Things People Say: “I want to buy a gun to keep myself safe”

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Anyone who’s been around guns for any length of time eventually gets asked for advice: “I want to buy a gun to keep myself safe. What should I get?”

It’s tempting to launch into a discussion about shotguns versus rifles versus handguns, or maybe about 9mm versus .40 S&W, striker-fired versus double action/single action, or even revolver versus autoloader. That’s what “gun people” talk about: the hardware and the technical minutiae surrounding it.

In reality, though, instead of doing a sales job ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 5, 2016

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Another Wednesday, another Reading List! In today’s list: learning to fight back; knowing where your line in the sand is; the police probably aren’t going to save you; what not to do when your attacker is in your face; getting your gun ready when you don’t yet need to shoot; a sad case of someone who didn’t understand when the fight was over; preparing for winter storms; and Greg Ellifritz teaches us to look for opportunities. Read, learn, and share!

 

Model ...

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Meaningless increments of precision — and why you should avoid them

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When we talk about self defense (and particularly when gun people talk about self defense), the topic of measurement will eventually come up. In the gun world we love to measure things, and we can measure just about anything. The problem is that the measurements we make may not be important.

I use the term “meaningless increments of precision” to refer to those measurements which don’t add to our self protection knowledge or to our ability to defend ourselves. The measurement ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 28, 2016

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Today’s Hump Day Reading List includes how to deal with negative reactions to your defensive firearms; why you can’t just run down people even if they’re blocking your path; pickpockets are very good at what they do; a look at specialized concealed carry clothing; Greg Ellifritz looks at self defense from a new perspective; how to escape a riot on foot; and Claude Werner points out that killing someone, even in self defense, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. ...

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Choosing a defensive handgun: making the best of bad alternatives

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An interesting question came up in a class I taught recently. It had to do with defensive carry firearm recommendations in states which restrict the models available for sale (such as in Massachusetts and California.) How is someone to pick the best of the worst options?

The attributes of an ideal defensive handgun

When picking a defensive firearm, particularly one which is to be carried for personal defense, I always recommend that the gun:

1) Be reliable above all else; the gun needs ...

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Defensive education is changing, for the better. Take advantage of it!

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“I think the late 90’s is where things started to shift because of dash/surveillance cameras becoming much more common and force-on-force scenario training taking huge leaps forward. The ramifications of those evolutionary forces are starting to be seen much more commonly. I hope in 10 years we look back and realize that right now we were only just scratching the surface of getting away from the isolated skill (marksmanship) and choreography (competition) based approaches.” – Rob Pincus

Those who ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 7, 2016

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More great self defense reading for this week! First, why you need to include a dog in your defensive planning; Greg Ellifritz considers what you should do after you’ve stopped the active killer; why you need a practice tourniquet in your kit; how to carry spare revolver ammunition; dealing with the spontaneous fight; how to properly analyze incident video; and dispelling some pervasive shotgun myths. Be sure to share with all of your friends!

 

How about a defensive tool that will ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 31, 2016

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Wednesday is school day here on the blog! This week: how predators choose who to attack; window stickers might give you away; Cecil Burch says it’s okay to stay in your own lane; Greg Ellifritz has an important look at cultural norms and why you need to be aware of them; Rob Pincus talks about response planning for mass casualty attacks; parallax in non-technical terms; a story about a guy who understands the proper role of the defensive firearm; and ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 24, 2016

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It’s Hump Day — and time to get your learning on! This week: another look at a case where shooting wasn’t the answer; some alternative defensive tools to consider; a gun you have beats the one you wish you had; an explanation of polygonal rifling; sometimes students active try to not learn; a real-life example of “could” versus “should”; Claude Werner looks at the criminal interview; and the lever action rifle is still a viable choice for defense. Prepare for ...

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Why your CCW class isn’t enough

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If you’re like most people who read this blog, you’ve already been through a CCW class of some sort. (CCW, of course, stands for Carrying a Concealed Weapon, which is a catch-all term for the practice, licensing and study to carry a handgun concealed on your person. The term ‘CCW class’ is generally applied to the courses which the law requires to be able to apply for a concealed handgun license.)

The CCW class is the first exposure many people have ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 17, 2016

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More Wednesday Wonderfulness! Massad Ayoob and Gail Pepin talking with Joshua Gideon; what happened at an airport when an active shooter alarm went out; doctors need protection too; defending against rioters with a rifle; Greg Ellifritz talks about defending against the surprise attack; the ways to use a defensive flashlight; being a survivalist doesn’t have to involve camouflage underwear; and understanding crying at the range. Another great collection of articles to help you and your family stay safe in this ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 10, 2016

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In today’s Hump Day Reading List: another warning shot goes bad — very, very bad; Greg Ellifritz has some ideas on protecting yourself while working in your yard; reasons why your demeanor as an armed citizen is important; one woman gives her hard-won advice on concealed carry; not being noticed as a protection tool; the after-shooting “scan”; and how burglars do their work.

 

Warning shot goes bad. Again.

I’ve said this before, many times: warning shots are almost universally a bad idea. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 3, 2016

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This week we have a surgeon’s take on hospital safety; another look at church security planning; what you should do if you find yourself at the scene of a mass shooting attack; what to do when the guy you’re holding at gunpoint doesn’t follow your orders; storing water for emergencies; how to deal with mob violence; how to master the traditional double action pistol; and a look at tampons for first aid. More great information only on the Hump Day ...

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Defensive shooting fundamentals: I do not think it means what they think it means.

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I want you to sit back and think for just a minute: you have 60 seconds to teach someone how to use a gun to defend herself from an imminent attack. What useful defensive shooting fundamentals can you give her in that small amount of time?

This little exercise strips away all of the nonsense, hype, and posturing that often surrounds defensive shooting training. I makes you really focus on the most important parts of teaching someone how to defend themselves ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 27, 2016

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More great personal security, home protection and preparedness information this week, including: what hunting can teach you about shooting positions; Greg Ellifritz is back with some information about lockdowns; Claude Werner digests FBI statistics and comes up with surprising conclusions; when a cheap gun beats a quality gun; personal safety insights from South Africa; how to protect a church and the people inside it; practicing personal security and preparedness; and why those window stickers might be making you a target. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 20, 2016

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It’s Hump Day, which means it’s time for education and enlightenment! Claude Werner talks about mindset, decision making, and training both; a defensive shooting what really wasn’t, despite what your friends think; Greg Ellifritz shows you how drug stores are really dangerous places, and what to do about it; some tips for women on learning defensive shooting skills; dealing with a disaster when away from home; how to properly evaluate a belt for concealed carry; some thoughts on what experience ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 13, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List includes an article on how to get the exercise you know you need; developing a defensive mindset; Greg Ellifritz looks at how terrorist attacks on airports are evolving; the AK as a defensive rifle; how to design your own home alarm system; what you need in an auto emergency kit; grandmas have always carried guns, but now they’re not afraid to admit it; and a look at the 20-gauge as a defensive tool. All ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 29, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List is full of great information for the self-reliant! First, a new course promises to open your eyes to a new way of looking at personal safety; how to help your body adapt to summer’s heat; Greg Ellifritz looks at the question of giving first aid to someone you’ve defended yourself from; a look at what happens when you’re distracted in public; you’re a prepper and probably don’t even realize it; why you really do ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 8, 2016

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I’m always looking for great self defense information that the average person can really use, and this week I found a bunch of great articles! First, a look at training to use a defensive firearm even if the user has some infirmities; a real-life reason why you should have a “get home bag”; don’t call unwanted attention to your car; a look at some realities of police shootings that have important lessons in the private sector; the 12-gauge shotgun, properly ...

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The AR-15 does a lot of things well. Except this.

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Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the shooting/self defense field who’s actually thinking about the average person: the man or woman who doesn’t want to become a soldier or a police officer, doesn’t want to look like one, doesn’t want to spend all their free time on a shooting range, and doesn’t care about a PR in a WOD. (I had to look those up to figure out what they were, too!) I mention this because I take ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 1, 2016

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It’s the first of June, and what better way to celebrate with some great articles? I’ll start with yet another example of what NOT to do with your personal defense handgun; a look at what burglars do when they enter a home; should you carry a gun in church?; debunking myths about tourniquets; keeping toddlers safe around guns; a guide to buying a suppressor; keeping safe in hotels; and speaking of suppressors, a look at a cool vintage one.

 

You are ...

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A burglar, a boy, and bullets aplenty: how not to respond when life isn’t at stake.

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A couple of weeks back social media was all abuzz at the case of an 11-year-old “hero” who shot a burglar. Now I know we’ve all seen “Home Alone” and cheered when little Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Caulkin) got the best of the would-be burglars, but in this case there’s much less to celebrate.

The news reports I’ve read differ slightly in the details, and frankly the boy’s story appears to keep changing, but what is consistent is that a burglar ...

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Rob Pincus and Bob Owens arguing over the Weaver stance: a critical analysis of the controversy.

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About a week ago, Rob Pincus put up a video at Personal Defense Network regarding the use of the Weaver Stance in defensive shooting. Bob Owens at BearingArms apparently took exception to Pincus’ points and posted a personal invective at his own site titled “OH, DEAR: Rob Pincus Doesn’t Understand The Weaver Position.”

Rob asked me to take a look at both his video and Owen’s article; he said, and this is an exact quote from his email, that “I want an ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 20, 2016

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Welcome to Wednesday — and the Hump Day Reading List! Today Greg Ellifritz has some lessons to be learned from recent news events; a look at why what works in the shoothouse may not work in the real world; Ian McCollum examines the pinfire revolver; storing a defensive shotgun; some women and gun myths get busted; how to deal with people who suddenly find that they aren’t as prepared as you are; and a look at why black women are ...

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“It’s a training issue.” I don’t think that means what you think it means.

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Hoo boy, I heard it again just the other day: “it’s a training issue”. The subject at hand was a discussion about the traditional double action pistol, the kind that has a long and heavy double action first shot and a shorter, lighter single action (DA/SA) for each subsequent shot.

I’m not a fan of the things as a defensive tool in this modern age. They are the most complicated of the autopistols in use, owing to the two different trigger ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 6, 2016

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Is it Wednesday again? Holy cow this week went by quickly, but I still found the time to bring you some great information! I have a new article up at the PDN Blog; someone showed me a great prepper blog that’s not scary or offensive; Greg Ellifritz looks at a case where a man shot another man over a dog — but not really; a look at TASERs and stun guns for self defense; being in a rut gives you ...

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Perimeter Defense Rifle in Phoenix is coming up soon — sign up today!

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If you have a rifle for home or farm/ranch protection, wouldn’t you like to learn how to use it to its full defensive capability? Well, just two weeks from now you can do just that — by signing up for my Perimeter Defense Rifle class in beautiful, warm Phoenix, Arizona!

I’ll be working with Phoenix Firearms Training to bring realistic defensive rifle training to their sunny city. Perimeter Defense Rifle is the class that focuses on realistic and relevant defensive rifle ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for March 30, 2016

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More great information this week! It starts with a video featuring Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus (yes, they actually talk to each other!); a look at the social side of guns and shooting; some prepper terms you might want to know; how you can learn from other people’s experiences; the dangers posed by an otherwise unarmed attacker; Greg Ellifritz looks at why disarms don’t work on the street like they do on the mat; Claude Werner talks about the OODA ...

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Is “Constitutional Carry” good for the rest of us? Let’s make sure it is through education!

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So-called “constitutional carry” is becoming more popular around the country. This refers to being able to carry a concealed handgun in public without any sort of permitting or licensing process, assuming that the person is legally allowed to possess the handgun.

(The term “constitutional carry” is itself a reference to the Second Amendment’s wording of “keep and bear arms”. As constitutional scholars are quick to point out, however, the term isn’t really accurate; however, since it does have a generally agreed ...

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