A mob is heading into your space. What do you do?

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Imagine this: you’re out for a nice evening with your wife. You decide that you’ll go see a movie at the local mall, maybe have a little dinner afterwards, and then head home for some much needed rest. A perfect date night, right?

Well, it certainly would be, right up until the movie theater you’ve chosen is invaded by as many as 900 teenagers. Not “invaded” as in “everyone decided to go see the same movie at the same time and ...

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A restraining order is a poor way to stop a bullet!

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Oregon City, Oregon is an historic town. It was the first incorporated city west of the Rockies, sitting aside the Willamette River and just downhill from Willamette Falls. The Falls necessitate locks, and the first multi-lift navigational locks were built there. In 1889 the first long-distance transmission of electricity in the U.S. was from those falls to nearby Portland, and Oregon City can boast both the oldest Masonic Lodge west of ...

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Incident Analysis: a 7-11 clerk gets shanked.

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A big part of “situational awareness” is managing distractions. Here’s what happens when you don’t.

Rancho Cucamonga is an upper-middle-class city in California, known for it’s nouveau riche attitudes and lifestyles. It’s home to people who’ve made a decent amount of money (by California standards; anywhere else they’d be seen as quite wealthy) and like to show it off. You’ll see lots of expensive automobiles and nice homes, and the city’s overwhelmingly ...

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If the police can’t come, what will you do?

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All over the country, police budgets are being slashed. For some counties here in Oregon, tax revenues have declined so sharply that police patrols are no longer 24 hours per day. What would this mean if it happened in your town?

A recent story out of Dallas, OR — a small town west of Salem, our state capital — illustrates the issues facing many people who live in non-incorporated parts of the country: there ...

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Would YOU know what to do in a mass-casualty attack? Here’s how to find out!

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The world, many people say, is getting more dangerous. You can make it a little less so by knowing what to do if a terror attack happens to you!

From all over the world we read of mass-casualty terror attacks. Shootings in Paris; bombings in other parts of the world; shopping malls and train stations attacked; and even here at home we’ve had more than a few people lose their lives to ...

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What can we as armed citizens learn from the Charlie Hebdo Magazine attack?

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The recent attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has brought organized terrorism back into our consciousness. What can we, as legally armed citizens, learn from this tragedy?

Of all the things I’ve learned in the training world, the value of team tactics ranks up there with the scariest. Not in terms of being scared while attempting a room or house clearing (though those things are unnerving), but rather the realization of ...

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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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Are you defensively fit? This New Year, resolve to be.

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I know, I’m not big on the whole New Year’s Resolution thing either, but I’ve found that it’s easier to make lifestyle changes stick when there is more than one benefit to the resolution!

Lots of folks start off the New Year with a resolution to get into better shape. For most folks it’s about looking better or fitting into a specific piece of clothing; for others, its an understanding that excess weight can be a health issue unto itself.

One thing ...

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DVD Review: Dave Grossman and The Bulletproof Mind.

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DVD Review: Bulletproof Mind – Mental Preparation For The Coming Hard Times
with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

Many people are already familiar with the work of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. He’s the author of several notable books, including “On Killing” and “On Combat”, and is a frequent lecturer and seminar ...

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How much training do you really need?

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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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DVD Review: Immediate Emergency Medicine with Caleb Causey

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Today I’m reviewing another DVD in the Personal Defense Network’s Personal Firearms Defense series. This time, it’s Caleb Causey teaching us how to deal with life threatening trauma!

Immediate Emergency Medicine
Presented by Caleb Causey and Rob Pincus

I’ve been pretty vocal over the last few years about the need for knowing how to treat life threatening trauma. I think it’s a good idea for anyone who carries a firearm for personal defense ...

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Taking a larger view of situational awareness.

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In the defensive training world you’ll hear lots of talk about situational awareness, but little about its actual meaning or application. In this article I’ll explain why I think it’s more than what you’ve been taught, and how to put it to work in a way you may not have considered!

Bryan Black over at ITS Tactical recently penned an excellent article about situational awareness — even though he didn’t call ...

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Halloween is coming up! Will your kids be safe?

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Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trick-or-treating. Here’s how to make sure your kids remember Halloween as a happy time too!

I was a grade-schooler on a farm outside of a small town in the late 1960s, and back then Halloween was a wonderful holiday. We could run all over the town getting treats from every house, and we’d quite literally come back with the large paper shopping bags stuffed with goodies.

My favorite house was of the retired couple ...

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What is the big deal with mindset?

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Many trainers in the defensive shooting world talk about teaching “mindset” to their students. What is that? Can it even be taught?

Some instructors post lists of what you’ll learn in their courses, and one of the items you’ll often see listed is “mindset”: the mental state of being willing to defend yourself using lethal force. They believe (at least I assume they believe) that they can teach this in a short ...

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How do you know what to prepare for?

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Figuring out how to keep you and your family safe can seem overwhelming, but knowing what you face is a good way to gain the clarity you need to act. Today let’s look at some of the kinds of information might be valuable to you in your quest for personal safety!

Part of the planning process for your personal security preparations is knowing what external risks you face. That information can help you ...

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Some last-minute holiday blogging: be safe at Christmas!

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I know that everyone is probably more interested in getting their shopping done than reading a blog this week, so I’m not going to lay anything heavy on you today. (I’m also not going to bother writing a blog on Wednesday, when I suspect most people are opening presents, attending services, or visiting relatives.)

A lot of you might be giving the gift of a firearm this year. (If you’re considering doing so, but haven’t yet made the trek to your ...

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How should you protect yourself from the knockout game attack?

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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! (Be honest, now: how many of you are taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals to get yourself something at a gun or outdoor store? Thought so!)

Over the last week or so quite a number of people have written to ask me about the “knockout game” which the media is making such a fuss over. The common query is about how to defend against this kind of attack, and could I give some ...

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Reviews of Defensive Revolver Fundamentals, I interview Gila Hayes, and more!

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Renowned trainer Tiger McKee recently wrote a very nice review of my revolver books (Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver and my new Defensive Revolver Fundamentals) for The Tactical Wire. This is pretty exciting to me, as he is one of the most direct descendants of Jeff Cooper and is a proponent of both the 1911 pistol and of the “Modern Technique” — all of which, as you’re probably aware, are ...

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Book Review: Concealed Carry For Women by Gila Hayes

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I recently received (courtesy of the author) a copy of the new book “Concealed Carry For Women” by Gila Hayes. (In the interest of full disclosure, I assisted Gila with some pictures for this book and there is at least one picture of me inside. I’ve also known her for many years and consider her a friend, which is not a word I use frivolously. Even if I didn’t know her, however, I believe my review would ...

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Why are we so resistant to learning from our mistakes?

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Last week I became aware of a YouTube video of a fellow shooting himself in the leg after making ready during a match. He starts the video off by proclaiming that it wasn’t his fault – it was his gun which malfunctioned and was in the hands of the maker’s service department for analysis of the “failure”.

I knew, ten seconds into the video, that it wasn’t the gun. I knew, just due to the fellow’s demeanor, that he’d had his ...

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How’s your situational awareness right now? It may not matter.

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I have a quick homework assignment for you. Watch the first minute-and-a-half or so of this video (you can watch the rest later, but now we have work to do!)

You see what your knowledge tells you you’re seeing. You apply whatever base comprehension you have to explain or make sense of whatever it is you’re observing. That’s what the truth is, really; an explanation or a point of view that fits what you observe. Whether ...

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Regarding the Boston Marathon bomb attack: ramifications and defenses.

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I’m still mentally processing the information coming out of Boston about the attack at the Marathon. There’s so much to say, and so much that could happen as a result of this horrendous act, that I can’t possibly do it all justice. So, if you’ll forgive me this rather informal bullet-point treatment of the subject:

– Once again, the news reports during and in the 24 hours after the attack were wildly inaccurate. The problem is that raw intelligence is by ...

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Reactions to a recent article: coming to terms with not being armed all the time.

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Most of the interaction we have here happen in the comments, but some folks prefer to send emails expressing their thoughts. Some of them are interesting enough to talk about.

On the recent topic of not carrying all the time (which I should have called “everyone does, but very few will admit to it”), I got quite a few emails thanking me for expressing a non-macho point of view. Glad to do it, though it’s not so much anti-macho as it is ...

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On not being armed: the discussion continues.

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Monday’s post precipitated a number of comments; here, on Facebook, and in my email box. Some of them were complimentary, some weren’t, while others were in the middle somewhere.

Many, I think, missed the point of the discussion. Allow me to illustrate with a question.

If there is a place where you cannot have your gun (because the law says you can’t), do you avoid that place altogether? I’m not talking out of principle – that’s another discussion entirely – but simply ...

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Do you carry a gun all of the time? I don’t, and you can’t if you want to have a life. Get used to it.

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Every so often I’ll get together with other people who are in the business of defensive shooting training. Invariably they are shocked – sometimes to incredulity – when I tell them that no, I’m not carrying a gun (whether I am or not – I just like to see the look on their faces) and no, I don’t carry 24/7 (nobody can, unless the never go anywhere.)

From their reactions you’d think I’d violated some sacred oath, or was insanely irresponsible, for ...

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Protecting yourself after an injury.

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In most areas of the country, it’s generally held that you may use lethal force to protect yourself if you are in immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily injury. One of the factors which can contribute to that perceived danger is known as “disparity of force”; that is, a marked difference in the ability of the parties involved to inflict injury.

If your attacker is much larger than you, or if he’s much stronger, or if he ...

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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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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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Over-react much? Comical training responses to the Aurora theater attack.

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Over at the Schneier On Security blog, Bruce Schneier talks about the concept of risk in relation to the Aurora movie theater attack. I found his analysis interesting, inasmuch as gunnies everywhere are talking about how they’d respond to such an event — and how they’re changing their preparations, “just in case.”

Some of the blogs, Facebook posts, and some forum discussions I’ve seen in the wake of the Aurora shooting are almost comical. There are people who suggest ...

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