The “long game” of self defense

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It’s easy to think of self defense as a thing you do in response to a bad guy. After all, that’s what most self defense courses focus on: bad guy appears and you perform the indicated response.

So neat. So tidy. So precise.

And so misleading.

Self defense doesn’t start when the bad guy appears, or when he starts his attack, or when you make the decision to ...

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Safe storage and self defense aren’t incompatible

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I recently shared to my social media accounts a story of an attempt by a local government to impose storage restrictions on gun owners in their city. The ordinance specified that firearms had to be locked up, except when they were “in use” (whatever that means).

Of course this drew the ire of many people, including the NRA. 

(Just to be clear, I am a proponent ...

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Self defense, quantum physics, and negative outcomes

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The great physicist Werner Heisenberg is responsible for describing a very interesting phenomenon in quantum physics: our observations effect the behavior of quanta (quantum particles). In other words, by simply observing an experiment, it’s possible that we inadvertently change the outcome.

Quantum physics gets really weird after that, but this is as far we need to go. For now.

Doing it means you won’t need to do ...

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What if nothing happens?

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No matter what the preparedness focus, be it just self defense or a full-blown disaster, in the back of everyone’s mind is a little voice that wonders if they’re not being just a little silly.

“After all”, the little voice says, “you’re spending a lot of your time, energy, and money on something you don’t know for sure will ever come to pass. What if it ...

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The best defense is still not being there

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A few weeks back I wrote an article on why I don’t entertain the notion of “what-if” scenarios. If you haven’t read it, you should.

On a somewhat related note, I also don’t entertain the notion of the foregone conclusion scenario. It’s the one that presupposes a specific outcome or a specific event in an effort to support a particular conclusion. For instance, I was going ...

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The fishing hook fantasy

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Why do so many survival kit suggestions have fishing gear in them?

Over the years I’ve noticed that survival/escape/bugout/get-home kit contents always seem to include fishing gear. I don’t mean poles, reels, and aluminum boats with fish-finding radar, but hooks, line, and perhaps some weights.

The idea is that if you’re stranded somewhere you can pull out the hooks, attach them to some line, and drop them ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 14, 2018

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Wednesday the 13th is extra lucky, and I’ll prove it by sharing some really great articles to help keep you and your family safer and more secure!

 

I wish I’d written this. It’s that good.

This article from the Preparedness Advice blog is pure gold. The author looks at five pieces of common preparedness advice and takes each one apart, and I agree with just ...

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When friends are strangers

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Let’s assume, for the moment, that you have a perfect teenager. He or she is always polite, gets schoolwork in on time, excels in extracurricular activities, has above-average SAT scores, and has never been in trouble at school — or anywhere else, for that matter.

This is a kid you can trust, and who has never betrayed that trust. You can rely on him or her ...

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Can buying less actually give you more safety?

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The concept of minimalism intrigues me, because of its emphasis on personal growth rather than the acquisition of things. It forces one to ask “what’s important to me?” and “what do I really need?” rather than “oh, look, free shipping if I spend more money than I originally intended to!”

Sadly, in this case the self defense and firearms media is always working against you.

Thinking of ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 23, 2018

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I have no witty introduction this week, just a hand-curated assortment of articles that are worth your time to read. And a plug for my PDN show at the end (don’t miss it!)

 

A look at how to hold a revolver

I cover proper grasp in depth in my Threat-Centered Revolver course, because I believe it to be the single most important step to shooting ...

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A new way of looking at likelihood and plausbility

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A couple of decades back I started to talk to my defensive shooting students about the likelihood of being attacked and needing to use their firearm to defend themselves. It seemed to me that some people, based on their lifestyle and habits, were more likely to need to use lethal force than others.

It also seemed to me that, even when the defensive firearm was ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 2, 2018

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April showers have brought…May Hump Day Reading List articles! Don’t miss out on any of these great references for all parts of your protected life!

 

Great examples of personal threat assessments

If you’ve read Prepping For Life, you know that I recommend doing threat assessments for everyone in your family.  This is a very interesting article from the Active Response Training Blog, specifically on doing ...

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Selling defense without talking about prevention

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“F**k marketing. There are too many people in marketing.” — Steve Jobs

A while back I saw a slick promo video for a training organization (which will remain nameless), and it’s bothered me ever since because it makes the job of teaching people how to truly stay safe so much harder.

The video showed footage of a road rage incident where both drivers stop their cars and ...

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Do you have conflicting security priorities? You’re not alone.

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A couple of weeks ago I talked about how the “I won’t go anywhere I can’t carry a gun” attitude affects the lives of those who pretend to put it into practice.

The people who say things like that also have a tendency to insist that everyone can carry all the time, and fail to understand that some people really, truly can’t. It just isn’t ...

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Announcing my new book: “Protecting Your Homestead”

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Protecting Your Homestead book cover

Today I’m proud to announce my latest book, one which I’ve wanted to write for some time — Protecting Your Homestead: Using a Rifle to Defend Life on Your Property!

This book is an outgrowth of my Perimeter Defense Rifle course, which looks at using a rifle in defense of life beyond what is normally considered handgun range. ...

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You can find perspective in some odd places

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It must be said that I’m not really a travel bug. Don’t get me wrong; I’m no hermit, but I don’t have the intense wanderlust many people do. I can appreciate it, even envy it to an extent, but I’ve never had it.

So it was something of an oddity for me to be reading an interview with globetrotter Anthony Bourdain titled “All the Things ...

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How fast should you shoot?

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Shot timers may be irrelevant to defensive training

For at least a decade I’ve subscribed to the idea that a teacher needs to be open to change, and that in fact one of the best ways to gauge the quality of a teacher is to ask what he (or she) has changed their mind about. If they’re learning, if they’re growing, they’ll experience evolution in ...

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Once you’re in contact, the defensive problem changes

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Last week I talked about the mistaken notion of seeing self defense and personal safety as a battle to be won, because such a mindset can lead to bad decisions. Today let’s look at a related topic: your view of the place for your concealed carry gun might be affected by some mistaken training notions.

Shortly after I wrote last week’s article someone sent me ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for March 14, 2018

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It’s almost the Ides Of March, but I’m not going to stab you in the back — instead, my new camel caravan has brought information to keep you from being stabbed by the sharp knives of misfortune of all kinds!

 

Have you given this any thought?

Preparedness is more than just guns; I advocate an approach that recognizes the wide range of hazards you face, and ...

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You don’t need to win. You need to survive.

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In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a fan of macho nonsense. And I don’t particularly care where it comes from.

So much of the defensive training world is built around the lifestyles of people who spend all their free time on the range or at the gym; some shooting instructors quite literally live at the shooting range. Surprisingly few of them have ever held ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 28, 2018

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Hump Day Camels

It’s the last day of February and I’m finishing out the month with more great resources for your health and safety!

 

Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to be irrational

It’s probably fitting that, in some circles, I’m known as “The Revolver Guy”. I’ve written what have been called the “standard works” on the topic, teach one of the few national revolver-centric courses ...

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Porn takes many forms

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Attacked in the night

Ever heard of “defensive gun use porn”? It’s a term to describe a genre of stories where good guys use their guns to beat the bad guys. Such stories are a staple of many firearms-centric blogs and news sites, and they serve not so much an educational role as they do a cheerleading one.

You’ll notice you don’t see a lot of that ...

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Grant’s Monday Miscellany

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Notes and miscellaneous thoughts

A few quick notes of interest:

— On last Thursday’s Training Talk, martial arts and combatives expert Cecil Burch and I talked about defensive use of the knife. Cecil may be known as “the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Guy”, but he also has multi-decade experience in several edged weapon disciplines. He’s taken that knowledge and applied it to plausible self defense for the rest of ...

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Why do we teach moving while drawing a defensive firearm?

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Moving rapidly and defensively

A popular concept taught in many defensive shooting courses (including mine) is movement off the line of attack. It’s variously referred to as “getting off the X” or “lateral movement”, and probably some other terms I’m not remembering, but the concept is pretty consistent: make it harder for the bad guy to hurt you by getting out of his way.

Moving is ...

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What does “preparing for the worst case” mean?

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In both the self defense and prepping communities, people talk about preparing — training and equipping — for “the worst case scenario”. “We train for the worst case”, schools brag (and their students claim).

What, actually, is the worst case?

The mind runs wild

If you were to take a little time (or perhaps watch an apocalyptic movie or two) I’m sure you could imagine an absolute ...

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Where are your tripwires?

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Where is your tripwire?

Whether you’re prepping for survival or studying self defense against a criminal, you need to consider the circumstances under which you’d respond — where your tripwires are, the things that will trigger your response. Some people call them “a line in the sand” or “point of no return”, but no matter what the term the function is the same: the circumstances which ...

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Real talk about effective church security

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With the recent attack on a church in Texas, in which 26 people were killed and dozens injured, many people are looking for ways to prevent or respond to such attacks. And there are others ready to prey on that need with bad or incomplete information. Everyone, it seems, is suddenly a “Church Security Consultant”.

As a result you can find lots of misguided articles and ...

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More is not necessarily better, especially when you can’t take care of it

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If you have it, you need to take care of it

Any preparations you’ve made for your safety and protection — whether physical skills, gear and equipment, or storage commodities — need to be maintained to be useful. There is a cost to maintenance, and it’s one we often ignore in our zeal to always acquire more.

That cost may affect your ability to respond efficiently ...

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Bugging out, revisited.

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Bugging out

As I’ve mentioned (and expanded on in Prepping For Life), I’m not usually a fan of the “bugout” concept — at least as it’s typically conceived.

As many people think of it, bugging out is a semi-permanent relocation to a retreat preselected for its defensibility and likely stocked with survival provisions. Others think of bugging out as running to a wilderness area where they ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 13, 2017

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Hump Day Camels

More great articles to help you and your family stay safe and sound!

 

You’ve got the tourniquet…

…but do you know how to use it? Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics shows you the basics of applying a tourniquet properly.

 

So you know how to use a tourniquet…

…but have you practiced applying it to yourself under a realistic scenario? Caleb’s back, this time with ...

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