Why Does Whataburger Matter?

cropped-Selfdefense.jpgJust after Texas passed its new Open Carry law Whataburger came out with a statement declaring that it would continue to allow conceal carry but it would NOT allow open carry in its establishment. This declaration opened a discussion, in a group I am in, with people that I consider basically like-minded, well intentioned, and rational. As it turned out we totally disagreed with each other on this one.

 

Now let me start by declaring that I can never see an instance where I will open carry in my lifetime. Personally and tactically I just don’t see it. I also believe that if you own a business you did build that business, and that you should have the right to include or deny anyone or anything that you want. I think that if Whataburger wants to put up a sign banning guns, blacks, women, babies, old white guys, or even just Troy Amason then it is their right.

 

So why does what Whataburger did make any difference to me? I already said I support their right to do it, and since I don’t open carry it will not affect me at all…. Until it does. People rarely stop to consider the complications of things and how they will unfold down the road. Let’s examine this a bit.

 

The first red flag is Whataburger made an effort to answer a question that no one was asking. Moms’ weren’t picketing. OCT was not scheduling events. Whataburger chose a side and took a stance benefiting one group over another. They said “we are more concerned with the group that is uncomfortable with guns than the group that is comfortable”. They loudly called everyone out. You can choose to ignore them or you can respond. The trouble is that if you do choose to ignore them then you are, in effect, supporting them. What does that hurt? Well if they do it with no ill effect then Dairy Queen can do it, and In And Out, etc. etc. Again what does that hurt? CEO’s become board members, board members become congressmen, and then their thinking will be “if I did it when I ran Whataburger, and everyone liked it, then they will like it when I make it law”, so around we go again.

 

ProactiveBecause we only focus on the part that directly affects us we keep fighting the same fight over and over. Gaining and losing only inches. Every person, that I saw, saying they were ok with Whataburger, initially did so based on how it affected them personally. “I don’t open carry so I don’t care.” “I own a business and I don’t want Mom’s Demand Action to effect it.” Now when challenged they mostly fell back to “it’s a private business’s rights” but not one person started there. An argument was also made about it not being the “social norm like it is in Kansas”. Well by supporting Whataburger, and then DQ, and then Wendy’s you will make their stance the social norm, and we will fight for this inch again down the road.

 

Allow me to make some extreme examples. Let’s say I am going to lunch with a couple of other guys. As we get to the door a manager asks us if our wives are at home or if any of us are a couple? My wife is at home but in fact the other two guys are married. The manager says that is fine they support gay marriage but just not openly. I am free to go in but my friends will have to remove their rings. You still going in? How about if you are going in with a group and one is black? You going to leave him on the curb? I mean he is being openly black.

Look at one more reason to make a stance. Think about how you feel about abortion. Let’s say you are against it, and the Pro-abortion people are willing to compromise with you. No abortions beyond four weeks. A win for you! So are you good with that, or will you now go right back at them to ban all abortions? Most people will take the win and then go right back to fighting for their ultimate goal. Anti-gun people are the same. They are not going to be happy to leave you be if you give them open carry they will regroup and come back for conceal and then all out ban.

 

Look, I am an old white guy, and some things make me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be around people that eat beets (ugh), but I am not going to shun a good person just because that one issue about them makes me uncomfortable, and I am not going to support a private business that shuns good people, (Even though a no beets policy at Whataburger would make me happy). That is what makes supporting Whataburger’s rights, work. If Whataburger hangs a sign that says “No Blacks” then I would hope that so many people would stop supporting them that they would fail in that market.

 

I am not actually a member of either group in the Whataburger situation. I am not uncomfortable around guns nor do I open carry, so how/why would I side. Well, what I am, is a believer in the constitution, and the 2nd amendment. It clearly states “shall not infringe”. By making this stance, Whataburger does not support the constitution, and the 2nd amendment. They support some version of you being able to carry a gun, so long as they can put their infringements on it. If that is what everyone wants, then there is a means to change the constitution, but until then, you will continue to fight for the same ground over and over until you are willing to fight for the actual definitive law, and everyone’s rights there in. That means supporting someone that is doing something you would not do. It means supporting them even when it is hard. I am not saying you have to riot and burn down Whataburger. I am just saying that supporting a business that is not willing to support the laws will come back and bite you, down the road.

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.