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 practicing shooting!”
It’s a provocative title, to be sure, but in this article Ralph Mroz makes the point that drawing and firing a handgun is one very small part of a defensive encounter. Yet, it’s the one almost everyone focuses on, to an almost ridiculous degree.
I’ve been saying somewhat the same thing for several years. The firearm, whether handgun or long gun, is a defensive tool with an extremely narrow range of application. Yet we in the defensive training world barely acknowledge that, let alone teach much regarding the other points Ralph raises.
His recommendation of Massad Ayoob’s MAG-40 class is excellent. Some years ago I used to recommend that class (or, depending on the year, the preceding version known as LFI-1) as the primary defensive training course someone should take. I moved away from that recommendation because I felt there wasn’t enough “leading-edge” shooting instruction in it. In the last couple of years, though, I’ve decided my original position was in fact the correct one!
Is that course enough to cover all of the points Ralph makes? No, and to the best of my knowledge no one does. But it’s a very good start.
Read Mroz’s article with an open mind, paying particular attention to everything that precedes the shooting part. How much of that — and of the stuff which follows the shooting — have you really prepared for?
This week in Safety and Security:
You found a machine gun??
With so many of our older citizens passing on comes the problem of dealing with their possessions. One surprisingly common occurrence is finding a fully automatic weapon hidden away in the attic or basement.
Prior to 1934, automatic weapons were basically unregulated and could be easily purchased. Many people did. With the passage of the National Firearms Act that year, however, those existing guns were required to be registered. There was an amnesty period to do so, after which time any unregistered weapons were illegal. (There was another 90-day amnesty after the law was amended in 1968.)
Many people, however, either weren’t aware of the law or chose to defy it by not registering their automatic weapons. Whether out of ignorance or defiance, however, those guns ended up being hidden — only to be found decades later, after their death. Those unregistered guns pose significant legal risks for the heirs of the original possessor.
Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons, who knows as much about this subject as anyone I know, has put together an informative video about how to handle these found firearms. If you even suspect one of your relatives has such a firearm floating around, you should watch this video.
(Note: if you’re an attorney who deals in estate and probate matters, it’s in your best interest to be at least passingly familiar with the issues and process.)
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Do you really know your earthquake risk?
Last week’s large earthquakes in California left quite few people who live east of the Mississippi with smug grins on their faces. “That’s what they get for living out there”, one post on social media crowed.
As it happens, though, the earthquake risk in the midwest is actually quite high. In fact, there are surprisingly few areas in this country with very low risk for earthquakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
In other words, no matter where you live you need to consider earthquakes in your preparedness planning; it’s just that some people have to make them a much higher priority than others. Even if you live in low-risk Wisconsin, when you travel to any of the high-risk areas you need to factor your temporarily increased risk into your planning. In other words, there are very few people in this country who don’t need to at least think about the possibility of being affected by an earthquake!
How should you judge your earthquake risk, and what should you do about it? This article from the Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You blog has some good information to help.
– Grant Cunningham
If you enjoy the information I post here, would you consider supporting my work on Patreon? I’d appreciate it, and you’d be doing your part to make this blog possible! Click here to join!