I just finished, 4/1/16, reading "Fighting Smarter"
by Tom Givens. His words of wisdom are scattered
below, some out of context, but poignant.
You should get his book.
***** Mindset *****
Your main enemy is reaction time.
Believe me, if you have internalized that a
specific person is an actual threat to your life,
but that you have the means to stop him if need
be, it gets easier to mentally deal with the
This is how you win fights, by being mentally
prepared to win.
The other nagging self-doubt concerns over-
reacting and shooting someone under unjustifiable
circumstances. If you are reading this, that
will not happen. Citizens who are responsible
enough to obtain carry permits, seek expensive
training, making time for practice sessions, etc.
are simply too honest, caring, and self disciplined
to shoot people without just cause.
In fact, for many the problem they will face
is the exact opposite of being "trigger happy".
Believe it or not, every day, people who are
armed and know how to use their weapons, and who
have a need to use their weapons to save their
lives, fail to do so and die as a result. This
happens to both private citizens and police
Many people don't realize that your awareness
skills are more important than your marksmanship
skills. Well, you can't shoot something you don't
know is there, or don't know it needs to be shot!
Shame on you if you get a speeding ticket!
You should've seen the cop long before he could
get a radar reading on you. If that were your
girlfriend's husband behind that bush with a rifle
instead of a cop with a radar gun, you'd be dead
***** Training *****
Proper training ingrains the proper responses.
Repetition is the mother of all skill. With skill
comes confidence. With confidence comes the ability
to think under pressure and make sound tactical
Practice builds skill, skill builds confidence.
Panic is simply the lack of a pre-programmed
If you make tactical decisions every day of
your life, they will come easily to you if you find
yourself in dangerous circumstances. If you have
never practiced this decision making process, how
do you expect to do it well under extreme stress?
What you should work on:
Fast, efficient, reliable presentation of the
handgun from concealment.
Ability to accurately place several quick shots
into an anatomically important area of the target at
3 to 5 yards.
Ability to place an anatomically important hit
in a reasonable amount of time beyond 7 yards out to
at least 25 yards.
Ability to reload quickly and efficiently.
Ability to rapidly move off the line of force
(sidestep) without hindering the presentation of
the pistol from concealment.
[I would add the ability to clear malfunctions
quickly and efficiently. -- Jon Low]
The court's position is that if you have a
deadly weapon it is incumbent upon you to seek
proper training in its use and then to follow
***** Education *****
In fact, self defense shootings by legally
armed citizens are almost always ruled justifiable
by the authorities, while almost a third of police
shootings are ruled questionable or improper.
According to FBI studies, probably 80% of the
ones you will actually have to fight will be under
the influence of drugs / alcohol / drugs and
alcohol at the time. What's the good news?
They're drunk and/or drugged, which plays Hell with
their reflexes, reaction time, and motor
coordination. They'll be relatively easy to deal
with, IF you are mentally prepared (Condition Red)
and have done your homework.
More Americans are murdered at work than die
from any other on the job cause.
"Why is the rifle so much easier to shoot
than a pistol? Easy. The rifle weighs more than
its trigger pull, while the handgun weighs less
than the weight of the trigger pull."
-- Larry Vickers
***** Tactics *****
When holding your gun at the ready, it should
be low enough to enable you to see the hands and
waistline of your adversary.
If there is no threat, your gun should be
pointing down at the ground in front of you.
If there is a threat, your gun should be pointing
at the threat. You would pull your gun into a
compressed ready if you fear the enemy may grab your
We want to be careful about "out running our
headlights" and shooting faster than we can make
accurate observations and critical decisions.
***** Techniques *****
Clearing a Double Feed in an AR-15
I stumbled across this video of grabbing
the slide of an assailants weapon to prevent
it from cycling. Is this a viable defense
Grabbing the slide by itself is not a viable
technique, as grabbing does not prevent the
pistol from firing.
There are many techniques for disarming.
You must take a class from a competent instructor
to find the technique that works best for you.
The technique must be:
1. Simple (so you can do it under stress)
2. Reliable (it must work every time you attempt it
3. Proven (it works under combat conditions against
a gorilla) You need to talk to people who have used
it in combat.
If the technique doesn't satisfy these conditions,
You definitely want to move your body in
one direction and push the pistol in the opposite
direction. If you can get two hands on the pistol,
you want to twist it so it points back at the enemy.
And then yank.
But, grabbing the enemy's pistol is not easy.
It requires a lot of practice.
Gouging the eyes, or palm striking the nose or
chin to drive the assailant's head back with your
other hand may be a better option than attempting
a disarm with two hands.
It's always a judgment call, based on the
Gouging the eyes to blind the opponent is
always my first thought. Drive your fingers
in and pop those eyeballs and pull them out
of the eye sockets. Statistically speaking,
you'll be saving his future victims $800,000
of pain, suffering, and property loss.
I believe in diversity of opinion. So, I invite
your attention to the following video by Rick Gore,
speaking against the retention Sul position that the
NRA (and I) has been teaching for the past several
years for holding your pistol while scanning and
operating around other friendlies.
***** Gear *****
Yes, you need electronic ear muffs. Don't think
about getting a pair. Just do it. Not being able to
hear the safety officer's commands is dangerous.
A sidearm must be reliable, effective,
portable, and ergonomic. Everything else is gravy.
"All guns are made for killing." This is
The purpose of a high capacity magazine is not
to allow you to shoot more. It's real purpose is
to allow you to reload less often.
Visually inspect your ammo. Remove your
barrel/chamber from your pistol and use it as
a gauge to check your ammo. Do the cartridges
fit in the chamber?
For those who like to say that revolvers are
more reliable than pistols, Mr. Givens gives us
two pages of realistic revolver malfunctions,
none of which can be cleared during the gunfight.
Revolvers are simply old technology that has
been superseded by the technology of the modern
A high capacity handgun helps avoid the dread
disease, Ammunition Deficit Disorder, which can
Your First Handgun
Carry gear wears out
Mitch Rosen has outside the belt, inside the
waistband, and between the waistband and the belt
I've had many years of good service from this
Snake skin grips for your pistol.
***** Instructors *****
All safety comes down to
Muzzle Discipline (MUZZLE!) and
Trigger Finger Discipline (FINGER!).
***** Pedagogy *****
Tips for Teaching Women to Shoot
Colleene Barnett is correct when she says there
are several techniques for doing any one of the
administrative operations. So, if the person is weak,
arthritic, missing fingers, etc., show them a different
technique. If you don't know the different techniques,
take a class (or read my lesson plans) and learn them
before taking your newbie to the range. If you can't
help them to succeed, you're not doing them any favors.
***** Miscellaneous *****
Second Amendment Foundation:
Federal Judge Rules Against
Northern Mariana Handgun Ban
5 Businesses That Rejected
Moms Demand Action’s
Gun Ban Campaign
Suspect Pulls Fake Gun, Store Clerk Pulls Real One
Excerpt: Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner says,
“Perpetrators are going to get killed as a result of
crimes with air soft guns and they’re not going be
the victims, they’re going to be the offenders.”
Underwater Bullets at 27,000 frames per second
Great examples of fluid physics.
AK-47 Underwater at 27,450 frames per second
A layman's explanation of the physics.
"Life is a sexually transmitted disease that
is invariably fatal." -- Jeff Cooper
The latest lesson plan is now on