Sunday, June 14, 2020

CWP, 14 June MMXX Anno Domini

Hi Sheepdogs,

*****     *****     ***** Software *****     *****     *****

"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN

----- Mindset -----

"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses." 
-- Tom Givens

Skill Set: Break Contact by Tiger McKee
     Avoid.  Evade.  Escape.  Win! 
Yes, as a matter of fact, escape is a win.

Firearm Training: Live with Your Defensive Firearm by Sheriff Jim Wilson

10 Self-Defense Mistakes by Brent Wheat
     In the everlasting (paraphrased) words of the immortal trainer
Louie Awerbuck, “There is no such thing as an advanced gunfight;
there are just the basics applied under higher stress.”

Openrange Defense - Is Awareness Mightier than the Gun? by Marlan Ingram

3 Questions To Stay Alive by Tiger McKee
Do you know the details?
Am I going to contribute to solving the problem?
Is this worth risking my life for?

Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam

----- 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

When We Play With Guns – But Shouldn’t by Melody Lauer

Friends Don’t Let Friends Open Carry by Greg Ellifritz
     If you think your openly carried gun deters crime, you are absolutely delusional.
More at

"The fast and/or emphatic reholster is an awesome way to shoot yourself."
-- Chuck Haggard

----- Training -----

“Often, it’s what you don’t know that kills you!”
-- Carr

"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."
-- Claude Werner the Tactical Professor

Image-Based Decisional Skills

     "The real value of training, though, is that it improves competence,
which leads to a higher level of confidence." 
-- Rehn & Daub

"Training is NOT an event, but a process.
Training is the preparation FOR practice".
-- Claude Werner

----- Practice -----

Why practice?
    "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

     Yes, IDPA and IPSC competitions can leave training scars. 
     For instance, habituating shooting at center of mass when pieing a corner is wrong. 
Optimized Use Of Cover - Tactical Moment #8
     For instance, habituating shooting at center of mass of the torso or A-zone is wrong. 
Shot Placement - Tactical Moment #10
Especially when you can see that the enemy is wearing body armor.
You have to practice on photo realistic targets showing the enemy at angles and positions
other than front face on.
     All of the Tactical Moment videos are at

"The real value of training and practice isn't gaining technical competence,
it's achieving confidence in your abilities."
-- Claude Werner the Tactical Professor

Skill Set: Targets by Tiger McKee
     Use negative targets.
     Use 3D targets.
[I would also recommend using photo realistic targets. -- Jon Low
John Holschen recommends photo realistic targets showing the enemy at
various angles and positions.  See "Shot Placement - Tactical Moment #10" above.]

     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

----- Techniques -----

"Use only that which works,
and take it from any place you can find it."
-- Bruce Lee

25 Speed Shooting Tips from World Champ Ben Stoeger by Jake
     The first video is Stoeger's training video.  The second and third videos are
not pertinent. 
     Many of the things Stoeger talks about are subtle.  That's why he keeps asking,
"Does that make sense?"  Because, I am sure that for most of his students,
it does not make sense. 
     When Stoeger talks about relaxing your firing side hand, he is explaining that
relaxed muscles are fast muscles, while tense muscles are slow muscles.  A truth I
learned in fencing while on the Columbia Fencing Team in the late 1970's.  There are
no secrets.  There is nothing new.  There are just some things that certain people
are ignorant of.  That's why it is so important to get training from experts.  They
may have learned from others or they may have discovered these things for themselves. 
But either way, they have the knowledge to give you. 
     "You learn through training and experience."
Watching videos is neither of these.  Reading gun forums is neither of these.
     "Eat some C's now and then." 
This is a matter of attitude.  How much error are you willing to tolerate?  Remember,
Stoeger is teaching for the game of IPSC, where no one gets hurt. 
     "Without experimentation, you're never going to figure that stuff out." 
This is so true.  You have to be willing to fail.  As John Farnam says, we are here
to fail magnificently.  Only by failing do you learn.  Only by pushing beyond the
limits of your envelope do you find out where the boundaries of your envelope are. 
     "Have a well defined shot process for each shot, depending on distance, target size,
and motion of target." (paraphrase) 
"Fast" or "Precise" is not enough. 
"The more specific you are, the more specific your assessment can be."
     "How fast you transition from one target to the next has nothing to do with
how fast you can shoot multiple targets." 
This is counter intuitive.  And true. 
     "When the second shot is out of the gun, then the eyes move." 
Follow through is essential. 
     Stoeger teaches shooting from stable positions as opposed to awkward positions,
because he is not worried about using cover effectively, because he is not worried
about getting shot. 
     Stoeger teaches moving at full speed, because he knows where he is going and
does not need to listen and observe for new events.  Be careful what you take from
this video. 
     You get things done fast by doing things, other than shooting, fast.  The shooting
is not fast, not rushed.
     Remember, Stoeger is teaching competitive shooting (known stimulus with a plan),
which is very different from self-defense/combat shooting (unknown stimulus without
a plan). 

Grip exercises (in excruciating detail) -- [This is dry practice.]
     Gripping your pistol is a static event, not a dynamic event.  So, the appropriate
exercises are isometric, not movement (not fast jerks to exercise fast twitch
muscle fibers, not slow flexion to exercise slow twitch muscle fibers). 
*    Firing side hand only - Establish a high tight grip (web between the thumb and index
finger up tight against the tang, so that the skin is bunched up under the tang; middle finger
up tight against the bottom of the trigger guard; barrel in line with the bones of your
forearm, in line, not just parallel) with trigger finger in the register position. 
Without looking at your hand or pistol, squeeze as hard as you can (with only your
middle finger, ring finger, and little finger).  Relax.  Repeat a few times. 
(This is to develop kinesthetic awareness.)
     Now watch the pistol in front of you on a desk or on your lap.  Try not to move the pistol
at all, while squeezing and relaxing (for gross stability).  Repeat a few times.
     Now , aim in and squeeze and relax without moving the sights at all.  Repeat several times. 
Yes, it takes practice.  Nothing worth doing is easy.  Sorry, that's just how God made the world. 
God uses such to separate the self-disciplined from the undisciplined (as the goats from the sheep).
     Repeat with support hand only.  Just because you're right handed does not mean you're going
to be right handed in combat.
*    Two handed grip -
After establishing your correct firing side grip, establish your support side hand grip
(base of the thumbs solidly in contact with each other; index finger up tight against the
bottom of the trigger guard; all fingers together, not spread out; all fingers should be
on the pistol grip, if not, get yourself a proper pistol; thumbs relaxed, touching the pistol,
not overlapping; both wrists are straight, bent wrists will cause a weak grip, bad for weapon
retention, so pointing your support side hand down at 45 degrees is WRONG). 
     Squeeze with your support side hand while pulling with your support side hand and pushing
with your firing side hand.  The push of the firing hand with the pull of the support side
hand will defeat muzzle flip.  (Ya, it's just about impossible to do this with an isosceles
position.  That's why you should be using the Chapman version of the Weaver position.) 
The push of your firing side hand should be coming from the muscles in the front of your chest
that connect your shoulder to your sternum.  The pull of the support side hand should be
coming from the bicep of your support side upper arm.  Support side elbow should be down,
not sticking out to the side. 
     Aim in, squeeze hands and relax without moving the sights.  Repeat a few times. 
     With regular disciplined deliberate practice, your hands will become strong and steady
for shooting.  Not necessarily the same muscles or coordination that you would use to crush
beer cans.  So, if you can't crush a (steel) beer can to impress your friends, it doesn't
say anything about your ability to hold your pistol steady.  You can always crush it against
your forehead.  You might even develop a pretty scar to show off. 

Presentation (because drawing is what you do with crayons) exercises
(because they were mentioned in the last blog post) --
[You have to practice these techniques dry, before attempting them live.]
     1 - The Default Presentation
Clear concealment garment (support side hand continues to hold concealment out of the way to prevent
it from fouling the presentation).  Establish grip with firing side hand.  Clear your holster. 
Rotate pistol to point at the enemy with elbow pulled back as far as possible, bottom of grip pressed
against rib cage, slide of pistol away from your body to avoid fouling the slide with your clothes
when firing from this close contact position.  (You may have to shoot from the close contact position, so practice doing so.)  Establish two handed grip with both forearms still pressed tight against
your torso.  (You may have to shoot from the close contact position, so practice doing so.) 
Punch your pistol straight out to your line of sight.  Aim in, slack out of the trigger. 
     2 - Firing Hand Only Presentation [Avoid muzzling your support side hand.]
Clear concealment garment.  Establish grip.  Clear holster.  Close contact position.  (Your pistol
may be covered by your concealment garment.  If so, shoot through it.  Don't play silly games.) 
Extend your firing side arm to bring your sight to your line of sight (you may have to clear the
concealment garment to do this, keep pistol pointed in correct direction).  Aim in, slack out. 
     3 - Support Hand Only Presentations (in order of preference)
[Avoid muzzling your firing side hand.]
     These first two techniques allow for establishing the correct grip before removing the pistol
from the holster.
- Reaching in front to establish correct grip:  Twist your support side hand to point your thumb
forward, palm outboard.  Reach across your front.  Establish grip.  Clear holster.  Aim in, slack out.  (Another reason to use the 3 o'clock position for right handers or 9 o'clock for lefties.)
- Reaching in back to establish correct grip:  Reach behind your back.  Establish grip.  Clear
holster.  Aim in, slack out.  (Another reason to use the 3 o'clock position for right handers
or 9 o'clock for lefties.)
     The next two techniques require more manipulation of the pistol to get the correct grip.
- Reaching in front:  Pull pistol up far enough to rotate it in the holster.  Establish grip. 
Cross draw.  Aim in, slack out. 
- Reaching in front:  Pull pistol out of holster.  Trap it between your legs.  Establish grip. 
Aim in, slack out.  (This technique prevents movement.)
     The following technique does not establish the correct grip, but allows for a quick shot. 
- Reaching in front:  Establish up side down grip, using little finger as your trigger finger. 
Cross draw.  Aim in, slack out.  (This technique was demonstrated in a course called
“Semi-Auto Pistol Level 2” at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.  It's faster than the
previous two techniques, because you don't rotate the pistol or your grip.  But, the chances
of getting a second shot are slim, because the pistol probably will not cycle correctly.) 
[Tom Givens was wise enough to decline to allow me to teach these techniques at Tac Con, 
because they are dangerous.  Students often point their pistols at others behind them or beside
them.  So, be careful!]
     4 - Surreptitious Draw
- From your bladed interview stance, with one hand, clear concealment garment.  Establish grip. 
Clear holster.  Extend arm down along your side, concealing your pistol behind your thigh. 
(You might want to practice doing something else with your support side arm to draw attention
away from what you're really doing.) 
- From a seated position, with one hand, clear concealment garment.  Establish grip.  Clear holster. 
Keep pistol concealed under the table or under a napkin or behind your jacket or down by your knee. 

How To Overcome Anticipation To Shoot Better by Matthew Maruster
     Well, of course, the real solution is to learn the surprise trigger break,
practice the surprise break, and thus achieve the surprise break.  Because, the
surprise break defeats all autonomic nervous system responses, such as pushing
against the anticipated recoil (also freezing, jerking, flinching, etc.). 
     The surprise trigger break is not obvious.  It is not natural.  You have to
have someone who knows, teach it to you.  A lot of instructors don't teach it. 
Because they don't believe in it or they don't understand it, which is fine;
an instructor should stay in his lane.  But, the surprise trigger break is a
fundamental part of the Modern Technique as taught by Jeff Cooper.  So, you
really ought to learn it.
     Putting 5 rounds into a single ragged hole at 5 yards is an experience
you ought not to miss.  The surprise break will allow you to do this.

Rifle Tactical Reloads by Chris Cavallaro

     Here's a picture from Chile,
     Here's a picture from France,
     I couldn't help but notice how they've got their support side index fingers
on the front of the trigger guard.  Every gun school that I've attended in the
U.S. has taught not to do that. 
     I think it is essential to have all fingers of the support side hand
together (no gap between fingers) and up tight against the bottom of the
trigger guard.  Such a grip significantly reduces muzzle flip.  Allowing
the sights to get on target (or back onto the same target) more quickly
for subsequent shots. 

Massad Ayoob’s Concealed Carry Tips and Techniques
Appendix and cross-draw styles get your handgun into action fast!
by Massad Ayoob
     I think the disadvantages of appendix carry or cross draw carry far out weigh
the advantages.  So, I don't recommend them. 

Fighting Shotgun! The Three Keys To Success! by Mike Seeklander

"It's not daily increase but daily decrease - hack away at the inessentials!"
-- Bruce Lee

----- Tactics -----

How do you win a gunfight?
Don't be there.
-- John Farnam

You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen

----- Education -----

"You will never get smarter or broaden your horizons
if you're unwilling to learn from others and read."
-- Becca Martin

     The average human reaction time to a KNOWN stimulus is .25 seconds.
Therefore, it takes, on average, .25 to both initiate an action and .25
to initiate stopping an action.  The total time for each is properly
termed "response time". -- Lee Weems

     I have worked on several legal cases where the GG (good guy) was
prosecuted after shooting someone in the back.  Shooting started face
to face, and ended up with back turned, with several shots being fired
in rapid succession.  It is why I am a fan of large bore, powerful
handguns for self-defense, and the shooting techniques to handle the
recoil. -- Marty Hayes

     In case you didn't follow the reasoning, it takes a long time
to react to an unknown stimulus.  And once the stimulus ceases
(which is also an unknown stimulus), it takes a long time to react
to that too.  So, in a real combat situation where everyone is
translating and rotating, the wise person would want to shoot the
minimum number of shots (as there is a finite probability that
you will get unintended hits with each shot).  So, to minimize
the number of rounds required to stop the attack, it makes sense
to shoot more massive bullets. 

DTI videos
     "Fear Induced Stress" is the latest.  Lots of good information at
this web site. 

     Always lots of good stuff at

"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam

*****     *****     ***** Hardware (which includes you) *****     *****     *****

"I would like to see every
woman know how to handle
guns as naturally as they
know how to handle babies."
-- Annie Oakley

----- Gear -----

“Mission drives the gear train.”
-- Pat Rogers

Lessons Learned, and Then, Re-learned by Tom Givens
     Pistols can fail.  Ammunition can fail.  Be prepared to deal with it. 
     Yes, you have to zero your pistol.  Every human is different. 
So, your grip is unique to you.  So, your recoil is unique to you. 
So, your point of impact relative to your point of aim will be unique
to you.  So, you have to zero your sights! 
(Of course, you can't zero your sights until you are shooting tight groups.) 
If the point of impact is low, file down your front sight. 
If your point of impact is high, install a taller front sight and
then file down to make fine adjustments. 
If the POI is to the right of the point of aim, push the rear sight to
the left or the front sight to the right.  You should use the proper tool;
a hammer and punch are not the proper tools. 
If your POI is to the left of your POA, move your rear sight to the right
or your front sight to the left.
     No, adjustable sight are not the answer.  They are fragile and will
will lose your zero if bumped.  Use your red dot sight to rack your slide
a few times and see how far your point of impact has moved.  Drop it on
the ground a few times and see if it even lights up anymore. 
     "Oh, I would never allow that to happen to my sight." 
     Maybe not, but your enemy will. 

"Concealed-Carry Safety . . . In the Bathroom" by Brad Fitzpatrick
     This article, posted on the NRA Family web site, is completely wrong
and stupid. 
     When going to the bathroom, keep your pistol in its holster. 
Removing the pistol to put it anywhere is wrong!  As John Farnam says,
unnecessary gun handling is the primary cause of negligent discharges. 

     Don’t assume new, factory guns will run, no matter who made them!
-- John Farnam

     I'm presently working armed security in a hospital.  The charge nurse was
kind enough to allow me to use one of the endoscopes to examine the bores of
my pistols.  This endoscope was as a microscope that you could insert into very
small spaces and had its own light of many frequencies that the user could control
and change at will.  Much more sophisticated than any bore scope that I had ever
used.  I have renewed respect for Glock pistols.  The machining and finish on the
bore of modern Glock pistols is simply fantastic.  They are so smooth and hard
that cleaning is easy.  I was viewing the bore of a used Glock 22 (40 S&W) that
had at least a thousand rounds through it.  To the limits of magnification of
this endoscope, it had no surface imperfections.  I was amazed.  All of my other
pistols showed pitting to varying degrees. 

     You have to test fire your ammo to make sure it functions reliably in
your pistol!  I bought a box of hollow point ammo from Alpine in Mt. Juliet, TN. 
When I racked the slide of my Ruger American, it fed and chambered every time. 
But, when firing the pistol the cartridges would often get stuck with the front
of the flat hollow point against the bottom edge of the feed ramp. 
     The ammo functioned flawlessly with my other pistols. 
You have to test THE ammo with THE pistol that you intend to use! 

5 Value Packed Production Pistols by Chris Christian
     Attempting to gently release a hammer with a live round in the chamber,
so that you can carry a DA (double action) pistol with the hammer down, or a
single action pistol with the hammer down, is an act of criminal stupidity.
     If the DA pistol does not have a decocking lever, it is not designed
to be carried with a round in the chamber and hammer down.  So, don't attempt
to defeat the design of the pistol. 
     The model 1911 type pistol is designed to be carried with a round in the
chamber, hammer at full cock, safety on (up).
     Never attempt to gently release the hammer on either of these pistols. 
     If the safety officer, at the match you are competing in, instructs you
to put the hammer down, because you have to start with the hammer down,
tell him that you have to unload and change to a real pistol.

Hearing loss is permanent and cumulative. 

7 Movements That Give Away Your Concealed Carry Advantage (And How To Fix Them) by Matthew Maruster
     Well, of course, the better solution to exposing your pistol is to
wear an inside the waistband holster. 
     Well, a better solution to printing when bending forward is to bend
at the knees (the way you're supposed to), instead of bending at the waist. 
Bending at the knees with your back straight is sexy and elegant.  Bending
at the waist is only acceptable as a forward fold in a yoga class. 
     Well, the real solution to the unnatural squat is, don't appendix carry. 
     Hey keeping my shirt straight is part of my CDO, which is the same as
OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but the letters are in alphabetical
order, the way they're supposed to be. 
     Hey, if your pants are falling down, wear suspenders.
     Shaking hands is even worse than hugging.  Jeff Cooper says allowing
someone to control your gun hand may be fatal.  We, fencers, always shake
with our non-sword hand.

Thigh holster review
     To buy one from the Well Armed Women ~$70

How Women’s Clothing Impacts Holster and Gun Choice by Taylor Thorne

Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying While Paddling by Doug E.

     5 Best Places to Buy Gun Magazines Online [2020] by Allison Goodwin

     10 Best Online Gun Stores [2020]: New & Used by Eric Hung

     5 Best Places to Buy Ammo Online [2020] by Eric Hung

Ambidextrous pistols:  (updated list)
The following are truly ambidextrous --
     The latest FN pistols are ambidextrous, but they are expensive, FN 509
retails for around  $900.  They're good out of the box, but the grip
doesn't fit my hand. 
     The latest Heckler & Koch pistols are ambidextrous.  They have the magazine
release lever, as opposed to the button.  The VP9 retails for around $600.00.
It's good out of the box and the grip fits my hand nicely.
     The Ruger American pistols are ambidextrous.  They retail for
around $500.  But, they take a bit of gunsmithing to make them reliable.
For me it was worth it because the grip fit my hand and the angle of the grip fit my wrist.
     The Honor Defense, Honor Guard pistols are ambidextrous.
They retail for around $300.  I've never groped one, so I can't say anything.
     The MASADA from IWI US, the U.S. based arm of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI)
is ambidextrous.  MSRP $480.  I've never groped one, so I can't say anything.
The following has an ambidextrous magazine release, but not ambidextrous slide lock --
     Since in combat, you will only need the slide lock to clear a type III malfunction
(failure to extract, a rare occurrence), this is not that big a deal. 
     The Springfield Armory XD type pistols have ambidextrous magazine releases.
You can press it from either side to release the magazine.  But the slide
lock is only on the left hand side of the pistol. 
The following have ambidextrous slide locks, but not magazine releases --
     Since in combat, you will need the magazine release to reload, this is a big deal. 
     The latest Glocks have ambidextrous slide locks.  But their magazine release
is reversible, which means you can make it right handed or left handed.  That's not
the same as ambidextrous.
     SIG Sauer P320 (military version is called M18) has ambidextrous slide locks. 
The M-18 also has ambidextrous thumb safeties (but self-defense pistols should
not have thumb safeties, the military having them is bureaucratic stupidity). 
The magazine release may be set up as left or right handed, but is not abmidextrous. 
Similarly for the P365.
     The latest Walthers have ambidextrous slide locks.  But their magazine
release is reversible, not ambidextrous.
     The S&W M&P's have a slide lock on both sides and a reversible mag release.
     The Remington RP45 has a slide lock on both sides and a reversible mag release.
But, there are no instructions in the manual for reversing the mag release.  My
aunt told me, if you don't have any nice to say, don't say anything.  So, I'm not
going to say that this pistol is a piece of shit.  (Hey look, I'm Kamala Harris.)

Magnetic Waistband Leather Holster Black or Brown
     A neat idea, though I have never groped one.

MASADA™ – 9mm Parabellum
     Interesting description, though I've never groped one. 

“Your car is not a holster.” – Pat Rogers
Wear it or lock it up.

----- Technical -----

"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee

Fundamentals of Shooting Through Glass by Dr. James Tindall
     When I first learned to shoot through front windshields of cars,
I found the deflection of the bullet being opposite to the slope of the glass
to be counter-intuitive.  The thing to understand is that glass does not
react the same way as armor plate, on a tank for instance.
     "Don't memorize anything.  Rather, study it until it becomes obvious." 
-- Prof. Norman Christ, Physics Department, Columbia University, New York, NY
     I loved Ankara, Turkey.  Little kids went to the stores in the middle
of the night to pick up groceries for their families without the slightest
fear of criminal activity.  Turks have no concept of repeat offenders,
because they don't have repeat offenders.  The many Rotary Clubs I visited
were welcoming and friendly. 

Shooting Through Glass by Bev Fitchett

Hat tip to Greg Ellifritz.

     Some metal detectors are based on the metal being a conductor.  So, you
can induce a current flow in the metal, which generates a magnetic field,
which can be detected.  Some metal detectors are based on the metal being
ferro-magnetic (not that it has a magnetic field, but only that a ferro-
magnetic field can be induced in the metal).  The problem is that many
metals are not magnetic.  [Iron is ferro-magnetic.  Cobalt and Nickle are
para-magnetic.  Other metals, even metallic Hydrogen, are not magnetic. 
If it's not a metal, it's a ceramic.  All ceramics are not magnetic.]
Even several forms of steel (an alloy of Iron) are not magnetic. 
There are a whole class of stainless steels, know as Mu metals, in which
no magnetic field exists and cannot be induced.  I got to play with many
of these metals at my last job (and many decades ago when I worked at the
National Bureau of Standards, as Mu metals are used in the manufacture
of mass spectrometers).  So, anti-gunners whining about undetectable
plastic guns were spouting propaganda.  There have always been guns that
could not be detected by metal detectors. 

3 Things To Know About Wheelchair CCW by Dr. Joseph Logar, PT, DPT

"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen

*****     *****     ***** 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

     "Be careful what you teach. 
Because your students will do in combat
whatever you have trained them to do,
no matter how ridiculous.
-- "Shooting in Self-Defense" by Sara Ahrens

----- Pedagogy -----

Teach positive.  Teach what to do.  Don't talk about what not to do.
-- John Farnam

"Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning"
by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel
ISBN-10: 0674729013
ISBN-13: 978-0674729018
     "Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. 
Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new
skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly.  More complex and durable
learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting
to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the
practice of one skill or topic with another." 
     Hat tip to Lt. Cmd. Buchholz for recommending this book.  I had the honor of
saluting her only once, at her commissioning ceremony. 
     If you're an instructor, it's really important that you read this book. 
Because you don't know what you don't know.

An instructor should not expect any learning to take
place the first time new information is presented. 
-- "Building Shooters" by Dustin Solomon

*****     *****     ***** Legal, Political, and Philosophical *****     *****     *****

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.
-- John Adams, October 11, 1798

by Don West and Andrew Branca

After a lethal force encounter (which I expect you to win) --
     Call 911, tell them your name, location, ask them to send the police and
an ambulance, and tell them that you acted in self-defense. 
And then, STOP TALKING! 
     When interacting with the responding officers, point out witnesses and
evidence.  And then invoke your right to counsel before saying anything. 
And then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!  No matter how strong the urge to talk, DON'T! 
If you think you can talk your way out of getting arrested, your priorities
are completely screwed up.
     When interacting with the investigating detectives, don't talk to the
detectives before consulting with your attorney.  Don't talk to the detectives
without your attorney present.  If you think that you are smarter than the
cops and that you can handle the situation without your attorney, you are
criminally stupid.  (Ask Michael Drejka.  Responding officers declined to arrest. 
Sheriff declined to press charges.  End of story, NOT!  Drejka goes to
talk to the police without an attorney present for several hours.  The recorded
interview is used as evidence at trial to convict him of manslaughter.)
     And then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!  Don't talk to the press. 
Don't talk to friends or relatives about the incident.  Don't talk to
strangers about the incident. 

The Womack Shooting Part 1: Walk Away From the Fight
     "Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a legal duty to retreat,
but as a concealed carrier, you may, in many cases have a moral duty to retreat,
and if you abide by that moral duty, should you ever find yourself in a self-defense
shooting, the odds that you’ll be found justified go way up."
The Womack Shooting Part 2: Verbal Threats and Reasonable Fear by SHAWN VINCENT
     My father would tell me, you can always walk away.  Well, most of the
time you can.  But, you better be prepared for those rare occasions when
you can't. 

Oklahoma Takes Preemptive Action, Bans Red Flag Laws by Mark Chesnut

Over 2 million new gun owners reported in first half of 2020 by Stephanie Pagones

     At the 2017 Tactical Conference, Marty Hayes and Masad Ayoob gave
the class "The Firearms Instructor as Expert Witness", where they
encouraged us, firearms instructors to participate in the judicial system
by testifying as expert witnesses.  So, I continued by training and
education, and let my attorney and private investigator friends know that
I was available cheap, because I had no experience.  In fact, I was
willing to work free of charge to gain experience, especially in pro bono
     Sometimes, especially in high profile cases where the defendant
is indigent (or nearly so), the judge will feel that the public defender
will not be able to handle the case properly.  So, the judge will "force"
a more competent/experienced/expensive attorney to take the case. 
The judge may pay the defense attorney the public defender wage or
"demand" that the attorney take the case pro bono.  (My father got
stuck with some of these cases in Hawaii.  Because his reputation was
on the line, he would put up the money for expert witnesses, private
investigators, and other attorneys to help with the cases.  Big expense.) 
     If the case is easy, the attorney won't need help.  So, if you
get called, you can bet the case is messy, ambiguous, and the defendants
have done all kinds of stupid things.  (People with legal self-defense
training don't get into these bad situations in the first place.  Hint,
     Facts, as I saw them (and I am very biased): 
[Some of the facts stated below have been altered to make identifying the
case or the persons difficult.  Or, you may consider this a fictional
story that I am telling you for your entertainment.]
     Principle (male) of small town school allegedly molests an 11 year old male
student.  The parents (husband and wife) of the student do not file a police report,
because the mother is a criminal defense attorney and knows the trauma that
the judicial system will put her son through.  I get it, having worked as a
volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children in the
Wilson County, Tennessee court system. 
     Husband and wife go to principle's house to confront him (bad move). 
They have all been friends for many years.  Both husband and wife are armed. 
Wife has extensive training and practices regularly.  Husband got the
permit, but no further training and never practices.  My impression was
that the wife was a highly trained operator [She never showed any emotion.]
and the husband was a dolt.
Husband shoots and kills the Principle.  They both invoke their right to
remain silent and have counsel present during any questioning (smart move). 
No arrests at the scene.  Because who knows, it could have been self-defense. 
No flight risk, pillars of the community, deep roots in the community, etc.
Sheriff tells husband and wife not to leave the Sheriff's jurisdiction,
the county. 
     A week after the incident, two police detectives show up at the husband's
office to ask him a few questions to "clear up some loose ends".  Because,
apparently some other mother had filed a complaint against the principle
for molesting her male child.  So, the police had an ongoing investigation
and claimed jurisdiction, even though their suspect was dead. 
The husband is also an attorney, estates and financial planning. 
Husband thinks he is smarter than the "country bumpkin" detectives,
since he is a highly educated city attorney.  So, the husband goes to the
police station without counsel to talk to the police (criminal stupidity). 
     The indictment was first degree murder for the husband and the wife
(all kinds of lesser included offenses, accessory before the fact,
accessory after the fact, etc. because I think they knew the wife was
the brains and the husband was just the muscle.)
     Defense counsel wanted me to testify that husband's lack of training
caused him to over react, as opposed to any malice causing the over reaction. 
And that the over reaction was still reasonable in the totality of the
circumstances.  And that the gun handling that the husband performed was
in keeping with best practices as taught by the NRA and the gun schools
that I had attended.  Note that I would have been testifying about what
the husband said he did. 
     Fortunately, the case never went to trial, I suspected because the
investigation indicated that the principle was in fact a serial pedophile
who had been using his position as principle to prey upon children in his
school.  The District Attorney, who had jurisdiction, declined to proceed
with the case (which is not the same as dropping all charges). 
     [The District Attorney is a political position.  Consider the optics. 
Could they find jurors that didn't think that the husband and wife did a
great community service and should be praised for their action? 
What got Amy Klobuchar dropped from Joe Biden's list of Vice Presidential
choices?  Her record as a prosecutor.  Her decision not to prosecute
Officer Derek Chauvin in a previous OIS (officer involved shooting). 
Ain't prosecutorial discretion a wonderful thing?] 
P.S.  I later found out that the wife had actually done field operations
while serving in the Israeli Defense Force, as opposed to serving tea to
the officers.
P.P.S.  I later found out that defense counsel had hired a jury consultant. 
The jury consultant never commented on the jury.  It never got that far. 
The jury consultant wrote a report on the defendants, concluding that it
would be effectively impossible to convict them (at least the wife anyway). 
This report had nothing to do with the evidence or the legal strategies. 
The report was based on the wife's physical appearance, posture, lack of
wearing make up, conservative dress, mannerisms, facial expressions, demeanor,
etc.  Remember, 90% of communication is non-verbal.  It's all body language. 
The wife was never going to testify.  The psychological details of this
report were deep.  "So, what?" you might think.  The report wasn't written
for the defense.  The report was written for the prosecution.  But, information
warfare dictates that how the enemy receives the information determines the
credibility of the information.  So, the report was leaked to the prosecutor's
office by a deputy prosecutor who was sleeping with a person in the jury
consultant's firm. 
     If I were an imaginative novel writer, I couldn't make this stuff up. 

     "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 
-- Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution (the one we swore to uphold and defend
against all enemies)

*****     *****     ***** Survival, Medical, Security, and such *****     *****     *****

"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House

Feedback on the HAC 8 Hour Course (author not identified)
     Image Based Decision Drills cited in the article might refer to the item
described in the "Image-Based Decisional Skills" article above in the
Training section of this blog posting. 

The Psychology of Deterring Attackers–Part I
An Interview with Dr. William Aprill by Gila Hayes
     "Although we are not a very impressive animal, one of the reasons that we
rule the planet is because we are good at a very rarified set of skills that
are incredibly useful: behavior prediction and threat detection."

Off-Road Racer BJ Baldwin Describes Intense Fatal Shootout
     "I had a gun, a permit, and training."
     The race car driver boyfriend shoots the bad guys. 
The professional shooter girlfriend does not shoot. 

Threat Journal

Willingness is a state of mind.  Preparedness (or lack thereof) is a fact.

*****     *****     ***** Basics *****     *****     *****

     "Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.

Don’t Do These Things with Your 1911!

Protective Gear for the Range by Jay Grazio

What to Know About Handgun Sights by Mark Dye
     ". . . a bit of experimentation is always necessary to find what actually works for you."
     If you've done any work in graphic arts or advertising, you know that
you can make your lettering easier to read with high contrast.  If you
have to put your lettering over a changing background, one way to ensure
the lettering remains visible is to have high contrast between the outline
of the letters and the body of the letters.  This is exactly what Mr. Dye
is recommending when he says to put a white stripe down the center of your
black front sight post.

Video: How to Clean Your Gun by NRA Staff
     That bit about "run a patch down the bore before shooting" is really
important.  Oil (actually just about any liquid you are likely to put in
your bore) is incompressible.  And it generally does not get squeegeed out
the muzzle when the bullet is driven down the bore by burning propellant. 
[You might want to take a fluid physics course to understand exactly why.]
The bullet has enough force to run over the oil.  The oil doesn't compress. 
So, what happens is that you get dents in your bore.  I've seen such with
a bore scope in rifles and 155mm Howitzers.  So, please take this seriously. 

4 Ways to Choose Your First Concealed-Carry Gun by Brad Fitzpatrick
     Wise advise, not recommendations of products.

*****     *****     ***** Miscellany *****     *****     *****

When it's least expected, you're selected.
-- John Farnam

     Lots of good stuff worth reading.

     I work the security night shift at a high rise office building in downtown
Nashville, TN.  The parking structure is 6 floors of smooth non-slip clean
concrete.  During the pandemic, the parking structure has been completely empty. 
Skateboard heaven!
     At the ski slopes you have to buy a lift pass.  At my office building,
it's free elevator rides.  Heaven on Earth!

"Good habits and skill beat luck every time."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson

Limatunes' Range Diaries
     Insightful, but be prepared, some of the essays are raw and heartbreaking. 
Such as "The First Step In Defense Against Rape".
     Melody writes that her new web site is  at
but the URL (Uniform Resource Locator, web address) doesn't seem to work.

“Peace Officers” vs. “Law Enforcement Officers”
     Greg, thank you very much for writing this.

     A young (LCpl. USMC) colleague at work told me of his unit.  They let their
hair grow long, grow beards, learn the local language and customs to blend in. 
(Middle East, South West Asia) 
I asked him how well it worked.  He said not too well.  I told him that they had
to live with the natives for at least a year.  They had to eat the local food,
so they smelled like the natives.  Eating with someone, sharing food with someone
is very important.  You can't be going back to base every night to eat at the
mess hall.  You have to learn to enjoy eating the local food. 
If you're not living with the locals, you won't understand what they are talking
about.  He told me the deployments were not that long and they had to return to
base on a regular basis to resupply, deliver intel, and such.  He asked me how
long we would stay in the field.  I told him two to three years at a time. 
He asked me how I could go so long without taking a bath.  I told him the
North Koreans used dogs.  The dogs can identify non-North Koreans by smell. 
You eat American food and shower with American soap, the dogs will tear you apart. 
Maybe it's different now days.  Maybe they've eaten all their dogs.  He told
me he couldn't be gone that long.  He has a wife.  She wouldn't wait that long. 
I told him I had lost many relationships because of absence.  He told me about
how the present Commandant is changing the Marine Corps; getting rid of the tanks,
reducing the attack helicopter units, eliminating two infantry regiments, . . .
Things change.  But, some things never do.

     The recent riots and looting have caused us to start carrying pistols at
the facilities we guard.  We used to carry Tasers.  We've started locking all
the doors and staying inside, instead of doing foot patrols around the perimeters
and parking lots.  Roving gangs have been setting fires.  The rioters set the
Graingers across the street from the building I work in on fire.  The rioters
set the court house on fire.  Some of our guys were trapped inside fighting the
fire before the Nashville Fire Department showed up.  The cops had to make the
area safe for the firemen.  Ya, I've started wearing body armor again. 
"Seven Things You Don’t Know About Body Armor"
. . . You won’t be able to fire that ammo or eat all that stored food if you get
shot and die because you didn’t have body armor.
[Hat tip to the Tactical Prof.]
     Greg is right about you having to practice with long gun and pistol.  You
might not be able to assume your isosceles position with your armor on.  You might
find your butt stock sliding off your shoulder.  Got to practice and figure these
things out before combat. 
     Greg says body armor is hot.  Damn right.  You better have at least three
of the cloth carriers that hold the soft armor.  One is in the wash, one is
on your body, and one is hanging in your closet.  Same with boots, one pair is
on your feet, one is at home drying out. 

/* Random data from the HotBits radioactive random number generator */
unsigned char hotBits[55] = {
    6, 236, 68, 198, 246, 31, 8, 13, 66, 108, 101, 63, 192, 103, 179, 51,
    53, 24, 38, 217, 16, 120, 12, 242, 135, 62, 164, 195, 5, 156, 196, 223,
    217, 143, 230, 38, 187, 208, 14, 76, 145, 90, 40, 212, 40, 111, 249,
    72, 76, 54, 42, 109, 240, 192, 234

Semper Fidelis,
Jonathan D. Low

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