Essential Skills

A really great run down of what a well-prepared, well-protected civilian would need in training, mindset and equipment, over at Revolver Science. I like this list because rather than concentrating on “The Seventeen Ways YOU Can Stop Terrorism With Your AR-15 (And #12 Will Blow His Mind!)!!!”, it lays out, pretty clearly, what our threats are and what can be done to stop them. I really like that “defensive driving” is on the list. Want to avoid a road rage incident? Try not to be a jerk on behind the wheel, and never escalate the situation when someone cuts you off.

Gee, maybe those same principles of heightened awareness, conspicuous politeness and de-escalation might also work when he have a firearm on our waist and well as when we’re behind wheel.

Now that my family’s moved, “Getting into shape in order to help me live longer and with less creaking joints” needs to be on my version of this list.

A Shelter In The Time Of Storm.

You would think that if there was a particular type of crime that was up 1000% percent since 2005, it’d get some airplay on the news programs, right?

Well, in the case of attacks inside and out of the sanctuary, that’s not the case.

Lately we’ve seen a large increase in church security teams coming for firearms and tactics training. (I use the word “church” for any house of worship.) This is a good thing. According to one study violence at religious centers has increased over one thousand percent between the years 2005 to 2010.

Let’s face it: A church should (SHOULD!) be a place where people who are wounded emotionally and spiritually find solace and support to overcome their inner demons. This means that people who engage in questionable, if not outfight illegal and stupid things show up on our doorstep, and that means dealing with people who they associate with. I’ve seen it for myself: I was waiting in the narthex before service one Sunday when a rousing knock-down fight started between a woman and her divorced spouse. Both of them attended the church prior to their divorce, and neither was willing to find a new spiritual home now that they were no longer a couple. Fortunately, cooler (and stronger) heads prevailed, and the fight was quickly broken up and taken to a quieter place for the authorities to handle, but that was my wake-up call that bad things can happen inside a house of God.

Now that we have to deal with the threat of Islamic terrorism on our shores, what are the odds of ISIS doing over here what they’ve committed to doing in Iraq, namely, ridding the world of any and all competing faiths? How soon until we see a terrorist attack on a sanctuary or a synagogue?

It’s coming, and if you church isn’t willing to have a plan for man-made or natural disasters, make one for yourself.

An Argument Against Open Carry That I’ll Accept

On the November 28 episode of The American Warrior Show, William Aprill talks with Mike Seeklander about the criminal mindset, weapon disarms and a bunch of other topics. Interspersed with all of that information is a casual mention of two people getting assaulted and robbed of their open-carry pistols. Aprill points out, quite rightly, that guns along with drugs, are two of the items worth more to a criminal than cold, hard cash is. Therefore, to a crook, the benefits of stealing your gun might outweigh the risks of him getting shot by said gun.

And he’s right.

I support open carry, always have, always will, because it makes concealed carry a lot easier. However, the reality is, when you or I open carry, we are essentially walking around with an expensive watch on our wrists and money coming out of our pockets. We are advertising to the crooks that we have something they want, and that is a bad, bad thing indeed. When we open carry, we need to be aware that we have made ourselves a much more attractive target to the bad guys, and act accordingly, while still acting overly polite.

Failure Is Always An Option

I hate dry-fire practice with my strong hand only and weak hand only*, because it shows just how much I suck at such things. But I do it. Not as often as I should, but I do it nevertheless. I’m ok with sucking at something for a while if I know I can get better at it with effort and practice. It’s the sucking at something and not improving that I hate (and I do that far too much for my liking).

Which is why I can’t figure out why you wouldn’t want to do a night shoot. There’s a very good chance you’ll need to defend yourself at night, so why not get good at it now, when the stakes are just 17th place in a match, not your life? Better a bruised ego now than deep penetrating trauma later.

*Go ahead. Tell me there’s no such thing as “weak hand”, just “support hand”. I dare you.

The Stupidity Triad.

I know trainers who poo-poo the idea of situational awareness, preferring instead to concentrate  on dealing with the after-effects of being ambushed. While I understand the idea (they are, after all, firearms trainers, not zen awareness trainers), but the fact is, you win 100% of the fights you don’t get into.

I’ve some more ideas on John Farnam’s classic dictum on avoiding bad things before they happen over at Ricochet.com.

It’s A Family Affair

“De l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace” – Georges Danton

The paradigm of the personal protection/bodyguard might not be the right one for people like me who want to keep our families safe. Maybe it is all about winning by being on the attack, not on defense.

On this episode of Ballistic Radio, Melody Lauer talks about stopping the threat to our families by… stopping the threat. Not shielding our kids, not putting ourselves in between them and the line of fire and dealing with things, but making stopping the threat the priority, as that’s the safest and quickest solution for everyone involved.

*thoughtful pause*

There’s an element of truth what Melody talks about on which I need to ponder, because it squares nicely with what I’m learning about individual armed self-defense. However, I can’t help but wonder how such ideas square with the methods used by people who are paid to protect people for a living, rather than myself, who does it for free, as part of my job of being a Dad. Is their training wrong, or is it focused more on large attacks by a group on one individual, and not keeping two or three people safe from street crime or an overzealous ex-spouse?

If nothing else, this proves that the science of familial protection is not settled, but rather, it’s just beginning.

I Support Open Carry but…

If that’s your argument, then you don’t support open carry.

For example, I don’t want to muzzle the morons who spout off in favour of Marx or Mein Kampf, I want to drown out their nonsense with better ideas. I don’t want to ban morons from open-carrying SKS’s at low ready into a Jack-in-the-Box, I want to drown them out with people who carry great pistols in nice leather holsters.

After all, when was the last time you heard someone say that sticking a fork into a toaster was a good idea? Eventually, time and evolution work together to weed out the dumb ideas and the dumb people. Open carry is normal in Arizona because normal people act normally while carrying their firearm in the open.

EVERY firearms owner should support open carry because NOTHING integrates guns into a culture more than the sight of guns on the hips of friends and neighbors whom you trust without guns on their hips. Don’t make the open carry argument about the gun, make it about the people who carry guns.

And I got to be honest, that’s something we’re not good at right now.