Black Lives Matter

Shadow

The question is who do they matter too? It is not the race baiters out there screaming for blood in the streets. Much of that blood would be young black people. It is not even the black community it would seem as they make no logical move to correct it. You cannot correct police brutality by stealing a television or murdering a random white person. If the people you think care are those protestors then your cause is lost. They don’t even know what they are protesting. They are protesting the police? The police did not fail to indict either of the officers in the two cases people are protesting. Grand juries did. Who are grand juries? We are! That’s right they are protesting themselves. So first any of them that have ever gotten out of jury duty should punch themselves in the face, go home, and shut up. What’s more they elected the DA’s in each of those cases. Again protesting their own votes and if they didn’t vote then, punch to the face, go home, and shut up.

Life is not that hard. If you want to improve the situation with the police it is fairly simple. First stop robbing, raping, and killing. Those things put you at odds with most of society. If you are not doing those things then great. Now stop putting up with them from your neighbor. If he is a robber, rapist, or killer then turn him in and support the people that are coming after him. Next stop blaming everyone else. Vote for people that you have researched and know will work for the things you want. Don’t vote for a person just because he looks like you. Get off your butt and do some research. Don’t avoid responsibility. If you get called for jury duty then serve. Quit crying because the police force does not reflect your community. If it doesn’t then it is because your community is to lazy or too busy robbing, raping, and killing to become police officers. You know how you get on the police force? You go to school, don’t commit crimes, don’t take illegal drugs, and then you put an application in. Raise your kids so they qualify and then encourage them to do good things with their lives and in their communities. There is no reason that cities should have to beg for minorities to join the police force. It is right there for them. If they want a representative force then apply.

cardefenceFor those of us on the sideline watching in wonder, be careful. The mob that killed the man with hammers has no idea what his beliefs are. He may well have been looking for a parking spot so he could join their protest. His beliefs and ideas made no difference to that pack. They killed him for the way he looked. You may feel that you are “one of them” because you agree with how they feel and you understand. Like the last American that was beheaded, it will make no difference. He was there to help the very people that killed him. He had time to explain to them that he cared about them and their plight. Be very aware of what is going on around you. Trust your instincts and more importantly act on them. If you think something looks funny at that gas station, parking lot, or store, then don’t stop there. If you see a large crowd and you don’t know what is going on or why it is there then turn away. Don’t stop your vehicle, and for god’s sake don’t get out if you are stopped. If you have no way around and are stopped by a crowd then stop as soon as possible and don’t threaten them. Stay in the car and let them move away. If they don’t move away and come after you then start moving slowly. At this point you are committed, continue to move forward increasing your speed slowly and blasting your horn. Those that are not completely feral will have the chance to move out of your way. You are shooting for a speed of about 20mph. This is fast enough to out run the mob but slow enough so that you don’t look like you are just trying to mow them down. This slower speed will also help you see obstacles that are obscured by the pack. Carry your gun all the time no matter where you are going but don’t leave a car to try and use a gun, the car is the more effective weapon. The gun is for any that might breach the car by smashing a window and trying to come in, or to get to your car. All that said remember the first part. Don’t go stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things. Stay safe in these confusing times.

Republicans won so the republic is saved!!! Right????

OnthegroundRepublicans won so the republic is saved!!! Right????

No I am not going to go all political on you except to work it back to what is important to the firearms community. Here are my predictions and I hope I am wrong. I don’t think much is going to change. I don’t think we will secure our borders in any meaningful way. I don’t think the 20 million illegal aliens in this country now, have much to worry about. I don’t think we will make a real dent in radical Islam. I don’t think our mentally ill will suddenly get all the help they need, nor do I believe that the fringe anti-government types will get what they need to feel all warm and cozy.

In short I look for the lone wolf type attacks to continue. The anti-government types will continue to see a real enemy in the state, and will be emboldened by each attack that goes before them. They will see it as evidence that the time has come. The Islamist will also continue to attack and be encouraged by each success. Their attacks will continue to be under reported and played down by our media. Now for my grand prediction. Within a year we will have a larger scale wolf pack style attack like the mall in Mumbai, only it will happen right here in the good ole U.S. of A.

So how does that effect you and me as average Joes? Well we need to sit down and have a real serious talk with ourselves. When I started carrying I considered my worst case scenario to be a strung out punk with a poorly maintained 25 or 32. Now I think you need to look at the fact that there is a huge group of feral humans out there. Regardless of the pack they run with, that is what they are. Feral humans have lost any regard for any other person in this world. Instead of the punk that just wants your money and no real trouble, you are now just as likely to be facing 5 guys in a movie or mall that don’t care about your money and only want to make a statement with your life. Instead of a 32 they may be carrying an ARs or AK 47s.

How do we handle this new world and this new breed? Again sit down and have that serious talk. Think about what I have said here and decide if you think I have fallen off the paranoid gun nut tree on my head, or if you see the possibility of what I have said here being real. If you agree that things are not looking good for us domestic types then consider these things.

First, CARRY YOUR GUN ALL THE TIME! Yes back in the day I picked and chose where I carried. If there didn’t seem to be a reason to carry then I didn’t because it was too much trouble. Today though there is no time that you can be sure you are safe. I doubt seriously that the woman in Oklahoma thought she was in any real danger while she was at work that day. I feel quite sure that those four police officers felt pretty secure as they stood there together for that picture. You just don’t know. Carry your gun.

Second, think again about the gun you are carrying. Yes carry the size that you will carry 100% of the time but, while that Ruger LCP might be a solution for the punk with the 32, how are you going to feel when you hear several ARs ring out at the Walmart? I want a duty size gun with as much ammo as I can get and my red dot site is not making me feel bad either.

Next let’s talk about that ammo. Long ago I fell into the old “if I can’t solve it in 15 then I am in trouble” crowd, but in today’s reality magazines are actually pretty easy to carry. If you are worried that you might be outnumbered or outgunned then the more ammo you have the better you will feel. I can carry three spare mags pretty easy.

Now you are armed think about your skill. Just having the gun was pretty effective against that lone punk, but now? Have you ever thought about how to handle multiple advisories? Have you ever tried to make an accurate shot at 30 or 50 yards? Do you know how to use cover? Know the difference between cover and concealment? If you think you are lacking or even rusty in any area, then get some training. Yes train, but train with someone else. They will give you ideas that you would never come up with on your own. While we are talking about training I want to emphasize something. Every professional training class you have ever taken gives you some kind of “check your six” mention. Sadly it usually isn’t much more than that but at this point YOU must get serious about everything that is going on around you 360*. The poor guy that was going to do the right thing in the Walmart and was shot by the bad guy’s wife just got caught in the “candle moth” syndrome. He was totally focused on his intended target and never realized there was more than one.

Finally, decide now. Are you just getting the heck out of there or are you standing up to this evil? I am not going to tell you that there is a right answer here. For me it depends on many factors. Who is waiting for you at home? Who is with you when it happens? When and where are you? What is your level of training? You are not the police. You have no duty to act. For me though if I was at the mall I am not sure I could just “get out”. If my wife was in that mall alone and a conceal carry guy could have helped her, then I would be forever thankful. With that in mind I don’t think I could just leave all those other wives and kids in there without even trying to help. There is no easy call so have that talk with yourself now.

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drillss

 

If we really wanted to save children

Protection

If we really wanted to save the children.

I briefly touched on this a short time back but I wanted to go a bit more in depth. Gun control advocates keep talking about “common sense” rules and regulations, suggesting that if you are not for gun control you have none. They say that we must have these rules if we want to save the children. Again suggesting that if we are not for gun control we don’t care about children. So let’s take a common sense look at this topic.

As multiple victim shootings and specifically school shootings have occurred our response has been “gun free zones”. We have limited magazine capacity, and forced registration of assault weapons. All to no effect. Each time that some psycho has decided to go on a rampage he has to some degree accomplished his objective. None of these measures have gotten the desired results, if saving lives is actually the goal.

Why not? Well common sense says that murdering people is already illegal so a sign telling a criminal not to do something is not a logical deterrent. Required registration again only effects people that are willing to follow the law. Magazine capacity limits? Remember we are looking for common sense practical things that everyone can see would work. So limiting how fast the bad guy can shoot should work right? Well here is the sad fact. In Newtown, one of the worst school shootings the rate of fire was an average of 24 rounds per minute. Most people can actually shoot and reload a revolver at that rate. The rate at all of these multiple victim shootings is such that reloading is not an issue. Let’s face it, if I walk into a classroom of 6 year olds and lock the door behind me I can kill every child in that class, before police arrive, and I can do it with a hammer. Gun control is not about saving children. It is about gun control.

So what is a “common sense” solution? Well let’s look at another situation that arose where we did put measures in place that up until now have worked. On 9/11 terrorist using box cutters took over airlines and used them to kill over 3000 people. What did we do in that case? We immediately increased the number of air marshals on board flights and yes we profiled and added those marshals to flights that were more likely to be targeted. So more guys with guns. Next we beefed up screening. Try to keep the bad guys off the planes. Then we hardened the cockpit doors so if they got past the screen and there were no marshals on board they still could not easily get to the pilots. Finally we developed a program to arm the pilots. Again the last and most sure defense was more guys with guns. These were the “common sense” things we did to protect our citizens and our children from people with no regard for their lives. Guess what? It has worked.

Now, since we are using common sense, and we have a model that works, how do we apply it to our children? Pretty simple really. First Armed security. It can be private, police, open, or under cover, but like anyone you want to protect you give them security. Has Obama, one of the most anti-gun presidents in history, got more armed security or less? Next beef up screening. No you don’t have to have the TSA at the door or even any kind of detection but only allow entrance through monitored doors. Then harden classroom doors. It is not that hard to make sure that a lock down really would make it hard for a bad guy to get into individual classes. Finally develop programs so that any teacher that wanted to could carry a concealed weapon. Not all of them will, but not knowing if they are or are not will actually act as a deterrent.

If you want to push gun control then that is your right. However call it what it is. Don’t pretend you are doing it to save children. If you want to save children then use a proven model that has already worked. That is common sense.

Instructor/Ambassador

Tiger Valley_130601_2497Instructor/Ambassador

Normally my articles are aimed toward the civilian conceal carry crowd. Just this one time I am going to redirect that aim back towards my fellow instructors. This is just a quick read to give you some thought so hopefully it will be received in the same spirit it is sent.

On the topic I am speaking about today, instructors fall into three basic categories: 1) They own their range 2) They work for a range 3) They must rent/lease time at a range. I am really only talking to group three.

I titled this Instructor/Ambassador. Now I know that everyone realizes we are all ambassadors to our customers and the public, but how many of you are good ambassadors to the ranges you are teaching at? If all you are doing is paying a 10% class fee when you happen to need the range I am going to suggest you’re not really that good. It might work, and you might never have any problems with them, but remember that they are in business too, and your business, and that of the next instructor that has to talk with them, kinda depends on them.

So with that in mind try to think about ways to add value to their business. Have you friended them on FB? That way you can promote their business and their events. Make arrangements to split the profits for classes that they promote and set up. That gives them a way to really increase their profit and they don’t mind so much when they make less on a class that you set up. Have you ever volunteered to donate your time at one of their events, giving tips and advice to their customers? Yes it is a whole day where you are getting paid nothing but think of the good will. That range gets to advertise that they have brought in a top notch instructor. People are impressed with the range, you draw in your students so the range gets new members, and maybe you do pick up a few students for future classes (which makes them more money).

Now if you have already thought of all of this, and you in fact are doing it, then thank you. You are indeed a good ambassador, and you are helping everyone including your fellow instructors that follow you to the doors of that range. If you are not, just think about it. Finally if you are doing all that and the range management still looks at you like you are trying to steal their lucky charms each time you talk to them, then it might be time to just move on. Some managers are never going to see the value in you or the students you bring to them. If that is the case then they can actually hurt your reputation.

Feel free to let me know any other ways that you add value to the range where you teach.TargetPractice

Product Review

Just got this review from a student that has been looking for a new holster. If you have been avoiding “on body” carry due to comfort issues. I recommend you spend some time looking around. There are a number of options. Hopefully one will work for you. If you have an idea or something that you like or don’t like leave a comment or send me a review and I may put it up. We can all use all the help we can get.

N82Tactical Original Holster review

The first gun I ever carried with any regularity just sort of ‘came to me’, much like the holster I have used for better than two years now. It is an in the waistband holster that happened to fit the barrel of my Bersa 380.  The holster did not have a back on it (up above the grip) but as that was the only holster I had ever used I did not find this objectionable and frankly kept wondering what all the fuss was about when the subject came up in conversation.

Time passed and I now have a new .9mm, hence I needed a new holster. After several months of internet research I was pointed to the N82Tactical website. I ordered the Original holster. I was expecting it to take a few weeks to arrive, I was wrong.  I received the holster in just over one week and have been wearing/using it for almost four weeks now. The soft suede backing is super soft and does not stick to your body when you get hot and sweaty.  This is a major plus.  I have to say not having the grip poke in to me is definitely a plus as well.  It is amazing how you never know something is ‘wrong’ until you feel the difference.  This is a very sturdy, well-made holster that looks like it will last for years.  The elastic binding that fits snugly over the barrel is just right for keeping the gun in place no matter what position I am in.  I can safely stoop, squat, bend and lean in all directions and my weapon is secured in the holster.  I also like the fact that it is not so heavy that it is constantly pulling my pants down.  Don’t get me wrong, it has some weight to it, but it seems more balanced and somehow distributes the weight in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling like there is a constant tug. I have to practice and learn how to draw from this holster as it is different, but the weapon does come out smoothly.

So overall, I give this holster high marks. The order process was easy, delivery was prompt, and the product is of high quality. I’m sure I will be buying and testing other holsters but for the basic in the waistband holster the N82Tactical Original holster is definitely a keeper.

https://www.n82tactical.com/

Is it time to realign your thinking?

T-shirts 001 008Is it time to realign your thinking?

I am a pretty thoughtful person. No I don’t mean I am particularly nice, I mean that I tend to think about the things I believe. I don’t just say I am for or against anything. I think it through and base my choice on what I consider to be logical and rational arguments. Now I have no illusions here. Sometimes despite my careful consideration I make the totally wrong choice. It has happened plenty and I just accept it, switch sides, and move on. In fact at this point I am fairly often going over things that I thought I had long ago dissected beyond any further analysis and concluded I would never change.

Years ago I decided that 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo was plenty to keep on hand. More than I would ever shoot in a day, and it was cheap, and easy to buy if you needed more. Besides if something stupid every happened, say SWAT kicked in the wrong door and searched my house. I did not want to be the loon that the news reported had 5000 rounds of ammo. That sounded crazy. Then Obama, and Sandyhook happened. I missed a class last year because it called for a 1200 rounds minimum and I neither had nor could I get it. Time to realign. I now and forever more will have plenty of ammo.

When I started carrying (a long long time ago) I carried a Berretta 92, and I was one of the “If I can’t solve a problem with 16 rounds then I am in trouble,” crowd. That seemed totally reasonable to me, and I was very conscious of the fact that some people did not like guns and I did not want to be one of those over the top crazies they were worried about. I had my logical reasonable arguments and I could defend them. It took years, and lots of good instructors, and tons of training, to finally make me understand that this was a poor choice. Guns are machines and like all machines they fail. The magazine is a fairly common failure point and what’s more it is a very easy fix. All cars have a spare tire for this exact reason. It is a common failure point and it is easy to fix with a spare. So I started carrying a spare magazine. An extra 15 rounds was just a bonus. Whatever.

A few months ago ISIS reared its head. Yes terrorism has been around for a time, but it does seem to be advancing in its sophistication. In any case it was enough to cause me to check my alignment. Again I have always resisted anything that seemed over the top to me. I like moderation, and I came from that “solve it with 16 rounds” mindset. However looking at the things that are happening and, if not likely are quite possible, I decided that it was time for me to change again. I now carry three spare magazines. Videos of motorcycle gangs with thirty or forty members bashing in a families car window. A hundred teens running through a parking lot and beating people to unconsciousness, or five terrorist, domestic or foreign that converge on a mall. All of these are things that have happened, and could happen again. In any of those situations it would be pretty easy to realize that sixteen or even thirty rounds are not nearly enough. I may never need more than two rounds, but I bet if I was hunkered down in the mall where five or six guys with AK’s just walked in and started moving through shooting whatever moved I would be happy to have all I could get.

ProactiveI am not saying that my choices are what you should do. I am just saying that from time to time you might want to look at what you have always considered adequate. Maybe you do need a concealed handgun license? Maybe a weekend training class for the gun you just threw in your purse and have carried around for years but never shot would be a good idea. Finally, for those of us that do have training. Maybe we are in the greatest jeopardy. It is pretty easy to start thinking that what we think is totally informed and therefore correct. If you only consider your own arguments over and over you will always decide that you are right. Open yourself up to other arguments. Take other instructors classes. Don’t ever stop learning.

What IF (Muddying the Water Further)

cropped-cardefence2.jpgIf you have not read the last few articles I have written, then I highly recommend you go back before looking at this one. I don’t always get a lot of feedback on these but I had a friend that I have a lot of respect for, tell me that my scenario in the first “What If” article really made him think. That is the highest praise I could get and exactly why I write these.

With that in mind let me muddy the water a bit more. While you are going through your “what if” scenarios you need to consider the possible ramifications to you after the action is all over. I like to think of myself as a pretty black and white guy when it comes to decisions. However, having had the pleasure of serving on not only several jury’s, but also a grand jury, I must say that when it comes to firearms I have really had to weigh my options. To me legal should be legal and not legal not. Sadly that is not necessarily the way it is. Jury’s get to do whatever they want, regardless of the letter of the law. They can find you innocent just because they agree with what you did, even though it is clearly illegal, or they can find you guilty, even though you absolutely followed the letter of the law.

When I served on the grand jury one of our cases, in very short form, was this: Sheriff is called to domestic disturbance. When he arrives he sees, through a screen door, a man assaulting his wife. When he calls out the man heads toward him as the sheriff backs off the porch. The suspect comes out of the house cussing at the sheriff and raises a gun towards him. The sheriff shoots and kills the man. An autopsy showed that the suspect had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time. Pretty black and white right? Well not for this jury. We spent hours. I mean hard hours, trying to explain/convince not one but two soccer moms that it was in fact our job to decide if this needed to go to trial. They could not grasp the concept of bill/no bill. They felt that there was no situation where an officer could shoot someone and not be put on trial.

So how does that effect you? Let’s say that while you are pumping gas you see a man approaching. You tell him to stop while he is still 10 feet away. He raises a screw driver held like a dagger and says “you NEED to buy this.” When you say that you are not interested he continues to approach and says “NO MF you are going to buy this or I am going to kill you with it.” Pretty clear cut. Fear for your life, guy with weapon I think we meet the legal criteria. Draw and shoot. Technically you should not be charged or tried. “What If” the police officer does not think untrained citizens should have guns. “What If” the DA just moved to Texas from New York and he thinks only the police should have guns. “What If” you get 3, 4, or 6 of those moms who demand action on your grand jury and then on your trial jury?

Should you run? There will be jurors on the grand jury that ask why you didn’t. Should you brandish? (Actually no such term in TX law but they have ways to still charge you with a crime) The call will go out to the police that a guy has pulled a gun, and is pointing it at people. Now you are the suspect. Also if this is a hardened type criminal he might call your bluff. Put his hands up and keep coming. Now if you shoot what do the witnesses see? A guy that surrendered being shot down. I promise you though, you will be asked by a jurist on that grand jury why didn’t you just pull your gun and point, or why didn’t you shoot him in the leg.

 

Who Is In My Home?

NegativeWho Is In My Home?

I have had several questions about the resent incidents where children were mistakenly shot in their home by parents. These are usually teens that are sneaking in or out with or without friends.

There are plenty of safety and common sense issues to address here but I am really only going to touch on one, that will solve a ton of troubles. I understand that I am going to tread on some mall ninja, tacticool guru toes here but…. Well see my first post ever on my website.

So you hear a noise in your house. Visions of super cool movie stars stalking through their home with tactical lights flashing here and there and various versions of low ready and such flash through your mind. You go over concealment and cover and the layout of your home. Ok let me say the plain truth. Humans do not function best in the dark. Everything is harder and scarier in the dark. Yes I have heard all the “you know the layout” tactical advantage stuff, but the honest truth is almost everything gets better with light. If you have to search/clear your house. Consider this. TURN ON THE LIGHTS. I have yet to hear a good argument against this. Yes carry your surefire tactical light but almost every room in your home has a switch right by the door. You don’t have to go through to turn it on. Quietly go up, reach your arm through and sweep the switch. Then step back into your dark room slice the pie and handle the door as you normally would. You are not revealing your position any more than you are any time you flash that tactical light. I assure you that the overhead light in a room will allow you to identify who and what is in there much better than even the brightest tactical light. After you have cleared the room you can decide if you are best served by leaving that light on or turning it back off. Have your surefire in your pocket or waistband or wherever leaving your hands free to operate your firearm with both, giving you the most control.

This takes some thought and practice but the family member you don’t shoot, and you will think it is worth the trouble. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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What If Game

FoF 001

What If Game

So how many of you played that “What if” game I talked about last week? Did you run in to some problems? If not then you have most likely been playing a long time, you are a very decisive person, or you are not playing hard enough.

Let me be clear. If you really think about this it is a very hard game.

I will show you what I mean with an example. What if you are walking in to a small gas station to pay, or buy a drink? As you open the door the cashier counter runs the width of the store just to your right so in order to speak to the cashier you would only need to take five steps in and turn to your right. In that exact spot you see a guy, kind of scruffy looking, holding a gun on the guy behind the register. No one else is around. Solid wall beyond your target so you have a clear shot. Now let’s play. First have you decided if you are an “I only draw my gun if I fear for MY life”, or will you use it to protect others? If you are only going to use it to save you then this is easy. Shut that door and run. Whatever happens inside is none of your concern, and honestly, I cannot say that you are wrong for feeling like this. It will make your life much easier. Personally I can’t do it. My sense of right and wrong and my conscience would just not allow me to leave innocent people to face the wolves alone. So those of you still with me, what is your next move? Do you try to draw and force the gunman to drop his gun? I can tell you that if he decides to turn and shoot you instead there is about a 98% chance that the best outcome you can hope for are mutual hits. Don’t believe me? Come to one of my classes and I will prove it over and over. He can turn and fire before you can register his movement and fire. My first CHL instructor told me that if you drew then you shoot. So is that your choice here? You draw and shoot. You are good and with his arm holding the gun on the other guy your shot takes both lungs and his heart the first shot. He is down immediately and will be gone before you can get to his side. Did we make the right choice? As you move into the store to make sure the cashier is ok you see the cashier laying in a pool of blood behind the counter. The guy you thought was a cashier is now reaching for his own gun and the off duty police officer that you just killed is not going to be any help.

I hope this little example helps you see just how serious this game is and how important it is. I can’t say that playing it will assure you that you never make a mistake but think how much better your chances are if you have considered these things beforehand rather than just stumbling in and having to run through all the possibilities in under a second.

Feel free to list your own answers or post your “what if” example in the comments on my website.

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That Guy

That Guy

FoF 039Having taught traditional martial arts and self-defense seminars for over 30 years “that guy” or girl, that could make me want to reach up and rip the eyes from my own head just for some relief was the “what if” guy. It always went something like this. I am teaching a new technique in class. I have a student act as my attacker and I direct him to grab my shoulder at which time I will demonstrate and explain said technique. I might not even be through with the first demonstration when “that guy” speaks up. “What if he grabs your wrist? What if he grabs your neck? What if he punches you?” The business minded Dojo owner has to smile and explain that if any of those things happen there is a different technique, but at this moment we are working on the one demonstrated.

This happens so much, and is so predictable, it is tedious, and grates on your nerves like fingernails on a chalk board. You want to scream, “I will teach you all that I know, now stand silently, and listen, as I do I, in the order I want!” Of course, as an instructor, you cannot do that, and now, as I type this my tongue is bleeding a bit, YOU need to be “that guy”.

Maybe not in your traditional martial arts class, but as a gun owner, and especially as a gun carrier. If you carry any kind of weapon to defend yourself and/or others you should be asking yourself “what if”, many times a day. What if someone walks up to me while I am pumping gas with a screw driver in his hand? What if when I walk into the fast food restaurant there is a guy holding a gun on the cashier? What if I hear shots while I am at the mall?

IMG_0399Let’s face it. If you ever need to defend yourself, or those you really care about, then your stress level will be at a peak. That is not the time to try and make the most important decisions in your life. You can never train and be ready for everything that could happen, but the more you have planned for, the better chance you will have the answer, or be able to make a slight adjustment and have the answer. Police and firefighters train all the time. They don’t do it just because they are bored. They do it because it helps. If I am going to be in a situation that may cost me or others our lives, then I want the best chance I can get to get it right.

 

When I am walking through the mall I ask myself “what if” I hear shots behind me right now. “What if” I hear them from in front of me? When I am walking to my car I consider “what if” there is a group of five or six teens running towards me? If I have never considered this then there is a lot of info to process in a very short time. Are they running towards me or just past me? How do I know? Do they have weapons, or does that even matter if there are six of them? Are they kids, teens, or young adults? Is there a reason they would be mad at me? Is this a time or place where I should expect violence? Should I run, fight, or wait? Is it possible I could expect aid from nearby? The list goes on and on, and you have a very few seconds to get it right. If you have already considered it then it is no big deal to put your plan in action. You step between the nearby parked cars, limiting their access and approach to you. Now “what if” they pull up and start moving between the cars towards you? “What if” they split up and attempt to pin you between those cars?

“What if” should be a constant and ongoing part of your situational awareness. If you have a likeminded friend or spouse then all the better. The two of you can play the “what if” game much like inspector Clouseau and his faithful man servant. As you sit in a restaurant your wife could ask you, “what if an angry guy walks up and starts yelling at the woman across from us and you see he has a gun tucked in his belt in the small of his back?” Score each other, and discuss possible options. The point is to have as many decisions as possible made, before the situation even occurs.

Tiger Valley_130601_2497One final note on this. Yes when you go to your gun class you should be “that guy” there as well. No don’t drown the instructor in hundreds of possible scenarios but yes call him on something relevant that you think he has special knowledge on, or you have an unanswered question about. I change my plan on “what if” constantly. A good knowledgeable instructor may well have thought of something I have not considered or his reasoning may point out faults in my plan, or his answer may make me surer that what I think is right. You are paying him to help you so make sure you get that help in some form.

Feel free to comment on and discuss what I have written about here. Share it with your friends and get the “what if” game going on Facebook. Like my page for more articles to get you thinking and help you train.

 

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The Politically Incorrect Side of SA.

OverheadThere is a lot of talk these days about situational awareness (SA), and for good reason. It is a great method of proactive defense. You can be the baddest black belt, gun tote’n, ex special opps operator, in the world, and if you let a 15 year old with a knife walk up behind you then they can say all that stuff about you at your funeral. Now in the real world anyone can be ambushed, but we can do a lot to prevent that. The old adage “Don’t do stupid things in stupid places etc.” fits in nicely here. Basically watch what is going on around you and avoid possible danger spots.

Today however, I want to delve into the politically incorrect part of SA. A very important part almost no one will speak of out loud. That part is known as profiling. Several years back the word profiling became politically incorrect when a group started using it to describe what they saw as racism in law enforcement. Simply by saying it so loud and so many times they were able to link the two words together until profiling and racism were the same. This was greatly aided by the fact that as soon as other groups saw that this ploy was having some success, any group wanting to divert attention from any other group would scream out “profiling”, and in our current “don’t offend anyone ever, for any reason” world, “profiling” became a taboo activity.

Now the hard truth is, this is ridiculous. Can profiling be racist? Of course it can. However, just because logical, common sense thinking adversely effects you does not mean that you are the target of racism. If there is a child molester in my neighborhood, then the odds say that an older white guy is probably the culprit and therefore if the police stop me in my white panel van that is not racism that is just adult common sense and statistics. It doesn’t mean I did anything, it is just the most logical course of investigation. At the same time, if someone is climbing the fences and breaking windows to carry off TV’s in that same neighborhood then you can probably not bother the 70 year old white guy. At least at first, take a look at the teens.

As an adult, a nation, and even a world, we all need to realize the realities of what is going on. Authorities have more than enough to keep them busy and if we want to proactively defend ourselves and our loved ones then we need to understand logical measures. If you are looking for child molesters then don’t spend a ton of time on 20 something females. If you are looking for who did the drive by, then start with the local gangs, and if you are looking for terrorist, then start with the Muslim males. That is not racist it is statistics.

How does that affect us personally in our proactive defense and SA? Well first don’t worry about being racist. The best way to not be racist is to not be racist. My neighbor happens to be black. Great guy. My best friend in the neighborhood, another black guy. I met these guys in the normal course of life in the neighborhood. Had I seen them in hoodies sitting in front of the local convenience store would I have seen them in the same light? I can assure you I would not have. Would they have been the same men I know today? I dare say they would not have been, at the very least they would have put themselves in a place to be viewed differently. That is not racist that is situationally aware. If I stop at the Quicktrip up the street to get gas and two or three black guys in hoodies are standing around I watch them as possible trouble. The fact is, if it is two or three white, or Hispanic guys in hoodies, or they are all tatted up, or just dirty and unkept, then I keep a watchful eye on them.  Where my safety and that of my loved ones is concerned I base my thoughts and actions on logic and don’t worry about political correctness.

Why does the young girl get on the elevator in the parking garage with two young punk looking males? Why does the black trucker that stopped at the bar in the middle of nowhere still walk in when he opens the door and sees the all white crowd stop talking and stare at him? Why does the older white guy get out of his Infinity at the car wash where three black males are just hanging out? They do it because of political correctness. We don’t want to offend anyone. So what happens if the young girl doesn’t get on that elevator? Well the two punks might be offended. They might laugh at her or even call her the B word, but she definitely does not get raped on that elevator. What happens to the black trucker if he turns around and leaves that bar? He might get laughed at and even called the N word for walking away, but he definitely doesn’t find out that this is the local skinhead hangout and disappear in the swamp in the middle of nowhere. Finally the old white guy might have to drive around in a dirty Infinity. He might get laughed at or even called a racist, but he definitely won’t get carjacked or mugged at that car wash.

Look sports fans, you all profile every day. If you say you don’t then you are lying to me or yourself but you are wrong. If you don’t fly on planes with one or more engines that are not working, then you profiled. If you only stay in hotels with more than 3 stars, you profiled. Profiling is in every part of our lives. It helps us find our dates, our mates, and our friends. So use it wisely to help you be situationally aware and proactively defensive.

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Why Force on Force Training?

FoF 024

Recently I was talking to a friend about training and he said something that I have heard several times lately. He said “Firearms classes are expensive. I am just going to compete in IDPA or other competitions because those are cheap and they give you real world scenarios, and real world training.”

Since I have heard this several times I just wanted to talk about training in general and maybe put some perspective on it.

Martial training of any type is generally carried out in the same basic way.

First they take you over to the side alone and have you work on very basic techniques in the air. “Throw this punch, kick, or whatever 100 times.” In the gun world this might be equated to getting your new gun, reading the manual, and dry firing. Step one of your training complete.

Next they put a target in front of you. This might be a bag that you actually hit or even a person that you are supposed to pull your technique just short of hitting. Let’s go back to the gun world. Now you are at the range actually putting rounds on paper.

As you continue your martial journey now you have a real opponent that you interact with. Either he reacts to you or you react to him but it is in a prearranged manor. Everyone knows basically what everyone else is going to do and what is supposed to be the result. This might be some “self-defense” techniques. I am sorry to shock awe you but back in our gun training this is the stage that IDPA falls under. Now before you start spitting and snorting I am not saying this is bad training. It is actually great training. Just like any other martial art this competition starts adding complexity, mental components, and STRESS that you have not had before. All that makes for great training.

Here is what I see as the bad point for us in the gun world. All other martial arts then move on to a free style real world training method. Depending on the art it could be anything from points fighting (somewhat real world) to full on MMA style. In any case it is a free sparing situation where neither party knows what the other is going to do and pain, defeat, even injury are possible. This is true for every martial art including sword training except for guns. In the gun world, for obvious reasons we have stopped our training back at the “staged” level. Yes simunitions have been around for a while but these are expensive and hard for even some LE to get and use.

Thank goodness for technology and people that think outside of the box. Airsoft has given us a way to take that next step and actually train against opponents in real world scenarios, without, well, killing each other. Being hit by an airsoft gun does hurt. That is good. It gives us negative feedback and causes us to flinch and react like we would in a real fight. You don’t “want” to get shot. The stress is super high. Let’s face it. IDPA stress is only there from the standpoint of, you don’t want to look bad at the game. Your targets are fixed and they do not shoot back. So once you have done it a few times and you know the game, the stress comes way down. With airsoft the more I get hit the less I want to get hit. Force on Force is the final step in martial training for the gunfighter. In most cases you can actually get the exact airsoft version of your personal conceal carry gun. I carry a Sig 228. I found a Sig 228 full metal, blow back, airsoft gun. The controls are in the same place and the gun operates exactly like my EDC. Except I can use it to learn how to WIN gunfights with real opponents.

Now as a final thought I will address the “training is expensive” part of this. My question is, is it really? I look at it much like I look at a gun purchase. Why am I buying this gun? If it is strictly as a hobby or for fun or even as a collector then ok set your price accordingly. If however you are buying that gun with the idea that you are going to use it to protect your life or the life of others then I think that price should be the last consideration. Not that you should not consider it but it should be the last factor. I want a gun that I am sure will function 100% of the time. A gun that carries as much fire power both in raw power and number of rounds, that I will carry 100% of the time. A gun that feels good to me and instills confidence in my ability to handle and hit with it. Last I need that gun to be one I can afford. Now when I say that, I don’t mean I have to have the money in my pocket today. If the gun I described is $700 and a gun that is sorta good is $400 then for goodness sake do whatever you did to get the $400, and get another $300 to get the gun that meets all your other criteria. I look at it like this. A good gun will last you the rest of your life and most likely your kids. Average the price of it out for 30 or 60 years and even the highest price is pretty reasonable. Now apply that to your training. If you are training as a hobby or to play IDPA then price is a huge consideration. If you are actually training to be able to defend yourself then price has to be way down on the list of considerations. Most of us are only going to know how our training holds up once in our lives. If I save $375 on training and get shot by a street punk, am I really going to think that was a good deal? You can get in a Force on Force class for $400 for two days. Yes that is not chicken feed but how much did you spend going to the deer lease last week? Heck how much did it cost you to take the family out for dinner and a movie? I skipped two of those movie nights and got my tail in class:)

Let’s Get This Started

Just so everyone is clear and there are no hurt feelings 🙂 I am not a politically correct guy and some of the things I say here wont be either. I am not out to hurt or offend anyone but I am not going to “not say” what is real and obvious. I don’t think “everyone should get a trophy”, and you should always be shielded from all adversity. I will say, and allow to be said, any reasonable thoughts or opinions on the topic at hand.

Now, before you try to comment or post read that all again. Don’t skip over the part where I said I was not out to hurt or offend. I wont allow anything like that to be published. When your comment is not published don’t ask me why, just come back here and read this again. Don’t spend hours writing me a huge post about how I offended you as I am just going to point you back here.

Next, I am not a lawyer. Nothing I say here is legal advice. If it sounds like legal advice it is not. It is a thought or opinion. Period! If you decide to use it then do so at your own risk. Fact check it. Consider it, and then use it as YOU see fit.

Finally, have fun. I would love to see this section of the website full of great ideas and helpful info. I am constantly learning so when I post things please join in with your ideas.