Your Hump Day Reading List for October 19, 2016

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Welcome to Wednesday! Here’s some more great personal safety and self defense information: someone survived a hurricane because of common-sense preparation; a Halloween horror story with a happy ending; winter holidays have many opportunities for crime; poker and its relation to self defense; a look at the shotgun as a home defense tool; a warning shot goes horribly wrong; Greg Ellifritz looks at the .22 revolver in a different light; taking your trauma kit with you while shooting. Enjoy and be sure to share!


“Preparations are seldom wasted”

Being prepared doesn’t take a lot, and it’s not necessary to go all doomsday prepper. A little forethought and some strategic gear decisions are what you need, and this article tells one man’s experience with preparing for a recent hurricane. What small things can you do today to make you a little better able to deal with an unexpected emergency?


A bad Halloween

Halloween is coming up soon, and some people take the opportunity of open doors to ply their criminal trade. In this 2015 story from Arkansas, an elderly couple opened their door to trick-or-treaters and instead got a home invasion. Luckily the gentleman of the house had a firearm handy and chased the armed criminals away. Short of turning out all your lights and pretending you’re not home it’s nearly impossible to prevent bad guys from coming to your door; you’ll need to rely on well rehearsed responses to an unexpected attack. Use your door’s peephole (you do have one, don’t you?) to size up potential threats; trust your instincts and don’t open the door if they don’t look the part of innocent kids. If you’re caught by surprise with an open door, make the decision ahead of time how each member of the family will respond. Finally, be sure to have your defensive firearm on your person, not hidden somewhere that may prove to be inaccessible.


Winter is the time for holidays — and criminals

It’s not just Halloween! There are many opportunities during the winter holidays for criminal activity. Here are some basic home and personal security tips specifically aimed at the unique security demands of the upcoming season.


What does poker have to do with self defense?

You might be surprised! In this recent Personal Defense Network article, Aaron Israel looks at some of the lessons poker teaches us — and how you can apply those lessons to your own personal security. It’s an interesting perspective on preparing and protecting yourself!


The shotgun as a home defense tool?

Lots of folks adore the shotgun as a home defense tool, focusing on the immense amount of power the shotgun can generate. I’m not a fan of the shotgun as a defensive tool for most people; the fierce recoil takes training and practice to control, and frankly a fully-loaded shotgun is heavy and very unbalanced. For a “pool” weapon, one which household members of varying training and fitness levels may need to use, I think there are far better alternatives. For those whose weapon of choice is the shotgun, however, this article (and the followups) is a good introduction to some of the issues you may need to think about and train for.


Warning shot. Negative outcome. Again.

I take a lot of heat from the more militant readers of this blog for suggesting that warning shots are simply a Bad Idea. They like to regale me with stories of when a warning shot somehow “worked out” or present fictional scenarios where it could. On the other hand, most of the time they don’t work out so well — as we learn in this cautionary tale from Florida. My general rule of thumb: if you’re not justified in actually shooting someone, you’re probably not justified in shooting at all.


The .22 revolver as a defensive tool?

Greg Ellifritz has an interesting compilation of articles about the .22 revolver for self defense. (Claude Werner has expressed many of the same thoughts about the .22 autoloader.) I think there is some merit to the practice, particularly if someone is particularly recoil averse due to age, disease, or injury. The only issue I’ve observed is that many times the person who can’t deal with recoil also doesn’t have the hand strength necessary to operate the double-action trigger. Still, the .22 revolver does have a place and it may be an appropriate choice more often than “gun people” may want to admit!


Take your trauma kit to the range with you!

While this article deals with an injury at a shooting competition, in reality there is plenty of opportunity for severe injury anytime you’re at the range. You should carry your trauma kit to the shooting line with you; don’t rely on the range to have one. In fact, most of the ranges I’ve seen have a cheap “industrial boo-boo” first aid kit, not a real trauma kit. Bring your own!

– 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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