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This may well be one of the stupidest things a company CEO has said in recent memory. It’s one thing for highly overpaid movie stars to threaten a boycott of Georgia due to their passing the “Heartbeat Abortion Bill.” Most adults could give a flying FUCK what these bloviating idiots say. But now, a publicly traded company’s CEO says they may be forced to stop filming movies in Georgia if the law takes affect after the inevitable lawsuits being filed reach the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

At this time, it is impossible to say what decisions SCOTUS would hand down with the plethora of abortion restrictions being passed around the country. Recent decisions by the SCOTUS lead your lovable Grey Beard Biker to believe that even with the confirmation of “conservative” associate justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, it’s at best a roll of the dice if they the court upholds any of the state laws.

Now, with regards to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s decision to throw his company’s reputation into the bubbling cauldron of politics, over Georgia’s newly passed heart beat bill, a worse decision could not have been made. If I were on the board of directors, or a major shareholder in Disney, I would be all over Iger’s ass for being so stupid. There are plenty of conservative fans of Walt Disney Studios, old Grey Beard included. I will never pay to see another Disney movie again if they boycott producing movies in Georgia. The same goes for other stupid entertainment companies including: Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC/Universal, Warner Media, Et al. Is it really worth losing market share because your corporate executives hate roughly 1/2 the population (us Deplorables) and do not care if they piss us the hell off? We will vote against all of you with our wallets. All of you companies should immediately fire those making the decision to threaten a boycott of a state over laws duly elected legislators passed.

So, your ever lovable old Grey Beard Biker has some sage advice for the idiots at Disney, NBC, CBS, Sony, AMC and Warner Media – and for that matter all over Hollywood. Shut the fuck up and make movies. Stay out of politics altogether. If you are a singer: shut the fuck up and sing! If you are an athlete, shut the fuck up and play ball! If you are an actor/actress, shut the fuck up and act! The way you are all spouting off right now, you obviously do not give a damn about roughly half the population of the United States. If you really don’t care about us Deplorables – go ahead and keep spewing your nasty vomit all over social media. We will simply protest by not spending money to support y’all!

The Grey Beard Biker

If you are reading this, you are most likely a defender of our Second Amendment. You may even conceal carry a handgun when you leave the house. If so, congratulations on taking your safety, and the safety of your family and friends seriously. We all know that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But do not fall into the same trap many people do: that carrying a handgun makes you “bullet-proof.” It simply does not.

In fact, if you have become lazy because of that gun on your hip, you may be in more danger than an unarmed citizen who is very vigilant. Vigilance is the key to your safety and those with you – and vigilance starts with situational awareness.

According to Wikipedia, Situational Awareness is defined as:

“…the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.”

And while situational awareness is a key component to riding a motorcycle safely – Eg. Is that car approaching from the side road going to run the stop sign and pull out in front of me? – many riders leave their situational awareness with their helmets when they climb off their scoot. In other words, they become unaware of everything going on around themselves.

Increasing your situational awareness starts with PAYING ATTENTION! Pay attention to everything going on around you. If you are like many people, that smart phone you are self-absorbed in is putting you at risk. Do not walk around in public with all of your attention focused on your social media networks. I have walked up to friends who are on their iPhone and greeted them several times before they were even aware I was there. That same person will never be able to defend against an attack by a thug if they are only paying attention to liking their friends’ Facebook posts.

It would be helpful to look at the way a thug intent on doing harm thinks. First, you must think of these people as being like a tiger which is stalking their next meal. Like that tiger, they purposely scope out the weakest animal in a pack before they spring forward to attack. Shit-bag thugs do the same thing. If they are going to commit an armed robbery they will look for the softest of targets – that person least likely to defend themselves when they spring forward to attack. Perhaps it’s that person peering intently into their smartphone. Perhaps it’s that person walking along the dark sidewalk talking to their girlfriend on the phone. Or perhaps it’s that person in the restaurant sitting with their back to everyone else. These are their easiest targets – those who due to their total lack of situational awareness have left themselves the most vulnerable – and least likely to be able to fight back. Even if they are packing a concealed handgun, they will be unable to act quickly enough to use it in their defense – and may even have their gun taken away from them and used against them.

Here are some suggestions which will help you increase your situational awareness:

  1. Avoid dangerous areas – Do not put yourself into a situation where you will be more likely to have to defend yourself.
  2. Remove your smartphone from your consciousness when you are in a public place. It is okay, even preferable, to have it with you, but your attention should not be focused on it.
  3. If you are walking into your corner gas station put your phone in your pocket. Look around the establishment before you enter. Is it well lit? How many people are in there? Are there any people who look dangerous? (Yes, it is okay for you to profile people.) What can you use for a barrier if the proverbial “shit-hits-the-fan.” Where are the exits? Have you examined the people present well enough to describe them for a police report? If not, you are not situationally aware of your surroundings.
  4. Do not sit where you have blind spots. Avoid sitting with your back to everyone else in that restaurant. I personally like to find a corner table and have my back to the corner.
  5. Events change and you need to change with them. Closely examine newcomers entering the restaurant, pub or gas station.
  6. Most importantly remove anything which can become a distraction.

The more you practice situational awareness, the easier it becomes. Be aware of the people around you. Be aware of the structure you are in. Search out exits. Scan faces. Stay away from dark areas where you can easily be ambushed. Do not ever become the prey because your concentration is elsewhere.

Molon Labe,
The Grey Beard Biker

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.

Greetings fellow bikers. Summer is nearly upon us, and if you are like me, you will be carrying a pistol on your belt, ankle or boot. On our longer road trips, it is sometimes impossible to ride through states which recognize the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (HCP). This makes it difficult to carry legally.

While there have been states which allow for some type of handgun carry since the early 1920s, concealed carry permitting was not adopted by any state until Georgia did so in 1976. Indiana followed in 1980, Maine and North Dakota in 1985 and South Dakota in 1986. The floodgates opened soon thereafter, with 22 other states creating some kind of licensing for concealed carry over the next ten years. And while the formation of gun control groups (Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, etc.) were to come years later, the Left immediately jumped in and said these laws would create scenes of Dodge City – with “blood flowing in the streets.” Naturally, there was a lot of media attention and states which were firmly controlled by the Democratic Party knuckled under and avoided legislation to allow for concealed carry programs. A few opted to pander to gun owners by creating “May Issue” programs – which were essentially the same as having no concealed carry law since a specified government official would decide if you really needed to carry a concealed firearm. Very few citizens are approved in these states. Today, every state has enacted a concealed carry licensing program, with Illinois being the last, having been forced by court order to do so in 2014.

Like other states with very restrictive gun laws, Illinois will not honor or provide any sort of reciprocity with any other state. This is the rub. When you are traveling, like we did recently, and riding through one of these states, you could be arrested for having a handgun anywhere on your person. These are almost always felony charges, which may lead to you not being approved for future gun purchases.

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker believes the best solution for the current patchwork of concealed carry laws would be a national constitutional carry amendment. However, this is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. What can be done more easily, now that conservatives control both Federal legislative bodies and the executive branch, is national reciprocity. We have a very realistic opportunity to do this as a bill has already been introduced.

On January 3, 2017, North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson introduced H.R. 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 in the House of Representatives. Since that time 208 other house members have signed on as co-sponsors, including three Democrats. Here is what the congress.gov/bill website provides as summary text for H.R. 38:

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.

A qualified individual must: (1) be able to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by; or be able to carry a concealed firearm in, his, or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.

In simple terms, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 will allow a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee to legally conceal carry their handgun in any state which has a concealed carry permit for their residents. Since all 50 states have such programs, you could carry legally in all 50 states. One would also assume this reciprocity would be honored by the District of Columbia, since they also have a “may issue” concealed carry permitting program. The bill will not grant open carry privileges – at least in states which do not have an open carry provision -and the permittee will have to abide by all concealed carry laws in force in the state they are in.

In simple terms, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 will allow a handgun carry permit holder in Tennessee to legally conceal carry their handgun in any state which has a concealed carry permit for their residents. Since all 50 states have such programs, you could carry legally in all 50 states. One would also assume this reciprocity would be honored by the District of Columbia, since they also have a “may issue” concealed carry permitting program. The bill will not grant open carry privileges – at least in states which do not have an open carry provision -and the permittee will have to abide by all concealed carry laws in force in the state they are in.

The House of Representatives haa passed this bill. At this time, I’m fairly certain it would need to be reintroduced in a now Democratic controlled House of Representatives. But it could still pass again as there are plenty of Democrat legislators living in states that are very pro-second amendment. In 2017, the Republican controlled U.S. Senate, controlled by senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) never let the bill come out of committee. But it’s not too late.

What can you do? – Contact your U.S. representative, and both of your U.S. Senators, and urge them to support a National Reciprocity Bill. You can go to this NRA-ILA website to reach your lawmakers: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Molon Labe,
The Grey Beard Biker

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.