Showing posts with label self defense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self defense. Show all posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Managing Unknown Contacts by Southnarc

Hat tip to Defensive Training Group for finding this gem. Southnarc AKA Craig is one of the foremost experts  on the dynamics of inter personal criminal violence and definitely the foremost trainer on handling real up close personal violence. I am not saying there aren't some grizzled cops in Phoenix, Houston, LA, etc who do not have the same knowledge but they are not out teaching it to normal citizens.

Like many of you I have a list of classes to take. Mine is:pistol class, advanced pistol class, shotgun class, maybe a good precision rifle class and Southnarc's ECQC. You might note that ECQC is the only class specifically listed. The reason is that while I am truly picky about instructors (if my bad ass bio is better than theirs I pass) there are lots of great people out there doing the rest of that stuff.

Anyway the techniques laid out in this article are an excellent way to frame situations to prevent violence from occuring in the first place or at least set conditions to win.

I should note this stuff meshes pretty heavily with Street Robberies and You.

Would add stuff personally but Craig hits the nail strait on the head.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Two Men Use Girl As Human Shield — Until Her Father Guns Them Down

A St. Louis couple is likely thankful to have guns in their home after they were forced to use them to defend their daughter against two men Monday night......

Read the rest here. 

Thank goodness the decent folks came out on top. I a not sure if they were prepared or lucky but it is  a harsh reminder for the rest of us. If you don't carry a gun at home there had better be one pretty darn handy. An unloaded gun in a big combination lock safe ain't gonna cut it. Figure out a plan that will work for you that balances speed of access with security (a particular concern if small children are in the house) and is realistic for your budged AND IMPLEMENT IT!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Rounds Enough for Concealed Carry?


I once quoted James Yeager saying "The definition of an optimist is a guy with a J frame and a speed strip." Like many quotes my goal was more to provoke thought than say something is good or bad.

We can quote cases such as the 1986 Miami shoot out or stuff from FerFal that show the weakness of lower capacity firearms. I would discount the Miami case because I am not an LEO pursuing dangerous criminals. If I was I would relegate a J frame, if carried at all, to a back up. As to the FerFal stuff that is Buenos Aries not Peduke, Iowa or in my case western central Louisiana.

Most of the time I carry some sort of a Glock 9mm with a spare mag. About a third of the time the pistol I carry is my little J frame with a pair of speed strips. Distance being traveled, events being attended, perceived level of risk and my level of laziness really dictate the choice.

Do I feel well armed with a J frame? Honestly I do not. Then again the risk in my sleepy little town is low. My odds leaving the hardware store at noon or a restaurant at 7 of getting into something are tiny. The kind of situations I might get into (strong arm robbery, just caught in the middle of something, etc) are the type that any centerfire handgun is capable of handling. So when I go to get a gallon of milk and slip the .38 into my back pocket I feel adequately, if not particularly well, armed.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

White Knight Syndrome



Truth by James Yeager. You might not agree with everything he says but the man is dead on about this one. Personally I have thought a lot about the actual situations where I would intervene/ get involved with violent (or potentially so) situations that did not involve me. Admittedly as the years have gone by I have gotten older and wiser about this topic. Honestly the times I would get involved are pretty narrowly defined and vastly outnumbered by 'not my problem'.

If White Trash (I say as the most likely cultural group I would encounter in this context, not an insult. Pot says to kettle.) Joe is slapping around White trash Betty May  who is a stranger to me that is not my problem. If Betty May is my family member or good friend it is probably going to be Joe's problem but that is a whole nother discussion. The truth of those situations, from watching years of Cops, is that you are more likely to end up fighting both of them then save this gal or whatever.

Honestly if strangers are doing whatever sort of madness to each other and life/ limb/ eyesight are not genuinely in danger I sort of figure it's not my problem.

In a clear cut situation (ex random guy tries to grab old lady's purse in a parking lot, meth maggots assaulting a school girl a la Training Day, etc) I am more likely to get involved that some sort of DV or mutual combat situation. Then again I guess even that is scenario based.

If I'm walking around with 2 buddies who are also armed I'm going to get involved, we've got that purse snatchers number. If I'm alone I still really like my odds and will probably help Granny out.  On the other hand if I'm alone coming out of a store holding an upset/ tired/ sick/ whatever 3 year old in my left arm whilst wrangling a cart full of whatever that also holds my baby daughter the idea of getting involved in any fight I'm not forced into is a hard sell. Personally I consider any  potential risk to my loved ones as far more important than some random person. I'd see Granny in the dirt before risking my kids getting hurt. That is harsh and not nice to say but absolutely 100% true.

I don't mean to be uncaring here, nor that I do not value human life. If I can realistically help somebody without undue risk to my loved ones I would do so. True story... a few years ago in a shopping complex where my little sister used to work a woman was randomly murdered by a transient type guy. Just a normal gal doing some shopping or getting lunch and some asshat attacked her. He probably had a knife but I honestly do not recall. Anyway a bunch of people watched this goblin kill that poor gal. Ryan don't play that. At that point in life I was not legally able to carry a gun but I'd have stopped that guy or died trying. Knife (mine), improvised weapon like a metal chair or my bare hands there is no way I'm going to watch some monster butcher a person. The only way I wouldn't get involved is if I was A) alone with my children. Usually Wifey is with us and she could thus take them speedily in opposite direction while I go do what must be done AND B) I was not carrying a firearm.

[Admittedly a strait up lethal force situation is easier to deal with given that realistically my kids would be there. I say this because I'd tell crazy murderous transient to "stop or I will shoot you" then do precisely that. The odds of risk to my children, sitting in the grocery cart, when I am between them and knife wielding psycho and engage him while holding a pistol at the high ready are pretty darn low. The Tueler Drill goes out the window if the gun is already aimed and the shooter is willing to immediately open fire.]

Anyway as a person who may potentially (you bloody better) choose to carry deadly weapons I urge you to think about the situations where you might choose to get involved in a violent or potentially violent encounter. Consider the legal as well as social/ moral angles. Think about this now before you might have to make a split second decision that could change your life. Do the right thing for your family, yourself and strangers in that order.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tab Clearing



I prefer rifles to shotguns but for those looking to defend home and hearth on a budget the pump shotgun (Rem 870 or Moss 500) is a capable weapon at an awesome value. Inside the house a $400 shotgun is almost as capable as a $1,200 AR. Given that shotgun fights do not last long I would be quite comfortable with the more affordable option.

Street Robberies and you is a pretty interesting post over at ARF. Of course we do not KNOW the author but it rings of truth to me. My thoughts: Making eye contact is significant. First it shows you are aware of the person, second that you could probably identify them. Third like the article says you can show you have a gun in a way that probably (I'm not a lawyer, blah, blah, blah) does not cross into brandishing territory but gets the point across. The universal hand on the gun under clothing is a pretty solid "you don't want to mess with me, I'm packing" indicator. If you do those 2 things the odds somebody is going to attack you unless they know/ believe strongly you have something really good to take (lots of cash, drugs, etc) drop to about nil. Good for a read and some thought anyway.

Along those lines take the damn ear buds out of your ears and put your blankety blankets smart phone away whilst you are walking and driving. Also pay attention to what is happening around you and pack a heater.

Bayou Renaissance Man replied to my recent Bugging Out Revisited post that this article at his place may be of interest.Good stuff worth reading.

Lastly 6 Abandoned Sites that would make Great Supervillan Lair's.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Man Points Gun At Carjackers Head

Here is a hint. Avoid carjacking large men wearing Carharts. Doubly so if they have crazy facial hair. Gun or no gun it probably isn't going to be easy.
Seriously, who picks this guy to mess with?  Read the story here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wandering man with Alzheimer's shot, killed in Walker County

Tam brings us this sad story full of lessons. Point by point.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, cop or self identified expert. The purpose of this blog as well as the post you are reading is to give you some things to think about while being entertaining. You are an adult and thus responsible for your own actions. Understand your local laws and consult experts as needed to get quality advice don't just run with the ideas of some yahoo on the internet. 

1- Low/ no light situations. For whatever reason self defense situations happen predominantly in no/ low light situations. Knowing this we need to be prepared to fight at night. In all but the most permissive environments you legally and ethically must identify a target before firing. Heck, taking a step back you need to see a person to know if they are actually a threat. The Goblin with a butcher knife in your imagination could turn out to be an elderly man carrying somebody's mail. The only way to know for sure is to see the person.

Obviously the way to see in the dark is some sort of light. I like weapon mounted lights for shooting. It is impolite and dangerous to go around pointing guns all over the place so I like handheld lights for looking around. Tactics could vary here and honestly I'm more concerned that you have a darn light then exactly what type of light it is. You don't have to break the bank to get a 3,000 lumen surefire made of adimantium a $5 plastic hardware store flashlight beats no light at all.

Some folks have talked about weapon mounted lights (and lights in general) saying you are identifying yourself so it is poor tactics. These folks fail to realize 2 key things. First you can have a light and not use it if the situation dictates; that being said if you do not have a light and the situation dictates using one you're SOL. Second as discussed previously in all but the most kinetic environment outside of a population center you need to identify targets before shooting. If I light somebody up and they are c

The endstate is that if you have a gun in the dark for self defense you should have a way to see what you might be shooting at. I strongly suspect the vast majority of self defense shooting tragedies are caused by failure to use a white light to identify a target before firing.

2- Staying Inside. Tam's advice to stay the heck inside and let the cops deal with the crazy guy in the yard is sound. A persons legal footing for self defense is a lot better if the recipient of the lead has forced their way into said person's home. You don't hear too often about people getting into trouble for shooting the guy who broke into their house.

Personally I am inclined to go investigate the weird noise outside myself. The reason for this is that almost all the time it is the neighbors cat or a tree branch or the wind blowing stuff over. If I called the coppers every time that happened I'd have to deal with them a lot and it would turn into a boy who cried wolf situation. Potentially like the scenario that spurred this discussion I could end up in a confrontation outside of my home. The big difference would be I'd have 2 tools to decide if there was a threat and thus whether my heater was needed. In any case I am going to give that plan some thought. It might not be the best course of action.

3- Sort of like Tam said it is good to think about these things now so we have answers in our heads at 3am when awoken by a weird noise. If I KNEW somebody was outside in the yard or whatever doing something crazy I would not go out there. I would arm myself (if I hadn't already) then wait for the cops to deal with it.

4- It would be hard in my mind to justify shooting somebody I didn't KNOW was a legitimate threat. Not "they kept walking towards me" but "they kept walking towards me with a butcher knife in the universal stabbing position" type thing. Even if you can legally justify shooting somebody you will have to live with yourself. This means blasting a mental patient or whatever is not the best course of action. Avoiding the confrontation (do you see a theme here?) is the way to go. I don't worry excessively about the 'they kept advancing but were not clearly a lethal threat' scenario. Though it does bear consideration so maybe some sort of less lethal implement like a big can of mace or a baton would be handy there.

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RE: 3 Guns For Every Prepper To Consider



Another excellent video by Maine Prepper. I think looking at characteristics vs specific weapons makes a lot of sense. A Glock 9mm (G 19 mags 10 for $250!!!) is great and so is an M&P .45acp or a Sig .40. Ditto for an AR-15 in the much disputed 5.56, a classic AK-47 or a big ole PTR-91 in the mighty 7.62x51 which kills elephants through it's powerful death beam if the round flies within 4 feet of the multi ton beast.

That you should have a purpose built semi automatic magazine fed rifle vs a hunting or old milsurp type rifle for defense is valid. The sole valid reason I can see for not taking this course of action is if you simply cannot afford modern defensive weapons and need to rely on basic guns. A guy with this sort of rifle is going to lean heavily on his pump shotgun (250 rounds of 12 gauge 00 buck for $125)

I fundamentally disagree with the approach listed in the video that you should buy a magazine fed rifle, a pump shotgun then a semi automatic mag fed pistol. To his credit Maine Prepper says you need to worry about the specifics of your scenario as well as scenarios you might envision. That valid point aside a semi automatic rifle is by far the most expensive rifle to purchase and equip of the three. Also they are not concealable and are a one trick pony. Granted it is a good trick but there is still a lack of versatility and concealability. These factors make makes me think most people would, albeit temporarily till they can save some more funds, be far better off with a nice handgun like a Glock 19 and a pump shotgun than a rifle like an AR-15. To me that two gun combo is going to fare better over a variety of different scenarios than one single rifle. Granted you should get all three as soon as it is practical.

Anyway those are my thoughts. Hope you enjoy the video.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Real World Defensive Considerations

Spent some time with a career cop turned private investigator recently. Learned a few interesting things.

-Criminals choose targets for 3 reasons: High payoff, soft target and personal reasons.

High Payoff is pretty easy. Typically it means they know (or think they know) the target has drugs, jewelry, money, guns or other readily transferable compact high value items.

Soft targets are generally pretty simple also. The house where they do not have a fence, a big dog, an alarm system, etc is easier to break into than most. A staggering drunk is easy to rob. Some targets are almost too good to turn down.

Also soft targets sort of include the subset of "Targets of Opportunity." These are different from the soft target in that the situation is usually temporary and random thus unlikely to be observed and targeted as part of some criminal operational cycle. Wrong place, wrong time if you will. An example for this might be a woman who stayed in a local hotel and went running very early that happened to end up in a bad neighborhood then had the further bad luck to cross paths with a rapist. The odds of that situation occurring again are tiny but it happened.

Personal reasons are sort of nebulous. However I suspect that as a rule normal well adjusted people harm their acquaintances, friends and family at a much lower percentages than career criminals, gang members and (hard) drug users. While people of all lifestyles do in fact harm each other the odds of a crack party going bad are far higher than somebody ending up dead at a church banquet. Something to think about.

There was a very good reminder to lock your darn doors. Sparing the bad stories sometimes the reason house B and it's residents are attacked instead of house A is that A's door was locked and B's was open.

Hope this give you a few things to think about. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

George Zimmerman Trial Continued

Aesop said...
The "created a situation" statement is the leaping assumption against facts not in evidence. Carrying a weapon legally is not "creating a situation". Neither is walking the streets of your neighborhood, and calling the police about problems about once a month, judging by actual evidence regarding Zimmerman given at trial.
 
SD3 said
"George Zimmerman created a situation...where somebody ended up dead."
Ryan, I sincerely don't mean any disrespect, but how could anyone read that statement &; not understand that you have arrived at your conclusion?
 
This is no different than saying the 'hottie' in the mini-skirt created a situation where ended up raped.
 
My Response: Gentlemen, Since it came up a few times I figured a response was worthwhile. It gets into the area of Monday morning quarterbacking but here we go. 

I intentionally said "created a situation" not "started a fight". If George Zimmerman did not take it upon himself to follow Trayvon Martin both of them would still be alive. I did not say George Zimmerman's actions (prior to the fight) were illegal, immoral or unethical, they were none of those things. However they were really, really stupid. Zimmerman was asking for a confrontation of some sort. [Heck if some guy started following me I would engage him (albeit not with immediate violence) to figure out what the deal was, from there the situation could theoretically go sideways.] I do not think there is a single cop or expert anywhere who would have said what George Zimmerman did was smart. It is worth noting that thankfully at this time doing stupid things is not in and of itself illegal.

While I do have an opinion it is not 'set' and could be changed by compelling new information. As to my opinion based on my understanding of the case now. George Zimmerman was stupid in creating a situation that was ripe for a confrontation. Trayvon Martin seems to have turned that confrontation into a fight quite successfully until Zimmerman shot him. To what degree Zimmerman's actions prior to the fight can affect whether this incident falls into the realm of self defense or manslaughter I am not a lawyer or familiar with Florida law so cannot say. In my non lawyer mind George Zimmerman's foolish actions were so integral to the situation that it gives me second thought as to whether self defense applies here.

Snoop's comment "This is no different than saying the 'hottie' in the mini-skirt created a situation where ended up raped." deserves a reply of it's own. Aside from being provocative and offensive to some I think the degree to which the victims actions were related to the end result in this example is out of whack with the Zimmerman/ Martin affair. Maybe saying "A hottie in a mini skirt at the bar created a situation that ended up where Bozo the Frat Guy loudly said she had a nice butt and that he wanted to Blip her Blop" would be closer. Also we need to note that after the offense the victim acted in a way that is arguably criminal. This is what we have to square up, the reaction to the offense if you will. Up to the point where George Zimmerman was getting whipped on and Mrs Mini Skirt was being harassed they are both clearly the victims. We know what happened in the Zimmerman/ Martin affair. Lets say Mrs Mini Skirt slaps Bozo in the face just as a cop walked into the bar. (Now it is unlikely she would be detained let alone charged but you know where I am going) The question at hand is about how these individuals actions related to the offense and then their subsequent reaction. If that is confusing you read it right. 

I do not think victims of assault (sexual or otherwise) ever "deserve" what is done to them. However taking a step back victims can certainly do things which make them more or less of a target. Coming back to your analogy of the girl with the short skirt. Lets say that girl has a dozen tequila shots, loses contact with her friends, meets some guy just before the bar closes and heads to an after party with this total stranger. They have a few more drinks then head to his apartment. Something bad happens. Does she "deserve" it of course not. Should the A Hole be punished to the full extent of the law, of course. However can we honestly say this girl did not make choices that put her in a terrible situation? Taking a step back from sex crimes let us look at it another way.

A guy is on a long multi state drive and needs to pull over for a bit since it is very late at night. The turn off he randomly takes happens to be right in a terrible neighborhood, like projects and crack dealers kind of terrible. The guy finds an all night store and parks his Porche 911 outside. He needs some cash so heads to the ATM to pull the limit out with 3-4 cards, a bit over a grand total. Since he is tired he grabs some coffee and snacks. The guy then stands by his car stretching and drinking the coffee for awhile. Something bad happens. Did this guy deserve to be robbed and hurt, of course not. Was he an idiot who put himself in a bad situation, absolutely. Make sense?

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. We may still disagree but I hope this brings some insight to my thinking. 
 
 
 


Sunday, June 30, 2013

The George Zimmerman Trial

I have been loosely following this spectacle. It has been pretty interesting so far. Of course I have some thoughts. As AM said the charges were clearly motivated not by belief of guilt or the ability to get a conviction but by political considerations.

Prosecutors almost universally have very high conviction rates. One could argue something about the injustices and biases in the criminal justice system which has some merit. However the larger issue is that individuals involved in the "system" (at all levels) do not put forth effort unless they believe it will result in a conviction. Trials, especially major ones, are a hassle and expensive. Sometimes this means people get off free, for that round anyway, because a conviction is not likely. That is unless politics/ public relations get involved. A case like the Zimmerman/ Martin affair spins up huge media hysteria which puts presume (probably from very high levels) onto ambitious political individuals. Moving on.

I am not a lawyer but it seems like Murder 2 was an over reach. That decision was probably political also. From the information I have this scenario seems to lie in the murky area between legal self defense and manslaughter. George Zimmerman created a situation, though not intentionally, where somebody ended up dead. In my mind that is almost the exact definition of manslaughter. That being said Zimmerman almost surely did not initiate the physical confrontation and probably had a reasonable belief his life was in danger at that time. The facts of the case as I know them could be seen as "reasonable doubt". Also it seems that in Florida if the idea of self defense is introduced the burden of proof for disproving the claim lies on the prosecution.

It should be interesting to see how this all plays out. This could get ugly. To put the potential into perspective Rodney King got his ass beat yet lived and LA burned. Trayvon Martin was, at least legally, a child and we have twitter, facebook and cell phoned for people to whip up hysteria and mobalize. This could get really bad.

People who live or work in the type of area where "urban youths" break things, start fires, steal and attack those who do not look like them when there is an injustice (real or perceived) to the Black community should be paying very close attention. You might want to get a bit ahead on work as this gets closer the verdict. That way if this goes to a mis trial or acquittal you will not fall too far behind by calling in sick for a couple days. For what it's worth I recommend claiming explosive diarrhea. It is gross so people do not want to ask about it also it is embarrassing so people figure a person will not lie about it.

What do you think about the while Zimmerman/ Martin affair? What do you think about the trial?


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kung Fu Fighting

The topic of hand to hand fighting has come up recently and while my thoughts are already recorded for posterity somewhere in the archives it is a good time to revisit the topic.
Everyone needs to be competent at hand to hand fighting in order to prevent people from beating the hell out of you and to be able to beat the hell out of people if you need to. “Well I carry a gun” doesn’t get you off. In reality you can’t keep every person 30 feet away and live a normal life. Threats can appear quickly and at close range. Even if you are carrying if an aggressive panhandler or strong arm robber is 3 feet away you are in a hand to hand fight.
Furthermore as a dude, and particularly a reasonably healthy one you are going to have a hard time justifying lethal force simply because someone gets too close or grabs you or whatever. If you shoot somebody because they push you or even try to start a fight you will go to jail. Sorry but it is true. (Case in point George Zimmerman) Gals have an easier time here.
One of the stupidest things I have ever heard is “I will fight dirty, breaking fingers and kicking groins” as an excuse to not actually learn to fight. Idiots use that as an excuse (maybe even to their selves) for not actually learning to fight. This is not a viable plan. The reason it is a stupid idea is that in real fights that sort of behavior is pretty much a given so it really isn’t an advantage. A guy who can kick box/ box/ do jui jitsu or whatever and is willing to kick groins and break fingers will win over a less skilled fighter whose only chance is a couple cheap tricks every time.
If I need to make a hard sell of these points just stop reading this post now. Your situational awareness is so great a threat couldn’t possibly get within 10 meters of you and or you are such a finger breaker and groins kicker that the same dirty moves everybody tries will always work for you. I wish you the best of luck.
So you need to learn how to fight. I am not going to say that formal instruction is absolutely necessary. Big strong guys with some “experience” can do quite well unless they meet a big strong guy who can strike or wrestle or a decent sized guy who is good at striking or wrestling. In all seriousness just about everyone benefits from formal instruction as the self taught tend to have some real bad habits that a skilled fighter can take advantage of.
To be a competent well rounded fighter you need to be able to strike and grapple both standing and on the ground. You’ve got to have at least some skills in both to not have huge vulnerabilities. Ideally you will get good at both but if you are hardcore in one you need to at least be able to survive in the other. It doesn’t matter if you are a wrestling/ judo/ jui jitsu fighter if you get the hell beat out of you before you can get your hands on somebody. If you are a competitive kick boxer or boxer at least learn enough grappling to keep folks from taking you down or throwing you and to get back up if it does go to the ground.
There are so many different styles out there. I don’t want to get bogged down going over each one or offend people by suggesting that the style they spent years learning sucks so instead I will talk about a few commonality of effective styles for contemporary self defense. The first is that they focus on realistic techniques for realistic scenarios. Styles that focus on implausible scenarios like jumping spinning high kicks may be fun but can have questionable utility.
Next effective styles practice at close to full speed/ intensity trying to harm people who are trying to harm you. Call it sparing or fighting or whatever. Be very caution with styles that are so deadly you can’t actually spar but instead only practice slowly or with cooperative partners. It is one thing to say it works but it is difficult if not impossible to figure out the kinks, work through issues and develop confidence and muscle memory in a technique without trying it against an uncooperative person who wants to hurt you.
Lastly effective styles tend to compete against other styles in as realistic of competition as possible against other styles. This is probably the biggest and easiest single test of if a style is actually effective or not. Points based sparing with rules that emphasize high kicks and jousting back fists which barely make contact are a nice sport and all but have little to no relationship with actual fighting. For example if I was in a points sparing match with a nimble 105 pound 13 year old kid they would probably win by a series of very pretty but not damaging glancing strikes. However they would last about 7 seconds in an alley. To phrase it another way it doesn’t matter if you are the toughest and most skilled guy in your style if an average redneck in a bar can wipe the floor with you. Think full contact kickboxing and mixed martial arts style competition.
It is worth noting that early on in Ultimate Fighting we had some very good case studies for this before everybody started training in the incredibly effective modern hybrid style we now call MMA. Quite a few black belts in Taekwondo, various styles of Karate (though notably Kempo Karate fared well), kung fu and musho do quai chi got the heck beaten out of them by wrestlers and good old boy golden gloves type boxers.
Now we will talk about physical fitness as it relates to hand to hand fighting. In real fights size and strength (I say size and strength because they are generally related) are an advantage. Of course skill matters more but can only overcome so much. A truly skilled fighter can take amateurs way out of his weight class. Oscar De La Hoya could wipe the floor with a lot of tough 225 pounders. That being said he wouldn’t last long against Lenox Lewis or Tito Ortiz.
Strength lets you hit harder, execute techniques more effectively against an active opponent and resist their techniques more effectively. I am talking about the kind of raw strength that you get from lots and lots of heavy labor (like professional construction or masonry or the like, not doing normal chores on a modern hobby farm which consists of moving a few hay bales and a few buckets of feed a day) or serious time at the weight pile doing big compound movements like bench press, squat, dead lift and power cleans. Strength really helps here. Also if you build enough size and strength it can become a pretty big deterrent and save you trouble.
[Though there is a sort of “I want to fight the biggest guy here” phenomena. For some reason below average sized guys try to fight the biggest dude in the bar or party, often without any provocation. I saw a 6’3” 270 pound mountain of muscle that played college football get into three of these fights in one night for no reason. These little guys were just walking up and punching him in the face. They all ended very quickly and decisively.
I don’t for the life of me understand this. It seems like about the stupidest thing ever to me. It is one thing if circumstances are what they are and you have to fight some huge guy but going out of your way and choosing to do so is just really stupid. More interestingly it is not really strong or skilled 150 pound guys either but random shmoes. I really want to know what these guys are thinking but after they show their selves I haven’t see one in the condition to talk.
Remember; never fight somebody hand to hand who has such a size/ strength advantage that they could go all Lenny on you. +Two extra special bonus points if you get the reference. Seriously if they can play King Kong smash all over then either make friends, stay away, stab them or shoot them. ]
This is incidentally a pretty good litmus test for how realistic/ practical a martial art is. To paraphrase our new friend Mr Mosby “no martial art is going to let a blind 98 pound wheel chair bound grandma beat up a 230 pound power lifting steroid using ex convict” That sort of stuff just doesn’t work in real life. If somebody tries to tell you otherwise either they are knowingly lying or they are an idiot. In either case take your time and money elsewhere.
Conditioning is important for a lot of things but in my personal experience its role in real life H2H fights outside of an organized competitive setting is minimal. I have never personally seen or been in a fight (again outside of a competitive setting) that lasted long enough for conditioning to be a real issue. Of course this does assume that you are an average reasonably healthy person who can walk a few blocks without getting winded. Organized settings are different because both people know they are going to be in a fight, are ready and are theoretically a pretty even match. All these factors make for much longer fights.
So in closing I recommend that you invest some time to learn how to defend yourself and put the time in at the weight pile to build the muscle to be able to apply those skills in real life.
Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monsters of Anarchy



Stumbled onto this randomly today on Youtube. Excluding the intro and closing the narrator is reading I am Your Worst Nightmare by Jeff Traskel posted on Survival Blog. In any case the audio plus pictures makes a powerful message even stronger.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day and Another Year Older

Well it is July 4th also known as Independence Day in the 'Merica. Aside from having a day off work to do fun things with the fam, eating too much food, drinking more than is probably necessary and maybe shooting or fireworks it is a good day to reflect. So I did some reflecting.

 I am not particularly thrilled with the state of Independence and the overall situation in our country. Our economy is still firmly in fail mode. The big banks and rich connected folks who arguably destroyed our economy are doing fine. They profited handsomely by manipulating the economy for years and then got bailed out. The normal working folks in the middle got hosed. Over the last few years the average American household lost 39% of it's wealth. Sure some of them did stupid things like getting adjustable rate loans for 120% of the place's value or buying a home with an interest only payment that is 65% of their pre tax income but that just compounded their individual suck factor. The unfortunate bottom line is that many good people who did nothing wrong lost much of their life's savings. For anyone who is concerned I think the habitual welfare cases are doing about as well as they ever do.


 Our government and the mainstream media have been pushing this recovery without any visible positive indicators jobless recovery thing so hard it is painfull to watch. Sort of like the restaurant that is aggressively pushing the fish it is a pretty clear that A) there is something wrong with the fish and B) the folks doing the pushing have a vested interest in convincing you that nothing is wrong with the fish. Here is a hint, the fish is definitely past it's prime and might have already gone bad. I see other things going on but talking about it is not really productive. To be honest most of it (over the past few years gun rights have been doing well between Heller, the new Constitution Carry trend and expansion of CCW rights) depresses me.


Since I try to stick to things I/we can actually afffect and positively influence instead of just whining about how tough times are I started thinking about independence on a personal level. The first question is what exactly would we consider personal independence. To me personal independence would be having the capability to do as many of the various things needed for a normal, modern existence for yourself. Along these lines it should go without saning that  the less you have to rely on other people or organizations the better. There are so many areas this touches from being able to fix a leaking sink to treating a bad cut or protecting yourself. To touch on just a few:

-Having solid defensive capabilities and some default offensive capabilities is very important. If you must rely on somebody else, be it a cop or local tough guy or even worse a gang, to protect you then independence is impossible. Have a gun and know how to use it. Heck, having a few guns isn't a bad thing. The emphasis however needs to be more on the 'know how to use it' than just on getting a gun and some bullets. Know how to defend yourself without a gun also. You probably don't need to practice MMA 10 hours a week (though if you have the time that would be good;) but get some training from a qualified instructor and try to practice enough to stay reasonably fresh.

I would be inclined to focus on realistic scenarios. It is far more likely that you will be car jacked,  robbed at gunpoint or maybe home invaded by some meth meads then Chinese Paratroopers invading or an Alphabet agency SWAT team or the neighbors attacking to steal your crispix. What you will probably face in some sort of emergency scenario would be normal crime and violence on steriods.  Instead of robberies just happening outside of sketchy clubs at 3am and home invasions being predominantly in Cracktown things will change; conventional wisdom that says noon at Safeway is a low threat environment and nice neighborhoods are pretty safe will cease to be valid. If things go on long enough folks will adapt but that is no concillation to those first few unlucky folks who are victims. Your carry piece and the holster it goes in are probably more important that whatever sweet rifle and chest rig you have got. Worry more about basic home defense and out and about precautions than how to effectively ambush armored vehicles or conduct a squad attack.

-Work toward financial independence. Becoming truly financially independent is problematic. Unless you are very wealthy or want to live very simply it is not very realistic to be entirely financially independent. Best case if you own your home/ land money is needed for fuel and taxes and other stuff you can't grow. For most folks living a fairly normal pattern of life who desire a relatively conventional home paying it off by middle age is an impressive feat and earlier is improbable. Not saying it is not possible or that nobody does it but that most folks, even if they make pretty good choices can't do it. That however doesn't mean you can't work towards a reasonably decent place and keep improving.

For heavens sake pay off high rate debts like credit cards, personal loans and nasty vehicle/ hobby stuff loans. Aside from sucking the financial life out of you now they will get way worse if our economy tanks. If possible pay off variable interest rate debts or if they are large and will take time at least roll them into a decent fixed rate. Strive to be debt free aside from maybe a reasonable fixed rate mortgage. Start saving today if you haven't been already. Save for all sort of relatively minor real life issues like car/ home repairs, injuries, job loss, etc as well as for the long term. I am less concerned about how you save (cash, IRA, 401k, investments, metals, etc) than that you are saving in some form or another. Once you have knocked out the bad debt and have some money put away all sorts of other things like paying off a home early, going back to school or changing career fields are possible. I will stop trying to make this horse I have pulled to the water drink.

-Become less dependent on normal commerce for food. Stash some food for if normal commerce is interupted by a disaster or whatever. Somebody smarter than me suggested 3 months of things you normally eat (obviously shelf stable) like pasta, canned goods, etc and then a year of long term shorage type stuff. For every day and the theoretical long term food production is important. At least consider growing some food. If it is possible in your situation that would be a good thing to do.

-Work on all the other stuff you need. A person probably can't build the skills of a professional mechanic, a journeyman carpenter, electricial, welder, plumber and mason in a lifetime. However you can probably learn to do some normal tasks that you may need which these people do. Doing a tune up on the family auto is easier than rebuilding the engine, building a deck or shed is easier than a shopping mall, you get the idea. If you find something that you are good at and enjoy then by all means go deeper into it.

The point, if I have one, is to strive to become more independent. The more independent you are the less you will rely on other people, and to some extent our government and 'the system' to meet your needs. This could be very important in the future.

As to me well, it is my birthday. Another year older and all that jazz. In some ways I am in a better place and in others things are about the same. It was a nice quiet day. Had some fun with Wifey and Walker. He enjoyed birthday cake which is not suprising. I got an amazon gift certificate and an ice cream maker from the rents. As usual my gift from us is cash. I still have some thinking to do but will likely get some rifle plates for the Banshee plate carrier I recently ordered.

Anyway I hope you all have a great Independence Day. Do some fun stuff with people you love and if you have a few minutes think about how to become a bit more independent.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Read and Think

TEOTWAWKI Blog did a good post on 5 Tips for Avoiding Violence. My thoughts on it are as follows:

#1 Nothing good happens after 11 o'clock. We could debate exact times but the principle is sound.

#2 It is about choices. You can choose to pay a bit more in rent or have a slightly more modest place to live in a safer area. Maybe you can drive a bit further or in an extreme case choose to relocate to another city or region.

#5 In some situations harsh commands will let you separate a odd guy or somebody with mental problems/ whatever from a more probably threat. If you tell somebody to "Get the F back" and they keep coming, well at least you know there is a problem.

My bonus #6 would be to not be under heavy influence of drugs/ alcohol in public. I am not talking about a couple beers with dinner or a few drinks over the course of an evening. Being under heavy influence of anything makes you far more likely to miss the signs that a problem is coming or let yourself get into stupid situations. I am not judging as I enjoy some drinks myself. The point is that if you are going to tilt the bottle a little harder than usual keep it at home, or a buddy's place or whatever.

Anyway those are my thoughts on a great post.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Quote of the Day and Discussion

"A gun you can’t reach in an emergency is useless. When I read that book (Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, TOR) as a high school kid, it struck me that since I had long possessed guns in my bedroom including a loaded Colt .45 automatic, I would have had a lot more options than Clutter’s son did when the homicidal intruders entered his bedroom…and, knowing my dad, in Herb Clutter’s situation my old man’s regularly-carried Colt Cobra .38 revolver would have probably gone into action long before things got even that far.

In a lifetime among cops since, I’ve noted that investigators who piece together the aftermaths of home invasion murders tend to keep their guns on all the time after that, even when off duty in their own house, and keep them by the bed when they go to sleep.

They have learned from the helplessly-murdered dead"

-Massad Ayoob

Discussion

I don't really have anything to say about the quote. It pretty much stands for itself.  The more worthwhile discussion is to the larger issue of deployment of defensive weapons at home.

If you think getting to the bedroom/ basement, turning the combo on the big ole gun safe left to 12 right to 6 and left again to 3, pulling out and loading a gun is going to work you are kidding yourself. For defensive purposes you might as well not own guns if you can't get to one very quickly. If somebody boots the door you need a gun right now, like almost immediately.

There are two basic options here. Carry a piece or have a bunch of them all over the place. There are some considerations which may affect your choice. The biggest consideration without a doubt is the occupants and regular visitors to your home. I won't tell you how to live your life. However if there are residents like young children (the age could be debated, some folks think a 4 year old having access to a gun is safe and others think it is closer to 25) or adults without the mental capacity to be responsible with firearms then having them lying around all over the place is stupid. Note that I didn't say everybody who is in your home needs to be an expert with guns or even know how to use them. Just that they have the mental capacity to be safe around them. Example, My 28 year old defacto sister in law hates guns and to the best of my knowledge has never touched one. She comes to visit. Her default reaction would be to leave a gun alone if she found it. She would either reach past it to grab something from the cabinet or whatever or ask one of us "could you grab the X from the cabinet with the handgun in it?" Even without the head knowledge she has the adult decision making to leave guns alone.

We could debate putting a gun outside of the physical reach of a kid, like on a high shelf or something. I know folks who have done it without incident. My buddy found out there was a 1911 in the cabinet above the kitchen stove when he was 13, it had been there his whole life. YMMV but personally I do not feel at all comfortable with this plan. Kids get into all sorts of stuff and tend to do it when they are in the dangerously curious accidentally shoot somebody age range.

Anyway to me when it comes to residents or very frequent visitors this is a GO/NO GO thing. Moving a few things around when your sister who has a pair of toddlers comes over for Christmas is easy but if there are regularly little kids or adults with diminished capacity due to mental health issues or drug use having unsecured guns all over the place is a NO GO.

If there are only adults in the home having guns all over the place is an option. Obviously this will only work if you have multiple viable guns to place around your residence.  If you have just one gun it would end up in a nightstand all the way in the bedroom which is a bad option. In Alabama I had a pistol and a shotgun by my seat in the living room, a pistol and a shotgun by the bed, and a handgun in the other rooms. At the furthest point I might have been 4 paces from a loaded gun and that was from an awkward point in the hallway.  This plan was sufficient to me and looking back I can't find fault in it. They were not locked up (which could be debated) but were concealed. With the exception of the steriotypical bedside none of them were in places you would look for a gun. As an option you could get a few of those convenient little quick opening hide a piece type safe's. Put one in the bedroom, one in the living room, etc. Slightly slower but it would be secure.

The other option is to just carry a handgun with you, physically attached to your person until you go to sleep at night. This is really probably the best option as a lethal option is on your person at all times. It covers everything. Working out in the garage, fiddling around on the deck or in the yard, etc. Just continuing to wear whatever setup you use out of the house is a very valid option if you will actually do it.

Regardless of your choice to carry or stash guns having a long gun quickly accessible is a good idea also. You probably won't carry one around the house all the time so it would need to be stashed, maybe in some sort of quick to open safe. Maybe something like this. Long guns are far more lethal than pistols. If memory serves me correctly the boring old 30-30 crushes the venerable .44 mag in terms of energy. Also probably more importantly most people shoot them a lot better. Folks shoot at each other at CQB ranges with pistols and miss all the time. The longer sight radius and multiple points of contact of a long gun make them much easier to shoot well.

Personally I will not do that, it is a fine idea but not something I will actually do. After getting off work and changing out of my stupid greyish monkey suit and boots I almost immediately change into comfortable clothes that are not carry friendly. Some sort of alternate carry method like a shoulder holster or one of the belt and pouch type holsters like the smart carry  or the belly band would be options worth looking at.  When we get back to the states my plan is a loose combination of both. Having weapons readily accessible but secured in a couple key places and one on me. Maybe it is a little belt and suspenders but nothing succeeds quite like excess.





Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Be A Sheep

Sometimes I seriously wonder about people. I remember hearing some time ago about a parent and kid who went shopping at a big box store. I don't remember the details but somehow they ended up in the security office with the kid, who I think was 7, in his underwear. This went on for hours. I really wonder what this Dad's deal was and why he let any of this happen. I couldn't find the story but found one about a man who was "forced to pull down his pants" in Walgreens.

Somehow this topic came up between Wifey and I recently. Off the cuff I said that my response would be "F#*$(@ you, I'll kick the #*$) out of you if you don't get out of my way." Wifey nicely said I am a bit grown up to talk that way and that "I'm leaving" would get the same affect across. In any case the point is that minimum wage retail store security goobers are not on the list of people who I must or will take any flack from. They don't get to make me go anywhere or detain me and their medical insurance isn't good enough to lay a hand on me. The idea of letting some buffoon touch my kid is even more ridiculous. Just not on the list of things I am going to let happen.

I heard recently on the TV that bill collectors threatened to take some woman's kids away from her. That should set off the "this guy is talking out of his behind" bells but hey, some folks are smarter than others. How would I answer that "get a couple guys, come to my house and try it."

I think protecting your kids is something that is hard wired into us. Also assuming you don't start shooting random people in the street or murder an old woman who goes to say hi to your kid I do not think it is a bad thing. Protecting your kids is part of a parent's job.

However having the will is only part of it. Will in and of itself doesn't make anything happen. You have got to be able to back the will up with action. You have got to have the skills to fight and the muscle to make it work. Also having weapons and the ability to use them is pretty darn useful if things get really bad.

 If this isn't a reason to train aggressively I do not know what else is.

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