Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the corner you need to worry about!


Anyone can save a life, if they have the knowledge to do so

The horrific massacre in Orlando last weekend has a lot of people scrambling to “up-armor” so that they can defend themselves should they end up in a similar circumstance. However, it’s possible that you could be a victim or (more likely) that you’ll be a bystander during such an event. In that case, knowing how to save a life — especially your own — from severe trauma could mean more than being able to shoot well. This terrific article from Greg Ellifritz goes over some unique considerations for administering first aid after a terror attack. It’s an important read and I encourage you to bookmark it, get whatever training you need, and make sure you carry a good trauma kit with you wherever you go.


Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do: Baton Rouge Edition

I’ve repeated that line many times, especially here on the blog, and this news story out of Louisiana is a perfect example. You don’t have a firearm (or lethal force isn’t warranted?) Use whatever you have in your environment, like the fellow in this case did. A nice large saucepan can make a formidable weapon when wielded with authority and conviction! Remember: you need will before your skill will do you any good!


Harsh realities of self protection

It’s easy to get sucked into the feel-good world of tactical training and the belief that you can buy skill with new gear; the realities of self defense aren’t as neatly packaged. In “The Messy Reality Of Self Defense”, Rob Morse talks about some of the things that you should know — including the hard truth that you’re going to solve the problem (or not) with whatever you’re carrying — not with the “active shooter interdiction kit” that you’ve got stored in your trunk.


Pistol vs Pistol-Caliber Carbine: which wins?

You may have seen or heard me extol the virtues of the pistol-caliber carbine for home defense; it’s an arm I feel is vastly overlooked by the tactical hobbyists today. In fact, I often get told that the carbine is actually harder for a person of lesser skill to shoot than a handgun! That’s not true; the carbine is easier to shoot well no matter what the skill level of the user is. How much easier? Here’s an interesting, albeit non-scientific, demonstration by Ben Branam from Modern Self Protection that shows how much easier the carbine is to shoot — even for an expert.


Do you really need night sights?

The “must have” accessory of the late ‘90s through the mid-oughts were tritium night sights; some people still believe they’re absolutely vital. Those glow-in-the-dark wonders were expensive and had a limited lifespan, but many tactical trainers were convincing their students that not having night sights would “get good guys killed.” (No, really, I heard someone say that once!) I’ve never found it necessary to have self-illuminated sights, because frankly if it was dark enough that I couldn’t see the regular ones it was too dark to reliably identify what I was shooting at! Sherman House takes a more organized look at the poor man’s alternative: red paint. Does it do the job well enough to see in various low-light environments? You might be surprised!


Flashlights are about more than just lumens

I’m glad when someone writes an article so I don’t have to! I’ve been preaching about the need for everyone to carry a defensive flashlight, whether or not they carry a handgun. In fact, as I’ve often said, I think the high intensity flashlight may be the most useful self defense tool you can have. I’ve also said that the quality of the beam was more important than the lumen output, and the guys over at Breach, Bang Clear blog do a great job of explaining what various beams look like as well as demystifying the terminology. Good job, guys!


Senior Citizens want to be safe, too

This article from the Wall Street Journal looks at why senior citizens are hitting the shooting range — and, not surprisingly, it’s because they’re scared of crime. They know that a weakened condition, even if they’re in superb shape for their age, makes them little match for a 20-something attacker. The article actually isn’t half bad, once you get past the obligatory attempt to be “impartial” by including unchallenged assertions from a gun-control activist.


Are you training the wrong things?

In the defensive shooting business much is often made of a trainer’s experience in law enforcement or the military — and many people buy into the idea that those two professions somehow confer authority to the material taught. In this article, noted instructor Tom Givens contradicts that idea and gives good reasons why self defense in the private sector is different than action in the public sector, and what his research into armed encounters means for the rest of us.


There are nasty things awaiting you outside your door, and I’m not talking about criminals

As I’ve often said, self defense and personal protection go well beyond worrying about crackheads trying to take your car at gunpoint. Maintaining your health and safety means evaluating risk in your life and doing what you can to mitigate it; that means things like locking your doors and having fire extinguishers around, as well as practicing your shooting skills. What about disease risks? Yes, there are things you can do to prevent infections and this article looks at some of the risks you face in the outdoors. It can be a little unsettling to think about things like flesh-eating bacteria, but they’re out there and it’s in your best interest to know what to look for and how to prevent infection!

– 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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