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Mount Stupid

There are many debates in the world of firearms that seem to have been going on for ages.  In addition to nonsensical bickering among gun owners, there is also a tremendous amount of willful ignorance and general stupidity flooding the internet, media outlets, and our personal conversations.  People seem to regurgitate any information they hear, as if it’s the “Gun Gospel,” written by titans of firearm history, such as John Moses Browning, Gaston Glock, Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, Samuel Colt, and Daniel Wesson.  In some circles, just the order in which I listed these names would be enough to start a fight.

If you carry a gun, you’ve probably searched online for a method of toting your heater that will make the task more comfortable.  That brings us to our first fallacy – believing it’s supposed to be comfortable, when it’s supposed to be comforting.  With so many holster options on the market, how do you choose?  Well, you can spend copious amounts of money through extensive trial and error like I have or, you can use my buyer’s remorse to your benefit.  My suggestion when it comes to holsters – keep it simple – buy kydex and opt for loops rather than belt clips.

9mm, .40 S&W, or .45ACP?  This one usually makes me sprint the opposite direction because people get their egos invested in their gun and caliber choices.  Will all three calibers get the job done effectively?  Yes.  Carrying any of them is better than not carrying at all.  I will suggest, however, that if your ego is joined to your .40-cal, (or other nonsense, high pressure caliber) you should be able to articulate why it’s superior, and the fact is you can’t – you just think you can.  For you “FAWTY-FIE” guys, if you shoot someone with your .45, they won’t disappear in a cloud of smoke and a shower of sparks, and their entire ancestry won’t be erased from the annals of history.

Concealed carry or open carry?  Concealed!  “But cops open carry their guns.”  Yeah well, even stupid criminals don’t generally do criminal stuff in front of uniformed policemen.  “But I have a constitutional right to carry my gun however I want.”  You also have a constitutional right to build an altar out of gummy bears and toenail clippings and worship the inventor of the Shake Weight.  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Keep your gun covered and maintain your tactical advantage of surprise.

“What gun should I buy for my wife or girlfriend?”  This one will always garner my unsolicited two cents.  To my gun carrying ladies, if a man in your life selected your gun for you, is it the same gun he carries?  No?  Why not?  Are you too weak or too stupid to operate a gun like his?  If his gun is the best one to protect his life, why didn’t he give you the same one?  You’re not stupid, and you’re not a wuss.  Research which guns have a solid track record of reliability and choose one of those that fits your specific needs.  Then, go buy it before your guy buys you some stupid “pocket-rocket,” or tiny revolver.  “But my girl can’t rack the slide on a Glock.”  Yes, she can, Jethro.  You just don’t know how to teach her properly.  Lastly ladies, beware of snake-oil salesmen behind the gun counter.  They will attempt to dupe you just like they dupe your men.  

“Putting ‘thing X’ on (or in) my gun will make me a better shooter.”  No, it won’t.  There’s no accessory or after-market part that will make you better.  After-market internal parts will just make your gun less reliable.  Certain gadgets on your gun can provide situational benefits, but they’re never a replacement for training and knowledge.  If you don’t shoot well with a quality firearm, right out of the box – it’s not the gun, bro – it’s you.  You cannot accessorize your way to proficiency.

David Dunning and Justin Kruger each hold a PhD in psychology and in 1999 published the study that ultimately led to the graph below.  Please, go read about the “Dunning-Kruger effect,” and familiarize yourself with its basic principles.  These two masterminds were able to prove that people with the least experience / knowledge on a given topic often preached the loudest and exhibited extreme confidence in areas where they hadn’t earned it.  

“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent” – Dionysus the elder.  Before speaking, ask yourself, “Do I know what I’m talking about?”  If not, just be quiet.  When people don’t know what they don’t know, they’re very likely to spew ignorance with convincing levels of passion, misleading others along the way.  I’ll close with a few points that may help you spot a charlatan in the firearms pulpit.  

  1. Box-shaped things that you fill with ammunition, and stick into your gun are MAGAZINES, not clips… unless it’s in a rap song.
  2. The “AR” in AR-15 stands for “ArmaLite” – not Assault Rifle.
  3. Malfunction free guns don’t exist.  If a gun has never malfunctioned, the owner hasn’t trained with it enough.  This includes revolvers.
  4. Guns DO NOT shoot low and left – untrained shooters do.
  5. “Handgun X doesn’t fit my hands.”  Do you have hands?  If so, learn to properly grip the gun.
  6. “Knock-down power” is not a real thing.
  7. Cops and military personnel are not always firearm savvy.  Be careful who you ask for advice.

I sense the keyboard commando mob lighting their torches already… 

Avoid what you can.  Defeat what you can’t.


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Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney or a medical provider, and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie,” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official legal, or medical advice.)