Your Hump Day Reading List for March 30, 2016

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More great information this week! It starts with a video featuring Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus (yes, they actually talk to each other!); a look at the social side of guns and shooting; some prepper terms you might want to know; how you can learn from other people’s experiences; the dangers posed by an otherwise unarmed attacker; Greg Ellifritz looks at why disarms don’t work on the street like they do on the mat; Claude Werner talks about the OODA Loop; a look at what not to do when confronting by an annoying neighbor; and some ideas on defending yourself in a gun-free zone. That should keep you busy for the rest of the day!


Rob Leatham talking about defensive shooting?? You won’t believe what he says!

Sorry for the “click-bait” title, but this is a video you really should watch if you’re serious about defensive shooting training. Rob Leatham, “The Great One”, perhaps the most successful professional shooter in history, the man who’s won more national and international action shooting titles than just about anyone and certainly someone who would know the value of competition shooting, appeared on PDN Live with Rob Pincus — who has often downplayed the benefits of competition shooting and questioned its applicability to self defense. I’m sure a lot of people expected this to be a slugfest, with Leatham pounding on Pincus, but…well, I’ll let you watch it for yourself. Let’s just say that you’ll find them in agreement far more often than they disagree.


Guns are fun, and people like to have fun together

This is a nice, even-handed article from the Journal-News out of Ohio talking about the social side of shooting. As they point out, people like to get together to go shooting — whether it’s just an informal trip to the range with friends, or in a more organized shooting club or league activity. This social component is, I believe, a large part of the reason for the emergence of the many women-only shooting organizations in recent years: being able to be with like-minded friends for an evening or even a day of camaraderie and/or learning. When was the last time you took some friends shooting?


Those crazy preppers and their crazy language!

The “prepping” movement — people who prepare to survive various levels of disasters and catastrophes — has contributed a number of terms and acronyms to the language, quite a few of which have been accepted and used in the shooting world as well. This is, no doubt, because there’s a huge overlap in the two communities; as a result you’ve probably seen some of these and wondered just what they mean. Wonder no more, for here is a glossary of the more common prepper terms and what they mean!


Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. That goes in the shooting world, too.

It’s good to know the history of training in the shooting world; not necessarily because we want to venerate the past by clinging to it uncritically, but because sometimes the folks who came before us — or have just been around a little longer — have knowledge we don’t. It’s not uncommon for people to come up with something “new” only to find out that it’s been tried before and found wanting. Last week I linked to an article on the utility of red-dot sights by Jeff Gonzales at Triden Concepts; seems he got some pushback from people who didn’t like his conclusions. As he points out in this followup article, it’s not because he’s a dinosaur or doesn’t know any better; rather, it’s because he’s familiar with the concept and how it’s evolved over time, and how the issues still haven’t been solved. This article isn’t useful because of the subject matter, but rather as an illustration that just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better (and the converse is true, as well.)


How dangerous is an “unarmed” assailant?

If there’s one theme that is constant in my work, it’s that education is vitally important to your preparations for self defense. In fact, I’m coming to the realization that education in the legalities and application of the use of force should be on the top of your priority list — even before learning the physical skills. This article from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership talks about the reality of an attack from an unarmed assailant, why fists and feet are lethally dangerous, and why you need to know what you face. As the author says, the only person who can determine if he/she is in a life-endangering situation is the victim. The only way the victim will know that is if he or she understands beforehand how much damage even an “unarmed” person can do, and it’s critical to be able to articulate that knowledge in your legal defense. If you only have time for one article today, make it this one.


Disarming is a favorite routine in the dojo, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan

When your assailant is within arm’s reach drawing your gun is likely to be the last thing you need to do. Instead, controlling the assailant to give you the opportunity to get your firearm safely into action is the key — and disarming your attacker may be the best strategy for control. Lots of folks take classes on disarms, but rarely do real disarm opportunities look like what’s usually taught. In this great article, Greg Ellifritz looks at three uncommon disarms; uncommon in the dojo, but not on the street! He gives a good analysis of each and raises some points and questions that you should consider. (One of the more interesting: have you taken your children into account in your training? I wouldn’t have thought it important, either, but read what Greg has to say.)


The OODA Loop: not what you’ve been told it is

Claude Werner, the “Tactical Professor”, is adamant that the defensive shooting world has gotten the OODA Loop — the work of Col. John Boyd — completely wrong. I happen to agree with him, and on his blog he’s linked to a recording of his appearance on Ballistic Radio talking about Boyd, what the OODA Loop really is, and its application to self defense. Definitely worth listening to!


I don’t want you to click on this link, but you probably should anyhow

Disclaimer: I am quite hesitant about linking to this, but it’s such a good illustration of what I often talk about in terms of ego getting in the way of our own safety. Seems that the writer of the blog — which has an odd militia tone to it, despite the operator’s assurances that it “isn’t a militia” — got annoyed at a noisy neighbor, asked said neighbor what his “malfunction” was, and then accepted a bravado-soaked invitation to settle things mano-a-mano. This is social violence, what one self defense writer terms “the monkey dance”; it’s also a perfect illustration of how things can go very badly for you if you allow your emotions to override your intellect. This guy is very lucky that his little fight didn’t escalate to lethal violence, which it easily could have especially given the familial support on both sides. He went to court and to his great surprise, he lost. In the end he lists the things he learned, but most of them have to do with how the system “screwed” him rather than how his response precipitated the whole mess. To be fair he does mention his culpability in the escalation, but doesn’t seem to have really internalized it. Again, click the link only with the understanding that this is an illustration of how NOT to behave if your safety (and that of your family) is truly your primary concern.


You’re in a gun-free zone; how do you protect yourself?

We can’t always carry a gun; I know people who insist that they won’t go someplace where they can’t carry, but for the rest of us who need to do things like board airplanes, not having a gun on our person is an (occasional) way of life. What can you do if you don’t have a firearm? How can your protect yourself? This article from Personal Defense Network has some good tips for keeping yourself safe even in a sterile environment. There are weapons all around you, but the first has to be what’s in your mind. This article will help you develop the mindset you need to realize that you’re never really disarmed.


– 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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