Curiosity Killed the Cat—or did it?
They say that curiosity killed the cat. Of course, the part we tend to forget is that satisfaction brought him back. Curiosity is pretty much the story of my life. I’ve studied and worked in a wide variety of fields, from illustration and web page design to repairing radar systems.
I was born in Atlanta and grew up in Morrow, Georgia. I can still remember the first traffic signal ever installed in Morrow, at the end of my street, to provide a crossing point for the elementary school. I split my time between school, the outdoors, and amateur radio, earning a Novice class license at 11 years old (WB4YRV).
We spent our weekends on Boy Scout campouts or at my grandfather’s house in Winder where he was a County Agent for the U.S. Forestry Service, or at Lake Hartwell, camping, swimming, and sailing around the lake in our canoe or twenty-foot boat.
I attended two years of college, first majoring in art, then music. Later I joined the U.S. Air Force, where I worked as an electronic engineer on meteorological and navigational aids equipment. I worked in this field for seven years, then moved into the Small Computer Support Center at McGuire Air Force Base, and finally into Tech Control.
This led to an interest in computers, specifically computer networks, and when I left the Air Force, I took a job at a small system integrator. I switched jobs two other times in three years, married, and moved to North Carolina, where I started working for Cisco Systems.
Currently, I work as an Internetwork Engineer in the Routing Deployment and Architecture Team at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. My job is as varied as my background, with a lot of different aspects: designing and building web sites; writing articles, books, and Internet standards; and working on the design and implementation of some of the world’s largest networks.
My job today takes me into the cutting edge of the networking industry. I’ve co-authored six books and I am currently working on another one. I’ve edited several more, and have had several articles published in industry magazines including Business Communications Review, the Internet Protocol Journal, and Packet.
My job takes me around the world. That might sound glamorous to someone who doesn’t travel a lot, but the reality is far different. Almost all airports and hotels look the same after the first 25 or 30 that you’ve been in. I spend as much time as possible at home, pursuing my still widely divergent interests including Bible study, shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, and general house work (electrical, plumbing, and carpentry). My wife and I enjoy frequent trips to one of two lakes, spending time with our two daughters out on the lake and in the pool, around the water, the same way I grew up.
Was there a specific incident that caused you to carry a gun?
Many little incidents in the past, including a near mugging many years ago. The hurricane that came through Raleigh a few years ago spurred me to get my concealed carry permit, and I’ve always believed that if you have a permit, you should carry as much as possible. The first time you carry, you feel very conspicuous. It’s better to practice as much as possible.
Have you ever had to use your firearm in a defensive situation?
What training methods do you employ? Do you have any recommendations?
I attend occasional classes, the most recent being from Yavapai Firearms Academy with Louis Awerbuck. Beyond this, I practice at least once every two weeks. I generally run myself through several drills, including double taps on multiple targets, boarding house rules on multiple targets, at least one draw and one reload every ten rounds.
I shoot at least 100 rounds of .38 Super through my carry gun every two weeks, and I shoot at least 100 rounds of other things every two weeks as well, including some bullseye style at 50 yards with a Kimber Super Match, 100 yard rifle work, and a good bit of .22 through a Ruger Mark III or one of the single action revolvers. Structured variety seems to be the key for me.
I shoot at least one competition a month because I think working under the clock, with multiple targets and movement mixed in, is really useful.
How long have you carried a concealed weapon?
I carry at least three times a week, unless I’m traveling. I’ve been carrying for at least five years now.
What weapons do you carry?
A four inch [barrel] Caspian .38 Super that I put together. My wife also carries a custom built Caspian .38 Super which is almost identical to mine. The “house gun,” which stays locked in a GunVault, is a Kimber Pro Carry that I’ve customized in various ways. I’m working on a third four inch Caspian .38 Super with a light rail to replace this one, at some point, so the Kimber will become the backup. My alternate backup is a Walther PPK/S, and I also have a Beretta Tomcat in .32 ACP, if things get really sticky!
What type of ammunition do you carry?
Generally, Georgia Ammunition .38 Super in 130 gr. Gold Dot, and I occasionally alternate with Cor-Bon.
What concealment holsters do you use?
A variation on Wild Bill’s Concealment Covert Carry, with a belt loop instead of a clip, and hard finish rather than suede.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
Practice, practice, and practice some more. Practice shooting and practice carrying. You won’t feel comfortable about carrying a concealed weapon until you do it a lot, and you get used to how it feels and how people react to it. A crisis is not the time to be breaking in a carry routine.
|Wild Bill’s Concealment Holsters
|Yavapai Firearms Academy