Your Hump Day Reading List for July 6, 2016

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It’s the first Hump Day of July, and I’ve got some great self defense and personal security articles for you: can you handle your own get-home bag?; Greg Ellifritz has some great tips on very discreet concealment; keeping your defensive revolver running perfectly; teaching children to stand up to bullies; why you need multiple medical kits; how the mainstream media is advising people to respond to active killers; and why the carotid restraint hold isn’t a toy.


How ambitious should your get-home bag be?

I’m a proponent of putting together what’s known as a get-home bag: a collection of the things you’d need to survive a night or two away from home should your travel be interrupted. I think it’s an important item for any commuter to have. This article looks at some of the things the author believes you should put in your bag, but I think there’s a problem: a pack with all of those things is going to be quite heavy! How able are you to carry a heavy pack an appreciable distance, perhaps without sufficient nutrition? It’s easy — too easy — to get caught up in the fantasy of carrying everything you’d ever need on your back, but the reality is that unless you’re a regular hiker/backpacker you’re not going to move very far or very fast under load. This is why I urge that you consider reality in all of your planning! I think it’s better to have the heavy/bulky stuff packed in the car as a sort of “shelter in place” collection, with a small and easily carried pack which has the bare necessities for those instances where you might need to hike a bit to get to safety.


How do you carry discreetly in the non-permissive environment?

When you’re in a non-permissive environment carrying efficient defensive tools becomes more difficult. It’s necessary to resort to what we call “deep concealment”: carrying in areas or in a manner which avoids common and superficial inspection. Greg Ellifritz gives his unique and highly qualified perspective on the art of deep concealment, how and what to carry, and how to avoid detection. (NOTE: I am not suggesting that you violate the law by carrying illegally. That is a decision that rests with you! These techniques are presented for use where defensive weapons are prohibited by policy, not by law. That being said, I think this is a very important article; if you can read only one today, make it this one.)


How to keep your defensive revolver running!

Sherman House, like me, is a fan of the revolver and of reasonable and practical self defense. Because he’s a pragmatist he understands that revolvers can, under certain circumstances, not work properly. He’s put together a small kit of tools and knowledge to maintain the reliability of his wheelguns and shares his knowledge in this article over on his blog, Revolver Science. It’s a great article I wish I’d thought to write!


Should you teach your child to fight a bully?

We sometimes think of the people in Great Britain as being whimpering, milquetoast characters; these days, their apparent fear of guns and knives (along with laws to regulate same) would seem to support that point of view. Not all inhabitants of the Isles are so inclined, however, and this article is a defense of teaching children to stand up to bullies. It apparently generated some debate in the author’s country, but he does a great job of laying out the reasons that bullies need to be confronted at an age when they can still be handled. It’s a great read in our “no tolerance” society as well!


How many medical kits do you have? You need more than one!

As you may be aware, I’m a big proponent of emergency medical knowledge and equipment as an important part of a well-rounded approach to personal security. In this Personal Defense Network video, Rob Pincus lays out the rationale for having multiple emergency medical kits, what should be in each, and why. Great information!


What should you do in the case of an active killer attack?

The mainstream media, such in this article at the Washington Post, is at least starting to address how to deal with mass casualty attacks. In general the article does a decent job (for what it is, of course.) The advice on evasion (“Run”) is actually better than most, giving some thought to non-conventional escape routes and of the need to pick a route rather than just running blind. Their treatment of the Response (“Fight”) phase is typically tepid, but again brings up some points about how to fight that are often ignored. It’s that middle part, “Hide”, that I have a problem with: the concept needs to be “Barricade”, or to choose a space that can be secured and defended. Simply hiding has a poor track record of success, particularly in cases where the attacker has a good idea of where people will congregate.


This is why you shouldn’t get your training from YouTube!

A popular topic for YouTube vids is the carotid hold, sometimes called the carotid restraint. You can find many examples of untrained people “choking out” others, but the carotid restraint isn’t a toy. It’s a viable tool for some people under some circumstances, but there are serious risks to using it without proper training and and understanding of how and why it works. In this article, a veteran police officer talks about the issues with carotid control and what can happen if the technique isn’t executed properly.


– 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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