Your Hump Day Reading List for June 1, 2016

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It’s the first of June, and what better way to celebrate with some great articles? I’ll start with yet another example of what NOT to do with your personal defense handgun; a look at what burglars do when they enter a home; should you carry a gun in church?; debunking myths about tourniquets; keeping toddlers safe around guns; a guide to buying a suppressor; keeping safe in hotels; and speaking of suppressors, a look at a cool vintage one.


You are not the police. Again. Still.

I share stories like this one not because I think you’ll do something this dumb, but rather so that you can use them to educate others who might not be as knowledgeable as you. I also share them so that we all keep in mind why we carry concealed weapons and what “self defense” really means. In this case a fellow saw his friend’s store getting robbed; he drove across the street, parked, and waited for the thieves to exit the restaurant — and then opened fire from across the street, over four lanes of traffic! I don’t care what Texas law says about this; it’s stupid in the extreme. Had he actually hit an innocent bystander (very likely shooting across a street and at night) he’d be facing serious charges. The lawfully carried firearm is to protect you (and possibly other innocents) against immediate threat of death or grave bodily injury; don’t test fate by using it to extract some sort of “justice” for a property crime!


What do burglars do once they’re inside?

This is a very interesting article detailing the typical pattern of residential burglary: what does a burglar check first and what is he looking for? While of course there is no absolute, guaranteed burglary pattern, in general people are creatures of habit; they look for the easy way and continue to do that unless motivated to do otherwise. I’ve talked to many police officers who tell me their experience is fairly close to what’s portrayed here. The author includes some prevention strategies that arise from the knowledge of what burglars look for and how they operate. Definitely worth reading!


Concealed carry in church?

This article asks if churches should “promote” concealed carry in their services. Frankly, regardless of what your church does or doesn’t promote I think you should carry (within the bounds of the law in your jurisdiction, of course.) Many different kinds of violent events happen in churches these days, and they’re not what you might think; domestic arguments (including custody battles) often spill over into the sanctuary, and ministers themselves are often targets for disgruntled or antagonistic hotheads. If your church doesn’t have a security program, consider being the catalyst to starting one; even if they do, don’t let their presence give you a false sense of safety — carry your own safety/rescue equipment while there!


How many of these tourniquet myths have you heard — or believe?

When I was a kid we were taught tourniquet use in grade school first aid courses. Not too long after that the tourniquet became the red-headed stepchild of the medical world: widely criticized for causing more problems than lives saved, they went solidly out of favor for several decades. Thanks to the various Middle East wars in which we’ve been involved, however, tourniquet design and use has evolved rapidly. Today the tourniquet is seen as a primary lifesaving tool, one that keeps people alive after gunshots, car wrecks, and industrial accidents. Some of those old ideas about the tourniquet still prevail, however, and this article debunks several of the most common.


Toddlers and guns are a dangerous mix. Here’s how to make it less dangerous.

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I don’t have any children. Frankly, due to this I find the juvenile of the species to be quite confusing; I can’t figure out how they think and have a great deal of difficulty communicating with them. This is exacerbated by the fact that they change significantly with small increments in their age! As a result I’m at a loss when people ask me about what to do with their whatever-year-old. Luckily, however, there are a lot of parents who are coming into the gun world and figuring out how to maintain a household with both guns and kids, and do so safely. This article looks at one mom’s approach to teaching her toddler about guns and firearm safety.


All you wanted to know about suppressors but were afraid to ask.

One of the more fascinating things to happen to the shooting world is the sudden popularity of suppressors. Many states that previously disallowed them have changed their laws, while the continuing devaluation of our currency means that a $200 tax stamp (the amount enshrined in law clear back in 1934) isn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be. The result is a burgeoning demand for “cans” and a bunch of new startups to fill that demand. Maybe you’ve wanted to get your own suppressor, but didn’t know where to start. This article (the first of a 3-part series) tells you everything you need to know to jump into the world of quiet(er) guns!


Hotel safety starts with the basics.

I’m surprised at how many people don’t take even the basic precautions when traveling. Take a hotel, for instance — there are a number of primary strategies to reduce your exposure in any hotel, and this article from the DailyMail in the UK outlines several very good suggestions. (I’m glad they mentioned carrying a doorstop; I actually carry two with me, but I don’t carry just any old doorstop: I’m a huge fan of the Wedge-It, which is the toughest and most versatile doorstop I’ve found.)


Speaking of suppressors…

Back before the National Firearms Act (NFA) demonized suppressors as tools of “assassins”, it wasn’t uncommon for people to own them to cut down on the noise their guns made. (In many parts of Europe today a suppressor is considered a courtesy, not a threat!) In fact you could order guns from many of the manufacturers of the time to include a suppressor, like this superb example of a Winchester Model 1894. It was ordered from the factory with a nice little Maxim “silencer” (which is what they actually called it.) Nice!

– Grant Cunningham

Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons



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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