SARC: a proactive way to deal with school attackers.

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In the midst of the debate about whether teachers should be armed, a pragmatic approach has been quietly gaining attention. It’s focused on giving students and teachers ways to fight back against attackers on school grounds, ways that don’t rely on politicians and contentious fights over “guns in our schools.” It’s called the School Attacker Response Course (SARC).

It was borne in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school murders. Rob Pincus knew that there had to be ...

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How do you budget for training?

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Omari Broussard recently wrote an interesting article for the Personal Defense Network about budgeting for your self defense needs. Too many people only think in terms of the cost of a gun, but you really need to think about the whole package: the gun, magazines, ammunition, holster, and – perhaps most importantly – the training to use it all safely and appropriately.

It’s a good read. Please share it with your friends!

-=[ Grant ]=-

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A BIG revolver. Sorta. But who’s going to argue with a Gatling gun?

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As I mentioned in my SHOT Show 2013 recap, I ran into Ian from Forgotten Weapons at the show. We only talked for a very brief time, but he mentioned that he was putting up a “revolver” video just for me – and then laughed.

No wonder! The video in question is him firing one of the Colt 1877 Bulldog Gatling Gun reproductions (which I covered in my SHOT Show 2012 report last year!) Neat video, neat gun, ...

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Competition and training: a very different perspective from Ken Murray.

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One of the truly original thinkers in the defensive training world is Ken Murray. He’s the author of “Training At The Speed Of Life” and an acknowledged expert on reality-based training, and in this PDN video he talks about the disconnects, as he sees them, between the competition arena and defensive shooting.

Food for thought.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Remnants of DC. No, not the town.

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The early days of electrical service in the United States were a race for acceptance between two separate systems: Direct Current (DC) was the province of Thomas Edison, while Alternating Current (AC) was pushed by his rival, George Westinghouse. Since Edison was the first to install complete electrical distribution systems (from generator to outlet) in New York in 1882, DC got a big headstart in the market. Many buildings installed DC-powered elevators and ventilation systems to take advantage of this ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part Two: Gear.

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I don’t really go to SHOT to look at gear, but on Friday I had the whole day to get out and look at stuff. Prior to that I only saw gear on a “hit and miss” basis as I ran between appointments and meetings. Here’s what I managed to see:

– The first thing I have to report (and the most exciting for revolver enthusiasts) is that Korth, the top-tier German revolver maker, is looking for a ...

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Some thoughts on solidarity in the gun culture.

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Since the election we’ve been bombarded with the notion that gun owners need to present a united front against the prohibitionists who wish to restrict the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I agree with the sentiment, but I think the idea of solidarity can be taken to an illogical extreme, and in fact has been.

When someone in our camp – like the gun store owner in Arizona who publicly declares that he doesn’t want Democrats in his establishment, or the ...

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Back from SHOT Show 2013, Part One: People.

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I spent last week in Las Vegas at the annual SHOT Show convention. For those who don’t know, it’s the shooting industry’s major business convention and darn near any company you can name is there. SHOT is where major new products are typically released, and it’s where the “people of the gun” congregate.

I go there specifically to network, to see people. The hardware isn’t terribly exciting to me; don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing a new gun as much ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Bombs away.

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t’s easy to forget that World War II didn’t really touch America all that much. I’m not talking about the lost lives of our troops nor of the privation at home, but rather about physical damage. Other than Pearl Harbor and the people killed by a Japanese balloon bomb right here in Oregon, the U.S. was spared the horrors of war because we weren’t being regularly attacked or invaded.

The rest of the world wasn’t so lucky. We bombed Germany night ...

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When is a 1911 not a 1911? When it’s an Obregon!

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Ian over at Forgotten Weapons has come up with another interesting video: a tear-down and a range test of an Obregon pistol. Made in Mexico (many people forget that Mexico had an inventive and thriving arms industry at one time) it’s sort of a John Browning meets Karl Krnka sort of affair. There are also a few surprises (like how the thumb safety is implemented.)

The gun is quite rare (there were, by most accounts, less than a ...

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Considering the knife as a defensive tool: what are the legal ramifications?

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It’s rather fashionable in the self defense world to carry a knife as a backup to a firearm. At any ‘tactical’ event you’ll find people carrying a ‘fighting’ blade along with a ‘backup’ blade, and some practitioners advocate the knife as a primary tool for self defense.

There was a time when I espoused such points of view, but over the years I’ve changed my mind a bit. The knife is almost always considered deadly force, and brings with it some ...

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How to contact your elected representatives and actually have an impact. It might not be how you’ve been told.

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The Second Amendment community is facing a major fight at the dawn of 2013. This time they’re serious, and it’s going to take some work on our parts to win.

You see, Congress goes back to work tomorrow and one of the things they’ll be working on is Dianne Feinstein’s new gun control bill. I’ll not waste the space here detailing the provisions — you can easily look them up with a five-second Google — but she’s going for broke this time: the ...

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Hypocrisy, thy name is journalism.

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There is just a ton of stuff to talk about this week, and my “ideas for the blog” bookmark list runs into the hundreds. I want to take today, however, to point out the hypocrisy of the press – and how at least one of the members of the increasingly sanctimonious Fourth Estate has learned that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, courtesy of the emerging Fifth Estate.

The Journal-News of White Plains, NY ...

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Practical responses to school attacks.

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Since the horrific school murders last week it’s become clear that our collective responses to these attacks is insufficient. The reports I’ve read indicated that it took police 20 minutes from the initial call to arrive; that’s a lot of time for a madman to be loose in a victim-rich environment – no matter what he’s armed with.

While the national debate rages about gun bans and mental health records, there are some logical, plausible, no-nonsense things that we can do ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Carlo’s masterpiece – the Moto Guzzi bicilindrica.

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Many people know the story of the famed Moto Guzzi 500cc V8 race bike – the audacious otto cylindri. The motorcycle it was intended to replace – but never did due to Guzzi’s withdrawal from racing in 1959 – was my favorite Moto Guzzi of all time, the bicilindrica.

The bicilindrica was a 500cc v-twin designed by Carlo Guzzi himself in 1933. It would go on to be one of their longest-lived and most successful racers before being officially shelved in ...

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The myth of situational awareness, illustrated.

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This story has been making the rounds over the last few days, and some people in the training business have been using it as an example of why situational awareness is So Very, Very Important: “if this guy hadn’t been texting and been aware of his surroundings, he’d be alive today!”

Bull twaddle.

Frankly, I think it’s a perfect illustration of a controversial piece I wrote for the Personal Defense Network nearly two years ago. In ...

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Should we welcome ‘liberals’ to the shooting world? Of course we should.

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I recently found this piece by Terrell Prude Jr. Mr. Prude** is a self-professed liberal who is also a Second Amendment supporter and a member of the NRA. If you’ve been following the blog, Facebook, or any of the podcasts I’ve been on lately you know that this is a hot issue with me. I don’t believe that someone needs to be of a certain political persuasion in order to be a gun rights advocate, and I ...

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Someone actually thought this was a good idea: cheesecake in the gun world.

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On Monday I brought you the sad tale of a silly article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 Annual. The silliness doesn’t stop with the content, however – the way that the article was presented casts a blot not just on Shooting Times and the author of the article, but on the shooting community as a whole.

The pictures for the article were taken by the author, one J. ...

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When will the silly defensive shooting techniques stop?

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After my article on not falling for a technique simply because someone of authority promotes it, a reader sent me an alert about an article in the Shooting Times Personal Defense 2012 magazine. The article is titled “Fight With A .380” by one J. Guthrie. (Had I written this article, I’d probably be embarrassed to use my full name too. You’ll see why.)

Mr. Guthrie bases much of his article on conversations with Ed ...

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Task fixation in critical incidents.

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One of the concepts that we talk about in most of my classes is that of task fixation: the diversion of attention to a particular sub-activity during an attack. We discuss this specifically relating to looking at the gun while reloading.

The concept is clearly illustrated in this video of a very dynamic simulation during a Craig Douglas ECQC class (one of the few on my “short list” of classes to attend.) Note that the gun fails to fire and suddenly ...

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My new PDN article: sight-seeing!

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I’ve got another new article up at the Personal Defense Network, and those of you who are pushing 40 (or pulling 50) will be particularly interested. It’s called “I Can’t See My Sights!”

It’s the distillation of all the things I’ve learned over the past few years about how to adapt to vision changes, particularly those related to the march of time. If you have contrast or color blindness issues, or if you wear bifocals, this article will ...

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Don’t fall for it! Gun safety, authority figures, and you.

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(Note: I am omitting names in this article, not because the information is secret but because I want to focus on a concept. The incidents I talk about are public knowledge and can be found with about 15 seconds of Googling; if you really want the nitty-gritty details, feel free to do the searching – but please don’t bring that information in to any comments here, as I want the discussion to center on the ideas not the players. Thank ...

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The pink gun trend. Again. Can we just stop now, please?

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Some time ago I railed about how firearms are being sold to women: by adding pink grips to wholly inappropriate guns and peddling them to the “little ladies”. That just frosts me, because I want women to have the same thing that men have: a gun which they can actually use efficiently to deal with a threat. Part of being able to use it is being able to train and practice with it, and a gun that doesn’t fit well ...

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Ramifications are everywhere. Especially in being prepared.

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The storm that hit the NE part of our country was more devastating than I expected – and I expected it to be severe. The original projected pressure of 939mb turned out to be very close to the actual 940mb recorded – the lowest ever for the eastern seaboard. When I saw that forecast pressure a week ago I knew it was going to be very bad, but even I was shocked at what eventually transpired. My thoughts are with ...

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Managing scarcity – it’s an important part of safety, because you can’t have or do everything.

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As I write this the storm formerly known as Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast. The remnants of Sandy are merging with a winter storm, sucking frigid air from Canada, and coalescing to form what’s being called a “superstorm”. The forecast is for extremely high winds, double-digit inches of rain, feet of wet and heavy snow in the mountains, and water level rises as much as 11 feet in some of the bays in the region. Current ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: The future of education?

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When you think about it, the art of education hasn’t changed much over the centuries. Sure, there have been advances in what is being taught, and in the technologies used to facilitate that teaching, but in general the process itself hasn’t seen much advancement over the generations.

While one could argue that the authority-based methods used today are necessary to maintain some known level of consistency and quality, another could argue that it’s not actually happening; it’s possible to go into ...

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Testing gunpowder, circa 1850.

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One of the modern conveniences which we take for granted is smokeless powder. It’s stable, predictable, and stores for a very long time. It’s also not hygroscopic, meaning that it doesn’t readily absorb water – a really good attribute for a propellant!

This wasn’t the case with early gunpowder, which we now refer to as black powder. (Even that’s not quite accurate, as the black powder of today is considerably more reliably formulated than that which was available in the 19th ...

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Panic in the streets: ammo edition.

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For the last couple of months I’ve been hearing rumblings about stocking up on ammunition for, well, whatever: zombie apocalypse, riots after the election, natural disasters, what have you. (I actually heard a non-gun-person refer to the “zombie apocalypse” just the other day. This is now getting out of hand.)

At the same time, I think we need to consider the possible actions of the prohibitionists who may try back-door gun control via ammunition restrictions. While I don’t think ammunition can ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Here today, gone tomorrow.

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Collectors have a word for things that were never meant to survive: ephemera. Stuff like advertisements and cocktail napkins and business cards were expected to be used for a short time, then discarded or destroyed. Unlike a toaster or a car or a camera, they were never intended to be saved for posterity. Yet they are, because they survived.

Now we find ourselves in the digital age, preoccupied with technology and all of the neat things it can do. We can ...

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