Your Hump Day Reading List for July 31, 2019

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Hump Day Reading List


Welcome to your Hump Day Reading List! 

This is your refuge from the impersonal Google and FaceBook algorithms that seem to run our lives these days. Instead of a machine deciding what you’ll see, I personally go out and look for great articles that have value to the quest for greater personal and family safety.

From all of the articles that I find, I weed out the “fake news” and those that don’t have direct application to some aspect of preparedness. Then, to fight the growing scourge of information overload, I distill everything down to what I believe to be the three most useful articles you can read right now, explain the context of those articles, and identify any bias so you can trust what you read. 

It’s a more personal, more targeted, and more efficient way to get the information you need!

Here’s what I’ve found for you this week:

This week in Defense and Training:

Here’s why visualization is important

In last week’s List, I shared a story from Sheriff Jim Wilson about the idea of previsualization: going through plausible scenarios in your head to help with performance and decision-making. As I mentioned, visualizing the kinds of situations you might encounter and what your responses might be makes choosing your options more efficient.

Visualization helps clarify actions in your mind before you are actually faced with the situation. Under what conditions would you come to the aid of someone else? Would your aid include your drawn gun? What are the specific recognition points that would help you make your decision? What are the specific things which would cause you to actually shoot?

Today, I’m sharing a story from Greg Ellifritz about a situation which might benefit from this kind of visualization: an apparent attack of a woman by a man. This was an actual call he responded to, and the situation wasn’t what it appeared to be — and it came extremely close to turning out very badly for all concerned.

What would you have done in this specific instance? Read the story carefully; what clues would either make you decide to intervene, or cause you to stand back and summon the police? What were the potential negative outcomes? What circumstances would be beyond your control, and how would they affect the outcome?

Your concealed handgun brings with it huge responsibilities to make good decisions. Visualization is one way to help you do that.


This week in Safety and Security:

Dealing with the police after a defensive shooting

Here’s another situation which benefits greatly from visualization (and a little rehearsal): what to do when the police arrive following a defensive shooting. Whether it’s what to say to dispatchers, what to do with your gun, or what to say to responding officers, a little practice beforehand goes a long way.

In this article, the author does a reasonably good job of laying out the general steps to take after shooting someone in self defense. He even addresses the difference between your actions when you’re at home or out in public. Overall, I think it’s a good introduction to the topic for those who haven’t previously thought about it.

I have a couple of caveats, however. It may appear to some as a thinly disguised article placed by the USCCA to sell their products. I say ‘appear’, because the author may just happen to subscribe to their service. That being said, if it is a sales pitch it’s very short and doesn’t appear to have materially influenced the information in the article.

The other nitpick I have is the author’s insistence on being able to re-holster one handed. I don’t think that’s terribly important, but I think it is very important to take a breath, LOOK at the holster, and guide the gun in slowly while watching for anything that might snag the trigger. You’re likely to be shaking, perhaps badly, and this isn’t the time to rely on flashy range skills. 

Default to the safest possible method, using two hands if necessary (one to hold any garments out of the way, and one to put the gun in the holster.) If you’re using a holster that requires two hands (such as those with thumbreaks that get in the way), get a different holster. You really don’t want to be dealing with that, a cover garment, and trembling hands all at the same time.


This week in Preparedness and Health:

Fantasy Island?

I generally hate these click-baity “X-number of things…” articles, but I must admit this is one I wish I’d written!

The author outlines his “top 5” of things too many preppers spend too much time (and energy, and money)  on. In general, I think I agree with his choices! (After all, I’ve said many times that too many people focus on guns and shooting, to the exclusion of more important and more useful things and skills.)

My only (slight) criticism is that I think the threat of a manmade EMP is overblown, as are the projected effects, and I wish he’d addressed that aspect of the fear. That being said, I like his idea of a small, cheap Faraday enclosure just to store backup files in. I think that’s a rational approach to the possibility of a solar-induced EMP event. (His point about not bothering protecting electronics that require a functioning grid or internet to be useful is a good one, too.)

Like I said, it’s something I might have written; I find very little to fault with his choices or his analyses. 

– Grant Cunningham

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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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