Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec. 9, 2015

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This week I’ve got another interesting bunch of articles for you to peruse: Defensive Daddy talks about keeping your kids safe around your guns; a real-world use of the flashlight as a safety tool; dealing with predators that don’t walk upright; an old scam brought back to life by modern technology; guns aren’t just for men any more; Rob Pincus on how flowers really do keep us safe, when they’re backed up by proper use of force; and Jerry Miculek shows you how he cleans his rifle.

Aren’t Wednesdays great?!?


If you only have time to read one article this week, make it this one.

I’ve made little secret of the fact that I don’t have any children; as a result I rely on clear-thinking parents to help me out with those questions which combine guns and kids. Luckily the Growing Up Guns blog tackles a lot of that stuff, and “10 Rules For Being A Safe Gun-Owning Parent” looks like a pretty good compendium of things all parents need to know. Defensive Daddy looks at a lot of different ways to keep your kids safe around your firearms, and busts a few myths on the way. Great article that should be shared with all of your gun-owning friends. (The only thing I disagree with is adding in a fifth fundamental firearms safety rule, but that’s another topic for another day.)


How do you use a flashlight as a defensive tool?

In the past I’ve talked about the flashlight as being the most important defensive tool you can carry, simply because of its wide range of application: it can be used to gather information about your surroundings; to locate, identify, distract and deter potential threats; and, in a pinch, as an impact or control tool in case you actually come into contact with an attacker. In “Flashlights To Full Potential”, Matt Ellison takes you through a typical progression of flashlight use: walking through a dark parking lot and how to use the light at every stage of the trip. It’s worth reading, though I caution you on taking his flashlight recommendations uncritically: I’ve done all that with a 60-lumen incandescent flashlight, before the days of bright and efficient LEDs. It’s not the light output that’s important; it’s the quality of the beam that makes the difference. A good light of 100 lumens easily outperforms a cheap one claiming 250.


Not all threats come on two legs.

In the description of my Perimeter Defense Rifle course I mention that not all attackers are of the human variety. Sometimes they come on four legs, and can be just as much of a threat to innocent lives. In a case from Nebraska, a couple was forced to shoot a neighbor’s dog when it attacked their livestock — and for those who live in a rural area, this is not an uncommon incident. Are you prepared to defend yourself and your home against a marauding animal?


Another eBay scam to be aware of.

I must admit, I’m sometimes impressed with the ingenuity of criminals. I don’t think like a scam artist and consequently would never come up with something like this: Using eBay as a Virtual ATM. It’s a very sophisticated version of triangulation fraud, and apparently it’s a big problem. Read up on the scam and what to look for; no doubt these crooks are in high gear for the holidays!


Women and guns: a bigger combination than you might have thought.

The shooting world — to include the defensive shooting community — still has some skewed ideas about women, guns, and how the two fit together. As it happens, women are a big portion of the gun-owning community, they spend a lot of money, they’re very serious about their firearms, and they don’t usually buy snubnosed revolvers! This infographic at MyGunCulture shows the impact of women in the shooting world, how and why they make their buying decisions, and what they really feel about gun control. Quick and easy to understand, and if you’re a guy who works in or owns a gun store you had better be taking notes!


Flowers or guns? Why not both?

You may have seen the video from the recent Paris attack where a father comforts his son by explaining that the flowers being put out at the site of the massacres were there to keep people safe. Lots of folks reacted to his statements, and most of those reactions were in my mind misguided. Rob Pincus, a father of two himself, talks about why it’s not either-or and why having both keeps us safer than either alone. Definitely a good perspective.


Clean your AR-15 the Miculek way!

Jerry Miculek, famous shooter and all-around nice guy, shoots a lot of ammunition. As a result he ends up cleaning a lot of stuff out of his guns — and when you shoot as much as he does, and as many guns as he does, that means you have to get really good at cleaning! In this 30-minute video, Jerry shows you how he cleans his AR-15 from stem to stern. If you’re new to the AR, or you just really hate cleaning the things, let Jerry show you how to do it right. (I’m just glad to see that his gun room isn’t any tidier than mine!)


– Grant Cunningham



About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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