life. So I'm going to follow the instructions of the meme (I will "check my privilege" and tell my "story of privilege") but first, I'm going to lay a couple of ideas out here.

  • Checking your privilege is not generally intended to mean wallowing in guilt or self-hatred over the racism of your ancestors or your oppression of post-lesbian transwomen. The point of understanding privilege is mainly to remind myself that there are problems others face that I simply do not face, and may not completely understand. That wouldn't make me a bad person, just a human being--nobody can know everything, and nobody is capable of perfect empathy.
  • Check your privilege does not mean "shut up." There are certainly people who say the one when they mean the other, but they're using it wrong, and I'm not obligated to obey them. I'm also not entitled to use them to discredit people who simply want to make a genuine effort to see another person's point of view despite serious differences. Like the "shut up!" people, I can do that--I have the power to do it if I choose--but it would make me wrong.
  • Among reasonable people of good will, "check your privilege" is the equivalent of "your fly is open" or "did you mean to leave the house without pants today?" Taking my privilege into account is something I want to do for myself, because I want to understand other people and also myself. When someone points out that I've forgotten to do it this time, that's generally not because they're trying to be mean to me; they're reminding me of something that they know I prefer to do, like zipping my fly before I leave the bathroom. 
Now, given all that, what's it look like to check your privilege? Well, for me, it's not stories of how hard my immigrant great-grandparents had it, or tales of how poor we were when my dad's factory job was moved to another state, or how hard I had to work to get through college rustling drunks for the school and signing my paychecks directly to the school, even though those things happened. It's not the stories about detasseling corn or walking bean fields in the summer sun, though I did that. The thing about all my stories of hard work and lean times is that none of those actually change the fact that I was and am a privileged person.

Generally speaking, people don't tell others to be patient with me because I "tend to be emotional," as opposed to women, who "tend to be more logical in their thought patterns." I don't get treated that way because men don't generally get treated that way.  Yes, yes, I know, we hunted the mammoth and we dig the coal, etc., but that's a privilege nevertheless. I can also walk down the street without people shouting propositions at me, even if I decide to walk alone or late at night.* I read the "Everyday Sexism" Twitter feed when I can, and the women who post their experiences are going through things I never have--often things I would have said don't happen. Are they all liars? Or does my privilege hide these experiences from me and color the way I see the world? I think that's the most plausible explanation.

The last time I went through a "roadside check" was last fall, after midnight, on a main thoroughfare in Springfield, IL.  I was bringing my son back from the emergency room after he'd gotten a laceration on his head stapled closed. Normally, I avoid those checkpoints, but I stopped for this one. A cop shined a flashlight into my car, looking for anything "in plain sight" in the passenger compartment, inspected my license and insurance creeds, then asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I was tired and cranky (my son had not been doing something smart when he hurt his head, and my patience was already strained.) I snapped at that cop a little bit; I demanded to know why he needed to know that information. Basically, I copped an attitude. He backed off and sent us on our way. Would that have worked for one of my black coworkers? I dunno, but we suspected it would at least have ended with them being put through a lot more hassle than I was.
That's a privilege.

I'm a man married to a woman. People don't generally demand that I pretend not to be married to her, or that I pretend not to love her, to spare their feelings. Nobody has ever demanded to know how they should explain my marriage to their children, and nobody's trying to outlaw it, either. That's a privilege.

And, yeah, I'll go there: I'm a "cis male." I was born with the body that matched up to my sense of self. I never had to justify my existence to anybody. My body hasn't been perfect, and it has its quirks, but I don't have to explain to people that I'm not trying to trick everyone I meet. No one accuses me of being a pervert for going to the bathroom. I don't get told that I'm just confused, that I don't know who I am, or that the all-powerful creator of the universe will make it all go away if I just pray and wish hard enough (meaning, of course, that if it doesn't "fix me," it must be because I'm doing it wrong.)

Those are privileges, and I have them. I didn't ask for them, and even if I were willing to give them up, I couldn't. They come with the deal. They don't make me a bad guy, and I don't feel guilt or shame for having them; I just keep them in mind, because they tend to lie to me.  They tell me what the world is like, what works and what doesn't, and they make it harder to see that the world isn't like that for everyone.

*Usually. There was that guy in Houston who wanted me to cross the street to tell him the time . . . 

Friday, May 2, 2014

I think I might be back . . . maybe.

I guess I’m back?  Once again, I traveled to meet old internet friends, and most of them gave me a ration of shit for not writing anymore, and I just sort of cheerfully batted it back like it didn’t bother me, and then . . . I came home and looked at the old blog again. The truth is that I like to write, but life does get in the way. There are aspects of my family life at home that I don’t always feel at liberty to share, because the actions of some people close to me are such that discussing them in public might amount to shaming them, even if that weren’t my intent (and if I start writing about those parts of my life, the urge to shame people publicly from time to time will be there.) Maybe that’s not even such a terrible thing, but then again . . . the internet is forever, right? And we’re talking about young people making very bad choices . . . . they could be totally different people in five years or ten, and nothing I write about them on the internet is going to go away. I’ve often wondered if that’s one of the lines between a dilettante like me and a “real” novelist or essayist, that the “real” novelist would “write what he knows” and let the chips fall where they may, even if it meant that people he loves were held up to public ridicule or shame going forward.

Maybe the solution is to put a new blog up at (snazzy, no?) and be completely transparent about my identity, but carefully censor what I say about the people in my life and the problems I face. That seems like it will make good blogging pretty tough.

Or, maybe the solution is to put a new blog at another domain I registered a few months ago (not my name) and start over anonymously, telling only close friends who’s writing there, and just write about everything that’s happening in my life, both as a way to get writing inspiration and as a way to survive it. 

Of course, I could just journal all this stuff privately, but that seems like a tough way to become the center of attention.  ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Y'all Know What Day It Is, Right?

Y’all know what day it is, right? That’s right; it’s the First of May. Don’t start the video if profanity or sex are problems for you . . . it’s NSFW in a good way.
(But still clearly NSFW.)

Aw . . . . I'll tell you what: I even found the clean version for you.  I'll just warn you, though, this is Jonathon Coulton and Paul & Storm live, so "clean" is relative. But this was considered suitable for performance with kids in the audience:
You are welcome.