Burro Canyon KABOOM!

Had a fine time shooting at the Burro Canyon range up in San Gabriel Canyon near Azusa. Apart from screwing up and shooting a rifle on the pistol range, I did fine. I shoot high and to the right.

As we were all banging away the range officer called an emergency cease fire, and everyone on all the ranges stopped and stepped back per orders. A helicopter was coming to land. WTF?

In a few minutes the LASD rescue helicopter roared on in and landed a hundred yards south of us, and then left in a few minutes.

The story I heard was that someone on a private range was shooting a modified .50 caliber machine gun (!?) that only shot semiautomatic, and somehow it fired with the bolt partially open. This isn’t good, because then the hot gas from the propellant goes sideways as well as forwards, and one gets a faceful of fire and possibly chunks of stuff. Off he went to the hospital.

The story may be somewhat different, but this was from a range officer who should know.

This kind of accident is very, very rare. It’s possible that the guy loaded his own ammunition and made a mistake, or that the gun itself had been modified poorly in some way. But it’s also possible that it just broke. Scary stuff.

In any case I had a good time with my own unmodified, normal-powered stuff.

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without .40 hollowpoints

Santa Claus Uses Handgun to Protect Children From Terrorists

Here’s the Christmas card sent out by the Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms:


I have some concerns. First of all, Santa is not using an approved grip or stance for handgun shooting. One-hand shooting is not recommended, and the loose grasp he has on the firearm is going to result in instability, poor aim, and possibly total loss of control.

Second, although he has the children pushed behind him, there is an infant directly below the handgun. Not only could a terrible mishap occur if his gun somehow went off while pointed down, but raining hot brass from an autopistol on infants is very poor form.

Third, the terrorist does not appear to have any firearms himself and is soletly armed with explosives. Santa is not only risking everyone’s life in that room by pointing a firearm at the explosives, but he’s missing the opportunity either to shoot the bomber directly in the head — thus ending the terrorist mission — or to physically assault the bomber and remove him from the area so that he cannot demolish the tree or kill the children. Merely threatening him with the firearm may result in far worse results than either shooting him in the head or tackling him. Since the terrorist is very clumsily using dynamite sticks with fuses, there is unlikely to be any dead man’s switch or trip wire that would frustrate this attempt, and a terrorist taken alive is far more valuable to the international community than a corpse.

Therefore I cannot support arming poorly trained Santa Clauses. Even though the threat to Christmas may be very serious, reflexively arming previously unarmed sectors of society is likely to result in more harm than good.

A bigger version of the card is available from the url above; I resized it.