Is it Wednesday already? Wow, how time flies when you’re busy collecting great self defense and preparedness articles to share!
Training or practice? Why not both?
Something that the gun world often gets wrong is the difference between training and practice — and it’s not just a semantic argument, either. Training is where you learn new things, new skills; practice is where you rehearse and replay those lessons to build your competence. As this article points out you need both (though I would argue that, if you have to make a choice, spring for more practice rather than more training.)
You’ve got a fireplace, but what about wood?
I know a lot of people whose emergency plans include using their woodstove or fireplace as a heat source when power goes out. A properly configured woodstove can also make a handy alternative to an electric stove. However, very few of them have much fuel for their woodburning appliances! If that’s you, make firewood part of your preparedness planning — and understand that it takes a lot more wood than you think to heat a house.
Not all advice is worth taking
After any mass casualty event come the inevitable “tips” to help people survive the next one. Some of these tips sound plausible, and may even carry the implied authority of military or law enforcement personalities, but sometimes what sounds good really isn’t. Here are a couple of pieces of advice that just don’t hold up to scrutiny.
Unclear on the concept — and she’s not alone
A woman in Texas recently perforated her boyfriend’s chest, thinking he was a burglar. The man had come home after dark, apparently had trouble with the alarm system, and his girlfriend fired at his silhouette. Lots of things had to go wrong here, and the first is that the person with the gun didn’t bother to grab a flashlight — or even just flip a light switch — before blasting away. As I’ve said before, there are a lot of reasons for someone to be in your house, unannounced, at night, and only one of them is “bad guy”. It could have easily been her kids coming home late. This is why I’m adamant that 1) the defensive firearm be stored in a quick-access lockbox, 2) a high-intensity flashlight is stored on top of, or next to, that box, and 3) the flashlight is the first thing to be grabbed and used.
Credit card breaches are more common than you know
Whenever a large company’s credit card data is breached, we hear about it. If Target is hit, it’s big news. What about, say, Jason’s Deli? This little restaurant chain had their customer credit card data stolen recently, and the stolen numbers ended up on a dark web site that specializes in selling this information. It’s getting so common that it’s not even news any longer. There’s not much you can do to prevent your number from being stolen, but as Krebs On Security points out your best defense is a good offense — and offers some tips on how to keep ahead of the stolen credit card numbers game.
Tactical fire safety
There are over 1.25 million fires reported every year in this country, and they injure and kill tens of thousands of people annually. The worst part is that a fire is also among the most survivable emergencies, and all it takes is a little awareness and a bit of planning on your part.
Running and firearms — do they mix?
Attacks on female runners, particularly in the kind of quiet and peaceful surroundings that runners prefer, are a common occurrence. It’s caused many female runners to opt for carrying a defensive firearm while they enjoy being out in nature. Here are some of their stories. (Understand that I’m all in favor of women taking responsibility for their own safety, but the firearm shouldn’t be the only component of a total security plan. I know a lot of runners who allow themselves to get just as distracted by their running as someone whose head is buried in their smartphone. If an attacker catches them by surprise, and the altercation turns physical, the gun is quite difficult to employ. The gun has to be accompanied by threat awareness, conscious management of distraction, a recognition of danger areas and the nature of attacks. Without those, the gun is merely a lucky rabbit’s foot.)
“Slamfires don’t really happen.”
That was the response of a student I once admonished for chambering a round in his AR-15 without the muzzle being pointed in a safe direction. He wanted, like the cool people he saw on YouTube videos, to have his muzzle at an angle, pointing over the berm, when he loaded his gun. Well, slamfires do happen — I’ve seen them, and actually had one myself once. Tiger McKee has some thoughts on the subject, and I’m in agreement with him.
If it doesn’t fit, do something about it!
The fit of the firearm to your hand is among the most important considerations in choosing a defensive handgun. What if you can’t find anything that really fits your hand, or you’re stuck with what you have? Well, you can always modify that grip. Sometimes you can change grips, replace backstraps, while other times it requires some surgery. This Rob Pincus video shows you some of the options.
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: I’ve just released my latest book, Protecting Your Homestead: Using a rifle to defend life on your property. It’s all about using a rifle to protect yourself, family, and other lives on your property. It’s full of useful advice, technical information, and clear instructions on choosing, storing, retrieving, and shooting the defensive rifle across your yard, or across your field. Available in paperback, Kindle, and iBooks formats!