I’m always looking for great self defense information that the average person can really use, and this week I found a bunch of great articles! First, a look at training to use a defensive firearm even if the user has some infirmities; a real-life reason why you should have a “get home bag”; don’t call unwanted attention to your car; a look at some realities of police shootings that have important lessons in the private sector; the 12-gauge shotgun, properly configured for home defense; using non-gun weapons against an gun-wielding attacker; and how to proper grasp a double action revolver. Remember to share the Hump Day Reading List with your friends and family!
Defensive shooting with disabilities
I’m hearing these questions with increasing frequency: “how can I hope to use a gun with my infirmity? How am I ever going to get the training I need?” The best answer is to find a self defense instructor (note that I didn’t say a “shooting instructor”) who understands not only the condition involved, but more importantly how to tailor his/her doctrine to fit the limitations. Believe it or not this isn’t a common trait with instructors; I’ve known more than a few who simply couldn’t conceive of modifying their information or techniques to fit the student! One instructor who can and does is Joshua Gideon, who ran across just such a student recently — and came up with solutions that worked. He details the student and the solution in this great article at Personal Defense Network, and it’s one I recommend that you share with anyone who is having trouble getting relevant defensive training!
What if you were caught in this flood? Could you get home unscathed?
Self defense, the preservation of your life and well-being, isn’t just limited to shooting at bad guys! It also means being prepared for non-criminal events which could plausibly threaten your health and safety — and a flood is most certainly such an event! Watch this video from the recent flooding in Texas; if you were caught in this freeway flood, forced to abandon your car, could you make it home on your own? Do you have a “get home bag” in your car with the necessary survival items to enable you to walk home, if necessary, even if home is 25 miles away? Things like route maps, first aid supplies, a way to carry fresh water, and perhaps some energy snacks — along with comfortable walking shoes — could be what gets you home to your family quickly and in good health. Floods, hurricanes, winter storms, or even earthquakes are all possibilities in some part of the country, and having a “get home bag” is simply part of being prepared for everyday life!
Your car should be gray, and I don’t mean the color.
You’ve read my recommendations on being the “gray man” (or woman), the person who doesn’t call undue attention to him/herself. Part of that should be paying a little attention to the car you drive, or more specifically what’s ON the car you drive. Police in Hampton, Virginia are cautioning residents that thieves are apparently picking out gun owners for thefts by, among other things, gun and shooting logos on their vehicles. This is not the first time this has happened, either, as I can recall several such police warnings in various parts of the country over the last few years. Do you really need that Glock or NRA sticker on your window?
Sometimes what the police learn is something we can use.
I don’t normally share police-centric items on my blog, not because I’m anti-police but simply because the things they do aren’t often appropriate in the context of private sector self defense. In this case, however, I’m making an exception because there are some things in this article from Greg Ellifritz that can be useful to us. The article consists of his notes from a class he took a while back called “Dynamics of Police Shootings”, and there are some good tidbits in there. For instance, the reality that looking for cover (rather than dealing with the threat) can give a bad guy the chance to fire several shots at you; the two most reliable methods for detecting a sociopath, which I think is critical to avoiding dangerous people; and the idea that you need to practice skills at the rate you’ll actually use them (which I’ve been preaching for years, but it’s nice to get some support!) It’s a long article but well worth reading.
Some good thoughts about the 12 gauge shotgun as a home defense weapon.
One of my favorite bloggers is Sherman House, a dentist with a good deal of training in defensive shooting and self defense in general. He possesses a mindset that is very much like mine: he looks at self defense for the average person, not the tactical training enthusiast or military wannabe. He’s been absent from the blogging world for a year or so, but he’s back with a great article on how to set up a shotgun for home defense, and most importantly why. It’s a refreshing change from the typical “tactical 12-gauge” articles the permeate the gun magazines! (My only criticism is that I would personally recommend a 20-gauge shotgun instead: easier to shoot and just as effective on the receiving end!)
How do you defend yourself against a gun if you don’t have one yourself?
This is an interview by the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network with noted knife expert Michael Janich. It’s an interesting read covering the use of non-gun weapons, both carried and improvised, against an armed attacker. Yes, a gun would be a better choice — but what if you don’t have one with you? The interview isn’t so much about specific recommendations as it is getting you thinking of possibilities beyond just pulling a trigger.
The revolver grasp, explained.
I’ve long recommended that people grasp a revolver differently than they do an autoloader; they’re different tools with completely different operating characteristics, after all, and it makes little sense to shoehorn either into a grasp designed for efficiency with the other! Tiger McKee is of the same opinion, and this is his short article dealing with what he sees as the important parts of a good revolver grasp. I agree with almost everything he says!
– Grant Cunningham
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons