Flying, Guns, Guns, guns, guns., Personal, Travel

Train Up Day 2

Monday I felt like U coyldnt have leaned against the broad side of a barn successfully. Tuesday I went back to the drawing board and pulled out the zero stop on my scope and re-zeroed – I was .2 mils high before but I thought I could work around that. The result was a fine zero – this is my last “just how clean a zero is it” shot:


After that we shot new steel in new spots. One of the instructors (named Greg) sat down with me and helped me call wind. Boy howdy was he good. REALLY good. By the time we were done I felt like maybe I might be able to hit some stuff and I had a much more solid take on my dope.

We did a pistol drill in the afternoon. The XDm .45 I brought seems to be shooting a wee low but that’s okay. Was mostly stuff I know and there was too much standing around but I needed the trigger time on the pistol and the instructor was good.

Today was a down day. I fabbed up an aluminium spacer to increase my LOP, drive to Caspar, went to the briefing and found out I’m in group 1 and I’m shooter 16. I got the last minute deliveries from Amazon (hooray for prime!) and the ammo I shipped.

Competition starts tomorrow.

Flying, Guns, Guns, guns, guns., Personal, Travel

Train Up Day 1

Sunday, heading to Douglas WY for two days of training before the Snipers Hide Cup:


We started the day with zeroing on paper – my first two shots were high, second three lower but still high. Next group of 5 made one big hole which made me happy. I’m number 4.


But we aren’t here to shoot paper, and what followed was an enormously frustrating (but fun) day of shooting steel in 15-25 MPH winds out to 1400 yards. I missed a lot of shots – the most frustrating of which might have been the shot of a butterfly on my rifle. This is the closest I got to that shot.


So a day of a lot of missing. But I’m learning, so it’s good.


Another Day Shooting

Took Friday late afternoon off to head up North and get some trigger time with a great Snipers Hide guy named Bigwheels, aka Jeff. He’s got a bunch of secret shooting spots staked out that go all the way out to 1950 yards (!).

I got out of town late and almost immediately ran into shitty Friday “gtfo of Seattle for the w’end” traffic. I was so late getting onto the logging roads that lead into the spots that we only got to stop and BS on the road as we passed. He said they left some clay pigeons out on the 1250 yard range and said i could shoot those if I didn’t want to hump steel and also that the mirage was really bad.

I got up there and set up the spotting scope at the 1250 yard spot. Through it the pigeons were shimmering bits of orange that didn’t even seem to be in one place at any one time. Yep, the
mirage was bad allright. No way I was going to only shoot those.

So back in the car and up to set up my steel. I humped it down to the spot with my folding hand truck (which is probably going back to CostCo) and set up.


Back at the spotting scope aaaaaaaand WTF? I can’t find my targets. I can see the fluttery shimmery orange things, but no targets. None.

Okay, so. WTF? How can I have lost my targets? Maybe SOMEONE STOLE THEM!?!

Okay, that seems unlikely. Back up to the road with the spotting scope and aha! There they are.

It seems there are two places I can set targets. I set mine in the wrong place for the 1250 range. I can’t get a laser range finder read at all on how far they are from where I am and the mirage is so wicked that I’m not remotely confident I can reticle range them.

So everything back in the car, drive up a ways and eventually I find a spot that reads 794 yards.

I set up there and look up my settings on Ballistic FTE on my iPhone and also on the mil 168gr tables I have in my data book and settle on 8 mils up and guess on .2 mils for wind.


My first mag is a bit all over but once I get the wind right things settle in pretty nicely. It’s shifting almost full reversals though, so I can get 3-4 shots on and then I have to adjust again.

I’m still at a place where I’m kinda surprised every time I get on target at any distance so when I centered the 6 inch circle on my 3rd try I was pretty happy. Of course it was then knocked so badly off center I had only the edge to shoot it, which is all my fault for going such a hack job at hanging it.

All in all a good day though.


Guns, Personal, Security

So. You want to get your first pistol?

The Question

This is from an old friend:

“I’m currently trying to figure out what 9mm pistol to get. I’ve shot several (Glock 19, xD-9, a compact Sig) but haven’t found any I’ve fallen in love with yet. So far, the xd-9 is my favorite. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

I’d like to have the option of carrying it, so smaller is somewhat preferable. I guess I’m not entirely sure what makes for a good carry pistol, though, now that I think about it.

Anyway, if you’ve got any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.”

The Answer

I could just say “either, although I prefer the XD” but then, well, that wouldn’t really hew to my byline, now would it?

I used to have all sorts of snobby things to say about both 9mm (“I only shoot pistols with calibers starting in the number 4”) and polymer (“combat tupperware”). I’m still clearly a snob about nearly everything I do, but I’m somewhat more refined in my snobbishness. So here goes!

Get Your CPL

First off, get your CPL.

Even if you didn’t plan on carrying (although you clearly are thinking about it), this is a good idea. I happen to know you live in WA state so the  CPL is pretty straightforward. Every gun-class I’ve taken has wanted something beyond a driver’s license to prove I’m not a whack job. The CPL has sufficed alone for some; others have wanted a CPL + more. Also buying a pistol in WA state requires a waiting period w/out a CPL.

Just do it.

Take Classes

With a CPL, you will find my next suggestion  much easier: take classes. Classes are incredibly important, but bad classes are, well bad. So take some good classes.

There are lots of places to take classes, but fewer that are good. I will personally vouch for InSights and Thunder Ranch.  Both very good. I could go on and on and on about this, but lemme put it this way: owning a pistol without taking the classes is stupid and wrong.

People  who shoot their own  balls off probably didn’t  take the classes. Don’t be that guy.

So, onto random musings about carry pistols:


Does the grip feel “right” in your hand?

I think I must have the exact same hands as John Browning, because I adore both the 1911 and the Hi-Power grips. I don’t own a Glock for the opposite reason – the grip just feels alien to me.

Pick something that is comfortable.


Properly designed gear, handled appropriately (take the damn classes!), won’t shoot itself.

Two positive safeties is plenty enough. The 1911 has a grip safety and a manual safety. Having started out carrying a locked-and-cocked 1911, I  thumb down the safety automatically (even on the XD45, where there is no safety) just before I fire and click it back when I return to ready (even when it’s not there).

While I know and respect people who are worried about their guns going off by themselves (eg when they are in a holster), and for these people the idea that a 1911 is “cocked” when you are carrying it is scary as hell, I think that’s silly. The 1911 is a plenty safe gun.

XD 9mm sub-compact

The XD has a grip safety and a trigger safety, but no manual. Still good.

Glock G19

The Glock has a trigger safety and an internal (mumbo-jumbo) safety, but no one ever says that Glocks just go off by themselves, so Glocks get a pass. They go bang when you pull the trigger, don’t go bang any other time.

Double-action semi-automatic pistols attempt to solve the “OMFG COCKED HAMMER SCARY AHHHHH!” problem bymaking the first trigger pull  r e a l l y  l o o o o o n g.  This is the moral equivalent to putting the ice-cream out in the freezer in the garage.

I think you should either not buy the ice cream at all, or buy it and eat it. Why intentionally make something hard, when it ought to be easy?

Ah, but we can choose to carry most double action pistols in single action mode! Ha ha ha, take that, Peter! Yes, but that’s like putting the ice cream out in the garage, and then moving the TV into the garage, just so that your chances of being closer to the ice cream when you want it are higher, but it’s still in the garage, so…

Uhm, yeah, WTF?

Real safeties make the gun IMPOSSIBLE to shoot at all – on purpose or accidentally – when they are on, and easy to shoot on purpose when they are off. (Super-light triggers are potentially riskier because it can actually be hard to contact the trigger at all without a bang. The simple answer to that is a decent – say 4 pounds-ish –  trigger pull).

Long, horrible trigger pulls make the gun harder to shoot even when you really want it to go bang. That’s really not a safety, is it?

So: XD or Glock, both fine safeties.

Trigger Treatment Digression

There’s a rule about triggers. Really, learn and love the rules. Love the rules! The trigger rule is simple: We shouldn’t pull the trigger at all until we positively want the gun to go bang.

After that it ought to be automatic.We wonder, should we pull the trigger? Hmmm.

Then we decide.

Then we go bang.

We don’t wonder, then decide, then half-way through the trigger pull start to wonder again, maybe change our minds…. maybe make an omelette? Call a lifeline? No!

We don’t commit, then we commit. That’s the most fundamental aspect to the whole gun safety equation. Once I’ve decided I want the gun to go bang, I’d like it to go bang consistently, reliably, and immediately.





Ideally you learn the most general purpose manual at arms and then only buy guns that accomodate that. If you start out shooting a 1911 it is easy to adapt to a Glock (except for the feeling like you’re holding a plastic two-by-four). The safety is built into the trigger, and if you follow the trigger rule (which you will follow, because you learned it on the 1911) you’re safe, AND  the lack of a thumb or grip safety means you can’t accidentally make the gun not fire when it’s actually supposed to fire.

A Glock in the hands of a 1911 owner will still go bang when you pull the trigger. The other way round, it’s maybe not as easy. Glock owners don’t necessarily know to thumb the safety, so with a 1911 there might be a no bang when they want a bang because they forget  the thumb safety. Also if you  you have a (bad!) loose grip, the  Glock doesn’t care. But a 1911 (and an XD for that matter) do care. They want to be hugged, cradled, loved.

SIG 226

SIGs insist on having a complex manual at arms that they needed to design to make govt wonks happy.

Decockers are teh stupid. Esp. decockers that act like long, strange 1911 manual safeties. Really, who thought that one up? And the SIG trigger pull  is “okay” at the very best it will ever be.

But SIGs are amazingly well made guns and some people can shoot the shit out of ’em. And Zeva (on your right) shoots a SIG. So they are always something to consider. AND if you show up at range with a SIG in the blue box, and act vaguely like you know what you are doing, people will think youare a fed, which can be amusing if you aren’t one.

XD and Glock are both fine for MaA.


The 1911 has the best trigger in the world. SIG triggers? Sigh. I think we are starting to understand  how I feel about their general squishiness.

The XDM, or an older XD with the Springer Precision trigger job, has the best polymer-frame, striker-fired trigger in the world IMNSHO.

I have an XD with the trigger job, and while it’s not a 1911 trigger, it’s  gosh darn good. Glock triggers are okay.

XD for the trigger, but the Glock is good enough that this shouldn’t be a showstopper.


1911s are notorious for being finicky. That’s not entirely fair. A broken-in, well-maintained, clean, factory-made 1911 shooting decent factory ammo will shoot all day long with no issues. But you can tweak 1911s to the nth degree, and people do, and when they do, they do get finicky.

And back when John Browning (god rest his mighty soul) was making guns, it was assumed you would be taking the thing apart and cleaning and lubing it every time you shot it (duh! of COURSE you will do that!).

Most of us are not so inclined. Nothing beats a Glock for being reliable when mistreated and ignored. You can drop them in the sand, not clean ’em for 10K rounds, put them in your safe after shooting them in the rain, and when you take them out 6 months later they will still shoot every time you pull the trigger. Glocks just shoot. And shoot. And shoot.

XDs are closer to Glocks in their reliability. Probably not so good as Glocks, but plenty reliable. You can get either based on this.


Pick a reasonable goal – let’s say palm-sized-or-smaller groups at 25 feet? Get a gun mechanically capable of that 100% of the time. If you aren’t shooting that, then it’s you. Practice!

1911s practically shoot single holes all by themselves. This is why every top pistol shooter on the planet shoots a 1911.

Glock has special classes of shooting because in competition they just can’t compete with 1911s…

I personally think that XDs out of the box may be slightly more accurate than Glocks, but I have no data to back that up.  And it may be  a function of ergonomics, and whose palm you’re  using as your measurement and how far away the target is.

For self defense, zombie uprisings, and fun shooting, Glocks and XDs are both plenty good. They go bang, you can hit the thing you are trying to hit.


Greg Hamilton has a great take on this, paraphased here: “Do you know how to double the stopping power of a G19? Pull the trigger twice.”

People can get REALLY STUPID about caliber. The chances that we will ever need to shoot anyone are so ridiculously low, stressing out about caliber pushes things off into the many-millions-to-one land. Very few of us wear crash helmets in our cars when we commute. Stressing out about caliber is like being stuck in your Volvo on the 520 bridge in rush hour while wearing a crash helmet.

"Premium" Ammo by Companion Cube.

45ACP – 40SW – 357SIG – 9MM

I like  45ACP a lot, but I  lose approximately zero sleep over caliber. I know from FoFAST that I will probably shoot a target at least 3 times before I have any time to think about it, my shots will be on target, and I will keep shooting until the targets are down or to slide lock, at which point I will reload.

Three 9mm rounds to the triangle will ruin nearly anyone’s day, so go with a round you can shoot well.

.40 is funny – most .40s in the market are over-clocked 9mm frames and components, so they are kinda hacks. I like to shoot .40 but I don’t own one. I figure it lands in a weird place between the compactness and ubiquity of 9mm and the oomph and heft of .45.

.357 SIG is a “really? srsly?” round. Please. It’s a necked pistol round, really, why bother? And it’s loud as hell.

10mm I hate – I think it’s a mean-spirited round. I don’t like to shoot it, and it’s too damn long, so the grips on 10mms are shit.

Whatever that tiny-little-kevlar-helmet-ice-pick round is, that’s also a silly carry round.

.380 is better than nothing, but not something I choose to carry nor shoot, not when 9mm subbies can fit into my pocket and won’t (literally) hurt my back when I carry them all day.

.357 Magnum and .38 are fine revolver rounds, especially in the +P and +P+ configs. I don’t own any wheelguns and I can’t imagine carrying one concealed, but I’m sure I’ll pick up a couple at some point. Super reliable, inexpensive, go bang.

.44 Mag is a great round to shoot, provided it’s in a sufficiently hefty package. It’s not a concealed carry round. Back before I owned guns and just shot other peoples, I shot this caliber better than any other (including 22lr!) .

If I was worried about massive apex predators (brown bear, lions, polar bear, etc.) in the backcountry, I’d consider the  .44 Mag or something in that class. As it is when I’m out somewhere that there could possibly be one of those animals (however unlikely) I carry the XD45. That’s plenty of oomph and it’s not like carrying a piece of furniture around. I can carry that concealed, but extremely handy, on my normal hiking backpack, so when I stop in town and get a latte I don’t scare people.

All Pistols Are Full Of Compromises

Caliber brings us to a very important point about pistols – they are terrible compromises compared to nearly any decent rifle.

The biggest handgun rounds in the world – which require several pounds of metal to even attempt to tame – pale compared to most modern centerfire rifle rounds. An M1 carbine shooting the anemic .30 carbine round (basically a long pistol round) is still a better choice when faced with a threat than any carryable pistol (silly stock-less “assault pistols” notwithstanding – as a category they only exist because of stupid gun laws).

From a defense perspective, pistols are for short instances of extreme violence followed by waiting around for the cops to show up (because you called 911 as soon as you holstered your pistol), OR they are the tool you use to get your hands on a decent rifle so you are better prepared.

If I were to spend lots of time around things or people who I know are actually inclined to kill me (rather than random people who only might want to, on a bad day) I’d want to have a rifle.

Fortunately I don’t need to go out into populated areas chock-full of rifle-required threats.


Get a Kramer IWB.

That’s it. No discussion needed.


This is a rather long-winded way of getting to your basic question – XD or Glock? The simple answer, having re-read what I’ve written here, is that while both have a few limitations, they are both going to be just fine for most of the purposes your first pistol is suited for.

I’m going to pick up a small, high-cap 9mm myself at some point in the near future, either the new Beretta or the XD. Probably the XD because I already own one (XD45 compact), it’s my go-to gun, and I almost love the trigger.

Get a CPL, take a class, buy one, practice lots, stay safe, be smart, and to quote Clint Smith “don’t die stupid”.

And of course, have fun.

Guns, Security, Trust

Real Trust is Reciprocal (or, Human Kill Switches are a Bad Idea)

Some people somewhere are thinking about a new definition for user override. In this case, it means attaching kill-switches to humans in order to make us more manageable.

(Get the joke? It lets someone remotely override us users! Not a good idea according to Bruce Schneier.)

This is a horrifyingly bad idea. First of all, it breaks my first rule of trust – that trust isn’t transitive.

In this case I would be required to trust an entirely open-ended and ill-defined set of people: people who are “able to activate my kill-switch-bracelet”.

That just doesn’t work – there’s no way for me to intelligently extend my trust in something so specific as a human kill switch to something so vague. I must trust the holder of the switch, the manufacturer, the people who safeguard the root keys for the underlying security system, the people who designed the security, the monkeys who can actually flip the switch… more people than I have to trust when I get on a plane now, actually.

I have to trust them to be trustworthy in things that they are either demonstrably not trustworthy in, or have no experience in being trustworthy in (and no experience should mean no trust). Human kill switches require that trust be freely transitive, and that is bad.

They also break my second rule of trust – that real trust is reciprocal.

Perhaps in a perfect world we wouldn’t need to trust anyone (kind of boring and unfulfilling though). But in our real world, where we routinely need and in fact want to trust others, we would like that they have as much skin in the game as we do. This is reciprocity.

What this bracelet would do is destroy reciprocity, and in so doing could increase the chances that the plane will be successfully hijacked.

When a hijacker stands up they are stepping outside the reciprocal trust relationship by seizing power. Up until they stood up and started yelling, we assumed that they had as much skin in the staying-alive game as we did. Passengers striking back are seeking to make things reciprocal again.

Imagine the following scenario: You are on a plane and someone jumps up and starts waving a gun around the plane. She says “this is a hijacking!”. My guess is that she has about 10 seconds to live or at least be conscious and in charge of her person. That’s how long it would take even just a few passengers to overwhelm her, some possibly being wounded or dying in the process, but hey, you’re going to die anyway.

Okay, so add in the bracelets: Out comes the gun, “this is a hijacking!”, a monkey flips the switch and everyone BUT THE HIJACKER goes down like a bag of sand. The hijacker doesn’t go down for the same reason that she has a gun – there will be ways around the security system. Otherwise she wouldn’t have a gun, would she?

What about a bomb instead of a gun? Well, without the bracelet there’s a small fighting chance that she’s going to get her ass kicked and some brave souls will save the day. With bracelets, those brave souls will be twitching about in puddles of their own drool when the plane goes boom.  

What about a knife instead of a bomb? Well, without the bracelet there’s actually a pretty good chance that she’s going to get her ass kicked and some brave souls will save the day. With bracelets, those brave souls will, again, be twitching about in puddles of their own drool. Now she only needs to knife the monkey who flipped the switch and she has the entire passenger compartment to herself.

What about NO WEAPON AT ALL? Without the bracelet we have, kind of, the bomb scenario. Provided just one person decides to go for it, nothing bad happens. There’s no bomb to go off, no stabbing, no shooting, just a good fight which turns into a pile-on. With the bracelets, well, she stands up, rips open her coat to show off her duct-tape bomb-vest cleverly labeled “BOMB!”, the monkey flips the switch, and… you get the picture. Hijacking a plane becomes possible through a few hours of acting lessons and some duct tape, because there’s no way for the passengers on the plane to re-assert reciprocity.

What if all the hijacker does is gain access to the switch?

One of the reasons I take my personal positions on liberty, self-sufficiency and personal ownership of guns is that I want to increase the potential that any trust relationship I must rely upon can at least potentially be reciprocal. Note that I don’t say it guarantees reciprocity, because clearly it doesn’t. But personal gun ownership does push the responsibility for the reciprocity of trust as far into the hands of everyone as it can reasonably be pushed. It also requires a great deal of responsibility.*

You could try to argue that giving everyone a bracelet provides the same protection as giving everyone a gun, but it’s not the same at all. If you are threatening to flip my kill switch and the kill switch for everyone around me, what can I do? If I have a gun, I could try to shoot you. Not a good chance, but hey, otherwise, I’m completely screwed. If all I have is nothing then I run at you, you flip the switch, down I go.

In 9/11, it was the passengers who reduced the overall damage to just the plane and its occupants. Human kill switches eliminate that ability.

This reminds me a time during the DVD CSS development days that I JOKINGLY suggested to someone (who ought to have known better) that eye-shutters and neural shunts would mitigate the analog hole. He thought I was serious and that it was a good idea. I never made a joke about that again.

In a good system, trust is reciprocal. In bad systems it isn’t.


*It could easily be argued that the writers of US constitution viewed trust reciprocity as a fundamental building block for democracy. You trust us with government, we trust you with a set of freedoms, all of which are ultimately safeguarded first by the rule of law and second by the rule of the gun. In other words, the writers of the US constitution thought that explicitly allowing people guns would increase the reciprocity of the trust relationship between citizens and their rulers, thus increasing the chances that just the rule of law would maintain reciprocity.

Flying, Guns, Palladium, Security, Trust

Trust Isn’t Transitive (or, “Someone fired a gun in an airplane cockpit, and it was probably the pilot”)

I’ve been saying that trust isn’t transitive for years, using this example:

We all have a cousin Bubba we trust to change the transmission in our 1970 AMX, but we wouldn’t trust him to babysit the kids for the weekend. Both involve trusting him with our kids lives, but trust isn’t transitive and we know from experience that Bubba is a hard-drinking and hard-living roustabout with greasy fingernails who can certainly keep track of little things like screws, but certainly can’t keep track of little things like children.

Bruce Schneier has pointed out many times that he thinks that arming pilots is stupid. I’d say that arming pilots is stupid only insofar as you don’t make sure they are as, or more, experienced with firearms as they are with airplanes.

Experience will make them predictable, and predictability is critical to trust.

This bring us to this: Someone ND’ed in an airplane cockpit. For those of you who aren’t gun-nuts, an ND is a “Negligent Discharge”. It is the better term, far more preferable than “AD – Accidental Discharge”, because modern guns don’t just accidentally go off. Modern guns built by reputable makers – and I guarantee that the gun this pilot had fits that category, much as the plane he had would fit it – are designed to go BANG when you pull the trigger, and to NEVER go bang when you don’t.

Just as modern cars don’t steer themselves into things they aren’t supposed to, guns don’t accidentally discharge. They go BANG when you pull the trigger. That’s it.

So someone was holding the gun, and it went BANG. There are a few ways this could happen. The pilot could have been checking the condition of the weapon. (Is it loaded? Ooops. Yes.) He (yes there are certainly female pilots, and some of them may be armed, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt in this case and say that all armed female pilots are too smart too shoot a gun in their own cockpit) could have been transferring it from a case to a holster. He could have been loading it… He could also have been showing it off to a flight attendant, which happens to be my favorite potential example:

“Do you guys really carry GUNS?”

“Why yes little lady, some of us sure do. I carry a Sig .357, it’s the same gun those air-marshals use!”.

“Ooooh, can I hold it?”

“Of course, but you need to understand that I’m a trained professional, you can’t just <BANG> <SCREAM>”

“oh shit”

Now, how does this relate to trust not being transitive? Let’s look at this quote from the article in question, attributed to Mike Boyd: “if somebody who has the ability to fly a 747 across the Pacific wants a gun, you give it to them.” This is a horribly flawed assumption, because it assumes that trust is transitive, when clearly it isn’t.

The reason trust isn’t transitive is because trust is most often based on data regarding the past which allows us to make assumptions about specific competence, quality of performance, and behaviors in the future.

We can assume that a trained pilot, when facing piloty thingies, will act like a trained pilot. WE CANNOT ASSUME THAT A TRAINED PILOT WILL ACT LIKE A TRAINED LION-TAMER WHEN FACING A WILD LION.

Skills from one domain cannot simply be moved from that domain to another. Saliently, the pilot in question must have thousands of hours of flight time, has done the pre-flight check hundreds or even thousands of times, has been steeped in pilot-ness and thus pilot-safety, probably since he was a late teen. He’s very likely an extraordinarily safe pilot. We can assume that every experienced 747 pilot has a keen awareness of the potential lethality of full loaded 747. In the past we can assume that they at least had a deep appreciation of the potential for harm to their own passengers, and post 9/11 we can assume that they appreciate the harm their plane can be to thousands of additional people.

But this can’t just be automatically carried to guns – guns aren’t planes anymore than they are motorcycles, and many pilots will tell you that jet pilots are much more like to die on a motorcycle than they are on a plane, because they act stupid on motorcycles.

Good gun-nuts know that you learn specific skills for your weapons and then you do them over and over and over again. In my case, ensuring a gun is unloaded will consist of a series of discrete steps that I’ve repeated at least hundreds of times to ensure that only the things I want to happen will happen.

I always check the condition of a weapon which has been handed to me the exact same way, even if the woman who handed it to me is mrs super gun chick and I watched her remove the magazine, repeatedly work the slide back and forth and then lock it back, stick her finger in the chamber and then visually inspect the chamber and mag-well. Guess what? I’ll do whatever of those things are possible myself, too. And I still won’t paint her or anything I don’t want to destroy.

If you want to trust someone, you need to know about their innate trustworthiness, and you need to know about their experience. Some people are simply more trustworthy than others because, well, they are, and you can trust them more in new situations than other people.

But these people aren’t necessarily the ones well trained in <foo>, so you can’t build security systems around them. If you want to build a system that scales across many users, you want a system that mandates everyone be predictable enough for the system to work. Judging the innate trustworthiness of a person is very hard, so while you may do that you also wind up forcing people you must have a high degree of trust in to do things that makes them appear to be more predictable in the ways you need them to be.

In other words, you train the living shit out of pilots before you let them fly a plane. The same should be said for guns, and I can pretty much guarantee that the armed pilots in the sky today have probably more than 100 times more experience in flying planes than in handling guns. So – either stop the armed pilot experiment, OR train the armed pilots well enough so that they are as predictable as you need them to be, so that you can make some assumptions about their trustworthiness.

Will there be ND’s anyway? Of course. But there are also plane crashes, and that has to be okay. What is important is that the system be predictable, and of course that it have a real, tangible and measurable result. Number of plane crashes vs. flight hours is a simple equation. Now that we’ve had an ND in a cockpit, lets’ take a look at number of ND’s vs. gun-handling hours…

I have related thoughts about guns and training that apply to personal gun ownership, but that’s for another post…