Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Warrior's Prayer
Please give us discernment to distinguish
friend from foe from innocent bystanders.
Give us clear vision so our aim is true.
Give us calm so we execute correctly.
Give us spiritual maturity so that we stop the attack
without excessive force, without revenge.
In Jesus name,
***** ***** ***** Software ***** ***** *****
----- Mindset -----
Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam
"One of the most basic skills is recognizing when you can't help."
"Followed closely behind is 'when you shouldn't'."
"Despite stories of ambushes using broken down cars as a 'lure',
there's almost ZERO credible evidence of this happening, and there
is zero evidence that it happens regularly enough to make it a major
concern." [This is false. As an intelligence analyst, I read many
reports of auto collisions with injuries being used as a means of
stopping our troops to initiate an ambush. That's why the briefing
for those coming into country specifically instructed drivers to
never stop to assist anyone on the roadways. Call it in, but never
stop to help. Because it is an ambush. -- SSgt. Low, Operation
"You can do everything right, and still end up dead."
"Society and law expect that because they're no longer shooting
that they're done committing violence, but that's not how it works.
You have to assume that such a lull is only an end of the lethal
threat in the eyes of a court. On the ground floor, where the
violence is playing out, that shooter is still every bit as dangerous
as he was when he was shooting people."
"Remember, force is an option, not your only option."
"As an example, part of your ongoing plan for readiness should include:
A physical fitness regime that keeps you improving or maintaining
a good level of performance.
Practice good awareness. Remember, awareness isn't a switch,
it's applied. So are distractions. Minimize your distractions and
be a part of the world while you're out in it.
Upkeep with martial skills across the spectrum; hand to hand and
range training. Shoot a variety of qualifications to keep from
stagnating. Do force on force! Get humbled. We need to have the
option to match force, but unlike those who live in the profession
of arms, we need to cautiously guard how and when we use it.
Basic medical competency, updated as required by the AHA.
[Lots of possibilities as to what "AHA" could stand for. That's
why one should never use acronyms when writing to a lay audience.
-- Jon Low]
At a minimum, be 1st Aid/CPR/AED qualified and current. Bleeding
control classes are cheap and widely available.
Test your ability to 'rough it' periodically. Get uncomfortable
so you're not surprised when discomfort comes around."
Fighting or Shooting?
It is in one of the finest pieces of cinema ever produced (in my opinion) --
THE SHOOTIST (1976), where Ron Howard (Gillum) says to John Wayne (J.B. Books):
Gillum: "How did you get into so many fights and always come out on top?
I nearly tied you shooting!"
Books: "Friend, there's nobody out there shooting back at you!
It isn't always about being fast . . . or even accurate . . . that counts.
It’s being willing! I found out early that most men, regardless of cause
or need, aren't willing. They'll blink an eye or draw a breath before
they pull the trigger . . . and I won't!"
In a recent class that I taught, when we were discussing plea bargaining,
a retired prosecutor and defense attorney said that prosecutors over charge to
threaten a long prison sentence to get the defendant to plead to a lesser
offense to reduce the potential time in prison. It's really hard not to
take the plea deal. This was in response to my teaching that you should
never take a plea deal, because in the end we are all judged by God.
I don't want God to ask me, "Why did you confess to a crime you did not commit?
Didn't you know that lying is a sin?"
We tried to get President Trump to pardon a Marine. But, the President
couldn't, because the Marine had taken a plea deal, where the Marine had
confessed to the crime. It's really hard to pardon someone who confessed to
President Trump did pardon two soldiers, one of whom had spent significant
time in prison, but never confessed. Often a condition of parole is confessing
to the crime that you were convicted of. So, people will confess to get out
of prison. But, the soldier would not lie. So, he stayed in prison until
President Trump pardoned him.
Military prosecutors, who prosecute members of the U.S. Armed Forces
for the murder of anyone during combat operations, are scum. I have yet
to meet a JAG officer who had any combat experience. As an enlisted, you
have the right to have at least 1/3rd enlisted representation on your jury.
But, there is no right to be tried by jurors who have any combat experience.
Can you imagine being tried by a bunch of POGs for a combat war crime?
Remember, officers don't actually do any manual labor. They are executives.
(The NCOs are the managers. The Staff NCOs are senior management.)
The officers don't clean the toilets, take out the trash, or pull triggers.
Officers are issued pistols, not rifles, because the enlisted men do the
fighting. The officer's pistol is to summarily execute those who display
cowardice in combat or refuse to obey orders in combat. (At least that
is what we were taught in the Marine Corps in the early 80's. Policies
change. The realities of combat do not change.)
METT-TC and how it applies to us
Study the table in the article.
". . . The roles of soldier, police officer, and armed citizen
are VERY different. You need to consider that whenever you seek
out training classes taught by military vets and cops. They have
lots of experience operating with guns, but that experience may
not necessarily be applicable to the skill set you need to survive
against an armed robber or home invader." -- Greg Ellifritz
----- Safety -----
Don't go to stupid places.
Don't do stupid things.
Don't hang out with stupid people.
Be in bed by 10 PM. Your own bed.
Don't look like a freak.
Don't fail the attitude test.
-- John Farnam
Situational Awareness With Children
Gun Safety: Never throw a 6 volt battery into your pocket with live rounds!
“The fast and/or emphatic reholster
is an awesome way to shoot yourself.”
-- Chuck Haggard
----- Training -----
"No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn
starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively
have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the
things that we need to learn to achieve our goals."
-- Brian Tracy
What is the value of training?
"Reasons for training:
1. You don’t know what you don’t know.
2. Much of what you know is wrong.
3. It’s good to have some of the answers to the test before taking it."
I recommend you also read the audience comments to this article.
Claude replies to many of the comments.
"The real value of training, though, is that it improves competence,
which leads to a higher level of confidence."
-- Rehn & Daub
If You Want to Go Fast, You Need to Slow Down
"You train for the people who love you."
-- Tatiana Whitlock
Care enough to continue your training.
"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
"Training is NOT an event, but a process.
Training is the preparation FOR practice".
-- Claude Werner
----- Practice -----
Practice is the small deposits you make over time,
so that in an emergency, you can make that big withdrawal.
-- Chesley Burnett Sullenberger, III
“Be careful what you practice.
Because you will do in combat whatever you have practiced,
no matter how ridiculous.”
-- “Shooting in Self-Defense” by Sara Ahrens
Slow is smooth (because you can control what you're doing).
Smooth is efficient (because elegance automatically removes inefficiencies).
Efficient is fast (no wasted motion).
"It’s not daily increase but daily decrease - hack away at the inessentials!"
-- Bruce Lee
----- Techniques -----
“Use only that which works,
and take it from any place you can find it.”
-- Bruce Lee
5 Choke Hold Defenses Women MUST Know | Self Defense | Aja Dang
Technique will conquer strength. Of course, you have to
know the technique and execute it correctly.
When you can't pull the trigger
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
----- Tactics -----
You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen
Preemptive Strikes and Weapon Brandishing
A collection of advice looks like this:
1. Prepare for problems by using the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why questions.
2. Avoid possible dangerous arguments and confrontations when possible.
Conduct yourself with smart, self control. Leave if you morally, ethically can.
3. Obtain a valid, concealed carry license for all your weapons.
4. Keep your weapon concealed. Do not open carry it.
5. Do not display a stick/baton, knife or pistol, or threaten deadly force
unless you, or others are threatened with imminent death or serious bodily harm.
6. Do not in any way reveal your stick/baton, knife or gun. Do not point to it,
or indicate that you have it.
7. Attend a fundamentals of fighting with and without weapons training
and learn the use of deadly force laws in your city, county, state and country.
-- Carl von Clausewitz
Well, Tactical-ish, At Any Rate
Shooting on the move or move then shoot?
----- Education -----
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
The Counter Terrorist Magazine, December / January
"You will never get smarter or broaden your horizons
if you’re unwilling to learn from others and read."
-- Becca Martin
***** ***** ***** Hardware ***** ***** *****
"I would like to see every
woman know how to handle
guns as naturally as they
know how to handle babies."
-- Annie Oakley
----- Gear -----
“Preparation doesn't assure victory. It assures confidence.”
-- Amit Kalantri
4 Qualities Your Concealed Carry Gun Must Have
This article is an excerpt from
"Concealed Carry Class: The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics"
by Tom Givens.
If you pre-order, it's supposed to ship before Christmas.
My copy arrived on December 20th of 2019 A.D.
A gun belt should be continuously adjustable, because you change.
A gun belt should have a quick release buckle, because it makes
going to the bathroom easier.
"The Nine Worst Holsters"
The title should actually be,
"The 9 Traits A Holster Should Not Have".
Only 2 holsters are bad mouthed by name. And rightfully so.
The Key to Cutting Deep
What is +P Ammo?
Cleaning gear suggestions from Eric Hung
Tweaking Your Wardrobe for Effective Concealment
----- Technical -----
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
Ballistic gelatin comparisons: Part I
Ballistic gelatin comparisons: Part II
There is supposed to be a Part III, but I can't find it.
“Destiny doesn’t make appointments,
nor does she waste her time with the naive and unready!”
-- John Farnam
***** ***** ***** Instruction ***** ***** *****
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God’s gift to our students.
Our students are God’s gift to us."
----- Instructors -----
Remember, the students who require the extra effort are the ones who need us the most!
-- John Farnam
If you care, you will be aware. Otherwise, you will have an abundance of ignorance.
Qui docet, discit. (Who teaches, learns.)
-- motto of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
"We have done lots of research over the past three years,
and we have found that leaders who have the best coaching
skills have better business results."
-- Tanya Clemens, V.P. of Global Executive & Organizational Development at IBM
“Be careful what you teach. Because your students will do in combat
whatever you have trained them to do, no matter how ridiculous.
Be careful what you practice. Because you will do in combat whatever you
have practiced, no matter how ridiculous.”
-- “Shooting in Self-Defense” by Sara Ahrens
“If you want to be exceptional, then be the exception.
Forget about what most people would do in a given situation,
and do what is best, what is right, what makes the most
positive contribution. Exceptional performance is the result
of exceptional thinking. Instead of merely reacting to
circumstances and events, use the awesome power of your mind
to develop a thoughtful, effective response.
To be exceptional, be yourself.
You have something valuable and original to contribute to
every situation. Exceptional accomplishments are authentic
accomplishments. Allow your priorities and your actions to
be based on the values, purposes and vision of life that
you feel most intensely at the center of your being.
Exceptional performance is meaningful performance. Look
beyond the temporary and superficial, and put your energy
into creating lasting value that serves a real purpose.
You were born to be exceptional, to blaze a trail into
territory where no one has ever gone before.”
-- Ralph Marston
"If there is any profession where one never plays it safe,
it’s coaching. If you’re afraid to have the courageous
conversations or take risks, your clients will take that
cue from you. If we can’t stay two steps ahead of current
trends and the ‘norm’, help clients see beyond what they
already know, then we’re not doing them a service.
-- Donna Karlin
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
----- Pedagogy -----
Teach positive. Teach what to do. Don't talk about what not to do.
-- from John Farnam's Instructor Development class
"The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened."
-- (Attribution unknown)
Dustin Solomon, in his book “Building Shooters” states that
an instructor should not expect any learning to take place
the first time new information is presented.
That's why you have to send your students a detailed lesson plan
before the class in enough time for them to read it before attending
your class. John Farnam does this. I do it. So, should you.
You should want your students listening to you, thinking, and asking
questions; not writing notes. Tell your students, "You don't have to
take notes, because everything I will be saying is in the lesson plan
that I emailed to you. I want you listening to me when I talk."
"Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
***** ***** ***** Legal, Political, and Philosophical ***** ***** *****
How do you win a gunfight?
Don’t be there.
-- John Farnam
4 dead, 12 hospitalized in shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida
". . . [Base commander Captain Tim] Kinsella noted that weapons are not allowed on the base."
So a Saudi terrorist brought pistol into a gun-free-zone?
Capt. Kinsella should be court martialed for having such a stupid policy on his base.
Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the effect of gun-free-zones is to
create unarmed victims for armed criminals to prey upon.
Fate of the Unarmed!
“… no sailors nor Marines, other than Military Police on duty, may possess weapons on-base”
Well once again, Islamic terrorists just can’t seem to follow instructions.
FBI says it presumes base shooting was act of terrorism
This article identifies those killed and the FBI Special Agent
in charge of the investigation.
"DOD currently requires active-duty sailors who are “standing watch”
to be disarmed as they “guard” other naval personnel and naval property."
[When I was in the Marine Corps, we were armed (M-16, round in the
chamber, full magazine locked in the mag well) when on guard duty.
I was in 1981 to 2014. -- Jon Low]
" “Action” that needs to be taken is to implement an audacious new
policy where all military officers and S/NCOs are to be continuously
armed with issue M17/18 pistols at all times, on and off base!"
[Officers are not trigger pullers. Staff NCOs are older. It's
better to have the young enlisted personnel armed. They run faster,
have better reaction times, and aren't encumbered by institutional
inertia. -- Jon Low]
Report: Pensacola Naval Station Attacker Obtained Gun ‘Legally’
Installation Commanders Prevent Troops Being Armed for Self-Defense
"Amendment S. 1536 passed both House and Senate in 2015 as part of the
“National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.” It allowed installation commanders
to okay individual carry of firearms for self-defense on military installations."
"[The] Naval Air Station Pensacola commander had made clear [that] concealed
carry permits were not honored on base and personal firearms had to be stored
in the installation’s armory."
[Such base commanders are directly responsible for armed terrorists being
able to prey upon unarmed U.S. Armed Forces service members. -- Jon Low]
Navy Identifies Three Sailors Killed in Naval Air Station Pensacola Shooting
". . . the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene . . ."
[Then why didn't the Naval Security Force kill the terrorist? The terrorist
was killed by Excambia County Sheriff's deputies, because they were the fist
responders. The unarmed Naval Security Force was nowhere to be found. -- Jon Low]
Pearl Harbor gunman was unhappy with commanders
The headline is completely misleading. The Navy spokesman refused to comment
on the motive of the shooting. The bad guy is unhappy with his commanders,
so he shoots 3 civilian shipyard inspectors? Ya, right.
"Romero was . . . armed for his job standing watch and provid[ing]
security for the fast attack submarine USS Columbia, which is at
Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam for maintenance . . ."
"Romero used his two service weapons in the attack, . . ."
When Training Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Training
I once operated under written orders from the second President Bush
that cited a classified executive order, in the context of the Global
War On Terrorism (there is even a GWOT medal that one can wear in one's
fruit salad). So, politicians have a long history of doing this sort
of thing to set precedents for extra-constitutional operations.
Un-constitutional is illegal. Extra-constitutional is . . . , well I
guess it depends on whether or not anyone is in a position to prosecute
you for it, and whether or not that person has the inclination to do so.
As we've seen, President Trump will pardon such, (1st Lt. Clint A. Lorance,
Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, et al)
as long as you don't do anything stupid, like plea bargaining.
Hard to pardon a guy who has confessed to the crime (SSgt. Wuterich, et al).
Hey, I wrote to President Trump and asked.
John Farnam says, the way to win a gunfight is don't be there.
I was never there. So, I can't be prosecuted. My friend Amy urged me
to contact my U.S. Representative to get the record corrected. But, I
explained to her that eliminating the possibility of prosecution is
far superior to any pension.
I actually contacted the Board for Correction of Naval Records,
to get my Korea Defense Service Medal added to my record.
They asked for documentation. I told them I never got any, but I was
there in formation when the Marine Colonel pinned it on me. They
asked me for the name of the Colonel. I told them I didn't know,
we ain't drinking buddies. They told me to pound sand.
That's the real Marine Corps.
Andrew Branca has a valuable gift for you,
an info-graphic describing the 5 elements of the law of self defense.
You may download a copy free of charge at
You buy life insurance to protect those you love in case you lose the fight.
You buy self defense insurance to protect your loved ones in case you win the fight.
6 Concealed Carry Insurance Options To Protect Your Six (2019)
Self-Defense Gun Owner Insurance Programs Compared
This web page, the chart, and the PDF file are updated on a regular basis.
You don't want to buy insurance from a company that has refused to
pay because they think their customer is guilty of murder. Such a company (USCCA)
does not understand the concept of "innocent until proven guilty".
Andrew Branca says (concerning self defense insurance programs),
"If, however, the “self-defense insurance” provider you’ve spent years
paying, reserves to right to DECLINE to cover you, at THEIR discretion, in
the ABSENCE of any apparent qualifications to make such an assessment, and
even worse WITHOUT prior notice to their members that they intend to reserve
the option to apply this condition, ambush-style — well, then what the heck
have you been paying for all those years?"
I taught a pistol course over the Thanksgiving holidays.
One of the students, who had been a prosecutor and a defense
attorney, said one should never consent to a search. Because
the police might plant drugs. If the cop says he found drugs,
what are you going to say?
Experiences with Eyewitness Testimony
Zimmerman Files $100MM Lawsuit Against False Accusers
The actual civil complaint filed by Zimmerman may be downloaded at this link:
Reading the complaint, you will see that the false prosecution
of George Zimmerman was much more insidious than you could have
imagined. At the end of the document, you will notice that Larry Klayman
is Zimmerman's attorney (How do you get someone like that to take your case?).
Zimmerman is going to win big. Remember the Duke University Lacrosse team?
"The murderers were Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI),
deflating hyper-ventilating media leftists who were
wildly salivating as they prepared to falsely
report it was MAGA-hat-wearing “white supremacists.” "
“Day”‘s night today! Wrong’s “right” today!
“I was repelled by the sleazy reality of Communist countries:
politicians were shameless. There was corruption, pollution,
shoddy goods, long lines, and suicide everywhere, but leaders
kept boasting about their ‘great achievements’ and ‘bright
tomorrows.’ ” -- Antonin Kratochvil
"Self-defense is inherently an intentional act.
If your use of force is unintentional — and accidents are,
by their very nature, unintentional, something you did not
want to happen — then it could not also have been
-- Andrew F. Branca
[So, don't ever say, "It was an accident. I didn't mean to shoot him."
You will be sealing your conviction on charges of reckless homocide.
You should be saying, "Yes, I shot him and I was justified in shooting him."
-- Jon Low]
Culpeper board votes to bolster ‘God-given right’ to bear arms
Virginia sheriff will deputize residents if gun control laws pass.
Virginia County Passes Resolution in Support of Raising Pro-Gun Militia
Embedded links to other primary sources.
86 of Virginia’s 95 Counties Now 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries
***** ***** ***** Survival ***** ***** *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Sherman House
You must keep good tires on all 4 of your wheels.
People incorrectly think that the front tires are more
important because they affect steering and braking.
If you slide, you can turn your front wheels into the
rotation of the slide to get out of the slide. You
can't turn your back wheels. So, only the good condition
and tread of the tires on the back wheels will allow
you to get out of the slide. Of course, sometimes you
can't get out of the slide, but you should want to
maximize the probability of getting out of the slide.
And sometimes you have to drive backwards to
get out of an ambush, in which case your back wheels
are now your front wheels.
So, make sure you have good tires on all of
Hearing loss is permanent and cumulative.
So, where ear protection when shooting.
***** ***** ***** Basics ***** ***** *****
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
[So, practice your responses until they become reflexive. -- Jon Low]
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
[So, practice making the choice in simulations and visualizations,
so that you can make the correct choice under stress. -- Jon Low]
***** ***** ***** Miscellany ***** ***** *****
When it’s least expected, you’re selected.
-- John Farnam
Gun Culture 2 0: How a Card Carrying Liberal Professor Became a Card Carrying Liberal Armed American
"Guns are normal.
Normal people use guns."
This is actually a deep academic presentation in the field of sociology.
"What’s Next? Understanding and Misunderstanding America’s Gun Culture" by David Yamane
"Rasmussen and practical drift,
Drift towards danger and the normalization of deviance"
"This is a bit deep and academic, but it clearly describes how in
police work (and likely many other fields), shortcuts are developed
and then followed until the point of becoming dangerous. This is the
scientific proof of the idea that “good luck reinforces bad tactics.”
This meshes with the idea of “Survivorship Bias.” "
-- Greg Ellifritz
“A stupid decision that works out well
becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight.”
-- Daniel Kahneman
In life, you don't get what you want. You get what you are.
Speak to please God, not to please man.
All the little things matter, the hundreds of micro decisions we make every day.
-- Pastor Mike Ayon
Examine what is said, not he who speaks.
-- Arab Proverb
My favorite ancient Arab proverb is,
"May your enemies die peacefully in their sleep."
(The context is 'immediately'.)
“Our power does not know liberty, nor justice.
It is established on the destruction of the individual will.”
I spent most of my military career fighting the communists.
Those in our country who advocate communism (in any degree:
socialism, liberalism, progressivism, etc.) are engaged in an
act of criminal stupidity. Which is their right of free speech.
Such is freedom.
Jonathan D. Low