Your Hump Day Reading List for February 10, 2016

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Hump Day brings us more knowledge! This week, we look at kids who’ve protected themselves with firearms; Ian McCollum with a very unique “automatic” pistol; Claude Werner looks at another negative outcome, this time based on unreasonable fear; tips for handloading ammo for your AR-15; why crowds are dangerous, and what to do if you’re in one; Greg Ellifritz has some lessons from a recent series of terrorist attacks; the repercussions of not having a good teacher; and the fallacy of “worst case” thinking.


Teach your kids the proper use of firearms

One of the reasons for the existence of the Second Amendment, according to the Supreme Court, is for the defense of yourself and others. This is a lesson we as a nation shouldn’t keep from our younger generations — they need to defend themselves, too, and the lawfully used firearm gives them parity with a larger, more aggressive attacker. In the article “Five Times Kids Defended Themselves From Crooks Using Guns” you can read about young people who used the firearms at their disposal to protect their lives. Complete with links to the original news articles, this could be a great springboard to a discussion with the responsible kids in your household.


An automatic pistol that really wasn’t

The early days of autoloading pistol development were very exciting, as many different ideas were tried — the majority of which, of course, were ultimately discarded. One such arm was the Schlegelmilch Automatic Pistol, though it technically wasn’t automatic; it was more of a mechanical repeater. Still, it is very interesting and frankly pretty good looking too (those square-headed miniature bolts holding the sideplate on are both unique and attractive.) With less than twenty made and only two known survivors, it’s also a very rare pistol. Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons has the story of this unusual firearm.


There’s a difference between panic and justifiable fear

As I get further and further into the topic of armed self defense I become more convinced that the shooting stuff is the easy part. In fact, it’s so easy that the vast majority of people who successfully defend themselves with firearms have little to no shooting training at all — and I think it can be safely said that widespread defensive shooting training is a product of the last 40 years or so, but people have been using guns to save their lives for a good deal of time before that! It’s the “other” stuff that really gets people into trouble, and Claude Werner has been looking at what he calls “negative outcomes” for some time now. In this article he analyzes a recent news story about a woman who really doesn’t understand the role her gun plays in self defense. Definitely worth reading and sharing with those folks who feel that they don’t need to know anything other than which end the bullets come out!


Reloading ammunition for your AR-15?

As you may know I’m a handloader from way back. I load my own practice ammunition (never actual defensive ammo) so that I can practice more for less money. It’s not an activity for those who lack attention to detail, however! This article has some great tips about reloading the .223 cartridge for the AR-15. If you’re thinking about getting into handloading, or you’ve been loading pistol rounds but want to move into rifle ammo, this is an article you should read.


A crowd is a dangerous place to be

I think a lot of people consider crowds to be “safe”. After all, crowds are an inescapable part of concerts, sporting events, fairs, festivals, and parades — all happy places to be and fun experiences to have. Crowds are also dark, scary things as well, and Marcus Wynne has some thoughts on why he’s afraid of crowds and gives some great tips on how to avoid the violence that increasingly comes with large groups of people. Definitely a must-read.


Lessons learned from a terrorist attack

The recent coordinated terrorist attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia leave a lot of lessons for us. Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training looks at the attacks, how they happened, and what we can take from them. It’s a superb analysis, and pay particular attention to what he says about backpacks! (I’ll add that there is a subset of concealed carriers who have taken to carrying disassembled or collapsed rifles in backpacks so that they can be “ready” in case of a terrorist attack. Frankly, if I see someone taking a weapon out of a backpack in a public space, my thoughts are going to be more along the lines of “participant in the killings who needs to be neutralized right now” rather than “good-guy-sheepdog-warrior”.)


“If there’s ‘nothing you can teach’ to people like these, then you ain’t got shit.”

This is a very interesting article from a woman in the U.K., talking about a self defense class where the instructor was trying to teach knife disarms — an action that requires some strength, dexterity, and very good reflexes — to some elderly ladies who were never going to be able to do them. He was exasperated and declared that he couldn’t teach them anything before wandering off. This article has direct parallels to teaching defensive shooting here in the United States, and if you’re an instructor (or want to be one) you should read it thoroughly and save for future reference. If all someone can do is demonstrate, if all they know is facilitating a fixed curriculum rather than teaching the underlying concepts, they’re doing their students a great disservice. Sadly, that happens far more often in this field than it should. One of the best articles on teaching that I’ve read in a while.


It’s not possible to prepare for everything, and it’s counterproductive to believe you can

I constantly push people to actually think about their personal security and safety preparations rather than just react. We all have to make decisions about the risks we face, the probability and consequences of those risks, and then prepare appropriately. Unfortunately a large proportion of people react emotionally rather than intellectually, and that may lead them to ignore more prevalent risks in favor of the more emotional ones. I encourage everyone to read this article at Risk Management, and in place of “policy” read “personal preparation”. If the article makes you uncomfortable, it may be a sign you need to do some re-evaluation.

– 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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