Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are some Hump Day articles to help keep you and your Valentine safe, secure, and happy!
The best pistol you’ve never fired
It’s not exactly a secret that my concealed carry autoloading pistol-of-choice is a Steyr S9-A1. I started carrying its predecessor, the S9, more than a decade and a half ago; it’s reasonable to say that between the two guns, I’ve got a lot of trigger time on Steyrs. Here’s a nice review of the S9’s bigger brother, the M9-A1. The author explains why he’s become a fan; I’ve found that once people shoot a Steyr, they become fans too. (Disclaimer: I am not a Steyr employee, nor do they pay me to be a brand ambassador or “social media influencer”. I bought both my pistols at retail, with my own money, before I ever met a Steyr employee. The reason I share information about them is because I believe they’re a solid option with some unique features ideal for defensive use, and don’t get enough attention in the market of “me too” guns.)
A tragedy that needn’t have been
This is a real tear-jerker. A four-year-old girl reached into her grandmother’s purse for a piece of candy and instead found a gun. Somehow the trigger got pulled and the little girl died from a bullet to the chest. I’m sharing this for the simple reason that too many women are doing what this woman did: carrying a gun unsecured in a purse. These kinds of incidents happen constantly because the gun owners in question are irresponsible.
A gun in a purse requires far more attention and diligence than carrying a gun on the body; not only do you need to take precautions to keep the purse from being stolen off your shoulder, you have to treat the purse just like you’d treat the gun itself. You can’t leave it around where others can access it; you can’t let it out of your sight or beyond your reach. Putting it on a high shelf is no different than putting the gun itself on a high shelf — both are unconscionably dangerous.
Concealed carry purses are most often sold to the least trained, least capable gun owners and nothing is being done to educate those buyers about the inherent risks. If you carry in a purse, you need to sit down and examine your own behaviors; where is that purse right now? Who can get to it? What do you do with it when you’re at work? How about when you’re in a grocery store? What’s the first thing do you do with it when you get home? If you know someone who carries a firearm in a purse (or backpack or messenger bag), share this article with them and ask the same hard questions.
This should never happen to an innocent child, and the fact that it does on a regular basis means that there are a whole lot of people out there who need to be educated. Spread the word.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Neither does your instructor.
Ken Murray, the inventor of Simunitions, is often called “the father of modern reality-based training”. He’s also a proponent of instructors being properly trained in that field. Too many people buy some marking cartridges or, even worse, pick up some blanks and start doing “reality training”. The issue is that injuries and deaths occur when instructors don’t know what they’re doing (or why). Here’s Ken’s analysis of the problem.
Getting out of Dodge in your Dodge
I’m a little unsure about sharing this article, and so I’m including this big caveat: I am not a proponent of the notion of “bugging out” for apocalyptic fantasies like urban unrest or social disintegration. There are, in fact, very few situations where leaving your home is at all advantageous. The exception to this rule is when your home and the surrounding area are rendered truly uninhabitable, such as the result of a flood or wildfire. In those cases, you need to leave in a hurry and that’s why this article has some value.
It’s the mechanics of packing your stuff and getting it into your vehicle where the article shines. Ignore the sociopolitical commentary the author makes and focus instead on his good ideas for packing techniques. (And no — you don’t need to pack a camouflage net like he shows in his last picture!)
Setting physical boundaries at home — wherever that is
This article has a decidedly military tone, but if you can get past that the recommendations are really pretty good. Defining your perimeter, in mil-speak, is a sensible safety practice. No, we’re not talking about razor wire and guard towers, but rather simple things you can do to make it harder for someone to get inside, undetected, where they can hurt you.
Making your data more secure
Two-factor authentication — usually based on the “one thing you know and one thing you have” philosophy — is often said to be the best method to protect your personal data. Even so, there can be holes in two-factor ID systems which a savvy criminal could exploit. Here’s how to plug them.
Thoughts on the defensive shotgun
Like Sheriff Jim Wilson, I prefer my defensive shotguns to be simple and to the point. There’s very little I can disagree with in his article, although I’m not of the opinion that a sling is a useful thing on a shotgun used for home defense. I’m also a bit less doctrinaire about the sights, because I don’t worry about using slugs; a bead works just fine for buckshot, which is the defensive ammunition of choice for the shotgun. On the other hand, I’m absolutely in agreement that it’s critical to pattern your shotgun with the load you’ll be using. All in all, a good article that’s thankfully short on tactical nonsense and long on commonsense!
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: Tomorrow, Feb. 15th, is another episode of Training Talk on Personal Defense Network! This week, I’ll be talking with Cecil Burch about knife defense. Cecil may be known as “the Jiu-Jitsu Guy”, but he’s also an expert with edged weapons and has been teaching their use for more than two decades. It should be a very interesting discussion!