***** Mindset *****
My father taught me never to flash money. It attracts
criminals. Similarly, never flash your gun. That is to say,
never open carry. Always carry concealed. Guns are criminal
magnets. Not believing that shows ignorance of the criminal
mind. Criminals do not think the way we do. To think they
do is a fatal mistake.
THE DECISION TO DEFEND ONESELF
DEFENSIVE GUN USE / THE DECISION TO DEFEND ONESELF
Surviving an Attack: Stay Calm & Take Care of Business
Practice is the small deposits you make over time,
so that in an emergency, you can make that big withdrawal.
-- Chesley Burnett Sullenberger, III
***** Safety *****
". . . personal defense is a lifestyle, not a hobby."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
Subtle CCW: Keep It Concealed
The U.S. Navy never confirms nor denies that any particular ship
is carrying nuclear weapons. Revealing such information is wrong on
many levels. Similarly for you.
Years ago when I flew commercial airlines under orders,
I filled out the forms at check in, signed the papers, and
carried my pistol onboard the airplane. Never met the other
armed persons onboard. Didn't know who they were, or if they
existed. Now days, they all meet face to face (including the
Air Marshals), to ensure they don't shoot each other.
Similarly, make sure everyone on your church security
team meets face to face before going on duty. Make sure
your pastor announces that the church has a dedicated security
team and to leave the conflict resolution to them.
Thanks to FBI Special Agent Jeff Dale.
“The fast and/or emphatic reholster
is an awesome way to shoot yourself.”
-- Chuck Haggard
***** Training *****
Why do I need to train?
"To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment
when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and
offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique
to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if
that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for
that which could have been their finest hour."
-- Winston Churchill
Dr. Ignatius Piazza says, "Live fire is just to confirm
what you have learned in dry practice. It is in dry practice,
without the distraction of recoil and report, that you hone
your skills. You should be practicing 10 dry rounds for every
live round you fire."
Naish is correct. Trigger control is 90% of accuracy.
And it is only in dry practice that you can break that nasty
habit of your trigger finger flying off the trigger after
every shot. In dry practice you can engrain proper trigger control:
Touch the trigger.
Take the slack out of the trigger.
Press. (Slow controlled steady increasing pressure.)
Bang! (Was it a surprise break?)
Keep pressing. (Trap the trigger to the rear.)
Get the sights back on target.
Reset the trigger.
Take the slack out of the trigger. (Yes, there is slack after reset.)
Press. (1/8th pressure, 2/8th, 3/8th, . . . )
Bang! (Did you get a surprise break?)
Trap the trigger to the rear.
Sights back on target.
Press. (While maintaining your hard focus on the front sight.)
. . .
So, you should always have two sight pictures. One before
the shot and one after the shot.
'Sight alignment and sight picture' determine where the
pistol is pointed when the firing pin strikes the primer.
'Follow through' determines where the pistol is pointed
when the bullet exists the muzzle, a millisecond later.
A millisecond is more than enough time to move your sights off
the target and get a "miss"; excuse me, "unintentional hit"
which could cost your treasure and freedom. So, keep aiming
and keep pressing the trigger, until your sights are back
The proper way to dry practice
One-Handed Shooting and Why You Should Learn How to Do It Efficiently
"The key to becoming better at fighting is practicing what you need,
not just what you like. You get to choose whether to shoot or not, but
you seldom get to choose when. Assume it will be the least favorable
situation. One of my favorite quotes from Bruce Lee is
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”
"You train for the people who love you."
-- Tatiana Whitlock
***** Tactics *****
-- Carl von Clausewitz
Craig Douglas of Shivworks talks about how to manage a strangers approach.
Who Dares Wins.
-- motto of the Special Air Service
***** Technique *****
"I would like to see every
woman know how to handle
guns as naturally as they
know how to handle babies."
-- Annie Oakley
Verbal Skills During An Armed Encounter
Verbal Agility! with Craig Douglas of Shivworks
Register Position, and Finger Placement
Why Slow is Fast
Slow is correct. Correct is efficient. Efficient is fast.
As Tom Givens says, you get fast by eliminating all the
Good English prose is succinct. Your writing gets better
by rewriting. Every time you rewrite, you eliminate extraneous
words. After 13 rewrites your prose are pithy. (Herman Melville
rewrote parts of "Moby Dick" 13 times.)
The movie and TV actors are performing for your entertainment.
Real gun fights (with at least one competent operator)
are not entertaining, because they are very short.
(As Bruce Lee said, real fights are short.) You won't see
the subtlety and efficiency unless you replay it in slow
The best fight is the one that is over before the
other guy realizes that he has bitten off more than he
can chew. (Paraphrase of a comment by Jeff Cooper.)
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
6 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Recoil Control With A Handgun
***** Gear *****
Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam
Critical Rules of Home Emergency Firearm Storage
Access security requires 3 things:
1. something you have (a physical key, or a fob that generates a
specific time dependent pseudo-random number, or etc. that can be
changed if it is compromised),
2. something you know (a number, a pass word or pass phrase, or
correct non-obvious answers to context sensitive questions, or etc.),
3. something that only you can derive based on information that
the system gives you at the time of the attempted access.
The third item usually isn't feasible for humans in real time.
For example a zero knowledge proof protocol. An example of which
would be proving you know a graph isomorphism between two known
graphs, X and Y. The canonical protocol would be as follows.
You randomly rename the vertices of graph X. Let's call the
renamed graph, G. You give graph G to the system.
The system, with probability 1/2, asks you to either:
Prove that G is isomorphic to X.
Prove that G is isomorphic to Y.
You answer the first question by giving the mapping
X -> G that you used to create G. Or, you answer the second
question by using the graph isomorphism that you know to convert
G to Y and give the mapping G -> Y to the system.
The system checks that the mapping you gave it is in
fact an isomorphism. (But, never tells you if it found an
You and the system repeat the above game N times, where
N is the level of security the system desires. If the system
determines success at every iteration of the game, the
system grants access. The system never mentions any failures.
The second item is easily guessed by the enemy if it is
trivial. If it is not trivial, it's going to require high
order intellectual activity to recall. In a high stress
situation, that might be difficult. So, it needs to be
The first item is a token. Tokens can be lost or stolen.
So, you must be able to replace the token. Because once the
token is compromised, it must be locked out of the system.
So, once the hacker has the digital imprint of your fingerprint
or the scan of your iris, you can't use them anymore. You
can't replace your fingerprint or your eyeball, or any bio-metric
of your body.
Why would you be accessing your weapon? Because an
emergency situation has occurred. In such a situation, your
hands may be covered with blood or cut. Will your bio-metrics
work in such a situation? Rub a little ketchup on your hands
and test it. Disappointed? Better now than in combat.
Protecting and Securing Firearms
Making The Case For .45 ACP ‘Hardball’ (copper jacketed round nose bullets)
A friend of ours had to shoot a dog that attacked him.
He fired 4 shots (.45 ACP hardball). None of the bullets
exited the dog's body.
Over-penetration is not a concern in the real world.
Reliability of feeding (from the magazine) and chambering
(into the chamber) are more important than terminal ballistics.
The gun must go bang when you pull the trigger. Hardball feeds
and chambers more reliably than any other bullet type.
Farnam's suggestions for pistols for persons with small
hands and dress restrictions.
The article "Capacity for Truth" explains why you should use
high capacity magazines.
"The purpose of higher capacity magazines is not to let you shoot more."
The purpose is to allow you to fight longer before having to
reload. You reload less often.
That's why you should not carry a revolver. (Reloading is slow,
difficult, and needs to be done too often.)
Tom Givens makes the case for carrying a backup gun by
sharing a story of his friend who had a Federal Hydra-Shok .40 S&W
suffer a full case head separation in his .40 caliber Shield.
Had to disassemble the gun and pry the remainder of the case out
of the chamber. No apparent damage to the pistol, but it was out
of action until time and tools were applied.
George Shootaire comments that this is why you must make
the first shot count.
Why I don’t use the “best” ammo
Defensive Shooting: How to Find a Gun That “Fits” You
***** Instructors *****
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
A young lady contacted me asking for training and recommendations
for a self defense pistol. She had already obtained an order of
protection, which he had walked through. So, she called the police
(who took 13 minutes to arrive) who arrested him. The police released
him shortly thereafter.
She had originally called me from a secure ward in the burn center
of a large hospital. I had a hard time getting to her because she
was not listed in the patient register, for security reasons. I had
to tell the nurse that I was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for
Children with the Wilson County Courts.
She did not want to carry the pistol. She just wanted to have
a pistol in the house in case he broke in again and tried to hurt her.
She has several small children under her care. So, we had to
decide on a strategy for safe storage while allowing quick access.
Every situation is different. Be flexible. Listen.
I tailored the training for her; dispensing with things concerned
with concealed carry, and keeping things as simple as possible. After
the safety rules, we concentrated on the basics:
1. from secure storage to ready position (25 seconds, hopefully
practice will reduce this time, but stress will increase the time)
2. from compressed ready to target using the sights
3. firing from compressed ready using body index (as this was
her expected scenario)
5. clearing malfunctions
Once we got the manual of arms done (because that is what
she thought was important), I dove into the mindset and self defense
law (because I thought it was important).
She would not do the after action drills, because she thought
they were stupid. She would not assume the standard standing shooting
positions, Weaver and Isosceles, because she thought they made her
Everyone is different. Your obligation is to help your student
within the constraints of the student's background, knowledge base,
intellectual capacity, and physical capacity. We should not try to
change people for the better (because our better may not be their
better). We should strive to give them skills that they can use to
Maintain professional distance. Pray for your students.
Sinister Studies: Serious Scrutiny into Southpaw Shooting
How to do it left handed with two hands.
How to do it with the left hand only. Useful non-obvious techniques.
Left handed manipulation of right handed revolvers. (Yes, I
know left handed revolvers exist, but the are rare.)
This is a deep dive into left handed manipulation. So,
it may be clumsy at first. Make sure the pistol or revolver
is unloaded. Never allow the firearm to point at you during
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God’s gift to our students.
Our students are God’s gift to us."
***** Pedagogy *****
Qui docet, discit. (He who teaches learns.)
-- motto of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
The Simple Phrase that Increases Effort 40%
The primary source,
"Breaking the Cycle of Mistrust:
Wise Interventions to Provide Critical Feedback Across the Racial Divide"
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Vol. 143, No. 2, Pages 804–824, 2014 A.D.,
American Psychological Association
". . . Three double-blind randomized field experiments . . ."
Such an experiment is not easy to execute. Check out their
statistical analysis and graphs. That's the way it's supposed to
"Train, Practice, Compete are the key
elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
***** Education *****
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
– John Farnam
FBI Special Agent Jeff Dale addressed the Tennessee Firearms
Association meeting last night. He told us that 120 innocent
persons died last year from gun shot wounds (including police fire,
friendly fire, and self fire) in criminal attack incidents. While
drunken drivers killed 58,000 innocent persons last year.
So, if your are spending a great deal of time practicing
your self defense gun skills, while neglecting your defensive driving
skills, you're not operating in reality.
Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events [FBI]
". . . there were zero situations at which the Armed Citizen
injured or killed an innocent person."
Please note that the primary sources are cited at the end
of the article. Propaganda articles don't do that.
“Destiny doesn’t make appointments,
nor does she waste her time with the naive and unready!”
-- John Farnam
***** News, Legal, Philosophical, and Political stuff *****
How do you win a gunfight? Don’t be there.
----- The Good News -----
Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Concealed Permit Requirement
Dear Jonathan: 2 March 2019 A.D.
On Wednesday, I was the first witness before the Kentucky
state House Judiciary Committee about their Constitutional Carry
bill. The committee vote was the most challenging vote that the
legislation faced, and the final vote was
12 for - 8 against - 3 abstentions.
Several judiciary committee members told me that my testimony
made a real difference. On Friday, the bill passed the state
House by a 60-to-37 vote and heads to the governor, who has
promised to sign it. When signed Kentucky will become the
17th state that allows concealed carry without a permit in
all or virtually all the state.
John R. Lott, Jr.
President, Crime Prevention Research Center
Matt Bevin: ‘Great Celebration’ over Eliminating Concealed Permit Requirement
‘Second Amendment Sanctuaries’: 21 of New Mexico’s 33 Counties Refuse to Enforce Gun Control
More Colorado Counties Declare Themselves ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuaries’
Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps
----- The Bad News -----
Say Goodby to Your guns!
"CA, NJ, MA, CT, MD, and now IL are a few examples of
all-inclusive gun-bans, in various stages of completion."
[Those who said, "Gun confiscation could never
happen in America.", were naive. Now, they are wrong.
Because, it's already happening. -- Jon Low]
Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Gun Confiscation into Law in NY
----- Other News -----
When Felony Murder Is not Felony Murder
Law of Self Defense Blog
The most recent articles are freely available.
Older stuff requires membership.
King George III
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Documenting civilians using guns in self-defense.
Largely because a well-known gun control activist
insisted to me that defensive use of guns by
civilians was very rare: "maybe once in ten years."
"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence is not an act.
It is a habit."
***** Survival Tips *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
Run 3 miles a day.
You must warm up. Stretch to avoid injury and to create
proper muscle tonus. Preparation process:
1. Pulse raiser exercise.
2. General mobility exercise.
3. Specific stretching.
4. Progressive buildup.
Hold the stretch on the inhale. Press a little further on the
exhale. Continue for 7 minutes or more, because it takes that
long for the muscle to release and relax. Don't bounce. Bouncing
causes micro tears in the muscles. Steady pressure.
If it hurts, breathe. Inhale over a slow count of 4.
Hold the air in over a slow count of 4. Exhale over a slow count of 4.
Inhale over a slow count of 4. Repeat over the 7 minutes of the stretch.
Regardless of your level of fitness or strength, technique
is always the deciding factor . . .
[No citation because I forgot who to attribute it to.]
When you run, 5 minutes at a jog to warm up. Twenty minutes
at full blast, as if the life of a loved one depended on you getting
there [or technically, to raise your pulse rate to 80% of maximum
(Maximum is when you feel you're going to vomit.)], and then 5
minutes at a jog to cool down. Three miles in 30 minutes. Easy.
Doing it 5 days a week takes self discipline, not so easy.
Doing it every day in all weather conditions, you're training for
the Olympics, or to ensure your loved ones survive.
Three minutes without oxygen, 3 days without water, or 3 weeks
without food will generally kill a human. Some medical types will
tell you that after severing an artery, you will bleed to death
in 3 minutes. That may be technically true, but you will pass out
in 17 seconds from loss of blood. So, you have to be able to put
your tourniquet on yourself in less than 17 seconds. Because, once
you are unconscious, you won't be able to do anything.
If you think you can improvise a tourniquet from stuff around
you, you are WRONG. If you think you can correctly apply a
tourniquet without training, you are WRONG. If you think a cheap
tourniquet (not SOFT or CAT) will work, you are WRONG. (Why do
you think they are not certified? It's because they don't work.)
If you don't know how to test to see if you have applied your
tourniquet correctly, you may have stopped veinal flow, but failed
to stop arterial flow, which means blood is piling up in the limb.
This condition will cause the limb to eventually be amputated.
Whereas, a correctly applied tourniquet can be on for many hours
without ill effect. Ignorance can cause injury or death.
Failure to prepare is not ignorance, it is stupidity. Don't
be stupid. Get training. Dr. House will train you at a very
reasonable cost. https://civiliandefender.com/
"Life is hard. It's even harder if you're stupid."
-- John Wayne
Don't go to stupid places.
Don't do stupid things.
Don't hang out with stupid people.
-- John Farnam
***** Basics *****
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
***** Miscellany *****
I attended an Appleseed event at the Arlington United
Methodist Church this past Thursday night. It was just the
lectures, no shooting. The lectures were on the events that
started the American Revolutionary War and the stories of
individuals who participated in those events. Inspiring.
We should never forget the sacrifices others have
made for our freedom.
Jonathan D. Low