Welcome to another Hump Day Reading List! This week: kydex vs leather holsters; saying NO!; an “everyday grab-and-go” bag; some historical perspective on readiness; kids can be criminals too; carrying in a purse; and a review of youth model rifles and shotguns.
Do you care what your holster is made of?
You should. I used to be a die-hard believer in the leather holster: they look good, form nicely to the body for maximum comfort, and have that comforting smell. At the same time they don’t hold their shape well (even with reinforcement) and only get worse with age. Holstering a gun takes more effort, and some designs can actually become unsafe over time as the leather softens. Kydex, meanwhile, is almost the exact opposite: it doesn’t look good, doesn’t conform to the body, and has no smell at all. At the same time it keeps its shape indefinitely, is easy to draw and holster, and doesn’t wear out. After getting my first kydex holster (a Blade-Tech Nano IWB), I’ve become a convert. As this article says, pick leather holsters when you want to impress someone — otherwise, I’m now a kydex guy!
Learning to say no — and mean it
One of the skills some people have to practice is the art of saying “NO!” in such a way that a potential bad guy understands he’s not dealing with a pushover. This isn’t gender-specific, but to be fair it seems a skill that’s a little harder for women to learn than for men. This article broaches the subject of learning to forcefully assert yourself against a potential threat.
You might have a “bugout bag” (BOB) or “72-hour kit” prepared for emergencies. (If not, you should.) What about those mundane sorts of emergencies, though? This article talks about the “everyday grab-and-go bag” and why it’s important to have one IN ADDITION TO your longer-term, larger incident preparations. I got into this habit years ago when elderly parents and in-laws started going into hospitals for various emergencies. That bag (which also carries my trauma kit) is always handy and always prepped in case I get “that call”. Definitely an article to share with those who can’t quite get into full-scale ’prepping’!
“How bad could it be?”
I usually hesitate to share stories like this, because I don’t want to fear-monger in an attempt to get people to think about their personal preparedness. At the same time, it’s easy to think things won’t happen to you: “I won’t get mugged”; “I live in a nice neighborhood”; “My job is stable”; “I’m in perfect health”. Any of those could change at a moment’s notice, and even the national situation could change overnight. I’m not urging you to go full doomsday bunker or anything, only to recognize bad things happen and even modest preparations are the prudent way to ensure you come through them relatively unscathed. It’s happened before, as this article points out.
Do you suspect children?
It’s very easy to think of violent criminals as being of a specific sex, ethnicity, or age. In fact one of the reasons I detest photo-realistic “bad guy” targets is that they tend to reinforce static notions of what a an attacker might look like. How many of those targets have you seen featuring an 8-year-old? When you see a group of pre-pubescent kids walking around do you perceive them as a threat? As this story from New York shows, maybe you should — because violent criminals come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Profile behaviors, not faces.
Off-body carry: another “purse-pective”
Okay, I apologize for the cutesy wordplay — but I just could resist! Seriously, though, Jim Wilson penned a pretty good article on the pros and cons of carrying a defensive firearm in a purse. I’ve said for a long time that off-body carry was a viable option for a small number of circumstances, but its requirements for attention to detail makes it an option only for experienced carriers. His cautions about purse snatchings are particularly important.
“Youth” guns — what are those?
We’ve become a little spoiled in the age of the AR-15. Stocks for the ubiquitous AR are often adjustable, allowing them to fit a very wide variety of shooters. What if you don’t have an AR, or choose not to use it for defensive purposes? What about shotguns, for instance, or the lever-action rifle? How do you get those to fit smaller shooters? Well, in the not too-distant past most manufacturers made what were known as Youth Models: guns with shorter stocks and often shorter barrels as well. These are ideal choices for the long gun which has to fit several family members, as it’s much easier for a large person to adapt to a shorter gun than it is for a short person to adapt to a larger arm. This article looks at youth model rifles and shotguns and why you might want to look for one.
P.S.: My new book, Protect Yourself With Your Snubnose Revolver, is available now in Kindle, iBooks, and paperback versions. If you have a snubby owner on your Valentine’s list, this would make a great gift!
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons