Self Defense news from the 2015 SHOT Show!

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Unless you’ve been under a rock with regards to social media recently, you probably know that the 2015 SHOT Show happened in Las Vegas last week. I was there!

I almost wish I hadn’t been, however. It seems whenever I go to SHOT, I pick up a bug. No, not bedbugs — colds and flu!

With over 60,000 people in a fairly confined place, all of them handling the same products (especially products like rifles, which you put next to your ...

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Can you shoot an unarmed person? Should you?

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bad-guy

The Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin cases centered around the outrage many people felt that someone could justifiable shoot an unarmed person. How valid is that outrage?

There are a lot of confusing topics when we start talking about the justifiable use of lethal force. The legalities of things like warning shots, citizens arrests, taking someone at gunpoint, coming to the aid of others with your firearm, shooting fleeing suspects, and more ...

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Do you know what to say when the police show up at your defensive shooting?

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“Wherever you have two lawyers, you have three opinions.” (Paraphrasing an old Jewish proverb.)

Law is a complicated subject. (The more cynical in the crowd would point out that law is written by lawyers, who certainly have a financial disincentive in making it easy to understand!) It’s complicated because it deals with human interaction, which is the only thing which is more complicated than the law itself.

Because of this complication it’s understandable why people would want to simplify it to the ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Legalities of Non-Lethal Force

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Defensive DVD Review: Legal Considerations Of The Use Of Non-Lethal Defensive Force
Presented by Marty Hayes, Kerry Tanner, and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

This is an interesting DVD in the Personal Defense Network’s series, interesting in the sense that it doesn’t deal with the use of lethal force. It does, however, address the idea of using the threat of ...

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Sometimes, defensive shooting is all about NOT shooting!

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One of the realities of life is that not every problem is a shooting problem. Those of us who teach this stuff often forget to emphasize that to our students, or more precisely we downplay it a bit because it’s hard to sell a shooting class where you learn not to shoot!

(I’m not kidding about that last bit, either. Lots of folks go to shooting classes because they’re fun, and once ...

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Do you know what to do when you’ve shot someone in self defense? This story will open your eyes.

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One of the trickiest self defense concepts revolves around “disparity of force”. Do you know what it is, what it means when you’re faced with it, and how you’d defend it in court?

In the training world we have two separate but very interrelated disciplines: the mechanics of defensive shooting, and the legalities of the use of lethal force. I say they’re interrelated because the latter determines when we are allowed (and to what degree) to employ the former. Having a ...

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Do you know how to prepare for self-defense in cold weather? Here’s your chance to learn from an expert!

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This week saw record-cold temperatures in parts of the U.S., and we still have a couple of months of winter to go (at least!) Ever thought about how this changes your training?

It’s cold out there! Well, to be honest it’s pretty normal here in Oregon, but the east coast has already seen some seriously cold and snowy weather. Not many people go out training this time of year, and that’s actually ...

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Incident Analysis: Neighbor vs. Carjacker

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Your neighbor has just been thrown out of her car by a carjacker — and he’s about to drive off! What’s the right response?

Last August a Phoenix, AZ woman was pulling into her driveway when she was approached by a male who asked to use her phone. Still in the driver’s seat, she said no. That’s when the suspect opened the car door, pulled her from the car and threw her ...

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DVD Review: Maximizing Reality-Based Training.

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Reality based training (RBT) is becoming a bigger part of the defensive shooting world on a daily basis. This DVD answers your most common questions!

DVD Review: Maximizing Reality-Based Training
Presented by Ken Murray and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

Reality-based training, sometimes referred to as force-on-force or scenario-based training, is a teaching methodology that uses scenarios with live actors and non-lethal ...

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Have you thought about what happens AFTER your defensive shooting?

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Many people don’t understand that their defensive shooting incident will have lasting repercussions — and not just for the bad guy.

The defensive firearms world is one laced with testosterone and bravado. I’ve lost track of the number of times, just in the last couple of months, where I’ve encountered someone who possessed a decidedly comic book understanding of the use of deadly force.

“Better to be tried by twelve than carried by ...

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How do you avoid a “friendly fire” shooting in your home?

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Sadly, it happens with some frequency: a family member is shot after being mistaken for an intruder. Can it happen to you or someone you love?

When I was young our family never locked the house doors; in fact, I’m not sure my parents even had a key! We lived outside of a very small town, one in which nothing every really happened, and one in which people left their cars parked with ...

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How much training do you really need?

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_EP30170

Claire Wolfe, the well known libertarian writer, recently penned a piece for SWAT Magazine where she questioned the need for extensive self defense training. She has a point: how much training is enough?

I could be excused, I suppose, were I to tell you that you definitely need self defense training — and the more the better. I say that because I am in the business of educating people to keep themselves ...

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Incident Analysis: the case of the Indianapolis TV Burglar.

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A woman in Indianapolis had a little trouble defending her home during a late-night break-in. What did she do wrong, and what can we learn from her experience?

Marta (last name not given) lives with her two children in an older two-story home in Indianapolis. She has a gun for the protection of herself and her kids, but as we’ll see owning a gun isn’t the same as knowing how to use it properly!

Late one night she woke to the ...

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Can you draw your gun one-handed? Should you be able to?

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One of the overlooked aspects of getting the gun into play involves things we do that impede the draw process. Here’s why I think you need to pay closer attention to how you draw your handgun.

In my Threat-Centered™ courses I teach a block on one-handed (strong hand) shooting and the plausible reasons it might be necessary, but I’ve never really been as diligent about applying the same logic and analysis ...

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What’s the best way to pick ammunition for self defense? Here’s how I do it.

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I received an interesting email the other day asking how I select defensive ammunition. Here’s how I go about picking the load that rides in my self-defense handguns!

Dustin asks:

“I was wondering if you could give an overview of how you select defensive ammo for your revolvers. Do you accuracy test different loads? If so, at what distance do you expect the rounds to perform? How do you handle POA/POI issues with ...

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Can you really be convicted of defending yourself? Yes, when it’s not really self defense.

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The firearm is a lethal force tool that has a very narrow range of application. Knowing and understanding that fact may keep you out of jail!

It’s incumbent upon those who keep firearms for personal protection to know the legalities of the use of deadly force. The firearm, when aimed at another person, is a deadly weapon — and there is a pretty well-established body of law (both common and statutory) which deals with the use of that weapon. Not knowing ...

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Illustrating the issue with off-body carry.

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Off-body carry, such as in a purse or handbag, brings with it a peculiar risk. Sometimes all we need to do is look at the news to understand it!

As I’ve mentioned previously, Off-body carry (OBC) is a convenient way to tote a defensive firearm. It doesn’t require any changes to one’s wardrobe, and the gun is ostensibly “always” there.

Except when it’s not.

A news report out of Austin, Texas chronicles a series of violent purse snatchings that have made the ...

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A rare discussion about defensive shooting education and the instructor-student relationship.

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_EP30161

It’s been said that being a student make you a better teacher. Does it work the other way around?

I recently returned from a teaching trip at Safety Solutions Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. My host, Paul Carlson, brought me in to teach his students how to use a revolver to protect themselves and their loved ones.

This was an interesting class, as there were several students for whom the revolver is their primary (and ...

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Making good training decisions is important to your well-being. Here’s why.

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Is there really any harm to preparing for things that don’t really happen?

Last week I broached the subject of preparing for the likely and plausible defensive scenarios. At the end, I asked a rhetorical question: Is there anything wrong with going beyond the plausible?

Yes, I think there is.

At the heart of the answer is the fact that none of us have unlimited resources for training, preparation, practice, and maintenance of all ...

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You can’t do (or carry) everything. The sooner you accept that, the better decisions you’ll make.

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Comments on Monday’s discussion revealed that there is some confusion about the word “plausible” and its application to armed self defense. Let’s take a look at what that word means and why it’s important!

In the article on how much spare ammunition to carry, I used the word “plausible”. Believe it or not, that one word has tremendous meaning to those of us who carry a defensive handgun, and it’s one we can’t ...

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How much spare ammunition is “enough”?

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If you carry a gun for personal protection, you should always carry spare ammunition — but how many rounds should you carry?

Contrary to what Hollywood might lead us to believe, our guns do not carry an unlimited supply of ammunition. If you’re forced to use your gun against an attack it’s plausible (though in private sector self defense not likely) that you might run out of ammunition before that attack has finished, ...

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Ladies, the guy behind the gun counter is not your friend. Really.

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If you’re new to the shooting world, and have decided to purchase a handgun for self defense, you’ll need to do your own research — because the guy behind the gun counter won’t do it for you!

Eleanor Roosevelt and Annie Oakley notwithstanding, shooting is a male-dominated activity. Most of the people in the industry, from presidents of firearms manufacturers down to the counter clerks, are men; most of the writers in the ...

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How do you find self-defense blogs that are worth reading?

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There is no end of information on the ‘net regarding self defense, personal security, prepping, and other self-reliance topics. How do you find the usable needles in all those stacks of hay?

It’s no secret that the internet is chock full of information: good, bad, and ugly. It’s served to get rid of some of the most egregiously outlandish stuff that was common before the world wide web came into being (for instance, ...

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The most under-used word in the field of defensive shooting: ‘context’.

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If you’re not training in context, then you don’t really know what you’re training for. How is that a wise use of your time, effort, and money?

One of the subjects I cover in my defensive shooting classes is the idea of training in context — that is, training in relation to your expected use. This seems like it should be self-evident, but surprisingly it isn’t.

This idea of context actually burst into my ...

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What is the first, most important thing you need to have for self-defense?

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Whether we’re talking self defense or the larger concept of self preservation, there is one thing that stands above all others in its importance. You can’t buy it, though there are people who will try to sell it to you!

I came to the self defense arena through the firearms world. That wasn’t intentional, it just worked out that way! People in the shooting community, some of them very sincere and accomplished, ...

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The two questions your defensive shooting instructor should be willing and able to answer.

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There are a lot of questions you can ask your defensive shooting instructor, but I believe there are two which will tell you more about his teaching ability and dedication than any others.

In the defensive shooting world, critical thought or introspection are not often celebrated. There is, in fact, a certain (and vocal) segment of the CCW and self defense fraternity that ridicules anything other than a regimented, don’t-ask-questions military-like ...

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Some important thoughts about “Stand Your Ground” laws.

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You’ve probably heard news reports about “stand your ground” (SYG) laws, particularly in Florida. In the wake of several high profile shootings these laws are under scrutiny. Should they be?

“Stand Your Ground” laws became a source of debate all over the country after the George Zimmerman case, and the recent Michael Dunn “loud music” shooting has intensified calls to modify or repeal the Florida statute. Activists in other states who have similar laws are also calling for revamping their local ...

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Do you shoot a SIG, Beretta, CZ, or other DA/SA pistol? You need to read this.

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There are a lot of autoloading pistols which have a double action (DA) pull for the first shot and a single action (SA) pull for all subsequent shots. Training for that transition is important, and here’s one way to do so.

I’ve been pretty outspoken about my dislike for what we call “traditional double action” autoloading pistols: pistols that start with a long, heavy double action shot and then present a short, ...

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Preparing for violence means learning about how it happens and how we look at it.

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What is your schema, your way of looking at violence? Your point of view determines how you prepare, so working on your point of view may be as important as anything in your defensive preparations.

William Aprill is a mental health professional who has made it his business to study how and why violence happens and how we react to violence. He combines that with his background in shooting ...

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