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:
The 20-gauge shotgun for home defense
While I haven’t mentioned it much, I’ve long been a fan of the 20-gauge shotgun for a defensive option inside the home. While most attention is given to the more common 12-gauge, I think the ’20’ has some distinct advantages.
The most important is the significant reduction in recoil. As Massad Ayoob, also a 20-gauge fan, puts it: “no matter how well you can shoot a ’12’, you’ll shoot the ’20’ better!” It’s just easier to handle; even the 12-gauge loaded with lower-velocity (and perhaps lower effectiveness) “reduced recoil” shells isn’t quite as easy to shoot. There’s more, but instead of going into them here I’ll let you read what someone else says!
This article looks at the 20-gauge’s advantages and disadvantages in a fairly even-handed manner. (My only comment is that most of the author’s disadvantages are a matter of perspective; for instance, I don’t think a “tactical” shotgun model is really a necessity for home defense, so I don’t consider the lack of such models in 20-gauge to be a real deficiency.)
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
Learn how to spot violence before it happens
I’ve written many times about the need to understand the signs that precede criminal attacks. Known as “pre-assault indicators”, these are the red flags that indicate an attack is imminent.
Knowing what these cues are, how and why they manifest themselves, and what they indicate is a huge part of staying out of trouble. You win every fight you avoid, and understanding pre-assault indicators is the best way to avoid a fight.
Greg Ellifritz has written an excellent article on this topic. In addition to behavioral cues, he also looks at presentation: the image that people portray through clothing and personal appearance and how that factors into risk assessment. It’s a “must-read” for everyone, whether you carry a firearm or not.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
The best map for prepared individuals is made at home
Knowing what’s around your neighborhood should be a fundamental part of your preparedness activities. What threats exist, and what resources you might be able to use as part of your response and recovery, are things you should know.
The best way to catalog and visualize these things is by using a map. This article looks at what threat/asset maps are, how to make one, and what kinds of things should be on it. (You can do the same thing for potential crimes, too.) I think this is such an important concept that I now advocate it for all preparedness activities.
– Grant Cunningham