Your Hump Day Reading List for July 13, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List includes an article on how to get the exercise you know you need; developing a defensive mindset; Greg Ellifritz looks at how terrorist attacks on airports are evolving; the AK as a defensive rifle; how to design your own home alarm system; what you need in an auto emergency kit; grandmas have always carried guns, but now they’re not afraid to admit it; and a look at the 20-gauge as a defensive tool. All this, only on the Hump Day Reading List!


You know you need to exercise, but how?

Most people in this country (including yours truly) need to get more exercise. Aside from its health benefits, regular exercise also makes it easier to deal with a life-threatening emergency. Whether it’s fighting off a bad guy or carrying an unconscious person out of a smoky fire, being in good shape makes you less vulnerable. Getting started on that exercise path, however, is often a daunting prospect. Julie Loeffler gives you some ideas on how to ease yourself into a fitness routine by doing what you like!


How to develop the defensive mindset

If you don’t believe you can defend yourself, or believe that you need a special tool or skill to do so, you first need to develop your defensive mindset. In his latest article at Personal Defense Network, Joshua Gideon looks at how you can develop your own defensive mindset and always be armed — because your mind is really your best weapon!


Deconstructing a terrorist attack

Greg Ellifritz has penned another great incident analysis, this time of the recent terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport. He brings up some important points, including how the terrorists are rapidly evolving their techniques to achieve maximum carnage. One of the big takeaways for me — because I’ve been preaching this to anyone who will listen — is traveling light so that you spend as little time in exposed areas as possible. A very good read, particularly if you travel by air frequently! Highly recommended reading.


The AK-pattern: the “other” common defensive rifle!

The late Paul Gomez was a walking encyclopedia in the defensive shooting world and one of the best collectors of training information. Sherman House, who writes the Revolver Science blog, was a friend of Gomez’s and has written up some of what he believed regarding the use of the semiautomatic carbine as a defensive tool. I’ve written before that a light-recoiling carbine can actually be a better choice, in some instances, than a handgun for defensive use, and in this article House goes into some detail about what Gomez thought along those lines — and how he believed the ubiquitous AK-pattern rifle should be set up for that role. (I’m not in full agreement with Gomez on some details, particularly regarding the utility of the low ready position — which I believe isn’t consistent with the way a defensive rifle is likely to be used, especially in the perimeter defense role. The majority of what he’s written, however, is quite good.)


Designing your own alarm system? Start with the basics!

Thanks to technology, what were once the domains of secretive and well paid professionals have now become the purview of do-it-yourselfers. That’s true in the security business as well, because you can buy all the components you need to put together a very good alarm system for much less than you’d pay a company for the same thing. Everyone should have an alarm system, not necessarily to notify “authorities” (alarm calls get low priority in police dispatch) but as an early warning network to alert you to the presence of danger. This article gives the DIY-er a good overview of the considerations to make when designing an alarm system for their own use.


The auto emergency kit

I hope you’ve been following my series on threat analysis and planning; one of the things I point out is that you need to consider all of the dangers you face, and a vehicle emergency (breakdown, being stuck, etc.) can certainly be a threat. How can you be better prepared to deal with that vehicular problem? This article at the Ready For Anything Wire will guide you to the necessities to have in your vehicle emergency kit!


Grandmas and guns: a time-honored combination.

One of the harsh realities of aging is that we become more vulnerable to a wide variety of dangers. Things that might have been physically taxing now become lethal threats, and our range of response options narrows as our muscles weaken and our reactions slow. Back in the “olden days” many elderly women carried an “equalizer” in their purse: a concealed firearm. Today they still turn to the legally carried pistol or revolver, only now they don’t have to hide in the shadows! They can join in with others who are of the same mind and get both social interaction and good practice should they ever need to use it!


The 20-gauge as a defensive tool

I’m a big fan of the 20-gauge for those people who want a shotgun for home protection. It has virtually the same lethality as its more popular 12-gauge cousin, but with roughly half the recoil. As Massad Ayoob is fond of saying, no matter how well you can run a “12” you’ll run a “20” better! Because I’m a fan I’m also glad to see articles about the often-overlooked 20-gauge in the defensive role, such as this one at GunsAmerica. (I do have some reservations about the author’s recommendations, however; I’m not a fan of pistol grips on shotguns, and I honestly don’t feel a great need for extended magazines on mine. If the shotgun is to be used by multiple people, the stock needs to fit the smallest one; a bigger person can easily adapt to a short stock, but the reverse is NOT true — and an adjustable stock isn’t a particularly good compromise. Still, the article has a lot of good information and is worth reading if you can look past the “tacticool” nature of many of his modifications.)

– 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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