Somewhat Off-Topic Post: TTAK Trigger Time


I met up with TTAK Contributor Jon M., and we spent the morning throwing a bit of lead.

It is by sheer coincidence that Jon M. lives across town from me in Knoxville. This morning we were able to line up our schedules and take a trip to the Oak Ridge Sportsman’s Association shooting sports complex. I have been a member for a little under a year, and Jon had long wanted to check out this pretty fantastic facility. I will write more on our outing in a minute.

While Jon and I were chatting during a “Range Cold” period, a thought crystallized for me that I wanted to share. We had been socializing and sharing weapons with the other folks on the plinking range and it dawned on me how unfortunate this scene of actual “gun culture” gets such little play in the media. It was a family atmosphere with dads teaching sons and daughters, a couple college-age buddies were trying out Christmas presents, ages ranged from about 10 to 60. Hardly the bigoted stereotype the media is so in love with.

I don’t need to rehash the whole gun-control debate, but I wanted to draw a comparison to the knife-prohibition movement in England where the wrong “culture” is in the hoplophobes cross-hairs.


Jon M. with my AR on the 200 yard ORSA range.

We have written about the hoplophobic British knife laws, and there is a serious movement across the pond to prohibit all carry (even of non-lock blades). One group spearheading this effort is Anti-Knife UK (Twitter @antiknifeuk). I have shared a bit of friendly back and forth on Twitter with the group’s leader, and he seems like a nice enough chap, but like anyone who sees an object instead of an actor he is misguided.

There is “Gun Culture” just as there is “Knife Culture”. Gangsters and criminals are not a part of gun culture as it is represented by millions of ordinary Americans engaging in recreation and enjoyment of firearms as we were this morning. Likewise, those of us who have a shared interest in edged tools have a respect for blades and their use and have nothing in common with the British “culture” of street thugs who prey upon a disarmed populace.  The media and disarmament movement want to focus on the tools used by individuals who do not have respect for the social contract. Rational beings recognize that a deviant individual can do immeasurable harm with any object, banned or not, and that it doesn’t matter the perpetrator’s choice of tool.

My first AK trigger time. Thanks Jon!

Stepping down from my soap box, I want to thank Jon for a great time. Not only was it great to finally meet the person who so generously donated knives from his collection for our Jack-o-Lantern contest and has expressed an interest in becoming a regular contributor – Jon came bearing some fun toys.

I have a respectable assortment of firearms, but Jon’s is on the next level. I had the chance to put a bunch of rounds through several new firearms. Jon brought along a Browning HiPower, an AR-7, and an AK, none of which I have had the opportunity to shoot. Among the guns I brought was my new 10-.22 Takedown, and I had a chance to compare it to another fellow’s bullpup conversion. There was much noise and thrown lead over the course of our 3 hours of range time.


Bullpup 10-.22 conversion. It makes the gun much scarier and more dangerous than my Takedown-model Ruger 10-.22 (seen in the HiPower photo below)


We split our morning between the 200 yard range and the pistol-caliber plinking range. The ORSA facility also includes a 1000 yard range, indoor pistol, competition pistol, archery, and multiple skeet and trap ranges. I am lucky to have such a great facility to call my home range(s). I am blessed to live in a country where the God-given right to bear whatever tool we chose has been enshrined and largely protected by our Founding Fathers. I thank those who have sacrificed to protect this right.


Browning HiPower. Today was my first experience with this historic pistol.

I look forward to getting to know Jon better, and to his contributions to TTAK. I feel like we are building a community here, and I thank everyone for what they bring to the table to share. You all are what make TTAK what it is. Otherwise it is just me banging away on a keyboard in my shop.


The downside of range time. I normally enjoy it, but I was rushed tonight to get to tonight’s post.



  1. Jon M. says:

    Thanks for the kind words H. Clay, it was a ton of fun. Next time we gotta try some Steel Challenge!

    It’s great that sites like TTAG and TTAK are here for everybody and I’m thankful for the opportunity to contribute something small back to the community. Here’s to a great New Year and thanks for the freedoms we have.

  2. danny @antiknifeuk says:

    I would like to state that I am not against the carrying of a knife if needed for work or a sport.
    I am against knife crime and the carrying of a blade without a good reason is against the law.
    I have a saying which I use when doing talks and this is it…..
    I realize that across the pond your views about guns and knives are very different, and I understand why some of you will think I am an idiot.
    but speak to a family who has lost a loved one to knife crime and just maybe you might see where I am coming from.

    1. I_Like_Pie says:

      Everyone in the USA agrees with the point….we are all against knife crime.

      The problem is that the fool poisons the well for the overwhelming majority of good people who have no ill intent.

      The problem is the fool, and not the tool. Human nature has proven time and time again that no matter how many tools are made illegal…there will always be a fool nearby to ruin your day.

      The real question that I have…and you know it will come to this. What will you do when (mission accomplished) the knives are gone and the fools move on to hammers, rolling pins, or the old lady’s slippers?

    2. Sam L. says:

      And of course, my idea of a good reason (it’s useful, and I learned in Boy Scouts to “Be Prepared”, never knowing what may come up for which my knife is useful).

      It seems to me that you generally expect one would not generally carry a knife except for bad reasons and purposes.

    3. Roger says:

      I want to preface this: This is a totally honest question.

      What is a good reason? Who decides? What if my ‘good reason’ is because I would rather an infant doesn’t burn to death, or choke to death while I watch like what happened here: Is that a good reason?

      Knives save lives even when carried for no particular reason. There are countless accounts similar to the few cited on Knife Rights while knife crime, at least over here, is rather rare. And even if you do pass stricter laws, it really would only prevent good samaritans from saving the lives of other law abiding citizens.

  3. I carry at a minimum two knives on me every single day. My EDC blade and a knife on my Leatherman. The beautiful thing about American is that I don’t have to explain every single thing I do to someone( as long as staying within local laws and ordinances, not acting like a crazy). “Because I want to” is good enough.
    Blame the gun,
    blame the knife,
    blame Vermont cheddar cheese for heart disease.
    It all comes back to personal accountability.

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Somewhat Off-Topic Post: TTAK Trigger Time

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