Your Hump Day Reading List for August 10, 2016

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In today’s Hump Day Reading List: another warning shot goes bad — very, very bad; Greg Ellifritz has some ideas on protecting yourself while working in your yard; reasons why your demeanor as an armed citizen is important; one woman gives her hard-won advice on concealed carry; not being noticed as a protection tool; the after-shooting “scan”; and how burglars do their work.


Warning shot goes bad. Again.

I’ve said this before, many times: warning shots are almost universally a bad idea. Yeah, yeah, you heard of this guy one time who fired a warning shot and everything turned out just fine…I’ve known people who’ve driven drunk many times and they’ve always been fine, too. Warning shots, like drunk driving, are a bad outcome just waiting to happen; in the case of Mr. Chad Cameron Copley, it happened. Read the article but pay particular attention to the 9-1-1 transcript. That, folks, is how NOT to handle a defensive shooting OR an interaction with the operators!


“Get off my lawn!”

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist! I share a lot of Greg Ellifritz’s articles, largely because they’re well thought out, topical, and rarely full of the nonsense I see from some other “experts”. This time Greg looks at what might happen if you were attacked while doing yard work, which apparently happens with some frequency in suburbia. He makes some very good points, particularly that of making sure your house is locked. Think about it: you’re running the loud lawnmower and probably have ear protection on; an unlocked door and a distracted homeowner make for easy pickings! Great stuff, as usual, from Greg.


Demeanor for the armed citizen

This is an interesting article about the attitudes you need to adopt as an armed citizen. I agree with the author in nearly all respects: that you need to be less easily angered, avoid confrontation, and the like. The only thing I didn’t like about his article is that these are things you should do to stay out of trouble even when you’re NOT armed! If your behavior when you’re carrying is different than when you’re not, you probably need to re-evaluate your protection strategy.


One woman’s thought on concealed carry

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my decades of experience in the defensive shooting world, it’s that armed women have a wider range of experiences and opinions than men assume. It’s our assumptions, in fact, that lead to some of the more cringe-worthy encounters women have moving into “our” world. This is a great article from a woman who has managed to work concealed carry into her lifestyle in a way that works well for her, and she’s got some great tips for women who might be starting out on that path. (I particularly liked her snappy comeback to an idiot in a gun store…you’ll have to read the article to find out!)


Blending in as a survival strategy

There’s an old but still hilarious Monty Python skit called “How Not To Be Seen”. It demonstrates, as the announcer intones, “the value of not being seen.” A recent article at AllOutdoor looks at the value of being the “gray man” and why you might want to pay a little more attention to how you fit into your environment. In the personal security and self defense world, not attracting undue attention might mean the difference between being a victim or not. In the author’s Russian vacation example, being easily spotted as a tourist might have worked out very differently. (Shoes and other details are often a dead giveaway; during a trip out of the country in the ’70s, my parent’s hosts noted that the secret police were out in force. How did they know who the undercover agents were? By their shoes — they were the only people in the entire town who had on new shoes! During the antiwar protests of the ’60s, a retired CIA agent told me that the student activists on one campus always seemed to spot their agents. It turned out that while everyone had a camera around their necks, the government employees from that local office were issued a specific model that was a little on the unusual side. As he said, “we stood out like sore thumbs.” Want to fit in? Pay attention to the details!)


The assessment: after shooting, do a search!

The topic of the after-shooting assessment (sometimes erroneously called “scanning”) is rather contentious. I come down on the side of practicing an actual visual search of the immediate environment after neutralizing a threat, to look for additional threats, people who need medical attention, responding officers telling me to drop my gun, and other things that are important in the incident. Over at Civilian Gunfighter there is this article detailing the process, and in general I agree with most of it. (Frankly I think the concern about a gun grab is a little overblown, and the mention of the “OODA Loop” is nonsensical — as almost all references to it are — but overall it’s an article I can easily endorse.)


Confessions of a burglar

In general I’m quite leery of criminal “confessions”, because even if they’re real and sincere there is a lot of variation. Burglars, like people in other “jobs”, often have widely varied experiences, environments, skill sets, and mental states; taking advice from any one and labeling it as definitive is probably not productive. It’s always interesting, however, to hear how some of them get away with their crimes and how they picked their victims. Ask A Prepper has two such confessions in this article, and it’s worth comparing them to see the differences and commonalities. You may be able to glean some ideas for protecting your own home.

– 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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