2005-08-21: Threat Condition: Trailer

So, due to someone apparently checking out the security (or lack thereof) on my recently repaired screen door, I decided to do something I've needed to do for a while: get the Crimson Trace grips that I bought my Sig 229 for. I picked it up from Impact Guns, who sell a lot of very fun toys which I cannot purchase in California. Thankfully, there's no ban on lasers and scopes (unless they're night vision). While I'd have much rather have NOT spent the money on these grips, the reduction in probability of having to shoot someone is well worth it. It introduces an additional non lethal level to the escalation of force principle, which would work in my favor from a legal standpoint.

Basically, it works like this - if you do end up having to shoot someone, you pretty much have to demonstrate that you didn't just see them and put a bullet in them. Doing so is a great way to wind up in jail permanently. There's an escalation of force - an example would be:

Jim: [breaks into Bob's front door]
Bob: [draws weapon, aims at Jim] "Don't move, and I won't do anything to you. I'm calling the police."
Jim: [starts to draw his own weapon] "Not if I kill you first."
Bob: [fires as Jim draws - his weapon was already out] "Well, can't say I didn't warn you."

In many states, intruders are automatically considered to have reached the top level of escalation when they break into your house. California has not established a 'castle doctrine', which means that you do not get to presume that an intruder means to do you harm by having broken in. You may presume on the basis of their actions, but not on their mere presence. When I say that the Crimson Trace grips provide an additional level to the escalation of force, I mean that immediately after Bob has drawn his weapon, Jim has a bright, shiny red dot wavering on his chest, which he can plainly see in his peripheral vision. A dot which decades of Hollywood has conditioned Americans to believe means instant death upon failure to surrender on the spot. The goal is to help Bob make the decision that drawing his own weapon will be very counterproductive to his personal health.

Putting myself in the role of Bob, I want a laser grip so that no liberal DA can try to make the claim that I didn't do everything I could to avoid shooting Jim, short of letting him shoot me. I'm specifically spending $250 for a better chance of not having to shoot someone with a $1 Winchester SXT bullet. It sounds like poor economics until you consider the reduced chance of a $Big_Amount lawsuit and the greatly reduced chance of coming out on the losing side of that gunfight. I'm also buying laser grips because I have very thin walls, and so do all my neighbors. Considering that I don't have night sights on my Sig, any nocturnal shooting carries a great risk of missing the target. On that note, I should probably have a gunsmith install Tritium sights on my CZ-97B, which is my other home defense handgun. On the CZ loyalist front, I feel obligated to observe that if they made laser grips for the CZ-97B, I never would have bought my Sig. And if they made them for the CZ-75, I would've just bought a 40cal CZ-75.

Another contender for the role of 'scary red dot to keep me from having to shoot someone' was the BA-2 from Applied Laser. While a Desert Eagle emitting a laser beam would perhaps be more likely to cause evacuation of the bowels and de-escalate a situation than my Sig in a well-lit room where the perp could see what I was wielding, its actual use would be easy for any prosecutor to have a field day with. A Desert Eagle might be an acceptable home-defense weapon if it were the only thing you had around, but not when you've got an excellent array of more logical choices lying around. And each of those other choices would cause less collateral damage to property and other residents.

The other thing I bought is a much more happy-go-lucky fun toy, which I picked up simply because it's being sold by the same store. I speak of the Russian military issue 4x24 POSP scope I'm buying. It's the most I've ever spent on scope optics, but the reviewers say that if you're going to put a scope on an AK, this is the kind to use. 4x is low magnification, mounts directly to the side rail which AK's are meant to use in the first place, and this one should provide fun and games with the rangefinding. Most importantly, should I purchase a Dragunov at some point in the far-flung future, I can move the scope over to it. As opposed to the laser grips, this is strictly a range toy.
Update: The scope was out of stock, and it was cancelled.

Anyway - to the original point of this entry. I live in a trailer park which is undergoing a transition. As the old folks die off or move away, they're largely being replaced by younger folks who can afford the rapidly ramping up trailer prices. At the moment, it seems that we've got a bit of a population war going on in this park. On the one hand, there's a fair number of families and middle-class folks such as myself moving in. On the other hand, it does seem that a few trailer-trash types have been moving in too. It's this latter category of folks which, over the last week, have caused me to get more serious lately.

  • Last Saturday, wee hours: Around 2am-3am, there was some guy standing outside my California room, under the covered parking space next door. His head was shaven or largely bald (only saw a silhouette), and he was smoking. He also had no qualms about being noticed, because when I heard him wandering around out there and I got up to take a look, he was looking at me and took an extra-long drag on his cigarette to make it glow brightly. I think he was related to the old ladies next door, but there's no confirmation. The same night, my friend Craig's car got egged over in the parking lot. May have been a coincidence, may not have been.
  • Last Sunday: Some musclebound shaven-head gang-banger wannabe was walking around the park streets with his shirt off, showing a bunch of tattoos. I haven't seen him before or since, although for all I know I may have seen him the night before. The guy looked completely out of place here.
  • Past week: There's a trio of Hispanic kids, around 9-12 years old, who like to run around the park freely. They seem a bit mischevious, jumping in front of slow-moving cars and such, but don't look like they're up to any major devilry.
  • Some time Thurs-Sat: Aforementioned screen door entry, nothing stolen. Considering that the cloth hanging behind the door fell down, making it obvious someone'd been in, the kids are suspects because they're all too short to have put it back up (and thus covered their tracks). I could also see them poking around places just because they've got nothing else to do, without stealing things.
I'm certainly not inclined to say that any of these things are related, but this past week has just been generally weird. Urban life is indeed invading Kearney Lodge, and I certainly can't afford to move out of it for a few years.

To stay in line with tonight's topic of interesting tactical choices, I present the Leupold CQ/T. It's a 1-3x magnification scope with an integrated red dot function. While 3x is not a major amount of magnification, it's more than adequate for urban close quarters environments. It's also inexpensive for that type of optics, and would fit in very well with the Picatinny rail on the Kel-Tec SU-16CA rifle. The one thing I'd probably do would be to mount a small laser on top of the Leupold scope. Of course, this would also go very well on a Springfield Armory Socom-II as well, with the laser mounted underneath the barrel. The Socom-II is quite possibly one of the ugliest rifles I've ever seen, so naturally I want one.