Incident Analysis: Road raging car vs. motorcycle. How would you handle it?

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I’ve spoken before about the need to be able to protect yourself when you’re not armed, and today’s topic is a perfect example: a video of a motorcycle versus car road rage incident from Florida shows the need to defend yourself when a firearm is either not available or is not the right choice. Not every lethal threat is a shooting situation!

First, watch the video:

Something to keep in mind: we don’t know what precipitated this video. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for March 30, 2016

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More great information this week! It starts with a video featuring Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus (yes, they actually talk to each other!); a look at the social side of guns and shooting; some prepper terms you might want to know; how you can learn from other people’s experiences; the dangers posed by an otherwise unarmed attacker; Greg Ellifritz looks at why disarms don’t work on the street like they do on the mat; Claude Werner talks about the OODA ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 24, 2016

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My week has already been a whirlwind, but I came up with some great links for you! We start with looking in the eyes of evil; finishing the fight is more important than worrying about your choreography; how to escape from an active killer incident; the get-home bag and why you should have one; an unexpected benefit of being the “grey man”; Greg Ellifritz looks at one area where violent crime is rising significantly; Ian McCollum shows you an extremely ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 17, 2016

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More goodness for you to peruse! Today we have an article on police response times to 9-1-1 calls; a look at how to prevent “the runs” and why you need to; buying a gun for your wife and why you shouldn’t even go there; Ian McCollum looks at a Mexican autoloading rifle (no, this is not a joke); a newspaper actually presents a good article about the use of deadly force in response to a break-in; avoiding a carjacking; and ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 3, 2016

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Another great collection of articles for you this week! Rob Pincus shows you how to take your guns with you when flying; Ian McCollum takes apart a Savage .45 pistol; a look at why safety isn’t in the gear you carry; how to recycle range brass for reloading; a detailed explanation of what “going gray” really means; how to keep your defensive handgun in perfect operating condition; and why 100-yard headshots with a pistol don’t make any sense. Read, learn ...

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Do you carry religiously? You may not be as safe as you believe.

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I know that most of the people reading this blog are here to learn about defensive shooting, concealed carry, firearms training, and related topics. The rest are interested in things like rifles, revolvers, reloading, and other technical issues. In other words, regardless of the group into which you fit, if you’re reading this you’re probably a “gun person” — and despite what the media might try to tell you, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It can, however, limit your ...

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Make a News Year’s Personal Security Resolution. Just one. It’s easy.

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Truth be told, I don’t do the New Year’s Resolution thing — at least, not in the traditional sense. I do take a look at the past year, figure out what I did well (and not so well), and make some guidelines to do better in the coming twelve months. I’m more interested in broad strokes, in general directions, than in the details; I’ve found that the more detailed my resolutions, the more quickly they give way to the realities ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec 30, 2015

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For this last Hump Day List of 2015, Ian McCollum shows us what a real “mousegun” looks like; another Craigslist deal goes bad; what preparedness items to carry in your vehicle; attackers don’t always fit a profile; someone actually likes the SCAR rifle; Joshua Gideon talks about feeling safe; and Greg Ellifritz shows us the guns criminals actually carry.

 

Mousegun? More like ant-gun.

You’ve probably heard the term mousegun applied to many calibers: it’s generally said about the .25ACP and .32ACP, and ...

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Halloween Safety Tips: how to keep your kids happy and healthy at the same time!

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Halloween is upon us again! This is the time of year when the weather here in Oregon turns cold and rainy, but despite that kids still get out and trick-or-treat while their parents (or older siblings) go to festive Halloween parties. Everyone faces higher risks simply due to the activity level, but there are ways to reduce those risks. Today I’m sharing some Halloween safety tips to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone!

Let’s tackle a non-issue first: tainted Halloween candy. ...

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Personal safety apps: do they really keep you safer?

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Sometimes I think people have a distorted view of personal security — particularly in the media!

Now I know that’s hard to believe; after all, if you can’t trust the media, who can you trust? (In case anyone doesn’t get the sarcasm in that sentence, well — it’s sarcasm!) They’ve been reporting lately on a number of new smartphone apps to help keep people safer, going so far as to label them as self-defense devices.

Are they? What do they really do ...

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Want to stay safer? Don’t draw attention to yourself. Here’s how.

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Part of staying safe is not drawing attention to yourself — the kind of attention that makes you a target. That’s easier said than done, but it’s a necessary part of your defensive plans.

I’ve said in the past that situational awareness is in reality managing distractions: not allowing yourself to get inappropriately consumed by any one thing. There’s more to it, of course (active watching is the other big part), but making sure that you’re not distracted is crucial to ...

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Flying with guns: some tips to make it a little less stressful

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Yes, you can fly with guns — but it can be an intimidating experience. Here’s how to make it a little smoother.
I have, on occasion, flown with a gun. The procedures have changed over the years (and it was a whole lot easier in the pre-9/11 era), but it’s not an uncommon practice. It is common, however, for people to have trouble with the practice!

I’ll admit it can be a little frustrating, particularly if you don’t ...

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Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 9: avoiding the stupid

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There’s a saying, usually attributed to master trainer John Farnam, about staying safe: “don’t go to stupid places, hang around with stupid people, or do stupid things.” That’s valid at home, but even more so when traveling!

Everyone has a different reason for traveling: for some, it’s to see new sights; for others, it’s to see old friends and family; for others, it’s to get some business done. In all cases, we ...

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Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 8: are you fit to go?

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Your physical fitness is as much a part of your travel security as any weapon that you might have!

I know that I may be touching the “third rail” of self defense with this post, but as someone who struggles with personal fitness myself I think I’m in a good position to point this out: if you’re not physically fit, it’s far more difficult to keep yourself safe!

Most people don’t realize the physical demands of dealing with any sort of attack. ...

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Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 7: knowledge and attitude are weapons, too

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Why the picture of Sir Francis Bacon? Because he once said “ipsa scientia potestas est” (“knowledge itself is power”), which is particularly fitting when we’re talking about travel safety.

People tend to fixate on the things they can (or can’t) carry with them whilst traveling. A better approach might be to spend some of that energy and time on increasing what you know, and then resolve to figure out what you can use in ...

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Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 6: simplicity as self defense

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The Amish, as you probably know, revel in simplicity. They find advantages in not being weighed down with possessions, and there is a lesson for us there too.

In the discussion about tools, you’ll notice that I recommended very few. Why? Because there is a defensive advantage in not being weighed down!

Pretend, for a moment, that you’re a criminal. You’re looking for a new victim, and there are two tourists arriving at the local hotel. Jackpot!

Potential Victim #1 is carrying a ...

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Staying safe while traveling, Part 5: some more tools to help you stay safe on the road!

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Even away from your gun you’re never really unarmed. There are tools you can carry which can help you stay safer, as long as you understand their uses and limitations.

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the building blocks of personal safety: Detection, Avoidance, De-escalation, Deterrence, and Response — and how a weapon was most effective (in fact often only effective) in the final phase: the Response. Everything leading up to the Response is still self defense, though ...

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Staying safe while traveling, Part 4: which defensive tools can you take with you?

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How do you arm yourself when you can’t be armed?

The inspiration behind this series was traveling to places where I couldn’t have a handgun on my person. Even if I were to go someplace that recognized one of the concealed handgun licenses I possess, I can’t carry a firearm in the airports at either end, or on the plane. For a cross-country flight that means a large amount of time that I ...

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Staying safe while traveling, Part 3: preplanning is a good start

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Some people worry about traveling because they can’t carry their gun. I think that’s shortsighted!

Gun people (of which I am one) tend to view the handgun as the most important tool they carry. You’ve heard the old saw about “if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”? Well, too many of my fellow gun people look at the world as strewn with nails (often while simultaneously denying ...

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Staying safe while traveling, Part 2: your concept of safety is important!

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This isn’t rocket science: it doesn’t do you much good to plan for your safety on the road if you don’t really know what safety is! In this article I share a concept of safety that, I think, will put this whole series into better perspective for you.

I’ve just returned (quite literally) from a teaching trip to the Bay Area of California. I was invited down for a return engagement at ...

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How do you stay safe when traveling? Part 1 of a series

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As I’ve mentioned before, the legally possessed firearm is a reactive tool that gives you the means to repel a lethal attack. It doesn’t, in and of itself, keep you safe — but what does, and how can you really stay safe when you’re away from home?

You may remember that last week I traveled to Indianapolis to attend the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. I didn’t actually attend the Meetings, but rather I went to attend the Exhibits: the ...

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How can YOU enhance your physical security?

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As I’ve said countless times, both in print and in classes, your personal safety isn’t just about buying a gun. Here’s some discussion on how to look at security in a more holistic manner.

I’m a “gun guy”. I don’t think I really started out to be one, but over the years it’s worked out that way. Why not? Guns are fun, they have intricate mechanisms and endless opportunities for accessorizing (which we all refer to as ‘customization’, lest we be ...

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How do you find self-defense blogs that are worth reading?

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There is no end of information on the ‘net regarding self defense, personal security, prepping, and other self-reliance topics. How do you find the usable needles in all those stacks of hay?

It’s no secret that the internet is chock full of information: good, bad, and ugly. It’s served to get rid of some of the most egregiously outlandish stuff that was common before the world wide web came into being (for instance, ...

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What is the most useful self defense tool you can carry? How about…the humble flashlight!

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Is there something you can carry which can actually help keep you safe, to help identify and prevent trouble before it happens? The flashlight can, which is why I believe everyone who is interested in personal safety and preparedness should carry one.

While I spend a lot of time talking about firearms and shooting, I’ve also said (many times) that self defense isn’t all about the gun. The firearm is a specialized tool, ...

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Linking up with your family after an incident: an important part of your safety and defensive planning!

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The link-up or meeting plan is a staple of disaster preparedness. Did you know it’s a great tool for defensive situations, like a mass attack in a mall, as well?

There’s been an incident, and you’ve survived. How are you going to determine whether the rest of your family did, and how are you going to get everyone out of what may still be a danger zone? The link-up plan, that’s ...

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Answer this question: why do you carry a concealed handgun?

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A while back the blog When The Balloon Goes Up had an interesting article: “Why do you concealed carry?” That’s actually a more involved question than you might think, as the article showed, and I think I’ve identified one reason why that’s so.

I’ve asked many students (and prospective students) why they carry or want to carry (CCW) a concealed handgun, and the most common answer I hear is that they do so to “be safer”. While I understand the sentiment, ...

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Staying safe in the depths of winter

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The cold weather gripping much of the country this winter should serve to remind us that safety isn’t always about the gun, but you’d never know that listening to some people in the self-defense business!

One of the things I often touch upon in classes is the need to look at your personal security in a holistic manner: that is, that everything is interrelated and you can’t ignore ...

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Regarding the Boston Marathon bomb attack: ramifications and defenses.

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I’m still mentally processing the information coming out of Boston about the attack at the Marathon. There’s so much to say, and so much that could happen as a result of this horrendous act, that I can’t possibly do it all justice. So, if you’ll forgive me this rather informal bullet-point treatment of the subject:

– Once again, the news reports during and in the 24 hours after the attack were wildly inaccurate. The problem is that raw intelligence is by ...

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On not being armed: the discussion continues.

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Monday’s post precipitated a number of comments; here, on Facebook, and in my email box. Some of them were complimentary, some weren’t, while others were in the middle somewhere.

Many, I think, missed the point of the discussion. Allow me to illustrate with a question.

If there is a place where you cannot have your gun (because the law says you can’t), do you avoid that place altogether? I’m not talking out of principle – that’s another discussion entirely – but simply ...

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Do you carry a gun all of the time? I don’t, and you can’t if you want to have a life. Get used to it.

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Every so often I’ll get together with other people who are in the business of defensive shooting training. Invariably they are shocked – sometimes to incredulity – when I tell them that no, I’m not carrying a gun (whether I am or not – I just like to see the look on their faces) and no, I don’t carry 24/7 (nobody can, unless the never go anywhere.)

From their reactions you’d think I’d violated some sacred oath, or was insanely irresponsible, for ...

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