This is the last Hump Day Reading List of 2017. Not to worry, though, because I’ve found some really good articles to end the year on a high note!
Some people reject self-reliance. Why?
While this article is specific to preparedness, it’s also applicable to the narrower subject of self defense training. I’ve heard a lot of excuses from people who won’t prepare for anything — from a car breakdown to a criminal attack — and they often have one of these to offer up as an excuse. Maybe these describe you, maybe they describe someone you know, but acknowledging them can help everyone become more self-reliant and less fragile.
Gun stolen from purse
I’m sharing this article to emphasize a unique risk of off-body carry: If your gun is in a purse/backpack/briefcase and you set the item down, anywhere, you have to give it the same security as you would putting the gun down by itself. If it’s not actually on your body and in your control, it has to be locked up. This is something off-body carriers, in my experience, consistently fail to understand. Anytime you put that purse (or whatever) down, it must be secured against unauthorized access just as you would secure the gun if it were bare. Pass it on.
Could you shoot a kid?
Before anything else, let’s acknowledge that the author of this article did a lot of things wrong (to his credit, he understands how stupid he was.) More to the point, though, is that a lot of young kids are carrying lethal weapons and are involved in felony assaults. How alert are you when juveniles are around? Do they raise your internal alarms, or do you have a tendency — like most of us do — to ignore them because they’re “just kids”? On the other side, if you did justifiably shoot a juvenile attacker, are you prepared for the inevitable media feeding frenzy? Could you deal with the public calling you a “child murderer”? I don’t want you to obsess over this, but it’s something all concealed carriers need to consider. I’ll refer you to last week’s article about tripwires — where are yours when it comes to adolescents?
Before you buy that “protection” dog…
…do a thorough assessment of your commitment. A dog isn’t something you can buy and neglect, and it’s not something that works well without at least some training. A dog who will serve as an alert and deterrent system can be a wonderful addition to your preparedness, but understand what you’re getting into before bringing Sparky home. Good article for anyone considering a dog for personal and family security.
Over-penetration — rational fear or overblown?
I get several emails a month asking me about ammunition which “doesn’t over-penetrate”. This is a topic that some in the shooting world have made a big deal about, including citing instances where bullets went through a bad guy and injured someone on the other side. What they almost always fail to mention is that most such cases were either decades ago, before we had really good defensive ammunition, or were shootings with ball ammo — which is renowned for its inability to stop inside of a target. With modern defensive hollowpoint designs, it’s just not an issue. Greg Ellifritz has the factual argument in this article.
Turning bushes into defensive structures
A thick, thorny hedge may be better than concertina wire when it comes to home security. They’re impossible to walk through or climb over, and very few people can jump both high enough and far enough to clear one. They take some time to grow, and some work to train, but they may be a socially acceptable alternative to ugly fencing. (Be careful, however, about the height of your hedges — if you live in an area where part of your defensive advantage is having neighbors spot attempted intruders, a tall hedge may negate that. If you have no neighbors or passers-by who can easily spot your house, the disadvantage of a tall hedge may be outweighed by its impenetrability.)
A look back at defensive ammunition
If you’ve gotten into defensive shooting in the last decade or so, you’ve always had good factory defensive ammunition readily available to you at affordable prices. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, however, that wasn’t the case; it was up to small, boutique ammunition manufacturers to push the boundaries of ammunition design and produce effective rounds. The father of that movement was a fellow named Lee Jurras, and this is his story. When you buy that box of Gold Dot or HST ammo, you have Lee to thank; without him, the major manufacturers may never have seen the light.
The AUG turns 40
I don’t often share articles about specific guns, but this one is different for two reasons: First, it’s about a rifle that I’ve come to believe is ideal for the job of home and homestead defense but still doesn’t get much attention; second, because it just has some really cool pictures! (I particularly like the one of the rappelling soldier high on a cliff face.)
P.S.: Be sure to catch tomorrow’s episode of Training Talk on Personal Defense Network. It’s our Gala Year-End Special, and it’ll be chock-full of this year’s special guests answering a wide range of self defense questions. Don’t miss it!
Opening photo by Backpacker – pixabay.com (CC0 public domain)