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 actually have value in 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 Defensive Training and Gear:
Fiber optic sights: yay or nay?
Like the author of this article, I’m not a fan of fiber optic sights. In addition to the points he brings up, I’ve found that for some users they have a tendency to “bloom” in sunlight; that is, the sight appears to have a halo around it, making it appear larger — but unlike a larger sight, it’s fuzzy and hard to align. This seems to happen more frequently to people wearing prescription glasses, particularly if they include a correction for astigmatism.
My other complaint has to do with those fiber optics that have a large domed face (as shown in lead picture, above.) They suffer from the same problem that domed gold beads do: when the sun is at a specific angle, the reflection from the surface makes the center of the sight appear slightly off, causing the shooter to align the sights on the reflection. The causes the shots to hit to the opposite direction.
I see this constantly when I teach in sunny Arizona; when the sun gets to a certain point, suddenly the people with those sights start throwing their shots. It takes some awareness and adjustment on the part of the shooter to compensate.
Of course I’m not one to dictate anyone’s choices, but if you choose these sights you need to be aware of their issues and be prepared to deal with them appropriately. I do so by not having them on my guns!
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
You don’t have a visible halo
This is an interesting article about “friendly fire”: being shot by the good guys, the people who are actually on your side. It uses the case of a congregant at a church service in Amarillo who disarms an attacker who’d burst into the sanctuary, only to be himself shot by responding police officers.
Read the article for the details about the story, but it’s really no wonder why he got shot. He was holding a gun (the attacker’s, which the good guy had taken) when the police entered, and went so far as to say “Hey, hey, I got the gun”. What the officers saw was someone doing a convincing imitation of an active shooter, and they responded appropriately.
These kinds of incidents happen more frequently than you might suspect. Plainclothes and off-duty police, in particular, have been shot by responding officers who didn’t know them and couldn’t immediately discern their role.
It comes down to the persistent notion that people should be able to tell us from the bad guy. After all, on TV and in the movies it’s almost always very clear who the bad guys and good guys are! That affects how we see ourselves, as none of us thinks we look like a criminal. However, as Massad Ayoob is fond of saying, no one else can see your halo. You’ll have to figure out how the other good guys coming to the rescue will see you, and act accordingly.
This is an eye-opening article that everyone should read.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
Is a 72-hour kit really enough? Maybe not.
The 72-hour (or 3-day, if you prefer) kit has been the “standard” recommendation for a long time. Being able to survive for three days, the logic goes, should enable you to get to a point of either resupply or rescue response.
This article, though, suggests that these kits are really inadequate for anything other than very small incidents. The author’s suggestion is to instead plan for 14 days (2 weeks), which is a more realistic timeframe.
I’m inclined to agree with this. The two major incidents I’ve experienced both lasted longer than the typical 3-day kit. When I was in Search And Rescue (SAR), we had several incidents which ran longer than that — one was nearly 10 days.
Read the article and understand the author’s reasoning, then consider expanding your 3-day kits.
– Grant Cunningham
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