Well well well... I always love/hate doing this.
Hello folks. My handle is Euclidean, as in Euclidean geometry. I am a teacher of mathematics by trade. I live, teach, and otherwise stir about in a suburb of Austin, TX.
I am 23 years old, white, male, single, heterosexual, and Protestant. And no I don\'t live with my mother and haven\'t for some time now.
I think the biggest problem our society faces is a lack of logical, rational critical thinking skills and a severe lack of education, or at least appreciation for education. At the end of Hamlet, there are only two people left: a student and a soldier. I\'m not really fit to be a soldier and I can\'t afford to be a permanent student so I did the next best thing and became a teacher.
Mathematics teaches one how to reason empirically and arrive at absolute truth. Education teaches one that what that truth is can be very complicated. Thus I consider myself a student of human nature first and a scientist second.
I\'ve owned a real firearm for over ten years. My first tool was my still trusty Marlin Model 60. My second was my 12 gauge Mossberg 500, which is still outiftted with a 28\" ventilated rib barrel, bead sight, and modified choke. I fired all of my Dad\'s guns, including Rossi revolvers in various calibers, his Rugers, some other pistols, and a smattering of long guns. I\'m most familiar with .357 magnum, .22 LR and 9x19 loads. I\'m curious to learn more about other calibers.
In college I was surrounded by a lot of very intelligent people who advocated what they called \"gun control\". In a nutshell, I decided these people were wrong. When I stopped relying on impulse and emotion and instead applied my training in the practical and theoretical use of logic and reasoning to their arguments, well I came to my own conclusions.
I concluded that gun control is at best wasteful and ineffective and at worst, dangerous and a violation of my personal rights.
It took me a while longer to realize that philosophy is not enough. Remember when I said that at the end of Hamlet the only survivors are the student and the soldier?
While I\'m no soldier in the literal sense of the word, well actually I am after a fashion since I am registered with the draft board, I must be like a soldier to the best of my ability.
I am no good to anyone dead.
Now truthfully, I dedicate maybe 8-10% of my time and resources to firearms, survival, and preparedness in general. I am not wealthy therefore I cannot prepare for everything.
However I have concluded it is a moral and logical imperative to learn the skills and acquire the tools I need to be the best \"soldier\" I can be.
Thus my new Year\'s resolution for 2005 is to obtain a Texas CCW permit. I\'ve actually begun working on this all through 2004.
I decided that although my marksmanship does leave something to be desired, I already had adequate safety, maintenance, and handling skills. I also realized I had no means by which to practically defend myself in my own residence, and I wasn\'t in a position to borrow guns any more. I also reasoned I would never become a better marksman without having something to practice with.
I\'ve expanded my personal collection quite a bit in 2004. I reasoned my worst need was for a handgun of some stripe. I thought about: I could only have one handgun, which one would I have? I finally decided on a used S&W 686 with a 4 inch barrel I found for $300. It is a SA/DA revolver, which is my preferred platform. It is reliable, simple, easy to fire, and can fire both a cheap practice caliber, and an effective self defense caliber. It can be concealed if necessary.
My next investment was a real semiautomatic centerfire rifle in the form of a Norinco SKS. I figured this was an excellent investment for the time being to fill in the gap in my arsenal.
Finally I decided that it was quite frankly foolish to limit myself to revolvers, and that I should pursue an automatic pistol so that I could practice with one and decide if I preferred automatics or revolvers. I wanted a basic double stack 9mm pistol with an external safety so that I could learn how to better use the controls on an automatic. I acquired a Ruger P-89. My father\'s pistol of choice is the Ruger P-85, which I had fired several times so the P-89 felt quite natural to me.
I have found an outdoor range relatively near me that has reasonable range fees and good hours, and they seem to offer class work. I plan to visit them at some point this January and practice some more.
Thus I have completed Phase 1
I have guns and I have a place to train properly.
Phase 2 is figuring out how much training I need.
The truth is I have no real idea how well I shoot. I\'ve always shot at bottles, jars, paper plates, that sort of thing. I\'ve never had anyone \"grade\" me. I do know I have no problem whatsoever nailing a man sized target at 7 yards.
In Texas, to get a CCW, you have to pass a Range test. You fire 20 times at 7 yards, 20 more times at 15 yards, and 10 times at 25 yards I believe. You have to score 175 out of 250 possible points. I have no idea how easy or difficult this feat will be for someone whose shooting experience is roughly a decade or so of plinking in the afternoon.
Furthermore I have to decide on whether I want to carry a revolver or an automatic. Texas makes you choose. Why oh why is beyond me. I wish I could carry one of each, but I cannot.
I have figured out I\'m 60% revolver person and 40% automatic person so I\'m leaning that direction. But from what I\'ve discovered so far it\'s entirely possible I could have a greater talent with an automatic, so I still have to make that decision.
Luckily my full size guns should provide me with the tools I need to make that decision and pass the proficiency test. Whichever gun I practice with I plan to test with.
They are however not really practical carry pieces for me. I find both of them awkward to carry, difficult to retain, and impossible to draw quickly from concealment. I will have to acquire new tools.
In that arena I have all mannner of questions... should I be looking at the Tarus 617 or the S&W 637? Do I really need DAO or can I have a real hammer? What can I do for deep concealment? What caliber? I can go on all day. All I\'ve really figured out is that I like SA/DA revolvers with Hogue grips and stainless steel finishes.
It\'s great to see a forum where I hope I can find answers to these questions. I\'ve learned a lot in 2004, now I hope to put my knowledge to use in 2005.
I don\'t know if I\'ll get my CCW or not this year but I at least want to start practicing more often and better. I hope to go to the range once in January, once in Feb, then hopefully twice or three times a month after that. I don\'t know if that will be enough, and I can\'t devote more time than that.
I tend to either post little and read much or read too much and post way too much so get ready.