This blog is for civilian concealed carry for self defense.
Not police, they have a duty to pursue and arrest.
Our primary goal is to escape and to facilitate the escape of
others, because the shorter the fight, the less hurt we get.
Not military, they have a duty to destroy the enemy by
fire, maneuver, and close combat. Our duty is to facilitate
the escape of our loved ones. The pistol is just an emergency
tool to ensure nothing prevents our escape.
Not hunting. You want to hunt, join the Armed Forces and
volunteer for infantry. You can get that MOS (military occupational
specialty) guaranteed in your enlistment contract. The Marine
Corps has a Combat Hunter program.
Not recreation, they are just having fun. You are focused
and concentrating in a high stress situation. And always
acutely aware of the safety rules (as someone's life depends on it).
Not competitive shooting, they race the clock to win the game.
You will move deliberately (not rushing), in a tactically correct
manner, so as not to get yourself killed. [ So, you will think that
you are moving slowly, but to the objective observer you will be
moving quickly, though not as fast as the competitor (who isn't
spending any time looking for threats, because there are no
threats, and he already knows where all the targets are). ]
You can't help anyone if you get incapacitated.
Defensive pistolcraft is entirely different from offensive
pistolcraft because the mindset is entirely different.
“You have attained maturity.
Display it for us, if you please!”
-- Mary Janice Davidson
You buy life insurance to protect your loved ones in case
you lose the fight. You buy self defense insurance in case
you win the fight. It's just something mature responsible adults
Attorney, John Harris, says, structure your finances. So, you don't
lose everything in the event of a civil judgement against you.
Smart people don't end up destitute because they prepare.
So, get yourself an estate attorney and prepare, by structuring
***** ***** ***** Software ***** ***** *****
“Superior ambitions have to do with the development of character,
rather than status. Status you can lose. You carry character
with you everywhere.” -- Jordan Peterson
----- Mindset -----
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
-- Colin Powell
"Gilroy, CA" by John Farnam, 29 Jul 2019
I have been to this Festival when I lived in Silicon Valley.
The point is, the management of the festival disarmed the attendees to
create unarmed victims for an armed criminal to prey upon.
Don't ever put yourself or your loved ones in such a situation.
There is no legitimate reason to disarm law abiding citizens.
It is always an act of oppression.
SSgt. Bellavia, Medal of Honor recipient, gives an excellent speech
(starts at 3:57 in the video).
He spends his entire speech praising those who did not get any recognition.
Most of us don't have embedded journalists writing about what we are doing. So,
it's unlikely anyone will ever know what we did. [Which is good. Can't get court
martialed for something, if know one knows about it. Oops, I guess you can.
See article about CPO Gallagher below.]
Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam
Staying Alive: Tips & Tactics for Personal Security
“Personal security is my responsibility.”
The only way to gain skill is through training.
The purpose of training is to gain technical skill and build personal confidence.
All skills are derived from training, and the adage holds true that
repetition — the mother of all skills — breeds confidence.
The fact of the matter is that physical strength, firearms and the skills to
use them make up only 10 percent of your overall personal-security solution.
Self-Defense is 90 Percent Situational Awareness
". . . we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character;
and character, hope."
-- Romans 5:3 New International Version (NIV)
Many gun schools teach, make the hard decisions now, because you
won't have time when the violent encounter starts. This applies in all
things in life. This is why pre-marriage counseling is so important.
The counselor will ask you questions that never occurred to you. By
answering the questions in each other's presence, you can decide in
the calm of an air conditioned room.
Finding out that you and your spouse have drastically differing views
on experimental (cutting edge) Western medicine when your child is in
the emergency room being prepared for an emergency operation is too late.
[Especially if some Court Appointed Special Advocate or Guardian Ad Litem
for your child is forced to make the decision, because you two can't
Skill Set: Fundamentals Pt VI -- Think!
How to Stop an Attack Before It Starts
". . . One place looked really good to me and I asked the robber
why they never hit that place. He told me that they had cased it,
but marked it off their list when they saw the night clerk. He said
the night clerk looked like a cowboy — that is, the kind of guy who
would keep a gun handy."
“The ‘sunk-cost fallacy’ says that it is bad to lose something
we have invested time, money, energy, and emotion into, regardless
of whether or not that something is actually doing anything for us.
Humans are naturally risk-averse, so we stubbornly choose not
to lose something, over potentially gaining something else, when we
don't even like what we would lose!”
-- Liz Powell
Tim Cummings says, God puts you in jobs so that you can learn,
not so you can stay there for the rest of your life. God causes
you to get fired from jobs because it is His will that you move on
to learn something else that will prepare you for the next step in
Whenever something unexpected happens in my life, I recognize
it as a God thing, and graciously (and gratefully) accept it.
Because God works all things for my good.
When I got rejected from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
my father explained to me that they were doing me a favor. They knew
that I would not have done well there.
----- Safety -----
“The fast and/or emphatic reholster
is an awesome way to shoot yourself.”
-- Chuck Haggard
Top 4 Concealed Carry Mistakes
Most of your concealed carry success will result
from avoiding ever having to use your weapon.
[So, if you are getting good self-defense training,
your instructor is teaching you how to avoid the
bad situations. -- Jon Low]
----- Training -----
"The real value of training, though, is that it improves competence,
which leads to a higher level of confidence."
-- Rehn & Daub
[The confident operator goes to the gun at the appropriate time in a deliberate manner.
Not too soon in a panicked frenzy. That's why you have to train. -- Jon Low]
Jared Reston – Training & the AR-15 for Law Enforcement
So, I don’t train for me to “get good.” I don’t train for me to not die.
I’m passed that now. I’m training to save others . . . to be the best, and
for my family. I train to make sure they know I’m going to make it home.
Split-Second Self-Defense: Acting Quickly in an Attack
Any of us can learn to act quickly in a crisis.
But we must improve our ability to quickly size up a
situation and have a plan to put into effect right now.
Acting quickly takes the control away from the
criminals and often creates a new scenario that they
hadn’t even considered – a scenario in which they lose.
Care enough to continue your training.
Tom Givens says, there are only 4 things you need for combat:
Get the pistol out and on target.
Get good hits at 0 to 7 yards.
Reload, if necessary.
Clear malfunctions, if necessary.
So, getting the fundamentals down pat will serve you well.
All that "advanced" stuff is fun, but not terribly relevant.
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
Determine chirality (right or left handedness, or somewhere
in-between). Just because you are right handed does not mean
that you should shoot right handed. Make a good faith effort
to shoot left handed before you decide. You may surprise yourself.
When I worked armed security, my supervisor was left handed
(writing, using tools, throwing, etc.), but wore his pistol right
handed because he was more competent shooting right handed and
felt more comfortable shooting right handed.
Shooting is different from other manual skills. Your brain
may process it differently. The other side of your brain may
prefer processing it. (Ya, I took way too many psychology classes
as an undergraduate.) Your brain may not view shooting as a
manual skill. Your brain may consider shooting an art form, and
process shooting as your brain would process poetry or music.
Determine eye dominance (not necessarily left or right,
might well be somewhere in-between). It is generally optimal
to aim with the dominant eye. This means closing the non-aiming
eye for the fraction of a second when aiming to release the shot.
This eliminates the possibility of shooting at the wrong image.
Which can be tragic. (If you think you can reliably aim with
both eyes open under combat stress, I suggest you are deceiving
yourself.) [ Each eye has a right field of view and a left
field of view. The left side of your brain processes the
right field of view of both eyes. The right side of your
brain processes the left field of view from both of your
eyes. So, eye dominance can change depending on which field
of view the brain finds more interesting. (Hey, Columbia had
a great psychology department. And it was saturated with
cute chicks.) ]
If you are cross dominant (right handed, left eye
dominant), try shooting left handed. You might like it.
[Of course, we are assuming a good faith effort. If you don't
want to do it, or are not interested in the results, don't
waste your time.]
"You train for the people who love you."
-- Tatiana Whitlock
Rangemaster Newsletter, July 2019
Why you and your pistol should be ambidextrous.
Magnum Force - Target Practice
Notice that the target is the navel. Why? Because that's the
part of the body that moves the least when the target is moving.
Hence, the point to aim at for the highest probability of a hit.
Many of the top instructors in the country teach this, today in 2019.
This was supposed to be the San Francisco Police Department in
1973. But, it's just a Hollywood movie.
Why does the navel move the least? Because that is the center
of mass of the human body. Yes, as a matter of fact, everything is
physics (not politics). There are only two sciences: physics and
Steel Target Safety by John Hearne
Dressed to Kill: Sartorial Guidance for the Well Armed Man Part XI
. . . I actually wore a suit jacket through the evolutions. Why?
Well “train how you fight” does have some merit when correctly applied.
"Training is NOT an event, but a process.
Training is the preparation FOR practice".
-- Claude Werner
Thank you to Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, for allowing me to
use his article on 'how to hand a pistol to another person' in my lesson
plans. Yes, there is a safe correct protocol, in a car, on the range,
in a crowded church, etc.
Dr. Sherman House is hosting a MAG20 course given by Massad Ayoob in Brentwood, TN.
Having taken the course, I can enthusiastically recommend it.
It's all classroom lecture, no live fire. Bring a note book and take lots of notes.
Exchange your notes with your classmates. Write them up neatly and send them to
yourself by certified mail. Do not open the envelope. Put in a safe place.
In the unlikely event of a self defense shooting, give to your attoney.
One of the benefits of the class is that Captain Ayoob will testify for his
students as an expert witness at trial.
John Farnam of DEFENSE TRAINING INTERNATIONAL INC.
is offering discounts for his classes,
His web site for class registration is much better these days.
The Arlington-Fairfax Izaak Walton League is sponsoring an
Advanced Level 3 Pistol Coach School on August 29-30, 2019,
and a National Coach Development Staff (NCDS) Pistol Course
on on August 31 - September 1, 2019.
Arlington-Fairfax IWLA, 14708 Mt. Olive Rd., Centreville, Virginia
$200 Level 3 Pistol Coach School
$200 NCDS Course
Must be a Level 2 Pistol Coach to attend.
For more information about the courses,
email firstname.lastname@example.org along with a copy of your shooting resume.
Law of Self Defense, live online class
Saturday, August 24, 2019, 9AM-4PM Mountain Time
----- 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
Daily dry practice, 10 or 15 minutes a day, is the easy way to bank these repetitions.
Slow is smooth. Smooth is efficient. Efficient is fast.
Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying Concealed at Home – Can It Be Beneficial?
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,
you develop the habit in little matters.”
-- Colin Powell
----- Technique -----
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”
-- Bruce Lee
3 Cases When a Good Guy With a Gun Was Mistaken for a Bad Guy
If you are present at a mass murder, don’t draw your gun until
you have positively identified the threat. Also, as soon as you have
neutralized the threat, holster the weapon. All the other good guys
with guns, including other armed citizens or plain clothes officers,
are likely to see “person with gun” as a threat, not a rescuer.
We were taught to wear our badges on necklaces on our backs when
the shit hit the fan. Good idea, even if you're not law enforcement.
Who cares about being accused of impersonating a police officer? The
important thing is not getting shot by the good guys. The bad guys are
going to shoot you either way. A few years later, I'm in a
theater watching a Sylvester Stallone cop movie and they do this in
the movie. And I'm thinking, word travels, cause that's not the type
of detail the screen writers would put in for dramatic effect. They
probably had a cop as a consultant on the production staff.
The Bag Trick . . . How to Easily Conceal a Weapon in Public
This technique is carrying a drawn weapon in your hand
in a "concealed" manner. Consider carefully before using
Weapon Retention, Disarms, and Strikes (Part 1)
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
Attention to detail.
Correct shot process --
You must get two sight movies for every shot you fire. One before you
release the shot and one after you release the shot.
* If you don't get the first sight movie, you are not aiming, which is
"But, I didn't have time. The assailant was on me."
If you don't have time for a shot that requires aiming, don't shoot.
Because every miss is destroying property, injuring innocent bystanders,
or killing them.
If the assailant is on you, as in close quarter combat, you should be
shooting from a close contact position, which does not entail aiming.
And therefore is outside the scope of this essay.
* If you don't get the second sight movie, you are not following through,
which is irresponsible. If you are not willing to follow through on every
shot, don't shoot. Because, lack of follow-through will cause a miss, and
every miss is destroying property, injuring innocent bystanders, or killing
Of course, there is much more to the shot process. Find a coach or
instructor, take a class, and practice (what you were taught). You might
not like what you were taught on a philosophical or technical level. But,
keep an open mind long enough to make a good faith effort to learn it
before you decide to discard it. You might be surprised. And isn't life
more fun with surprises?
"Do I have to take a class? Can't you just tell me what the shot
Sure (I elide the reasons for brevity):
* Correct anatomical grip (This will require modification of the pistol.
How do I know? Because I am old and wise. And I see that the pistol
you are holding was not custom made for your hand.) Barrel inline with
the forearm. Not "parallel to", "inline with". Web between the thumb and
index finger high in the tang of the pistol, with so much force the
skin is bunched up under the tang. Thumb high and relaxed (on top of
the safety, if is exists). Index finger in the register position.
Middle finger up tight against the bottom of the trigger guard. (If
you've never done it before, it will hurt. After you've done it
2000 times, it will feel natural and comfortable.) Ring finger up
tight against the middle finger, gripping tight, finger tip pointing
back towards you. ["towards" not "toward", there is a difference.
At least that's what they taught us in that Ivy League University
my parents sent me to in the late 70's.] Little finger up tight
against the ring finger, gripping tight.
Support side hand, fingers over fingers (up tight against the bottom
of the trigger guard, no space between the fingers), thumb over thumb.
[There are many coaches who give 6 hour classes on getting the
[Yes, I know there are many variations on the grip. You will
have to experiment to find what works for your anatomy and personality.
Just make sure you are practicing science and not religion.]
Close your non-aiming eye. (Otherwise, you might be aiming at the
* Sight alignment - (This will be close to correct, if the grip is
correct.) horizontally center the front sight blade in the rear sight
notch (If you have any other type of sighting system, it's too
complicated and will not serve you well in combat. Ya, I know the
military uses red dot sights. I think they are wrong. They will too
eventually.) Make the top of the front sight blade level with the
top of the rear sight notch. Being able to hold this alignment will
take hundreds of hours of practice. It won't happen naturally.
There is nothing natural or instinctive about shooting. If you're
satisfied with the front sight wobbling around a little in the rear
sight, you are wrong. It should appear fixed as in a photograph.
* Sight movie - Place the top of the front sight where you want
the bullet to impact. Holding your front sight and the target relatively
stationary in a combat situation is impossible. So, you won't see
a picture, you will see a movie. That's okay. The sight movies do
not have to be perfect to get acceptable hits on the intended target.
With correct trigger control, you will get good hits.
"That sounds like magic."
Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be magic
to the ignorant. The human is God's masterpiece of creation. The
human is extremely advanced technology. Anyone who tells you that
he is not ignorant of how the human systems work is lying to you.
* Trigger control - Strive for a surprise trigger break by:
Touching the trigger.
Taking the slack out of the trigger.
Smoothly increasing pressure on the trigger without intentionally
releasing the shot. (Striving for a surprise break.) You
don't fire the shot. You hold the sights on target while
continuously increasing pressure on the trigger. Eventually,
the pistol will fire. (There are many techniques to achieve
the surprise break.)
Trap the trigger to the rear. Keep pressing. Keep aiming.
* Follow through - Keep pressing. Keep aiming.
Get your second sight movie.
That is the end of the shot process. You may now move your
eyes to the next target. Your eyes, not your pistol. Once your
eyes are on the target (and it might be the same as the last
target), only then should you move your pistol to the next target.
[Eyes first, then pistol will avoid overshooting the target.]
Don't reinvent the wheel. Learn from the masters. Use
their hard earned experience. Stand on their shoulders. Don't
waste your time discovering everything from scratch. Life is
too short for that.
"The shot process you described is way too long and too
complicated to ever be used in combat."
That is a false statement. If you practice it (as in
dedicated deliberate practice) the shot process will compress
in time and become very fast. It will also become an unconscious
process that you will execute automatically.
"Who has that kind of time for practice or that kind of
Everyday Tactical: Keeping Your Hands Free
Shooting Stance: What's Right for You?
----- Tactics -----
You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen
Situational Awareness and Positioning (part I)
Situational Awareness and Positioning (part II) The Tueller Principle
“Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.”
-- Colin Powell
-- Carl von Clausewitz
----- Education -----
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
Training to shoot from and through vehicles
What’s really scary about using vehicles as cover is that most common handgun rounds can easily penetrate all the way through doors, panels and glass.
"DEFENSIVE SHOOTING FOR REAL-LIFE ENCOUNTERS" by RALPH MROZ
". . . the holster is more important than the gun.
It’s hard to buy a gun that’s not reliable and accurate
at defensive distances from a major manufacturer these days.
But it’s all too easy to buy a sloppy, ill-fitting,
unconcealable, or dangerous holster.
. . . "
There are reasons that most professionals carry their
gun in a strong-side hip holster whenever they can. That is
the most natural and fastest place to draw a gun from
concealment, it provides excellent concealment, and you
can draw from that position while fighting. It’s not new
or noteworthy, but it works!
No Second Place Winner by WILLIAM H. "BILL" JORDAN,
Assistant Chief Patrol Inspector, U. S. Border Patrol
Interview with Col. Jeff Cooper, starting on page 28 of
American Handgunner Magazine March/April 1987
"How do you suppose the parents of Vanessa Williams feel?"
[I assume the Colonel is referring to the scandal that erupted when Penthouse
magazine published nude photos of Miss Williams after she had been crowned
Miss America 1984. (for the vast majority of my readers who are too young
to remember) -- Jon Low]
"I find what people have done with the discipline [defensive pistolcraft]
annoying. It has perverted my purpose in life. I try to keep polite about it,
but I find it difficult to suffer fools gladly."
[Aimed shooting was not always the fundamental that it is today.
Things change. Be prepared to adopt best practices, or go the way of
the dinosaurs. -- Jon Low]
"The greatest hazard of advancing age is lack of imagination and lack
of desire to explore new ideas. I'm aware of that so I try to stay open
[What excellent advice for us sexagenarians. -- Jon Low]
***** ***** ***** 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 -----
If your pistol has a manual thumb safety, it should be up for safety on (won't fire)
and down for safety off (will fire). Anything else is a design error. Because pushing
the safety down with your thumb is a natural movement. Pushing anything up with your
thumb is awkward and counterintuitive, which means not conducive to reliable operation
under combat stress.
The safety should be attached to the frame of the pistol. If it's attached to the
slide, this is a design error. You must press the safety down with your thumb and hold
it down while operating the pistol. Otherwise, something will bump the safety and the
pistol won't fire. If the safety is on the slide, it will move with the slide, so you
can't keep your thumb on it to hold it down.
I'm talking about safeties, not spring loaded decocking levers.
If your pistol has a magazine release at the bottom of the grip, this is a
design error. Removing the magazine will require two hands, which slows and complicates
reloading. Reload with one hand will be difficult and awkward, which means you are going
to have to dedicate a lot of time to practice.
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are incorrectly designed pistols on the market.
If you buy one, shame on you. If you give it to a loved one, you are doing
her a grave disservice. If you sell it to an unsuspecting person, when they take
their first training class and have to fire 1000 rounds in two days, they are going
to realize that you are a scum bag.
5 Reasons to Make a Flashlight Part of Your Everyday Carry
Best EDC (Every Day Carry) Flashlights
[I think your flashlight should have a thumb activated pressure
switch on the rear end of your flashlight tube. Press - on. Release - off.
Anything more complicated than that will not serve you well. Remember
we are buying a tool for combat. Combat tools must be simple. -- Jon Low]
Pepper Spray Laws By State: A Simple Cheat Sheet With All The Details
Tennessee has no laws that prohibit individuals from carrying or
using pepper spray. It is legal to buy, carry, use, or ship to Tennessee.
State Knife Laws
Tennessee, where there is no such thing as an illegal knife.
I love the caption at the bottom of one of the targets,
"YOU SUCK! IT'S NOT THE GUN!"
Results of gun care product evaluation
DIY_Guy did the experiments and published the data. He does not publish any
conclusions. He simply presents the data and asks you to draw your own conclusions.
Kudos to DIY_Guy!
I included the price of the tested items. My conclusion is that WD-40 (the
normal kind, not the special kind that was also tested) is the cheapest product
on the long list of products tested, and it works fairly well.
But, you should look at the data and draw your own conclusions.
How to Carry Concealed In a Purse (If You Must)
Should I Carry in my Purse?
John Farnam says,
The best [purses for off body carry] are made by GTM,
which redirects to
Though I suspect Vicki Farnam did the research.
I was so happy with my holster from CraftHolsters.com for my Ruger American
that I got another one, different type, for my Springfield Armory XD Tactical.
Leather IWB/OWB Holster,
link for Springfield Armory XD Tactical holsters,
I love the look, smell, and feel of quality leather. The holster
is double stitched throughout. The mouth is reinforced with a second layer
of leather and stays open for one handed holstering. (Needing two hands to
holster causes the shooter to muzzle his support side hand.)
Before the break in period - The holster holds the pistol tight.
When I turn it upside down and shake, the fully loaded pistol does not
fall out. It doesn't move in the holster at all. I prefer a tight fit,
because I don't want my pistol falling out when I break dance in the
discotheque. [I assume you've seen the video of the FBI agent and know
what I'm talking about. (He got convicted, but avoided jail time.)
He destroyed his career by neglecting to use a quality holster with a
retention device. Violating a safety rule will get you a dropped pistol
or a negligent discharge (ND). But, you have to break multiple safety
rules to actually shoot a bystander. That's why we always practice
safety in layers, safety in depth. We always walk far from the cliff's
edge in training and practice. This allows us to dance at the cliff's
edge in combat.]
This holster has no retention devices. A holster used for concealed
carry for civilian self defense should not have retention devices, because
it takes a great deal of practice to reliably and automatically defeat retention
devices in high stress situations. (Competitions are not high stress situations.
You won't see competitors urinating or defecating in their pants, or vomiting,
or shaking uncontrollably.) [Most police officer involved shootings (OIS)
are not high stress situations, because the police officer initiates the event.
It's entirely different when the deadly force attack surprises you.
That's high stress.]
The belt loops are tight on a 1.5" wide belt. So, you have to use a 1.5"
belt. Tight is good. The holster won't slide around on your belt. So, the
holster will be where you expect it to be when you need it.
As with all leather goods, there is a break in period. So, you will
need to wear it around the house before taking it to the field or street.
I always spend a few nights sleeping with my holster on (pistol inserted),
because I need to know if I can, as I've had jobs where I needed to sleep
in my car with all my gear on. [When I was working security in South Carolina,
for Hawkeye Security out of Columbia, I would guard the ATM techs when they
put money in the ATM's. Many were far from home, so instead of driving home
between jobs, I'd just sleep in my car.]
After the break in period - The pistol will fall out when the holster
is turned upside down and shaken. So, you will have to tighten the tension
screw. Then, the pistol will be held snug and won't jiggle around.
The pistol can be presented and holstered easily with one hand.
I enthusiastically recommend this holster for inside the waistband (IWB)
concealed carry for self defense.
No, CraftHolsters.com did not pay me for the review. I am not
famous enough for anyone to pay me to endorse or advertise anything.
Triggers for Serious Guns
----- Technical -----
1911 School, Feeding Part 1 of 3
1911 School, Feeding Part 2 of 3.
1911 School, Feeding Part 3 of 3.
The 1911 pistol was designed by a genius, . . .
Does anyone really believe that the fact that the magazine would
physically accommodate 8 rounds with a little modification to
the spring and follower somehow escaped his notice? . . .
The farther we stray from Browning’s specifications,
the more likely we are to have trouble.
How a Glock Works
M16 and AR-15 - How firearms work! (Animation)
----- Your Body -----
I tell the shooters on my junior rifle team to get an eye
exam and to give the coach the written results of the exam.
When coaching in Hawaii and South Carolina, every athlete complied.
Since moving to Nashville in 2011, only one athlete has done so.
So sad. Can't fix the problem if you don't know what the
I can see clearly now!
Shooting Glasses Demystified
Operating / shooting with both eyes open is fine. But, aiming with
both eyes open is a recipe for disaster. In a high stress situation,
you can't ensure that you will be aiming at the correct image if both
eyes are open, even if one eye is strongly dominant over the other.
At a physical level, something might obscure the vision of the dominant
eye, causing you to automatically use the image from your non-dominant
eye for aiming. At a psychological level, your less dominant eye may
become dominant in a high stress situation.
Murphy's Law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong at
the worst possible time. The only way to defeat Murphy's Law is to train
to eliminate all of the things that can go wrong. Close your non-aiming
eye for the fraction of a second needed to aim and release the shot.
Otherwise, you may be shooting at the wrong image, which for a right
eyed shooter will mean a point of impact way to the left of where you
thought you were aiming. For a left eyed shooter, shooting at the right
eye's image will put your point of impact way to the right of where you
thought you were aiming.
"But, Coach, you can't get correct sight alignment with both eyes
simultaneously. So, the non-aiming eye will not have the correct sight
alignment image. So, you will know that you are not aiming with the
Unfortunately, that is not true in a high stress situation. You
will have a hard focus on the front sight. If the rear sight isn't in
alignment with the front sight in the sight movie, you won't notice it.
So, you must close the non-aiming eye to aim in combat. Remember, we
are talking combat, not competition. The stress level is much higher.
It is rare for the competitor to orgasm, urinate, or defecate in their
pants during competition. It is a common occurrence in combat,
especially for virgins (to combat). I remember a big husky Marine
smiling at me and telling me, "I shit myself. Oo Rah!" Another time,
a Marine told me, "I got a woody and came! Get some!" These were
happy experiences for us because we were in a team (doing it with
our buddies), and knew that we were righteous, and knew that we would
never be prosecuted for anything we did. Not so much for the civilian
self defender. It's going to be an extremely unpleasant experience.
“Destiny doesn’t make appointments,
nor does she waste her time with the naive and unready!”
-- John Farnam
***** ***** ***** Instruction ***** ***** *****
----- Instructors -----
Attention to detail.
The Ability to Demonstrate
You must demonstrate every technique for your students.
As some students are only visual learners. If your student
asks you to demonstrate the technique, do so slowly. You're
doing it for their learning, not to impress anyone.
If you are the student, and the instructor does not demonstrate,
ask the instructor to demonstrate the technique. If she does it
too fast for you to follow, ask her to do it again slowly. After
all, you are paying for the class and her time.
“You don’t step on enthusiasm.”
-- Colin Powell
Over the Independence Day holidays (4 day weekend for me),
I taught a Defensive Pistol course with one student. We did
things that cannot be done in a class of multiple students.
Her muscles were tight, so she lacked the flexibility (range
of motion) to do some of the techniques. So, we spent several
hours stretching; to avoid injury and to loosen her muscles to
increase flexibility. (I could imagine doing such stretching
exercises in a class of 5 students, if they were all in the
same family. Wouldn't think such would be possible in a larger
class.) I love teaching one student classes.
We spent a lot of time (perhaps 3 hours in total) working
on her surprise break. We tried many different techniques to
allow her to achieve her surprise trigger break.
Scheduling classes over holidays allows students to attend
classes without having to take paid time off (PTO) from their
day jobs. At Front Sight, the Father's Day class is always
well attended by fathers.
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God’s gift to our students.
Our students are God’s gift to us."
Only 3 things happen naturally in an organization:
friction, confusion, and under performance. Anything
else takes leadership.
-- Pastor Mike Ayon
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
“Leadership is solving problems.
The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day
you have stopped leading them.”
-- Colin Powell
[Similarly, if your students are not telling you their problems,
you are not helping the student correct the problem.]
The article "an" is correctly used when the next word starts
with a vowel sound, such as "an apple". "European" does not start
with a vowel sound, so ". . . hunter with an European focus." is
wrong. (Say it aloud and you will hear that it is not euphonic.)
It should be ". . . hunter with a European focus."
"I am a NRA Instructor . . . " is wrong. It should be
"I am an NRA Instructor . . . " because "N" starts with the vowel
sound "e". Read it as written and you will hear the euphonic or
Strive for command of the English language. Because people
[I sent the above to the Editor-in-Chief of The Firearm Blog
concerning the writing of one of his contributors. He replied by
telling me that I was wrong; that the article "an" is used before
words that start with a vowel.
This is what makes instructing so difficult. So much of
what your students know to be true is false. And you must gently,
kindly, lovingly cause them to believe the truth.
Bad habits must be replaced with good habits.
False beliefs must be replaced with true beliefs.
Not easy. But, that is your job as an instructor.]
“There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
-- Colin Powell
----- Pedagogy -----
Qui docet, discit. (Who teaches, learns.)
-- motto of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
10 Ways to Spot Great Teachers (and Avoid Crummy Ones)
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 the lesson plans to the students before the
class. So, they can read it before the class. So, they are not hearing
novel information for the first time in class. -- Jon Low]
"Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
***** ***** ***** Legal and Politial ***** ***** *****
How do you win a gunfight?
Don’t be there.
-- John Farnam
Our research cited extensively in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Eliminating gun-free zones: A way to deter mass shooters?
All mass murders occur in gun-free-zones.
The Danger of Gun-free zones:
What are you supposed to do when you can’t have your gun with you?
The purpose of gun-free-zones is to create unarmed victims for
armed criminals to prey upon. Because Democrats need mass murder
events to advanced their political agenda (disarming the people).
Why do you think the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment?
A Counterargument to "Virtue and Guns"
Getting the Prosecutors We Deserve?
My brother, a political scientist with lots of prestigious
graduate degrees, likes to say that people get the government
they deserve. I have seen that to be true. People either get
the government they voted for, or they move (to an area where
they get the government they voted for).
Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher
This is not the first time in my memory this sort of politically motivated
prosecution of Armed Service members has taken place.
Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich
Michelle Malkin has chronicled the Haditha 8. See the links at the bottom
of the web page.
It has always amazed me that subordinates can testify against a
senior concerning war time activity. I thank God that I never had the
misfortune of encountering such disloyal persons.
I hope that you had a great July 4th!
Social media outlets scrubbing information that they disagree
with is a real danger to our political debate. Twitter has locked
me out of my account because of a Tweet that I posted in March
discussing the New Zealand killer’s manifesto. In contrast to the
constant media claims that killer is a “right-winger,” I wrote he
called himself “a socialist, environmentalist, who hates
capitalists & free trade.” I also wrote that his “plan all along”
was to “lead to more gun control” in New Zealand and the United
States. Those facts might not be politically convenient for many,
but everything that was in my Tweet was factually correct, and
Twitter is not explaining their reason for their actions.
I am not the first conservative to [have] their account locked,
with actor James Woods being among the more prominent examples.
The details are in this Tweet.
This link does not seem to work presently.
The only way to overcome this bias may be to embarrass
Twitter. One way to do this, if you are on Twitter, is to
retweet our tweet.
Thank you very much for your continued interest and support.
It means a lot for the work that we need to do.
John R. Lott, Jr.
Crime Prevention Research Center
A comparison of car ownership and gun ownership,
and driver licensing and shooter licensing.
Information to keep you out of jail. No, really, the ATF is nasty.
I've had to deal with them as a Federal Firearms Licensee.
NFA Rules on Shotguns: Everything You Need to Know (Not!)
As one commenter notes, "Clear as mud."
"AOW" means Any Other Weapon.
ATF Rescinds Prior Methods to Measure a Firearm’s Overall Length when Equipped with a Stabilizing Brace
SOME PERSPECTIVE ON SHOT COUNT & PLACEMENT, RELOADS, REENGAGEMENT
The Empty Case for “High-Capacity” Magazine Restrictions (CATO Institute)
***** ***** ***** Survival ***** ***** *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Sherman House
I attended a "Stop the Bleed" class sponsored by the American College of Surgeons
Committee on Trauma at the Tennessee Firearms Association meeting at the Golden Corral
in Hermitage, TN. Got a nice pamphlet and a certificate, too. I highly recommend you
take such a class. I'm sure you can find one in your area. They covered direct
pressure, wound stuffing, and tourniquets. No chest seals, nose tubes, or things like
that. It was a short class, but lots of hands on practice. So, you left the class
knowing how to execute the techniques and use the equipment.
You have to stop the bleeding before applying chest compressions. Otherwise,
you're just pumping the blood out of the victim. (Hey, this isn't obvious to those
who teach to do CPR and artificial respiration first. Being ignorant makes you
dangerous to others.)
"But, I didn't know that he was bleeding."
Well, that's still your fault for not searching for bleeding.
"You expect me to cut off his clothes and search his entire body?"
"I can't do that. That's indecent."
This is a matter and life and death. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Heavy flow is not massive hemorrhage:
Tampons don’t belong in your IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)
Attorney Andrew F. Branca self-defense “insurance.”
Will your insurance cover the second or third trial?
in the event of a mistrial caused by a hung jury or other reason?
Will your self defense insurance provide:
Enough money? (Murder trails cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Does the policy have caps? If so, what are they?)
Do they let you choose your own attorney? (Or, do they force you to use
their attorney? Not what you want.)
Who decides if I am covered? (Some policies review the incident before
deciding whether or not to pay for legal expenses. Not what you want.)
Andrew recommends the book,
"Legal Boundaries By State: The Travel Guide For American Gun Owners"
and of course,
"Law of Self Defense", 3rd Edition
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
How to Avoid Printing and Step Up The Concealed Carry Game
How to get prepared in three easy steps
While AA batteries are cheap, they still need to be replaced
regularly. I have found that in the long run a rechargeable
tactical flashlight is the most cost effective.
My Marines carried all kinds of cheap junk knives. I urged
them to spend the money on a reliable tactical knife.
You have to buy gear with the belief that your life will
depend on the reliable correct operation of the gear. If you're
trusting your life or the lives of your loved ones to cheap junk,
you are stupid.
Jacketed Hollow Point Ammo – JHP Explained
Full Metal Jacket Ammo – FMJ Explained
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
***** ***** ***** Miscellany ***** ***** *****
Shout out! to our readers in Bratislava, Slovakia.
If I hadn't spent my Marine Corps years in intelligence,
I wouldn't have had any idea where you were. [Major Lipson,
the S-2 at MAG-49, would have us fill in maps with country
name, location and name of the capital, and other interesting
I am old. The Google maps of your area don't look
anything like the maps I remember studying in grade school.
All the names have changed. All the borders have changed.
It is a mistake of youth to think that the way things
are is the way they have always been, or always will be.
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
I shot a mini-gun (No, I don't know the specifics). The right
button caused it to fire 2000 rounds per minute. The left button
fired at 4000 rounds per minute. (No, I did not pay for the ammo.)
[One of the guys told me that on the more recent versions of the
gun, both buttons fire at 2000 rpm. It's ambidextrous.]
It had a big 4" X 4" red dot type sight mounted on it. The ammo
had tracers spaced every so many rounds (No, I don't know how many.)
So, I could see where the bullets were going (in bright daylight).
It was mounted on a really nice swing arm so it was easy to shoot.
I didn't feel any recoil. It didn't pull one way or the other.
The helicopter was vibrating, causing the stream of bullets to
wiggle a little. I remembered from theory class that when you
shoot up or down, gravity has much less affect on the bullet's
trajectory. But, you only really get to see the effect when
you're in a helicopter shooting between straight down and nearly
straight up. (The mounting system prevents the gunner from
shooting any part of the helicopter.)
The buttons are electronic switches, not mechanical switches.
The gun is run by electric motors. They don't care if the cartridge
fires or not. So, cartridges that fail to fire do not cause
stoppages. (I don't know if there is any immediate action for
I remembered to turn to the left when exiting the CH-53
from the rear hatch. Some things you never forget. (Of course,
if I had turned right, I wouldn't be here writing to you.)
Fasting and prayer will make you spiritually obese.
-- Pastor Mike Ayon
My mother told me that there are two types of people in
the world: those who write thank you letters and those who don't.
Today, I received a thank you letter from President Trump.
[No, it was not for a campaign contribution.]
When it’s least expected, you’re selected.
-- John Farnam
Jonathan D. Low
God can do more than we can hope or imagine.
In fact, He can do the impossible. God will
make roads in the wilderness and rivers in