Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles you can read this week to enhance your personal and family safety:
This week in Defense and Training:
Stop parroting home defense fallacies
The defensive shooting world has worked overtime for the last few decades to teach people how to draw faster, shoot faster, and hit smaller targets at greater distances. Very rarely, however, has it addressed when to shoot — to include the topic of when NOT to shoot. I think this is a grave oversight.
Let’s take home defense (which is, more appropriately, the defense of people inside of the home). Many people have mistaken assumptions about what they would (or should) do if they find an intruder inside their house. They may even keep a loaded firearm within easy reach when they’re asleep, so they can respond quickly when they hear that “bump in the night”.
Maybe that’s not the best approach. Claude Werner has been studying this at length, and has some specific recommendations based on his analysis of real incidents. I highly recommend reading and re-reading this short article, because what he says is important to understanding the dynamics of an armed encounter inside the home.
The reality is that the sound you heard is most likely not an intruder, and grabbing the gun the instant you wake up is a good way to end up with a negligent shooting. This is why I counsel my students to grab the flashlight first and to positively identify the need for the gun before laying hands on it.
This week in Safety and Security:
High blood pressure associated with lead exposure
For those who are avid shooters, particularly those who frequent indoor ranges or reload their own ammunition, lead exposure is always a concern. As it happens, lead in the bloodstream is associated with a range of ills — including hypertension.
This article looks at the link between lead levels and high blood pressure. While it (surprisingly) doesn’t mention shooting, the information they present is just as valid for lead exposure through that activity as it is for any other exposure.
Sadly, their ignorance of the shooting risk meant that they didn’t prescribe any prevention strategies. There are some steps you can take, though, to prevent the build up of lead in your bloodstream:
- Don’t drink, eat, or smoke while shooting or reloading ammunition
- Don’t touch your hands to your mouth or nose until after you’ve washed
- Wash your hands and face thoroughly after any reloading session or visit to the range
- Ideally, use a specially treated lead wipe or soap to wash with
- Finally, and while this is disputed by some, washing in cold water is said to help prevent lead absorption
This week in Preparedness:
Many of us struggle with reconciling our desire to live simpler, more purpose-driven lives with our recognition of the need to be prepared for adversity. Some are even forced into a minimalist lifestyle because of living conditions or career necessities. Whatever the motivation, it turns out there a lot of people in the same boat!
This is a two-part series from SurvivalBlog on one family’s approach to the problem. The author has chosen to refer to their solution as “practical minimalism”, which I find intriguing. It’s based on a realistic assessment of the threats they face and and a specific process on deciding what they need to address or mitigate their risk.
(Gosh, sounds a lot like Prepping For Life!)
Their choices might not be yours, or mine, but it’s the process that’s important. If you’re trying to reconcile a minimalist lifestyle with preparedness, this might be a good approach to consider.
– Grant Cunningham
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