Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles you can read this week to enhance your personal and family safety:
This week in Defense and Training:
Carrying a defensive firearm at work
This article is better than most I’ve seen on the subject. The author brings up a point that most people miss when they talk about carrying in what is usually a non-permissive environment: sustainability.
Anyone can hide a full-size Glock or 1911 under a cheap suit jacket to show how easy it is to carry in an office, but that just doesn’t work day-in and day-out; in fact, it usually doesn’t even work for a single day, because at some point you’ll probably need to take that suit jacket off — or risk looking like an idiot. A concealed carry method for use at work needs to be usable every day and not arouse suspicion over time. It’s a tough thing to do.
Like the author, I’ve found pocket carry and the use of a bellyband (under the dress shirt) to be the most workable options. (I do have to wonder about him, though, when he says “Pocket holsters in polyester pants show a large item in your pocket.” Polyester pants? Is he serious or just stuck in the 1970s?)
This week in Security:
How easy is it to divert someone’s attention?
As it happens, VERY easy. This entertaining video from TEDglobal 2013 features pickpocket Apollo Robbins as he shows how simple misdirection allows him to steal items from people without their realizing it — even when they know, ahead of time, that he’s a pickpocket who is gong to try to misdirect them!
He’s doing it for fun, but there is a serious side: any of us, no matter how smart we think we are, can be fooled by someone who is really good at fooling smart people like us. Savvy criminals do this all the time, whether they’re trying to steal money over the phone or assault someone on a city street.
I share this not just because it’s a fun video to watch, but because there’s a lesson to be learned: if you let your attention be directed by someone else, he can have everything he wants from you. Can you learn to control your attention? I think so, at least to a degree, but it’s not easy to do. More on that later!
This week in Preparedness:
The difference between being scared and being motivated
When I wrote Prepping For Life, my goal was to get people to see self defense as simply a part of preparedness — and preparedness as simply a normal part of life. If you’ve read it, you know that I talk quite a bit about using preparedness (in all its forms) as a way to enhance life, to make it possible to enjoy life knowing that your basic needs can be met no matter the circumstances.
This article talks about being prepared as a counter to being scared. It’s true; there is peace of mind in knowing that you’re capable of dealing with untoward events with minimal disruption to your life. I tell people that it’s like being in a cozy, warm cabin in the middle of a snowstorm. It’s comforting.
If I may be so bold: your goal, in all your preparedness activities (whether they involve self defense or food storage), is to eliminate fear and doubt. That, I think, is the best thing you can possibly do, because it makes life worth living!
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: Lots of people have asked me when I’m going to teach a class in the midwest, and if you’re one of them you’re in luck — I’ll be teaching my Threat-Centered Revolver course in Indiana the first weekend of May! More information at this link. (I’d suggest signing up early, as we have limited space and a big list of people who have asked for this class!)