Gosh, it’s been a couple of weeks since I put together a Hump Day Reading List. I apologize for the break, but life sometimes intrudes. Let’s get back to it with a pile of interesting and informative articles!
This is the very illustration of “negative outcome”
If you follow me on social media, you may remember my comments when this story broke last November. Briefly, this fellow saw someone stealing his Jeep, ran and got his Glock, and started cranking off rounds at the Jeep as it was heading down the road. One of his errant bullets traveled two blocks and into the head of a 61-year-old woman, who died instantly. He’s now been convicted of first-degree manslaughter and, according to the online Washington State sentencing calculator, he’s looking at about 10 years in prison. His life is over.
The amazing thing is I still see people on social media condoning this kind of reckless behavior. Here’s the general rule: your use of lethal force is to protect your life, and the lives of other innocents, against an immediate danger of death or grave bodily harm. That’s it. Using it to defend mere property is simply reckless (yes, in Texas too. I don’t care what their laws “allow”; just because it’s technically legal doesn’t mean it’s right.) In this case, I’ll bet Mr. Panton wishes he hadn’t been so irresponsible.
The double edged sword of smartphone technology
I’ll bet you have a smartphone (most people these days do) and that you enjoy all of the things it can do. This wonderful technology, though, brings a new set of information and identity threat risks. Your smartphone contains a treasure trove of information that, in the hands of a criminal, could affect your life for years to come. Slate recently ran a superb article on how to harden your smartphone to prevent any of its data from being used against you. Making your phone more secure is yet another part of self defense, and you can bet I’ll be taking the advice!
Do you suspect kids?
I’m sharing this article not as a call to carry when you’re jogging (you probably should — and take the earbuds out of your ears when you do so!), but rather to point out that criminals don’t always look like we expect them to. In this case, it’s likely the older person was using the kid to do the “dirty work”; in other cases, kids have taken to a life of crime early and of their own accord. Are you prepared to deal with an armed attacker who might only be 12 or 13 years old? Are you prepared for that youngster to be a girl, and not the expected “bad boy”? Could you shoot him or her if they presented a lethal threat to you? These are things to think about before you’re faced with the decision in real time.
Another vote for DAO revolvers
I’ve long championed the double action only (DAO) revolver for personal defense. In fact, when Kimber asked me to help with the design of the K6s revolver one of my suggestions was that it be hammerless and thus DAO, because single action capability simply doesn’t make sense (except in extremely rare cases) for self defense. In this article, the author channels some of my arguments and adds a few of his own in support of defensive revolvers being DAO.
Learning from the stupidity of others
Over at the Stuff From Hsoi blog, John offers up an analysis of a street fight video. It’s in your best interest to avoid situations which might devolve rapidly and result in an incident where your use of lethal force becomes increasingly necessary. As John Farnam says, don’t hang around stupid people, don’t go to stupid places, and don’t do stupid things. The more precepts of the triad you violate, the more certain violence becomes. These people ignored all three, and you can watch the outcome.
Are petty crimes worthy of lethal force?
In another case of a concealed carrier not understanding the role his firearm is supposed to play, KTVQ news in Billings, MT interviewed a fellow who fired shots to stop some shoplifters from fleeing the scene. In the interview, the man doubled down on his poor decision-making skills by vehemently defending his actions. Yeah, I know petty criminals are annoying — but “annoying” is not the same as “lethal threat”. The concealed carry license doesn’t turn anyone into a police officer. (The man’s downplaying of the danger to others is particularly galling, because the incident could easily have turned tragic like the case I shared above.)
What’s keeping people from taking trauma response classes?
Perhaps it’s because they’re championed, taught, and populated by “gun people” who only want to talk about gunshot wounds. That’s the conclusion over on the Short Barrel Shepherd blog, and I think it’s correct. When we only talk in terms of trauma care from criminal violence, it turns off a large percentage of people. Trauma response should be something everyone commonly learns, and we’re no where near that point. Read the article and find out how to look at and present trauma medicine to people who aren’t shooters. It’s a great concept.
Doing pocket carry the right way
This is a short article about some of the safety concerns with pocket carry. With the number of unintentional discharges which are reported with people carrying guns in their pockets, it’s probably a good idea to revisit the basics. Pocket carry is safe, as long as the gun is in a holster, nothing else is in the pocket, and attention is paid to how the gun/holster combination is handled.
Giving your kids a face-saving way to stay safe
I don’t have children of my own, so I’ve never gone through the things parents routinely do, but I was a kid once. One of the dangers kids have always faced is the pressure from their own peers; many kids are led down self-destructive paths because the urge to fit in is greater than the urge for long-term self preservation. In this superb article, one father details his ingenious plan for helping his kids avoid dangerous situations by giving them a face-saving way out. Highly recommended reading.
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: I have a new book coming out in a few weeks, but you can still get my latest work, Protect Yourself With Your Snubnose Revolver! It’s available in Kindle, iBooks, and paperback versions.