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30 July, 2011

Protect Yourself? Not at Walgreens.

I am an NRA member, card-carrying, and I read my "American Rifleman" magazine every month.  One of my favorite sections is "The Armed Citizen" so I usually head there first.  Right there in the August issue I saw this snipped about a pharmacist, Jeremy Hoven, who was fired for using his legally-carried concealed weapon to defend himself, his co-workers and Walgreens' inventory from 2 armed robbers.

I followed the citation and went over to The Herald-Palladium, a newspaper up in Michigan, and they confirmed the same facts.  The original article can be found here:

The synopsis is this.  The store was robbed by gunmen.  Employees complained to Walgreens management that they needed better security at the store.  Walgreens ignored these complaints, so Hoven went and got his concealed carry license and a pistol.  The next time the store was robbed, Hoven picked his moment.  When the robbers tried to coerce the employees into the back room of the store (a tactic that often leads to execution), Hoven fired on the robbers.  The robbers fled, no employee was harmed, the police arrived and made their report and no charges were filed against Hoven.  So Walgreens fired him because he violated company policy by carrying a firearm to work.

WALGREENS:  This is not acceptable.  It is despicable.  If you don't want employees to carry a weapon to work so they can defend themselves, then you, Walgreens, are responsible for hiring armed security to protect them.  Mr. Hoven broke no law when he carried that weapon, and not only did he protect himself and his coworkers from harm, he also protected your precious cash.  You are despicable backstabbers who would rather see your own employees die than violate your company policy.  This is truly a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

I will not set foot on Walgreens property again until you extend an apology to Mr. Hoven, offer to give him his job back, and change your policy to allow your employees to carry concealed weapons where legal.  I will also use any means at my disposal to promote a boycott against you and to promote any and all of your competitors until these demands are met.

Walgreens customer service can be reached via the following means (please be sure to share your opinions with them, I know I will):

Phone: toll-free (800) 925-4733
7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday thru Friday
Address: Walgreen Company Consumer Relations
1411 Lake Cook Rd, Mail Stop #L428
Deerfield, IL 60015

22 July, 2011

Cold Steel Recon 1 Et. All

This blog tends to be mostly about guns and accessories, but the fact remains that gun people tend to be knife people, so this won't be too far out for a tangent.

I am a die-hard fan of Cold Steel knives, and just about anything else they produce, such as OC spray, throwing stars, walking sticks, spears, even the bokken they make out of polypropylene.  You see, I used to have to satisfy my cutlery needs with whatever was available at the local big box store because it was all I could realistically afford.  Once I got into Cold Steel knives, it opened up a whole new world of affordable, high-quality knives that have remained by my side constantly for several years.  

My constant companion is the Recon 1 with a tanto point and half-serrated blade.  Sadly, I lost my first one after about 7 or 8 years, but promptly replaced it with the updated model they currently sell.  I would challenge anyone to find a better folding knife for that price.  Really, if you think you have one, post on the comments here and I'll gladly check it out.  The Recon 1 in any form has the most solid locking mechanism of any folder I've ever owned or fondled;  as soon as it locks into place you would swear you were holding a fixed-blade knife.  Another feature I treasure on the Recon 1, which it shares with many other Cold Steel knives, is the placement of the pocket clip.  It affixes to the very rear of the handle, hanging the knife hinge-down in your pocket.  If you think about it, this allows the user to deploy the knife more rapidly, without having to transition grips after taking it out of the pocket.  Most folders hang in the pocket hinge-up, which requires the knife to be flipped in the hand before it can be deployed.  I should also mention that the steel on the Recon 1 holds an edge through an incredible amount of use and even abuse.

In the field I always carry my Kukri or Kukri machete.  It's amazing how well the machete version hacks and cuts, even though it is considerably less costly than the full-blown Kukri.  I do admit a certain fondness for the regular Kukri.  It swings like a machete and cuts like a hatchet.  

Another great blade to carry in the great outdoors in the Finn Bear.  If you look around, one can be had for about $15 and they are rock solid.  It is nothing but a steel blade and a polypropylene handle, so there's really nothing to go wrong.  My father and I put them through their paces 
harvesting Boletus mushrooms in the Colorado Rockies, digging through dirt and stones to extract them.  The Finn Bear is great to have around for rough, dirty tasks that you know are abuse of a knife.  They are tough, cheap, and clean up easily.  I keep one in my glove box in case I get surprised with an unexpected fishing trip.  They are great for cutting the heads off of fish or scraping scales, but are not thin enough to cut fillets.

I could go on and on about all the Cold Steel products I've bought and tried.  I have never once been disappointed by a Cold Steel product.  I've never received anything from them that had any defect whatsoever, or had to be returned for any reason.  Some of their blades can be pricey, and I've never tried a lot of their really top-end stuff.  One day when I can afford it I will buy a Hatamoto.  Sadly, I just saw that they have been discontinued, so maybe somebody can make me a nice deal on a used one.

Now, to very briefly rant:
I really want one of your AK-47 knives.  They look a lot like an improved Recon 1.  I especially like the bone-breaker strike point on the hilt.  The only reason I do not already own this knife is because you do not offer it with a half-serrated blade.  I am just an old farm boy and I can't carry a folding knife unless it has serrations.  So please, either add a bone-breaker to the hilt of your Recon 1, or offer an AK-47 with a half-serrated blade.  Either way, it would be a great excuse for me to buy some more of your awesome knives.

If you want discount prices, Cold Steel sells certain products on their Special Projects page.  Same quality, straight from the manufacturer, just less money.