Happy New Year Sheepdogs,
***** ***** ***** Software ***** ***** *****
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
----- Mindset -----
It’s about prevention, not response.
-- Michael Mann
The purpose of self-defense is to prevent the attack, preempt the attack.
So, you and your loved ones don't get hurt, injured, mutilated, crippled,
kidnapped, or killed.
Failing that, the purpose of self-defense is to stop the attack immediately
and permanently. So, you and your loved ones don't get hurt anymore.
Killing the bad guys never enters your mind. You were simply trying to
stop the attack as quickly as possible. Because, as John Holschen says,
the shorter the fight, the less hurt you get.
The bad guys' death is incidental to your purpose of stopping their attack.
If the bad guys had wanted to live, they could have stopped attacking.
The bad guys' death is their choice, not yours. The bad guys forced you to kill
them. The bad guys are completely at fault. Your conscience is clear.
You killing the bad guys is righteous.
People with this mindset don't get PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
The people who get PTSD believe they did something wrong, so they feel
guilty. Their conscience bothers them, causing all kinds of nasty physiological
symptoms. They believe the lies / propaganda the liberal media spews. They
question the truth and necessity of their actions, instead of holding fast to
the truth and necessity of their actions.
So, it's important that you know in your heart that what you did was
right and necessary. You are going to heaven because you are the holy warrior.
The bad guys are going to rot in hell.
The correct mindset makes all the difference in the world. If you are
convicted of a crime, you are as the Apostle Paul in the Roman prison.
If you die in prison, you will know that what you did was right and if God
gave you the opportunity to do it over, you would do it again. Because,
your life and the lives of your loved ones is worth any price you have to pay.
But conviction is unlikely because you have self-defense insurance
(because you are a responsible spiritually mature adult), which will make
you very difficult to convict. In America, you get as much justice as you
pay for. So, your insurance policy must have no caps, so you can out spend
the prosecution on attorneys, expert witnesses, private investigators,
consultants, and such. Life is not fair. (As G. Gordon Liddy's complementary
close in the letters to his children would say, "Win!")
"Willingness is a state of mind.
Preparedness (or lack thereof) is a fact." -- (I can't remember the source.)
You either prepare and win or neglect to prepare and lose.
It really is that simple.
“There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected:
The expected, for which you’ve refused to prepare.”
-- Mary Renault
Your insurance policy must pay for your appeals if you are convicted.
Yes, such insurance policies exist, and they are inexpensive because we
are an excellent risk, because we are the good guys. So, not having a
self-defense insurance policy is gross negligence. (see previous blog posts
for the self-defense insurance spiel)
"Prepare" means to get expert training (an initial 5 day pistol course
at a reputable gun school and then at least one class per year thereafter)
and to practice a lot (2000 correct repetitions of each technique is the
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
“You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol
than you are a musician because you own a guitar.”
from Principles of Personal Defense by
Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC, (1920 – 2006 A.D.)
----- Safety -----
Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety
[These are not range rules. These are universal rules. -- Jon Low]
RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED. [This is the correct statement of a correct
safety rule. So, keep your pistol loaded. Running a cold range is wrong. Yes,
I know this contradicts the NRA safety rule. Think about it. If you don't
understand this, ask me or ask your instructor to explain it to you. -- Jon Low]
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.
[Because you are putting whatever is in front of your muzzle in jeopardy.]
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET.
[Those who teach you to start pressing trigger so that all the slack is out
when you reach the point where your sights are on target, are wrong. Such
teaching sets up a dangerous situation ripe for a negligent discharge. -- Jon Low]
[More precisely, keep your finger in the register position until your sights
are on the target. A finger inside the trigger guard but not touching the trigger
is just as bad as touching the trigger. -- Jon Low]
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET. [This includes what is behind your target
(because you might miss or pass through), what may move between you and your
target (because untrained people panic and may move into your line of fire),
and what will be behind or in front of your target when you actually fire
(because everyone is moving). -- Jon Low]
[Please note that these safety rules are very different from the NRA safety
rules or the safety rules of other organizations and ranges. Because Col. Cooper's
safety rules are for combat (self defense is combat), as opposed to the pristine
conditions of your local gun club or range. Yes, you have to obey these rules in combat.
Otherwise, you will get friendly fire casualties and collateral damage. -- Jon Low]
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
----- Training -----
"The real value of training and practice isn't gaining technical competence,
it's achieving confidence in your abilities."
-- Claude Werner
I had the good fortune to have a conversation with an investigator who has 30 years
of experience as a Deputy Sheriff investigator (county), investigator for the Medical
Examiner (state), and investigator for the Department of Children's Services (state).
She told me that when the victims were brought into the emergency room or the morgue
it was common to see their death grip on their phones.
You have to practice dropping your phone. Otherwise, in a high stress situation,
you'll be gripping it tight, which won't allow you to use your hand for important things
(like driving, shooting, grabbing loved ones, etc.).
You need training because:
You don't know what you don't know.
Much of what you know is false.
It's good to the have the answers before the criminal tests you.
-- Claude Werner (paraphrased)
Emily Ratajkowski On Heart Rate Variability, Brain Waves and Training Race Drivers by Marcus Wynne
Yes, that Emily Ratajkowski, the super model. No, it's not click bate.
It's actually far more nerdy than you are probably willing to read through.
Tactical Moment by John Holschen
How To Train A National Hostage Rescue Team by Marcus Wynne
It's good to know that there are still people on this planet that train for real.
I've had too many people tell me that our Marine Corps training is brutal and uncivilized.
But, it's pretty wimpy compared to this South African Police Service unit.
Concealed Carry: Issues and Perspectives by John Murphy
I know training can be difficult. Let me share some words of encouragement
that my teacher told me, that I believe apply to all training regimens.
"Keep in mind that this is some seriously next level material. It is totally
normal that the first time you see this stuff, you find it confusing. You find it
difficult to understand. So, confusion should not discourage you. It does not
represent any intellectual failing on your part. Rather, keep in mind that it
represents an opportunity to get even smarter."
-- Tim Roughgarden
Professor of Computer Science and other stuff at Stanford University
Self defense is avoidance of the fight. So, your instructor should be teaching you
techniques for avoiding dangerous situations. For instance, clothing. If you dress to
advertise the fact that you are not wearing underwear, you are effectively inviting
sexual advances. If you dress conservatively, you are effectively putting off sexual
I am not politically correct. I am here to speak truth to stupidity.
I was on duty and found a car running with head lights on and doors locked.
I radioed in to tell my supervisor that I would be sitting on the vehicle until
the owner returned to prevent the car from being stolen. (We've had lots of
cars stolen and broken into in this area of Nashville, TN.) My boss tells me to
leave it, as it is not on our property and not our responsibility. So, I walk
into M L Rose restaurant, find the guy, and tell him that he needs to turn his
car off because it's going to get stolen. He tells me that it's okay, because
he locked the car. I tell him that I can get into his car in in a minute and
a car thief who has practiced a lot, because it's what he does day in and day
out, can get into his car in about 30 seconds. With the right tools (a slim
jim, or an air bladder, or any of several other techniques), it's easy.
He ignores me, so I leave. The Metro Nashville Police Department web site says
67 cars have been stolen this month. They were left running or the keys were
in the ignition or the keys were in plain sight on the seat or the dashboard.
"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
"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
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual
carelessness of aim with the first shot.” -- Theodore Roosevelt,
(26th President of the United States) The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
"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
Best Shot Placement for Self Defense by Richard Nance
I agree with Mr. Nance. Shooting at the pelvic girdle is not a good use of your
very limited time and ammo in a gunfight. I have worked in emergency rooms in Nashville, TN,
a fairly big city. None of the persons shot in pelvic region were immobilized. Of course,
I only saw the ones that survived to be treated. So, my anecdotal experience is not only
not statistically significant, but also sample biased. But, we humans can only work with
the data that we get.
I don't teach my students to shoot the pelvic girdle.
John Farnam teaches start at the navel and go up the center line to the head.
John Holschen teaches start with the first part of the body that comes into
view and and continue to the center of mass.
If the enemy is obviously wearing body armor, HEAD! HEAD! HEAD!
If he's wearing a helmet, cranio-ocular cavity (eyes and nose), neck (carotid arteries),
neck (spinal column), external auditory meatus (ear hole).
"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
Armed Citizen Response to the Terrorist Bomber by Greg Ellifritz
You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen
----- Education -----
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
"You will never get smarter or broaden your horizons
if you're unwilling to learn from others and read."
-- Becca Martin
***** ***** ***** 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
Why Sidecar Style Holsters Suck by Daniel Reedy
Your holster must completely cover the muzzle of your pistol. Otherwise, when
something bumps your muzzle, your pistol will be pushed out of your holster. It does
not matter that you cannot imagine such a thing happening. Murphy can.
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, at the worst possible
time. (Murphy was an optimist.)
So, you must set up your gear and your techniques so that nothing can go wrong.
This gives the peace of mind that surpasses all understanding.
Industry Secrets To Buying Ammo (What Nobody Tells You) by Joshua Gillem
Joshua lists several manufacturer's web sites that have ammo in stock on a
regular basis. You just have to check back often to see what's available on that day.
Blazer (CCI Ammunition)
And besides the national manufacturers, there are the local manufacturers. If you
are in Middle Tennessee, there is Alpine in Mt. Juliet, TN. They don't sell directly
to the public, but you can buy their ammo at
North Cumberland Guns and Ammo
105 North Cumberland St, Lebanon, TN 37087, United States
Phone: +1 (615) 444-3303
Tennessee Cartridge Company in Oakland, TN
True Shot seems to have lots of ammo in stock.
And of course, if your local gun deal is resourceful, as my friend Rich who runs
Echo-3 Armory, he will be able to get pallets of ammo on a regular basis. (See previous
posts for contact information.) You just have to make your requests known and not
be a dick. If you request 5000 rounds, pay in full up front, as I always do. It says
a lot about your character and that you are serious. If you put in an order for 5000
rounds and don't actually buy it when it comes in, it will be noted (by everyone).
There was a Navy Commander that I knew who would say, your actions have been noted.
For good or bad, he made notes so that he would not forget when came time to write
Your reputation is the only thing you get to take to heaven with you.
You and your spouse / significant other / whatever should carry the same type
of pistol in case you need to share magazines (because you are both carrying extra mags)
or pistols. -- Dan (a reader of Concealed Carry dot com)
Open Your Eyes! Red-Dot Sights Are Superior by Patrick Roberts
Take this with a grain of salt. This is an opinion piece, not a technical piece.
Review: Leupold DeltaPoint Micro by Daniel McElrath
Hat tip to Aqil Qadir.
10 EDC Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed by Elwood Shelton
A wallet that does not bend to hold your cards is actaully very important.
All those cards that you use to badge in and out of secure areas have thin wires
in them that can break if you bend the card.
“Your car is not a holster.”
– Pat Rogers
----- Technical -----
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
"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
Instructors, it is not enough that you have clean mildew-free clothes. You must
appear neat and squared away at all times. So, wear elastic stays to keep your shirt
tucked in and your socks pulled up. Students will be taking pictures of you. You will
be posing for class pictures. Yes, appearance matters. It says a lot about you.
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 -----
"The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other.
Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives."
-- Robert John Meehan
How to Cure a Flinch by Jeff Johnston
The student may not believe that he is flinching. You must convince the student
that he is flinching. You cannot solve a problem that the student does not believe
exists in the first place. This is the real problem.
Teach positive. Teach what to do. Don't talk about what not to do.
-- John Farnam
“The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference
between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first
is imperative and the second is disastrous.”
-- Prima Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn
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
Skill Set: Roaring 20’s by Tiger McKee
Skill Set: Roaring 20’s Pt II
With shootings up 96% this year
and murders up by 39%, it is understandable that people are concerned about their
safety and have been applying for permits to own guns. But even while New Yorkers’
requests for gun permits have soared by 216%, the city’s rate of approving permits
plummeted by a shocking 81%.
Many students in my classes have asked me what credentials they can get
to get better rules of engagement. (Actually, the civilian concealed carry permit
has the best rules of engagement you are likely to get. Police rules of engagement
are much worse.) So, I list some below.
Of course, the ultimate would be orders designating an area a free fire zone.
I have never operated in a free fire zone. (I was an intel POG.) But my son did,
as an infantry Marine in Afghanistan. He told me that after they told the civilians
to get out of the village, they led with grenades (they stood 500 yards off and
fired automatic grenade launchers), then they entered the village with armored
vehicles, and shot everything. The Marines suffered zero casualties. Always the
sign of a well planned mission.
State licensed armed guards.
Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act (ACIRA) of 1993, amended several times thereafter.
Some jurisdictions won't recognize the law enforcement credentials of other jurisdictions.
But, ACIRA requires every state to recognized the Armed Guard license of every other state.
The magic words are, "We are transporting federal money."
(Isn't all money, federal money? Think about it.
Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Give unto God what is God's.)
The cops should leave you alone. If not, eventually an FBI agent
will threaten to arrest the policeman for violating federal law
if the policeman doesn't release you. Some cops are not as legally
educated as others.
Bail enforcement agents (bounty hunters).
That's a whole separate lecture. And would require explanation of both state
and federal laws governing that industry. They have a lot of leeway.
Armed Forces Courier Card
On the back of this card are orders from the President of the United States
directing all law enforcement, military, and government employees to render
all aid and assistance to the bearer of this card. When we carried
classified material, we would not surrender to arrest by police or anyone
else. Of course, some people don't recognize the authority of the POTUS.
You just have to shoot them. Because you can't let them arrest you and
get access to the classified material, especially crypto keys.
Some cops are not as legally educated as others.
A written contract with the U.S. State Department saying
that you will not be prosecuted for anything you do in this
third world pit. Blackwater had such a contract while providing security
for U.S. State Department employees in the Middle East.
Of course, the U.S. State Department is not trustworthy and you
might be prosecuted. But, then the president might pardon you,
as President Trump has.
Operating in an absolute monarchy with written orders from
the King (or Crown Prince) is really nice. Hunting terrorist in Riyadh
and Ankara during Operation Iraqi Freedom, those were the days.
Much more fun than operating in Korea or Japan.
Status Of Forces Agreements (SOFA) with the host country will suffice,
while operating in Korea, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, and such. If the locals
arrest you, they are required to turn you over the the U.S. command.
Of course, you have to survive long enough to be turned over.
And then, of course, there is nepotism. We were on the
second floor of Fisalia Tower (a high rise) in downtown Riyadh,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It's a big shopping mall. We were eating at the McDonalds.
Across the courtyard, a Matawa (religious policeman) is beating a woman
with his stick (Matawa only carry sticks.) and screaming at her
to cover her head. (Women exposing their hair in Saudi is pornographic.)
She pulls out a pistol and shoots the Matawa dead.
The regular police (Ministry of the Interior)
[Every Prince at the His Royal Highness level (as opposed to His Highness level) has
his own police force or branch of the armed forces.],
armed with submachineguns, immediately show up. She shows them her ID card,
which identifies her as a princess of the al Saud family (the royal family).
The cops let her go. No, I mean totally let her go.
Diplomatic passports (especially when issued by the United Nations)
My friend, a U.S. Army officer, who is deploying under the
auspices of a United Nations Peace Keeping Force, has the light blue passport.
Yes, diplomatic immunity.
The worst one could legally suffer would be expulsion from the country
as a persona non grata. But, in a contested area, who is going to expel him?
Who would have the authority or inclination to expel a field grade officer
and U.N. Peace Keeper?
Written orders based on executive orders (such as President Bush's
executive order authorizing the Global War On Terrorism).
Ever see the movie "Spartan" staring Val Kilmer, directed by David Mamet?
Letters of marque, such as those issued
by Congress under authority of the
U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11.
Unfortunately, the modern ones are not public record. But then again, much of
our government's budget is not public record. But, if you follow current
events and notice things that don't make sense or don't logically follow,
you can detect them. That's what intel analysts do.
That's why certain persons never get arrested or prosecuted, no matter
how much trouble they cause. A necessary evil, perhaps? Ever see the movie
"Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage? Or, "Charlie Wilson's War" starring Tom Hanks?
Hey, the best I can do is to cite open source Hollywood movies.
“Is there no virtue among us?
If there is not, we are without hope!
No form of government, existing nor theoretical, will keep us from harm.
To think that any government, in any form,
will insure liberty and happiness for an dishonorable population
represents the height of self-deception.”
-- James Madison, 1788
***** ***** ***** Survival, Medical, Security, and such ***** ***** *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
Emergency Trauma Response Training Course by Brian McLaughlin
Free of charge, online. 106 minutes. Start and stop as you please.
A video is no substitute for training from a live professional.
[Some of the things taught in this class contradict textbook medical practices.
Remember, it takes 2 decades for new material to get into a textbook. And it is
almost impossible to get "generally accepted" material out of a textbook, no matter
how wrong it is. (If you don't believe me, look in any high school or undergrad physics
textbook. You will see a diagram of a electromagnetic wave propagating through space.
The diagram probably has the electric component in phase with the magnetic component.
Even though the electric field is 90 degrees out of phase with the magnetic field.
I have written to many publishers to correct this; to no avail.) I am happy to see
Mr. McLaughlin has the courage to buck the establishment accepted practices. -- Jon Low]
The devil is in the details. Notice the improvised chest seal is fundamentally
different from the commercial chest seal. This is significant.
When it comes to survival, “just barely” beats the heck outta “not quite good enough.”
-- John Connor
***** ***** ***** Basics ***** ***** *****
"Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
Diagnosing Pistol Grip Problems by John Parker
This article is useful because at the end is a list of articles / videos
that provide good information on various aspects of pistol shooting for the newbie.
***** ***** ***** Miscellany / History ***** ***** *****
"Good habits and skill beat luck every time."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
Last post, I mentioned my brother-in-law's sentiment,
"Don't fuck with old guys.
A life sentence isn't much of a deterrent for us."
I was surprised to find this sentiment much more prevelent than I had thought.
Have you seen the movie "Grand Torino" starring Clint Eastwood?
Hey, the best I can do is to cite open source Hollywood movies.
Citing pending cases would be inappropriate.
All kinds of neat stuff at:
Practical Eschatology by Docent
The Tactical Professor by Claude Werner
Active Response Training by Gregg Ellifritz
Quips by John Farnam
Rangemaster newsletter by Tom Givens
CIVILIAN DEFENDER by Sherman House
Handgun Combatives by Dave Spaulding
You can't always see the importance of math when you learn it;
you can only see its value in hindsight. You have to trust your
math teachers. Work hard, and it will make all the difference in
your life. -- Steve Jobs (paraphrased)
Similarly for self defense, trust your instructors,
it will make all the difference in your life.
“In the long-run, there is no such thing as ‘luck’.
However, the short-run is longer than many individual lifetimes!”
Jonathan D. Low